WWII Vet Gets High School Diploma 72 Years Later

Watch this WWII vet receive his high school diploma 72 years later here.

72 years later, WWII Vet receives high school diploma
72 years later, WWII Vet receives high school diploma

Don Meneau of Two Rivers, WI left high school 73 years ago to fight in WWII with only one year left to graduate. When he came back home he needed to provide for his family, so he never got the chance to graduate. Now he has been given the opportunity to live out a life long dream of getting his high school diploma.

This is near and dear to my heart as he is my father-in-law’s brother, and I cannot think of anyone more deserving. Don is a man who is full of life and always has a smile on his face. I never thought he needed a diploma to prove he was an intellectual man and can’t think of anyone more deserving!

Don Meneau, receiving high school diploma
Don Meneau, receiving high school diploma

How to Support Local Artists

I am not a particularly crafty or creative person. I am not good at coming up with witty and artsy designs but one thing I can do is support artists that do that unique sense of design. Being an artist isn’t easy. Making a career out of being an artist is even harder. It’s especially harder when larger companies take advantage of struggling artists by offering them unreasonably low profits on their designs or even worse, when the larger companies completely disregard the artists and take copy their designs.

Take Urban Outfitters, for example. They are a larger, well known company…. That is also notorious for stealing others’ designs since 2010. They have had multiple accusations float to the surface. It is hard to be a struggling artist when a big fish such as Urban Outfitters is out there taking credit for someone’s designs.

sold out

It’s not just Urban Outfitters disrespecting the artists whose creativity is being taken advantage of. Currently, Zara has been copying an Indie artist’s designs and has gone as far as stating that essentially since Tuesday Bassan’s (the artist) worldwide reach is significantly smaller than theirs. So what they are saying, it’s okay to steal from someone who is smaller than you. Interesting.

 

Zara has been establishing themselves as thieves, beyond that of Tuesday Bassan’s artwork. When Tuesday Bassan spoke out online about her struggles with Zara, multiple artists spoke out about their own interactions with Zara.

Tuesday Bassan has spent $2000 in legal fees, just to have her lawyer write a letter to Zara. She is trying to stand up, not just for herself, but for other artists that are not able to stand up for themselves. Fighting a legal fight is not cheap and many artists are not able to defend themselves and their work from the Urban Outfitters and Zaras of the world.

What can you do to help?

First off, don’t support Urban Outfitters, Zara and any other company that is taking artists’ work and claiming it as their own.

 

Secondly, buy local. By going with local products, you are not only supporting smaller businesses which feed directly into your community, you are also taking away from the larger conglomerations that take advantage of the underdogs. Go to the Saturday markets. You can find a plethora of local businesses, especially in the summer time. Check out Etsy. Etsy is filled with independent businesses. Use your money to help build up the artists of the world.

 

Speaking of supporting local… Take a few minutes to read a couple of posts from a few local Oregonians.

Nike’s Newest Unique Marketing Venture: BIKETOWN PDX

The Jeep Wave, MPGs, and a Culture at Risk

Good Marketing Blogging: Kissmetrics

 

Sources:

http://jezebel.com/zara-copies-indie-artists-work-then-says-shes-not-famo-1783970547

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/05/26/urban-outfitters-steal_n_867604.html

http://www.brooklynpaper.com/stories/33/22/all_urbancounterfeit_2010_05_28_bk.html

https://www.instagram.com/tuesdaybassen/

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/05/28/urban-outfitters-spires-copyright-infringement_n_5403244.html

 

 

Digital Drinkers’ Runnin’, Stretchin’, Sportin’, Home-Buyin’ Week in Review

An ode to Sarah Palin -suddenly sane sounded member of the GOP.

sarah

Enough gun-totin’, rally-goin’, Trump-lovin’ politics.  We had a great week running, stretching, traveling and writing. Get in formation and get ready for an awesome review of our group’s content this week!

 

This week, Melissa followed up with a list of stretches to achieve flexibility and expanded her approach to marketing. Learn how you, too, can bust a split! 

 

Lauren is still running toward her goal, finishing the Disney half-marathon and gives us all a good primer on starting a personal blog. Unsurprisingly, she can’ t Dory. 

 

David gathered some useful insights from industry leaders about how to market your business during times of crisis or tragedy.  Learn how to avoid massive social media mistakes that could cost your company millions. 

 

David also posted a second article in his series on how to successfully invest in real estate – part 2 is here!  Start with his series if you’re interested in buying homes as investments. 

 

Finally, Sophia spoke with Jeff Garcia and Chelsea Mojo on their approach to digital marketing and growing their respective businesses.  Absolute must reads! 

 

 

 

A PLAYFUL RESPONSE TO 5 PRACTICES TO EMBRACE WITH SOCIAL MEDIA

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GET SMALLER

There was a time when one of the primary goals of social media participation seemed to be growing large followings. In fact, we bought likes (how did that turn out), we gamed Twitter, we competed to add people who had no interest in our products and services to fan, follow and circle us.

Response: (Ok, did you not watch the most recent Silicon Valley, clicks go far when you are pretty low on usage. Did you see how much money they could have received from a VC? Seriously, most people reading this wouldn’t consider a first round of a few million in funding worth skipping town for a nice beach?)

 

Taken from John Jantsh’s article “Why Social Media Isn’t Working And What To Do About It”. Posted at https://www.ducttapemarketing.com/blog/social-media-works/

This seemed logical, I mean everyone knew you needed a big email list, why not a big Twitter following. In fact, services like Klout attempted to use follower metrics to measure influence and thereby create scorecards for people building and seeking influencer status.

Response: (I’m just going to say… Oprah)

Well, it appears that Kevin Kelly’s proclamation to artists trying to stand out in the long tail digital world was both true and prophetic – when it comes to social media use for most small businesses the goal is to embrace and nurture 1,000 true fans or 100 true fans and not the shifting universe of Twitter devotees.

Response: (Ok, did I not say Oprah earlier. Hell, there was a TV program that was devoted to her influence. Overnight millionaires because she is a walking massive Twitter campaign. She is so powerful that Tom Cruise fears her, and most of the world fears Tom Cruise, well at least Scientology. Those dudes are scary influential. Hahahahaha, joke, if Mr. Miscavige is reading this.)

 

Stop following and start listening, sorting, engaging and conversing. Focus on the social streams of your customers and hottest prospects. Eliminate the noise from social media and get your streams to a place where they can be useful.

Response: (Be careful to not cross the streams, unless Gozer is coming for you. In real life it can be difficult to know what stream is driving traffic when you have multiple going and they can create a cumulative effect. Reallocating your resources to different streams can sometimes be better than increasing the overall budget)

TELL STORIES

Stories have always been an important form of communication, but never more than now.

Stories help make the complex understandable, and they help people connect with emotion – the essential ingredient for attraction, loyalty, and referrals.

Response: (We’ve all seen the Princess Bride, we know how a story can get even a little brat to pay attention to Grandpa)

But, in the current state of social media clutter stories also help you stand out, they help people get what they turn to social media for most – to fight boredom, be entertained, and, what the heck, be social.

Response:(So then why all the hate on Pokemon Go? All these things sound pretty awesome to me)

Here’s the thing about stories – they don’t have to relate to your product or service, they don’t even have to be about you – good stories simply have to help people enjoy or understand some aspect of who they are or aspire to be.

The storytelling palette in a focused social media initiative can include your ads as well as your posts and updates – in fact, it should.

Response: (These last two paragraphs sound like what you get on a Tinder date. Show them something enticing, and then boom, switcheroo. Are there any ethical implications with directing traffic via this type of method? Be sure that your storytelling methods and traffic driving methods don’t get your business equated to the free vacation weekend for a timeshare speech)

SHOW YOUR FACE

Social media has become increasingly visual.

The most engaging posts and updates today come with stunning visual content. Visual platforms such as Pinterest, Instagram and Snapchat continue to grow at a stunning pace.

Response: (As of this writing more images are shared on Snapchat than any other platform including Facebook.) (Can anyone explain to me how any of these apps are different? Or have I already hit the age of no return? Now that is an interesting thought, how old is your targeted client?)

 

With the introduction of live streaming video platforms such as Periscope and Blab and the rollout of live video on Facebook, there’s never been a better time for people to meet and see the real you.

Response: (Update, the term “face for radio” is still very relevant for some of us)

I know a lot of social media folks are jumping on these visual platforms as a way to create more buzz and more following as early adopters and thought leaders and that’s okay – but for the typical small business with a focused following, there’s still a great opportunity here.

Use the more visual platform to let people see behind the curtain, let them see you at play, let them see how the product is made, let them see a day in the life.

Response: (Let them see cats. Whoever can find a way to incorporate cat videos into everyday marketing and be able to drive traffic with it… Oprah move over, you’ve been replaced with the new god of influence. Keep in mind, showing your face or adding interactive material is great if it applies to your industry. This can be a time intensive process, know who you customer is and whether a greater digital presence is warranted. If you customer is like me and hit an age where they don’t know the difference between SnapChat and Instagram, then you are just yelling into the void)

HAVE CONVERSATIONS

This one might be the hardest of them all because now I am going to suggest that you put in the time and actually care about what you are doing. Yikes, I know, tall order.

Once you have your 1,000 true fans, it’s time to start having meaningful conversations with them about what they want, what they don’t have, what they fear, what brings them joy.

Response: (Of course, you can do this via email and at the next networking event as well.) (Hey guys and gals, tell me what you fear, and I will market directly to that! Please fill out this online survey and I’ll make sure that Pennywise gets the results. You remember that guy, the clown from IT)

Here’s the trick though – a real conversation happens naturally – it doesn’t flow like a qualifying script.

Response: (Unless there is booze, and as far as I know there is no electronic booze delivery system yet)

Even if you only have ten minutes a day to dedicate to this activity start asking individuals – not followers – about things. Get very, very curious about helping people and, here’s one you might not have thought of, about how other people can help you.

Give people more reasons to talk to you, ask for feedback at every touchpoint, and don’t shy away from conversations that start on negative terms – those are how you learn, how you get better – and those are the only conversations you can’t fake.

Response: (This isn’t even meant to be a joke. This honestly seems like it would take forever if you have multiple clients. What small business has the resources to do this without increasing staffing or hiring an outside firm for a nominal fee? See what I did there? Found a way to plug your site Ducttapemarketing.com. You who are reading this, see the links at the bottom! You should take an assessment of what resources you have available to you on an internal and external basis when attempting to undertake extended face interaction time)

MAKE IMPACT

My last point has to do with money – or perhaps more accurately – revenue.

When you follow points one through four, you start to realize that all this focus, storytelling, personality sharing, and conversing turns into something meaningful – a relationship or two.

Response: (Or maybe just a Tinder date. Or are you suggesting after all this buildup we are closer to Eharmony level? Does anyone know if dating apps count as social media? I’m pretty sure Tinder tried to hook me up with a movie the other day… knew I should have swiped left)

And out of these relationships built on paying attention and being genuine, you can start to recognize ways that you can make a significant impact on someone’s life or business. You’ll identify mutually beneficial opportunities that lead to customers and sales and if you keep at it, repeat sales and referrals.

Yes, I’m on record here to tell you that you can sell through social media if you take the time to help people. So you see, social media isn’t dead, and it’s no different than any other sales channel – those who care, those who educate, those who provide utility – win.

Response: (Ask yourself whether social media is something that can positively impact your business. A traditional widget maker may say “no”, but just because you don’t use that medium, your customer may. Or like a I said before…. Cats! Can’t lose with cat videos)

 

5 Ideas taken from John Jantsh’s article “Why Social Media Isn’t Working And What To Do About It”. Posted at https://www.ducttapemarketing.com/blog/social-media-works/   Follow him @ducttape

 

Social Media Discussion with Ms. Mojo Risin’

This week, I had the opportunity to speak with Ms. Mojo Risin’ (@mojowriting), founder of Mojo Writing, a full-service online marketing provider for Loudoun County and Northern Virginia businesses and organizations. On twitter, her bio  states, “Writer, single mom, feminist, social media strategist, copywriting & SEO’ing your world. Random lyrics. I eat brains. #amwriting #intj #yoga #FriesBeforeGuys.” For me, that was enough to earn an instant follow.

Our conversation covers her business and marketing approach, how she helps women business owners, and her advice to companies using social media. My questions are in bold.

Q: In a few words, describe what your business does.

 

My business provides online marketing solutions like blogging, articles, social media and strategy services.

 

Q: How did you get started in this field ? What is your background and how long have you been doing this work?

 

I learned layout and design in high school (yearbook, actually). I’ve always been pretty tech-savvy and was in several “right places” at the right time, so it was a pretty seamless transition into web and graphic design with the small businesses I worked for. Eventually, I worked at a start-up web design company and spent a lot of time learning HTML there and on my own.

 

Eventually, I decided that everything I was doing could be done on my own and I began freelancing web and graphic design. Once social media became a thing, I started building discussion forums (the web side and the administration side).

 

It all pretty much came together after that. The business side of things and how that connects directly to online marketing and those efforts.

 

In one way or another, I’ve been at this for 23 years.

 

Q: Compare the way you marketed your business at the beginning to how you do so now?

At the beginning, I had the normal freelancer mentality, I believe. It’s hard to start out and you pretty much are grateful for even an inquiry, much less an actual gig. However, the majority of my clients (then and now) have been women, who not only hesitate in business but also with computers and technology. So I’d like to think my early marketing was simply keeping lines of communication open with those clients and getting referrals as a result.

 

Honestly, I don’t do things much differently right now, just a better understanding of where to focus the energy and when to walk away from a campaign, client or project.

 

I have a new division, if you will, that I’m launching. Along with a fairly niche community project that I’m testing out. Those projects and the campaigns I run for clients require a pretty complicated strategy, but one that is soaked in social media. I refer to it as the old  “spokes on a wheel” concept and it holds true at all times, no matter the niche or the client. Online marketing is integrating those spokes into a seamless experience for both the client and the customer.

 

Q: I’ve known you through twitter, how important have social media accounts been to your business and promoting yourself  and your business?

 

I often tell people not to be like me on Twitter, at least not if they want to be taken seriously. I’m fortunate that what I do requires a certain level of risk-taking and showing I can be technical, swamped in pop culture, in the throes of #momlife, and still a very accessible person.

 

For what I do, social media is vital on all levels. You can’t sell social media without being social media.

 

Q: So you mentioned that you largely work with women, you still do to this day, why is that? Was that a natural targeting decision or something done more strategically ?

 

Most of my clients are women still. I think a lot of that came from helping friends  launch websites in the past or encouraging them to register as an LLC or just supporting their ideas. I feel there’s a natural affinity between women in business that is a lot like when we get together to cook a big meal or go sailing or whatever.  I’m drawn to that and I like to think I help bring that same vibe to the women I work with.

 

Q: What is one piece of social media marketing advice that you have for business owners?

 

If you wouldn’t trust your intern (child, nephew, pet goat, neighbor’s cousin’s ex-girlfriend, etc.) to drive your car, don’t trust them to run your social media. You and your business deserve better.

 

How To Be Inspired! A Marketing Blog To Up Your Stratagy and Brand

Inspired by my current marketing class, I was looking around for and engaging marketing blogs. And boy did I find one!  Violeta Nedkova has a great blog about marketing tools, creative process and all sorts of other topics.

Her most recent blog “Oh hey! You’re a fun, creative person. But why is your brand so dull?” is about conveying personal brand through web sites, but it can apply to many aspects of brand as well. She focuses on “authenticity” and asks some probing questions about how the expectations of others influence the image (or brand) you put forth to the world. I really loved this part because there are some very inauthentic people, who are constantly talking about “authenticity.”  Nedkova really delves deeper to get your personal brand in focus, which links a company or person’s brand to the bigger strategy of finding a sustainable differentiation of the company.

I also was really inspired by her piece “How Giving Myself Permission to Suck for 30 Days Changed Me and My Creative Process.”  Although it does not directly relate to my marketing class, the discussion of risk taking is important to address in business strategy.  Giving yourself permission to do something that is not perfect can give you new insight into strategies that you may not have considered before!

If you are interested more in brand, see this great article “How to Sell Yourself in 5 Steps.”

Sports and Social Media – A Conversation With Jeff Garcia

This week, Sophia had the opportunity to speak with Jeff Garcia (@JeffGSpursZone) of WOAI News 4 San Antonio, KABB Fox 29 San Antonio, and host of “Locked On Spurs.”
Sophia has known Jeff through Twitter for 5 years and has always admired his work. She discussed his approach to using social media to market his work and build his sports-media empire through digital relationship building. Sophia’s questions are in bold.


Q: Tell me a little about your background and how you came to do what you do today for work?

Many know me as a Spurs writer/media personality but I am actually an attorney. I practiced Immigration Law for years but moonlighted as a sports writer since 2004. I started off as a co-founder of Project Spurs and from there  my love of sports media/writing took off. From covering the Spurs as a credentialed member of the media, covering Team USA basketball, attending major NBA events such as the 2014 NBA Finals and multiple NBA Drafts to co-hosting a sports talk show on 1250 ESPN San Antonio all led me to where I am today. Now, I am the Spurs beat writer for two local news outlets in San Antonio (WOAI News 4 San Antonio and KABB Fox 29 San Antonio). And yes, I am still an attorney.

Q: How do you approach digital marketing of your content?

 

I approached it by what I like to call the new “word of mouth” approach – Twitter! Heavy use of Twitter. That platform was actually the first social media outlet I used to promote my content. From there, I developed Twitter relationships where people who enjoy reading my work would re-Tweet my work. Today, I have the back of the two local San Antonio media outlets who in turn promote my work on their official Twitter feeds as well as on their Facebook pages.
My approach also involves a balancing act where I will promote my work multiple times on Twitter but in different forms. For example, I will tweet my own work, then re-Tweet others who Tweet my work and space out my self-promotion by an hour. With tweets getting “buried” on people’s timeline, I feel one has to stay on top of it (see what I did there?) and tweet as much as one can to keep my articles fresh on people’s minds and eyes.
I believe with digital marketing being so fast and furious, so can people’s memories. Fans get swamped with so much digital marketing, I have to be unique, and mix it up.

Q: What is it about social media that makes sporting events so fun to talk about online as they are happening?.

 

That is the best isn’t it? I fall into the drama of it all. And that is what makes it fun. The passion, drama, angst, etc. from fans who give you their emotions in an instant. I can “feel” the excitement that it only enhances the fun of watching events. It also gives me a sense of the pulse of the fan that I can use in my articles.

Q: Is twitter the new sports bar?

 

Yes but at a whole other level. It is a 24-hour sports bar. A mega water cooler for people to gather around and talk sports. You meet new people with similar interests, viewpoints and build from there. It’s a sports bar that never closes. You can go in and out of it and catch up on what the talk is or sit back and watch the drama unfold.
Q: How can businesses capitalize, in an authentic way, on massive social media user-ship during sporting events?
Simple – play to the emotions of fans. If their team is winning and fans are ecstatic then a business can capitalize on that and, for example, have free social media codes for a discount for whatever they are selling. Another example is what the Spurs do at games. If the Spurs win at home, everyone in San Antonio gets free coffee at their business. Same can be done online.
Q: What is your most popular social media driven piece of work?
I noticed anything where a team’s rival opponent is giving them some juicy locker room material or if the team they are cheering for gets crushed on the scoreboard is when I have popular social media driven content. Anytime there is some sort of “emotion inducing” moment during the season gets fans going and it gets popular. Oh and odd-ball, random posts. For example, I can write a 1,000 worded piece on why the Spurs need to change their lineup. It will get views but if I find a video of Tony Parker dancing with a teddy bear in Portland while singing a Taylor Swift song, well that will explode on Twitter. My suggestion, do both.
Q: What advice do you have for newcomers to the online world of sports reporting?
Be consistent. Find out your strengths and run with it. If  you are good at writing from the hip, then do it but do it well. If you notice you get more views from Facebook and not Twitter, then focus your strengths there and eventually it will even out. Meaning eventually fans will ask “Why aren’t you on Twitter?” and vise versa. Then you can branch out.
Write a lot. I mean even if there is nothing going on with your team – find something. It makes you stand out. You got to satisfy a fan’s thirst for the love of their team. Quench it.
Do not give up. Keep on writing even if your work gets hardly noticed at first. I recall starting off with no one knowing who I was and couldn’t care less about my articles. But perseverance paid off for me. Do not be afraid to ask. Seriously. My first big “break” into the larger NBA writing world was in 2004 when I just asked the NBA if I can cover the Vegas Summer League. Days later I got a “yes” and from there I established myself.
If I can do it, so can you.

4 Easy steps to get active behind a desk

scaleA vast majority of work these days involves sitting behind a computer. In today’s busy digital work environment there just isn’t time to be active. Long hours, little movement, staring at a computer, does this sound familiar? Is it really a surprise that people are less active than they were twenty years ago? Blood pressure is rising, cholesterol is rising, and waists are growing exponentially. So what can you do? The first step – eat better. Ok, maybe that’s just not going to happen for some of us. I’m a realist; I try to eat healthy, but it just doesn’t consistently happen. Exercise however can be a catalyst to change, even healthy eating. But we have to start small, and plan for it. Here are four easy steps to start getting active.

keep-calm-and-get-up-get-moving-12

1.       Get moving! Seriously. There are a lot of ways to get moving throughout the day. Park further away from work. Walk up the stairs instead of taking the elevator. Consider getting a fitness tracker. Fitness trackers are a great way to count how many steps you are taking and turn it into a game. Many fitness trackers even have online groups that you can participate in.

vivoactive

These groups foster a sense of accountability and competition. How many people don’t like to say “I walked more than you today! Better luck tomorrow!” Stand-up meetings also can help. Consider organizing a stand-up or moving meeting rather than a traditional one where everyone is sitting. This is a great way to add a few steps!

racewalking

2.       Exercise on your lunch break! Rather than spending your lunch eating, try to get moving instead. Go for a walk. If you’re a little more motivated than that, go for a run. If you happen to work near a gym, go lift weights. It doesn’t matter if you hop, skip, run, or play a game of basketball. Anything you do to break up the monotony of the day and get moving is a step in the right direction. Plus, you can always eat lunch at your desk later.

3.       Stand at your desk!

varidesk

Raise your desk or consider purchasing a top mounted sit/stand desk such as a Varidesk. The investment is worth and your waist will thank you! Even sitting on exercise balls are better than the alternative.

4.       Take a break every hour or so to stretch and move. Besides your eyes thanking you, it feels good and a good stretch goes a long way. Get up and walk down the hall to get something to drink. Go up/down the stairs a couple of times.

Try all of these to get moving. Try none of these. Come up with something different. It doesn’t matter how you get moving, the important part is to just get moving!

 

How to Select the Right Property (Part 2) – Delivering Returns on a Skyrocketing Real Estate Market

Always wanted to build a Real Estate empire?

Want to know how to get started?

This 3 part series will get you well on your way with real life examples and experiences using proven techniques for generating huge returns.

post 2

If you missed part 1 , get caught up here first to learn the basics.

Selecting the Right Property: By Type

“How do I select the right property?”

This is a one of the biggest questions I get from those seeking real estate advice. First, decide what type of income you want from this property: rental, long-term investment, short-term investment, or vacation rental income?

1) Rental Income

If its rental income, I would highly suggest seeking out multi-unit properties. Anything 4 units or less and you can still use a conventional loan and take advantage of conventional rates. Research rentals in the area, occupancy rates and learn how to be a landlord.

Property management companies are great but you will be paying 10% of your gross. Be sure to do your research on home warranty companies and landlord laws. There are also landlord associations that can help with legal advice, and reputable handy men.  

2) Long-term Investment (more than 2 years)

With long-terms investment the biggest factor is location, location, location. Find the most distressed house in the best neighborhood you can afford. This can prove to be huge payouts if you chose the right area and time your sale. A perfect area will never lose value, but choose carefully. For example, walkability is huge and will continue to be for the foreseeable future. Segmenting the market for a long term investment is also important, ensure you are aiming for the right clientele when making improvements, target the wrong customer and your home improvement investments could end up not delivering a return (which is key to any home improvement on a long term investment).  Plus, if it you’re the primary resident for 2 out of 5 years, you will pay 0 capital gains, a big bonus.

Long term capital gains can be as much as 25%, depending on your tax bracket and state. We also recently sold a property at the exact 2 year mark. It was a huge fixer upper and we built an additional guest house in the back. The house sold for nearly 50% higher than we purchased it for 2 years ago. We chose the perfect neighborhood, and put a ton of work into it, which included a renovated guest house and new bathroom.  

If your going for a fixer upper, the contract is key. If you live in the NW Portland/Gorge area, Pinnacle Concepts LLC is a great company to work with. They have done a lot of our remodel work, the owner Randy is one of the best guys you can hope to find.

Before and after dining room renovation:

 reno 1

Before and after kitchen guest house renovation:

reno 2

3. Short term investment (less than 1 year)

Again, location is key, but here you will be looking for something that is quick to fix up. No foundation, roof, electric, or plumbing work. Cosmetic updates, landscaping, and low dollar fix ups. Also, you have to consider short term capital gains, upwards of 39%! This is not a path I have headed down before, be careful with this option, it’s risky and most real estate is a long term investment unless you are doing this full time and are a contractor yourself.

4. Vacation Rental

This option is reserved for mainly vacation destinations and in great locations. You can often find distressed properties for this investment, but they will go fast and often paid for cash due to condition. Bedrooms are the one of the biggest income generators for these sorts of investments, the more people you can house, the more you can charge per night. This requires extensive managing on a weekly or even daily basis, a true part time job. Also, check with local laws as many states and or cities do not allow short term rentals (defined as less than 30 days).  You also have to figure in the cost of furniture, bedding and supplies, which can be significant depending on the size of the home.

According to the Financial Samurai at Personal Capital, you must decide on a realistic income from your rental property:

It’s all about income. As a real estate investor you must ascertain what is the realistic income the target property can generate on a sustainable basis every year. Once you have an income range then you can calculate a property’s gross rental yield and price to earnings to compare it with other properties on your acquisitions list.

 

We used social media marketing to advertise the vacation rental we invested in, check out this link for a full tour.

We purchased that property at an auction, fixed it up, rented it out as a vacation rental (for 4 years), and sold for a great profit.  We purchased the property off an auction website, Williams and Williams, a great place to find auctions. Check out this link to the vacation rental we purchased, and pictures of the original condition of the home when we purchased it.

reno 3

Exit strategy

Develop an exit strategy no matter what property you buy.

Put every property in your ROI calculator I mentioned in Part 1, and decide how long you want to keep it. Five years is a reasonable time frame for a long investment to properly forecast.  Examining the market and properly forecasting will bring in huge returns. I’ve been asked by others to invest in their real estate ventures with no clear exist strategy, I would not recommend it as this should be your biggest criteria when deciding how to invest.

Bottom Line

Find a property you feel confident in, and trust your gut! Don’t settle just because you want to get in the market, you will find the right property if your consistent and have an open mind. Keep your eye on the cash-in (exit strategy), we will be discussing that in Part 3: Cashing in on your Investment — next week!


Read more from the Digital Drinkers 

15 Stretches for Splits, and Tips for Sharing Your Practice | 5 Secrets to Flexibility Training, and Building a Following | Surviving a Beer Fest    |     Investing In A Home, Part 1   |   The Portland Trail Blazers Brand      |   Training For My First 1/2 Marathon  | 5 Things to Chant in Your Head While Running

 


References

Financial Samurai, October 6, 2014, https://blog.personalcapital.com/investing/what-you-need-to-know-before-buying-rental-property/ 

How To Understanding Marketing Acronyms – A Guide to Marketing

Acronyms are everywhere these days, as though it is simpler to throughout letters than say the actual words.  The military has been doing this for decades and once upon a time LOL meant: lots of love.  In our every changing world of want for quick communication it is important to highlight acronyms vary from industry to industry.  The following is a great article by Lindsay Kolowich | @lkolo25 about marketing and business acronyms.  I have chosen ten of my favorites, most with a touch of nostalgia because my grandma would sign her snail mail, LOL and I’m pretty sure she wasn’t laughing at me! Check out the full list http://blog.hubspot.com/marketing/marketing-acronym-glossary#sm.00001354390r1zdaqx8r41klctm92 and see how many you know!  Let the countdown of my favorites begin.

  1. CR: Conversion Rate

The percentage of people who completed a desired action on a single web page, such as filling out a form. In general, pages with high conversion rates are performing well, while pages with low conversion rates are performing poorly (though there can be exceptions to this rule).

  1. SM: Social Media

Social media platforms are places you can post links, photos, videos, and other content, in the hopes that thousands of people will see it, click on it, interact with it, and share it with their own networks. Some of the big ones: Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Snapchat.

  1. CTA: Call-to-Action

A text link, button, image, or some other type of web link that encourages a website visitor to take an action on that website, such as visiting a landing page to download a piece of content.

The action you want people to take could be anything: Download an eBook, sign up for a webinar, get a coupon, attend an event, and so on. A CTA can be placed anywhere in your marketing — on your website, in an eBook, in an email, or even at the end of a blog post.

  1. GA: Google Analytics

A service by Google that generates detailed statistics about a website’s traffic and traffic sources, and measures conversions and sales. Marketers use it to get to know their audience, trace their customers’ paths, and make a visual assessment of how visitors interact with their pages

  1. SEO: Search Engine Optimization

Techniques that help your website rank higher in organic search results, making your website more visible to people who are looking for your brand, product, or service via search engines like Google, Bing, and Yahoo.

There are a ton of components to improving the SEO of your site pages. Search engines look for elements including title tags, keywords, image tags, internal link structure, and inbound links — and that’s just to name a few. Search engines also look at site structure and design, visitor behavior, and other external, off-site factors to determine how highly ranked your site should be in the search engine results pages.

  1. PR: Public Relations

PR is all about getting a company in front of the right audiences at the right time with messages that make its spokespeople sound like human beings, not robots. The idea is to earn media attention, rather than buy it. The goal? To inform the public, prospective customers, investors, partners, and employees, and prompt them to adopt a certain view about the company, its leadership and employees, and its products or services. 

Today, that effort has a lot to do with content creation and distribution. For example, a good PR employee might work with an online newspaper to publish an article featuring their company in an attractive light.

  1. WOM: Word-of-Mouth

The passing of information from person to person. Technically, the term refers to oral communication, but today it refers to online communication, as well. WOM marketing is inexpensive, but it takes work and involves leveraging many components of inbound marketing like product marketing, content marketing, and social media marketing.

  1. NPS: Net Promoter Score

A customer satisfaction metric that measures, on a scale of 0-10, the degree to which people would recommend your company to others. The NPS is derived from a simple survey designed to help you determine how loyal your customers are to your business.

To calculate NPS, subtract the percentage of customers who would not recommend you (detractors, or 0-6) from the percent of customers who would (promoters, or 9-10).

Regularly determining your company’s NPS allows you to identify ways to improve your products and services so you can increase the loyalty of your customers

  1. KPI: Key Performance Indicator

A type of performance measurement companies use to evaluate an activity’s success. While KPIs are used throughout a business, marketers look at KPIs to track progress toward marketing goals.

Examples of KPIs include CAC (Customer Acquisition Cost), leads generated, and homepage views. Choose KPIs that represent how your marketing and business are performing.

  1. 1. ROI: Return On Investment

A performance measure used to evaluate the efficiency and profitability of an investment. The formula for ROI is: Gain from Investment minus Cost of Investment, divided by Cost of Investment. The result is expressed as a percentage or ratio. If ROI is negative, then that initiative is losing money. The calculation can vary depending on what you input for gains and costs.

Marketers should measure the ROI on every tactic and channel they use.B2B_Marketing_Acronyms