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3 Tips To Effectively Manage Your Side Hustle and Avoid Costly Mistakes

Take that hustle from the side to full-time.

6 min read

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

According to a Bank Rate study, 4 in 10 Americans having a side hustle and earn over $8K annually through that side hustle. More and more people are freelancing, driving in the car share industry and starting their own small businesses. The car-sharing market is set to exceed $11 billion U.S.D by 2024, according to a research report by Global Market Insights, Inc. 

35 percent of the U.S. workforce, or 55 million people, were freelancers in 2016, according to the Freelancers Union. Even the youngest generation, Gen Z, is looking to the gig economy. In a survey by Deloitte, 62 percent of working Gen Zers said they would consider joining the gig economy to supplement full-time employment, while 15 percent already have a side hustle in addition to their full-time job.

With this increase in side hustles, it’s critical for entrepreneurs, freelancers and independent contractors to know how to effectively manage their business, not only to increase their take-home income but also to ensure they don’t run into any unforeseen (or costly) issues.

Let’s take a look at three effective strategies to manage these endeavors that can help in maximizing sales and minimizing the amount of time spent. Let’s face it, side hustles are cool, but not having any free time or losing money is not.

Related: 15 Easy Ways to Make Extra Money at Home

1. Meticulously track your income streams

When you run a side business, there can be many income streams (and if your business doesn’t have more than one, look for additional opportunities), the main one being obtaining new clients, of course. But, other ways to make some extra cash can arise as well, such as speaking opportunities as a result of the work you’ve done, creating content for other sites if you’ve positioned yourself as a thought leader within an industry or ad revenue from your company blog posts.

The key is to track how much revenue is coming in from each of these avenues, and then put more time and effort into the areas that are making the most money. This is especially important in the beginning when funds are necessary to re-invest in the business to keep it moving forward. Creating a spreadsheet to tally each revenue stream and checking your performance regularly will help determine where and how you should be spending your time.

It’s very easy to fall into the habit of focusing on the aspects of the business that you prefer to do or want to spend your time on, rather than on what’s bringing in the most revenue. But, that’s not the best way to increase your earnings.

For example, a graphic designer may freelance and take on clients for extra income, and since their passion lies in the design work, they spend the majority of their time on perfecting the deliverables for clients. But, another aspect of the business is identifying new leads in order to get more clients, which takes sales skills the individual may not possess or enjoy. Being that this is the best way to increase their income, a set amount of time should be allocated to this task, no matter how less desirable it may be. I like to call these rainmaking activities. Focus on these activities that are going to make it rain for you and the business, even if they suck to do.

Related: 10 New Ideas for Making Money on the Side

Grow your team systematically

The time will come when you can no longer wear all the hats and do everything as a one-man (or woman) band. Bringing on additional team members can free up your time to focus on the growth strategies that will bring in even more income, so it can be a win-win.

Knowing whether your business needs a full-time employee, a freelancer or an intern can be a tough decision, but an important one. And knowing what differentiates an independent contractor from an employee is critical. Not only so you can be as productive as possible, but also because you don’t want to violate any labor laws or get into costly disputes with your hires. Because technological advances such as drag-and-drop website builders create a low barrier to entry for new businesses, many entrepreneurs may not realize all the rules and regulations around minimum wage, overtime pay eligibility, and record-keeping.

With the rise of ecommerce companies, some key points for business owners to stay abreast on are that employees could be subject to Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) protections if the employee’s regular work involves interstate commerce. In today’s digital world, that applies to a lot of people. Not to mention some of the most common mistakes made by employers are paying employees who may otherwise be exempt on an hourly basis, docking pay for partial days worked or misclassifying employees as exempt.

Related: A Complete Guide to the Highest-Paying Jobs, Companies, Freelance Jobs and More

Spend your time very wisely

Since your full-time job most likely takes up the majority of your time, it’s critical to make sure the time you spend on your side hustle is worthwhile. That’s why it’s important to know when to say no.

Opportunities pop up all the time, and it’s natural to think that you need to capitalize on all of them. After all, you could miss out on an opportunity that could’ve been huge, right? Well, not so fast. Mark Cuban once said, “every no gets me closer to a yes,” and if you follow this advice it may be in your best interest to say no more often so you have the time and bandwidth to say yes to the opportunities that will truly grow your business.

Additionally, how you spend each minute per day is vital when you have a side hustle you’re trying to build and can’t dedicate full-time to it. There are some time management techniques I follow. For example, I like to use the Pomodoro technique when managing my time and to-do list. This keeps me focused on what I’m working on at the time. Here’s how it works:

  1. Set a timer for 20 minutes (or whatever amount of time you want to work. I like the 20 minutes).
  2. Focus on one task during that time.
  3. At 20 minutes, take a 5-10-minute break (depending on whatever works best for you).

This is an effective way to focus without distraction. Work on completing a certain number of pomodoros per day. Doing more with less is the name of the game, especially until that side hustle becomes the full-time hustle. Good luck and happy hustling!

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5 Ways to Be More Productive in 2019 Without Driving Your Team Insane

Here’s how to get your business running faster and better.

7 min read

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

When talking about their biggest challenges for 2019, many of the entrepreneurs I speak with say they’re overwhelmed with the rapid pace at which business operates today. Today’s consumers have come to expect instant gratification, and they’re putting pressure on companies to make sure that they get what they want right now.

Technology’s partly to blame for these questionably reasonable expectations. We’ve got virtually countless hours of on-demand video streaming content at our fingertips. We’re on the cusp of mass product delivery by drone. We get frustrated when customer service departments fail to respond to our queries within minutes.

Just a couple of decades ago, looking up information meant going to the library to check out references. Today, we don’t even type out our Google searches. We just holler at Siri or Alexa to get the answers, products and media we want.

In a survey by PwC, nearly four out of five surveyed customers customers say that they want experiences that are speedy, convenient and helpful. For businesses, reliably offering these experiences has become a constant challenge.

With 2019 already underway, why not make speed improvement one of your key objectives for the year ahead? Here are five strategies you can apply to speed up your processes as we get ready to zoom through another year.

Related: How to Manage Time With 10 Tips That Work

1. Maximize your real-time social media opportunities

Knowing what delights customers most is a huge component of business leadership. Data from the 2018 Sprout Social Index suggests that there’s a widening disconnect between what brands’ social media profiles are posting about (61 percent of the 2,000 social marketers surveyed favored teaching, while 58 percent favored telling stories) and what customers want (73 percent of the 1,200 surveyed prefer deals, while 60 percent prefer posts showcasing new products and services).

So, how can you improve your organization’s ability to discern what the market really wants right now? Conducting your own market surveys can help, but it’s a resource-heavy solution that yields dubious insights. Social listening, on the other hand, allows marketers to follow what people are saying about your industry, products, and competitors.

I’ve used solutions like SentiOne that can track such mentions across social platforms and online communities in real-time. Armed with this information, you’d be able to act on customer issues in a timely manner and even launch targeted campaigns that speak directly to customers’ interests with precision. It’s also a useful way to know what new features or products to roll-out or at least give you the starting point to start your market research.

2. Shorten time to delivery

Customers don’t like waiting for their online orders to arrive at their doorsteps. Last year, the maximum time that ecommerce buyers found acceptable for orders with free shipping was just 4.5 days, as reported by Emarketing. If they’re paying for shipping, they expect to receive their packages even sooner.

Having the ability to expedite delivery can be a major differentiator, but it’s a tall order if you’re a smaller enterprise. Thankfully, as the independent ecommerce economy has grown, so has the ecosystem of logistics services empowering the industry.

Using a third-party, fully white label-ready fulfillment partner gives you the capability to offer two-day shipping, without being dependent on Amazon.

Industry leader ShipBob, for one, can store your inventory in a network of shared warehouses around the country, so that products are ready to ship, with maximum proximity, as soon as your customers check out. Better fulfillment partners integrate directly with leading shopping cart systems like Shopify and WooCommerce and can save you and customers massive amounts of wait time.

Related: Get it Done: 35 Habits of the Most Productive People (Infographic)

3. Maintain a bird’s eye view of your business

With competition seemingly getting tougher every year, in 2019 your ability to make quick but informed decisions has become mission-critical. However, getting hold of the necessary information may require pulling data from dozens of sources, each with its own interface, before you are able to generate reports that are comprehensive enough to act upon.

A consolidated business data resource can provide you with an integrated dashboard that pools together information from all the platforms you use for social media, sales, project management, finance and marketing.

Even if you use separate services like HubSpot, MailChimp and Twitter, Rivery.io’s platform, for example, can aggregate real-time information from your accounts and even push metrics to the data repository of your choice.

You can’t afford to get stuck in the nitty-gritty anymore. Keep an eye on the trends that matter, so you can make smarter strategic decisions on the fly. I also like to use tools like Kipfolio, for interactive business dashboards that give me a pulse on everything from sales to accounting to marketing spend.

4. Accompany your customers on their journeys

As reported by Strategy and PwC, three out of four surveyed buyers in the U.S. say that customer experience is a major factor in their shopping decisions, citing speed and ease as their most valued factors. Yet, despite the efforts of developers and designers to create intuitive interfaces, some customers, especially those who lack tech savvy, have been known to hit roadblocks on their paths to purchase.

To avoid alienating these customers, you can ease access to your interface with an interactive walkthrough solution. Offering onsite chat, either automated or human-driven, can help maximize a sense of accessibility and trust, shortening the time to convert prospects into customers.

This type of “digital adoption” hand-holding can be a major game changer, especially if your sales prospects are less comfortable experimenting in digital environments. There are all types of new chatbot software tools that can be used for streamlining these conversations and navigating customers. We’ve used Drift across my various companies and found it works well.

Related: 5 Habits of the Wealthy That Helped Them Get Rich

5. Minimize slowdowns caused by absenteeism

Team productivity gets compromised due to staff taking unexpected time off can derail your entire operation. If you can’t find someone else to quickly step in and pick up the slack, it can be hard to fulfill orders and maintain pace on projects.

Using workforce management platforms can help you sort out staffing and scheduling issues, largely on autopilot.

Deputy, for instance, has functionalities that can help line up shift replacements when someone suddenly needs time off. Using the employee-facing app, team members can inform HR with just a few taps that they’ll be out, and the scheduling system automatically dispatches push notifications to others who have similar skills, asking for substitutions that can often be lined up before you even know they were needed.

Absenteeism was a big issue for one of the nonprofits I’m involved with and tools like Deputy have helped us to make necessary adjustments on the fly. Don’t let people interfere with your systems. Manage the systems that manage the people.

Be quick and nimble

Today’s business landscape moves at breakneck speed. But, things always go wrong. For your startups and scaling businesses to keep pace in the coming year, you need to be prepared, with systems in place to expedite processes and minimize the impact of bumps in the road. I wish you a prosperous 2019!

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Stablecoins, Rather Than Cryptocurrencies, Might Be the Future of Money

Cryptocurrency remains volatile, and stablecoins may provide the stabilization the market needs.

4 min read

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

While the cryptocurrency market is trying to find a bottom after losing over 80 percent of its value since its year-to-date peak, stablecoins are getting more attention thanks to their ability to store value and smooth volatility noises. Currently, stablecoins represent the fastest-growing market within the cryptocurrency space, with several major coins of this kind being launched in the last few months.

The payments industry is perhaps the key beneficiary of this emerging sub-market. Stablecoins enable merchants and consumers to rely on balanced prices that are not affected by the high volatility of the crypto market, as these coins are pegged to real-world assets, especially to the US dollar. Bitcoin was also designed as a secure and fair means of payment, but it has failed to bring utility in the context of payments. In the last few years, hundreds of new coins and tokens have been issued by various entities, but most of them have been prone to the same volatility risks.

Are stablecoins worth the hype?

Stablecoins are hybrid cryptocurrencies because they are blockchain-based units that are also backed by fiat currencies or commodities, which is why they provide the benefits of both crypto and fiat currencies. Thanks to their stability, stablecoins represent the ideal tool that can connect countless of internet and blockchain ecosystems with traditional economies. These coins help users streamline payments via automation while ensuring liquidity, security, and transparency.

Most of the blockchain ecosystems are still struggling to become more interconnected with traditional banking, but the latter seems to have tough barriers in many jurisdictions. To avoid the hardships caused by banks, crypto firms can rely on stablecoins.

This is also the recommendation of Malta’s Prime Minister Joseph Muscat, who recently spoke highly about stablecoins in a Lovin Malta article: “We’re obviously not going to intervene in banking policies because they have to deal with issues such as correspondent banking and risk assessments. Our job as a government is to create this new market and not allow a vacuum to form within it. Some platforms are already banking in cryptocurrencies and new sectors, such as stablecoins, are being set up that are being viewed as more secure.”

Judging by the potential impact they can bring to blockchain ecosystems, stablecoins are definitely worth the hype — at this time it’s not just about speculators.

USD-backed stablecoins are dominating this sector — you’ll find Tether’s USDT, Circle’s USDC, Paxos Standard Token or TUSD in the list of top cryptocurrencies by market cap. However, some firms choose to break the stereotypes and develop new forms of stablecoins that incorporate even more features.

The concept of smart money remains a topic of conversation, for example, as discussed by Coinbase chief operating officer Asiff Hijri, who recently said on Twitter at the Money 20/20 conference that, thanks to stablecoins, money became programmable for the first time in history. “[Stablecoins] will unlock the ability to create programmatic money applications like we have not seen before because now money is truly programmable,” the COO noted.

To substantiate the potential value of stablecoins, crypto exchange Binance just announced in rather breaking news fashion that Circle’s USD-pegged stablecoin USD Coin will now be listed on the exchange. It is a quote asset for several new trading pairs in its combined Stablecoin Market (USDⓈ) listing. The exchange announced this in an official post published in this article from the Binance support site.

Stablecoins are yet another mega-trend these days, and they pledge to disrupt the payments industry, ecommerce operations, salary and rent payments, wealth management and lending markets among others. So the future of money might belong to stablecoins, rather than cryptocurrencies as everyone has speculated. 

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This $300 Billion Industry Has Been Outdated for a Decade. Here’s How to Fix It.

5 min read

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

Phone services, particularly call center customer services, have lagged behind the growth of the technology sector. As technology trends toward interactive and user-friendly interfaces, phone-based customer service remains a frustrating experience that continually disappoints.

The worldwide call center industry is estimated to be worth $300 billion as reported by Tech In Asia. However, inefficiencies plague both the customer-facing side and business back-end of the customer service model. Companies struggle to manage the incoming call volumes, leading to extended waiting periods and the proliferation of ineffective automated voice systems. Customers are often left with a terrible impression that can have a significant impact on their brand loyalty and view of the company.

Related: 10 Reasons Why Good Customer Service Is Your Most Important Metric

An industry that needs to evolve

First call resolution (FCR) and service level/response time are often-cited metrics (as reported by ICMI) within the call center space that can have tangible effects on customer satisfaction. Improved FCR can reduce costs by minimizing repeat callers, increase employee satisfaction and directly correlates to customer satisfaction. However, the model is outdated for achieving such metrics, and removing the need for repeat callers by trending away from phone-only communication with customer service representatives is becoming widespread.

The industry standard for response time is roughly 80 percent, as documented by Call Centre Helper, of calls answered within 20 seconds. For people who are all too familiar with customer service lines, this typically does not come anywhere close to when a problem is resolved, or a human interaction is reached. Callers are perpetually frustrated with the experience as the prevalence of automated systems with limited options have increased.

A study by Clarabridge last year highlighted how the problems with the call center model are felt on both sides of the telephone line. Despite the industry standard of 80 percent of calls answered within 20 seconds, 46 percent of the respondents in the study cited long wait times as the top issue with call centers. Conversely, 86 percent of agents say they deal with irate callers, either stemming from long wait times or problems with the product/service.

The notion that a large percentage of customer service activity is conducted via telephone is relatively disconcerting considering the proliferation of technology over the last two decades. The large design space of the internet and the emergence of communication apps should have easily improved the customer service experience over the last decade. This is not the case.

Some companies have attempted to transition away from the phone service model by utilizing social media platforms and direct messaging. These models are often in combination with phone service systems and remain in their early stages. Others have focused on enhanced training and metrics for callers with solutions like BrainX to personalize customer service rep training experiences. Despite this, the new models tend to focus less on user-friendly interfaces and more on building upon an existing structure.

Related: Steal These 4 Proven Customer-Retention Strategies

Integrating technology for a millenial-focused customer service experience

While many businesses have stuck with the traditional call center methods, some companies have begun building technical solutions to ease the process and improve customer satisfaction by emphasizing a younger, app-prone generational approach. 

With some of this new tech, users can chat with customer service agents through SMS texting, audio files or even picture sharing — formats that notify customers when a human agent is available while they work on other tasks. Demand-based engagement tailors the experience to the customers and problems with repetition are removed by the ability to make service choices at their own convenience rather than being forced to press numbers at given times.

Related: 25 Tips for Earning Customer Loyalty

The benefits of this new tech extend past the customer service component of the user to saving costs for businesses on the back-end. Time consumption is reduced by at least tenfold for action to be taken, and incoming call volumes can be slashed dramatically reduced. As a result, costs for training customer service reps and building call center infrastructure decrease providing more profit to companies.

For millennials, the popular applications and services are those with the most user-friendly interfaces and best user experience (UX) that customer service can offer. By transitioning away from a severely antiquated model of customer service, predicated on 1990’s phone services, new tech is appealing to a younger generation of users and businesses looking to improve efficiencies.

Call center customer service has historically been a frustrating and time-consuming experience (think of all of the crappy hold music you’ve had to endure over a lifetime). If we can overcome the need for every customer service experience to be held through a phone conversation, we can do away with a customer service system that’s been outdated for a decade.

At the very least, maybe companies can start using Spotify playlists for on-hold music (one can only imagine).

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4 In-Demand Skills You Can Learn Online

Online resources can help you learn and earn more.

6 min read

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

High costs of college tuition and the growing abundance of online resources to learn about topics from computer science to blockchains have created an unprecedented opportunity for self-taught professionals and entrepreneurs. Consistently learning new skills and adapting to the evolving work environment is crucial to maintaining a fruitful career in today’s workforce.

Many college graduates do not even work in the field that they majored in, and instead, work in an area that they initially received a job in out of college or taught themselves how to excel in. Whether you’re looking to transition into another field or just want to learn some new skills as a hobby, the ability to do so has never been as convenient or powerful as it is now.

The increasing prominence of online education resources

In parallel to the proliferation of online educational resources is the explosive growth of freelancing. A 2017 study by Upwork revealed that freelancers are predicted to become the majority of the workforce within the decade. Many freelancers and entrepreneurs are self-taught, learning new skills on the fly out of a need to develop a professional talent or by meticulously studying a topic through online classes or reading.

Related: 15 of the Best and Most Unusual Online Courses for Entrepreneurs

The progression of the internet into its modern form has opened avenues for extensive, user-friendly, and affordable educational material for users of all levels of experience. Online resources for enhancing professional skills range from free university courses to standalone educational platforms that connect students and paid professionals. Some even offer informative games, impressive video tutorials and open-source frameworks for improving  content.

Here are four areas in which you develop skills and learn more about online.

1. Coding and software development

I taught myself the basics of computer programming in a prison cell by reading textbooks and using a number two pencil, without internet access. I know computer science can be intimidating for someone not familiar with the topic since it is often viewed as having an exceptionally high barrier to entry and robust prerequisite skills in mathematics. Thankfully, numerous educational materials are available for users of all experience levels to learn about how computers work and how to program.

These resources are not just relegated to proprietary online platforms either. MIT OpenCourseWare offers undergraduate and graduate courses on computer science — among other topics — online for free.

Platforms such as KhanAcademy, Coursera, and Udemy all provide their own courses on software development, computer science and other related topics. The material may be intimidating at first, but the classes are comprehensive and tailored to students of all talents with video tutorials, walk-through problems, projects and connections to top educators.

2. Languages

Learning new languages becomes more challenging as you get older, but the sheer amount of content and material available to learn new languages today is perhaps the best representation of online education’s progression. Services such as Rosetta Stone are established and popular among many people, but numerous other services have also arisen.  

Internet Polyglot offers courses on 21 different languages, Live Lingua is an entirely free full-immersion language course platform and mobile apps such as Duolingo and Busuu have skyrocketed to the top of the app download charts. The ability to speak multiple languages is not only helpful if you live in a foreign country or are traveling, but is a net positive for your resume that can even bolster your salary.

Related: Get Smarter About Business Cheaper With These 10 Free Online Courses

3. Healthcare and medicine

Similar to computer science, healthcare and medicine are primarily viewed through the prism of an exceedingly high barrier to entry. However, the notion that you can be successful in the medical industry solely with a doctorate is fading.

Online platforms such as Khan Academy and Coursera offer some in-depth material on life sciences, sports medicine and anatomy. Although they won’t provide the necessary material for becoming a doctor, they can help launch your career in the field or provide up-to-date content for you to refine your knowledge.

The prevalence of online education in fields including pharmaceutical medicine, healthcare project management and public health are also increasing. Once challenging areas of study to access are now widely available through platforms such as Class Central that aggregate resources from the top online universities in several fields. Subjects available in healthcare and medicine include clinical statistics and research, nutrition and epidemiology.

4. Blockchain

Blockchain and cryptocurrency exploded into the mainstream following the meteoric rise of the price of Bitcoin at the end of 2017. Despite the relative decline in prices over the past year, interest in the blossoming industry persists. Moreover, resources have transformed from obscure open-source Github repos to comprehensive courses on everything from understanding the underlying protocols to programming smart contracts. The demand for blockchain experts has officially exceeded supply, as reported by BTC Manager. That means, despite the volatility of the market, there’s still a huge market opportunity for anyone wanting to develop their skills.  

Kingsland University – School of Blockchain was the winner of the 2018 Stevie Award in the Innovator of the Year category that offers a highly touted and extensive suite of blockchain programming curriculum. Programs like those provided by Kingsland University were few and far between in the early days of blockchain technology, but now are vital to onboarding new industry participants and facilitating the transition of many programmers to the blockchain space. With industry partnerships — such as their recent one with the Tezos Foundation — Kingsland will be creating the much-needed talent pool that will drive future innovation and growth. They’ve recognized the crucial role education plays and they are getting out into the community and providing scholarships for career building education, with a nearly guaranteed job at the end of the training.

Related: Why Your Business Assets Belong on the Blockchain

Other resources for learning more about blockchain and cryptocurrency are Blockchain at Berkley and Udacity’s Nanodegree program on blockchain development. With the technology still in its early stages and blockchain developer salaries among the highest out of any industry, the opportunity to earn a lucrative income has never been so widely available.

The internet has created unprecedented educational opportunities for anyone with an internet connection. Previously restricted and highly exclusive material is now available for free to virtually everyone. For entrepreneurs and freelancers, online resources are crucial to gaining professional insights and building a foundation to advance their careers. I dedicate one hour per day to learning something new and even have it as a calendar event on my schedule to make sure I hit my daily goal. It’s so much easier to learn now that all of my notes don’t have to be scribbled down in a notepad using a number two golf pencil.

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The 10 Best Instagram Tools for 2019

You can be posting coffee art Boomerangs, like your favorite influencer, shortly after reading this list.

5 min read

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

In June, Instagram reached 1 billion monthly active users worldwide, as reported by Statista. The process of liking photos, sharing stories and getting new followers has turned the platform into a social staple (even my grandma is liking cat memes on IG versus Facebook these days). More importantly, Instagram has become a goldmine for marketers, influencers and brands.

Here are some of the best tools available for obtaining insights, driving results and leveraging Instagram in 2019. Happy ‘Gramming.

1. Social Gone Viral

Developing organic growth isn’t easy. That’s why Social Gone Viral has become one of the leading organic growth platforms on the market. Social Gone Viral uses targeted marketing algorithms to help its customers get followers, comments, likes, sponsorships and more. If you’re looking organically grow, check them out. This tool can help you get trending posts.

Related: How 39 Major Businesses Use Instagram Stories (Infographic)

2. Magic Social

If you want a leg up on the competition or to emulate Instagram profiles that you admire, Magic Social is a great way to do it. Magic Social is a tool that allows you to track the activities of another profile on Instagram. The platform includes numerous services, such as benchmarking, side-by-side comparisons and engagement metrics. This is a great tool that helps you build similar audiences to your peers or competitors. 

3. Rocket Social 

Photos are hands down your most valuable asset when it comes to Instagram. So it’s crucial that you have constant likes and followers engaging with them. Rocket Social is an automation tool that increases engagement on your Instagram photos. Yes, some people warn against these types of tools, but a healthy mix of automation and organic is useful. You should ask all of your favorite influencers (seriously). 

4. Iconosquare

Social media and data analytics seem to be a match made in heaven. Iconosquare is an analytics and social media management platform that allows users to get in-depth information on followers, engagement, hashtag analysis and other social media metrics. The goal of the platform is to help users understand why actions have occurred through trends. It’s super useful if you’re building a business through IG.

5. Unfold

Instagram stories are still relatively new compared to all the other features present on the platform. As a result, many users haven’t learned to harness the power of them. Fortunately, Unfold is here to help. Unfold is an application that allows you to create videos that are both beautiful and professional, Unfold also allows you to save your Stories.

Related: 5 Ways to Help You Boost Your Conversions on Instagram

6. SocialRank

What is a profile without its followers? Success in the social world isn’t just about amassing a large number of followers, it’s about understanding and interacting with that audience. SocialRank has taken a unique approach to analytics by keying in follower demographics. On the platform, you can take in-depth looks at follower demographics, export different lists, identify your most engaged followers and much more. It’s a great way to segment and target your audience and followers. 

7. Magisto

After photos, video content is the most important asset on Instagram. That’s why Magisto is so great. Magisto is a video editing platform that uses AI to create business and personal videos. You give Magisto your content, and it creates an awesome video. It’s simple to use and churns out pretty quality videos.

8. Have2HaveIt

If you’re looking to sell a product on Instagram, look no further. Have2HaveIt helps businesses increase revenues on Instagram by providing a link that directs followers to ecommerce websites. If you like to shop for products, you’ve most likely come across the app. When you click on an image, it shows the various products and hyperlinks to a page that allows you to purchase that product. My wife says it’s the easiest way to shop online.

9. Sendible

Automation, automation, automation. Sendible is a full-featured social media management tool. On the platform, users have access to an array of services, which include scheduling and posting content, replying to followers, collaborating with multiple teams and developing analytics reports. Sendible makes it easy to manage social media on the go. It’s super useful for company branding versus personal branding.

Related: How Two Millennials Spun Celebrities’ Instagram Comments Into a Full-Time Job and 800,000 Followers

10. Boomerang

Boomerang is a tool made by Instagram that allows users to create short and engaging videos. The application works by taking a series of small snapshots and turning them into a video, similar to a GIF. It’s a fun way to create different and engaging content. Your favorite travel bloggers love to use this app to take pictures of their coffee overlooking majestic oceans or at their favorite waterfall. Please use it sparingly.

There are tons of amazing Instagram tools out there, but before choosing your tool, take the time to clearly define and understand your goals, whether that means getting followers, increasing engagement or tracking results. Once you know what you want to do, these tools will help you get the job done. Shoot me new tools I didn’t list on Twitter (@andrewmedal) or follow me on Instagram (@andrewmedal) to check out my latest coffee art.

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4 Cool Gifts for Tech Geeks for the Holiday Season

Work to achieve product-market fit for gift giving.

6 min read

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

Holiday spending is estimated to hit $1 trillion this year, with PwC estimating that the average consumer will spend $1,250 on gifts, travel and entertainment.

Speaking of gifts, it’s never too early to think about what presents you’ll give your beloved geek friends. Rather than procrastinate and be caught in the last-minute shopping rush, you can get a head start working on that list right now. Besides, Thanksgiving weekend is also just around the corner, meaning you can take advantage of Black Friday and Cyber Monday sales to score the best deals.

Related: Holiday Gift Guide: What to Give Your Team Members

My team and I always like to find random cool tech products this time of year that I can send to colleagues and business partners. Here are four cool products we found that you can give to your tech geek friends.

1. MyHeritage

There was a time when DNA testing was just the stuff of movies and TV. Today, anyone could get tested thanks to home DNA test kits. So how about giving your friends a way to know themselves at a nuclear level with MyHeritage‘s DNA test? MyHeritage first came into the scene as an online genealogy platform that allowed users to upload family history and family tree data to its database.

The company offers its MyHeritage DNA as an advanced and affordable DNA test that reveals a person’s ethnic origins including the geographic regions associated with the person’s genes. Combined with the service’s database containing more than 6 billion historical records, it’s even possible for users to discover previously unknown ancestors and relatives.

Of course, privacy is an important concern these days. MyHeritage DNA tests are designed for the recipient’s appreciation of genealogy and only the person has access to the test results. Testing is also done in a CLIA-certified and CAP-accredited laboratory based in the U.S.

MyHeritage DNA retails for $79. I bought this for family members last year, and they loved it. 

2. Nix Mini Color Sensor

If you have friends who do graphic design, you’re probably wondering if they see the world as you do. It isn’t uncommon to hear them drone about how certain designs could be improved upon or how something could’ve been shades of red lighter (this was taken from a real conversation I had with one of my graphic designer friends who complained about the red shade of my shirt!). 

If you have that kind of friend, then the Nix Mini Color would make for a great present. It’s a nifty device that can scan and match more than 31,000 brand name paints or digital color values. Its results can match to popular paint brands including Benjamin Moore, Sherwin Williams and Behr. It also provides color readouts in RGB, CMYK and CIELAB color spaces, meaning they can use real-world objects as a reference for their own designs.

The sensor is ultra-portable, measuring just 1 by 1.5 inches — smaller than a ping-pong ball — and weighs just 0.6 grams. It connects to smartphones via Bluetooth and has apps for both iOS and Android. The package comes with the device, a USB cable and a lanyard.

Nix Mini Color Sensor is available for $99. I’ll be buying this for my buddy.

Related: A Business’s Guide to Corporate Gifting

3. Anker PowerCore 20000 II

Battery life has always been a key concern of techies. Who’d have thought that a phone’s battery indicator showing red could cause people so much stress? What’s probably more irritating is how manufacturers have built the batteries into devices. You can’t simply swap out a weak battery with a fresh one. As such, a power bank is a must-have for any geek-on-the-go.

Boasting of a 20,000 mAh capacity means the Anker PowerCore 20000 II power bank packs enough power to charge an iPhone X more than six times (which is pretty impressive). It features Anker’s PowerIQ 2.0 technology that provides high-speed charging depending on the device plugged into it. It can even power larger tablets and other power-hungry devices. It has two USB ports allowing you to charge two different devices at once. Despite the large capacity, the power bank is still quite portable with an easy-to-grip sleek design measuring 6.7 by 2.4 by 0.9 inches.

Anker PowerCore 20000 II sells for $59.99 for the black version, $65.99 for the white. Because I’m on the go and travel so frequently, this may be my personal gift to myself! 

4. Geek Speak Magic Ball

Despite advances in technology, impromptu decision-making still can be tough. So why not help your friends simplify their decision-making and let randomness reign with this Geek Speak Magic Ball?

It’s the modern day iteration of the classic 8-Ball. Like the classic, the Geek Speak Magic Ball returns one of 20 possible answers only with a geek-speak twist. The ball can reply with quips like FAIL, WIN, meh, 404 error, LOL, PWND and O RLY. Great for those friends who work in IT. Sure, it’s a novelty item, but this one can be a nice display piece on a desk or shelf when the novelty wears off.

Depending on the seller, the Geek Speak Magic Ball can be bought for $7.99 at Amazon. I’m getting this for all of my different business partners, for those really tough business decisions we have to make.

Related: 18 Unique Holiday Gifts for Everyone On Your List

Give it some thought.

While you can always go the lazy route and just give friends Amazon gift cards, you should try to take the time to give your gift ideas a bit more thought. Surely, there are scores of other items that you can buy as gifts for your friends aside from the ones on this list.

For budding entrepreneurs, gift giving can be a good exercise in product development and marketing. It allows you to consider product features, quality and price while trying to take into account how well the gift would appeal to its intended recipient.

Ultimately, just do it to build the relationship and invest in your friendship. It’s always a nice feeling to be able to gift a friend something that they’d be able to appreciate knowing it matches their personality, likes and wants. Yes, it’s the thought that counts, but it’s even better when you get product-market fit for the gifts you give. That’s the ultimate goal. Happy holiday hunting. 

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The Case for Disconnecting and Traveling as an Entrepreneur

Yes, it’s imperative to work your butt off, but, although it may seem counter-intuitive, it’s also vital to drop everything and travel.

8 min read

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

I just got back from my honeymoon to Egypt and the Seychelles islands, and it was life-changing. As I flew and traveled to my various destinations, I thought about traveling as an entrepreneur and how it’s been one of the best ways to grow personally and professionally. While a number of my trips in the U.S. and abroad were for personal reasons instead of business purposes, they all had an impact on how I ran my companies and my view on the world.

Here are some of the reasons why I believe traveling as an entrepreneur is vital to success and a few of the places I recommend visiting.

It’s easier and cheaper than ever.

First off, it’s easier and cheaper than ever to travel anywhere in the world. Personally, I like to ball out when I travel, but if you’re a bootstrapped entrepreneur, there are hundreds of different tools that can make your trip easy and affordable.

Kayak and Google Flights allow you to find the most affordable airfare possible.

Related: 5 Science-Proved Reasons Vacation Will Boost Your Brain

Entrepreneur travel hack: I put everything I charge on one business credit card that provides a ton of benefits and points. Using one credit card for all of my company’s charges creates a massive influx of points that can be used for airfare or lodging. I recommend United’s Visa or if you have the spend, the Centurion by AMEX.

While booking my most recent trip I used Booking and noticed that the site let me schedule a pickup and dropoff ride for the same price I’d pay for Uber or Lyft. So, instead of waiting for my Uber, my driver waited for me. This made the whole taxing process painless. I dug around and found out the service was offered by Mozio. They power Booking, along with Hotels.com, SkyScanner, Despagar and a slew of others who’ve integrated with their API, making it easy for travelers to schedule ground transport rides. As an entrepreneur, I’m always looking for ways to save time and cut redundant corners. Being able to book and schedule everything from one site, at the same price, was a big win in my book. You can see the excitement on my face below. 

Andrew Medal

Also, you don’t have to book a hotel anymore and can use Airbnb pretty much anywhere, if that’s your cup of tea. Its experiences are super cool too, which allow you to book activities at your travel destination. I’ve used it a handful of times, and have been more than satisfied each time.

You see the world from a different perspective.

If your business does any work with another country, you need to see the world from their point of view. It doesn’t matter if you’re outsourcing, purchasing products or selling your merchandise to those outside the U.S., it helps to learn how people approach life in general. This can help you with negotiations, marketing and understanding your customer in general.

I recently went to Spain. I have clients in Spain, and to see how they conduct themselves, the culture firsthand, and the day-to-day life of how people interact opened up my eyes. My clients are typically hard to get a hold off late in the afternoon. I’ve obviously known of the Spanish Siesta (translated to nap in Spanish), but until I was actually there in person, I couldn’t grasp the magnitude of what it meant. Siesta typically lasts from about 2 to 5 p.m. and pretty much everything shuts down: restaurants, businesses, even public transportation. If it wasn’t for going there and witnessing this in person, I don’t think I ever would’ve truly understood why I couldn’t reach my clients daily during their late afternoon.

Related: 7 Entrepreneurs Who Built Businesses Off Their Love of Travel

I also went to the Bahamas a few months ago. I stayed at the beautiful Baha Mar hotel, which was gorgeous and new, with a ton of delicious restaurants and a manmade coral reef on their beach. I highly recommend it if traveling to Nassau. While there, I snorkeled with all types of animals from squid, to sea turtles and even sharks. Snorkeling with sharks was incredible — being with sharks underwater created a million different feelings for me. I realized there were a lot of feelings that can be associated with starting a new business or daily emotions I experience as an entrepreneur, such as excitement, fear and uncertainty. Once we were done, I had a bunch of new ideas and mapped out a growth plan for one of my companies that had been an ongoing obstacle leading up to the trip.

Andrew Medal

The different perspective can be culturally or a natural shift in thinking like being underwater with a bunch of sharks. Regardless, the shift that occurs will benefit areas of your business you may not even imagine.

You’ll get inspired.

When you see the same things every day, you tend to get stuck in a rut. Traveling will open you up to new experiences that will inspire you. You may come up with a new product idea or see a way of solving a challenge you’ve been facing. Often, I find myself being hit with inspiration when I’m traveling and relaxing. While I consciously focus on the beautiful blue ocean or the fascinating landscape, my subconscious is solving problems I’ve been dealing with for weeks at home.

I also recently visited Kauai, where I stayed at the Kiahuna Plantation, a hotel I stayed at while I was a kid, and ate at some amazing local restaurants, including the Beach House restaurant in Poipu, Da Crack Tacos and Papalani Gelato. I always find that eating local cuisine, especially when I’ve never had it before, pushes me out of my comfort zone. Something as simple as eating different food or waking up to a different sight outside my window is all it takes to inspire me with new visions for my life, new ideas or to help existing obstacles I’m facing in any of my companies.

Andrew Medal

Entrepreneur travel hack: TripAdvisor is great for local info, but the best way to find the best local spots is to ask the locals! Anytime I travel I ask locals the best things to do, the coolest places to stay and the best food to eat. It’s a failproof plan to travel and experience the local culture.

You’ll recharge your batteries.

If you’re coming home every day feeling exhausted and simply have little desire to get up and do work in the morning, you need a break. Traveling gives you that. Get away from your normal routine and try something new and different. It’s not enough just to take a few days off work. You need to escape.

My most recent trip to Costa Rica was a complete escape for me. I needed a break from everything, so my wife and I took off.

Entrepreneur travel hack: I never turn my phone plan on when traveling. Rather, I just use wi-fi wherever it’s available. It’s so much better and allows me to stay disconnected rather than tethered to my phone, messages and emails. Plus, when I’m on wi-fi it helps me get things done faster, knowing I have a finite amount of time to use the network. I also use tools to keep me off social media, like Antisocial, an app that allows me to limit the number of minutes I am allowed on social media per day. It’s great to keep my habits in check.

Related: 4 Tips That Will Help You Actually Afford Your Dream Vacation

I’ve been to Costa Rica three times, and during this last trip, we spent most of the time snorkeling and white water rafting through the jungle. My wife and I love to stay in Manuel Antonio because it gives us the ability to go to the ocean and jungle easily. The combination of ocean and jungle is unlike anywhere else I’ve traveled; pair that with wild monkeys, fresh fruits, food and lush green wilderness and you’ve set the stage for the most disconnected and recharging trip of your life. When I came home, I felt completely renewed and ready to get back at it. Our favorite jungle tour company is Amigos del Rio, and we’ve white water rafted with them three separate times.

It’s easy to feel like the only solution to get more done is to work more hours, but I’ve found the opposite to be true. Yes, it’s imperative to work your butt off, and although it may seem counterintuitive it’s also vital to drop everything and travel. If you need to recharge, need inspiration or want to view the world from a different point of view, I highly recommend traveling. You’ll find that the many different experiences you have will make you a better entrepreneur.

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3 Ways Entrepreneurs and Businesses Can Benefit From AI’s ‘Third Wave’

Third-wave AI is supposed to be truly intelligent and most similar to human thinking, meaning it will make sense of the independent world and its varying contexts.

6 min read

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

Many might not realize it but artificial intelligence (AI) has ubiquitously made its way into our daily lives. For instance, digital assistants such as Amazon Alexa and Apple Siri handle everyday tasks including scheduling reminders or playing your favorite morning jam. Support channels are being taken over by chatbots and you’re none the wiser.

Impressive as these applications may be, AI is entering its so-called third wave, which is set to create more interesting applications for the technology itself, as reported by Top500.org. Third-wave AI is supposed to be truly intelligent and most similar to human thinking, meaning it will make sense of the independent world and its varying contexts.

Related: How Artificial Intelligence Could Help You Design a Better User Experience

As an example, in this third-wave AI ecosystem, Mind.AI seeks to deliver a truly intelligent AI, with comparable mental intelligence to that of a human. Aside from being able to learn autonomously, Mind’s AI can generalize and even reason abstractly through natural language. Instead of using vast amounts of computational power, Mind aims to build its AI through patented proprietary data structures called “canonicals.” This enables the AI to construct models of how the world works, meaning it’s possible for the AI to perform context-specific tasks with a high degree of success.

While scientists and researchers are pretty excited by these developments, many entrepreneurs wonder how they can leverage the tech to their advantage. Fortunately, AI platforms and AI-driven cloud-based services are now working on making advanced capabilities available to ordinary users and smaller enterprises. Here are three ways third-wave AI can benefit them.

1. Better insights

Third-wave AI is capable of searching for patterns in large volumes of data and even across data sets. This could yield connections that have not been linked previously, resulting in new insights that could guide businesses in their decision-making.

Various AI-driven data and analytics tools are now available for use even by ordinary users. Growthbot, for example, compiles and analyzes marketing data and research such as search engine optimization (SEO) keywords, competitor intelligence and prospect leads. This way, you only have to ask its chatbot questions in order to get timely insights about your business and even your competitors.

Individuals can also leverage large amounts of communication data to gain insights about their professional and personal connections. Trove is a cloud-based AI-driven tool that helps users make sense of their email and social networks. Trove finds patterns in conversations and makes them searchable. This provides users with an accurate view of their relationships, helping them to better navigate their social connections.

AI can even be used to generate and analyze synthetic data (synthetic data is information that’s artificially manufactured rather than generated by real-world events), in order to make improvements in a variety of applications. Nueromation helps projects use synthetic data to help AI learn and improve its algorithms. Among its solutions are AI-powered cameras that feature superior facial or feature recognition capabilities. Accurate detection and classification could benefit projects working on security, retail or even self-driving vehicles.

Related: How to Make AI-Driven Emails Compelling Without Being Creepy

2. More effective automation

AI can also be used to automate just about any activity. Take personal finance. Micro-investing app Mylo uses AI to help ordinary users start an investment portfolio without any fuss. The app takes your spare change from purchases and invests the money in a diversified portfolio tailored to your preferences.

In the context of business, AI-driven automation tools are now being used in specific and specialized areas of business such as finance, manufacturing and task management. Roger, for instance, can automate the accounts payable flow, which is a mundane yet critical part of the business. Users simply have to scan bills and the system sends it through a streamlined process to ensure that bills are paid on time and reconciled with the books.

Third-wave AI could even bring further innovation to areas that are already benefiting from automation such as manufacturing. Manufacturing has largely been linear. But with third-wave AI, it might even be possible for processes to take on more dynamic and agile methods where systems would be able to work through sprints and iterations rather than in the conventional linear fashion. Hitachi already uses AI to automatically adjust equipment settings in every production run for greater efficiency, as reported by TechTarget.

3. Smarter assistants

Siri and Alexa might work wonders, but they’re still liable to trip even with some basic instructions. It’s because of these limitations that many of us still don’t pass on more serious tasks or decisions to AI.

Unlike Siri and Alexa, which only respond to one instruction at a time, new AI assistants such as Aigo are adaptive. They can remember and learn from your preferences so that they will be able to sustain meaningful conversations with users as if you are chatting with an actual person that knows you.

As a development platform, Aigo could be enhanced to deliver more specialized interactions allowing it to be used beyond personal assistance such as education and healthcare. It can also be adapted for use in enterprise and business applications similar to other AI-driven tools.

Related: The Real-World Applications of Artificial Intelligence in Marketing

AI’s (current) limitations

The third wave of AI is still ongoing and there are some kinks that need to be ironed out for it to meet our evolving expectations.

One example of the hurdles is called the AI black box dilemma, as explained in this piece by Sentient. Essentially, the AI’s decision-making process can become so convoluted that tracing how AI came to a decision can be impossible. A business using deep learning to improve its app design might be given the ideal solution by the AI. However, the business would still need to know the reason why the machine came to such a conclusion. Human decision-makers have the need to justify their decisions. Fortunately, a possible solution is to use blockchain’s transparent record keeping to keep track of AI’s “thought process” and make AI accountable for its decisions.

Instead of having these issues become knocks against the technology, these should be considered potential areas for improvement. In fact, it’s quite exciting that ordinary users and businesses could tap into these cutting-edge technologies. My recommendation is to subscribe to the various cloud and blockchain-based applications and freely experiment with them. You may even find that you can outsource the work to your new AI assistants. 

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5 Ecommerce Tools That Can Help You Score More Sales

Hustle isn’t the only tool you need.

7 min read

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

It’s a great time to get involved in ecommerce, as revenues are on an upward climb. For example, in 2017, online purchases were responsible for 10.2 percent of all global retail sales. In 2021, they’re expected to grow to 17.5 percent of the market, as reported by Statista

However, running a successful ecommerce business isn’t as easy as putting up an online store. This fact may prevent many hopeful entrepreneurs to give up before realizing a profit or to struggle as they try to figure out where they are going wrong.

Related: 2019 Will Be a Revolutionary Year for Online Shopping

One way to avoid this type of pitfall — and to help entrepreneurial self-starters earn higher revenues — is to share a few simple ecommerce tools, all of which are designed to help sell products online and increase those sales.

1. BigCommerce

If you’re thinking about selling products online, you need a place to sell. BigCommerce provides that and offers ecommerce software that is designed for all sizes of business. The CMS helps you sell more by offering:

  • Visually appealing websites designed solely for ecommerce businesses including tools and conversion optimization features. 
  • Customizable options so you can create the best shopping experience for your specific target market audience based on industry, and simple to use drag and drop tools that will help you design without coding knowledge. 
  • BigCommerce’s site builder is awesome, but as your business grows, you may want to switch to a different CMS/site infrastructure. With BigCommerce’s API, this is easy enough for any developer to handle. This is what’s known as the “headless ecommerce” trend.
  • Many businesses consider Magento and similar solutions because they can host their own sites and tinker with the code as they like. Others prefer pure SaaS solutions such as Shopify because this puts the onus on providers to ensure that the site’s tech infrastructure and hosting are top notch and always up to date. Thanks to “headless ecommerce,” BigCommerce offers the best of both worlds. 

My software agency uses CMS platforms including WordPress, Joomla, Magento and even Shopify. BigCommerce is my team’s favorite tool for a number of reasons, including the above points. More importantly, apps can be easily installed. The platform itself is built with conversion optimization tools such as one-touch buy features that also provide a ton of value.

2. Oberlo

Sometimes an entrepreneur doesn’t even know what they want to sell before they know they want to sell products online. Oberlo is a perfect tool for this scenario, enabling an entrepreneur to customize, dropship (meaning they don’t have to hold inventory) and sell pretty much any type of product from bracelets to drones to sweatshirts. Or, if the ecommerce company already sells and dropships products, Oberlo can be used to sell new products. It offers a lot of great features including: 

  • Thousands of different products to sell, customize and ship. 
  • Automated product and order management, creating a more seamless shopping experience that can inspire customer loyalty.
  • Automatic inventory updates so customers can be assured that the items they want are in stock and available.
  • The ability to edit product descriptions and images so they’re more attractive to your target consumer, which can also fast track your search engine results in web browsers.

Oberlo takes the headache out of trying to figure out what products to sell or makes it super simple for an existing business to sell new products. In either scenario the value of the tool becomes exponential. What used to take trips overseas to find manufacturers, meet with product designers, buy massive quantities of inventory, etc., has all been condensed into one easy and effective to use application. 

3. Packhelp

One of the things that set Amazon apart as an ecommerce business is that products shipped from its warehouses are in branded boxes. Packhelp provides this service to other ecommerce brands, helping increase sales by:

  • Strengthening brand development and recognition,
  • Making customers feel as if they’re getting more than just the goods they ordered and
  • Offering a more personalized experience, setting your company apart.

Great customer service is one of the most fundamental but most overlooked activities. From a focus on customer service alone, Zappos and Tony Hsieh changed an entire industry. Amazon does a phenomenal job with customer service and it’s worth a trillion dollars. I love using this tool when shipping physical products. It’s an extra touch that provides your customer with one additional layer of service that may win them over or encourage them to refer you business. 

Related: How to Build a Profitable Business Online by Selling Nothing

4. Neatly.io

It can be maddening to have an underperforming ecommerce site, especially if you know that there’s a market for your goods. That’s where Neatly.io comes in because it enables you to improve sales by:

  • Compiling your data in easy-to-read graphs and charts, giving you a big picture view of where your ecommerce site may need to be improved to increase completed purchases,
  • Providing tips as to how you can improve upon problem areas and
  • Enabling you to set monthly goals, motivating you to keep making progress.

I’m a big fan of this tool for its easy-to-use dashboard and useful data. Data can be the biggest advantage you have as an internet entrepreneur. Data gives you the ability to know how customers and potential customers are interacting with your store. This data can help you make changes that will enable you to sell more. 

5. Intellifluence

Social media marketing is a must. One way to dramatically accelerate sales through social media is to get some of your industry’s top influencers on board. Intellifluence does this by:

  • Helping you figure out who those individuals are,
  • Enabling you to message them directly,
  • Giving you the opportunity to approach several influencers at the same time and
  • Powring you to do deals and measuring their success.

Related: When Selling Online, Make Decisions Based on Data, Not Your Emotions

In 2010, I became a co-founder of a sports nutrition company. One vital component of our growth and success that led us to multi-million dollar revenues in under a year was leveraging influencers in the CrossFit space. Influencer marketing has grown leaps and bounds since then but still plays a critical role, especially when executed successfully, to drive brand awareness and sales. This tool can help accomplish both. 

Connecting internet entrepreneurs with these new tools can help create systems that will make customers buy more, repeat sales and lead them back to your site again and again. Sometimes the difference between a successful ecommerce business and a failing one are the tools that are used in the backend. Hustle helps, but that’s not always the deciding factor. Stay ahead of the curve and on the hunt for any new tools that surface. Make sure you’re working smart and leveraging all of the tools at your disposal.

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