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It’s My 23rd Birthday! Can You Do Me A Favor?

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brian 23rd birthday

Wine with chocolate chip cheesecake (I didn’t eat it all myself).

Today I hit my Michael Jordan birthday and turned 23 years old. Since MJ is the greatest of all-time, maybe this will be the greatest year of my life.

Anyway, many bloggers on their birthday like to ask their readers to buy a product or book. I’m not comfortable doing that because it seems manipulative and wrong.

But, I do want to take this opportunity to ask you for a quick favor on my birthday.

Will you please share one thing that Take Your Success has helped you do? For example, it helped you get an internship or job, become more productive and procrastinate less, improve your GPA, live healthier, or learn about money. Or maybe this site helped you with something else that’s not mentioned above.

If you want to make my day, just comment below on this post. The more detailed the comment, the better!

Or if comments aren’t your thing, you can email brian @ takeyoursuccess.com with what you’ve learned. But a short comment right below this post seems easier in my opinion and is preferred.

I’m so pumped to see these comments and receive this birthday present from you! Thank you in advance.

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A Gap In Marketing: Using Old Methods To Make Your Business Stand Apart

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Marketing has changed in a major way since internet use became widespread. We live in a world where fast access and home delivery are keywords to any business’s success.

Methods entrepreneurs used as little as five or six years ago now seem like ideas from the dark ages.

It may seem like madness, but it’s amazing when you think about it. Making business digital ensures startups stand a better chance of success, and existing businesses can aim for worldwide acclaim.

And, from a consumer point of view, everything is so much easier now. Finding your favorite brands doesn’t mean walking through endless shops anymore. All you have to do is click a few buttons to find that thing your heart so desires. Even better, the browsing capabilities of the internet ensure that we can all find the exact thing we’re looking for, every time we search.

online-shopping

But, is there a downside to this emphasis on digital marketing? We’re not here to tell you that an online presence isn’t necessary. It’s the most important method any business in the modern age has access to. The problem is that, with so much focus online, other aspects of businesses are neglected.

How often do you now walk into a shop and leave disappointed? How many times, in recent years, has a company’s branding stuck with you? When you think about it, this shift in marketing has done a lot of damage to the things we used to look out for.

On the one hand, businesses can’t be blamed. They’re trying their best to keep up, and something has to give. It’s a difficult challenge to develop social media campaigns and still focus on making their shop front look fantastic. Besides, all advice and evidence suggests that storefronts will be all but obsolete soon anyway. Some companies are even choosing to operate solely online, to save costs and get ahead of the game.

But the fact that others have taken their eyes off the old marketing ball gives your enterprise an in point. You do, of course, need to focus on developing a solid online marketing campaign. Though it might be worth entrusting this to your employees. That leaves you to tackle the marketing everyone forgot. When starting out, standing apart from the crowd is what you need, and this method could well do it.

How can you get your business back in touch with marketing methods no one uses now? This guide should give you some idea.

Understand How Old Marketing Worked

There are countless guides out there about digital marketing. Just about every business post you come across will mention it in some form.

But old marketing methods are harder to find out about. There’s barely any advice out there about creating a shop front with wow factor or developing an advertising campaign for billboards and such. Is it any wonder, then, that few new business owners focus on these aspects? You can’t master what you don’t understand.

Which is why you owe it to your business to take the time to understand. There may not be easy guides out there, but there is help if you know where to look for it.

If you’re old enough to start a business, you’re old enough to remember how things were before. And, a blast from the past may be the best starting point.

Nothing beats looking to successful marketing campaigns of old. So, that’s where you should start.

Brands like Coca-Cola were creating marketing hype with their ads way before the web. And, they did it better than any of the new brands we see today.

Take some time to think about adverts you remember from your childhood. Write the memorable ones down, and search for them on YouTube. As you watch, take note of what worked. Simple methods, like taglines, are neglected far too often in the modern age. And, they are most often the thing that made old adverts stick in our minds.

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It’s also worth focusing on alternative advertising outlets, like newspapers and magazines. Once upon a time, a double page spread in a top tabloid was a sure way of catching attention and shouting about your brand. Only the most successful businesses could afford the privilege.

The good news for you is that online advertising means physical spaces like these have seen a major reduction in price. So, a full-page spread is much cheaper now than in the past. And, if you put effort into making it look good, it’ll still have that touch of luxury.

As you can see, the more creative you get, the better chance you have of re-engaging old methods. But, this is also a make or break situation. There’s a reason these methods have gone out of fashion, and if you don’t get them right, you could be out of pocket.

To ensure that doesn’t happen, it might be worth embarking on something like this masters of marketing. That way, you’ll develop a good idea of how effective marketing strategies work. As such, you’ll stand a better chance of making your alternative route a fruitful one.

Understand Your New Audience

When companies focus on digital marketing, they concentrate on a particular group of people. Young, technically savvy individuals are sure to head online above all. But, that’s still a relatively small amount of the population.

Your other forms of marketing could lead you to a whole new audience. It’s important to know what that audience wants, so you can ensure your efforts hit the mark. To work out who they are, consider the types of people who don’t rely on technology. These examples should give you some idea.

The older generation often shy away from online activity. Unlike youngsters, they haven’t grown up with extensive use of the internet. The old advertising methods you’ve been considering are sure to work well for this audience. As online shopping isn’t an option for many, they’re also much more liable to visit a physical space. Politeness will also take you far, with many older people valuing excellent service above all. So, a return to good old face to face customer service is sure to go down well.

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The extrovert may spend less time online, and more time out and about. Online activity is introverted, after all, and it doesn’t suit everyone. Extroverted individuals love to chat and thrive in social situations. So, it’s worth thinking about customer service here, too. Encourage your staff to make conversation. A small conversation could be enough to see a client returning at a later date. If appropriate, you could also offer hot drinks. That way, extroverts will feel at home straight away.

Community spirited individuals may also stay offline when it comes to their shopping. These are people who opt, instead, to support local businesses. Despite the digital climate, there are more people like this than you’d expect. But, don’t assume you can automatically earn their custom by focusing on your shop space. Community spirit doesn’t support lifeless brands which fail to reflect the needs of the town. So, make sure to fit your image to the shop units around you. It may also be worth taking part in local fundraisers to show that you have a community spirit of your own.

These aren’t the only customers you stand to gain, but they give an accurate idea of the values your marketing should focus on. A look at even this short list highlights the importance of an appealing shop space and friendly brand. Neither of which you’ll get online!

Apply What You’ve Learned

Once you’ve got an idea of what it takes to get traditional with marketing, it’s time to install your methods. This is where you’re going to take everything you’ve learned and make it work for you. So, where do you start?

Get going by organizing the physical space you’ll be working in. Until you find a space, you’ll find it difficult to envision the image you want to develop. So, don’t hesitate to take care of this aspect.

Once you have a space, remember to consider the audience you’re catering for. You need to make this a fun and appealing place, which feels like a home away from home. Personality is essential in setting yourself apart from the online world. To ensure you cram plenty in there, talk to your staff about what home means to them. This needs to be a place that appeals to everyone, so the more opinions you get, the better.

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Once your physical space is underway, you can focus on your advertising. Remember the original, memorable adverts you looked at during the start of your journey? Do your best to recreate them. Pretend you’re living in a time when that was the only chance you had to catch your customer’s eyes.

What would have the most impact? What tagline would best represent your brand? You never know; if you get this right, your brand may be as memorable as all the ones you remember from childhood!

This article was written by an outside contributor.

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Improved Home Network Protection For Entrepreneurs And Those Who Work From Home

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improved-bitdefender-box

Back in August 2016, I wrote a post about the Bitdefender BOX—a device that protects my home network, laptop, phone, and other connected devices from malware.

I’ve continued to use this BOX because I appreciate the peace of mind it gives me. After all, 100% of my income as an entrepreneur comes from the work I do on my laptop and phone.

If my devices got hacked, then my income plummets and I’d be hardcore depressed. Luckily I don’t need to worry about that thanks to this BOX.

And I have news. Just this January, Bitdefender previewed an upcoming second version of the BOX.

In other words, the Bitdefender BOX that’s designed to protect all your wi-fi connected devices just got better.

Improved BOX Features

The improved Bitdefender BOX—supposedly coming out near the end of 2017—comes with four advanced features:

1) Vulnerability assessment – The BOX can continuously scan for weaknesses or security flaws in your network.

2) Private line – Set up a private VPN connection to protect your devices and privacy even when you use public wi-fi.

3) URL blacklist – Bitdefender will track and inform you of bad websites that could be dangerous.

4) Bitdefender BOX app – This new option allows you to stay updated on network events and manage your devices away from home.

Securing your home devices can’t be understated, especially for an entrepreneur or someone who works from home for a living. And these four improved features clearly make it easier to stay protected from hackers and computer viruses.

That means, for you and me, we can keep business rolling without suffering a major technological setback.

Attending CES 2017?

If you’re attending CES 2017 in Las Vegas (unfortunately I’m not), I encourage you to go check out the Bitdefender BOX in person from January 5 to January 8, Sands A-C, and booth number 40550.

Experts will be doing a series of demonstrations showing the BOX’s features and how it can protect against hackers’ attempts to compromise smart devices. I hear it’s going to be really cool.

And I truly believe that visiting the booth at CES and talking to the staff is the best way to learn more about this product.

However, if you can’t make it, then you can watch these Bitdefender YouTube videos for more information about this device. Or you can stay updated on BOX news by following Bitdefender on Twitter or Facebook.

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Want To Protect Your Home Network? Use The Bitdefender BOX

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Since I became an entrepreneur in March of this year, my entire livelihood now relies on my laptop and iPhone. Every penny of income comes from work on those two devices.

I use my computer to write blog posts, write books, and do digital marketing. I use my phone to do social media marketing for a few clients and myself.

If my laptop or phone, or both, got compromised by malware or a hacker, it’d be a nightmare. A total disaster! I couldn’t imagine being without one for multiple weeks.

So, in the beginning of July, I searched for a security system for my digital devices. I’ve learned my lesson about being proactive to prevent future problems, and not waiting until they happen and then picking up the pieces.

As you can see below, my curiosity led me to tweet about it to my followers.

Bitdefender-Box-Review-1

After tweeting that, I did more research and found exactly what I was looking for: the Bitdefender Box.

What’s The Bitdefender BOX

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The Bitdefender BOX scans your entire home network to search for and prevent any security weaknesses. Put simply, it protects all your devices and guest devices connected to the internet. Think of your phone, iPad, laptop, PS4, home security system, and more.

The software comes in a compact, white box and blocks any malicious attacks, viruses, unauthorized access, and data theft. Think of accidentally clicking on a spam site or downloading a malicious email attachment, but being kept safe from it because of this device.

Setup is extremely easy, too. All I had to do was plug the BOX into my router with the provided Ethernet cord, download the iOS app (also works for Android), sign up for the service, and connect the BOX. It took less than 10 minutes.

Once it connected, the BOX immediately discovered devices on my network and started monitoring them. Now I can check the status on my iPhone app to see if there are any vulnerabilities or network issues. Easy enough.

Clearly the future is here, and it’s cool.

Why’s Home Network Security Important

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The BOX is so tiny that it can hide in any office or desk.

I mentioned how my entire financial health depends on my home network and devices, so that’s why it’s important to me. Besides that, I wouldn’t ever want someone else to steal my identity, credit card info, or bank account log-in to do damage.

It’s also obvious that your home is becoming more digital each year and the smart home is on its way, if it’s not already here.

Homes nowadays can have almost everything digital, such as speakers, webcams, lights, security systems, door locking systems, smoke detectors, vacuums, and refrigerators. Instead of going through the hassle of individually protecting each one with software, the BOX solves it all.

With all these devices, protecting them from malicious traffic and viruses is nothing but a smart move. Let them go unprotected and who knows what could happen. Again, with the BOX actively monitoring all suspicious network activity, there won’t be digital break-ins for my devices.

In other words, I won’t have to worry about any black hats.

Mental Peace

Considering my livelihood is all internet-based, securing my network was especially important to me.

I don’t know what will attack or when, hopefully it never happens. But my mind rests knowing I have the Bitdefender BOX to protect my digital devices and online personal data. Peace of mind is priceless.

Even if your livelihood isn’t all internet-based, a virus or hacker taking personal data could give you a headache of problems down the road. That’s why when you can get one device to protect you against it, like the BOX, it’s worth it.

You Can Get Your Own Bitdefender BOX In This Giveaway

There’s an awesome opportunity for you if you’re interested in securing your data.

You can actually win a BOX for free because the people at Bitdefender are giving away devices to lucky winners.

To enter, just answer what data is most important for you to protect by commenting on this blog post below or on my social media channels. Each separate comment will count as one entry. And the giveaway entries will be accepted in the following ways:

  • Blog post comment
  • @reply tweet using #ProtectedByBOX hashtag and follow @BitdefenderBOX Twitter account mentioning @BitdefenderBOX on Twitter
  • Comment on Facebook post
  • Comment on Instagram photo

This giveaway ends at 11:59 p.m. ET on August 19, 2016 (Read: Full Giveaway Terms & Conditions.)

Or if you want to ensure you get this device regardless of the giveaway, you can order it now for a limited time pricing of $99 at bitdefender.com/box. The BOX’s retail worth is $199, so that’s a nice deal.

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Bitdefender. The opinions and text are all mine.

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