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Why doing business with family might not be such a bad idea

How many of us have heard the expression that we “shouldn’t do business with friends and family?” As someone who once subscribed to this idea, I now realize just how wrong I was. My mother is my de facto personal assistant; my cousin designs our company t-shirts, and my brother has referred so many people that he has VIP status.



Their presence in my business life has made an incredible difference. My output is greater;

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I have generated new leads; and I have had a chance to meet and network with new clients. Just this past year, one of my former students, turned friend, starting working on projects with me.



Much like my experience with my biological family members, working directly with my friend has been an amazing experience. She is detail oriented, highly skilled, and flexible. In a fast-paced industry with tight deadlines and a diverse clientele, she has been an ideal addition to my team.



But what if I had dismissed her or my family members as potential team members simply because we are friends and family?



Why not work with family?

This question made me wonder: Why are some of us so quick to disqualify family and friends as potential clients, customers, and even business partner? I even tried to trace back to where my stance came from, considering the fact that I haven’t had any overtly negative experiences.



I guess I, like so many others, have heard so many cautionary tales from other entrepreneurs that I thought I was protecting myself.



But protecting myself from what?



Just as many of us would welcome a new client, a total stranger, on the assumption of good will, we need to think about how our friends and family may also be wonderful resources and ambassadors for our business endeavors. With an open mind, you may even find your next business partner at Thanksgiving dinner.



The importance of boundaries

The key is being clear about the line that you draw between your business and personal spheres. It may seem odd at first, but you want to make sure that you use the same safeguards that you would with others, including contracts where applicable. It is also important to talk about expectations up front.



Of course, it is perfectly feasible to offer a Friends and Family discount, but just make sure that it is an amount that you are comfortable with. Friends and family members who are serious about supporting you will respect your boundaries. They will also accept your policies and procedures.



Sometimes, they can become your biggest cheerleaders as they spread the word about your business with their networks and share your work with others. I have literally seen people expand their businesses exponentially because of their ability to work collaboratively with their kinship units.



The one advantage of potentially working with people who you know very well is that you can vet them before you do business with them. Drawing from past experiences and interactions, you can probably determine if it really is a good idea to proceed in a business-like capacity.



Know what you're getting into

The ones who are not able to respect your boundaries or who don’t have the work ethic that you desire are simply not good candidates to do business with. Because no transaction is worth severing familial bonds and friendships, if you are in doubt or not sure, it’s best not to move forward.



Even with the possibility that some familial transaction will not be positive ones, don’t miss out on potential business relationships that can have positive outcomes for everyone involved. You may want to start with one or two people to figure out how, or if, it will work for you. And you may even want to spend extra time prepping family and friends because they are familiar with you in a personal context, but they may not be familiar with you as a business person or as an employer. Remember, by drawing boundaries, you are protecting all parties involved.



Try it out

Still not sure? Well, if you have been hesitant before, give it a try!



Whether it is serving as a referral, a client, or even a partner, remember that family members and friends can turn out to be tremendous assets.



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to-Upwork-and-You-Could-Win-Lunch-on-Us-480x219.png 480w, https://content-static.upwork.com/blog/uploads/sites/4/2018/10/11180208/Blog-Invite-Your-Team-to-Upwork-and-You-Could-Win-Lunch-on-Us-768x351.png 768w, https://content-static.upwork.com/blog/uploads/sites/4/2018/10/11180208/Blog-Invite-Your-Team-to-Upwork-and-You-Could-Win-Lunch-on-Us.png 1270w" sizes="(max-width: 1024px) 100vw, 1024px" />

Engaging freelancers on Upwork doesn’t just help your team get projects done faster and more efficiently. It could also help you win $500 to go out and celebrate with your coworkers! Find out how.



The post Invite Your Coworkers to Upwork and You Could Win Lunch on Us! appeared first on Upwork Blog.

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Bloggers are often sending me questions about taxes, and it is a very important topic to discuss as online business owners. However, I am not a tax expert, so I found one to help! I decided to ask my readers for their top questions about blogging and taxes, and then I handed those questions over […]


The post Your Top 14 Tax Questions For Bloggers and Digital Nomads Answered appeared first on M

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aking Sense Of Cents.

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Getting internet marketing right takes dedication and perseverance. You probably won’t score an overnight success, but with the right set of tools, you will be able to build a solid foundation for any type of business.



At first, marketing yourself online may seem like black magic. It requires so much time and resources, and some IT wizardry on top of that, to make it work, right?



Not really.



The good news is that these days you can easily set up a professional online presence, without coding skills or advanced technical knowledge.



The b

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est part?



Many of the marketing solutions available online offer free plans so you can start acting on your ideas without a substantial budget to start with.



You can think of the following tools as the online marketing circle of life. That means they are a complete package, so you can start with basically any idea and build it from the ground up.



Wix.com



There was a time when creating a website took long hours of tinkering with HTML and some expertise in the field. Nowadays, thanks to website builders like WIX, you can set up a professional web page in record time with no HTML or coding skills.



WIX uses a drag-and-drop mechanics that will allow you to assemble all the pieces of your new website like a puzzle. It offers one of the best website builders around. It doesn’t matter what your target niche is as they have over 500 layouts to choose from, including templates for blogs, e-commerce sites, portfolios and more.



Since WIX templates are mobile-ready, you also won’t have to worry that your site will look like plucked out of a horror movie when opened on smartphones or tablets.



The best part about WIX is that they offer everything you need in one place – you can buy a domain, create a logo, set up a website, and much more. The environment also takes care of the marketing side thanks to integrated SEO tools.



Their free plan offers everything you need to start, including the builder, layouts, SEO tools, WIX apps (they add new functionality) and free hosting. You will also have 500MB of storage and bandwidth capped at 1GB.



The downside, however, is that you are stuck with their free domain address (username.wixsite.com/siteaddress), and there will be WIX branding visible on your website.



If you’re past testing and want your site to look professional, you should probably go with one of the upgrade plans that start at $14.50/month and come with a custom domain. You can find Wix promo codes here to lower the bill. There is also a lower plan called Connect Domain where you can use your existing domain with the WIX editor, but it still displays the branding so you might as well skip this one.



MailChimp



Once you have created the foundation for your online presence, the next step on the internet marketing ladder is to build an audience or a customer base and make sure that you can connect with them easily.



MailChimp is an all-in-one mailing system that takes care of all your newsletter and mailing campaign needs.



You can think of it as a swiss-knife of mailing software.



You will be able to manage your subscriber lists, send personalized emails (newsletters, promotions, product information), and, best of all, automate the process to give you more time to take care of other parts of your online business.



Like WIX, Mailchimp uses a drag-and-drop system to create personalized emails from scores of templates and premade elements. It also boasts an advanced tracking capability and is able to generate stats so you have something to work with when improving your emailing effectiveness.



The free plan allows to connect with up to 2,000 subscribers and send 12,000 emails per month. It should be more than enough for starters, but they also offer some flexible upgrade plans that will get you covered as your business grows.



Google Analytics



It is said that marketing is a numbers game. Internet marketing is no different in this respect, and numbers and statistics are the most powerful resource for every successful internet marketing activity.



Would you like to know how many people visit your website? Where do they come from? How much time do they spend clicking through the content? Do they click at all?



Every successful business needs a reliable method of analyzing online traffic and turning the raw data into comprehensive and actionable stats.



In a nutshell, Google Analytics gives you an insight into your website’s statistics, including the number of daily or monthly visitors, devices the visitors are using, demographics, and much more. You can then access and analyze the gathered data within the Google Analytics Dashboard.



Google’s tool makes online marketing much easier by taking the guesswork out of the equation.



The tool is completely free and available to everybody. All you have to do is to sign up with your existing Gmail account, add a line of the tracking code to your website, and you’re all set.



The Bottom Line



The three tools will allow you to harness the power of internet marketing and take action on your ideas without much hassle. They require little to no starting budget but can make all the difference for your online business.



Each of the three solutions should suit both beginners and more advanced users, so there is little risk that you will outgrow their capabilities anytime soon. It is also possible to combine their functionalities as all three integrate well with each other.



Original post: 3 Free Tools You Should Use for Internet Marketing

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The post What to Do When Someone Steals Your Blog Content appeared first on ProBlogger.



This post is based on Episode 108 of the ProBlogger podcast. One day, you come across someone else’s blog online that has surprisingly familiar content. Very familiar content. Yours, in fact! In most cases, they’ll have taken entire posts for your blog – images, links and all – by “scraping” your blog’s

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re-link" href="https://feeds.feedblitz.com/~/576624874/0/problogger/"> ...more



The post What to Do When Someone Steals Your Blog Content appeared first on ProBlogger.



      
38

Love writing short stories? I do too, mainly because they’re short. I can get an idea, start writing, and can complete the story in just a few hours. However, as well as being fun and easy to write, short fiction has another benefit. It sells. I’m amazed at how few authors realize this. Short stories: […]


The post Short Stories: The Untapped Marketplace For Your Words appeared first on

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com/blog">Angela Booth's Fab Freelance Writing Blog.

8

The old website cliche “pardon our dust” definitely applies to this space. The site is being overhauled and updated and in the meantime now that we are back online after a lengthy absence, there is plenty to clean up around here! Apologies in the interim for sections badly in need of an update such as Writers Groups By State and Writing Programs.


Updates as they occur. Thank you for your interest!


Joe Wallace

Founder and Editor-in-Chief

Freelance-Zone.com

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Build your freelance business with these simple marketing strategies.
28

Earlier this week, I wrote about my quest for quality pajamas. I recently paid $80 to purchase a pair from Filson, a company I trust for well-made goods. It's my hope that these will be the last pair of pajamas that I ever purchase. My goal was to “buy it for life”. This experience reminded […]


The post Buy it for life: Choosing quality over price appeared first on Get Rich Slowly.

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Scams can hit anyone at any age, but falling victim to fraud is especially painful for retirees, many of whom are counting on the fixed income from their nest eggs and Social Security benefits to last through retirement.





According to Federal Trade Commission data, 1.1 million frauds were reported in 2017, with 21% of the fraud victims suffering a financial loss. Fraud losses for all ages totaled $905 million in 2017, with a median loss of $429 per victim. Retirement-age fraud victims tend to lose more money to scams than younger victims. The median fraud loss was $500 fo

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r victims in their 60s, $621 for victims in their 70s, and $1,092 for victims 80 and over. More than 107,000 Americans ages 60 to 69 reported being victims of fraud last year, the highest total of any age range tracked by the FTC.





So how are retirees being swindled? In more ways than you can imagine. Here are some of the most common scams being run today, along with advice from fraud experts on how to avoid getting ripped off.





SEE ALSO: 9 Worst Things Retirees Keep in Their Wallets