[DailyPay in Business Insider] Workers may be too scared to tap early-paycheck cashouts if they think their employer is watching. Here’s how players like DailyPay and ADP are making privacy a priority

Earned wage access — giving employees access to their wages between paychecks —  has become a growing trend in recent years.

Read more here.

The post [DailyPay in Business Insider] Workers may be too scared to tap early-paycheck cashouts if they think their employer is watching. Here’s how players like DailyPay and ADP are making privacy a priority appeared first on OurCrowd Blog.

OurCrowd Blog

[Varo Money in Wired] Making banking better for billions with next-gen technology

By partnering with Temenos, Varo, which launched in 2017, has been able to quickly develop and launch a range of products and bring them to market in record time. Crucially, it has offered innovative digital banking services to the 180 million Americans previously underserved by the traditional system.

Read more here.

The post [Varo Money in Wired] Making banking better for billions with next-gen technology appeared first on OurCrowd Blog.

OurCrowd Blog

Let’s celebrate Making The Jump!

We launched the the business full time after getting let go in Oct 2016. Hard to believe it’s been over 4 years.

In hindsight, seeding the initial client relationships made all the difference, but the push is what changed our lives.

How did you make the jump?

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Startups – Rapid Growth and Innovation is in Our Very Nature!

Don’t Stifle Your Progress by Making These 4 PPC Ad Mistakes

Pay Per Click, or PPC, ads are a form of paid advertising, and it’s a profitable investment with an average return rate of 200%. PPC ads also generate 50% more conversions over organic traffic. 

These statistics make sense considering PPC ads are far more targeted than organic traffic. For instance, you can put PPC ads in front of specific demographics and narrow your audience down further by what websites they’ve visited in the last 30 days. If your landing page is well-designed, you’ll get conversions.

Although PPC ads provide a good return, they’re not infallible. In fact, if you’re not careful, the following four mistakes can thwart your PPC ad success.

1. Launching a DIY PPC ad campaign

You can learn marketing techniques online for free, but that won’t make you a good marketer. Knowing how to reach a specific audience isn’t the same as knowing how to determine what audience to reach in the first place. 

A DIY PPC ad campaign won’t get the same level of success you’d see from a professional marketing agency for several reasons. First, creating strategies, managing, and optimizing a Google Ads campaign is literally a full-time job. You can’t work on your PPC ads on the side and expect massive results. 

Second, you need to be trained in marketing theory to identify your target market. Target markets aren’t always obvious. For instance, many products designed for men are actually purchased by women. Your ads need to appeal to the person opening their wallet.

Last, your landing pages will determine how well your ads convert. Ads are just the first step. Your landing pages need to be designed to generate conversions.

If you want to fast-track results and avoid failure, you need a Google Ads agency to run your PPC ad campaign.

2. Not split testing

Not split testing your PPC ads is one of the worst mistakes you can possibly make. If you skip split testing, you’ll know your ads are getting conversions, but is your conversion rate optimal? Could you do better? There’s no way to know unless you’re running at least two different versions of your ad.

Split testing isn’t hard, but you need to know how to run a split test properly. You can’t just run two different ads and see which does better. Split testing is designed to help you identify specific ad elements that contribute to an ad’s success. 

Running two entirely different ads will tell you which ad performs better overall, but it won’t tell you how to tweak your ad elements to improve each ad. For example, running two ads with slightly different titles that are otherwise identical will tell you the better way to phrase your title. Perhaps the ad title written in first person gets more clicks than the title written in third person.

If you’re ready to optimize conversions, read this guide from Optinmonster to learn the basics of split testing, also referred to as “A/B testing.” 

3. Not using negative keywords

A negative keyword list is a list of words you want your PPC ad platform to ignore. When users search for a phrase containing one of your negative keywords, your ads will not show up for that user. This is by far the best way to filter out irrelevant searches.

Creating a negative keyword list will save you money and is critical for reaching your target market. Especially when your industry shares keywords with unrelated industries. For example, if you’re a historian advertising expeditions on Mount Everest, you would add the words ‘academy’ and ‘high school’ to your negative keyword list. You don’t want your ads to show up in searches performed by users looking for educational institutions.

4. Not bidding on your own brand

Marketing expert Neil Patel recommends bidding on your branded search terms before your competitors have a chance to gain traction. By bidding on your own branded keywords, you can dominate the search results much easier. Say you’re number one on Google, but you didn’t bid on your brand, so the ad above your number one spot is a competitor. 

Start bidding on your branded keywords to make sure you get placement in the ads and the SERPs.

Keep learning from your mistakes

No PPC ad campaign is free from mistakes. The key is to learn the lessons and then integrate those lessons going forward.

Image credit: Vojtech Okenka; Pexels

The post Don’t Stifle Your Progress by Making These 4 PPC Ad Mistakes appeared first on KillerStartups.

KillerStartups

5 UX design research mistakes you can stop making today

A recent article in Entrepreneur magazine listed “inadequate testing” as the top reason why startups fail. Inadequate testing essentially means inadequate or sub-par user research that leads to poor UX design which, not surprisingly, usually ends in failure. While working with startups and tech companies, I have also seen how even when people know how important user research is, they may not necessarily know how to conduct it in optimal ways.

Let’s look, then, at some of the biggest UX research mistakes companies make and what I wish I had known when I first started.

Conduct UX research early and throughout product development

When considering any potential product or service, it’s best to get certain questions answered as soon as possible. Is it actually going to be something useful and feasible for the target users and their organizations? Are your initial; assumptions correct? Ideas that seem good at first may not seem so great after research, and many commonly criticized failures were likely results of insufficient research. This is why it’s vital to begin user research early before product development has even begun.

While it is important to conduct foundational research early on, you also want to make sure to conduct evaluative research by continuously testing your product as you build or upgrade it. One of the reasons why Google products product like Gmail or YouTube are relatively easy to use for most people is that Google has teams continuously testing their products, making sure that their users know where to find what they’re looking for.

Don’t do all of the user research yourself

One of the mistakes I see many startups and entrepreneurs make (and that I myself made early on) is doing all of the UX research themselves. In some ways, books like Lean Startup” have bolstered this tendency by stressing the need to “get out of the building” and get to know your users. In itself this isn’t a bad idea—it’s good to know who your users are and to build empathy for their experiences. Likewise, this isn’t to say that you should not do any research yourselves.

However, you also want to be sure to complement that by having professional, third party UX researchers do research for you as well. When you are heavily invested in your research, as you invariably would be if it is your own product, it is difficult to conduct it in an unbiased way. And when your research participants know that you are asking them about your own project, they are not likely to provide you with good signal that can actually help you improve your product.

Startups – TechCrunch

Startups making meat alternatives are gaining traction worldwide

Startups that produce lab-grown meat and meat substitutes are gaining traction and raising cash in global markets, mirroring a surge of support food tech companies are seeing in the United States.

New partnerships with global chains like McDonald’s in Hong Kong, the launch of test kitchens in Israel and new financing rounds for startups in Sydney and Singapore point to abounding opportunities in international markets for meat alternatives.

In Hong Kong, fresh off a $ 70 million round of funding, Green Monday Holdings’ OmniFoods business unit was tapped by McDonald’s to provide its spam substitute at locations across the city.

The limited-time menu items featuring OmniFoods’ pork alternatives show that the fast food chain remains willing to offer customers vegetarian and vegan sandwich options — so long as they live outside of the U.S. In its home market, McDonald’s has yet to make any real initiatives around bringing lab-grown meat or meat replacements to consumers.

Speaking of lab-grown meat, consumers in Tel Aviv will now be able to try chicken made from a lab at the new pop-up restaurant The Chicken, built in the old test kitchen of the lab-grown meat producer SuperMeat.

The upmarket restaurant doesn’t cost a thing: it’s free for customers who want to test the company’s blended chicken patties made with chicken meat cultivated from cells in a lab that are blended with soy, pea protein or whey, according to the company.

Startups – TechCrunch

Is WFH Making You Miserable?

For years those who were fortunate enough to work remotely praised its benefits from the rooftops. In fact, numerous research backed-up these claims. For example, Owl Labs found in its 2019 State of Remote Work Report the following:

  • 83% of survey respondents agree that the ability to work remotely would make them happier.
  • 82% of respondents agree with the statement that working remotely would make them feel more trusted at work.
  • 81% of respondents agree that working remotely would make them better able to manage work-life conflict.
  • 81% of survey respondents agreed that working remotely would make them more likely to recommend their company to a friend.
  • 80% of all survey respondents agreed that the ability to work remotely would make them less stressed.
  • 80% of respondents agree that working remotely would make them feel like their employer cares.
  • 74% of survey respondents agree that working remotely would make them less likely to leave their employer.

In short, remorse workers are happier, productive, and loyal. Reasons include autonomy, flexibility, and fewer workplace distractions. In turn, this is beneficial for their careers and well-being, as well as the bottom line.

Then the global pandemic yet. Suddenly people who had always dreamed of working from home who thrust into this new way of life. Some thrived, others didn’t.

You can’t fault them. A lot of folks just aren’t cut out for the WFH-life. Furthermore, there’s a dark side that’s making people downright miserable.

Why working from home is making people miserable?

“Working from home entails some degree of isolation,” explainsbusiness consultant Larry Alton. “If you live by yourself, you may go an entire day without seeing or talking to anybody.” But, even if this isn’t so, “you might customarily shut yourself away in a separate office.”

Why’s this such a big deal? Various research shows that social contact is paramount when it comes to our mental and physical health. Interacting with others can also calm and soothe us.

“Across multiple studies, controlling for factors like income, geographic regions, and even genetics, the single most important ingredient for long-term happiness appears to be how and how often we connect with other people,” adds Alton. “Loneliness, especially on a chronic basis, can subject you to depression, frustration, and career burnout.”

As if that weren’t bad enough, it’s tempting to fall into unhealthy habits. For instance, during your routine, you might tell yourself that you’re only going to catch-up with the local news. Next thing you know, you’re playing along with The Price Is Right.

It may also be easier to sleep-in, make frequent trips to the fridge, and get less physical activity. If you have children, it’s a struggle trying to homeschool them while trying to get your work done. It’s more challenging to leave work at work — I mean, you are essentially living at work.

When you’re working by yourself, there isn’t an opportunity to take advantage of Equity Theory. According to Alton, “This is a sociological phenomenon in which individuals gauge their own performance and sense of belonging against the habits and actions of others. When there are no coworkers around to help you measure your own performance, you might develop a constant, nagging feeling that something is not right.”

The good news? If working remotely has gotten you down, there are ways to turn that frown upside down. And you can start by trying out the following.

Overcome detachment.

In a pre-COVID world, this really wasn’t much of a problem. You could set-up a shop at your favorite cafe. You could join a shared workspace or actually go into work a couple of days per week.

Outside of work, you could socialize with friends or family. I’ve even taken breaks from work to chat with my neighbor. And you could attend local networking events.

While you might be able to do some of the above, it’s definitely more difficult living in a pandemic. If you’re uncomfortable being around others or can’t safely practice social distancing, you can still connect with others.

Obviously, the most popular way is via video calls using a platform like Zoom. Whether it’s meeting with your team or catching up with a friend, this has been a lifesaver. Just be cautious not to overdo it so that you miss a case of Zoom-fatigue.

Also, there’s nothing wrong with just picking up the phone and making a call. If you feel isolated, give your best friend or mentor a ring.

Set rituals, routines, and boundaries.

When you went to the office daily, you had a routine. That structure made it easier to schedule your time. More importantly, it helped you establish boundaries between work and home.

Does this mean you have to follow the exact same routine? Not exactly. The beauty of working from home is that you can set your schedule to fit your productivity peaks and personal obligations.

For example, if you’re a morning bird, you could wake-up before everyone else in your house. While it’s quiet and you have the energy, you can work on your most important task for the day. During your breaks, you could spend time with your family and get some exercise in.

Regardless of how you schedule your day, be consistent. And find ways to transition between your personal and professional lives. It could be something as simple as turning off your computer to changing your clothes.

Create a home “office” space.

I know it’s tempting to work from the comfort of your bed or couch. But, remember, you need separation between where you get things done and chillax. As such, you need a dedicated space that you associate with work.

Ideally, it should be somewhere quiet. A spare bedroom, basement, garage, or even closet would suffice. Additionally, it should also have the right tools and equipment — think desk, high-speed internet, and whatever else you need to work.

But, those are just the basics. Brighten your workspace with natural light, plants, and colors that match your work. For instance, if your job requires a ton of focus, surround yourself with the color blue.

And, go ahead and personalize your workspace by throwing in personal items like photos or memento from a past trip. Most importantly, keep this area clean and organized.

Use your breaks to get a dose of joy.

It’s no secret that frequent breaks throughout the day can boost productivity. The key is to use these breaks to rest and recharge and do something fun.

For me, that’s taking my dog for a walk after lunch — san phone. It’s been found multiple times that spending time outside can reduce anxiety, stress, and depression. But, you could try anything that makes you happy, such as phoning a friend, drawing, or dancing.

Take advantage of working from home.

While there are disadvantages of remote work, look on the bright side. You don’t have to put up with a daily commute. As a result, you’re saving more time and money — which can be spent on something more fulfilling.

Also, you might be able to have your dog be by your side all day. Or, you get to spend more quality time with your kids. And, unless you have a video meeting, every day is casual Friday.

Accept your negative feelings.

Finally, embrace any negative feelings that you’re experiencing. It’s a proven way to help you work them. Besides, constantly seeking happiness can backfire.

“Any time you’re setting a standard for your mood when you don’t meet that standard, it’s painful,” said Brett Ford, a psychologist who studies emotions at the University of Toronto. “You’re basically adding pain on top of a lack of happiness.”

“We can’t be happy all the time, but we can be OK with whatever emotions we are having,” says Dr. Judson Brewer, a psychiatrist who studies behavioral change. “And in that sense, there’s a level of contentment that comes with that.”

“I’m content that I’m happy,” says Brewer. “I’m content that I’m not happy. Whatever emotion is here is here.”

Is WFH Making You Miserable? was originally published on Calendar by John Rampton.

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KillerStartups

Indian Housewives Are Making $400,000 a Year Selling Products on WhatsApp

While you’re reading Elon Musk’s quotes for inspiration, Indian women are showing us what entrepreneurship is all about

Entrepreneur's Handbook – Medium