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208.297.5700 MAY



Get Your Business Ready for Summer ( Before Summer!) PAGE 3 Use These 3 Methods to Measure Your Results PAGE 4 Book Review on ‘So Good They Can’t Ignore You’ PAGE 4


Resource of the Month: Google Analytics PAGE 6 Why Budweiser’s Iconic Ad Feels Fresh Again PAGE 7

We live in a world that is totally insane. Pandemics, inflation, taxes, oppression, global warming, the radical right, the radical left, bad people doing bad things, and on and on we go. Insanity is the order of the day, every day. Even though we are presented daily with more insanity, new insanity, and recycled insanity, far too many people are surprised each time another insane thing happens in the world. Your reaction to the insanity all around you is a major threat to you, your family, and your business. If you get up in arms on social media, complain to friends and family, and focus on the “what if” scenarios every time something new crops up, you give

up control of some of your life. I hate to break it to you, but if you focus on the insanity, you’re going to have a very hard life. It is very easy for any of us to label whatever is happening in the world as good or bad, right or wrong. We use our past experiences, our education on the subject (or lack thereof), our own moral code, our friends’ opinions, how this issue affects us personally, etc., to — in most cases — very quickly make a decision on how we feel. Once we’ve labeled the situation, the problems start. You see, we have no ability to control the issue. We worry

What Makes Etsy a Giant in E-Commerce

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“If you get up in arms on social media, complain to friends and family, and focus on the ‘what if’ scenarios every time something new crops up, you give up control of some of your life. I hate to break it to you, but if you focus on the insanity, you’re going to have a very hard life.”

This will give you even more control as well as increase how happy you are with your life. This enables you to decrease stress and increase confidence. As a result, you will be able to focus even more on the priorities that will have the greatest impact on your life. When you do this day in, day out, week after week, month after month, and year after year, your efforts snowball, and pretty soon, you’ve arrived. It is far easier to read this article and decide that what I just taught you is way too simple to actually work. I can relate to that all too well. When I was stuck in the cycle of worrying and getting angry over all the insanity around us, I ignored or didn’t have the confidence to pursue correct answers because I thought to myself, “It can’t be that simple.” What I have since discovered is that in the vast majority of cases, the correct answer isn’t complicated. Once you accept that fact, you need to focus your efforts and energies on three areas: 1. Use your newfound time, control, and self-confidence and take massive action daily. 2. Get as clear a picture as possible of what you want your life to look like. Don’t be afraid to be bold, dream bigger, and adjust your path if you discover along the way that you want to go in a different direction.

3. Make sure — both personally and professionally — that you understand your foundation is everything. No person, entity, or thing stands the test of time unless they or it has a solid foundation that is constantly inspected and maintained. If you have anything in your life that is important to you, and it has a shaky foundation, that should be one of the first areas you focus your efforts on. Now that you can see the path and have a road map to build a life like no other, the only question left is this: Are you willing to get out of your comfort zone and take the journey? While I can’t promise the trip will be easy or that everything will turn out exactly how you thought it would, what I can tell you is that once you break free of the insanity, you’ll never look back.

about what may happen. We run around like Chicken Little on social media and at dinner or on the phone with friends, working everyone up or annoying them (or both) and complaining about something we have absolutely no control over. This reaction robs us of time, energy, focus, money, relationships, and so much else. It also creates anxiety and stress, which takes yet another toll on you and those around you. I have met more than one person who is scared of flying — at least in part — out of fear of a terrorist attack on the plane. For many years after 9/11, the media and government had us all seeing terrorists around every corner. Did you know that since 2009, in the U.S., we’ve only had one fatality on a commercial or cargo flight? If, instead of getting all worked up, you accept the fact that the world around you is always going to be insane, you can become detached from the insanity. Your ability to not react will actually give you more clarity about the world, and in the end, it will be that clarity that gives you more control over your world. With your newfound clarity and greater control over your own life, you can shift your focus, efforts, and energies toward problems you can have an impact on. Goals you want to accomplish, relationships you want or need to nurture, and passions or hobbies you never seem to have enough time for.






about venturing out into the wild blue yonder, you can be sure people are wanting to book trips. Encourage your team to put in their vacation requests now so they can be approved or denied sooner rather than later. This way, if someone does get their time off denied (usually because of scheduling issues), they can work around it and find another time to take the vacation they deserve. Plus, coordinating time off ensures you have staff on hand to get the work done. You always want someone available to take calls, schedule appointments, make sales, be there for customer support, etc. Plan for the worst. When is the last time you planned for the worst? This includes natural disasters, acts of God, technological malfunctions, data breaches, and, well, everything else. Take a look at your disaster plans and discuss them with your team. Everyone needs to know what happens when a hurricane is in the forecast. This is genuinely a big deal for many of our own clients in the Southeast. Out west, it’s wildfires and power outages. There is always some disaster to plan for. Then there’s the disaster without boundaries: tech disasters. This can be anything from hardware failure (the internet goes out, the phones stop working, the server gets fried, etc.) to outside threats (malware attacks, phishing scams, data breaches, etc.). If everyone is on the same page and knows whom to call or what action to take, your business is in a much better place to survive — and with some of these threats, the question of survival is very real. So, take some time and prep your business for the summer. Then, when summer arrives, you’re ready to go with fewer worries. And, who knows? Maybe you’ll even find yourself kicking back on a beach somewhere in the Caribbean enjoying the sound of a sapphire blue sea.

perform their best without the undue stress of training, etc. Get remodels, renovations, and maintenance out of the way. Spring is maintenance season — but a lot of businesses (and homeowners, for that matter) wait for even the most basic maintenance until it’s too late. You call the air-conditioning guy after it goes out rather than having someone come out to perform routine system maintenance before peak season. And then you have to wait because everyone else made the same mistake. Talk about misery. It’s also a great time to take care of any remodeling or renovations you need done around the business. Paint the walls or install new carpet — or completely change the layout of the office. The weather is generally cooperative, and by summertime, everything is wrapped up (hopefully). Get vacation time figured out ASAP. This is something we all tend to forget about until June, July, or August. With vaccinations rolling out across the country and more people feeling safer 4 THINGS TO DO RIGHT NOW to Prep Your Business for Summer

Summer is right around the corner. It’s always here before you know it, but you don’t have to be caught off guard! That’s exactly why we wrote this article: to share a few tips to help you make sure your business is ready to meet its own needs and those of your customers over the next few months. Here’s what you need to do. Reevaluate hiring. Most businesses have off seasons and on seasons. For example, landscaping businesses are out in full force right now, and they likely need to bring on additional staff to keep up with all the work. This is a good time to take a look at your own hiring needs. Do you need to ramp up hiring or should you suspend those listings on Indeed, LinkedIn, and everywhere else you post jobs? Whichever direction you need to go, get it taken care of now. That way, if you know you need extra summer staff, they’ll be ready to go once summer is underway. Another benefit — especially if you need to hire — is that getting it done now takes the pressure off the rest of your team, and they can continue to






The pandemic changed nearly everything in our lives. To survive in a world that’s completely different from even a year ago, it’s vital that you adapt every aspect of your company to this “new norm.” A Return to Normal?

If you’re not already adve episodes, you might want marketing strategies. Acc from Edison Research and than half of all American least one podcast. That m people have officially tun many of them dozens of t That’s a pretty large demo could (and probably shou But once you do advertise faced with a different cha measure your results? It t a few ways to track the ba your buck. Here are just t from the most effective to ADVE Use The

That includes your company culture.

As they say, happy employees make for happy customers. Don’t miss this crucial opportunity to evolve in just three steps. Ask for Feedback No matter what industry you’re in, the pandemic changed the way you do business. Maybe you are now offering remote services, adapting to an uptick in demand, or wanting to push harder this next year to make up for losses. Beyond that, human lives changed as well. Your company needs to adapt to new realities in your employees’ lives in order to thrive. They may want more time with their families or appreciate greater health benefits as a result of the lessons they learned during the pandemic. Just ask before you assume. Define Your Identity When communicating or receiving feedback from your employees, ask them about your core values or what motivates the work they do. Those answers will help you develop a new identity. This is different from your brand, which is the external personification of your business. Instead, this is where your company identifies a road map for its employees to fulfill the needs that your brand is promising. Encourage Leadership You know who your leaders are. They are the ones who stepped up during the pandemic and ensured that your customers and employees felt supported and heard. Celebrate these people and their positive traits. Whether you do this by offering promotions for more responsibilities or incorporate their ideas into new core values, your leaders must be devoted to your company and its culture. If they are as strong as you believe, others will follow. Company culture is about so much more than cupcakes in the breakroom and casual Fridays. It’s an opportunity to create a community that’s committed to your business and its success.



The Secret to Finding Your Passion

Most people don’t fall in love “at first sight” with their work. We’ve all heard the saying “follow your passion,” but that can be devastating advice for our career. In truth, it’s exceedingly rare to discover preexisting passions that keep us excited to be at work. Believing your passion is an end-all, be-all thing can lead to anxiety, chronic job-hopping, and an unstable lifestyle. So, how do people end up loving what they do? Why do organic farmers, venture capitalists, screenwriters, freelance computer programmers, and many other passionate professionals derive great satisfaction from their work? Cal Newport decided to ask them directly. In “So Good They Can’t Ignore You,” Newport explains why passion often comes after becoming excellent at something valuable, not before. That’s why it’s misleading when people say, “Do what you love, and money will follow.” Newport calls this the “passion mindset,” a misguided notion that doesn’t quite explain how to achieve passion.




ERTISING ON PODCASTS? ese 3 Methods to Measure Your Results

ertising on podcast t to add it to your list of cording to a 2019 survey d Triton Digital, more s have listened to at means over 167 million ned in to audio shows, times each month. ographic your company uld) be targeting. e on a podcast, you’re allenge: How do you turns out there are quite ang you’re getting for three of them, ranked o the least.

1. Pixel-Based Tracking This method requires a true partnership between the podcast and its advertisers. To make it work, the podcast publisher has to install a pixel (a tiny digital tracking and information gathering tool) through its hosting provider. Then, you have to install one on your website. Together, the pixels will reveal the connection between podcast downloads and visits or conversions on your site. You get a lot of detailed data with this strategy, but some podcasters may not agree to use pixel-based tracking because of privacy concerns. 2. Post-Checkout Surveys This is a tactic as old as time. When your customers sign up for your service or buy your product,

simply ask them where they came from and make sure the podcasts you advertise on are options on the list. You can do this with an online survey or by incorporating it into your live sales process. According to Marketing Insider, 80%–90% of customers will complete this kind of survey, making it a pretty accurate tracking method. The biggest downside is that you won’t be able to track podcast-driven traffic that doesn’t convert to sales, which is possible with both pixel-based tracking and the next option we’ll dive into. 3. Promo Codes and Vanity URLs Finally, you can drop a podcast-specific promo

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Have You Heard the Good News? “Choose my instruction instead of silver, knowledge rather than choice gold, for wisdom is more precious than rubies, and nothing you desire can compare with her.” –Proverbs 8:10–11 “Make every effort to live in peace with everyone and to be holy; without holiness no one will see the Lord.” –Hebrews 12:14 “But the Lord is faithful, and he will strengthen you and protect you from the evil one.” - 2 Thessalonians 3:3

Y CAN’T IGNORE YOU The reason for this ambiguity is due to the success stories we hear. However, many companies like Apple Computers didn’t come into being because of a passion mindset: There was also a series of lucky breaks. In truth, passion is actually a side effect of mastery.

mindset” than a “passion mindset.” Instead of wondering what the world has to offer, wonder what you have to offer the world. If you spend too much time wondering whether you’ve found your true calling, it can be immobilizing. Find what rare and valuable skills you can offer and become so good that people can’t ignore you. We loved this read! It has a brilliant premise, and no matter where you are in your career, we think you’ll find it fascinating. Give “So Good They Can’t Ignore You” by Cal Newport a read today!

Essentially, “what you do for a living is much less important than how you do it,” Newport writes. “Most passionate people are not those who followed their passions but those who have been around long enough to become good at what they do and get better every day.” That’s why it’s so much more productive to adopt a “craftsman





code or URL into your advertisement, then track how many clients visit your website or purchase using those options. One big perk of this method is that it’s shareable between customers: If one person finds you from a podcast and makes a referral, you'll be able to track their referral back to the podcast, too. Unfortunately, Marketing Insider reports that only 2 in 3 listeners remember promo codes, and only 1 in 6 use vanity URLs when they’re provided. That means you might end up with podcast-driven customers who appear to have found you from somewhere else. Whether you’ve already invested in podcast advertising or are considering taking the plunge, these strategies will help you keep track of your investment. You can use them individually or stack all three! Of course, there’s no guarantee of results, no matter how effectively you track your spending. If the conversions aren’t there, they just aren’t. The money you make from your advertising will

depend on the podcast you choose, its number of listeners, and its listener demographic. Every podcast is different. The economics pod “Freakonomics Radio,” for example, draws in millions of listeners each month, targeting young, affluent, well- educated men in the computer and mathematics field. It wouldn’t be an ideal stomping ground for a makeup company, but the booze-and-boos show “Spirits,” which has fewer listeners but reaches primarily young working women, might be a great fit. Tracking your results is the key to identifying which podcasts work for your business and which are busts. Whatever route you choose, podcast advertising is a booming industry: According to eMarketer, podcast ad spending made up over 20% of digital radio advertising spending in 2020 and is set to surpass $1 billion this year. It’s time to jump on the bandwagon if you haven’t already — just do it the smart way.


Collect and Leverage Your Business’s Data for Free

• Where your web traffic comes from

We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again — if you aren’t tracking the results of your marketing initiatives and online presence, you’re wasting your time and money. How will you know which strategies work for your business if you can’t dive into the data? Getting a handle on all of these numbers sounds complicated, but it doesn’t have to be, especially for online campaigns. With the help of Google Analytics, you can evaluate the performance of your online marketing, learn more about your client engagement, and analyze your data — all without spending a penny! That’s right: Google Analytics is a free tool that Google provides to business owners. Whether you’re a lawyer, dentist, or physical therapist, you can benefit from the suite of perks that Google Analytics has to offer. The platform is integrated with Google, so it can quickly discover how leads and clients are engaging with your web and app content. It also leverages Google’s unique machine-learning capabilities to create in- depth reports and dashboard. Here are just a few of the metrics that Google Analytics can track for you: • Achievement of company-specific goals that you can set yourself (e.g., online purchases, membership sign-ups, scroll depth)

• The overall performance of your social media channels

• The success of specific blogs shared on social media

• Your “bounce rate” (the number of people who visit your site and interact just once) Using these insights, you can identify how well marketing strategies and content are performing as well as fully understand more about your company’s online presence. The reports are sharable, too, so you can keep your whole team in the loop. Another benefit of Google Analytics is that it’s designed to integrate with your current software and advertising platforms. You can connect it with your CRM or point-of-sale system and with Google’s other products (including Display & Video 360, Google Ads, AdSense, AdMob, and Ad Manager). Google promises that with these integrations, you’ll be able to build a complete picture of your company’s online presence and turn your insights into results. Getting started with Google Analytics is easy. Your business is already active online, so the data is ready and waiting for you! To get the Google Analytics toolbox for free, visit







Bringing back an old marketing ad or campaign for nostalgia doesn’t always pay off — but adapting them slightly to be more culturally relevant can make a strong impression. That’s why Budweiser’s “Whassup” ads have been so successful during the pandemic. The ad was first introduced to the world in a simpler time: 1999. “Whassup” is actually based on a short film called “TRUE” by an up- and-coming director, Charles Stone III. It had no discernible joke besides guys screaming “Whassup?” at each other over the phone. Vinny Warren, a creative director for the Chicago-based ad agency DDB, watched “TRUE” on a “super grainy, degraded” VHS tape and loved it. He thought it was brilliant and had an idea: What if the guys were holding Budweisers? He managed to sell the idea effortlessly. “Funny side note: We had already sold the idea to the client before we contacted Charles to tell him,” Warren admitted to MEL Magazine. “Bear in mind, this was late 1999. Not everything was online yet. I actually had to track Charles down and tell him the news and persuade him that we wouldn’t [mess it up].”

Luckily, the 2000 Super Bowl turned out to be one of the greatest Super Bowls ever — and when Budweiser’s “Whassup” ad hit the screens, it turned into a massive hit. In the 2020 remake, the ad uses the original video for full nostalgic impact, but with new audio to reflect the current times. One of the actors answers the phone saying they’re “in quarantine, having a Bud” instead of “watching a game, having a Bud.” After each of the actors connect over the phone with the iconic “whassup” line, the ad then closes with text: “Buds support buds. Check in with yours.” With millions of people staying at home during COVID-19, this hits home for many of them. Budweiser’s vice president, Monica Rustgi, says, “In times like these, something as simple as a hello or, in this case, ‘whassup’ means a lot. Following the unbelievable success of the original ad campaign, we found this to be a meaningful opportunity to revisit the original spot’s simplicity and focus on human connection in a time when people may be feeling hopeless, uncertain, and alone.” We couldn’t agree more — thanks for bringing a smile to our faces yet again, Budweiser!





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Creating (and Optimizing) Opportunity

Why Etsy Continues to Crush Expectations

F ew industries thrived during the pandemic like e-commerce. Grocery shopping and food delivery apps saw a surge in users, while Amazon’s profits soared. But perhaps the greatest success story was Etsy, an online hub for small-time makers to advertise and sell their goods to millions of users across the globe. Etsy merges the side-hustle possibilities of eBay and Craigslist with the product quality found at online boutiques and adds its own unique, artistic twist. Some shop owners who use Etsy have transformed their hobby into a full-time gig, amassing a loyal following, while others continue to make extra cash with their homemade products in between their day jobs. When the global population found themselves with more time on their hands both for shopping and learning new hobbies, Etsy saw an increase in buyers, sellers, and profits. Steadily growing since 2005, the pandemic offered Etsy — and those with an entrepreneurial spirit — an opportunity to grow like never before . From an Apartment to a Global Following Etsy was founded in 2005 by Rob Kalin, Chris Maguire, and Haim Schoppik — three creators who all recognized just how difficult it could be for makers to sell their products. Gathered in a Brooklyn, New York City, apartment, the founders shared a vision for the opportunity Etsy could offer. The online shop soon soared in popularity,

raking in $4.3 million in just three years, and soon, Chad Dickerson of Yahoo was brought in to replace Maguire and Schoppik, eventually succeeding Kalin as the company’s CEO. Dickerson would lead the charge to catapult Etsy into the valuable position that it remains in today by allowing handmade goods to be sold alongside manufactured products. Though upsetting for the sellers at the time, this move would prove to be just what it needed when a pandemic inspired thousands of creators to make and sell homemade goods through Etsy just seven years later. How Did Etsy Do It? Prior to the pandemic, Etsy was faring moderately well. It was a popular site for consumers, and creators found solace in the platform it offered. Today, Etsy — which went public in 2015 — is smashing expectations. Its fourth-quarter earnings for 2020 were nearly double of what was projected by experts, and it reported $617 million in revenue, which was $100 million over what was expected. As the second quarter of 2020 and the pandemic collided,

second quarter of 2020, reporting $356 million in sales for masks alone. The beauty of that is that buyers on Etsy often bought more than just masks. They found toys and gifts that would keep them sane during lockdown, and as people reimagined their spaces for work, sales in furniture spiked 128% from 2019. And we’re willing to bet that when the holiday shopping season arrived, many likely returned to Etsy shops that had treated them well. Etsy’s main competitor, Amazon, launched its own version of the site in 2015 called Handmade. But users on that platform tend to struggle to compete with large corporations that are also featured on Amazon. During a year when people craved connection, Etsy’s homemade, entrepreneurial spirit made it a force to be reckoned with in e-commerce. That one decision to promote mask sales — perhaps coupled with Amazon’s indiscretions, like criticism over working conditions — launched Etsy from an artsy site to a must-search store for online shoppers.

Etsy took advantage of the opportunity, encouraging many of its sellers to start making and selling masks. This move was a big one. According to Investopedia, Etsy saw a 93% sales jump in the




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