Using Videos to Promote Your Brand

Websites, social media, e-mail marketing, and mobile marketing are great ways for authors to promote their work. An even better way is by using the power of video. If you had the option either to listen to an audio of your favorite author, singer, or motivational speaker, or read text or watch them on video, which would you choose? I’m willing to bet that most of you chose the video over text or audio.

There is something to be said about being able to see who you’re listening to. Videos are an excellent visual aid and are a bit more personal.

Let’s look at the pros and cons of using video for marketing.


1. Advantage over your competitors. Anyone can set up a blog and write. Although it doesn’t take a whole lot of skill to make basic videos, your audience will watch your video before they will read a blog post. Depending on how advanced your video capture and editing skills are, you can go beyond the basic and do some really cool things with video. You can’t do that with a basic text blog post. Remember, most people are visual in nature.

2. Video can boast the “I can show you better than I can tell you” factor. A user finds it much easier to see something being done, say, in an instructional video than reading the text of a blog post.

3. Using video shows your more personal side to your audience. It is a strong way to interact with your audience because they have the added benefit of seeing your facial expressions, hand gestures, and so on. Need I even mention the value a video will add to your branding strategy? It’s easier to associate a name or brand with a face than it is with text or audio.

4. By cross-referencing your video in various social media venues, you expand your audience and your audience possibilities. When your viewers can see you, they are more likely to share the video. We all know about viral video. I don’t recall hearing anything about viral audio or viral text, unless of course you’re referring to a New York Times Best Seller.

5. Although videos are not SEO (Search Engine Optimization) friendly, video sharing sites such as YouTube and GodTube are. Also, by tagging your blog post properly, viewers can get to your videos.


1. If you are not experienced in capturing and editing video, it can be a daunting task. A poorly captured or edited video can be a turn-off and hurt your brand rather than help it.

2. It may take only a few moments to write a blog post or even an audio post, but it takes time to produce a video.

3. One size does not fit all. When making a video, consider issues such as videos that automatically start when a person clicks on a page. This may be distracting and may possibly get a few people in trouble because they might be at work and are not to be on the Internet. It may scare a sleeping child or take your viewer off-guard. Also consider various Internet speeds and software that your audience may be utilizing. If you use an Apple only program from your Mac to upload your site, without the proper plug-ins it is possible that viewers who don’t have Mac capabilities may not be able to watch your video.

4. In most cases, you will have to pay for some type of software to create your videos; however, you may be able to download Windows Live Movie Maker via the Microsoft Website. It is part of the Live Essentials Software.

5. Videos tend to take up more disk space on your computer than audio and text. Some video sharing sites may charge for hosting videos over a certain size and bandwidth.

These are only a few pros and cons of using videos to promote your work. But as you can tell, there are more pros than cons and the possibilities are endless. I believe that the more you practice a skill, the more honed and experienced you become. So create your video today. It doesn’t have to be fancy or long. Perhaps you can start by announcing where your books are sold, the release of your new book, or a summary of your book. If you’re like many “starving artists,” you may freelance, in which case you can explain your services. If you need help creating videos, social media video sharing sites, such as YouTube, have a plethora of how-to videos. Also, if you visit the home page of your software or product, you should be able to find videos to help with your product.

Last, here’s a few tips on creating your video:

• Less is more. If you’re not used to the frillies, bypass them until you become more experienced.

• Creativity excites the senses.

• Smile. No one wants to look at a video of someone who looks unhappy.

• Check your appearance.

• Check your audio. There is nothing worse than looking at a great video and not being able to hear a word.

• Keep your videos between two and five minutes. Unless your video is super exciting and actual movie or concert production, no one wants to sit through an hour of your talk about whatever. Even if you are creating a how-to video, break the session into multiple versions. This allows viewers to take a break, and they can go directly to the part of the video they actually need.

Lights. Action. Camera!

The Harsh Reality of Today’s Work Place

My husband says that the tone of the work place is like Survivor Island. He’s an engineer who has worked in a lot of different states at various manufacturing facilities and according to him everyone is trying to see who can get voted off before they do.I can’t help but wonder if this is in all industries now? Have reality shows put us in this posture that “team work” has been replaced with “scheme work?” Should we always be on guard all the time? Is paranoia common place in the work place? What gives?I have a friend who is a high-end hair stylist and she says that the work place has become much more “stern” compared to ten years ago-that employers demand more but offer less.We’ve certainly seen lots of new requirements in the last decade regarding what it takes to get through the door of a company and actually become an employee-from drug tests, to credit reports, to background checks. And now most states have “at-will employment,” which means that employment is presumed to be indefinite for both employers and employees. The unfortunate truth about this is that it produces an atmosphere of mistrust and disloyalty, and is far more favorable for the employers than the employees. In short, employees get the shaft and employers hold all of the cards!I think that the most unfortunate by-product of these new developments is that it gives no wiggle room at all for employees to have problems or make errors. It puts people in fear for their job whenever they have anything that comes up in their life that might prove to be interference with their work. There’s no room for being human!I can remember when it was three strikes you’re out regarding dismissal of an employee, which meant you’d give the worker two verbal warnings and one written. I recall this from when I was an Office Manager in California, and responsible for the hiring and firing of all employees. One of my employees was caught lying and stealing-she was given three warnings over the course of time to change her behavior. When all three warnings did not produce change she was dismissed, but it was only after she was given a chance to change. Fairness prevailed!Of course I realize that many of these developments have to do with the fact that so many employees were suing their employers that it created a huge money problem for companies. In 1987 California juries ruled in favor of employees in over 2/3 of such cases and granted an average award of 1.5 million dollars. Still, I find it interesting that the United States is the only major industrial power that maintains a general employment-at-will rule. Canada, France, Germany, Great Britain, Italy, Japan, and Sweden all have statutory provisions that require employers to show good cause before discharging employees.I believe that the “at-will” truth silently sets an undertone in the work place, and that the Survivor Island mentality sets a dog-eat-dog overtone; which in turn make today’s workplace at the very least unpleasant, and at the most deadly because it pushes people past their limits. Work was supposed to be a blessing in every way-it’s a sad state of affairs that it has become so brutal and hard to endure. Perhaps in this new century some new laws will come forth to protect both employees and employers.

Pro Health and Fitness

All issues with health and fitness has become more and more important as the world spins faster and faster.Both important to people who are used to be active, but now more important to people who are not used to be active or got the time. Things to be able to keep up pace and at the same time feel good in your body!As a newcomer or some people who has been doing this for very long, there are always very much to learn and know about. Such as:Get maximum muscle volume or minimize fat
Get in shape
Get good cardio results
New exercises or traditional
Static or dynamic training
Jogging, walking, cycling or other methods
Using machines or free weights
Food and CaloriesEvery one of those questions can be answered in different ways by reading a numerous of books, visiting many WEB sites, going to seminars and courses, etc. But what most of us forget is that everyone has a unique body and own conditions that sets your own possibility how to get results. It can be how easy you have to build muscles or how easy you can take a jogging tour or how your intake of food adopt into your body.You see, there are no easy answers about all of this, but there are some guidelines that are better than others. Myself has through many years of own studying and learning, and through other peoples knowledge and experiences gone through different stages of being and feeling well and not very well. But I have found out that everybody has their own pace to deal with and that there are better and wore ways to get the results you are seeking. Just keep in mind that all persons have different body conditions that make your success faster or slower.So as a newcomer and as some one that has done this before you can always learn more and find new interesting and funny ways to be successful now and in the future. It’s totally up to you, but you will soon as I did experience that there are better or worse ways to do this and learn how. Take your own time and use it well and then you will see results and also feels as I do, much better and more vital.

Digital Photography Contests – Win Any Digital Photography Contest Using This Valuable Guide!

Having already judged 12 photography competitions, I know that every year thousands upon thousands of avid photographers enter various digital photography contests across the globe. While each of these contests may vary in theme, number of applicants and popularity, they all have one underlying characteristic in common, and that is that each of them will have their winners and their losers. There are a number of ways you can increase your chances of taking home first prize such as ensuring you thoroughly read through the rules of the competition, practicing and improving your technical ability, researching past winners and adding your own unique personality and charisma to your photos. This article will explore a few of the most effective ways you can increase your potential of winning just about any digital photography contest.You’ll find that each digital photography competition has it’s own set of terms and conditions that applicants must abide by. A good use of a contestants time is to thoroughly read through the rules and regulations of the contest before submitting their entry, you might be surprised by some of the terms that are imposed. For example, I once entered a competition in Europe whereby only one photo was allowed per contestant. Had I not have known this, I could have wasted a large amount of my time taking and entering other photos, when that time could have been valuably spent making my one entry as technically fantastic as possible!As you may know, judges place great value on technical ability and any kind of mediocrity may very well get your shot eliminated in the very early stages of the contest. Sharpness is one of the most important technical elements to think about, your photo should be in focus and perfectly sharp, if it’s even slightly blurry – take another one. Exposure is the other most important technical detail to consider and one you should place great emphasis on. Your captured image should show colors in perfect clarity, if it doesn’t – try taking another one. You have to strive for the very best you possibly can and if you find yourself running out of ideas, you can always try looking at past winners entries as a good form of inspiration.Although the judges may vary from year to year, the fact holds true that a photograph that wins a contest out of hundreds, if not thousands of entries is usually a pretty good one. This is why researching the previous years winning entry can be a valuable and effective way of stimulating some good ideas. This does NOT mean completely copying the winning photo from four or five years ago in the hope that the judges may have forgotten about it. Judges of photo competitions are usually very passionate about photography and will more than likely spot a plagiarised entry from a mile off. A good way to come up with a good photo from looking at past winners is to mimic something subtle you like about the photo whilst adding your own personality to the image, making it your own.Standing out from a crowd of lots of similar entries may seem difficult, but it is very much a requirement if you wish to win any digital photography contest. Technically brilliant photos that lack emotion, personality and a ‘soul’ will always end up at the bottom of the pile, whereas photos that might not technically be as good, but tell a story and connect with the viewer, these are the photos that judges are always on the look-out for.As you can probably tell by now there are many different aspects that go into taking and creating a contest-winning photograph, but by following the above advice you will have a strong advantage over the majority of the other applicants mediocre and plain entries and in no time you should be rolling in the glory of winning your first digital photography contest.

Benefits of Mobile Website for an Automotive Business

The present period of mobile revolution provides an opportunity for businesses to capitalize on the mobile marketing strategies. According to comScore, nearly 73 million Americans accessed Internet through their smartphones in 2010. The rise of smartphone usage for accessing Internet has made mobile web presence a competitive necessity for every business.When it comes to automotive businesses, mobile websites aid greatly in improving business as automobiles are widely searched products over mobile Internet. Moreover, due to the easy access of mobile Internet, cell phone users also use it to find out nearest auto dealerships in their area.This article discusses about the benefits of creating a mobile website for your auto business.Mobile web usage for auto content: Statistics show that the growth of mobile Internet usage is robust. A significant number of people are looking for automobile related content on their mobile phones. According to ‘comScore/Millennial Media Mobile Automotive Study – 2011′, more than one in five (21 percent) mobile users in U.S. access auto content almost every day.Mobile websites are easy to develop: Mobile specific version of websites can be developed easily. You need not create a new website for mobile display – you can simply modify your normal desktop website to suit the mobile browsers. You can even make use of readymade templates to develop a website as per your needs. But remember, when it comes to creating a mobile website for your business, it is better to approach a reputed marketing agency which offers mobile website development services specifically for automotive businesses.Can reach wider audience: The increase in usage of smartphones and tablets, has also made a multi-faceted web presence reach wider audience. Recently, research firm IDC forecasted that there will be more mobile web users than PC web users in US by 2015. This clearly states that there are high chances for your mobile website to connect with large population and generate huge traffic. Especially, when a customer is looking for local information, he is most likely to access the mobile Internet and get the information. Hence, they prove to be much effective in getting customers for the business.Goal specific content makes the search easy for the user: Due to the less screen size and the need for easy loading of the pages, the content provided in the mobile website is limited to only key information of a particular vehicle. This specific product-focused content makes the website highly optimized for the automotive searches. Hence, when user is looking for particular information of a vehicle, your website appears first in the search results due to the exact match of the key words in your website content with the search term. Also, optimizing your website for local search makes your website appear first in the local searches. Hence, mobile websites can make the search easier and also improve your automotive brand visibility.Differentiates you from competitors: A mobile website of your auto business gives you a competitive advantage over your competitors in the market. It also enhances your business reputation. A mobile website helps you stand out of the crowd; presents a positive and contemporary brand image of your business in the market.With increasing number of mobile users, mobile websites can make your business reach a large section of people. Therefore, it is necessary to create a mobile website for your business and enjoy all the above said benefits.

Globalization: How It Has Affected Philippine Education And Beyond

Education before the 20th century was once treated as a domestic phenomenon and institutions for learning were once treated as local institutions. Prior to the 20th century, education was usually limited within the confines of a country, exclusively meant for the consumption of its local citizens. Scholars or college students did not have to travel miles away from their countries of origin to study and to gain skills which they needed in order to traverse the paths of their chosen careers. Moreover, national borders served as impenetrable walls in the name of sovereignty. Gaining a college degree and the skills entailed with it were merely for the purpose of staunch nationalistic service to one’s land of origin. Furthermore, knowledge of the valleys and the oceans encircling the world map, as well as foreign languages and international political regimes were not much of an imperative. Intercultural exchange was not massive and sophisticated, if not intricate. Acceptance and understanding of cultural diversity were not pressured upon anyone, as well as the lure to participate in a globally interconnected world. In other words, before the 20th century, scholastic work were predominantly simple and constrained in the local, the domestic, the nearby. They were limited to one’s own village, one’s own region, one’s own country. A student had his own neighborhood as the location where he is to be born, to be educated, and later to be of service to – the local village which is his home, his community, his country.Nevertheless, the world has been in a constant state of flux. In the 20th century onwards, the phenomenon called globalization rose and became the buzzword. Anything which pertained to the term globalization was attributed to modernization, or anything that is up-to-date, if not better. Part and parcel of this trend is the advent and irresistible force of information technology and information boom through the wonders of the Internet. The idea of cosmopolitanism – a sense of all of humanity, regardless of race, creed, gender, and so on, living in a so-called global village – is another primary indicator of globalization. Moreover, international media as well as trade and investment have been unbridled and have occurred in a transnational nature. Finally, globalization has involved the uncontrollable movement of scholars, laborers, and migrants moving from one location to another in search for better employment and living conditions.Apparently, globalization seemed to be all-encompassing, affecting all areas of human life, and that includes education. One indicator of this is the emergence of international education as a concept. Internationalization of education is manifested by catchphrases like The Global Schoolhouse, All the world’s a classroom, One big campus that is Europe, Think global. Act local, and Go West. Students from the world over have been ostensibly persuaded to learn about the world and to cope with technological advancements, if not to become a Citizen of the World. Moreover, globalization and international education are at play, for instance, when speaking of Singapore being branded as the Knowledge Capital of Asia, demonstrating the city-state as among the world’s academic powerhouses; De La Salle University in Manila, Philippines entering into agreements and external linkages with several universities in the Asian region like Japan’s Waseda University and Taiwan’s Soochow University for partnership and support; the establishment of branch campuses or satellites in Singapore of American and Australian universities like the University of Chicago and the University of New South Wales, respectively; online degree programs being offered to a housewife who is eager to acquire some education despite her being occupied with her motherly duties; students taking semesters or study-abroad programs; and finally the demand to learn English – the lingua franca of the modern academic and business world – by non-traditional speakers, like the Chinese, the Japanese, and the Korean students exerting efforts to learn the language in order to qualify for a place in English-speaking universities and workplaces. Apparently, all of these promote international education, convincing its prospective consumers that in today’s on-going frenzy of competition, a potent force to boost one’s self-investment is to leave their homes, fly to another country, and take up internationally relevant courses. Indeed, globalization and international education have altogether encouraged students to get to know their world better and to get involved with it more.Boston College’s Center for International Higher Education director and International Education expert Philip Altbach asserted in his article “Perspectives on International Higher Education” that the elements of globalization in higher education are widespread and multifaceted. Clear indicators of globalization trends in higher education that have cross-national implications are the following:1. Flows of students across borders;
2. International branch and offshore campuses dotting the landscape, especially in developing and middle-income countries;
3. In American colleges and universities, programs aimed at providing an international perspective and cross-cultural skills are highly popular;
4. Mass higher education;
5. A global marketplace for students, faculty, and highly educated personnel; and
6. The global reach of the new ‘Internet-based’ technologies.Moreover, European Association of International Education expert S. Caspersen supported that internationalization influences the following areas: Curriculum, language training, studies and training abroad, teaching in foreign languages, receiving foreign students, employing foreign staff and guest teachers, providing teaching materials in foreign languages, and provision of international Ph. D. students. Nevertheless, globalization’s objective of a “one-size-fits-all” culture that would ease international transactions has not seemed to be applicable to all the nations of the world. In the words of Nobel Laureate economist Joseph Stiglitz, globalization’s effects are dualistic in nature. Globalization itself is neither good nor bad. It has the power to do enormous good. But in much of the world, globalization has not brought comparable benefits. For many, it seems closer to an unmitigated disaster. In Andrew Green’s 2007 book, “Education and Development in a Global Era: Strategies for ‘Successful Globalisation’”, he asserted that optimists would refer to the rise of East Asian tigers – Japan, China, and South Korea – as globalization’s success stories. But these are just a minority of the world’s two hundred nations. A majority has remained in their developing situations, among these is the Philippines.In terms of international education being observed in the Philippines, universities have incorporated in their mission and vision the values of molding graduates into globally competitive professionals. Furthermore, Philippine universities have undergone internationalization involving the recruitment of foreign academics and students and collaboration with universities overseas. English training has also been intensified, with the language being used as the medium of instruction aside from the prevailing Filipino vernacular. Finally, Philippine higher education, during the onset of the 21st century, has bolstered the offering of nursing and information technology courses because of the demand of foreign countries for these graduates.In terms of student mobility, although gaining an international training through studying abroad like in the United States is deemed impressive, if not superior, by most Filipinos, the idea of practicality is overriding for most students. Study-abroad endeavors are not popular among the current generation of students. The typical outlook is that it is not practical to study overseas obviously because of the expenses – tuition fees, living costs, accommodation, and airfare. Although financial aid may be available, they are hugely limited. There may be several universities that offer merit or academic scholarships, talent scholarships, athletic scholarships, teaching assistantships, research assistantships, full or partial tuition fee waivers, but actually there is certainly not a lot of student money. Apparently, international education is understood as a global issue, a global commodity, and above all, a privilege – and therefore, it is not for everyone. Hence, studying in America is a mere option for those who can afford to pay the expenses entailed in studying abroad.The Philippines is a Third World country which is heavily influenced by developed nations like the United States. Globalization may have affected it positively in some ways, but a huge chunk of its effects has been leaning to the detriment of the Filipinos. Globalization has primarily affected not only the country’s education system but even beyond it – economically and socially. These include brain drain, declining quality in education because of profiteering, labor surplus, vulnerability of its workers overseas, and declining family values.For one, the Philippines is a migrant-worker country. This phenomenon of sending its laborers (also known as Overseas Filipino Workers or OFWs) abroad to work and to send money back home has been intensified by globalization. Brain drain – or the exodus of talented and skilled citizens of a country transferring to usually developed nations for better employment and living conditions – is one problem that has been stepped up by globalization. The Philippine foreign policy of labor diplomacy began in the 1970s when rising oil prices caused a boom in contract migrant labor in the Middle East. The government of dictator Ferdinand Marcos, from the mid-1960s to the mid-1980s, saw an opportunity to export young men left unemployed by the stagnant economy and established a system to regulate and encourage labor outflows. This scenario has led Filipinos to study courses like nursing which would secure them employment overseas rather than in their home country. For more than 25 years, export of temporary labor like nurses, engineers, information technology practitioners, caregivers, entertainers, domestic helpers, factory workers, construction workers, and sailors were sent overseas to be employed. In return, the Philippine economy has benefited through the monetary remittances sent by these OFWs. In the last quarter of 2010, the Philippine economy gained roughly $18.76 billion in remittances which largely came from OFWs based in the United States, Saudi Arabia, United Kingdom, Japan, United Arab Emirates, Singapore, Italy, Germany, and Norway.Second, the demand for overseas employment by these Filipino professionals has affected the quality of the local education system in the form of fly-by-night, substandard schools which were only aimed at profiteering. A Filipino legislator, Edgardo Angara, once aired his concern over the spread of many schools which offer courses believed to be demanded in foreign countries and the declining quality education. Angara observed that the Philippines has too much access to education versus quality education. For instance, for every five kilometers in this country, there is a nursing school, a computer school, a care-giving school, and a cosmetic school. Angara suggested that lawmakers and educators should find a happy formula for quality education.Third, labor surplus is another dire effect of globalization. In 2008, the phenomenon of brain drain started to subside in the Philippines. This period was when the United States started to experience a financial turmoil which was contagious, distressing countries around the world which are dependent to its economy. In the Philippines, it has been surmised that the demand for nurses has already died down because the need for them has already been filled. For instance, the United States has decided that instead of outsourcing foreign nurses, they have resorted to employing local hires to mitigate its local problem of rising unemployment. As a result, this incident has receded the phenomenon of a majority of Filipino college students taking up nursing. And the unfortunate result is the labor surplus of nursing graduates. This dilemma which has been caused by a Third World country such as the Philippines trying to cope with globalization’s feature of labor outflows has left Filipinos on a double whammy. Over 287,000 nursing graduates are currently either jobless or employed in jobs other than nursing. Nursing graduates nowadays suffer job mismatch, taking on jobs which are different from their field of specialization like working for call centers, serving as English tutors, if not remaining unemployed because the Philippine hospitals have little to no vacancies at all which are supposed to be occupied by the large number of nursing graduates. Furthermore, these professionals are accepted by hospitals or clinics as volunteers with little to no monetary benefits, or as trainees who are burdened with the policy of forcibly paying the hospitals for their training.Fourth, a dilemma that globalization has burdened the Philippines is the vulnerability of its overseas workers. For instance, Saudi Arabia, Yemen, United Arab Emirates, and Taiwan, have had no choice but to lay off and repatriate their Filipino guest workers in light of the global financial crisis. Furthermore, the threat of Saudization is a present concern in the Philippines nowadays. Presently, around 1.4 million OFWs in Saudi Arabia are in danger of losing their jobs because the Arab nation is implementing a Saudization program which will prioritize their Arab citizens for employment. To date, with more than 1.5 million OFWs, Saudi Arabia is the country which has the greatest concentration of OFWs. It is the largest hirer of Filipino Workers and has the largest Filipino population in the Middle East. As Saudi Arabia hosts a majority of OFWs, the problem of these Filipino workers losing their jobs and returning to their homeland where employment opportunities are scarce is a national threat. Furthermore, the current national instability in countries like Syria and Libya has threatened the lives of the OFWs, who still have chosen to stay in their foreign workplaces because of economic reasons which they find weightier vis-à-vis their safety.Finally, globalization has resulted to social costs which involve challenges to Filipino families. Possessing close family ties, Filipino families sacrifice and allocate significant amounts of financial resources in order to support their kin. Filipino parents have the belief that through education, their children are guaranteed with promising futures and achieving decent lives. Thus, given the limited employment opportunities in the Philippines which are unable to support the needs of the family, one or both parents leave to work outside the country. As a result, Filipino children, although their educational goals and well-being are sustained, would have to survive with one or both parents away from them. They would then have to deal with living with an extended family member such as aunts, uncles or grandparents who are left to take care of them. This has deprived Filipino children of parental support and guidance as they are separated from the primary members of their family.In reality, even though Filipino families have experienced the monetary benefits of a family member uprooting himself from the country to work overseas, this trend has not been enjoyed by the majority of Filipinos. The poorest of the poor cannot afford to leave and work overseas. Also, with volatile market forces, the value of the US dollar which is used as the currency of OFW salaries vacillating, rising gas prices and toll fees in highways, and the continued surge in the cost of living in the Philippines, in general, globalization has precluded long-term economic growth for the country, with the masses suffering a great deal. Moreover, with human capital and technological know-how important to growth, the Philippines suffered with globalization by losing its professionals to the developed countries which, on the other hand, experienced “brain gain”.Indeed, globalization has both positive and negative effects, but in the Philippine case, it is more on the negative. It is justified to say that globalization is an “uneven process” and that most least developing countries did not grow significantly in light of globalization. Those which predominantly benefited are the affluent and powerful countries of the Western world and East Asia.The Philippines was once considered as the “knowledge capital of Asia”, particularly during the 1960s and the 1970s. Its system of higher education was marked by high standards comparable to its neighboring countries, much lower tuition fees, and the predominant use of English as the medium of instruction. The Philippines, consequently, was able to entice students from its neighboring nations, like the Chinese, the Thais, and the Koreans. However, presently, this once upbeat picture has now been replaced by a bleak one because of several problems which has long confronted the system like budget mismanagement, poor quality, and job mismatch, thereby seriously affecting its consumers and end products – the Filipino students. Making matters worse is globalization affecting the graduates of Philippine universities by luring them to choose to work overseas because of the greater monetary benefits vis-à-vis the disadvantage of leaving their families home and not serving their countrymen. Now that the world is undergoing financial turmoil, the Filipino workers would then have to cope with these dire effects of globalization.Apparently, the Philippines has remained stagnant, as opposed to the goals of increasing equality, rapid economic growth through integration into the global market, and the wide distribution of social improvements in less developed countries. These fruits of globalization, unfortunately, did not trickle down a great deal to the Philippines. Hence, although overseas employment has been a legitimate option for the local workers, it is high time that the Philippine government encourage colleges and universities to provide programs that are relevant to the nature of this substantially agricultural country like agriculture-related courses as these would play a significant role in setting the Philippine economy in motion towards development. The population boom in this country, which is commonly reckoned as among the country’s predicaments as the surging number of Filipinos is indirectly proportional to the employment opportunities available, should be taken advantage of by encouraging the surplus of people to develop employment and improve the rural farmlands. Affluent Filipino families who own large conglomerates should also participate in creating more employment opportunities and encouraging dignified labor conditions so as to mitigate the dismal trend of labor migration. Moreover, instead of adopting policies imposed by powerful Western countries like the United States and going with the flow, the Philippine government should work in reinforcing the welfare of its citizens more than anything else. (Sheena Ricarte, August 31, 2011).

12 Fabulous Websites for Web Design Portfolios

Since the Internet has grown so much, so has the number of web designers and web developers, so sometimes it can be hard to get attention. It’s better not to focus on all the competition and rather, place your focus on your portfolio and what you can do to get more attention. One really great way to get the attention you deserve is to showcase your portfolio on web design or art sites.Below is a list of 12 websites that are awesome for showcasing your portfolio.1. 50up.net50up is more for the design student or new designers. They have an attractive layout and there isn’t a lot of advertisement clutter. The site is easy to use and very easy to navigate, plus it’s free. They have also made available a “fresh list” so that all the best works are featured.2. CargoCollective.comCargo showcases those who are creative at heart. The site is complete ad free, simple and has easy templates to use. They also have a feature for fans and clients to “follow” the works that they best like.3. PimpArtworks.comPimpArtWorks keeps the urban style alive which is a great place for both photographers and street artists to showcase their work. The site is free, easy to use and offers tools to share on social networking sites. You may also choose to sell your work through the site.4. Coroflot.comCoroflot showcases all different types of design works from the web to print. It is said that it’s the largest and oldest site for showcasing design portfolios. This site is also easy to use, free and offers tools for sharing your works. Your account will allow unlimited uploads for you work.5. FigDig.comFigDig uses HD quality showcasing for designers. Figdig uses a 1223c792 HD resolution which can really make your work jump off the page. Another neat feature they offer is that viewers can download your work in a PDF format as a sample. If your portfolio is well received on their site, they may also induct you into their “Hall of Fame.” This recognition is by far incomparable to other design sites.6. DeviantArt.ComIf your designs encompass fantasy or 3D art, deviantart is one of the best showcasing sites available. When you create an account, you get a personal URL and can collaborate and critique with other users. It’s also free to use.7. Vimeo.comVimeo is specific to motion graphic designers. The site has original content and it is simple to use. Each week you will receive 500MB of upload space. They also offer several tools for showcasing your work.8. Flickr.comFlickr is operated and owned by so you’ll have to sign up for a yahoo email account. Flickr is a really great place for photographers to showcase works, but also is equally well received amongst graphic designers. They offer editing online and tagging features. Flickr operates similarly to search engine sites, but with the results being users. They also encourage connecting with others and they offer embedding features.9. Behance.netBehance is a very clean and popular social networking platform for many designers. It also encourages feedback and collaborations with other designers and visitors.10. Society6.comSociety6 is a place for designers to showcase their illustration design portfolios and is completely free to use. It’s somewhat similar to Flickr except there are no advertisements. It’s is very community-oriented and works hard to focus on the promotion of those who join their site.11. NOTCOT.orgNotcot is more of a site to market your portfolio vs. showcasing it. You are able to upload one image from your portfolio and then add a link to your entire portfolio. It actually tends to be a really great site for networking and gaining new client interest.12. Flavors.meFlavors is actually a really cool site and takes your accounts from other sites and incorporates them into one. Sites they include are Facebook, Twitter, Vimeo, Tumblr, and Netflix. They offer several customization features so that creating a portfolio is fun and easy to do.Now that you have an awesome list of designer portfolio sites, there should be no reason not to give them a try. Get out there and start showcasing your web design portfolio.

Project Management – The Risks

No project is ever without risks, but it is the nature and complexity of the project that are likely to determine the impact of the risks on the overall success of the project. But whether the project is small or large, simple or complex, an effective risk management strategy will minimise the impact if, and when, the risks occur. In order to manage the risks it is necessary to identify and analyse them both before the project starts and throughout the lifecycle of the project.The main tasks involved in Risk Management are:
Creating a Risk Management Plan which will assist in identifying and analysing the risks, monitoring the risks and responding to them.
Establishing and maintaining a Risk Log listing the risks and their severity. This is a useful document not only for monitoring the risks but also for communicating the risks to all the stakeholders.
Analysing the probability of each risk occurring and its impact at task level and on the overall project in terms of deliverables and scheduling
Developing a strategy for responding to risks that occur
Including contingency funds and building time contingency into the Project ScheduleRisk Management is not only the responsibility of the Project Manager but also of the stakeholders as they have a vested interest in the project being successfully completed. So the stakeholders should also be aware of all the risks identified and the plan that is put in place to manage and mitigate them.There are common causes of risk that are easily identifiable in many projects, such as:
Skilled members of the project team leave during the project
Equipment Failure
Business decisions and agreements not reached in good time
Poorly managed customer expectations
A lack of clarity in the business requirements document
Inaccurate estimates
Technology limitations such as performance or capacity issues
Poor communication between customer and providerBut the Risk Management Plan must also be flexible enough to deal with those risks that could not have been predicted and so were not identified before they occurred. It is very often the strategy that is used to deal with these unexpected risks that determines the ultimate success of a project.For all the risks that have been identified either prior to the project starting or during the project the project manager would typically have determined a solution. These risks can potentially cause delays to the schedule and prevent the delivery of a task but are relatively easily managed by an experienced project manager with good management and communication skills.There are various ways to respond to a risk that has occurred but the most common ways are:Accept- the risk can be accepted, in which case the project manager will have to persuade the customer that the schedule, budget or deliverables will not be met. The customer will have to accept such deviations if the project is to be deemed a success.Transfer- if the risk that has occurred is such that a particular task, feature or function cannot be delivered then it could be transferred to a future project thereby deferring the need to deal with it in the present. This response would require handling through a formal change management process.Mitigate- it may be possible to provide an acceptable workaround that will minimise or eliminate the issue.It is worth noting that risks can occasionally have a positive effect and can actually lead to improvements or enhancements to the project that had not been considered at the outset.The Risk Management Plan will also include prioritisation of the project risks and ranking them in relation to the budget, the project schedule and the deliverables. The ranking will recognise that some project risks could be acceptable while some are unacceptable and would require a feasible solution.Risks will never be eliminated from a project but it is possible to lessen the impact of risks by learning from the experiences of both your own projects and others. It is extremely valuable to document the lessons learned from a project to improve the process of risk management on future projects.Managing risks within a project is necessary to keep the project on track and these are essential skills for a project manager. The ability to accurately identify and measure risks in a project and how to respond to predicted and unknown risks can be learnt on professional project management courses in recognised methodologies such as APMP, PRINCE2 and PMP.

Case Study: From Red to Black, Generate Double-Digit Sales Increases Through Strategic Marketing

Conventional wisdom states that when times are bad and sales are down, management should cut all expenses except sales and marketing. And when things get really bad, management must cut everything but sales because selling is the fastest way to increase revenues.This business-to-business case study illustrates how, if executed properly, strategic marketing can sometimes be a quicker, more efficient and more effective way to grow sales.The Situation A manufacturing firm’s brand enjoyed high name recognition, and the longstanding business had survived and often thrived through multiple business cycles during its storied history. A competent management team had been assembled and was balancing operational needs with cash-flow requirements.However, sales of the manufacturer’s primary division were declining and the market for its products was in a severe depression. The lack of volume meant the company was not covering its overhead. Escalating energy and raw material costs were eroding profit margins.Product and Distribution ChannelsMarket perceptions of its products were mixed. The company had a strong reputation as a manufacturer of “green” building products, but it was not well regarded for solving end-user problems. The firm was not in a position to compete on price.Although the company’s products were esteemed by specifiers and designers for being sustainable and other specific performance attributes, many end-users were put off by the high cost of the products, and sometimes found these products to be difficult to work with and of questionable quality.Low sales volume and slow inventory turns decreased the company’s value to channel members and kept new distributors from taking on the line. To cut costs, existing distributors reduced their inventories of the company’s products, and dropped slower-moving niche items manufactured by the firm entirely.In response, management hired a full-service marketing firm and undertook a full-blown marketing and advertising campaign. The marketing message trumpeted the environmental friendliness of the firm’s products but failed to communicate their other performance values.Choosing Strategic PrioritiesRather than simply initiating a typical marketing campaign, the company needed to find:· A high-volume application…· In which it could be cost-competitive…· In which it had a different story to tell…· In an expanding market, enabling growth without having to take market share…· And reestablish its value to distributors.Internal AssessmentThe company’s primary product is a fiber board used for various purposes by construction trades. Reducing sound transmission in buildings appeared to be the company’s best opportunity to generate volume. Multi-family projects that required sound reduction could require multiple truckloads of product. The firm already marketed this application but was not emphasizing it.The company’s sound-reduction product performed well and was cost-competitive in flooring applications. It was installed very differently than the products dominating the market. Competing products were sold directly to specialty contractors, bypassing traditional distributors and contractors.The housing market had collapsed with no recovery in sight. The lack of money for down payments, overly strict mortgage requirements, and fear of declining home values crippled demand.Still, people needed places to live. Apartment construction, while also down, remained viable, and increased demand was forecast for the foreseeable future. Demographic changes predicted surging demand for student housing and assisted living. Changing consumer tastes were boosting the desire for urban living. The Federal government’s spending on affordable housing, often in the form of apartments, was increasing in an effort spur economic growth.Executing the Strategy A volume application had been identified that met the company’s strategic imperatives. The marketing group now needed to focus all its resources on implementing the initiative as quickly and inexpensively as possible against larger, better-capitalized competitors that dominated the market. Every problem perceived by customers that could hold back sales needed to be solved.HowThe marketing team implemented a wide array of tactics to support the new strategy:Brought It Inside. To reduce cost, the firm terminated its engagement with the full-service outside marketing agency and brought marketing in-house, with assistance from independent professionals.Aligned the Messaging. The marketing team developed a compelling tag line aligned with the new strategy. The message was simple and specific, yet universal to the company’s other product lines.Developed Aligned Materials. The team conveyed its solution and addressed all known obstacles through new marketing tools in a wide variety of mediums, including video, website, packaging, sales aides, installation graphics, product sheets, trade show booths and more.Accessed All Available Channels. The team tapped all available cost-effective channels to disseminate the message, including the company website, YouTube and industry related third-party websites.Quality Improvements. The marketing team communicated quality improvements needed to increase market acceptance to operations. The Operations Department innovated and made improvements. Third-party testing labs were engaged to refute end-user performance concerns and induce confidence.Bottom LineThe shift in marketing strategy contributed significantly to turning around declining revenues into consecutive year-over-year sales increases of 20% and beyond. Identifying and targeting an expanding market segment supported this growth in sales. Increased market share remained a goal but was not required for significant recurring revenue increases.Companies that follow conventional wisdom run the risk of leaving core problems undiagnosed and fail to turn sales around. The strategic marketing process avoids this pitfall. Strategic marketing effectively gives the sales force an improved product to sell and a better market to sell it into, thereby propelling increased sales at a rapid rate.The company could not have sold its way out of declining revenues without first changing its go-to-market strategies. It needed to find a market opportunity that met its strategic imperatives and provided a focus point for success. Compelling marketing messages provided efficient market penetration in a way that selling by individuals or teams could not.If done innovatively, with an eye on costs, strategic marketing can be the fastest way to spur sales growth.

7 Ways to Get Maximum Marketing Results at Any Time

Here is something many entrepreneurs need to understand when it comes to marketing: there is no such thing as guaranteed results.There are too many factors about your marketing campaign that no one can control. Among them, there is the behavior of the overall market, competitive pricing, demand for offers like yours, current events, and others.It would be anti-ethical for any marketing agency or freelancer to guarantee ABC results if you invest XYZ amount of money. But it does not mean that there are not ways to get the most out of your marketing budget (according to the circumstances).Here are seven ways you can maximize your marketing efforts – whether we are in a recession or a booming period.Do Not Confuse Marketing with NetworkingIf you are marketing your business, you need to understand the difference between connecting and communicating with your community and sharing / promoting your business.Do not take to social media or networking events to present your sales pitch right away. People do not like it when you sell stuff to them. Instead, connect first by hearing about their problems, and communicate with them in ways they can solve those problems.There will be time for you to promote and share on social media and at networking events. But you need to build a relationship first. That way, your audience would not feel like you are selling to them, but that they are taking advice. Because they trust you.Market EfficientlyI am a firm believer in A/B testing. It is the best way to keep your marketing campaigns rolling and not waste your budget.You do not want to throw money away with marketing that is not appealing to your market. That is why it is imperative that you constantly test your letters, ads, and emails to see what is getting the attention of the market, and what is persuading them into buying.Cut What Does Not WorkOnce you start testing your marketing efforts, you will know what to keep and what to drop.You do not need to be everywhere at once. You need to be where your market wants you to be.Do not waste your time on Facebook if the people are not responding. Stop sending letters if there are no sales coming from them. And please, do not waste two million dollars on a TV spot that won’t produce any ROI.Inbound Marketing vs Outbound MarketingI believe both inbound and outbound marketing have a place and are beneficial to every business. But they have their place in the marketing process.Outbound marketing should be the focus when you are starting out. You need to let people know that you are there to help them. Thus, you should be sending emails, making phone calls, and making the first step to connect with the market.Once you have set up a reputation for your business, then inbound marketing takes over. Because people will be looking for you. They will look at your website, your blog, and your social media channels.So, do not disregard either marketing strategy. Just place them correctly according to the level of growth of your business. Outbound marketing when you are looking to prove yourself, and inbound marketing when you have an established name in the market.Cold Calling as a Marketing TacticMost people are afraid of cold calling. Honestly, I believe “terrified” is a more proper term.That is the reason many dismiss this tactic from their marketing strategy. But I think cold calling is as practical a marketing tactic as any of the others.You need to make that first connection. And if the market is not coming to you, you might as well go to them.And cold calling is not as bad as people make it out to be.All you need is a good script and some thick skin (to handle rejection). And after a couple of times doing it, you will feel comfortable approaching targets and converting them into leads.Hire ProfessionalsYou can divide any marketing campaign into three facets: strategy, content, and design.If you have experience in marketing planning, website design, and copy and content writing – then, by all means, go for it. Although I would recommend getting a critique from a professional on each, just to go safely.But, if you are marketing your business, and have no prior planning, writing, or designing experience, your best bet is to hire professionals for each endeavor. They will know what to do to present your product in the most appealing way possible to your market.There is also the choice of learning things yourself, but if time is not on your side, then I suggest hiring the professionals anyway until you can take over after getting some marketing seasoning.Plan Your MarketingYou might have expected this to be tip number one. But I wanted to make sure you understood some things before we got into time management.But now that we got the small details explained, here is a template to develop a weekly marketing schedule:Mondays: Market research to find targetsTuesdays: ProspectingWednesdays: Content marketingThursdays: AutomationFridays: Website updatesEvery day: Networking on Twitter and LinkedInMake sure to separate (at least) an hour every workday to do your marketing. You can perform a marketing task each day to keep your efforts moving. Also, make room for at least half an hour of networking – online or in person.