Without feedback, growth — both personally and professionally — would be difficult. Colleagues wouldn’t know how to better contribute to the team. Salespeople wouldn’t hone their selling skills and increase their close rates. Managers wouldn’t improve their leadership skills.
People need feedback to know how their actions and behaviors impact those around them, but delivering constructive feedback is a bit of art and science. In this guide, we walk through everything you need to know to develop, collect, and deliver feedback appropriately.Chapter synopsis
Remember to bookmark this guide for later reference. You never know when you might need to brush up on giving feedback or want to try a new feedback style.What is feedback?
Feedback provides an opportunity for someone to gain insights about their personal or professional actions and behaviors. Why is feedback important? Andy Bailey, founder and coach at Petra Coach, says it’s crucial for people to acknowledge where they stand in their interpersonal relationships and with the quality of their work product.
“We’re creatures of habit, so without feedback, we tend to continue moving forward in the same way we always have, often without realizing our shortcomings. We need others to stop and tell us what they are seeing, so we can incorporate outside thoughts and suggestions into our ideas of ourselves and improve accordingly,” Bailey says.
According to Arquella Hargrove, president of Epic Collaborative Advisors, a common feedback scenario involves a manager and an employee discussing on-the-job performance. Another, more personal scenario, is when married couples exchange feedback to keep their marriage strong.Breaking down feedback Types of feedback
Feedback can be classified in a few different ways:
Feedback can be ineffective if it isn’t given in the right manner. Bailey and Hargrove note that the most effective feedback has several qualities:
Bailey says that asking for feedback requires self-awareness and humility, crucial traits for business professionals. He says you must honestly ask what needs fixing to be able to make effective changes. It can be as simple as stopping by your supervisor’s or peer’s office and asking for their thoughts, or setting up a more formal time to meet and discuss. “However, if you ask for feedback, make sure you are prepared for and open to receiving it,” Bailey cautions.
When receiving feedback, Hargrove says to keep an open mind. Ask follow-up questions to clarify and better understand what the person is trying to communicate. Don’t be on the defensive. “Remember that the person giving the feedback probably doesn’t like delivering it. Be introspective and see how you can use what they said to improve moving forward,” Hargrove says.
Now that we’ve solidified the concept of feedback, let’s move into one of the feedback areas we mentioned above: peer feedback.Peer feedback
Giving feedback to a peer can seem even tougher than giving feedback to a subordinate — with peer-to-peer feedback, you lack authority. As a manager or supervisor, you’re expected to criticize employees’ work, if warranted. But as a peer, you aren’t afforded that same expectation, which is why it can often be difficult to let a coworker know they’ve done something wrong.
Below are several considerations and tips for giving peer feedback to help minimize friction.Peer feedback considerations and tips
“In most cases, the best way to give constructive feedback to a peer is directly,” explains Charlie Marchant, general manager of Exposure Ninja. She recommends delivering it privately rather than publicly.
Also, much like Hargrove’s advice, she notes that you should do it in the moment. The worst thing you can do is ignore the situation at the time and bring it up weeks or months later, after it’s been forgotten or has happened again. “It’s better to address the situation when it’s fresh in everyone’s mind,” Marchant says.
If you go the direct route, be sure to remain positive and genuine. Your feedback should come from a place of support and encouragement, motivating your peers to improve. However, Marchant recommends avoiding compliment sandwiches — placing a criticizing statement between two positive ones — because they can often come off as patronizing.
The other important aspect of constructive feedback is to comment on your peer’s behavior, not their personality. Marchant explains that we can modify our behavior, but it’s extremely difficult to change our personality. Because our personality is such a deeply embedded part of us, criticism about it often feels like an attack.
“Critiques about our behavior, however, are more constructive and more readily accepted. It also helps to provide clear examples of the situation or issue,” Marchant says.
One peer feedback example Marchant describes is providing suggestions on an important client email your peer is writing. Focus the feedback on improving the phrasing and explaining why you might reword specific parts.
Avoid phrases like “You’re too harsh,” which could be construed as a critique on the person’s personality. Instead, try “The tone of this wording feels too harsh given the context,” which more clearly focuses on the work product.
Marchant calls out an important counterpoint to her previous comments on direct feedback: Always assess whether you’re the person best suited to deliver the feedback given the situation or context. While direct feedback is useful, assuming you’re the best person to give it, that’s not always the case. You may need to inform the person’s manager and let them decide how to approach the situation.
Last, Marchant recommends being open to and inviting feedback from your peers. It’s better to have an open feedback loop rather than create an environment where it feels as though feedback is only one way. The exchange should be about learning from one another, so everyone improves and excels at work.Peer feedback forms
In the workplace, peer feedback forms are often used to provide managers with a broader perspective on their employees. In their supervisory capacity, managers may not see every aspect of an employee’s overall performance, such as their relationships with clients and dynamics with coworkers. Peer feedback forms help fill that knowledge gap so managers can make more informed decisions come review time.
Here are some example peer feedback questions you might ask on such a form:
With peer feedback covered, we move on to the manager’s perspective in giving employee feedback.Employee feedback
“Feedback is important because we are social beings with a natural desire to know how our performance is viewed by others, and this concept extends to the workplace,” says Bradley Wilson, director of research and insights at Perceptyx.
He also notes that feedback is an opportunity to identify blind spots we may have regarding areas where we can grow and improve. Below we cover several tips you can use to deliver feedback to employees more effectively.Employee feedback considerations and tips
“To give useful feedback to employees, you need to have a plan beforehand; otherwise, your guidance won’t provide much value,” says Amie Devero, strategy consultant and executive coach.
An important part of the planning process is having an agenda and identifying an employee’s strengths, weaknesses, and potential trouble areas. That lets you know how to parse your positive and critical feedback, and to what extent.
For example, consider a salesperson who has below-average close rates for new business compared to a one who regularly generates few to zero leads. The first employee may need a little feedback on sealing the deal, while the second likely requires more significant intervention.
Similarly, flight attendants are expected to provide engaging customer service to passengers, but some may approach interactions in a transactional manner or even be slightly rude. Compare this to a flight attendant whose personal issues consistently impact their attendance, setting off a domino effect of delayed flights. Again, a little feedback could go a long way in improving someone’s demeanor, but it may not be as effective for someone who is habitually late.
Recall the qualities of effective feedback from Chapter 2, particularly the attributes of being timely, specific, balanced, and actionable. Wilson says timely feedback is best given in the moment or as close to it as possible.
According to Wilson, “Feedback on minor performance issues can often easily be addressed; however, if it goes unspoken, the issues can worsen over time. Giving employee feedback quickly can mitigate the issue early and allow both parties to move on.”
Feedback also needs to be specific and related to behavior — or perceived behavior. When delivering it, Wilson says you should communicate how that behavior impacted the person involved.
Wilson also recommends that feedback be balanced, though if it must be imbalanced, it should skew toward the positive. That’s because the idea of feedback often has a negative connotation: “It’s become code for punishment or correction,” Wilson says. “Being intentional about positive feedback helps break this stigma and allows feedback a proper place in the work experience.”
Wilson explains that too many people work with the assumption that no news is good news when it comes to performance — such as when the manager only speaks up or provides feedback when someone steps out of line or does something wrong. “But feedback is an active process of setting and adjusting expectations, and then reinforcing desired behaviors,” Wilson says.
Finally, feedback should be actionable so the recipient knows what they can do to improve their performance and relationships at work. Wilson provides this formulaic phrasing to help, whether you’re delivering positive or negative feedback:
“When you do [action taken], it [impact of the action]. Could you [desired action]?”Employee feedback forms
To gather feedback, Wilson recommends using employee feedback forms. Questions should be aligned with organizational values or competencies so that you can gather feedback related to both performance (objective measures) and demonstration or reinforcement of an organization’s priorities (subjective measures).
An employee feedback form should address past or current performance, along with future-oriented aspects about how the person can continue to grow. Oftentimes, he says, top performers are most frustrated by feedback that only confirms the good they do. For example, “You’re doing great! Keep up the good work.”
While the phrasing sounds nice, Wilson explains that it shows little thought on the part of the manager and doesn’t provide much value to the employee. “It may be true that they’re doing a great job, but top performers want to be challenged. They want to know you’re invested in their professional future, and that means giving the feedback they need to grow and improve beyond their current abilities.”
One important aspect of an employee feedback survey is that there should be no surprises. Wilson explains that if an employee is surprised — whether positively or negatively — then the manager has not done the job of providing regular feedback prior to the formal feedback session. “The employee has thus missed out on multiple opportunities to adjust their behavior over time based on the knowledge withheld by the manager,” Wilson says.
Giving employee feedback is an essential practice, but gathering feedback from customers is also important. We cover how to do this in the next chapter.Customer feedback
Getting your customers’ perspectives about your brand, products, and services is essential to improving your business. Lance Cummins, president of Nectafy, says this is critical so that you’re not basing business decisions on guesses or feelings.
“The customer perspective drives the value of your product and, ultimately, your business — because as long as your customers perceive what you offer as valuable, then it is valuable,” Cummins says.
But the information you gain isn’t just useful for figuring out how to improve your offerings. You’ll also get insights on ways to better communicate the value of your product and even clarify your ideal customer.
“If you use this information strategically in your business, you can streamline your processes and solidify your customer base, resulting in overall greater customer experiences,” Cummins explains.Customer feedback examples
“Customer feedback has the potential to make a huge (positive) impact on your business — regardless of whether the feedback is good or bad — but only if you listen to it,” adds Gabrielle Shultis, Nectafy’s head of client success.
Shultis calls out several examples of customer feedback:
When asking for customer reviews, Cummins suggests providing clear instructions and making the process simple. “Don’t be afraid to request feedback, but be sure you emphasize how it benefits them, not just your company. Otherwise, requesting feedback can become a negative experience.”
Shultis shares how you can focus on the customer when requesting feedback: “You want to explain to your customers why you’re asking for feedback — which ultimately should be because it gives you the knowledge you need to ensure you’re providing them with a great product, service, and experience.”
Try to time your request for feedback strategically, when customers are most interested in sharing. For example, consider making the request shortly after a purchase or at a major milestone. Also, make the request as personal as possible so the customer knows it’s coming from a person.
You can get customer feedback in different ways, as previously mentioned, but forms are typically the easiest way to collect it. Shultis says that forms are simple enough for most customers to navigate, and they make sorting through responses easier for you and your team.
“You could also collect feedback through online reviews, but sending a form directly to your customers has a more personal feel,” she explains.
Shultis recommends using these three customer feedback questions:
With customer feedback covered, we move on to the last chapter, which touches on different styles of feedback and the best ways to collect them.How to collect feedback
When you manage multiple employees or departments, constructing and collecting feedback may seem overwhelming. Which style and tool are best to get the job done? Below we cover several feedback styles you can try, and introduce an easy-to-use feedback collection tool: JotForm.Styles of feedback Real-time feedback
Throughout this guide we’ve noted the importance of timelinessin relation to giving feedback. Real-time feedback keys in on this concept, as it’s provided in the moment or immediately following a specific event or behavior.
Loren Margolis, founder of Training & Leadership Success, says real-time feedback is the most important type of feedback for managers to use with employees because of its timely delivery. It immediately reinforces positive behaviors, and/or points out ways to change undesirable actions if improvements need to be made.
“Real-time feedback also creates a direct link between the employee’s actions and the perception of those actions from their peers and manager,” she says.
Margolis also calls out an important concept managers should champion within their organizations: psychological safety. This concept is all about feeling safe enough in the workplace to be yourself, take risks, speak up, believe your ideas are being heard, and not be judged.
Organizations that encourage psychological safety will thrive. One key part of accomplishing this: “Give more positive feedback overall, thereby building up an ‘emotional bank account’ where employees feel appreciated and respected. They’ll then take constructive feedback better,” Margolis says.Performance feedback
Compared to real-time feedback, performance feedback is more formal — typically because it tends to be scheduled, such as an annual performance review. Whenever it occurs, performance feedback covers both positive and constructive communications about an employee’s performance.
Robert Satterwhite, Ph.D., partner and head of the leadership and organizational effectiveness practice at Odgers Berndtson, says organizations that have a learning and development culture encourage managers to provide regular and ongoing feedback outside of the formal performance review cycle. This not only ensures that employees exhibit the right behaviors throughout the year but also reduces surprises come review time.
“When done right,” Satterwhite says, “performance feedback reinforces behaviors that are consistent with organizational and team strategies, goals, and tactics. In addition, it should include the identification and ongoing monitoring of developmental goals and associated activities, resources, time line, and metrics.”
Margolis explains that if you’re making regular use of real-time feedback, formal performance feedback sessions should be fairly quick. “You can then use the time during a performance review to focus on the future, instead of the past. For example, you can discuss the employee’s career path and what they should look to accomplish in the next six months to a year.”360-degree feedback
360-degree feedback differs from other styles of feedback in that it comes from a combination of people connected to the employee, including the employee themselves, direct reports, peers, and their manager, among other potential raters.
“You need a comprehensive swath of people surrounding the recipient to deliver a true, 360-degree perspective,” Margolis explains.
Satterwhite adds that some companies seek additional perspectives from other key stakeholder groups such as board members and customers. In any case, the importance of 360-degree feedback is in enhancing the employee’s understanding of how their performance positively or negatively impacts constituents who are up, down, and across the organization.
The goal is to provide multiple perspectives to clearly highlight strengths an employee can leverage, gaps they need to shore up, and developmental areas they should focus on. “For example, consistently positive feedback from direct reports, coupled with consistently constructive feedback from the manager, likely indicates the employee needs to spend more time managing up and less time managing down,” Satterwhite says.Collecting feedback through forms
“Collecting feedback via a form or survey has a variety of benefits, particularly when collected online,” says Satterwhite. He explains that forms can guide respondents through the feedback process, which encourages a structured, consistent approach to data collection. Satterwhite notes how forms can be used in practice:
Margolis adds that it’s important for managers to use the same form for all employees. “You must ensure all assessments of performance and other aspects of employees’ work and interpersonal interactions are evaluated fairly.”JotForm + feedback
If you need an easy way to collect feedback for all your employees, try JotForm, the simple yet powerful Form Builder. With JotForm, you can create surveys and collect and track feedback. We have hundreds of ready-made feedback templates you can customize to your liking. Modify the questions to better suit your needs, and even add your own company branding.
With JotForm, you can
Ready to improve your approach to collecting feedback? Get started with JotForm today.About the other contributors Amie Devero
Amie Devero has more than 25 years of experience as a strategy consultant and executive coach. Along with her experience fostering leadership and excellence in strategic decision-making and organizational performance, Amie is a frequent keynote presenter at industry conferences. Previously, she served as the chief executive of mobile parking payment platform iControl Mobile Payment Solutions and as the president of its acquirer, RingGo.Andy Bailey
Andy Bailey is the founder of Petra Coach. He assists business owners and entrepreneurs in building the solid foundation that allows them and their teams to achieve their goals, both business and personal. His aim is to develop cultures that impact every team member in a positive way.Arquella Hargrove
Arquella Hargrove is president of Epic Collaborative Advisors, a company that provides workforce development, communications, and strategy services. She is also a facilitator, leadership consultant, speaker, and coach dedicated to bringing out the transformative and sustainable results of people through development.Bradley Wilson
Bradley Wilson is the director of research and insights at Perceptyx. He leads the team responsible for Perceptyx’s survey design, results analysis, and executive reporting. He has significant experience developing key performance indicators, maximizing data confidence through assessment design, linking employee survey data to organizational strategy and objectives, and leveraging data to improve speed and confidence in corporate decision-making.Charlie Marchant
Charlie Marchant is the general manager of Exposure Ninja. She oversees operations at the company, and has past experience building teams from scratch. She is the coauthor of The Ultimate Guide to Content Marketing and is a regular speaker at BrightonSEO.Gabrielle Shultis
Gabrielle Shultis is the head of client success at Nectafy. She helps the growth content company consistently deliver success to clients. She’s slightly obsessed with planning and being organized, which helps her perform well in her role.Lance Cummins
Lance Cummins is the president of Nectafy, a growth content company. He’s built a small but growing team of writers, marketers, and other creatives to create strategically guided content that helps clients bring in more traffic and generate more leads.Loren Margolis
Loren Margolis is the founder of Training & Leadership Success, a global leadership development consultancy that provides leadership and team development programs and executive coaching services. She has an in-depth background in psychology, training, and proficiency in adult learning. Her leadership development expertise and career success advice has been featured in Forbes, USA Today, Business Insider, and The Muse.Robert Satterwhite, Ph.D.
Robert Satterwhite is a partner and head of the leadership and organizational effectiveness practice at Odgers Berndtson, a global executive search firm. He helps organizations strategically manage executive selection, succession, and development, including assessment, onboarding, coaching, high-potential identification, and team effectiveness.
Remote opportunities have reached a historical high, and it seems to be the new preferred way of work. With many benefits for both employers and employees, many are seeking remote work solutions amidst the pandemic to stay afloat.
However, the surge of remote listings makes its job market difficult to navigate – especially for those new to seeking virtual opportunities. More often than not, job searching is mind over matter – a sense of building your momentum to apply for the positions you feel most compatible with. Here, you will find tips on how to begin your job search, how to build your momentum, and the best tips for landing a remote job.
You’ll first need to complete some housekeeping tasks before igniting your job search. First, give your resume a touch-up. For example, pay attention to your overall layout. A resume should be an easy skim, highling your most relevant experiences first. Stray from general descriptions of the job’s role as this is your time to make your case for being the ideal candidate for hire. In other words, include keywords related to the field of your interest, and keep details short and sweet.
After your resume is fine-tuned, you’ll want to check out your social media. Remember, you may never meet your boss in-person, so your social media is often the best reflector of you. Saying this, ensure your online reputation and image are portrayed positively. 70% of employers research applicants’ social presences before hiring or interviewing, so avoid posting anything illegal, discriminatory, or innaporirate that could negatively reflect the brand you’re interested in joining. Alternatively, creating separate business and personal profiles can remedy your concerns.
Now, you’re ready to begin navigating the job market, but many find doing so intimidating. In fact, the intimidation can turn into procrastination. Time is money, and life is easier when our goals are completed – so there should be a sense of urgency in your job search if you are without income. We put things off to lower our stress levels and increase the time we spend on enjoyable activities. However, procrastinators go on to feel more stress, illness, and lower quality of work. Saying this, be proactive in your search. In life and business, many good things can come from negatives.
In other words, take control of your difficult situation by recognizing the reality of your situation. One way you can do so is by exploring for your dream job on platforms like Nine2Five Job Search or Indeed. In 2020, the top fields offering remote jobs are within the medical/health, computer/IT, customer service, education/training, sales, and accounting/finances sectors. More specifically, the most popular remote jobs include project managers, accountants, writers, nurses, online ESL teachers, investigation specialists, customer service representatives, and more.
99% of those who work from home would like to continue working remotely, at least part of the time, for the rest of their careers. On top of that, 95% would recommend it to others. Check out the infographic below for more information on how to find work in the remote economy.
An effective email marketing strategy works on useful innovations and technologies.
Moreover, with the AI industry reaching a forecast size of 22.6 billion US dollars by 2020, it has definitely emerged as one of the great technical shifts. In fact, 78% of brands are already planning to implement AI within their marketing strategy.
So, if you wish to enhance your email marketing strategy, going the AI way is the key to success. Remember, 72% of business leaders consider AI as a business advantage.
AI not only analyzes data better than humans but also gives the brand a deep insight into what elements work for their marketing strategy and which ones don’t. Here’s a quick look at various AI tactics you can incorporate to make your email marketing strategy top-notch:Optimized subject lines
While 35% of recipients open an email based on the subject alone, 69% of them mark email as spam based on the same. Therefore, it is imperative to optimize your subject line in a way that resonates with the customers. This is where AI can come in handy and help you determine which subject lines work for your email campaign. AI combined with machine learning technologies analyzes the open rates of your email. As a result, it gives you a clear idea about the kind of subject lines that resonate the most with your subscribers.Facilitates best send time for emails
Do you know an average person spends more than four hours a day checking emails? So, if you optimize your email send time, you can easily make your customers open and click-through your emails. AI, with its ability to analyze data like past open rates, can give you a clear insight into the opening time of the email, thereby helping you schedule the email as and when preferred by the recipients.Works on hyper-personalization
AI takes into account the behavior of individual customers. This helps in the easy determination of the kind of content that will resonate with each one of them.
All in all, AI has changed the way marketers create, plan, and execute their email campaigns.
Take a look at this elaborate infographic from Email Uplers where it has discussed various aspects of incorporating AI into email marketing with precision. From the best AI practices to intricate data-driven insights, this infographic has everything to keep you updated about the revolution AI has brought in the world of email marketing.
If you own a website and you haven’t heard about web accessibility or the ADA act, this article is for you.
It’s been 3 years since a bind internet user won the first federal ADA title II web accessibility lawsuit, and 2 years since the Department of Justice made a statement confirming that ADA requires online businesses to be accessible to consumers with disabilities, but web accessibility is still slowly entering public consciousness.
ADA title III compliance lawsuits are rising, and headline-grabbing web accessibility cases, like the 2019 Supreme Court ruling against Domino’s Pizza, have helped draw website owners’ attention to the issue. Disability activists have grown tired of waiting for websites to become accessible out of a desire to serve all users, and begun using “lawfare;” finding non-accessible websites and sending lawyer demand letters that cost an average of $20,000 to settle out of court.
Websites that aren’t accessible are finally becoming unaffordable.
Thanks to the slow but increasing awareness of web accessibility, consumers with disabilities today can choose where to spend their money and their time. They don’t need to struggle through a non-accessible site just to buy a pair of shoes or read the news; instead, they can click off and choose your competitor who has invested in making their site accessible.
All of that comes on top of the threat of a costly lawsuit. As a result, website owners are waking up to the fact that they have no choice but to make their websites accessible to all users, both able-bodied and disabled.
Website owners are stuck between a rock and a hard place.
However, the challenge often seems far too great to be overcome. Making your website accessible means:
Making all these changes requires you to adapt the website source code, but few website owners have the expertise to do that. They have no choice but to hire an expensive accessibility service provider, but the costs are often far too high.
Website owners are stuck in a situation where they can’t afford to comply with website accessibility legislation, but also can’t afford not to comply.
Free accessibility plugins promise a way out…
And then free accessibility plugins come on to the scene. They promise to fix all your web accessibility issues in one go — all you need to do is to install the plugin onto your website, and it will do the rest.
Sounds great, it’s both free and it works right? Well, its neither.
Most website owners see this as the answer to their prayers and, understandably enough, take their promises at face value. Unfortunately, most free accessibility plugins don’t follow through on all their claims.
…but leave website owners stranded
As the saying goes, you get what you pay for. Free accessibility plugins succeed in addressing some accessibility issues, but they don’t go far enough. As a result, website owners are left believing that they’ve opened up their site to users with disabilities — until a lawyer demand letter arrives at their door, and plugins won’t save you.
Free accessibility plugins mostly generate a design overlay which sits on top of the existing site and adjusts the user interface to make it more user-friendly for visitors with disabilities. These overlays are generally work to:
These all sit on the Front end only, and don’t make your website truly accessible. Some also succeed in changing fonts to one that is more readable and improving text alignment, but that’s as far as it goes. These adaptations do help users with low vision or fully-able users who are browsing the internet in poor lighting, but they don’t add up to full website accessibility.
One of the biggest issues is that no free plugin supports the screen readers that blind users rely on to browse the internet. They don’t provide role building, or alt tags for images, or make it possible to navigate forms and popups with a screen reader. There is one plugin which claims to support screen readers, but this is not the full truth; it actually provides its own screen reader built on proprietary software, which doesn’t work with the NVDA and Jaws-based screen readers that are used by the majority of the blind community.
There’s no free plugin that enables full keyboard-only navigation, which is crucial for meeting web accessibility requirements. There are so many reasons why someone might be unable to use a mouse, including having motor disease, arthritis, a broken arm, amputations, muscle weakness, or even just a broken mouse, but plugins that don’t support keyboard navigability block them all out. Some plugins do allow the user to shift focus with the keyboard, but none of them do so consistently through forms, popups, drop-down menus, etc. When you consider the fact that most web accessibility lawsuits come from blind users and users with motor disabilities, free plugins don’t do much to protect you.
Finally, these plugins also fail to stop animations, which can trigger seizures in people with photo-sensitive epilepsy, and do nothing to simplify confusing texts and website layouts that form a barrier against people with cognitive disabilities.
Free accessibility plugins are not the solution
As website owners increasingly realize the importance of accessible websites, they’re turning to free accessibility plugins that promise to solve everything.
Unfortunately, as many website owners are starting to discover, relying on free accessibility plugins leaves you open to lawsuits from disappointed users who are still blocked out of your site.
The solution is simple, treat web accessibility as an integral part of your website and invest into a proper solution. Just like you would get a strong CDN or a hosting provider, so should your website be truly accessible.
Your website’s homepage is the forefront of your business. It could lure people in or scare them out of your store.
This is the place where you introduce your products, explain how they can help people solve their problems, gain people’s trust and ensure them that you’re the business they need to work with, help them deal with their uncertainties, etc.
If you already don’t have a strategy to address all these in your homepage, you’re basically missing out on a lot of growth potential. Your visitors are passively visiting your homepage and you’re missing out the opportunity to capture them as leads and increase your conversions. Here are some practised to optimize your homepage and increase homepage conversions:1. CTA’s above the fold
There’s always been a debate on whether you should include your most important CTA’s (call to actions) above the fold or below it. It seems quite logical to note that people see above the fold first and so it should have more influence on them. However, some marketers argue that people tend to scroll through the page (especially on their mobile phones) and the notion of above the fold might not be that relevant these days. They tend to look for CTA’s below the fold where they scroll down to find more information.
However, according to a study by Nielsen Norman Group, people view the 100 pixels above the fold %102 more than the 100 pixels below the fold. This is the heatmap that the study presents to back its claim:
Red dots are the places people look at the most. Yellow dots are the places people looked less, and white dots are the places people paid almost no attention to. So obviously marketers defending the above the fold notion have something to say when it comes to data-driven research.
This has a strong message for marketers:
If you want the most important elements on your page to be seen and clicked more often, you need to place them above the fold where people pay the most attention.
One of the most important elements of a home page is the call to actions (CTA’s). Some buttons with texts asking you to do a specific action such as “subscribe”, “read more”, “buy now” or any other action. You need to use these CTA’s to trigger people to do the action you desire the most from your visitors. If you need your visitors’ email addresses for email marketing, it’s a good idea to offer a lead magnet and use a “subscribe” button to ask for their email address in exchange for your lead magnet. If you want them to read your blog first and get to know your thought process, it’s good to use a “read more” CTA button.
The point is to have the maximum visibility and effect on your readers, you need to insert your most desired CTA right above the fold.2. Various CTA’s
Now that you know the importance of CTA’s in a home page, it’s a good idea to consider whether you should only include one specific CTA with only one intention in your homepage, or you should include various CTA’s with different goals in it.
It makes sense that using only one CTA will make the decision-making process way easier for your visitors. If browsing our Joomla templates inventory is the main action we want our visitors to do why not only one CTA to ask people to do it without adding other CTA’s to divert them from the main action we want them to do.
Some marketers might disagree with unilateral CTA’s on the homepage because it would attract only a portion of your visitors. People come across your website with different intentions. They might be looking to review your products, they might tend to read your blog, or they might have done their research and only visit your website to buy right away from you. In this case, it makes perfect sense to include some CTA’s with different intentions to make sure you’re eliciting some action from all your visitor segments.
In a study published on WordStream, I found that most top business websites had multiple CTA’s above the fold and that the most common combination of these CTA’s was Sample + More info type CTA’s. In another study, ReferralCandy explains that for a CTA to be effective, it needs to have certain features including:
When people visit your homepage for the first time, they’re looking for some signs that indicate they can trust you. It’s not that they would be amazed at your services and buy from you right away. They do everything they can to make sure your claims are valid and that they can trust you.
Your homepage plays an important part in building trust with your visitors. You need to use social proof on your homepage to gain people’s trust. Some of the most popular social proofs are:
Getting any of these social proof elements for your website is easier said than done. You need to have a really good track record so that you could get testimonials from your clients. Reach out to your previous clients and ask for testimonials. You should also actively reach out to bloggers and ask them to review your products in their review articles. An example of a great review article to be featured on is Ben Aston’s best Gantt Chart Makers review. You might want to offer them a free trial of your software and an affiliate link to get featured in their review articles. You can then take an extract from the article and feature it on your homepage as a positive review. A good website template is a time saver when placing testimonials on a page. If you’re using WordPress, a good WordPress template has the testimonial section by default.
Using any of these elements on your homepage would make it possible for your visitors to trust you. Automate.io uses various social proof types on their Zapier alternative landing page to build the most level of trust with their visitors.Finally:
To increase your homepage conversions, you need to stick to some of the tried and tested homepage optimization practices recommended by most experts. You can also A/B test some of these elements and see what’s working best for you. Some of these practices are using your main CTA’s above the fold, using various CTA types to capture people with different intentions, and using social proof on your homepage to build trust.
The pandemic situation we are in right now has brought unprecedented changes in the way companies operate. Working from home is no longer a privilege. It is now a new norm that professionals around the world are preparing to deal with.
Transparency is a fundamental quality every team must possess; even more so during these times. Creating a transparent work environment is the first step to effective management and helps your teams stay productive and aware of short-term and long-term goals. Underneath these high-level objectives, the basic driving force of transparency is building trust within the team. Only then, a team can function at its best. Companies that went fully remote, or adopted a new model as we did at Kissflow, face their own set of challenges with regards to transparency and need to figure out ways to establish transparency.The importance of transparency in the current scenario
Transparency is a two-way street. Whether you are a developer working on a new product or a manager responsible for a team, transparency has a critical part to play in your job. Transparency keeps your team in check, so they don’t lose their direction. Everyone has access to the necessary information, which will help teams organize themselves without too much intervention from the management.
In an open environment, members know the actual objectives and feel free to share their concerns and ideas to improve the overall efficiency. Generally, managers who encourage communication and invest time in building trust between their teams perform better than those who don’t.
In times like these when traditional activities of improving teamwork are not possible, having true transparency stands as one of the most effective ways of keeping a team together. It’s no longer a recommendation for staying ahead of the curve. It’s a necessity.How to ensure transparency in your remote teams
Implementing transparency in remote teams is easier said than done. There are multiple challenges you’ll have to overcome while doing it. Here are some of the strategies you can adopt to improve productivity of your team:Make sure everyone knows the actual objective
This might sound like a cliché, but ensuring everyone sees the bigger picture is the best way to maintain transparency in your team. Sharing the scope and progress of the current projects keeps team members happy and reduces the turnover rate.
It also has a significant effect on the overall productivity of any team. Knowing how you are contributing to success is a great motivator that pushes team members to strive for excellence. It’s hard for everyone to stay motivated in these times, so it’s essential not to miss any opportunities for improving the team’s morale.Be available for your team
The WFH culture has further blurred the lines between personal and professional. Work-life balance is almost impossible to achieve amid this pandemic, and this can have crippling effects on any team’s productivity. Add the stress and panic related to the virus in this equation, and you have a perfect recipe for disaster. Therefore, it’s important for managers to be available for their team and cut some slack whenever possible.
Being available to listen to their problems if they face difficulty in completing a task will help reduce some burden from their shoulders. The way we operate at Kissflow reflects this approach, where employees work together and are free to discuss their problems. Ever since the pandemic broke out, we have created dedicated channels to support our workers and offer assistance in whatever way possible.Use the right tools
Using cloud-based project management software and collaboration software is key when it comes to remote work because team members may not be available online all the time. Remote teams face a lot of problems, and lack of effective communication simply because they’re used to walking up to a co-worker and communicate. You’ll be exhausted if you spend an entire meeting asking others to repeat themselves or searching countless messages and email threads for feedback.
Having the right project management software solves most of these issues. You’ll make it easier for everyone to track the current progress of the project at hand. Tools like Kissflow Project, Monday.com, and Jira come with advanced reporting capabilities and dedicated channels for feedback and annotation. You need to spend some time to find the right fit for your team’s needs. For a remote team, project management with built-in collaboration can keep the conversations contextual.Increase accountability
Working from home gives more flexibility to the team members to work according to their schedules. Given this flexibility, It’s quite easy for teams to slack off and procrastinate. Leaders and managers need to place absolute trust in the team’s integrity but need to keep a closer eye on the progress. It’s a fine line to tread as even unintentional micro-managing can result in distrust and demoralization.
Since everyone knows the project objectives and what’s required of them, having specific metrics and key results can make them accountable for their work. When everyone knows what the team is working on and who is responsible for a specific task, members can help each other out instead of complaining about a slow work output. Additionally, having an effective accountability system instills more responsibility in your team members, which can have a significant impact on their productivity.Closing thoughts
These are stressful times, and while it’s important to focus on work, you must remember to have fun as well. Working remotely in isolation can have a negative impact on your team’s mental health. People find it hard to stay locked up in their homes without any human contact, so it’s important to engage with everyone in an informal atmosphere.
From supply chain to manufacturing, all kinds of businesses are now experimenting with digital workplaces. Transparency is critical for success in any environment. We’ve had great success by implementing the above strategies at Kissflow. Let us know if these help you in the comments.
In the world of business, today, big data is employed by almost all industries to drive performance and competitiveness.
It is estimated that the big data analytics market will potentially reach $103 billion by 2023.
But minus the expertise of professionals who turn advanced technology into actionable insights, the data collected will be rendered meaningless.
So if you are a business looking for ideas to come up with an effective data science team, this article will equip you with all the knowledge you require.What does a data scientist do?
There are different types of data scientists, but generally, you can divide them into two types.
The first type of data scientist helps to make sense of data through statistical analysis. The other type builds predictive models and algorithms the data products are powered by.
AltexSoft considers the skill sets below while hiring data scientists.Image source Critical skills to look for hiring data scientists
If you are a big company, building an in-house data science team will be beneficial, and it comes with plenty of advantages. You can be flexible, you retain your intellectual property, and you are self-reliant.
The cons of building an in-house team include high expenditure, the difficulty of assessing skills unless you are a data scientist yourself, scarcity of experts as the demand for top data scientists is exceeding supply, and it is time-consuming as well.
Small companies or startups have not many options but to outsource data science, though, in the long run, it is not advisable. The pros include being able to start your project right away, having external partners with verifiable experience, cost-effectiveness, and faster delivery.
The cons can include uncertainty that lurks about whether the outsourcing company has domain expertise, giving away control, and difficulty of finding the right team.
The type of data team you should build depends entirely upon your needs, expectations, and budget.Communication is key
While building a team of data scientists, always ask questions that mirror your strategic business goals. It could be about attracting new clients, targeting VIP customers, or automating processes.
It will help you get your stakeholders, associates, and decision-makers involved with the things you are doing.
Regardless of the approach, you must focus on communication, priority settings, and expectations.
Three data science team structuresImage source
This team structure can be built with a fully functional in-house IT department when you can’t hire a team.
The team will be responsible for managing tasks like preparing data, creating user interfaces, training models, and model operation within the corporate IT infrastructure.
In this type of structure, you will have to build a data science team to focus on preparing the dataset and model training. The IT specialists will be managing the interfaces and infrastructure for model operation.
When you merge machine learning expertise with IT resources, it ensures steady and scalable machine learning operations.
You will need an experienced data scientist within the team. This structure will bring better operational flexibility when it comes to available techniques.
This structure will incur the highest expense, but you can expect great results.
You can come up with an independent data science department to build an all-inclusive machine learning applications and frameworks.
A committed data science team will handle all operations, including data cleaning, model training, and building front-end interfaces. Even if all the team members don’t possess a data science background, they should possess a technology background and have expertise in service management.
This structure will help you sort out complex data science tasks such as researching, utilizing numerous ML models fitted to different aspects of decision-making, or diverse ML backed services.How to avoid data science failure
One of the reasons why most of the big data projects fail is that they are not approached as projects that solve a business issue.
In many instances, data scientists are educating managers on analytics. Data scientists should instead enlighten their team on what takes place in the business around them. The team should also be taught how to adapt to fit the business.
Avoid data science failure by first examining the data you have at hand. The quality of data you have is more important than the volume. Unless you possess very high-quality data, it is better not to hire a data scientist yet.
You should also establish a data engineering team who can collect, store, and curate data, before hiring a data scientist.Wrapping-Up
A data science team needs both technical and critical skills to succeed. And it is created from the teamwork of skills and experience. When you find the right staffing, ensure to provide them with training and development opportunities to help them develop. Moreover, merge your data science team with the right technology to scale.
Data science is constantly evolving, and data scientists should be able to adapt to the changing trends. Upskill your workforce timely and hire staff with a range of skills. A data science team should include business analysts, data architects, data scientists, and data engineers. Also, remember to build trust with your clients as clients at times, request anonymous data due to security issues. It can impact the quality of the data solution.
Affected badly by Coronavirus droop followed by social distance maintaining and across the country lockdown, organizations are encountering significant effects regardless of how settled they are.
Now they are forced to re-visit their strategy as to how they will oversee and run their business, including remodelling their field-tested approach. Make use of reliable small business website design services.
The infectiousness of Covid-19, and its tenacious expanding spread, has incited individuals to go for online buying options for necessary items and administrations, from their homes. It is because such a pandemic bolsters the execution of keeping social distancing measures because of the restricted means of physical contact associated with it. Industry specialists have named the online business as the lifesaver for urban communities /cities under lockdown to battle against such an outbreak.
Most organizations are finding it quite tough to keep on their finances going during the lockdown time frame because of lesser revenue generation and the general vulnerability in the worldwide budgetary condition.
Tragically, the effect on new companies like Small Business Website Design firms or private ventures can be far progressively severe as they have little savings and a narrow margin for overseeing abrupt droops. The far-reaching influence of this shutdown will drastically affect India’s economy. Since all business segments get influenced, bringing about low-income generation because of an inevitable stop/droop on the offer of items or services.
This is when comprehending the seriousness of the circumstance and turning it suitable for the business is the only thing that is, in any way, essential to let it sail smoothly in these troublesome occasions.
Here are a couple of tips for online businesses to survive during the shutdown:Discuss straightforwardly with your clients
Together we stand in these situations, so the perfect route is to remain straight forward with your buyers about what your business is experiencing. Clients can understand that the organizations are confronting an emergency, as long as the correspondence is straightforward. Speak with clients to comprehend their view of the item/arrangement offered by you.Keeping up a good connection with contracted parties
It is justifiable that it may be hard to pay out merchants/providers during the lockdown, especially if you run s start-up or a Small Business Website Design company. Notwithstanding, it is useful to give your merchants, providers, proprietors’ and so forth adequate notification if there will be any postponement in payments so they can likewise be readied and there is no sharpness in this effectively troublesome time.Overseeing workers and related optimization
For huge organizations thinking about cutbacks, the essential alternative ought to be to cut the pay rates of the more generously compensated executive/workers to attempt to hold the individuals who would least be able to bear to lose their positions utilized. However, when the opportunity arrives to cause the intense call, to do it with sympathy, pay special mind to government orders, and offer additional pay as and when required. Such usage ought to be done just a single time and not in stages with the end goal that it doesn’t influence worker resolve.Make your policy for the next three, nine months, year and a half
Since it is hard to measure to what extent this scourge will last, it is essential to be set up for all situations. If we think about it as a three-month issue, a moment stop on factor consumptions like recruiting, advertising, travel, and so forth can help. In any case, if the emergency proceeds for nine months to a year, business visionaries should reconfigure their business system to reduce variable costs and renegotiate fixed costs (leases, pay rates, hardware rent payments, and so on on.), and concentrate on the critical fundamentals for endurance.
It might be a smart thought to return to sales methodology – selling on the web versus face to face. Break down if you have to decrease or scale up on promoting costs. Some genuine re-examinations will be required if the impact of the pandemic proceeds for a year and a half or past. Organizations, like those involved in Small Business Website Design, should plan, impart, and act with sympathy. They would require an update of sales income objectives and item courses of events alongside another working arrangement. Therefore, business people and pioneers should keep the correspondence straightforward; however much as could reasonably be expected with their financial specialists and workers.Keep Your Group Locked in
Your group depends on you, so keep them updated about each advancement. As an advertiser of a Small Business Website Design company, you must keep your colleagues drawn in and remain with them through video conferencing devices like Google Hangouts, zoom, etc. It is essential to keep up cheerful dispositions inside the group and comprehend the general state of mind inside your remote workforce.Correspondence to partners
Talk with your investors or outer specialists, to design the correct correspondence with partners, particularly clients and workers. Have a genuine discussion on the circumstance and its effect on your business with your whole authority group. Any negative message ought to be conveyed with the most extreme sympathy alongside straightforward reasons.
Google My Business is a free instrument that causes you to advertise your business (local) in Google Maps as well as search. Herein you will have the option of posting the site URL and photographs of your items on your Business Profile, which can show up in Google’s indexed lists. You can likewise list any of your exceptional advancements or offers, so clients find it necessary to shop online with you.Conclusion:
This is a situation which has jolted many industries. However, there is nothing to lose hope. The E-commerce industry is undoubtedly one which promises to stand up tall and run speedily again.
In these troublesome occasions, it is imperative to stand joined together and help each other in the manner we can. Remain safe and remain sound. Remember that the trying times bring the best out of you, so don’t think that its too much of a trouble. Like every troublesome circumstance, this also will move away!
LinkedIn is different from other social media platforms. What makes LinkedIn stand out is its audience. Although there are many marketing channels out there, they are all tailored towards personal profiles.
An advertising strategy that stays in tune with today’s business professional is important. LinkedIn is the ideal platform; it allows you to connect with hard-to-reach professional audiences through targeted messaging
Many B2B marketers look at LinkedIn as a platform to spread brand awareness and drive lead generation. But LinkedIn advertising has many benefits. Depending on your marketing goals, these ads can serve your business by drawing customers. LinkedIn has many advantages over other networks. Let’s check them out!Benefits Of Advertising On LinkedIn 1. Target by professional Profile
The LinkedIn audience is very different from the ones we see on other social media platforms. They are more educated, professional, and have a much higher income than those on almost every other platform. If you want to reach this type of audience, LinkedIn is the ideal platform for you!2. Unique Advertising
Just like advertising on other social media platforms, LinkedIn offers many opportunities, like sponsored posts, for marketers to gain exposure, clicks, and conversions. Another is sponsored Inmail, which is integrated into its internal mailing platform. These email-like messages have proved to be a great success in terms of open and click-through rates above regular emails!3. Improved Conversion Rates
We all want to see results. When doing business online, conversions are an essential factor. When you advertise on LinkedIn, you can be sure of getting your message across to the right prospects and therefore generate a higher conversion rate.
The business community nurtures relationships with sales-ready leads on LinkedIn, and one of the competitive advantages of LinkedIn is that it is more of a professional networking site, and it cannot be replicated anywhere else. You may pay a reasonable sum for your ad clicks and impressions on LinkedIn. Still, an advertising approach concentrating on triggering quality interactions will produce higher yields at a lower risk!
Immediately after its official launch, LinkedIn’s Matched Audiences program became the lead-generating weapon of present digital marketers. This feature allows you to target customers by matching your business data with LinkedIn’s compelling user-generated content for better marketing outcomes.
LinkedIn’s Matched Audiences allows you to retarget your site-visitors for further engagements. You can also target your lookalike audiences based on your contact list, website visitors, and target accounts. You can then market to new customers with similar characteristics to your existing ones.5. Lead- Nurturing
Social media ads tend to focus on generating leads and awareness. What happens to these leads once they are in your database? Without adequate nurturing, you may fail to convince them that becoming customers or clients is in their best interest. Back in the day, this was limited to email, but today, with LinkedIn, it is more than that!Getting Started
Initiating your ad campaign and choosing your audiences is usually one of the most challenging parts of advertising on LinkedIn. Once you get started, it is not as complex as you might think!
Like most social media platforms, LinkedIn advertising provides you with many ad types and formats to play with. You should always choose your ad type based on the action you wish to drive. LinkedIn advertising promotes site conversions, brand awareness, website visits, engagements, and lead generation.
This infographic, designed by TechWyse, an internet marketing agency in Canada, an SEO agency based in Toronto, has all the ad dimensions and specifications vital for you if you are someone looking forward to advertising on LinkedIn!Best Practices
These ads won’t serve you any good if you don’t know how to leverage it. Here are a few of LinkedIn’s best practices for advertising to achieve B2B success with Linkedin Ads:
LinkedIn advertising stands out with its strong, professional audience and unique targeting options for each ad format. As for B2B marketers, LinkedIn is the most effective platform on which they can yield excellent results. If you are looking for long-term benefits, investing in LinkedIn can yield excellent results despite the higher initial investment.
Creating an affiliate site is one of the best ways to make a sizable income online. You can start your affiliate business without a shop, an inventory, or any investment in general because your profits come from selling other people’s products regardless of whether they are physical, digital, retail, or wholesale.
Affiliate marketing might be a quick way to generate revenue but the idea isn’t everything. Since you’re promoting products through your website, it should be engaging, responsive, user-friendly, and even entertaining.
In this article, we will discuss the best custom made WordPress Affiliate Marketing themes that you can use to create a website and start your business within no time.What is affiliate marketing and how does it work?
Affiliate Marketing is performance-based marketing in which a business pays a commission to the influencer (affiliate) for sending traffic and sales their way.
Affiliate marketing can be achieved through different mediums like websites, blogs, social media platforms, or product integration. Businesses or merchants assign a unique link (affiliate link) to an affiliate marketer through which digital audience clicks can be tracked, mostly using cookies.
When visitors or potential customers click on an affiliate link, affiliate cookies get stored in their browser. Now, if they decide to purchase promoted products or services, the tracking cookie makes sure that the affiliate marketers receive the commission for referring customers.What are the advantages of affiliate marketing?
Well, affiliate marketing is beneficial for both businesses and affiliate marketers. E-stores or merchants get a performance-based marketer on a commission basis like no sales, no dues. On the other hand, the affiliate marketer finds some convenient and easy ways to earn money. Affiliate marketing is considered as the quickest way to make money online with doable efforts. An affiliate marketer needs to be smart enough to select the right products or services to promote through the affiliate program.
You can add affiliate links using any WordPress site and theme, but selecting a purposeful WordPress theme that is designed for affiliate marketing has several benefits.
First, it publishes your product/services reviews professionally with features like comparisons, ratings, interactive media, videos, and images. Secondly, with a proper WordPress affiliate marketing theme, you have a better chance to attract the target audience on your affiliate links and to receive your commission on every conversion.
REHub: The REHub WordPress affiliate theme is exceptionally adaptable, and you can present your website in several formats, either a blog layout, an online store pattern, or in a magazine view.
You can publish your content the way you want for your visitors. REHub also includes some affiliate related plugins, including one for creating product comparison tables, as well as another one for managing your outbound affiliate links. REHub affiliate theme is enriched with enhanced affiliate tools like integration with multi-vendor plugins for WooCommerce (WCFM, Dokan, WC Vendor, WC Marketplace), top list builders, top tables, dynamic comparison, store locator, and product carousels. It has a Price or product comparison theme with dynamic price updates (with the help of Content Egg )
Off The Shelf: A visually pleasing WordPress theme for affiliate marketers. Create multiple sites, landing pages, and sales pages with a single installation. Off the shelf, the WordPress theme comes with several demo design templates, which you can select and customize to meet all your website requirements.
It is also retina ready and fully responsive, making sure that your website looks impressive on different device screens (65% of digital traffic comes from smartphones). The WordPress theme is coded with HTML5 and CSS3 code to make sure that it is SEO friendly and quick to offer a great experience to your visitors. It has a Drag & Drop page builder, flexible banner system, various header styles, and 700 plus Google web fonts. Off the Shelf affiliate marketing theme works perfectly with WooCommerce, MailChimp, JotForm, and Google Analytics.
CouponHut: With this affiliate marketing WordPress theme, you can create attractive deals, discounts, and coupons websites. It has a clean, minimal, and fascinating design that is good enough to compete for the best affiliate sites on the internet.
The coupon sites are popular among webmasters and general audiences because no one will mind extra discounts while purchasing a product or service. You can create a regular or coupon website to promote your own or third party products to make money through affiliate links. CouponHut has advanced search functionality, a star rating system, incorporated advertising options, and timed coupons as built-in features. It has membership registration, percentage-based discount, and time-triggered events display.
Zeen: It is a next-generation WordPress theme for news and magazine websites. Zeen is powerful, elegantly designed, and comes with everything you need to engage your visitors and increase conversions.
Now it is too easy to create a unique E-magazine, personal blog, newspaper, and reviews site for affiliate marketing. Zeen is ideal for all types of niches, including travel, viral, food, and news sites. You can add interesting styles to your reviews, infoboxes, and buttons that convert well without looking spammy. Some other prominent features include Voice Search, Gutenberg Ready, Slide Promo boxes, Timed Popups, Top Bar Message, WooCommerce, and AMP Compatibility.
Doo: It is a tailor-made theme for a coupon, marketplace, and affiliate marketing design that offers massive options to promote your products and increase your online revenue.
Doo is a kind of theme that allows your users to submit their product and content on your website with powerful Ajax search fields so that your users can establish their online outlet on your website. Its headers, footers, and sidebars are fully customizable, along with submission forms, search and filter forms. If you are interested in a daily deal site, Doo is a perfect WordPress theme, and you do not need any other external plugins. It is true the daily deals sites are a great way to make large amounts of money by offering discounts and placing affiliate links.
SteadyIncome: It is one of those affiliate WordPress themes that is built to be used by people promoting/selling their products commercially.
SteadyIncome WordPress theme is rich with features like powerful subscription tools, ad optimization, featured products section, and responsive design that will boost your online earnings. It facilitates marketers with prominent social media icons, promotion signup forms, partner logo sliders, and tabbed widgets too. SteadyIncome affiliate WordPress theme has advanced features such as AdSense optimized, Parallax Scrolling, Typography Options, Translation Ready, BreadCrumbs, Shortcodes, and Fluid Responsive. Ad revenue optimization is built into the theme, making this a distinctive affiliate marketing WordPress theme.
MoneyFlow: If you’re considering starting an affiliate WordPress blog, the MoneyFlow theme will be an excellent choice.
MoneyFlow is an SEO friendly and fast loading theme with a dynamic and attractive layout. Another superb feature is the WooCommerce integration, which enables you to add an entire affiliate shop to your site (sell your products or someone else’s). MoneyFlow is responsive for all devices, along with other advanced features like slider section, speed optimization, AdSense optimization, WP Subscribe Pro compatible, Translation Ready, Ajax Search Results, and much more.
We have discussed some of the best WordPress themes for affiliate marketing in 2020. If you want to be a successful affiliate marketer, then you need to use the right tools in the right places.
An affiliate marketing WordPress theme can turn the table in your favor. While there are thousands of affiliate marketing WordPress themes to choose from in the year 2020, it is better to choose a WordPress theme whose features and looks both help you get the foundation you need to build a business. Good Luck with your affiliate marketing journey!
Before COVID-19 hit, the option of working from home was available to only 7 percent of the U.S. workforce, mostly highly paid white collar workers. That percentage has increased more than nine-fold to 66 percent of employees in the weeks since the pandemic barred everyone not designated an essential worker from going to their jobs. This abrupt change means that a lot of people accustomed to working in their offices are finding new ways of doing their jobs.
Working from home isn’t easy, even for those who have been doing it for years. There are distractions, from chores to pets, that you used to leave behind when you “went to work.” It’s also difficult to develop, and stick to, a new routine.
Collaborating with coworkers you’ve shared offices with for years is a challenge now that you’re no longer talking face to face. There are no more casual lunchroom conversations. Working from home can be lonely.
We’ve written this guide to help you successfully make the adjustment to working from home, whether you run a business or work for someone else. Here’s what you’ll learn:
Though this guide is intended for both managers and employees who are making the switch to working from home, there’s a lot here that can be valuable to work-from-home veterans, too. Whether you’re an employee, a manager, or a WFH vet, these tips can help you be more efficient and get more out of the experience.What is working from home?
Before the COVID-19 pandemic, the average American worker spent 4.35 hours per week, or 26.1 minutes each way, commuting to and from work. The commute in the notoriously congested Washington, D.C. metro area averages 43.6 minutes, one way. The productivity argument for working from home has gained a lot more traction now that “shelter in place” orders have limited the choices to working from home or not at all.
Working from home (WFH), also known as teleworking, remote working, or flexible workplace, has long been viewed as a benefit for a small percentage of employees. Many people think it’s an option made possible by the internet, but it’s actually been around for almost 50 years.The history of working from home
The first work-from-home experiment involved 30 federal government workers in the 1970s, when the oil supply crisis resulted in long gas lines and expensive fuel. Farsighted employers considered ways to shorten commutes, such as building satellite offices instead of everyone commuting to headquarters, or eliminating commutes altogether. In the 1980s, JCPenney began hiring home-based call center workers.
Telecommuting grew after passage of the Clean Air Act Amendments of 1990 prodded large businesses to address long commutes. In 1996, the federal government implemented the National Telecommuting Initiative to demonstrate its commitment to more teleworking opportunities.Working from home today
Thanks to widespread high-speed internet access, video conferencing, and collaboration apps, a laptop is all an employee needs to do their job and stay in touch with colleagues.
Working from home today typically begins when employees set up a workspace in their homes where they can do their jobs — including everything from preparing presentations and reports to conducting phone interviews and developing software.
Many jobs lend themselves well to a work-from-home arrangement. Virtual assistants, for instance, communicate with their employers via communication apps to complete many of the duties an onsite administrative assistant would.
Well-trained customer service representatives were some of the original work-from-home employees. Now many companies use a browser-based interface that enables home-based customer service representatives to answer calls and troubleshoot problems via live chat.
Technology is rapidly expanding the jobs that can now be done from home. Lawyers and paralegals have access to online databases like Westlaw to look up cases, as well as electronic case management systems, for example.
Home offices vary. Employees who primarily work from home typically have a dedicated home office space in a spare room. Those who work from home occasionally often improvise, using whatever desk or table is available. They might also set up on their couch and use a coffee table, or create a standing desk.Why work from home
Working from home has become more common in recent years as technology has improved and more employers recognize the moral value of trusting employees. Employees treasure the flexibility and work-life balance.
A Future of Work survey of managers found that 78 percent ranked telecommuting and flexible schedules as two of the most valuable benefits for retaining employees. More than half of employers provide their employees with the necessary devices for working remotely, while 36 percent facilitate working from home by using cloud-based file management tools.
Businesses and employees both see the benefits of working from home. Employees appreciate the hours they gain from not commuting, while employers recognize savings when they don’t have to provide dedicated office space. Studies have found that office desks are vacant 50–60 percent of the time.
Working from home gives employees time to attend to their health, like exercising before or after work, instead of sitting in traffic. Employees appreciate the flexibility that working from home gives them; they can pick up their child from school, go grocery shopping, or start a load of laundry between client calls. The money they save on commuting costs is basically a raise that costs the company nothing.Work-from-home trends
While COVID-19 has accelerated the adoption of working from home, it was already on the rise. From 2005 to 2018, the number of employees who regularly work from home grew 173 percent.
Employees increasingly want to work from home. The vast majority (80 percent) want to work from home at least some time, and 35 percent would leave their employer for another job if they could work from home full time.
Larger companies have long been more likely to offer employees the chance to work from home, but small businesses are increasingly allowing employees to work from home as well. Smaller businesses often look for remote employees for bookkeeping, human resources, marketing, web development, and information technology to reduce overhead.
Access to work-from-home opportunities varies by the type of position and the industry. Management, business, and financial employees have the greatest ability to work remotely, as do those who work for insurance carriers and professional services firms like advertising agencies and law firms. These tend to be knowledge workers who do most of their work on computers.
Five of the fastest growing work-from-home positions are therapists, virtual assistants, client services professionals, tutors, and state and local government workers. Some other common positions are teachers, writers, developers, analysts, sales representatives, and nurses.
Working from home is on the rise across a variety of occupations. The COVID-19 pandemic is showing employers that workers can be productive in a setting other than the office. It’s likely that working from home is here to stay for a lot more people.Remote work vs working from home
The number of people working remotely increased 159 percent between 2008 and 2020. Many people use the terms “remote working” and “working from home” interchangeably for employees who don’t commute to work at the company offices, but remote work and working from home are not identical.
The two aren’t mutually exclusive, either. Someone who works from home can also work remotely, and vice versa, but both remote work and working from home are here to stay. Polling shows 80 percent of employees want to work from home, at least some of the time.
Here’s how remote work vs working from home stack up.Working from home
Working from home is exactly what it sounds like: work that you do where you live, whether in a dedicated home office or at an improvised location, such as your kitchen table or out on the patio on a nice day.
Some people work from home because they’re caretakers of children or older relatives. Working from home lets them meet the needs of the people they’re responsible for while still doing their jobs.
Others work from home occasionally as a respite from the commute to a distant office. They can take care of personal responsibilities, like being home for their child when there’s an early school dismissal or letting in a repair person without taking a day off.
Working from home often describes a temporary situation, like what we’ve seen to comply with orders closing “non-essential” businesses during the COVID-19 pandemic, or in ordinary times when an employee needs to be at home for a specific reason that day. For example, an employee might opt to work from home when they need time without distraction to complete a big project.Remote work
Remote work typically refers to an employee who mostly, or entirely, works outside the company’s established offices. Usually the employee lives too far from the company’s actual location to commute daily. The employee may, or may not, work from their home, but they primarily work at a location other than the company offices.
Unlike working from home, however, remote work can be a little bit more like going to a traditional workplace. For example, some remote employees work from coworking spaces. This requires them to be in a semi-public environment and travel to the coworking space, which means some kind of commute and casual dress code.
Another type of remote work is when employees who work from home leave for awhile to work at a coffee shop or other public space. This is a more relaxed environment than a coworking space, but it does require leaving the house.
There are the employees, like field sales representatives, who have been doing remote work for years. They’re the “road warriors” or digital nomads who use their laptops and cell phones to work from diners and airport lounges between sales calls.
While it’s fine to use remote work and working from home interchangeably, it’s important to note the subtle differences between them. Working from home typically describes a situation where someone doesn’t work in the office, either for a day or more regularly. Remote work is done away from the office, but not necessarily at home. Remote workers often live too far away from the company’s offices to commute on a daily basis.
Both remote work and working from home can be used to increase employee satisfaction and possibly decrease overhead.Advantages and disadvantages of working from home
Working from home can be both a blessing and a curse for companies and employees alike. On the one hand, employers can reduce turnover by 25 percent, saving $10,000 per year, and reduce unscheduled absences by 63 percent. On the other hand, 22 percent of employees believe some people will abuse the privilege and get less work done.
But as telecommuting and remote work become easier and more economical, both companies and employees need to weigh the advantages and disadvantages to determine if it’s a good fit for them. While 35 percent of employees would quit their job if they were offered a job that allowed them to work from home full time, only 27 percent of companies offer this option.
As you’re weighing whether or not to implement a permanent work-from-home policy, here are some of the pros and cons for both employees and employers.Pro: Employees save money and time
Probably the biggest advantage for employees who work from home is how much money and time they save by not commuting. An employee can save between $2,500 and $4,000 per year when they don’t have to travel, park, or buy food during the workday. (In Manhattan, a sandwich can cost $15.)
Employees who work from home have a lot more free time. Working remotely even half time saves an employee, on average, 11 work days per year they would have otherwise spent commuting. If an employee has a very long commute, that time can triple. The time not spent commuting is time they have for personal care and family, and they can still get their work done.
Remote employees also save money on their wardrobe. Instead of dressing up for the office and spending money on dry cleaning, they can work in casual (and machine washable) clothes, and save their professional wardrobe for meetings with clients.Pro: Employees are more productive
While some associates who work from home take naps (not that there’s anything wrong with napping) and binge-watch television, good employees tend to buckle down and manage their time well. Remote workers are often more productive, and less distracted, at home than they are at the office.
Workers who don’t spend hours commuting can start work earlier and manage their time to work when they are most productive. Employees who are at their best first thing in the morning can log in while they’re drinking coffee and get started on the big tasks for the day when most people are still commuting to the office.Pro: Employers can boost green initiatives
In 2018, 28.2 percent of U.S. greenhouse gas emissions came from transportation. Companies that allow working from home help reduce emissions, a significant green initiative that resonates with employees.
Additionally, the energy used to keep offices lighted, ventilated, and climate controlled is another significant source of greenhouse gas emissions. As more employees work from home, employers can reduce the size of offices, reducing emissions and rental costs.Pro: Employees have flexibility
Many employees want to work from home so they have more time for their other responsibilities, like caring for children or an elderly relative, or simply getting their grocery shopping and household chores done. Working from home basically gives the employee the time they would have spent commuting to deal with the rest of their lives. Allowing remote employees to manage their time lets those who want to start earlier have more time in the late afternoon to do homework with their kids or drive an elderly relative to a medical appointment.
Perhaps the biggest single benefit of working from home is the flexibility it gives employees to attend to their own needs. They can schedule their regular dental checkup or just pop out to the grocery store to grab some things for dinner, instead of spending that time commuting.Pro: Employers can draw from a larger talent pool
Companies with work-from-home or remote work policies aren’t restricted to the talent pool that’s within driving distance of their offices. Those companies can tap into talent from anywhere.
This is an immense advantage if you’re located where the unemployment rate is low. You can recruit and hire far from your headquarters. You can also diversify your workforce. A good work-from-home policy opens opportunities to talented people who might otherwise be unable to commute to your location.Con: Employees may work too much
The COVID-19 pandemic has resulted in many companies abruptly allowing employees to work from home, often because the only alternative is to temporarily shut down entirely.
Many have found that employees are working longer days. One study found U.S. employees were logged on for an additional three hours per day compared to pre-COVID-19 shutdowns. While this might sound like a boon for employers, it risks a burned out team that’s less productive in the long run.
One reason for the long hours could be that employees want the boss to see they are still productive when they work from home. However, working too much leads to employees making mistakes or burning out, which defeats the purpose of allowing them to work in an environment of their choosing.Con: The line between work and home gets blurry
One advantage of commuting to an office is that you have a well-defined boundary between work and home. Sure, an employee might check their email from their phone in the evening, but for the most part, they leave their work on their desk when they go home.
Working from home blurs that line. For remote employees, and particularly those living in a small space, their “office’’ might be a table in a corner with their laptop that’s always in their line of sight, even when they’re trying to relax. The employee never feels they are really done for the day.
The result too often is an employee who works harder than anybody expects, and is stressed out and less productive because they are burned out.Con: Less face time, less teamwork
Employees working from home simply don’t have as much face time with their coworkers as they do when the team is at the same location every day.
One survey found that 22 percent of telecommuters felt isolated and missed the company of their team. Another 17 percent said their interpersonal relationships suffered because they didn’t have face-to-face interaction with their coworkers. It’s hard to read another person’s nonverbal cues when you’re not in the same room.
Loneliness increases stress, harming mental health in a way that can result in depression, anxiety, and sleep problems.Con: Employees may have technology issues
Don’t assume employees will have all the tech tools at home they need to be successful. They may not have second monitors and higher definition webcams that we take for granted at the office.
There may also be issues with the employee’s internet connection at home. During the COVID-19 pandemic, broadband internet service providers saw a 27 percent surge in core network traffic. In dense residential areas, these traffic spikes can strain the networks and cause connections to slow down.Con: Employers may think employees are slacking
When an employee working in the office doesn’t answer a call or email right away, we assume they are in a meeting or otherwise busy. When an employee who works from home doesn’t answer the phone on the first ring, or doesn’t answer an email for an hour, coworkers and managers wonder if the employee is really working or just slacking off.
For every employee who slacks off while working from home, there are 10 who put in extra time at night. People who primarily work from home have the same engagement rate as the overall employee population, which hovers at 30 percent. Engagement has little to do with whether the person works from home or at the office, and far more to do with opportunities for professional development and the quality of their relationships with coworkers.
Working from home has its advantages and disadvantages, both of which are important as you explore allowing your team to work from home. Carefully consider whether the pros outweigh the cons for your company, and how your employees will adapt and perform if the situation is permanent.How to create an effective work-from-home policy
Though the option to work from home has long been a coveted employee benefit, just 7 percent of employees enjoyed this benefit prior to the coronavirus pandemic.
The pandemic led to “shelter in place” orders that effectively forced companies to choose between shutting down entirely or shifting their teams to working from home. In the space of just a few weeks, 67 percent of companies began allowing employees to work from home. Millions of employees got a laptop, instructions on how to log in, and not much else from their employers.
Fewer than half of companies have work-from-home policies in place for their newly remote workers. The result is confusion and frustration as employees try to determine what’s expected of them. Work-from-home policies guide both companies and employees for the long term. Post-pandemic, employees may want to continue working from home occasionally, and a well-considered policy can help foster that.What is a work-from-home policy?
A work-from-home policy defines what’s expected of both the employer and the employee when employees work from home. It covers the needed company-issued equipment and clarifies what positions are eligible to work from home, how to request that benefit, and how it gets approved.
The purpose of setting up this policy, like any other workplace policy, is to provide employees with what they need to successfully work from home. A good policy mitigates the disadvantages of working from home while making this option available to as many employees as practical.How to set expectations for employees
Everyone who works from home will need to know what’s expected of them. When you create your work-from-home policy guidelines, make clear how many hours employees should put in, the communication apps they need to use, and how often they must check in.
Additionally, tell employees about mandatory meetings that they will have to attend. For example, you might set up a Monday morning check-in video call with your remote team to clarify the goals for that week.
The policy should specify the output you expect from employees who work from home. This should correlate with what the employees already produce, like the number of contracts a paralegal usually drafts per day when working in the office. A work-from-home policy should specify the technology employees will need to be trained to use, such as video conferencing and collaboration applications.
Make clear which expenses — such as upgrading home internet connections for employees — you’ll cover, so that employees can include them on their monthly expense reports.Determining work-from-home eligibility
Not every employee is a good candidate to work from home. For starters, there are some occupations that require you to be in a physical location, like on the manufacturing floor. Others work in teams that require a higher degree of team collaboration than possible when they work from home. Some employees might handle sensitive information, raising cybersecurity and data privacy concerns if they work from home.
Finally, there’s also the question of how suitable the employee’s home environment is for work. How quiet is their home? If their job requires them to be on a lot of conference calls, they’ll need a space where they can be on these calls without being interrupted and, if they’re dealing with sensitive information, overheard.Work-from-home security
Cybersecurity and data privacy are bigger concerns when employees work from home. All organizations need to institute security measures to protect both employees working from home and the company from potential data breaches.
A company’s virtual private network (VPN) can give users a false sense of security. Even if a VPN is installed, hackers can still manipulate it if there’s already malware on the home network. Consider how to protect all the data transmitted using security tools besides VPNs, like endpoint security software.
Secure forms for internal data collection, like forms created with JotForm, add an important layer of protection. For example, an employee might collect customer payment information during a video conference. That information needs to be encrypted so that the company complies with the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI-DSS).The importance of trust for successful remote workers
If working from home is new to you and your employees, you may wonder if they’re actually working. It’s tempting to install software on their company-issued devices to monitor them, or require them to check in repeatedly, but micromanaging often backfires.
It’s much better to build trust by setting clear expectations for your employees and giving them the autonomy to get their work done when they work from home. Tell employees how you want them to communicate their progress on different projects, like an end-of-the week email or a one-on-one call on Monday morning, and then trust them to do so.
Focus on the employee’s work product, not necessarily how much time they’re spending in front of their computer. Understand that employees who work from home will need to attend to other responsibilities. But if they’re still doing their work well, it shouldn’t matter if they’re parked in their chair from 9 to 5 with a lunch break at noon.Establishing a work-from-home schedule
Remote employees still need normal working hours so that, for example, they’re available for meetings or to answer questions.
A work-from-home schedule will keep you on the right side of the U.S. Department of Labor. The Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) requires you to pay overtime if nonexempt employees work more than 40 hours per week. If your hourly employees are working from home, this can add up quickly.
Employees who work from home tend to work more hours, not fewer, than those working at the office. A work-from-home schedule gives them clear guidelines so they know when they are really off work. This is important for avoiding burnout.
Consider letting your employees guide some of their schedules. For example, they can be available for calls between 10 a.m. and 3 p.m., and have a hard stop on their workday at 5 p.m.The post-COVID-19 WFH world
If you find that employees successfully complete their work while working from home during the pandemic, you may want to consider making the policy permanent. You can ease into this by allowing employees to work from home on specified days of the week or allowing employees to telecommute one or two days of their choosing.
You could also create a policy allowing them to work from home as needed, like on school holidays when their kids are home or when they’re not feeling well enough to come into the office but aren’t sick enough to justify taking a day off.
Ultimately, a good work-from-home policy will help both you and your employees succeed when they’re not in the office. Be thorough, and use the policy to build trust with your employees by setting expectations. Make sure there are security protections so that your data isn’t compromised, and help them establish working hours. This will be beneficial for everyone involved.How to work from home successfully
Since the COVID-19 pandemic hit, 42 percent of Americans have begun working from home. And now that they’ve gotten a taste of it, 24 percent say they want to keep working from home, either entirely or more often. Sixty percent of them say they’re just as productive — or even more productive — working from home.
But for those who are struggling to work from home successfully, or once the novelty wears off, it can be difficult to maintain the same level of productivity. Whether it’s a stack of dishes begging to be washed or difficulty collaborating with teammates, here are some tips for making the most out of working from home.Set up for work-from-home success
Staying focused is a challenge when you’re working from home. Chores, pets, and other distractions abound. That’s why it’s so important to put in place a framework that will boost your productivity.
A basic way to do this is to make an action plan every day, separate from your list of projects. This is where you drill down on what you will accomplish just this one day. Break your big projects into discrete tasks you can do in daily increments. That way, you know what to work on every day and why it matters.
Build rewards into your daily action plan to make tasks more enjoyable and help you get them done faster. For example, if you have a tedious task on your list, “reward” yourself with your favorite coffee once you’ve completed it.Establish work hours
Flexibility is one of the biggest perks of working from home, but it’s also one of the biggest pitfalls. Your employer’s work-from-home policy may require you to be available for certain hours of the day. But if not, or if those hours your employer specifies aren’t enough, you’ll need to establish work hours to stay productive.
One tip for establishing work hours is to consider when you’re at your most productive. For example, if you’re a morning person, you might start your workday at 7 a.m., then work until lunch and take a long break.
Also consider your other responsibilities. If you have children at home, your work-from-home hours need to accommodate their schedules. You might start your workday after you’ve gotten them on the school bus, then take a long break when they get home.Maintain a work-from-home schedule
Set a work-from-home schedule that details what you do during working hours, including your start time, breaks, and when you end your workday. It helps to establish rituals that signal the beginning and the end of the workday.
For example, your workday startup and workday shut down routine can involve simple but necessary tasks, such as reviewing your calendar, responding to email and other communications, and making your preliminary list for the next day.
Start your workday at a set time, just as you would if you were going to the office. You don’t need to wear office attire, but dress in a way that signals you’re working. This can start another ritual, of dressing for work but also changing into casual clothes when you’re done for the day.
As you head to your work-from-home space, tell everyone you live with that you are at work and shouldn’t be interrupted unless it’s important.Leverage remote communication tools
Collaborating on projects and staying connected with coworkers is what makes teams effective, but you can’t pop over to a coworker’s desk to ask for a second opinion on that client presentation when you’re working from home. Email is often clunky, and you don’t know when someone will read your message.
Fortunately, high-speed internet connections make this a bit easier with tools like Slack, which let you ping a coworker with a question or join a water cooler-type channel to discuss the latest binge-worthy streaming show.
Video conferencing software makes meetings far more interactive than telephone conferences. You don’t have to play “guess the voice” when you can see your coworkers’ faces. Some software, like Zoom, Microsoft Teams, and Google Meet, allow you to run presentations and share your screens.
Forms are a much more efficient way to collect end-of-the-day (or week) reports than email. Forms also are more efficient for requesting office supplies or IT help. Many employers use remote life surveys to see how their employees are adjusting to working from home.Avoid distractions at work
Working from home comes with its own set of distractions: household chores, family members, and the temptation to take a short break that extends for hours. The flexibility of working from home can reduce the productivity you had when a manager was looking over your shoulder.
One source of distraction is the computer. No one is watching you check Facebook for the umpteenth time or read the latest celebrity gossip instead of working on a spreadsheet.
Fortunately, there are tools you can download to block distracting websites. Strict Workflow is a free plug-in on Google Chrome that blocks specific websites for 25-minute blocks of distraction-free work. Similarly, StayFocusd limits the time you spend overall on distracting websites. Once you’ve reached your time limit, you’re done for the day.
Another trick is to turn on the “do not disturb” feature on your mobile phone, then put it out of sight. This will help you resist the temptation to check social media or text messages while you’re working.
Earplugs are an inexpensive way to minimize distracting outside noise, or you can invest in a set of noise-canceling headphones. Many people find listening to music distracting, so a white noise app or a site like Coffivity that plays café sounds on a loop can help you focus.Set up a home workspace
It’s tempting to curl up on the couch in your pajamas with your laptop, but that’s more conducive to taking a nap or watching TV than working. To be productive when working from home, you need a home workspace where you can get down to business.
A spare room set up as a full home office is ideal. You can bring in tools that help you stay productive, like a second monitor, a whiteboard, or a white noise machine. You can shut the door to enforce boundaries.
If that’s not an option, establish a discrete area where you work and only work. This can be as simple as a small desk in a corner of your home exclusively for remote work. If you can, get a roll-top desk you can close so that, once you’re done for the day, your work is out of sight and out of mind.Get the right work-from-home equipment
A laptop and an internet connection are the basic tools you’ll need, but they probably won’t be sufficient. You should have the communications tools and productivity software you normally use at work. Check with your company’s IT team to make sure you have access to them, as well as security software to protect company data.
Make sure your home computer is fast enough to handle the software tools you’re using. Your company should issue you a device that meets this need. You need a reliable internet connection and a good wireless router to stay connected.
Comfortable work-from-home office equipment is well worth the investment. Treat yourself to an ergonomically friendly space, with a comfortable office chair and keyboard.
Working from home successfully will take planning. Set a schedule, manage distractions, and establish a workspace. Once you do, you’ll maintain or even exceed the productivity you achieved in your company’s physical office.Best work-from-home software
The hardware that makes it possible for many to work from home becomes far more useful when paired with the best available work-from-home software. If you’ve suddenly found yourself working from home, you have a lot to choose from. The market for collaboration and social software, including messaging apps and collaboration in cloud office suites, is projected to reach $4.8 billion by 2023, according to Gartner.
Using the right work-from-home software improves the performance of each team member and helps managers keep teams on track. These tools make it possible for employees who work from home to collaborate, share documents, and manage projects.
Working from home has many advantages, but you can’t drop by the desk of a coworker to chat about the status of an assignment. These work-from-home software tools fill the gap.JotForm
JotForm is unrivaled for ease of use and versatility. It allows you to quickly design forms for employees to request the support and resources they need. JotForm makes it easy for employees who work from home to submit help tickets to the IT department or file end-of-the-week reports.
JotForm includes powerful collaboration features. Multiple team members can work on the same form simultaneously, and all changes are saved automatically. You can also Assign Forms to teammates.
JotForm integrates with nearly all work-from-home software, including tools like Google Drive and Slack as well as the software mentioned below. It’s easy for employees to use JotForm alongside the tools they already use.monday.com
monday.com is a team management platform that lets you use templates and building blocks to set up boards to manage projects and workflows. You can use it to track project status and create action items from video chats.
monday.com offers board templates for daily task tracking, creating a company knowledge library, and resource management, among many others. The company also created communications planning and risk assessment templates for organizations to use during the COVID-19 pandemic.
monday.com includes automation capabilities for many routine tasks, such sending automatic email alerts when the status of a task changes.Dropbox
Collaborating with team members remotely requires secure access to files and the ability to work on those files together. Dropbox is a cloud storage service that provides access to your files no matter where you are.
You can also make files available offline so that you can work on them without an internet connection, if necessary. Once you’re reconnected to the internet, Dropbox will automatically update your files.
Paper is a great collaboration feature baked into Dropbox. It lets you organize projects using to-do lists, timelines, and tables. You can add relevant files so that all the content you need for the project, like PowerPoint presentations and Word documents, is in one place.
Dropbox also lets you make notes directly on files and share feedback without downloading additional software.DocuSign
Even companies working remotely require signed contracts before they will begin work. DocuSign integrates with JotForm so you can easily send forms to be signed by employees, vendors, or customers.
This saves time and money for everyone involved. Because the extra steps involved in printing contracts are eliminated, contracts are signed faster, and employees can start working on projects sooner.Asana
Asana is a project management app that lets you create checklists, calendars, and boards to manage projects. You can choose the structure that works best for your team and set deadlines and priorities for different tasks.
Asana has features that track the status of projects and tasks. It also enables you to create visual product plans that help you map out each step and identify potential roadblocks.
Asana offers workflow automation tools as well. You can create rules for tasks, like assigning work and due dates. You can write your own rules or use automation templates, as well as create templates from projects that you do regularly.Choosing work-from-home software
These are just five of the many work-from-home software tools available to help employees and teams collaborate and stay engaged.
When you’re choosing work-from-home software, consider what you’ll be integrating it with, the comfort level of your employees, and your own personal preferences. For example, both Asana and monday.com are project management tools. They have many similar features, so explore both to determine which you prefer, like checklists or boards to organize projects.
All of these tools minimize confusion so that, even if someone isn’t in the office, they have the same information as everyone who is. They can access the files they need to work and collaborate with their teams.
This software can help employees who work from home be as productive as they were in the office.Conclusion
Working from home can keep a business operating during a pandemic, weather interruption, or any other situation that closes down headquarters. It can also help employees handle other responsibilities and perhaps be even more productive.
While working from home was gaining in popularity before the COVID-19 pandemic, very few employees worked from home routinely and few employers were prepared for the shift required to make working from home a success.
One way employers can set up their employees for WFH success is by creating a work-from-home policy. This provides expectations for employees, and helps them set their own working hours and establish a viable home workspace, as well as communicate and collaborate with their teams.
Technology is essential, and that means more than just a laptop. Collaboration, project management, and file sharing applications are critical WFH software. Providing employees with these tools will help them be more productive, regardless of their location.
Working from home is likely to be an important employee benefit after the coronavirus pandemic passes. As long as employees know what you expect from them and have the right resources, it can be a success for everyone involved.
Some brands become so popular that their name becomes associated with the product itself. Photoshop is one of them. Even if people aren’t using Photoshop, they call editing photos as photoshopping.
It’s only natural that Photoshop became so popular as it was the first comprehensive “photoshopping tool”. However, the industry is far from stale. There are dozens if not hundreds of Photoshop alternatives that try to match Photoshop’s quality and beat its steep pricing. Also, it’s no secret that it’s quite difficult to learn Photoshop.
In this article, we searched far and wide to find the best photoshop alternatives that are more accessible than the behemoth that Adobe Photoshop is while also bringing the same usability to the table.Photoshop Alternatives Affinity Photo Resource: Affinity.com
Affinity Photo is probably the best Photoshop alternative out there. Because unlike most, Affinity is not there to be a substitute for Photoshop but to replace it. It has most of the features you need from the original Photoshop but unlike the steep subscription price of it, you only need to buy it once for an acceptable price.Corel Photo-Paint Resource: Coreldraw.com
Corel Photo-Paint is another strong contender to be the best Photoshop alternative. It’s part of the full design suite of Corel Draw Design Suite which can be used as an alternative to most of the Adobe suite. However, unlike many tools on this list, this one has a steep price even if you only need to buy the software once.GIMP Resource: GIMP.org
GIMP deserves a special spot in this list as it’s the only open-source and completely free tool here. We have a soft spot for open-source software and GIMP doesn’t disappoint its users as it covers almost all of the Photoshop features. It’s web-based so, like most web-based photoshop alternatives, it can be slow at times but it still gets the job done easily. Don’t forget to check our free GIMP brushes article as there are many options that GIMP offers.Pixelmator Pro Resource: Pixelmator.com
Just like many other photoshop alternatives, Pixelmator Pro is also a tool only available for Mac OS. It’s an excellent alternative to Photoshop as it has a simpler UI while retaining most of the usability and is a lot cheaper than Photoshop.Acorn Resource: Flyingmeat.com
Acorn is another Mac OS-only photoshop alternative that is a lot cheaper than the original Photoshop and it’s a one-time purchase. Acorn started off as a cheap Photoshop alternative for people who needed solid photo editing software without the entire functionality and price tag of Photoshop but in the last 13 years, it has added many functionalities and has become a robust alternative to photoshop.Pixlr Resource: Pixlr.com
Pixlr is one of the best tools to get into photo editing. It’s a web-based photoshop alternative that is extremely cheap compared to the steep prices that similar tools have. It’s also web-based so it’s particularly a good option for novices as normally photo editing or design software like Photoshop can be quite heavy on your hardware.Pic Monkey Resource: PicMonkey.com
Pic Monkey is another good photoshop alternative for people who might not have the necessary hardware to work efficiently on photo editing. It’s a web-based tool that is also extremely affordable and has most of the photoshop features. Due to being web-based, sometimes it can be a little slow but it will still be much better than running Photoshop on poor hardware.Sketch Resource: Sketch.com
Sketch has been widely accepted by the design community. It’s a Photoshop alternative that also has the functionalities of Illustrator which makes it a good 2 in 1 tool for designers that use both. It’s packed with features and is a really strong tool which is, unfortunately, reflected on its price tag as well. Although there are some free Sketch resources available as well. Sketch is ideal for people who are looking to switch from Photoshop rather than for people who are looking for a more accessible alternative.Fotor Resource: Fotor.com
Fotor is a Photoshop alternative that is really similar to Canva. It covers both tools functionalities and it’s quite popular among social media professionals too. To access its full functionality users need to pay a monthly subscription.Procreate Resource: Procreate.art
Procreate is one of the most popular iPad apps for drawing and photo editing. For people who use their iPad to design and edit, Procreate is by far the best Photoshop alternative. It’s excellent to use with a drawing pen and compared to its desktop counterparts it’s not as pricey. Unfortunately, Procreate is only available for Mac and iPad users but you can check our list of alternatives that work for Windows, Procreate for Windows, and for Android, Procreate for Android.Krita Resource: Krita.org
Krita is one of the few free tools on this list. It’s an open-source photoshop editor that resembles Photoshop. It has almost all of the features and also has a premium version which only expands on that, making it a great alternative for Photoshop. Its only drawback is that it doesn’t have a history feature so that might be a deal-breaker for some.Canva Resource: Canva.com
Canva has been quite popular as an entry-level Photoshop alternative and it’s particularly popular among social media professionals. Its best part is that it’s free and web-based so it doesn’t get more accessible than that. The recent launch of Canva’s desktop version has solidified its stance as a solid Photoshop alternative.
All in all much has changed since Photoshop entered and build the entire photo editing industry. It’s a much more robust and crowded one now. The success of Photoshop has led to many more Photoshop alternatives to emerge and satisfy the needs of different users that constitute the wide user base of Photoshop while some others are playing to beat the paragon of photo editing.
When it comes to boosting organic reach, nothing works quite as well as a solid content marketing strategy. But no matter how much you churn out, the truth is, quality always beats quantity.
To stand out from your competitors (who are probably well-aware of the importance of content as well), you need to learn how to create something amazing.
Generating epic content isn’t that simple. Especially if you’re taking a DIY approach to your blog, YouTube channel, social media accounts, or podcast. But, it’s not impossible to produce either. All you need are the right tools and tips to make the most of your resources.
If you’re ready to step up your game, read on to learn how you can create posts that raise the bar.1. Come up with a great topic
Before you get down to writing or recording, you need to have a clear understanding of the exact message you want to send out to your audience. After all, nobody likes reading a page full of rambling that’s got no beginning, middle, ending, or value. So make sure you’ve got your topic figured out.
For a good place to start, you can check out HubSpot’s Blog Ideas Generator, which is a helpful tool you can turn to whenever you lack inspiration.2. Make your headline attention-grabbing
Whether you’re the type of person who starts from the headline or tends to do their writing first and circle back to the beginning, know that the title you choose for your post is going to determine whether you get the results you want. So ensure it’s attention-grabbing, optimized for SEO, and that it ties in well with your central topic.
According to research, one of the most successful marketing strategies is to appeal to your reader’s emotions. And your headlines can be a huge part of that strategy. So, before you click publish, you can run it through the Headline Analyzer, which will check its Emotional Marketing Value and let you know whether you’ve got it right or if you still need to do a bit of polishing.3. Check your readability score
When writing for the web, aim to make your text understandable to anyone over the age of 13. This means skipping complicated words, keeping sentences short, and avoiding the passive voice. You should also try to shorten your paragraphs, break your text up with headlines, and use bullet points where possible.
The Hemingway Editor app is one of the best tools out there. It will let you check your readability score and give you tips on improvement. All you need to do is enter your text, and you’ll get a comprehensive overview of everything that’s working well and anything that still needs refinement. Plus, it’s free.
While the motivation behind your content marketing is building your authority, don’t forget that letting others do the talking is one of the best strategies out there.
Customer feedback and reviews are crucial forms of social proof. So give them the space they deserve on your website and social media profiles. And don’t stop there. You can share a host of user-generated content over a variety of platforms. Unboxing videos on YouTube, influencer posts on Instagram, or hashtags that let customers tag you in their posts are all a great way to encourage engagement and build trust.5. Keep your brain sharp
This is a piece of advice that most entrepreneurs fail to follow, yet it really could be a gamechanger.
For you to be able to generate epic content, you need to be at the top of your game. And that takes equal amounts of hard work and self-care.
That being said, make sure to work out at least a few times per week, eat a healthy and balanced diet, and consistently get a good night’s rest on a comfortable bed. Furthermore, try to keep yourself from working in bed (no matter how great that idea seems at the time), and, of course, look for efficient ways to manage your stress levels.6. Collect inspiration
One of the best ways to see what works is to look at your competition.
When it comes to collecting inspiration for ad copy, Facebook Ad Library is a great tool. You can search for active and inactive advertisements based on competitors’ names and sort the results according to impressions.
Although you can’t see the targeting options used, you can use this free resource to determine what type of content you can include in your social media advertising. Use it to:
And don’t stop there. Websites, social media feeds, and blog sections are all excellent sources of inspiration – so keep an eye on your competitors, and do your best to stay one step ahead.7. Take a deep dive into SEO
To create awesome content, you have to know what exactly people are searching for. And in this regard, you’ll need a powerful research tool such as Ahrefs.
Not only can it give you a good idea where to focus your efforts, but even more, Ahrefs makes it super-easy to figure out what competing domains are doing right. You can put together a comprehensive list of your competitors (even the ones you’re not aware of), and do an in-depth analysis of their best-performing posts and keywords.
From there, you can see whether there are any opportunities you’re missing out on, and get to work creating new content that has a high chance of ranking well on SERPs.8. Don’t forget the visuals
You’re probably aware of the fact that the human brain processes images faster than words. And the great thing is, you can use this to make your content perform much better.
Simply adding images to your web pages – or even better, creating infographics – can give you a chance to both get your message across and widen your reach.
And the best place to look for inspiration? Pinterest. Just type your targeted keyword into the search bar, and you’ll find thousands of great content ideas you can expand upon.9. Create beautiful designs
Lastly, know that you don’t have to spend a fortune to get great visuals for your website, blog, or social feeds. Using something as simple as Canva, you can create a wide variety of designs, including infographics, posters, flyers, t-shirts, and even a logo for your business.
Plus, the platform offers an entire learning section, which means that you can keep on getting better.Conclusion
When it comes to epic content, you’ll find that research is key. Covering all your bases from start to finish will ensure that your effort bears fruit, instead of getting lost in a sea of similar posts.
Of course, don’t forget that content needs to be original to be truly successful. So always put your spin on the subject and make it into something that reflects your brand’s core values. This way, it will find its way to the people who will appreciate it.
You worked hard for your website and your brand’s social media presence. Now it is time to get the attention of your potential clientele and make an impact.
A banner is the first thing your audience sees when they open your website or visit your social media profiles. That’s exactly why creating a kick-ass banner is a must-have and a great way to build a winning first impression, grab your audience’s attention, and deliver your brand image and message.
Social media banners and web banners are not so hard to create but to provoke engagement you have to do it the right way. All you need to do is to combine your creativity with a solid intent of showcasing your brand image.
Before we dive into the inspiration full of eye-catching banners, here are a few tips to guide you when you are working on your banner ideas.
Banners visually represent your business and help you to stand out from the crowd. You have to put some thought into your omnipresent social media banners to show professionalism and deliver your message.
So don’t just use a random photo that looks good. Every business and brand is different so you would know better what will work on your audience. But some characteristics can be applied to every kind of business. These are being consistent, simple, and to the point. Regardless of your style and niche, overwhelming your audience with cluttered and chaotic designs would not do any good for your business. Yet, that doesn’t mean you can’t be simple and intriguing at the same time.
Having a consistent style would help your audience to make the connection and build a more reliable image on their head.
If you have an upcoming webinar, a product launch, a special discount, or an upcoming event, turn your banner into an announcement and promote them through your banners. Putting up a banner that promotes your upcoming events and special discounts or collaborations would lead to a much bigger audience and increase your participation rate.Emphasize your brand colors and test different banner ideas
Using your brand colors and including your logo will grab your audience’s attention and again it builds credibility and familiarity in their heads so they would trust your brand more.
Last but not least, definitely test different versions. Create a few alternatives and see which fits the best for your business and brand. Don’t be afraid to use try different banner ideas to gain perspective on the ideal one for your brand.
There you have it. We hope these banner ideas gave you inspiration and help you create effective and engaging banners.
What do you think? Share your thoughts in the comments below and let us know your banner design best practices.
There is no surprise to know that 44% of B2B clicks are focusing on making a perfect landing page design which could attract their potential customers directly on their home pages instead of dedicated landing pages. Have you ever thought about their impacts and results?
That’s the biggest problem of most of the start-ups and people who are looking to become an entrepreneur, but they don’t understand the landing page relevance and accuracy which are the major ingredients of your content & marketing campaign quality score.
Sometimes it happens that people send paid traffic to unoptimized landing pages that decline the possibilities of getting a high conversion rate. These mistakes might force you to work twice and hard just for a minimal return.
Here are the few deadly sins that you may commit in relation to making landing pages. By understanding these issues, you can effectively work on it and track the frequency of your workflows to get the results you deserve.1. Incompetent Webpage Speed
These days, if you observe, you may feel that approx. 90% of your visitors like to see only what they exactly want. An ideal web page speed should be under 3 seconds, but if your webpage takes time to load your site, around 76% of people will be bailing definitely. If you have any e-commerce or online store website then working on website speed could lead you to cover over half of the traffic to bounce.What to do to response such mistakes Testing webpage speed
There are so many tools which can help you to respond to your problem well. Use of Pingdom or Google PageSpeed Insights can assist you to check the reasons and root causes of loading webpage speed. These tools will help you to realize specific fixes that may help you to optimize web page speed.Optimize Redirect Process Where Possible
You should use 301 redirects IS in a user-friendly manner. Try to download Screaming Frog application to dump it in your URL. it will help you to highlight redirects and optimize redirect pointing which occasionally occurs as the sites evolve while redesigning.
You can minimize, resize and compress the images to reduce the substantial impacts having on loading times of webpages.2. Cluttered Design
Cluttering design of landing pages is another mistake usually done by entrepreneurs. There are around 48% landing pages that contain multiple offers for users, even approximately 16% of landing pages are optimized without navigation bars. According to Tim Ash, author of the best and amazing selling books – landing pages optimization and CEO of SiteTuners, if there is any company focused on managing landing pages, they remove navigation bars and see 100% notice improvement.
For instance, one of the effective and best books known as “Don’t Make Me Think”, with the name it is already clear what it is all about. In this book, the author has mentioned that the landing pages should be clear, well-organized and optimized. Users should focus on “only one” action and make sure your visitors know exactly what you want to make them know.
In the above images, you can see and observe that the primary headline is big and bold, there is only one click button which helps your users to know what you actually want them to know and there is no more navigation for distraction away from the website. It helps you to scan the reliability of your landing page, measure the traffic flow logically and make you the best landing page agency.3. Limp Headlines
Great headlines might make your content look attractive which could help you to retain existing customers plus attract more traffic on your website.
Bit, what if there is no option when you realize you are giving limp headlines and content to your target audience?
According to Tim Ash, Limp Headline may reduce the possibility and high traffic by 14% per cent, it creates difficulties for you to retain more visitors more than 5-10 seconds. But if you have an implementation of good practises of ideal headlines, these kinds of landing pages which contain good and appropriate contents expectedly summarize the critical value proportion of customer turnover. Limp headlines may reduce the percentage of visitors to scrolling up through their news feed and declines popping up in the email boxes.So, what can be done in this case?
Understanding the expectation and choices of your target audience is more important, first thing, your title should be matched to the entire content you have written under it.
For example, when you go to the website of BuzzFeed, you will check into the landing page how much easy and generic headline content they frame to take its advantages in getting their clients and visitors retained.
For more respective knowledge, you can see how the similar and easier headline templates pop up on the landing pages of HubSpot.4. Irrelevant Visuals
Stock Photos from different sources are very bad. Images and infographics pasted in your landing pages should be relevant and matched to your content, not just because they are ridiculously overrated or overpriced, but also they won’t work.
If you haven’t used any real photographs or images instead of an unnecessary dummy collection, the traffic of your website or landing page could be dropped.
For the best results, the visualised images can be helpful for your landing pages in the following ways:
If your photographs and images are not real and original, you will not be able to give powerful statements to your visitors and target audience through landing pages.
One of the top authentic brands Lululemon will be a good example of this:
There is a small quote to show the product details, and they are showing the product in the context of use, which shows excellent things about the product. These landing pages design shows originality, high quality and high visual photography that helps users to find their own product to purchase very easily.
The ebook landing page from AdEspresso always uses simple and easy illustrations to show their target audience what they are actually looking for, they enter all required information in the context use, it increases perceived values by boosting credibility.5. Generic Calls to Action
Another problem with a landing page is envy call to action. Lack of proper CTA may reduce the traffic on your landing page.
Let’s suppose, your competitor has just received an eBook request twice as many downloads as many eBooks they have published. As you are also desperate for the leads and counteract by launching a campaign with CTAs with groundbreaking eBook. When your hopeful visitors click on the landing page and then instead of seeing filling out the form to request CTA, not only you will lose your credibility but also your money if they come to your site through a PPC click ad. The major reason behind this is lack of consistency. If your landing page doesn’t offer consistency, your visitors will fail to track landing page performance which can reduce traffic and online business reach.6. Multiple Offers on the Page
Giving multiple offers to your customers and target audience may keep them confused or distracted. Lust is one of another sin of intense desire. If your landing page shows multiple offers then could be a big distraction for your visitors. If you think like a customer, then you will realize that your visitor will be interested only in one thing. If you present multiple things before them, it can be difficult for them to opt one thing out of them which can reduce the visitors’ traffic because in that case, they will find other options for them. Offering a maximum of more than two pieces of content and offers may reduce the risk of confusing the customers.7. Too Many forms to fill
Customers always want original, genuine and authenticated content, so you need to take care of numbers and length of your landing page forms. It should be qualified and easy to fill. If you forget such things then customers can lose their patience and interest.
If you want to get any piece of information about your visitors to convert your leads, you need to figure out the golden rules of the successful landing page forms: less field = more downloads = more leads. Always try to ask for necessary information only whenever it is required.What to do in the end?
A landing page cannot be judged as a good and perfect landing page if you are not able to present something good before your target audience. Even a good landing page cannot get a response without visitors would not stick around long enough to check it out. So, it is better to focus on presenting a high convertible landing page before your customers. Review and follow the aforementioned points to make your landing page effective and attractive enough to retain potential customers.
Whether you’re on the hunt for a way to turn your hobby into a legitimate business or you’re a seasoned vendor looking to expand and grow, figuring out how to get paid in a way that’s quick, painless, and affordable is one of the most important operational problems you’ll need to solve.
Processing online payments, in particular, is especially critical. Over half of Americans now pay their bills online. And in early 2019, sales from online stores eclipsed those of general merchandise stores for the first time.
The good news is that just as e-commerce has revolutionized the way people buy and sell goods and services, it has also forever altered the way people conduct business online, with new solutions making accepting and processing payments easier and more frictionless than ever.
PayPal is far and away one of the pioneers in the space. Chances are, you’ve already used the online payment provider to make a purchase in the last few years.
What you might not know, however, is that the organization launched a merchant services wing in the early 2000s that not only gives business owners of all sizes the power to get paid faster and easier, but that also helps companies big and small grow and scale.What is a PayPal business account?
PayPal is one of the most well-known online payment service providers (PSPs) in the world. A PayPal business account makes it fast and easy for businesses just getting started, as well as those that are more established, to accept and process credit card payments, debit card payments, and more in over 25 currencies and from over 200 countries.
Like competitors Square and Stripe, PayPal works by taking a small percentage of transactions made using their platform.
It’s also super simple for your customers to check out and make purchases via a PayPal business account. They don’t necessarily need to have a PayPal account themselves (they can do their shopping as a guest), and they can choose to pay via any of the following methods, both online or in person:
The credit and debit cards PayPal business accounts acceptCredit cards accepted by PayPal business accountsDebit cards accepted by PayPal business accountsVisaVisaMastercardMastercardAmerican Express
Private label cards, like department store cards, and procurement cards aren’t accepted.
Debit cards that aren’t Visa or Mastercard and require a numeric password are also not accepted.
Thanks to PayPal’s history — it was acquired by eBay in its early days — it’s also generally regarded as one of the most robust PSP solutions for e-commerce businesses. It integrates with hundreds of commerce platforms, including both specialty online marketplaces like eBay and Swappa as well as custom online stores like WooCommerce and Magento.
And for those on-the-go or brick-and-mortar vendors that still primarily accept payments in person, a PayPal business account offers PayPal Here, which provides business owners with a mobile app and an assortment of card readers.
Beyond just solving the core operational problem of getting paid, however, a PayPal business account also helps business owners manage and scale their companies.
The PSP has expanded the services they offer over the years to include everything from a launch kit for newbies and shipping help for those that need to deliver products, to lending options for veterans looking to grow their career opportunities and even reporting for those that want to better understand where they’re succeeding and where they have room to improve.Types of PayPal business accounts
A PayPal business account comprises two overarching payments processing options for business owners:
PayPal Payments Standard. This basic PayPal business account account doesn’t charge a monthly maintenance fee and allows account holders to accept all of PayPal’s payment methods (except for payments made via phone, fax, or virtual terminal). It also includes the standard PayPal business account benefits, like toll-free phone support and simplified PCI compliance functionality.
PayPal Payments Standard is ideal for business owners just getting started as well as those who are more than happy with a no-frills checkout option on their website or via their e-commerce platform provider. Customers are taken to PayPal’s site to complete payment and returned to the business’s site afterward.
PayPal Payments Pro. A step up from its standard counterpart, PayPal Payments Pro includes all of the perks that come with the basic account as well as the ability to accept payments via phone, fax, or virtual terminal.
This account also gives business owners complete control over their checkout pages, which makes it ideal for those who really want to take their e-commerce site to the next level. Customers never leave the business’s site when making a payment.
Unlike PayPal Payments Standard, this option comes with a monthly maintenance fee of $30.
A PayPal business account also includes a suite of services beyond payment processing. Some of these are included in the accounts outlined above, like invoicing and eligibility for a PayPal debit card, but other features require an additional application process or development work.
PayPal Checkout. In a nutshell, PayPal Checkout adds Smart Payment Buttons to your e-commerce site that allow users to buy your goods and services with one click, bypassing a tedious order process that involves long, complicated forms. PayPal then provides you with the customer’s contact information and shipping address, if appropriate.
PayPal Business Loans and Working Capital. Cash flow is one of the primary problems a growing business faces. With PayPal Business Loans and Working Capital, the PSP makes it relatively simple for companies with a PayPal business account to get the funds they need to keep expanding.
PayPal Marketing Solutions. Like the complimentary invoicing, shipping, and debit card options that come with PayPal Payments Standard and Pro accounts, PayPal Marketing Solutions is baked into the offering. This valuable suite of features includes insights into how often your customers are shopping, how much they’re spending, and how they’re interacting with your checkout experience. To enable this service, all you have to do is copy and paste a snippet of code onto your website.7 benefits of a PayPal business account that you should know about
No monthly maintenance payments
Far and away one of the best perks of a PayPal business account is that the standard account comes with absolutely zero monthly maintenance charges. That means that there’s no cost to sign up and start accessing all of the merchant services on offer.
There are also no setup or cancellation fees. You’ll only be charged when you actually start doing business (see the chapter on PayPal business account fees), which means you can spend your time — and your extra cash — on the other business services that matter.
Lightning fast setup
It takes as little as 15 minutes to get up and running with a PayPal business account. Since the registration process is completely digital, you can go through the quick and easy online steps wherever and whenever you want. There’s no waiting in line at the bank, and you won’t find yourself on the other end of a frustrating phone call that mostly consists of bad hold music.
Low barriers to entry
Unlike old-school merchant account providers that often come with complicated qualifying terms and heaps of paperwork, a PayPal business account merely requires some basic contact information and general details about your company. Anyone can sign up — a credit check isn’t necessary. You merely need to link a bank account in order to receive funds from your transactions.
Get paid online or in person, in the U.S. and from abroad
Another huge perk is that a PayPal business account is flexible when it comes to accepting payments. Customers can pay with major debit and credit cards as well as PayPal, Venmo, and PayPal Credit (they don’t even need a PayPal account). What’s more, people can make purchases online, in person, or even via invoicing. Finally, PayPal makes it possible to do business over borders and even across language barriers — it’s available in 25 currencies and across 200 countries.
Easy e-commerce integration
A PayPal business account syncs with hundreds of solution providers and shopping carts. Most major providers and even many of the smaller players have a simple option in their admin console where you can select the PayPal integration and enter your login details and relevant credentials — it’s that easy.
Get cash back with the PayPal business account debit card
Sick of all the dead-end debit cards that don’t give you any incentive to actually spend the hard-earned money you’re making? Then you’ll be happy to know about PayPal Business Debit Mastercard, which comes complimentary with an account (you just need to request the card) and gives you 1 percent cash back on eligible purchases.
You can use the card to immediately access all the funds in your PayPal account without having to transfer anything to your business bank account, whether you’re withdrawing from an ATM or making an in-store purchase (the card works anywhere that accepts Mastercard).
Leverage discounts for nonprofits and charities
The PayPal business account also offers special, cheaper transaction rates for registered 501(c)(3) organizations. The organization even has a ready-to-roll donate button that anyone doing fundraising can quickly and easily add to their website once they’ve created a PayPal business account.
As a bonus, PayPal has done the legwork to integrate with popular fundraising sites, like FundRazr, so that it’s easy to activate their services and start accepting the money you need.Who needs a PayPal business account?
You may have heard stories about many casual sellers launching booming businesses from their personal PayPal accounts over the years. So it wouldn’t be surprising if you’re wondering what the difference is between a PayPal personal account and a business account — and why a sole proprietor or small business owner should consider opening one or the other.
In a nutshell, PayPal’s personal account is designed primarily for purchasing and sending money. All that’s required is for you to provide contact information and a verifiable bank account. On the flip side, while you can receive funds from other PayPal users, you won’t be able to accept as many types of payment, nor will you be able to extend access to your account to employees or colleagues or take advantage of business-targeted services such as PayPal Checkout or PayPal Marketing Solutions.
In addition, opening a separate PayPal business account will prevent you from mixing up personal purchases with business expenses and personal monetary gifts from business revenues. If you’ve gambled on being able to track everything through your personal account and your side business suddenly takes off, you’ll spend hours extricating personal transactions from business transactions at tax time, and the stakes for making a mistake could be high.
Since phasing out its Personal Premier accounts, PayPal’s business account has become the most sensible account option for even the smallest businesses, including freelancers and small-scale artisans. Nearly anyone who plans to collect revenue or distribute money for business purposes will benefit from opting for a business account rather than a personal account.
From increased access to a variety of payment options, to customer support, to analytics and tracking, the business account is designed to help your small business grow into a mid-sized business. And for a $30 monthly fee, PayPal Payments Pro is ready to help you grow further with scalable benefits and services.
Here are a few types of businesses that can benefit from a PayPal business account.Freelancers and entrepreneurs with a sole proprietorship
PayPal suggests using a business account if you operate a revenue-generating endeavor under a separate name — for example, if you’ve set up an LLC. However, there are legitimate reasons why successful freelancers and sole proprietors might want to consider opening a business account even if they haven’t yet registered a formal business and chosen a company structure.
PayPal business accounts allow you to integrate your payment systems with their payout system to create a seamless accounting system you can use to easily monitor sales and profits as well as expenses. Opening a separate PayPal business account will make it easier to calculate profits and expenses when it comes time to file taxes.
One of the most compelling reasons freelancers may want to consider using a PayPal business account is that it can expedite payments from clients, with transactions often taking only minutes. Even for artisans or vendors who do business in person, frequenting craft fairs, farmers markets, and flea markets, a business account provides integrated swiping, online payment, and credit card processing systems, and even tracks receipts for you (you just need to activate PayPal Here).
The risks for opening an account are low since there are no startup, termination, or monthly fees. As far as transaction charges are concerned, they are the same whether you receive payment through a personal account or a business account.Moonlighters and side hustlers
If you’re trying to transform a passion into a profit-making business, using your free time to raise income through a side hustle, or looking to get a business off the ground while still working long hours in a more conventional staff position, you likely don’t have much spare time to devote to bookkeeping.
So it’s unlikely you have the time to untangle information from a personal PayPal account. Separating personal monetary gifts from customer transactions and personal purchases from business-related expenses at tax time is likely to be confusing, frustrating, and a waste of time.
With no upfront or monthly fees, setting up a separate PayPal business account, or adding one if you already have a personal account with PayPal, is a sensible solution for hard-working, aspiring entrepreneurs who still have one foot in the wage-earning world.
The PayPal Payments Standard account will track customer receipts for products or services purchased, as well expenses paid to contractors you hire or products you purchase to get your new business up and running.
By keeping your business and personal accounts separate, you spare yourself the confusion and tediousness of sifting through transactions to determine which are personal and which are related to your side business.Vendors on eBay and Etsy
Originally acquired by eBay back in 2002 before it spun off to go it alone again in 2015, PayPal was once the go-to system for transactions on the popular online marketplace.
That said, if you’re asking yourself, “Do I need a PayPal account to sell on eBay?” the answer is technically no. It’s possible to opt into eBay’s Managed Payments service, which allows you to receive funds directly into your bank account.
However, PayPal remains the simpler and faster of eBay’s accepted payment options, which means that those who currently use PayPal don’t need to do anything to receive customer payments through their PayPal business accounts and can, as was the case before, expect a super seamless experience that’s incredibly safe and efficient.
So while you don’t necessarily need a PayPal business account to sell on eBay, it can simplify your operations.
Similarly, if you’re a creative who’s created a nice little cottage industry hawking your inventions and projects on Etsy, you’ll be happy to hear that PayPal is an automatic option if you’re using Etsy Payments. And even if you’re not, you can easily configure your payment settings to accept PayPal payments.Small businesses (SMBs) and startups with an LLC
If you’ve set up a limited liability company (LLC) for your small businesses to protect your personal assets, opening a PayPal business account can extend your customer base and deliver more marketing value.
According to data collected by comScore, customers complete 88 percent of initiated checkouts on PayPal. Consumers using other digital wallets failed to purchase items they’d saved to shopping carts 44.7 percent of the time.
And PayPal’s mobile payment options can expand the viability of small businesses, allowing them to keep up with a growing digital marketplace. (In 2019 nearly 80 percent of consumers reported using a mobile device to make a purchase.)
If your company upgrades to PayPal Payments Pro, your customers can remain on your website to complete transactions on your own dedicated payment page with your branding. When your customers don’t have to leave your site to make a payment, they’re more likely to continue shopping.Corporations
PayPal business accounts allow access to up to 200 employees. You can set a variety of access levels to protect your customers’ privacy and your business interests. PayPal also allows you to set up a separate email for customer service issues.
PayPal business accounts include setup support and business consulting, including customer analytics, with a range of benefits and enhancements at the Payments Pro level that are designed to scale to your business as it grows.
PayPal can accept payments in 25 forms of currency and from more than 200 countries. You can also use PayPal to set up subscriptions and other forms of interval payment, as well as customized invoicing.
The standard amount you can transfer in a single transaction is $10,000, but you can increase this limit by contacting PayPal and providing certain verification information. Though PayPal aims its services at small and mid-size companies, several large online retailers use PayPal as a payment option for their customers, and for businesses that rely on a high volume of payments of less than $10 each, PayPal offers a special micropayment fee structure.
If your business has the good fortune to generate large amounts of income through sales, then PayPal’s per-transaction processing fees can add up quickly. In this case, you may need to look for another online transaction solution that offers a flat rate or work with PayPal to create an individualized fee structure. The PSP has stated that they’re committed to scaling their products to grow their customer base.
PayPal isn’t designed for businesses that rely on frequent large transfers of cash from vendors to other business partners.PayPal business accounts for nonprofit organizations
PayPal has become an important part of the nonprofit landscape, with more than 1 million users donating over $106 million via PayPal on GivingTuesday 2019 alone. Those donations, like all donations made in December 2019, were augmented by 10 percent from the PayPal Giving Fund. The rest of the year, PayPal’s Giving Fund kicks in 1 percent on every donation toward whatever verifiable 501(c)(3) charities users designate.
PayPal’s low costs, relatively fast transactions, reputation for reliability and security, and vast pool of users can all be leveraged to fuel charitable fundraising. In many cases, donation dollars show up in your organization’s account within minutes. From there, you can transfer money to your organization’s bank account at no charge. More than 600,000 nonprofits already receive funds through PayPal.Fees for nonprofits
Registered charities with 501(c)(3) status pay a reduced per-transaction rate of 2.2 percent plus 30 cents for U.S.-based donations, and 3.7 percent plus a fixed fee for international donations.Donor tracking and access
Creating a PayPal business account and enrolling in their Giving Fund can help your organization tap into the payment platform’s growing segment of donors, including the 8 million users who donated to charities in 2017.
What’s more, monthly statements and searches allow you to easily track and leverage donor information. There are also options that allow donors to sign up for recurring monthly donations.
According to a survey conducted in 2014, 28 percent of PayPal charitable donors said they wouldn’t have made their donations if PayPal hadn’t been among the payment options.Secure donor transactions from anywhere
Using PayPal Here, you can accept payments onsite at fundraisers using a mobile device. With a standard account, your nonprofit organization can get, at no extra charge, up to five basic credit card-reading attachments (though more advanced card readers with additional security are recommended for nonprofits that expect higher volume donations) or three chip and swipe readers that can be used with a smartphone or tablet.
The information donors provide at the point of sale can be automatically integrated into your donor contact list. And you can help keep this information secure by setting user permissions so that volunteers and employees can complete only specific tasks.
PayPal has also partnered with a variety of national and international applications and online resources aimed at the not-for-profit sector, which means that enrolling in their solutions for nonprofits can extend your reach to donors throughout the world.Services and benefits
Like all PayPal business accounts, nonprofits can access free, seven-day-a-week customer support. Your organization will be eligible for a PayPal Business Debit Mastercard, which allows you to earn 1 percent cash back on expenses.
Even if you opt not to open a PayPal business account, you can enroll in the PayPal Giving Fund, giving potential donors the opportunity to allocate funds to your organization using eBay, Go Fund Me, Humble Bundle, and other online applications when they purchase items using PayPal. Once you’re enrolled, the PayPal Giving Fund will manage tax receipts for your donors automatically.Nonprofit partnerships
PayPal has partnered with some of the most recognized platforms in the nonprofit sector to expand the reach of nonprofits to online donors, including the digital transaction solution Paperless Transactions, the online fundraising platform FundRazr, fundraiser management software provider Classy, marketing and constituent engagement system BlackBaud, donor management and fundraising software Network for Good, and eBay.
Each of these solutions allows you to set up PayPal as your preferred transaction provider and integrates your business account into their platform for easy use by staff, volunteers, and donors.PayPal business account requirements
Among the advantages of a PayPal business account are the relatively few requirements and the absence of up-front fees. There are no minimum capital or sales volume requirements either, making it an attainable next step for sole proprietors or small businesses looking to extend their range and increase their clients’ payment options.Getting started: What you’ll need to open a PayPal business account
If you don’t have a separate bank account for your business, you should consider setting up one before you set up a PayPal business account.
You can use your personal account, but it’s best to have at least two bank accounts as you begin your entrepreneurial endeavors on PayPal — one personal and one for your business. This will make it much easier to track payments and business expenses, complete your taxes, and gauge your business’s rate of growth.
Once you have both your personal and business bank accounts in place, you can sign up for a PayPal business account in a few simple steps.
As with a PayPal personal account, you’ll need to confirm your email address, provide contact information, and provide account information for the bank account where you’d like the money to be deposited; a designated business banking account is recommended but not required.
You’ll need to provide a business name that will appear on customer invoices. And you’ll be asked to describe the type of business you have by selecting from a dropdown list:
Depending on your business type, you may be asked for additional information, such as product or service keywords, monthly sales, website, and employer identification number. However, there are no wrong answers; you merely need to provide the information.
Finally, you’ll need to provide customer service contact information, which for a sole proprietor is likely to be you.
The costs of a personal and a standard, or first-level, business account are identical. Neither has startup or monthly fees, and both have identical transaction fees.Frequently asked questions about PayPal business accounts
Do you have to be a U.S. citizen to open a PayPal business account?
In accordance with the 2010 Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA), users opening a business account may need to provide tax documents and other verifying information to prove that they are a U.S. citizen or a non-U.S. citizen who is properly paying taxes on any monies collected or earned in the United States or from U.S. citizens.
In addition, to comply with FATCA, PayPal reviews personal accounts frequently, and when discrepancies are found, will request documentation of citizenry or lawful U.S. taxpayer status from account holders.
Is there a minimum income required to open a PayPal business account?
There is no minimum income or sales volume required to open a business account. However, to be eligible for PayPal Working Capital, you need to have a business account up and running for 90 days and process at least $15,000 in a 12-month period.PayPal business account fees
If you want to start using PayPal for your business, it’s important to understand the PayPal business account fees associated with standard transactions and accepted payments online and in store.
Most important, there are no initial costs to get started or monthly costs attached to a standard PayPal business account. There are no termination fees either. Using a standard PayPal business account is best for businesses that want to save on fees and enjoy some flexibility.
If you want to offer a more robust customized and integrated shopping cart and checkout experience for your customers online, you may want to consider upgrading to a PayPal Payments Pro account. It costs $30 per month, along with the standard transaction fees.
PayPal business account transaction fees are only applied when you sell products or services and accept payments online or in store. Your business pays a standard transaction fee based on the percentage of the total transaction amount and the fixed fee of the currency for the respective country. Below is a breakdown of the percentages and fixed fees for online and in-store transactions in the U.S.Transaction typesPercentage of total transaction amount Fixed fee amountOnline2.9%$0.30 USDIn-store2.7%no fee
If you’re selling online or in store internationally, the percentage of the standard transaction amount increases slightly, and the fixed fee amount based on the local currency still applies to your total fees. Here’s a breakdown of the transaction percentages and fixed fees you might expect if doing business in Mexico:Transaction typesPercentage of total transaction amount Fixed fee amountOnline*4.4%4.00 Mexican PesoIn-store4.2%no fee
*International sales made online incur an additional 3-percent currency conversion charge and a 1.5 percent charge for receiving a payment from a different country.
Your PayPal business account fees will vary according to the country you’re selling to and accepting payments from. This list of the countries and their currencies will help you calculate the fixed fee amount for your total transaction fees when selling products/services and accepting payments abroad.
Acceptable forms of payment include Venmo, PayPal Credit, PayPal payments, and all major credit and debit cards with PayPal Checkout and PayPal Payments Standard.Reduced transaction fees for nonprofit organizations and charities
If you’re a nonprofit organization with 501(c)(3) status, you’ll pay reduced fees for credit card, debit card, or PayPal donation payments in the U.S. and internationally. Here are the transaction fees and fixed fees for a nonprofit organization:LocationPercentage of total transaction amount Fixed fee amountU.S.2.2%$0.30 USDInternationally3.7%varies by country
To qualify your PayPal business account for discounted transaction fees, you must verify your nonprofit organization’s charity status by providing your employer identification number (EIN) and proof of the nonprofit bank account linked to the PayPal account via bank statement or a voided check.Other PayPal business account fees
Apart from the standard transaction fees attached to a PayPal business account, there are several add-on features that may or may not cost you. Here are some possibilities:Service typeLocationPercentage of total transaction amount Fixed fee amountOnline invoice creation (doesn’t include fees associated with paying the invoice)U.S. or InternationalNo feeno feeMicropayments*U.S.5.0%$0.05 USDMicropaymentsInternational6.5%varies by country**PayPal Payments Pro
*Micropayments are transactions less than $10.
**Click here for micropayment fixed fee amounts by country.
***Click here for PayPal Payments Pro and Virtual Terminal fixed fee amounts by country.PayPal bank account transfer fees and options
Transferring money to your bank account is easy as long as you have a U.S. PayPal account already set up and linked to your bank account. This transfer can be done through a personal or business PayPal account, and there are two options to consider:
If you’ve linked a bank account to your PayPal business or personal account, then you don’t have to pay a transfer fee. Transfers typically take one to three business days to be deposited. If you opt to complete a transfer on a weekend or holiday, it may take slightly longer for the money to show up in your account.Costs for Instant Transfers
With Instant Transfers, you can transfer money from your business or personal account to your bank account or debit card in a matter of minutes. Keep in mind that transfers can take up to 30 minutes depending on your bank, and you do have to pay an additional fee for this service. The cost to use Instant Transfer is 1 percent of the total amount you transferred, up to a maximum fee of $10.Eligibility requirements for transfers
Both standard and Instant Transfers require a linked and eligible bank account. Your bank is eligible if it’s part of the Clearing House Real Time Payments program. If you’re transferring funds to a linked debit card using Instant Transfer, your debit card must be a Visa or Mastercard to be eligible.
You can transfer to whichever linked account (bank or debit card) that you choose. Keep in mind that there could be a delay in your transfer if it’s subject to review, submitted after 7 p.m. Eastern time, and on weekends or holidays.PayPal business account vs personal account withdrawal limits
If your business chooses to use Instant Transfer for your PayPal business account, there are withdrawal limits based on account type. Check out the withdrawal limits below:Withdrawal limit typeWithdrawal limit amountBusiness account or bankBy transaction$50,000business accountBy transaction$25,000bankBy day$100,000business accountBy week$250,000business accountBy month$500,000business account
If you want to use Instant Transfer for your PayPal personal account, below are the withdrawal limits on your debit card and bank:Withdrawal limit typeWithdrawal limit amountPersonal debit card or bankBy transaction$5,000debit cardBy transaction$25,000bankBy day$5,000debit cardBy week$5,000debit cardBy month$15,000debit card PayPal business account fees vs personal account fees
Opening a PayPal business account or personal account is free, unless you choose to upgrade your account. There are no startup costs, termination fees, or monthly maintenance fees for the standard version of these accounts.
The main difference between the two are the transaction fees. A business account will incur charges based on standard transaction fees and fixed fees from selling products or services online or in-store.
A personal account, on the other hand, charges transaction and fixed fees in the U.S. and internationally when you receive money from someone who uses a credit card, debit card or PayPay Credit. A personal account won’t charge fees if you receive money from someone using a linked bank account, PayPal Cash, or a balance from PayPal Cash Plus.Payment methodLocationFees Fixed fee amountPayPal Cash or PayPal Cash PlusU.S.waivednoneCredit card, debit card, or PayPal CreditU.S.2.9% of the total amount $0.30 USDPayPal balance or linked bank accountInternational5% of the amount sent, from $0.99–$4.99 USDnoneCredit card, debit card, or PayPal CreditInternational5% of the amount sent, from $0.99–$4.99 USD, plus 2.9% of the transaction amount from a specific payment methodvaries by country
Also, transferring your money to your bank from a business account or a personal account is typically free, unless you use Instant Transfer. In this case, the withdrawal limits differ depending on whether you have a business account or a personal account.
The cost to buy in the U.S., however, is always free for either account type.Frequently asked questions about PayPal business account fees
How much does it cost to start using my PayPal business account?
It’s completely free to get started. There are no startup costs, monthly fees, or termination fees.
What are the minimum fees I should expect to pay for my PayPal business account?
You should expect to pay the standard transaction fees for online and in-store transactions in the U.S. and internationally, and any fixed fees for the respective country. Find out more from the breakdown of costs above.
When doing business internationally, are there currency conversion costs involved?
Yes. You will be charged an additional 3 percent for currency conversions and a 1.5 percent fee if you receive payments from a different country.
How much does it cost to transfer money from my PayPal business account or personal account to my bank or debit card?
For a standard transfer, there are no costs. For Instant Transfers, which can give you access to your funds in as little as 30 minutes, the cost is 1 percent of the total amount you transferred, up to a maximum fee of $10. Keep in mind that there are withdrawal limits for your business account and personal account if you’re using Instant Transfer.How to set up a PayPal business account
Ready to start accepting payments for your business with a PayPal business account? You can get up and running in just a few easy steps. Here is a step-by-step guide to help.Setting up a PayPal business account
Ready to start accepting payments for your business with a PayPal business account? You can get up and running in just a few easy steps. Here is a step-by-step guide to help.Setting up a PayPal business account
You’ll also be asked to agree to an E-communication Delivery Policy, a User Agreement, and a Privacy Statement. Once you’ve read through these documents and are ready to continue, check the box and click Agree and Create Account.
Based on the information you give, you may be asked if you want to receive a PayPal Business Debit Mastercard, which allows you to quickly and easily access money in your PayPal account much in the same way you would access money from a typical bank account.
This card has no annual fee once you’ve received at least $250 in payments. You can use the card balance anywhere that has the Mastercard logo and get 1 percent cash back each month on select purchases.
Click on the box if you would like to receive this account offer, or unclick it if you don’t want it, and then click Continue.
For example, you can request or send money, send an invoice, set up recurring payments for your business, or take advantage of services like PayPal Checkout to accept payments online. You can also set up your account to accept card reader payments if you’re mobile, in store, or using the PayPal Here sales tracker app.
Finally, you can connect to an online marketplace with PayPal already built in to accept payments that way.
Upgrading to a PayPal business account is beneficial for e-commerce businesses that want to customize and enhance the shopping and checkout experiences for their customers. You can upgrade your personal account to a business account in just three easy steps. However, it can take a bit longer to downgrade your business account to a personal account because this has to be done manually.Upgrading to a PayPal business account
If you prefer, you can have multiple PayPal accounts: a personal and a business account, but you have to use unique emails for each account.
If you’d like to use your PayPal personal account email to upgrade to a PayPal business account, follow these steps:
There are two primary PayPal business accounts to choose from. One is free, and one charges a monthly fee.Standard
This account is free, accepts all major credit card and debit card payments, accepts PayPal payments, and allows customers to pay over time if they choose. There is no monthly fee.Payments Pro
This account has a monthly fee of $30. PayPal Payments Pro includes all the features of a standard account but allows you to customize your customer’s checkout experience and to integrate with your established shopping cart.Downgrading a PayPal business account
If you’d like to convert your PayPal business account to a personal account, you’ll need to contact a PayPal customer service representative directly. Changing your PayPal business account to a personal account can only be done manually.How to delete and close a PayPal business account
There are plenty of reasons you might delete and close your PayPal business account. For example, if
Whatever the reason, you can delete and close your account in just a few easy steps.
Now you have all the facts, and perhaps you’ve settled on a PayPal business account as your PSP. Maybe you’ve set up your account, and you’re ready to start watching your bottom line grow.
Alternatively, you may still be deliberating or comparing options. Regardless of where you are in the decision-making process, it’s important to remember that having the power to collect payments is only one small piece of the puzzle.
Another critical element is creating the infrastructure that will allow you to effectively market and sell your products and subscriptions, or collect donations and raise money online. This may feel especially intimidating if you’re not particularly web savvy.
Similarly, if you’re a microbusiness with limited resources or a nonprofit that’s always battling against time, you may not have much time to spare setting up an e-commerce site or learning the ins and outs of website development and design.
The good news is that JotForm offers a form building solution that makes it as easy to sell products as PayPal makes it to collect payments. The even better news is that you can create a PayPal payment form with JotForm, so it’s incredibly simple to get your goods in the hands of your customers and get paid!
This option is particularly useful for charities and organizations accepting donations, anyone putting on events, order-based businesses, DIY entrepreneurs, and even professional services providers. Truth be told, any business — big or small — can use JotForm’s easy online Form Builder to create order forms, recurring subscription forms, membership forms, and more in only a couple of clicks.
Then it’s just a matter of selecting either the appropriate PayPal Personal, PayPal Business, or PayPal Invoicing option from the Form Elements section in the JotForm Form Builder and completing the steps that follow.
JotForm not only makes it a snap to start selling your goods and services, but the uber popular form builder also doesn’t charge any extra transaction fees. PayPal’s standard fees apply as normal. The only fees you pay JotForm are for your account, unless you’re on a free plan.
And if that’s not enough to pique your interest, here are a few other great reasons to consider using a JotForm-PayPal business account integration to start selling and collecting payments:
The following seven tips I have discovered myself over the last two decades in selling website projects. They have really helped me out in my digital marketing agency, and I hope you find value in at least one of them yourself.
If you aren’t in the web design business, don’t despair. Whilst it may seem to be very digital or web heavy, these tips can actually be applied in just about any product or service sales situation.
So without further ado, let’s get into my key hints on selling website projects.Sell people and technology
When you first start speaking with a website prospect, they are obviously after a solution and to know that you have the technical capabilities to do the work. However, anyone can learn to use tools and many can master a development language. You need to ensure that you sell yourself, or if you have a team, your people as well.
I’m not talking in an egocentric way, however, you need to ensure that the prospect knows that you are more than competent to do the project at hand. Since you will be working closely together, they really need to understand, like, and trust you and your team.
Remember you could possibly (if things go right!) be working with them for a number of years, so you’ve got to learn to sell you and your team as much as selling your product or services.Be genuine and yourself
When you leave your personal life in the morning and head to work, you don’t leave your personality at home, do you? You need to be confident enough to be able to be real and genuine, in front of your prospects, team and your clients. People are actually very good at sensing when someone is being fake, and they will judge you harshly for that within a heartbeat.
You want to spend your life ideally being genuine with the people you deal with, and be honestly interested in how you can help their businesses with your services, rather than how you can make wheelbarrow loads of money.
In response, people will be able to sense you are genuine and caring, and they are going to see that you’re really trying to be of benefit and of service to them and their businesses.Always be in their shoes
I don’t mean literally – clients get real funny about you trying to wear their shoes. What I do mean is that when you are out there, attracting new customers and selling website projects, you should always work to be empathetic with your prospects and clients, and further, you should work hard to understand their perspectives and pre-empt their decisions where possible.
By putting yourself in their shoes, you will come to realize that they’re potentially making a really big investment in you and your business, and that this is based purely on trust and what you have told them.
You want to place yourself in your clients shoes and be empathetic towards their situation. If your prospect seems a touch fearful or hesitant to be involved, you’ll help them feel comfortable by using terms like ‘we’ and ‘us’ as a way to show that there is implicit teamwork between the two of you.Don’t bamboozle them
I have plenty of clients who love to bust out acronyms and show off the technical levels of knowledge they have. They (mostly) get it right, when they state user experience, mySQL, rollback to last revision, blah blah. Yet, on the other hand, the majority of my customers wouldn’t know a table from a database or a TLS, DNS, etc, and that’s absolutely fine.
Just like I don’t understand the knowledge my medical clients have, for example, and wouldn’t attempt even light surgery on myself or a friend. These clients come to you because you can speak the geek languages that they can’t.
Especially if this is their first website project. I doubt that they have any idea what is ahead of them, how they are going to be involved, and are generally scared or intimidated with words like MySQL, CSS, UI, PHP IDE’s, or any of the other multitude of three-letter acronyms.
When you are selling website projects, you should focus on getting a good understanding of their technical level, and don’t exceed it, unless they ask. When I ask a signwriter to make a sign for my building, I don’t want to know what rating the vinyl lettering is – I just want them to do it. So don’t bamboozle your prospects.Repeat their desires
When you’re in a meeting with a prospect or a client, you want to be always collecting and confirming information. A good way from a sales perspective to do this, is during your call or meeting, write down the key phrases that you hear them repeating or are passionate about, and then make sure to reiterate them at the end of the telephone call or meeting.
For example, if they use words like modern and slick to describe their new designs which they desire, then when wrapping up your meeting, state phrases such as “In the next few days, I will get back to you with a proposal for us to create a modern and slick website for you that does X, Y and Z”.
It shows the recipient that you are good at active listening (believe it or not, there are sadly a high percentage of people out there who aren’t!) and that by reiterating what they want, you are subconsciously planting the idea to them that you are the right people for the job.Brainstorm
These people are coming to you because website designers are creative, and naturally they have good thought processes. One of my favorite things to prove this to them, as well as understand their motivations and ideals more, is to do some informal brainstorming with them.
Say, for example, they are an accounting firm that just wants a brochure website. Start asking what their reception gets asked for a lot – perhaps it is tax preparation forms. Could we create a page that lists all of those, to save your staff time?
Maybe they could build a clients only library of many forms and articles, and make that a selling proposition for their clients. By being a client of XYZ Accounting, you get access to our private client information library, blah blah.
These brainstorm sessions often result in more work and a larger project for you (which equals larger budgets and profits, of course) but they also show to your prospect that you have the ability to think fast and come up with new, fresh ideas.
This is seriously one of the simplest ways that you can encourage a client to become excited about working with you, sharing new ideas, and talking about how you can both grow their business.Always have a next step
At the conclusion of every meeting or phone call, have a clear next step that you both clearly understand.
You may have listened or engaged with your prospect for an hour or more, but the last thing that often happens is that one of you will say “I’ll get back to you” and then that’s it. Wrong! What you want to do is finish up with a ‘You will get your corporate identity design files over to us and by Thursday, I will send a written proposal and web design contract outlining all we discussed today.
Then what you want to do, to seal the deal, is ensure they state it as well and say they agree.
This simple method will really assist you in selling website projects. It is as simple as spotting the next steps and ensuring that you both understand them. Identify the requirements required by both sides, list them out, and give this all a deadline.
This all helps the prospect in feeling comfortable and you only got to ask yourself what would I search for if I used to be in their situation it’ll go an extended way now speaking of talking together with your clients and making them feel comfortableIn Summary
Embracing these seven tips will definitely improve your chances of success when you are out and about, selling website projects. Irrespective of the size or budget, these seven hints will come in handy.
Those seven hints again are;
All the best with finding and winning the website projects you love in the year ahead.
Image Credit: Pexels
If you want to run a successful business, you need to invest time and resources in marketing. A good marketing strategy would help you get your products or services in front of your target audience, increase sales, and reach your business goals.
However, traditional forms of marketing like television, billboard advertisements, radio, and newspapers can be very expensive. This might not be an issue if you are a huge enterprise with an entire marketing department with millions of dollars budgeted for marketing. But what happens if you are a small business with little or no marketing budget? How can you effectively market your product or service without breaking the bank? Does this mean that you have to pause all your marketing efforts until you can raise money?
In this article, we would see 8 ways you can promote your business without a marketing budget.1. Start A Blog
Running a business blog is a free marketing tactic to help your business become more visible online and also reach a much larger audience. Research has shown that companies with blogs have an average of 67% more leads monthly than companies that do not blog.
To increase sales for your business, you would need leads. You can quickly get these leads by placing a ton of paid ads to drive new prospects to your business. But this method is quite expensive and the leads stop coming in after you have run out of cash.
So, how can you get new leads without spending money? In two words: blogging and search engines.
Every time you write a new blog post, it is one more indexed page on your website, which means it’s one more opportunity for you to show up on search engines and drive more visitors to your website. Your intended customers are using search engines like Google to search for businesses they would work with. The more blog content you publish on your website, the higher your chances of these customers locating you.
The moment traffic starts coming into your site from search engines, you have the opportunity to convert these traffic into leads. Every new blog post you write is an avenue to generate new leads.
All you need to do is to add a call-to-action button to every blog post. This call to action is basically any content asset that would be valuable enough to visitors of your blog that they would be willing to exchange their information. If you sell software, you can offer a free demo as a content asset. If 10 visitors sign up for your free demo and 2 of them eventually sign up for a paid version, that is two new customers and you didn’t spend even a dime on ads.2. Create Marketing Videos
If you aren’t using videos as part of your marketing strategy, then you’re missing out on a ton of opportunities to promote your business. The popularity of video as a content marketing format has grown in the past few years. In fact, a report from HubSpot research showed that 50% of customers want to see more videos from brands than any other form of content.
The best part about the video is that it can be used by any business regardless of size, team, or budget. Gone are the days where you need an expensive 4k camera before you can make high-quality marketing videos. All you need is a quality smartphone and you can start making videos immediately. In fact, most customers would prefer low-quality videos that feel “authentic” than high-quality videos that feel “inauthentic”.
Before you start filming your video, you need to decide on the kind of video you want to make. They are several marketing video types you can implement into your strategy. Here is a short explanation of some of them:
Quora is a very powerful platform that can help you reach a wider brand audience. It is one of the most effective marketing channels you can use in promoting your business or service.
The platform receives more than 300 million visitors monthly. So if you are looking to increase brand awareness, confirm your authority in your niche, and develop your thought leadership presence, you should check out Quora.What is Quora?
Quora is an international question-and-answer website where questions are asked, answered, followed, and edited by Internet users, either factually or in the form of opinions.Why do you need a Quora marketing strategy?
Here are some reasons you should be interested in marketing on Quora:
How to get the most out of Quora marketing:
1. Create a brilliant bio: Regardless of the social media channel, a brilliant bio is essential. What makes Quora unique is that you cannot create profiles for a brand unless in special cases. You would have to create a profile for the individual in your organization that would be answering the questions.
Make sure that you fill out the interest, “About Me”, employment and credential sections of your bio. A complete bio would help people find you faster on Quora. Don’t forget to add an eye-catching profile picture to your bio. Your bio should give off the vibe that there is a real person behind the account; customers would connect with you faster that way.
2. Look for questions that fit your industry/business to answer: The point of Quora is to attract customers to your business. You need to answer questions that you know your target audience is searching for. A good way to do this is by answering questions on a problem that your product/services solve.
3. Find question threads with the highest upvotes: Quora uses the upvote point system to show the most popular questions and answers on the platform. Question threads with tons of upvotes usually have a lot of views. If you offer good answers to these questions, you can have thousands of views fast.4. Run a Giveaway Contest
Running a giveaway is one of the best ways to promote your business without a marketing budget. It is a quick way to create brand awareness and also connect with your customers.
When done correctly, it would cost you close to nothing. This is especially true when you use social media to run the giveaway contest.
The first step to every giveaway contest is determining the kind of promotion you want to run. There are three main types of promotions you can run:
In a contest, the participants would be required to have a skill or make some kind of effort before they can win the prize. The winners are chosen either through voting or by judges.
Some of the most popular contests are video, photo, or essays.
A good example is this Facebook contest by Eggo held in two parts. The first part is a recipe contest where participants submitted their best recipe for waffles. The second part is fans voting for their favorite recipe. The winner receives $5000.
Note: You don’t have to offer money as your prize. You can give the winner a 10% discount off the price of a product you are selling. If you run an ecommerce business you can offer coupons or free shipping as the prize.Sweepstakes
In sweepstakes, winners are chosen randomly. It requires no skill or any effort on the part of the customer. The winners are selected by chance.
Pro Tip: Of the two, regular contests are the most effective in promoting your business. When customers know that their efforts are what increases their chances of winning, they become more engaged. The more people that participate in the contest, the wider your brand’s reach.5. Start An Affiliate Program
63% of businesses say that their biggest challenge is generating leads and traffic. One method of generating leads to your business is affiliate marketing.
Affiliate marketing involves an affiliate signing up to an affiliate program set up by the advertiser to sell and promote their product on a commission-based model. The affiliate would promote the advertiser’s product or service using a unique link, which sends traffic to the advertiser’s website. If the lead sent to the website purchases a product, a commission is paid to the affiliate.
In the context of this article, you would be the one creating an affiliate program that affiliates can sign up for. Starting an affiliate program can be thought of as a way of expanding your marketing team by hiring people who are paid only after successful sales are made.
The best part of an affiliate program is that you are not losing any money. You only pay the affiliate a commission after they have made a successful sale.
Setting up an affiliate program is also very easy. They are several sales tools you can use in launching and scaling your affiliate program in a couple of hours. But, before you go ahead and launch your affiliate program, make sure you carry out research. Analyze what your competitors are doing before starting out.
Understanding the competitive environment informs your decisions on how you will launch the program as well as your commissions, commercial arrangements, and targets.6. Submit Press Releases
Press releases can be an effective form of marketing, especially for small businesses. If used correctly, press releases are an efficient way to promote your brand and create goodwill in the local marketplace without paying a dime.
For example, when Green Rivers Adventures was about to launch The Gorge, a high-speed zip line, they issued a press release announcing the launch and a number of publications including The Associated Press and Costco Connection, which reached up to 8 million people picked up the story. As a result of this huge press, the company had a sold-out year before its official launch.
You should note that there are right and wrong ways to create and distribute press releases.
Unless you are a well-known brand like Apple, nobody cares about your company or product. Your press releases should not be in the form of a pitch. Journalists or the media are not interested in promoting you or your business so that you can just sell your products (unless you are paying them to do so).
A strong press release would involve sharing expert advice or opinions on a topic relevant to the journalist and their readers. This is some things you can put in your press release:
Setting up G2 Crowd is free and very easy to do. You can set up a profile for your business in minutes and have the opportunity to be seen by millions.
G2 is a peer-to-peer review site headquartered in Chicago, Illinois. It was launched in May 2012 with a focus on aggregating user reviews for business software. The platform compares the best business software and services based on user ratings and social data.
Your future customers are researching their next purchase on G2. So if you sell software, you can reach more customers by claiming your G2 profile.
Capterra is similar to G2 Crowd. It is an online marketplace vendor serving as an intermediary between buyers and sellers within the software industry. The company assists consumers with selecting the best software for their needs.
Both of these services are available internationally so you can reach a very wide audience by setting up your profile. To increase your ratings, ask your users to add a review of your product on G2 Crowd/Capterra.8. Start a Podcast or Get Featured In One
Podcasts are a great way to promote your product and services. There is a huge number of people listening to podcasts daily. In fact, the proportion of Americans listening to podcasts has increased in the past few years. According to musicoomph, 22% of Americans (approximately 103 million) listen to podcasts, weekly people.
You should take advantage of this trend and start your own podcast show. The best part is that there are a lot of quality free podcast hosting services that you can use to get started. All you need is great content and a good microphone and you are good to go.
The key to running a successful podcast is creating engaging content that delivers value to your listeners. When done well, a podcast can be very beneficial to your brand. For example, given the audio nature of podcasts, listeners tend to hang on to every word, making it excellent for advertisers trying to make their brand known.
Just like with your business blog, create podcasts that are niche based and targeted to a specific audience. When you create content that resonates with your audience, you would receive a high level of engagement.
Another way to boost your podcast is by interviewing other experts. This would bring variety to your show and you also get exposed to their audience that may not have known about your podcasts.
If you don’t want the workload of starting your own podcast, you can get featured in other podcasts in your industry. Reach out to other podcasts hosts and offer to be interviewed in their show. You can use targeted email outreach to connect with these hosts. When you eventually get invited, be sure to deliver immense value to their audience.Conclusion
It is very possible to market your products or services and create brand awareness without spending a lot of money. With the strategies mentioned in this article, you can promote your business without a marketing budget.
With a little commitment and creativity on your part, you can start generating tons of leads fast.
Which of the tips in this article would you start using first? Leave your thoughts in the comment section.
There is something different about this pandemic infused remote working stint all across the globe. For starters, everyone is working from home, and most importantly people are being forced to work at home/remotely due to the prevailing circumstances. While remote working seems to be a great idea(and it is!), a mass and forced remote working stint is bound to take a toll on many professionals. Add into the mixture the ingredient of the pay cut and you have got the perfect recipe for stress during remote working.
Let’s look at some ways of understanding stress during remote working and what we can do to deal with them.Socially Remote
This is one of the biggest drawbacks of remote working and often the biggest player in increasing stress in employees. According to a survey conducted by, Buffer, Loneliness was the biggest struggle in remote working.
The lack of social interaction often takes a toll on the mental health of employees and this deteriorates both their standard of living and professional performance. The biggest problem with the employer, in this case, is that since the affected person is working remotely, it is difficult to identify such problems let alone find some sort of solution for it.What can employers do?
To deal with a mental health issue is always a tricky issue for employers. But there are a few steps they can follow to make sure things don’t go out of control.
Wait, isn’t remote work supposed to be the antidote to burnout? In most cases it is but sometimes things tend to go a bit haywire.
From our experiences, we have identified two ways in which remote employees can face burnout.
Firstly, since employees aren’t on-site, they feel the need to show their commitment to the organization. This leads to employees going overboard and working longer and harder than other employees.
Secondly, since employees are working from home, their managers and employers tend to overload them with work well beyond the working hours. Since employees never “leave” their working stations, it is not uncommon for them to receive after office hours work.What can employers do?
It doesn’t come off as a big surprise that remote workers often face problems in their day to day activities due to lack of resources.
This lack of resources can range anywhere from lack of a proper system to the proper access of a document. This often leads to employees not being able to meet their deadlines. This further leads to an increase in frustration and stress. They also end up feeling neglected and invaluable to the organization. This slowly, but surely, takes a toll on the mental health of the employees.What can employers do?
Employers can make sure proper communication between various departments happens seamlessly with the remote employees. They should also prepare a checklist of the proper system requirements of the employees and bridge the gaps.
Overall, a channel for proper and effective communication can act as a great way to resolve various gaps in the allocation of resources.Improper Onboarding
Onboarding is a real headache for every human resource department. Add into the mix a remote and online onboarding process, the difficulty goes to a whole new level. This finally leads to an improper onboarding experience for the new remote employee.
This becomes really stressful and frustrating, especially for people without experience. Employees end up not getting a clear understanding of the work process and various other nuances related to their job. It also becomes difficult to reach other team members. This leads to a really stressed out a few months.What can employers do?
We cannot avoid stress. What we can do is minimize their occurrence and try to find ways to de-stress.
Working on-site provides you various opportunities to relax and de-stress. Be it the regular water cooler chit chat or a small stroll with colleagues during the lunch break.
But working from home or working remotely adds another layer of complexity because of the lack of proper ways of de-stressing. Suddenly remote workers start craving the boring office party they once hated.What can employers do?
Employers need to encourage both their onsite workers and remote workers to de-stress and take a break. But it’s easier said than done in the case of remote workers. Here are a few ways in which employers can motivate their remote workers to de-stress.
Everyone goes through stressful periods at some point or another. Employers should be able to correctly identify any strange change in behavior in their employees. One easy way to achieve this is to monitor the outputs of your employees. If there is a substantial decrease in the output of an employee then maybe employers can have a friendly chat and try to figure out the issue.
Mental health is a serious issue and probably the most impactful aspect that affects the output of an employee. Improving the mental health of your employees not only de-stress and improves their quality of life, but also increases productivity and efficiency in your workplace.
During difficult times, online businesses have to find new ways to make their businesses relevant and manage to make a profit. The Coronavirus quarantine has caused many physical stores to close but this doesn’t have to be the case for eCommerce stores.
On the contrary, this situation has caused most consumers to use online stores as an easy alternative. This way, they are still able to buy their favorite items while staying safe at home. Here are some of the most useful tips to help adapt your eCommerce business to this new reality and make the most out of it.1. Inform customers about your urgent measures
First and foremost, you need to make sure to have a section on your eCommerce store dedicated to the safety of your employees, customers and business. While you might be taking all the measures necessary to keep your employees and customer safe, the later will have no way of knowing that. Therefore, it is important to let them know how your company is dealing with this situation.
In addition to this, it is important to let your customers know about any shortages your business might face because of the sudden demand. Many people end up having a lot of free time and this can lead them to buy things in large quantities. You should make sure you work closely with your suppliers and inform your customers so you can be prepared for such situations.2. Provide online chat support
In order for your business to be able to survive this new situation, you need to make sure to provide your online customer with enough information about your products. Making your products attractive is important during this situation and the best way to do it is by providing as much information as possible.
The online chat support will help solve questions about product details, lacks in stock, shipping information and many other things. All of these are essential pieces of information which will help your customer decide on making a purchase. In addition, it will make working from home a little easier for your employees.3. Offer sales and discount codes
While so many people end up having a lot of free time, they tend to do a lot of internet shopping for various items. If you were going to launch a promotional campaign for a sale or give away some discount codes, this might be the perfect time to do so. You can target both existing and new clients and expand your sales easily.
You should definitely try and make this sale targeted towards the Coronavirus crisis and how you wish to welcome new people and allow them access to their favorite items. Making your sales all about the current situation is the most important thing when trying to increase your sales during a crisis. Any sale you decide to hold should be Covid-19 targeted so you can promote it accordingly, even if the products you are selling are not exactly related.4. Consider offering free shipping
Something many companies have been trying to implement during the Covid-19 crisis is offering their customers the option of free shipping. This is a tactic you could use instead of a sale on your eCommerce website and you can advertise it.
The number one thing you should expect is a big rise in your sales, and you should be able to make a deal with the shipping company you are working with, especially if you will be sipping our more orders than usual. This will make your customers a lot more likely to purchase more things, since they will not have to worry about the shipping costs.5. Reply to emails quickly
While the live chat option might satisfy certain customers, others will still want to reach out to you in a more traditional way. People being at home all day can become a little impatient so you should make sure that your employees get back to everyone on time. Shipping might be a little delayed because of the whole situation but you can reassure your customers that their orders will arrive.
Emails should still be an option for anyone that has questions about their orders and does not mind waiting for a little. While a live chat provides immediacy, emails can supply the customer with more information. You can also easily use proofreading tools of your choice from any writing services websites and make sure your emails are free of any errors that a live chat agent can accidentally make.6. Use social media to your advantage
Social media platforms would be one of your top priorities during this time. Targeting new customers is going to be important even during this time, as you need to be able to increase your sales and keep your store open. Your social media platforms can be a great means of immediate communication with your customers where you can promote your business and products easily however you wish.
Another great idea is to host giveaways on your social media platforms during the quarantine. Since people will have more time on their hands they will be more likely to go through your page after seeing your giveaway post. This can help you increase your sales easily and help your business survive the crisis.Helping your business thrive through the pandemic
While this situation might be difficult for many store owners, there are quite a few different tactics you can implement in order to make sure your eCommerce store thrives. No matter what you choose to do there are always new things to try and find which offer the best results.
Just remember to be as helpful as possible and show your customers that you care about their shopping experience even during these difficult times. This will set you apart from other stores and help you build better relationships with your customers, both new and existing.