The Pros and Cons of Salary Transparency


The Pros and Cons of Salary Transparency

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Small Company, Big Success: 10 Ways To Prove Credibility To Your Customers


Small business advisor helping you increase profitability and productivity, offering remote CMO and Remote COO services

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Ten Powerful Ways To Position Your Startup Against The Tech Giants


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13 Ways To Prevent Burnout Before It Happens


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Employer Branding from a Marketing Perspective: CMOs & Marketing Experts Share Advice on How to Balance Consumer Brand and Employer Brand


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Is Franchising Right For You? Eight Questions To Ask Yourself


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TAM SAM SOM: What Do They Mean & How Do You Calculate Them?

With all the excitement that comes with starting a new company and gauging its industry’s profit potential or forecasting a revenue goal for your business, you must remember to root these figures in reality.

If you don’t, you could enter a market that doesn’t have a large enough market size to convince investors to back you, or you could set an unrealistic revenue goal for your business and burn your employees out.

Click here to get started with our free market research kit.

To help you avoid these issues, we’ve put together a guide that’ll teach you exactly how to calculate your industry’s total addressable market, serviceable addressable market, and share of market. Read on to start setting realistic revenue goals and entering markets that are worth your time and resources.

TAM SAM SOM Template

TAM (Total Addressable Market)

Total addressable market or TAM refers to the total market demand for a product or service. It’s the maximum amount of revenue a business can possibly generate by selling their product or service in a specific market. Total addressable market is most useful for businesses to objectively estimate a specific market’s potential for growth.

According to MIT’s Global Startup Labs program, the best way to calculate total addressable market is by running a bottom-up analysis of an industry. A bottom-up analysis involves counting the total number of customers in a market (which you can do by adding up the amount of customers each company in this market has) and multiplying that number by the average annual revenue of each customer in this market.

Total Addressable Market Formula

SAM (Serviceable Addressable Market)

Unless you're a monopoly, you most likely can’t capture the total addressable market for your product or service. Even if you only have one competitor, it would still be extremely difficult to convince an entire market to only buy your product or service. That’s why it’s crucial to measure your serviceable available market to determine how many companies would realistically benefit from buying your product or service.

To calculate your serviceable addressable market, count up all the potential customers that would be a good fit for your business and multiply that number by the average annual revenue of these types of customer in your market.

Serviceable Addressable Market Formula

SOM (Share of Market)

Share of market is the size of your actual customer base or the realistic percentage of your serviceable addressable market that you can capture. This figure can help you predict the amount of revenue you can actually generate within your market.

To calculate share of market, divide your revenue from last year by your industry’s serviceable addressable market from last year. This percentage is your market share from last year. Then, multiply your market share from last year by your industry’s serviceable addressable market from this year.

Share of Market Formula
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Chris Brogan’s Guide to Building a Fast Blogging Framework

Chris Brogan at Social Media Marketing World 2019

Chris Brogan at Social Media Marketing World 2019 Blogging is a part of our origin story here at TopRank Marketing. In fact, we just celebrated the TopRank Marketing Blog’s 15th birthday this past December. But despite our blogging longevity, we’re always refining and optimizing, too. That’s why I attended Chris Brogan’s session on creating a fast blogging framework at Social Media Marketing World 2019. While there, I learned this bestselling author's approach to writing blog content (and had a few laughs along the way).

Be Fast

The key to Chris’ framework? The word “fast.” Being fast matters to Chris, informing the audience that “the average human only read 19 minutes a day. That includes texts, emails, and BuzzFeed articles. They’re not going to read your 2,000-word missive.” So, be quick. Get to the point. Don’t complicate things. Don’t write a white paper when it’s supposed to be a blog post.

Follow the Great Blogging Checklist

Chris is able to be a fast blogger because he has a list of what every blog post needs:
  • A great title
  • A relevant graphic
  • A “strong+story” first paragraph
  • A great first example
  • A second and/or third example
  • A list of action items
  • A call to action
To create blogs, Chris starts at the top of the list and works his way down, checking things off as he goes. But just like most lists, there are items on there that are prioritized. According to Chris, a great title is at the top of the framework because in today’s world “the subject line is the blog post.” Your title or subject line is what gets read the most by your audience. And if it doesn’t pull people in, convey the story you want to tell, and convince them to read, you’ve already failed. But what comes after that? How can you keep people on your blog once they’ve agreed to read it? Chris suggests reflecting on your own experience: “Think about when you read blog posts. You rarely ever read the whole thing. You can’t write your story like it’s a murder mystery and reveal the butler did it on the last page. Get the story into the first paragraph.” [bctt tweet="You can’t write your blog like it’s a murder mystery and reveal the butler did it on the last page. Get the story into the first paragraph.” - @chrisbrogan" username="toprank"]

Brevity Is Your Friend

As Chris said, people only read an average of 19 minutes each day. They don’t have the time to read a long, run-on sentence or a paragraph that refuses to end. Once you’ve finished your blog post, go back and see where you can make it more simple and get to the point faster. Your audience will appreciate the time you’re saving them in the long-run. For us, this doesn't mean long-form content is out. It means be concise, deliberate, and intentional with your language. If there’s a sentence that isn’t needed, cut it.

Connect on a Human Level

When it comes to the nitty gritty part of actually writing your blog post, Chris suggests letting go of your stuffy corporate identity and instead be human. Don’t be the brand. Be the person that represents the brand. Show your audience that you have feelings, opinions, jokes, and more.

Be a Guide

Chris’ last blogging tip is probably the most important: be a guide. Sure, a cool story is fun to read. But is a story really valuable if it doesn’t teach you something? Your blogs need answers to important questions. They need to solve problems. And one of the best ways to do that is to be a guide for your audience, helping them avoid disaster and reach their destination.

Blog Like Brogan

Content is everywhere—and so is our audience's attention. As Chris said, we need to strive to create blog post that people actually want to read. For Chris, that means eloquently getting to the point early on to hook readers, and then delivering on your promise in an intentional way. You're not trying to fill a web page. You're trying to fill your reader's mind with information they truly care about. Experiencing FOMO when it comes to Social Media Marketing World? Subscribe to TopRank blog or follow me on Twitter to stay up to date.

The post Chris Brogan’s Guide to Building a Fast Blogging Framework appeared first on Online Marketing Blog - TopRank®.

Cognitive biases: How to get people to prefer your business

Using the mere exposure effect to retarget campaigns, risk compensation theory, social proof or using someone else's halo are just some of the ways marketers can influence purchasing decisions. The post Cognitive biases: How to get people to prefer your business appeared first on Marketing Land.

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Mobile app ad fraud scheme stuffed banner ads with multiple video players

Sold as premium inventory, the scheme resulted in two million fraudulent ad calls per day, said DoubleVerify. The post Mobile app ad fraud scheme stuffed banner ads with multiple video players appeared first on Marketing Land.

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Best Practices to Minimize Negative Impact,Downtime After a Ransomware Infection – Cyber Defense Magazine


by Jim Varner, President, and CEO, SecurityFirst Ransomware has become a scourge to businesses around the globe and always manages to find a way to infiltrate even the best defenses. Whether it was a well-known recent outbreak from WannaCry or Petya/NotPetya, which spread worldwide in a matter of minutes, or a more random incident on small business, school district, city, or healthcare provider, any one of these can be detrimental to an entities infrastructure and business operations. After getting hit with ransomware, companies may lose data and have to spend money as they try to recover their sensitive assets, either through paying a ransom or a solid recovery process or risk disrupting business continuity. 

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Web application exposures continue to bedevil companies as digital transformation accelerates


As sure as the sun will rise in the morning, hackers will poke and prod at the web applications companies rely on – and find fresh weaknesses they can exploit.Related: Cyber spies feast on government shutdown Companies are scaling up their use of web apps as they strive to integrate digital technology…

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How to Make All Your Accounts Safer With Two-Factor Authentication (2FA)

Nowadays, account security is a major concern for companies and their employees. It can pose a major threat to your employer if you're hacked -- if someone hacks your Gmail account, for instance, he will have access to company contacts, as well as your calendar, Google Docs, Google Sheets, and other private company information.

For this reason, Duo Mobile and other two-factor authentication apps have risen in popularity.

Two-factor authentication (or 2FA) is a safety process you can enable on any of your devices, including your iPhone, Mac, Gmail account, or social media accounts like Facebook. And it's a smart idea, too -- particularly since the total cost of a successful cyber attack is over $5 million, or $301 per employee.

Here, we're going to tell you what two-factor authentication is, and how you can enable (or disable) it on any of your accounts, to ensure your information is protected in 2019 and beyond.

What is two-factor authentication?

To understand what two-factor authentication is, let's start with an analogy.

Imagine you live in a dangerous neighborhood, and you only have one lock on your door. Alternatively, your neighbor down the street has a top and bottom lock, and each lock requires a separate key -- which means, to break into his apartment, you need to break into two locks, not just one.

Who's safer?

Ultimately, two-factor authentication is your neighbor's top and bottom lock -- but for your online accounts. It significantly decreases the risk of getting hacked by combining two methods of protection.

Two-factor authentication uses two methods to ensure you're the correct user. It combines something you know (i.e. a password), with something you have (i.e. a mobile phone), or something you are (i.e. facial recognition).

For instance, to access my online school account, I need to open the Duo Mobile app on my phone, and input my school account's password -- while a hacker might be able to guess my password, he's going to have a tougher time hacking into my phone, as well.

How to turn off two-factor authentication

It's relatively easy to turn off two-factor authentication on any of your accounts.

On Facebook, for instance, simply go to "Settings" and then "Security and Login". Find "Use two-factor authentication", click "Edit", and then switch to "Off".

Alternatively, on Gmail, you'll want to go to http://myaccount.google.com. Then, select "Security". Under the "Signing in to Google" section, you'll see "2-Step Verification". Click this section.

Screen Shot 2019-03-20 at 4.40.30 PMNext, select "Turn Off" to disable 2-Step Verification for your Gmail account.

It's important to note, Apple removed the option to turn off two-factor authentication for Apple IDs created in iOS 10.3 or macOS 10.12.4 and later.

However, you have a two-week period during which you can still disable the function. Simply open your iCloud email account and find the enrollment confirmation email, then click the link to return to your previous security settings.

Dropping Digital Distractions With Brian Solis

Brian Solis at Social Media Marketing World 2019

Brian Solis at Social Media Marketing World 2019 Photos. Texts. Emails. Video. Digital is a pivotal part of our daily lives. So what if we stopped using it? Brian Solis, the author of Lifescale: How to live a more creative, productive and happy life, wants us to think hard about our digital distractions and drop them from our habitual behavior. As digital marketers, this notion sounds antithetical to our mission. But Brian promises that disconnecting is beneficial to marketers as well. Below, I share Brian’s thoughts on digital distraction and business from his session at Social Media Marketing World 2019.

Focus Is Elusive

“My ability to be creative, to dive deep, to focus, to give myself time away from my device, was not only difficult but impossible,” Brian said. In fact, this inability to tune out the noise and focus prevented Brian from finishing his eighth book. Now, Brian isn’t suggesting that we stop using technology. He’s just suggesting we use it in a different way. Instead of using it for productivity, Brian suggests using our devices for the purpose of creativity. If we’re able to put our devices down and truly ignore the notifications, we can focus on the tasks that are important. It will improve our output in quality and quantity.

Disconnection Improves Our Health

How we currently use digital devices isn’t healthy for us. Brian pointed out that an astonishing 41% of people have had an accident relating to our smartphones. There’s a new health concern called “selfie wrist.” Plus, depression and anxiety are on the rise among teenagers, the world’s most avid social media users. “As with cigarettes in the early days, we didn’t understand that our digital indulgences were made to be addictive, and we didn’t have information about the health effects on our bodies, emotions, and psyches,” Brian said. He then added: “Living our best life isn’t really living at all.” It’s just posturing. These distractions weigh down our cognitive load, robbing us of creative moments and pulling us out of focus, and this has a real business impact and we need to change:
  • The average person spends 2 hours on our smartphones each day – and it’s not work related
  • Humans used to shift attention every 3 minutes – it’s now 45 seconds

How to Disconnect

Be Aware

Getting over our digital distractions boils down to one thing: Awareness. If we’re aware of our dependency on the digital world, we’re more empowered to do something about it. We can make more intentional choices about how to avoid these distractions and stay focused.

Measure Your Distractions

Check how many times a day you:
  • Reach for a device
  • Check messages
  • Check your feeds for updates
  • Share a picture
Knowing how often you’re taken away from your work is a good indicator of how much creativity you’re losing. This also allows you to make more noticeable improvements in your work, life, and mental health.

Dedicate Time for Creativity

Write. Draw. Paint. Play guitar. Sing. Creativity is like a muscle that needs to be worked. So just like you workout at the gym, you need to make time to be creative. And it’s not about talent, it’s just about expressing yourself. It’s about being happy, mindful, present, and intentional about how you spend your time. Block off time to be creative and block off time to check email, respond to tweets, etc. Just make sure you don’t mesh the two.

Dropping Our Dependencies

To do our best work, we need to be our best selves. And digital distractions take us away from the creative activities and ideas that make us happy. As a result, digital distractions make it impossible for us to focus on the things that really matter in life and instead take us out of the moments we’re living. So, take some advice from Brian: “Allow yourself to color outside the lines and do something absolutely silly.” Hear more of Brian’s thoughts on creativity and digital distraction by reading our full interview with him.

The post Dropping Digital Distractions With Brian Solis appeared first on Online Marketing Blog - TopRank®.

Do I Still Need a .com TLD For My Business?

Choosing a domain name for your business often goes something like this:

1. After hours of brainstorming, you discover the perfect domain name only to find out it was registered 20 years ago.

2. After a few more hours, you settle on another choice only to find out a payment of $50,000 was required.

3. After more hours and more iterations, you end up buying a .com domain name that you don’t feel great about.

This often happens due to the limited supply of top-level domains (TLDs) combined with the recommendation that all businesses should choose a .com or country-code TLD. But does having a common domain extension still matter? Should businesses still buy a .com domain name?

What is a top-level domain?

Before digging into the pros and cons of .coms vs. other TLDs, here’s a brief refresher on domain name terminology.

A top-level domain or TLD is the last segment of a domain name. For example, the most common TLD is .com. Other popular TLDs include .gov, .net, .and .edu. There are also country-code top-level domains (ccTLDs) like .ca (Canada), .uk (United Kingdom), and .in (India).

One other note is that top-level domains are sometimes referred to as domain extensions or domain endings. For brevity, I’ll call them TLDs going forward. To learn more about other terms like subdomains and second-level level domains, check out our guide on What is a Domain?

Per ICANN, there are currently 1,532 TLDs for businesses to choose from. That’s an almost endless number of combinations. But should businesses use one that doesn’t end with .com? Read on to learn more about the pros and cons of non-dotcoms.

Do TLDs matter for SEO?

One of the most commonly asked questions about new TLDs is whether they affect SEO. Here’s a direct, 36-pixel sized quote from Google’s Guide on Traditional vs. New Domain Endings:

"Using a new domain ending will not hurt your search presence."

This makes sense when you think about all the different ways Google can analyze page quality like backlinks, content analysis, search metrics, traffic metrics, and 200 other proven or theorized factors detailed by Backlinko. Another much simpler way to confirm Google’s stance on new TLDs is to notice that they own and use many like https://abc.xyz/, https://docs.new, and https://domains.google.

In other words, .com domains do not rank higher in search due to their TLD. However, they might indirectly rank higher due to Google’s preference for aged brands.

An aged brand is a website or company with a long track record of quality content, frequent updates, and technical uptime. If most other factors are close or equal, a page on an established brand will almost always rank higher than a page on a newer, less proven brand. And seeing that .com domains still make up 46.8% of ranked TLD usage per W3Techs, most aged brands are likely to be .coms.

So if you’re looking to purchase an existing website, a .com domain name might indirectly provide more search value. However, if you’re buying a new domain name, the TLD you choose will not affect your search rank.

Will a non-dotcom TLD help or hurt your company’s brand?

This is a very tough, subjective question with three likely answers:

1. A non-dotcom TLD will help customers remember your brand and serve as a unique differentiator.

2. A non-dotcom TLD will make your brand seem suspect and less reputable.

3. Customers won’t notice your TLD or won’t care about it.

The most frequent answer for your brand probably depends on customer demographics, traffic sources, and other factors.

For example, if you have a tech-savvy audience, they’re probably more likely to be familiar and comfortable with a different TLD. Technical people are frequently early adopters that understand and gravitate toward new, emerging trends. They might also be more likely to notice and care about the TLD you choose.

Alternatively, if you’re selling services to businesses in more traditional industries, your audience might see a non-dotcom as questionable. Paul Graham, the co-founder of the startup accelerator and seed capital firm Y Combinator, believes that B2B businesses, in particular, should prefer a .com whenever possible.

As mentioned in a Forbes article and accompanying tweet, Graham said,

“All other things being equal, .com domain names are preferable, and things are way more equal than people attached to their current name realize.” He also stated that, “dot-com domains are probably more important for B2B, because there you need the legitimacy.”

Finally, it’s always possible that your TLD won’t affect your brand positively or negatively. If your website consists of a lot of single-page, mobile traffic, maybe your customers won’t even notice what your domain name is. Overall, as different TLDs become more common, your customers will likely be equally comfortable with whatever you choose.

Will a new TLD cost more than a .com?

Most popular, new TLDs typically cost about the same as a .com. Per DomainNameStats, .xyz currently has an average price of $0.75, which is actually less than the average price of a .com. .club also has a very affordable average of $0.99. Most other options have similar, reasonable prices but there are some exceptions.

If you’re looking to buy a .makeup domain name, that will currently cost you an average of $5,783.59. I guess I’ll have to find another place to share my extensive collection of beauty tips. Other examples of expensive TLDs include .auto ($2,000), .rich ($1,596), .bank ($801), and .tickets ($389).

Prices might also change when it comes time to renew your domain name. The cost of a domain name is primarily determined by the domain registry (e.g., Verisign, Donuts, or Uniregistry) and the domain registrar (e.g., Google Domains, Namecheap, or GoDaddy). The domain registry first negotiates a price with ICANN, a non-profit that helps prevent unfair price increases. The domain registrar then marks up that negotiated price a little.

Price raises during renewals are typically due to the domain registrar. Some domain registrars are notorious for bait and switching with a low, initial price that increases upon auto-renewal. Questionable price increases are one of the many reasons that choosing a reliable, ethical domain registrar is important.

Are there any risks with a new TLD?

One small, almost irrelevant risk is that some websites or older software won’t be able to recognize your URL is valid. For example, when you create a social media post that links to your company’s website, Facebook or Twitter recognizes it’s a URL and is able to convert it into a clickable link. Some software struggles to do this with newer TLDs.

This scenario is pretty rare as most major websites quickly add support for new TLDs, but you might want to register a .com domain that redirects to your website just in case. You also might want to avoid being an ultra-early adopter of future TLDs.

Another likely negligible risk is that customers will have a tougher time finding your website when they manually type in your domain name. This probably isn’t a big deal because most Internet traffic comes from either search, social, referrals, advertisements, or email.

A study by Conductor using 310 million website visits found that only 12-29% of web traffic was actually “direct” traffic, and a much smaller percentage of that traffic is people typing your domain name into their browser.

As detailed by Moz, direct traffic sometimes includes a variety of scenarios like misattributed search traffic, “dark social” traffic, non-web documents, and improper redirects. It also probably includes some bot traffic. A more realistic estimate of actual direct traffic is probably anywhere from 0-5%.

Are there any indirect risks with a new TLD?

One indirect risk of a new TLD is that some are only available at a limited number of domain registrars. Not only could this lead to a higher price, but this might make you more prone to losing your domain name if you’re forced to use an unreliable registrar.

You should ideally try to purchase a domain name from a registrar that you believe is ethical and technically competent enough to maintain the security of your domain name. An unreliable registrar can lead to minor annoyances or major issues like accidentally transferring your domain name to hackers. A full range of possibilities is discussed in a Stack Exchange thread.

With that said, registrar horror stories are extremely rare. Most top registrars obtained their status by providing ethical, quality service. But like any service provider you do business with, you should try to evaluate a domain registrar’s competency, ethics, and other risk factors.

So should I still choose a .com domain for my business?

As seen above, there’s a lot of different questions to consider. Personally, I believe that if you’re happy with an available .com domain name, you should choose that. But if you’re not, you should strongly consider a different TLD.

In my opinion, having a brand that you believe in is way more important than settling on a name due to a concept that’s quickly becoming obsolete. Having a new TLD might even make your brand stand out.

If you agree and you’re ready to try out a new TLD, our guide on How to Choose a Domain Extension is a great place to start.

5 social media management tools on sale

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Social media management is a fun and engaging job, but it can get incredibly stressful when you're in charge of multiple brands. Handling one account is mentally taxing enough, but what if you're overseeing two, three, or more?

To lighten your workload, below are five powerful automation tools to help you with every facet of your workflow, from content curation to post scheduling to link shortening. Make sure to enter the code MADNESS15 at checkout to enjoy an extra 15% off all the below deals.

Quuu Pro Plan: Lifetime Subscription ($500 value)

Content curation is the process of sourcing content from different channels and sharing it with your target audience. It sounds simple, sure, but the act itself can take a lot of your time and energy — time and energy you could have spent on actual content creation. Quuu is a tool that automates that entire process, from handpicking relevant posts to sharing them directly on social media. All you have to do is select from over 500 interest categories that are aligned with your business and followers, and Quuu will handle the rest. Read more...

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