65 search results for “AJ Agrawal”

7 Reasons Your Business Should Be on Instagram

7 Reasons Your Business Should Be on Instagram

With over 500 million users, and 70 million photos per day being shared, there’s no question on whether or not Instagram is here to stay. And with Instagram just recently launching a self-serve advertising platform, there are even more possibilities for you and your business.  

1. People spend a lot of time on Instagram

In fact, next to Facebook, Instagram is one of the most popular social networks for time spent on the platform. Which means that you have more time and a better chance of getting yourself in front of your audience. Now is that something you just ignore?

2. Instagram drives sales 

Instagram has a higher conversion rate for sales then platforms like Polyvore and Pinterest. Visitors often go on to purchase items after visiting Instagram accounts and on average spend $65.00. Since Instagram is such a visual platform, it cuts through the clutter and lets your products speak for themselves.

3. Visual content dominates

Social media users want visual content. How many times have you scrolled past a million posts on your feeds and stopped at a photo or video? Visual content is said to be one of the most important components when it comes to marketing for business and optimizing their social media presence.

4. The audience on Instagram is always engaged

Although Facebook is still the most popular social media platform, Instagram followers are more likely to engage and share content. Top brands are seeing a 4.21% engagement rate on the platform, which has coined it to be the king of engagement in terms of social media.

5. It allows you to be creative

Instagram has endless possibilities for creativity. It allows you to tell stories, get creative, and create a visual identity for your brand in a more real-time, fun way. Run contests, engage with your fans, and be consistent. Instagram is a fun platform, so don’t be afraid to experiment, and show your brands personality.

6. You can leverage user-generated content

Especially if you are selling a product, your customers can be your key to success on Instagram. Encourage them to share their photos of your product, or seek out those that already are, and repurpose that content. Customers love to see brands interact and acknowledge them, so this is a win-win for the both of you. 

7. Take customers behind-the-scenes

Instagram allows you to get creative with bringing your customers to a side of your brand that they may never see. Give them sneak peeks of new products or menu items; show them what it’s like to work at your company, or what goes into making their favourite products. Even if you are sitting in an office or warehouse all day, there is still tons of content you can create; you just need to be creative.

So with millions of users, millions of photos being shared each day, and the highest engagement of any other platform, do you need any more reasons to get yourself and your business on this platform? I don’t think so.

About the Author

Lauren Marinigh is a Toronto-based online marketing and content development professional, who is completely addicted to traveling, puppies, and GIFs.

Continue reading

The Evolving State of Marketing Technology

The Evolving State of Marketing Technology

Marketing technology, or “martech” if you’re all about buzzwords, isn’t static. It’s constantly evolving, and this year there are some major changes happening. Right now, martech is proving to be just as crazy as the past few years, which means marketers need to hustle to keep the pace. As there are more and more martech vendors entering the market (they doubled since last year and now we have about 2,000!), with no sign of slowing, there might be more confusion than ever. How can we figure out the best strategy for us, how do we know when the “right time” is to blend the marketing and tech departments, and is martech really a necessity for all businesses anyway?

One of the biggest shifts is the fact that the decisions we have to make around martech—like the questions above—are getting more complex. There’s no way to really guess how many martech vendors will be around even by the close of the year. Technology that predicts customer demands, such as Amazon Echo and Siri, showcase the preference for how more customers want their interface and marketers have to figure out a way to make these artificially intelligence-driven devices recommend their brands, products, and services. As if marketing to humans wasn’t challenging enough!

Luckily, there are more and more guides designed for the non-techies. You can take classes, check out seminars, or simply scroll through bullet-point riddled tutorials to learn the latest about martech. Choose lessons based on your type of business, goals and more. Increasingly, the laymen is getting (mar)tech savvy.

Too Much of a Good Thing

The more hands there are in the vendor pot, the more complicated things can be for marketers. There are more people making decisions, including executives like the CMO and CDO (that’s digital officer for those who are behind in their acronyms). These leaders are straddling their roles between management, marketing reps, and IT department, which can result in quite the messy situation if not done well. It’s estimated by the Walker Sands State of Marketing Technology 2016 report that about 66 percent of marketers are able to give input in the buying decisions for products they use. In fact, over half of even entry-level marketers have played a major role in a purchase decision since 2013.

Of course, the “rise of the robots” and digital PAs like Google Now come with a slew of new obstacles. With AI and voice-based PAs predicting what customers want, marketers have to look at marketing innovations that mix messaging and AI this year. Add in the Internet of Things (IoT), which is offering up more data to process than ever, and things can really get sticky. The IoT is tossing a ton of customer data at marketers, but big data is pointless if it isn’t analyzed and put to use. According to Gartner, 30 billion “things” are going to be linked to the internet by 2020.

Planning Ahead

If wielded well, the IoT can give marketers a major advantage—or it can drown marketers who aren’t ready for the data influx. The year ahead will have marketers facing a lot of decisions, innovative technology, a confused market, and a slew of vendors. Catching up can be a challenge, but it’s a must if you want to compete. Where are you in the martech game? 

Continue reading

What’s Killing Your Productivity?

What’s Killing Your Productivity?

We are all known for losing productivity. For some of us it happens at certain times of the day or week, for others it happens unexpectedly, but usually when we can’t afford it. We can blame the loss of our productivity on certain things that come up in our lives or day-to-day, but in reality, so much of our productivity is lost on daily habits and things we do and don’t even realize it. Here are just some of those things you should reevaluate to help boost your productivity.  

Social media

Globally, people spend on average 118 minutes a day on social media alone. This doesn’t even account for all the time you spend surfing the Internet or consuming other forms of media. That’s over two hours of your day that you could be using to do other, more important things then creep the latest celebrity dog on Instagram or catch up on what Kanye is tweeting about today.

Your phone

Approximately 3.9 years of your life are spent on your phone, which equals 23 days a year and 90 minutes a day. We live in a society that depends on their phones for work, and staying connected with our loved ones, however, we all are guilty for using them more than we actually need them for. Try detoxing. Start turning your phone off when you get home from work, or leaving your phone in a different room or in your purse!

You don’t say “no”

Sometimes the people that have the least amount of time to be productive on the things they should be spending their time on are the people that have a challenge saying “no”. Instead, they say “yes” to every project, person, task, etc. and this can quickly take a toll on your productivity. Saying “yes” all the time will lead you to taking on more work or commitments, leaving you less time for those everyday things in life that need to still get done. Saying “no” isn’t always a bad thing!


Meetings don’t always need to be meetings, and many people don’t fully understand that. Many offices are guilty for making meetings for everything. That includes things that can be solved or talked about via email, and also involves inviting people to meetings that don’t need to be there. Start being more particular about the meeting requests you get. Take a look at the subject of it and see if it’s something you need to be there for, or see if it even needs to happen at all. Spending less time in meetings will give you the opportunity to spend more time on actual work and tasks.

You don’t trust your team

You have a team at work for a reason, and it’s time that you trust them to do what they are supposed to be doing. Some people often lose time to work on what they should be focusing on because they are spending too much time micro-managing their team. If you don’t trust the people that work with or for you, then maybe it’s time to reevaluate your team. By trusting your team, you’ll be able to worry less about them and worry more about what you should be focused on.

Productivity isn’t rocket science. Everyone has things in their life like the above that they can alter to help improve their productivity and make more time for the things that are important!

Continue reading

Ever Wonder What Famous People Did for Work Before Making It Big? Read This

Ever Wonder What Famous People Did for Work Before Making It Big? Read This

Famous people weren’t always famous. Some of them were average people just like you. Many of the celebrities you see today came from humble backgrounds. For some of them, these were eye-opening experiences that helped them to reconcile themselves with their place in the world. Others just never expected to leave those jobs.

The following celebrities are just some of the famous people who had to grind and build like everyone else before they made it big.

President Obama – Ice Cream Seller

It’s hard to believe that the current president of the United States worked an unglamorous job as an ice cream seller at Baskin-Robbins, but that’s exactly what he did. For the whole summer he just scooped ice cream. He credits it not for his future career but for what it did for his jump shot in basketball. 

President Obama later wrote that his first job mattered because it taught him about the world of work and that these low ladder jobs can be harder than they look. Now President Obama looks back on his former job with fondness.

Mariah Carey – Hat Checker

Mariah Carey is like a lot of rising celebrities in that she worked a lot of jobs before she made it big. One of her stranger jobs involved her being a hat checker. She said that she didn’t manage to stay in this job, or any job, long before getting fired.

Carey was one celebrity who always wanted to get where she was today, which is why she only worked these jobs purely for the money. Most of her jobs fired her for a lack of concentration due to the fact that she was spending all her time working on becoming a singer and mixing demo tapes. 

Gerard Butler – Civil Lawyer 

Sometimes failure can turn into great success. Gerard Butler may never have become the mega star that he is today if it wasn’t for his failure as a lawyer. 

He started out working as a trainee civil lawyer. Like every other legal position, you get the job based on the assumption that you are going to pass the exams and become fully qualified. Butler was unable to pass the exams and was subsequently fired. He never tried to become a success in the legal profession again.

Kayne West – The GAP

The GAP is not exactly befitting the lifestyle of someone like Kayne West. A man who spends huge amounts of money on creating his own clothing line surely didn’t work at the GAP during his youth? And yet that’s exactly what happened.

The rapper most certainly isn’t ashamed of it because he references it in the song The College Dropout. The lyrics do make references to stealing. Although West acknowledges he used to work there, he didn’t reveal whether the stealing part was based on a true story or not. 

Conclusion – Humble Beginnings 

It’s important to mention that these celebrities weren’t necessarily following a path of rags to riches. Some of them were, but men like President Obama were gifted in the sense that they had great grades to go along with their humble beginnings. Others came from broken backgrounds, whereas others were from stable families.

The goal behind displaying such a diverse cross-section of big names is to demonstrate that it doesn’t matter where you come from. Unemployment is down 4.7% so you have every chance of success!

About the Author

I am a regular writer for Forbes, Inc., Huffington Post, Entrepreneur Media (among others), as well as CEO and Chairman of Alumnify Inc. Proud alum from 500 Startups and The University of San Diego. Follow me on Twitter @ajalumnify

Continue reading

You Need to Know About These Social Media Tools

You Need to Know About These Social Media Tools


Last year there was a 10% growth in the number of social media users. It only demonstrates that if you have yet to create a social media strategy that works you are falling behind. By using tools to develop your social media marketing strategy, you can save a lot of time and effort.

Becoming more efficient in this way will lead to better results and allow you to get more done in a shorter period of time. This guide is going to show you some of the best social media tools you need to know about.

1. Facebook Marketing Tool from Real Geeks

Real Geeks came up with a Facebook marketing tool designed to take much of the frustration and intimidation out of proceedings. You already know that there’s a lot of value to be had from here. Initially designed for realtors, this tool brings together your website and your ad campaign on Facebook

It pulls out the data from your website in order to generate ads that deliver results. You can still tweak these ads as much as you like, which you should already be doing. The tool comes with a range of reporting features so you can easily monitor the performance of your ads.

2. SocialOomph

The reason why SocialOomph made this list is because of its functionality and nothing else. It gives you a central dashboard where you can link your social media profiles. It’s easy to manage all your social media activities from here, such as the scheduling of posts and bulk updating your profiles. 

If you’re focusing on content marketing and social media marketing, which you absolutely should be, this is a tool you are going to get a lot out of. It’s one of the more affordable tools on this list, so you are going to get a lot of bang for your buck.

3. Sprout Social

The chances are you have heard of Sprout Social before because it’s one of the most popular social media tools on the market today. Its main competitor is Hootsuite, but we decided to name Sprout Social on this list because it edges out Hootsuite through its superior functionality.

It works alongside practically any social media platform you can think of. You can easily schedule posts, monitor performance, track points of engagement, and receive reports for how your various pieces of content are performing.

What makes it more than a mere dashboard is that you can conduct content topic research from it. By listening in to the conversations people are having on social media, you can write content that people actually want to read.

It isn’t a free tool, but it is definitely worth the investment because it combines the features that marketers have to purchase multiple tools for into one.

A Word on Using Tools

There’s no doubt that social media tools can make it easier to manage campaigns. But there’s a dark side to using tools. Automating everything and downloading too many tools can make you completely reliant on them.

You need to remember that social media is about building real human relationships. Fail to do this because you’ve automated everything and you are not going to get the results you want.

What do you think is the best tool for managing social media?

About the Author

I am a regular writer for Forbes, Inc., Huffington Post, Entrepreneur Media (among others), as well as CEO and Chairman of Alumnify Inc. Proud alum from 500 Startups and The University of San Diego. Follow me on Twitter @ajalumnify

Continue reading

6 Signs You Work Too Much

6 Signs You Work Too Much

Becoming someone known for their hard work is something to be proud of. 46% of two-parent families now see both members working full-time, as a result. It’s good to work hard and it’s good to work harder than your co-workers, but you need to be careful with this. Working too hard and becoming stressed is nothing to be proud of. It's certain to cause you problems going forward.

But a lot of people don’t realize they’re working too much. The best workers know when to take a break and when not to sacrifice for their job. 

When Free Time Doesn’t Exist

You may be so consumed by your professional reputation that you no longer know what free time is. If you’re spending all your waking hours in the office, you likely don’t have any real hobbies. Think about the last time you took a vacation. If it was five years ago, you know you have a problem.

Sometimes you just need to reflect on your free time. It will help you to understand whether you’re working too hard or not.

When You Seem to Be Carrying the Whole Company

There is a downside to being the hardest worker in the company. You become the target for every single lazy person in the company. They are always going to ask you for help and they are going to shift the responsibility over to you. The moment you prove that you are willing to do that extra work you are going to discover that they will be lining up to give their work to you. 

Take a moment to think about whether everyone is pulling their weight. You shouldn’t be carrying the whole company on your back. You shouldn’t be accounting for the mistakes of others.

Learn to say no every so often.

When You Have No Goals Outside of Work 

The concept of work is that it is nothing more than a means to an end. Most people work so they have the funds to do what they are passionate about. A lot of people have ambitions to do with family, travel, and experiencing new things. However, you only want to submit that next project or win a promotion.

You need some goals outside of work because that’s what makes life worth living. By all means, be ambitious about advancing in the workplace, but don’t let it define you.

This is why so many older people struggle with retirement. They gave everything to their careers. When that career disappears they find that they no longer have anything to live for. It’s why retirement is far from happy for them. 

When You Wake Up at Night Thinking About Work

The hardest workers don’t just spend long hours in the office. They spend long hours thinking about work long after they’ve gone home. Hitting your head on the pillow at night should come before entering the land of dreams. It shouldn’t lead to you thinking over tomorrow's presentation.

A sure-fire sign that you’re overworked is that you never seem to be able to switch off. When you leave the office you shouldn’t be thinking about it any longer.

Furthermore, if you’re always staying awake at night because of work the chances are you are heading for breakdown. Stress is a killer.

When You Can’t Discuss Anything Else

There’s a fine line between being genuinely interested in what you do and becoming obsessed with it. It’s healthy to be a well-rounded individual inside and outside work. But some people are unable to discuss anything other than work. It doesn’t matter what setting they’re in or who they’re surrounded by. They have nothing else on their minds. 

This is an embarrassing sign that your career is ruling your life. 

When Your Day Relies on What Happened at the Office

The office shouldn’t define you and it shouldn’t define your day. If the company’s quarterly results determine whether you’re going to have a good day or not, it’s time to take a step back. Your day shouldn’t hinge on what happens at work. Unless you’re the founder, you shouldn’t have any personal investment in the company.


Sometimes it takes some self-reflection to come to the realization that you need to make some changes. Think about your relationship with work and whether it’s a healthy one. If not, it may be time to turn down that overtime and refuse to take on that extra work.

Are you working too much?

Continue reading

6 Things Everyone Should Have on Their Desk

6 Things Everyone Should Have on Their Desk

There’s a lot to say for what people have on their desk. What you have on or in your desk will often say a lot about what type of worker you happen to be. Some of the items on this list are designed for those one-time scenarios, whereas others will keep you company throughout every day of your career.

1. An Office Jacket

An office jacket is an essential item to have for two reasons. First of all, it will come in handy during those winter months where you don’t want to wear that annoying suit jacket all day. Secondly, it’s perfect for those business casual meetings with the rest of the team. It’s an ideal backup for when you’ve spilled your lunch over yourself.

Finally, an office jacket will become particularly valued when the office erupts into a battle over whether to have the AC on or not.

2. Some Extra Grooming Items

It may seem nuts to have extra grooming items hidden inside your desk. Do you really need a comb and some face scrub under there. 

Some people might think that this is a little too much, but if a client is dropping by the office or you all decide to go out for drinks after work, it can be a good idea to brush up on your appearance. 55% of your first impression is formed based on appearance. Even the slightest changes to your appearance can make you feel like a whole new person.

It’s the easiest way to get that professional look in minutes.

3. Food

Pack your desk with some non-perishable items. Your coworkers may look at you and believe that you are preparing for a natural disaster, but they’ll be all gathering around your desk when the boss makes you work through your lunch hour in order to meet that deadline.

Food is a way to keep you energized in between meal times. Furthermore, eating little snacks like this throughout the day can help you to force down your appetite. That will prevent any binge eating later, and more importantly keep you from putting on those extra pounds.

4. The Signature Formal Item

The majority of companies have realized the benefits of not enforcing an ultra-formal dress code at all times in the office. Like most offices, the chances are you have a business casual office. But sometimes you’ll need to change that at short notice. You’ll need that signature formal item ready and waiting.

This can be anything from a pair of high heels to a tie. It doesn’t have to be anything more than that.

5. Headphones

Sometimes you just need to get down to business and block out everything else. Distractions can easily get in the way and cause problems. With a pair of noise-cancelling headphones, you can block out the rest of the world and get down to the real world.

It may be one of the more anti-social ways of getting work done, but sometimes you’ve got to do what you’ve got to do.

Take note, you should always choose headphones over earphones. Not only are headphones safer and provide a better quality of sound, but they also act like a big warning sign for people not to disturb you.

6. Phone Charger

These days everyone is connected with their phones at all times. This is all well and good, but if you don’t have a charger you’re going to be thrown out into the wilderness. You could just borrow the charger of someone else in the office, but this will soon become irritating and there’s no guarantee that someone will be able to throw a charger at you right away. 

Bring along a portable phone charger and keep it in your desk. That way when you have to leave the office to run errands you can always have it with you.


These seven items will ensure that you are ready for anything the office world throws at you. What do you think is the most important item on this list?

About the Author

I am a regular writer for Forbes, Inc., Huffington Post, Entrepreneur Media (among others), as well as CEO and Chairman of Alumnify Inc. Proud alum from 500 Startups and The University of San Diego. Follow me on Twitter @ajalumnify

Continue reading

8 Ways to Get Press for Your Small Business

8 Ways to Get Press for Your Small Business

Public relations are something that small businesses, especially those that are new small businesses, neglect to make a priority. Offering compelling content and intriguing visual marketing campaigns helps your PR, so does how you pitch to potential clients and new network connections. Small businesses should focus harder on local PR rather than national, since that is where the biggest concentration of their customers is.

1. Use Local and Industry-Specific Influencers

Reach out to influencers to help spread the word about your small business. When content is shared or created by an influencer, it is 40-percent more likely to be purchased because an influencer used it. Influencers are trusted authorities in their respective industries. On social media networks, influencers likely have tens of thousands of followers. What they post gets attention and can help bring your small company into the limelight for a while.

2. Implement Real-Time Marketing Strategies

Real-time marketing strategies are necessary to make an impact in your industry. Small businesses can leverage real-time marketing by sharing photos of real workplace happenings as they happen or engaging with a major event and showing support. These simple things build rapport with your audience.

3. Get Involved on Social Media

In order to help your PR, and status in your industry, a presence and involvement on social media networks is necessary. It helps create a buzz about your business. Improving PR on social media is as simple as following a set number of audience members per month and branding your social media pages. Post fresh, relevant content consistently.

4. Pitch Wisely

Pitching your business, its content, or a product to everyone will not work. Introduce your business to those already in the industry and those that need what your business has to offer. Pitching blindly bruises reputations and can bruise the self-esteem of your PR staff, decreasing productivity.

5. Don’t Forget the Locals

Using a hyper-local approach, create customer-centric advertisements and content. The more personalized it is for your audience and industry influencers, the better your consumer satisfaction rating will be, as well as you overall industry reputation. Use big data and current digital marketing trends to create customized campaigns so that your audience identifies your small business and its products as an industry leader.

6. Stretch beyond your Network

At some point, your created network is going to dry up. This means that you need to make new connections. One of the best ways to get PR as a new company is to think outside the box and stretch to the parameters of your industry. This means that a smartphone case distributor, for example, would want to stretch all of the way to a screen protector or solar device charging influencer to draw attention to their small business.

7. Embrace Press Releases

Press releases get the attention of industry reporters and editors. It also brings attention to your small business. In 2017, the use of press releases are expected to be one of the public relations trends in an evolving market or industry. Press releases should be short and to the point. They can be used to introduce a new business, new product, change of management/ownership, or to release details about industry disrupting processes.

8. Use Big Data

Big data is your friend when you are attempting to improve your PR tactics. You can help your business by using PR trends that will help you dominate your industry by measuring engagement, content reaches, and actual statistics from investments made for PR purposes. Compare your data with that of a major competitor. Make necessary changes, even if it is something as simple as being more active on social media, creating a mobile-app for your small business, or creating more video content.

Final Thoughts on PR for Small Businesses

It is not too late to work on your public relations skills. Once your business profits enough, you can hire a PR manager, but for the time being, it needs to be done in-house to meet other business goals. Consider creating a campaign that will gain national attention – something that will go viral. That will give your PR a boost and sets a new standard for your small business to continue developing.

What strategies will your small business use to improve Public Relations moving forward?

About the Author

I am a regular writer for Forbes, Inc., Huffington Post, Entrepreneur Media (among others), as well as CEO and Chairman of Alumnify Inc. Proud alum from 500 Startups and The University of San Diego. Follow me on Twitter @ajalumnify

Continue reading

10 Habits of Persuasive People

10 Habits of Persuasive People

Persuasive individuals possess an uncanny ability to incline one’s thinking. They have the upper hand since they can use their persuasiveness for their success or happiness.

Persuasiveness has become crucial for any career or business. In fact, it has become a managerial tool in business today.

Persuasive people can get you to like their ideas and to like them, all at the same time. Here are some of the habits that persuasive people possess:

They are bold in their position

People prefer advice from a confident source, and when a speaker is able to stand behind his/her position. He/she will naturally persuade the masses.

Confident speakers have the ability to convince even the most skeptical person, sometimes to the extent where their poor track record is overlooked. They know they have the ideas and tools to take a position.

They connect

They will let people know the kind of person they are before conveying their message. In a study that required students to reach an agreement in class, 55% of them reached an agreement without instruction. However, after the students interacted (shared their background and introduced themselves), 90% of them agreed successfully.

Persuasive people try as much to connect to the person they are speaking to. After all, the person that you need to talk to is not your enemy.

They know their audience

They have an extensive understanding of their audience, and they use this knowledge to speak to their audience in the right language.

They know when they need to tone down their assertiveness or when they need to be aggressive.

Choosing the right medium will win you more trust. According to research, women tend to focus on relationships, and in-person communication is effective for them. However, men tend to feel competitive in person and can turn a conversation into a contest.

Therefore, if your audience consists of men, you need to tread careful or look at other options.

They employ a positive body language

You need to be aware of your expressions, gestures, and tone of voice if you are looking to engage people with your arguments.

Persuasive people will maintain eye contact, use a positive tone, and uncross their arms as a way of winning their listeners. A positive body language convinces your audience that whatever you are saying is genuine.

How they say it is more important than what they say.

They acknowledge other points of view

Admitting other people’s point of view is a powerful tactic for winning their trust. Persuasive people agree that their arguments are not perfect, hinting that they are open minded and ready to make adjustments.

Sticking to your position means you do not have your audiences interest at heart and you are forcing your ideas on them. Persuasive people allow other parties to share their opinions and treat those opinions as valid. It is also a way of showing respect and encouraging others to talk.

Persuasive people understand that pushing their ideas without concern will make their points less likely to be accepted.

Make others feel important

Persuasive people will make others people feel important as a way of winning their trust. If you can show others that they are equally important, they are more likely to be persuaded by your arguments.

They are genuine

Everyone hates fake, and people are more inclined towards genuine people because they can be trusted. People will believe you if they know who you really are and how you feel.

Persuasive people understand themselves and are comfortable in their position. For this reason, they are perceived as trustworthy.

They are motivated

Persuasive individuals tend to be self-motivated and resilient. Since their mission is to convince others in what they believe in, they strive to be better every day. They are determined to fight for what is right.

Apart from being motivated, they are determined and prepare beforehand to fight any adversity or negativity.

They communicate clearly

They know what they are talking about and they are good at explaining in a way that is easy to grasp. They do not just speak without a clear message.

They share both the positives and the negatives

Daniel O’Keefe, University of Illinois professor, revealed that sharing opposing views is more persuasive than sticking to a single argument.

Persuasive people talk about the things that their audiences are already considering (bad or good). They will discuss all the negatives and advise on how to overcome them.


Persuasive people do these ten things, and they do them on a regular basis. If you start practicing these principles, you will become persuasive over time and your conclusions will be irreproachable.

About the Author

I am a regular writer for Forbes, Inc., Huffington Post, Entrepreneur Media (among others), as well as CEO and Chairman of Alumnify Inc. Proud alum from 500 Startups and The University of San Diego. Follow me on Twitter @ajalumnify

Continue reading

10 Persuasive Words to Use in Crucial Conversations

10 Persuasive Words to Use in Crucial Conversations

In business, you have to know how to persuade your customers, your competition, and those you have other business relationships with. You have to be able to tell people why they need to buy from you or why they have to work with your company. The number one thing you need to remember, always answer the “why” of things.

You can use an approach similar to “Why is our product top of the line? We use [insert reason here]” and in that reason, include a powerful keyword to draw in the attention of your audience.

1. Because

The word because generates context that answers the “why” in conversations. A study showed that 93-percent of participants responded positively to context including the word because. You are providing a reason, which takes out part of the guessing of your audience.

2. Free

The word free, in general, is persuasive. Using it in business conversations tells your audience that they will be spending money; there is something they will obtain at no cost. Society likes free things and some consider anything free to be better simply because it was free. The actual value is psychologically increased in an individual’s mind because it was a zero-cost expense.

3. Fact

Using the word fact in conversations can help you get what that you want. Saying something is a fact solidifies that what is being said is truthful. Consumers, and businesspersons alike, prefer information. Statistics and facts are common deciding factors in regards to forming business relationships and generating sales.

4. Believe

Believe is a bit trickier to implement into crucial conversations in a persuasive way. You can tell your audience that you believe in a product and believe in your company. This persuades the audience to consider working with your company, or you exclusively, because you have pride and stand behind what you are describing to them.

5. Limited

Limited is a very special word. It means that something is obscure, small quantity, or is not intended to last. This immediately draws attention to the product, service, or brand. In business discussions, using terminology regarding a product being limited to one exclusive company only is likely to start a contract bidding war. This can help your company achieve large sales numbers and increased client opportunities.

The use of the word limited helps you get more people to say yes more often as they see the product as more in-demand with a smaller supply.

6. Simple

The word simple tells an audience that the process to use, construct, or install a product or service can be done by anyone. The word simple works into sneaky strategy speak to make sales, helping consumers become informed, and generating more interest in a specific product.

7. Save

Every consumer and every company likes to hear the word save. Saving time and/or money are both important. Spending less money on your product or service with the same features/performance as the competition helps consumers make informed decisions. It can also help you generate more business relationships as company owners learn that your product/service can reduce spending overall.

8. Guaranteed

Guarantees sell items. When consumers notice that something comes with a guarantee for performance, durability, or overall use, they are more likely to listen to information about it. The word guaranteed can get your company more sales as it comes across as a limited risk.

9. Now

Now generates action. It tells people that they need to make a decision now, rather than later. A missed opportunity comes from waiting too long to make a decision. The word now is a powerful word that almost instantly gets you what you want. When society is commanded to take action, most will at least make the effort to look into what you have to offer.

10. Open

Open is a persuasive word that can be used in several different methods. First, it can be directed to tell people to open a pamphlet or presentation. A command is persuasive because the entire group will follow suit. It also tells your audience, when used in alternate context, that your brand is “open” for business, accepting new clients, and is approachable. It also displays the character of an open-minded person.

Closing Thoughts

Some of these persuasive words can be highlight in written speeches or presentation notes as keywords. These keywords should be used more than once if you really want to reel in your audience. Do not stuff your presentation full of these persuasive words. It will leave your audience feeling hoodwinked and it may actually work against you. The art of persuasion is learning how far is too far without crossing the line.

About the Author

I am a regular writer for Forbes, Inc., Huffington Post, Entrepreneur Media (among others), as well as CEO and Chairman of Alumnify Inc. Proud alum from 500 Startups and The University of San Diego. Follow me on Twitter @ajalumnify


Continue reading

Start your free 14-day trial of Shopify