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Financing Home Improvements

Whether it’s building a swimming pool or replacing a roof on one of your rentals at some point in the future you’ll be hit with an expense right in your pocketbook. Do you finance those expenses or do you pay them out of pocket and how do you decide?Different home owners will have different strategies for financing the inevitable. After all, if you can’t afford the maintenance on a home you can’t afford the home. But most owners will keep a cash reserve set aside to meet unexpected expenses. How much is enough?Mortgage lenders have made a general determination of how much in reserves is prudent. This amount in reserves is a minimum of six months’ worth of mortgage payments. If the principal and interest, taxes and insurance payments are $2,000 per month then $12,000 should be enough to cover any surprises.Obviously, this is the least expensive form of maintenance funds. The funds aren’t borrowed so there are no interest payments to a lender.The next method of paying for home improvements or maintenance is with a home equity or home improvement loan. A home improvement loan is one loan extended to a borrower for the purposes of home improvement or maintenance. A lender will want to see a list of proposed improvements for the home and may even send out an inspector to verify the improvements have been made.A home equity loan is not issued for a specific amount but is a credit line extended to the borrower with the house as collateral. An equity loan is much like a credit card; a borrower can use as much or as little of the credit line when needed and pay off the loan over time. This is perhaps the most convenient financing method.Finally, funds can be pulled out when a property is refinanced. This is called a cash out refinance and funds are withdrawn to be used for other purposes while the borrower is refinancing to a lower interest rate. If a borrower is refinancing for a lower rate and needs some additional funds for a roof, air condition or other improvements, the interest rates on cash out refinance loans are better than an equity loan or home improvement loan.If you need to finance home improvements or need funds for maintenance, remember you have choices. And if you don’t yet have a healthy reserve account, maybe it’s time to start building one.

Crowd Marketing – How to Promote Your Business

With the emergence of the Internet and social media platforms with the audience of thousands and thousands of people, the concept of crowd marketing is seemingly a better marketing solution for a lot of companies.What is Crowd Marketing?A popular marketing technique in which a business connects to an influencer, who is in direct contact with the target market of the product that the business is marketing. The proliferation of social media networks including the Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, Google+ and many other, crowd marketing has gained increased popularity among marketers as being a cheap, effective and the easiest way to reach target consumer. Unlike many other marketing strategies, the target market reach of can be monitored in terms of measurable indicators such as likes, shares, reviews, retweets, feedbacks etc. In essence, crowd marketing techniques are focused on increasing website traffic, lifting search engine rank and strengthening the brand position. The main difference between techniques like Social Media Marketing (SMM), Search Engine Optimization (SEO) and the crowded marketing technique is that the later technique directly approaches to target consumers rather than focusing on the general public. One of the good examples of crowd marketing may be the celebrity endorsement technique. In this technique, a business identifies celebrities that already have a large fan base among the target market niche of the business; the business pays the celebrity to endorse its product among its target consumers. It is an effective way because people tend to be influenced by celebrities, their lifestyles and what they recommend. Such marketing technique is also used to approach the target market directly as long as the influencing celebrity personality, as well as his fan base among the target market population, are properly selected.Crowd Marketing TechniquesThe most popular techniques most recently rely on the social media platform and utilize the power of content marketing to enhance target market reach. Since social media has become an integral part of people’s lives, one of the most effective platforms is Facebook, which has over 1,500 million active users. Targeting Facebook as a platform to reach the target market has been popular these days. The technique is straightforward -leveraging content marketing method to attract the target market population among Facebook users. In this method, the business creates a compelling content, mostly product or brand-related videos, and finds an effective way to publish it over the Facebook that will ensure most return on investment. Usually, celebrity pages, celebrity accounts where many people keep their attention and the paid advertisement that is boosted by the Facebook to help reach increased customer base are utilized as crowd marketing technique over the Facebook. The number of likes, shares, and comments can be used as a measure of the success of the campaign. The most effective way to reach target market is to utilize the key influence of the business niche. Identifying target consumers, their behaviors and whom or what they follow can make the difference. If the key influencer of the target audience can be identified and can be used to endorse the product or brand, the success of convincing the audience about the reliability and superiority of the business goes higher.The Power of Social MediaAnother effective technique that warrants success is to use tools that help the business with key insights of the marketing as related to social and content marketing wings of crowd marketing. For example, few web applications help the business identify the target audience of a product, their key influencer, their position and location within web domain and provides with the best crowd marketing strategy starting from content recommendation to target markets locating. These tools make implementation of your marketing strategies easier and more effective.The Lego Group, children’s toy builder company, has been leveraging the concept of crowd marketing since the 90′s; it has used the Internet effectively to transform website traffic into effective customers and revenues. The key idea to engage target customers from around the world is novel and simple – it asks toy builders and idea-makers to share their ideas about new toys. These ideas are published on the website and are open to million enthusiastic audiences. Any builder can upload his unique design built out of the combination of thousands of different block pieces. The models are placed to audiences for marking and the models that get highest marks are chosen for the award. Moreover, the company uses fans’ ideas and models to build its toys from. Recently, it has created builds from the theme of the movie “Star Wars” and “Lord of the Rings”, which are the most popular builds from the company for years. The company has been adopting social media-based marketing campaign to increase its audience reach and enhance revenues. Last year, the company has earned about $4 trillion in revenue, most of which can be attributed to the crowd marketing strategy. Crowd marketing has also enabled it to become a global brand. The success of the company may be set as an example for all businesses who wish to adopt crowd marketing strategies.

3 Social Marketing Services That You Should Be Using To Get Traffic

There are some social marketing services that you should definitely be using if you want to start getting more traffic to your website. The ultimate aim of social marketing is to spread the word. It’s a form of viral marketing. In the old days of internet marketing, you had to manually set up referral marketing campaigns and do things such as eBook marketing to get people to pass around your content, and get free visitors back to your site.In today’s times however, social marketing has highly evolved. There are more than 1 way to get referral and viral traffic back to your site automatically without you doing a thing. But you have to make sure that you know what you’re doing with the traffic once you get it. But that’s a topic for a different day. There are tons of social marketing services out there that can boost your credibility, reputation in your niche, and ultimately income.Now what you don’t want to do is use poor social marketing services that can get you banned from sites, or even get you blacklisted. Some people find this out the hard way. If you think buying 5,000 Facebook likes, or 5,000 subscribers to your Twitter account is an effective way to market and get more sales online, you’re definitely wrong. Some people think that if they just can “look good” online people will think they’re an expert and then will start buying from them. This couldn’t be farther from the truth.People don’t buy because they think you’re popular. People buy because they believe you have a good solution to a bad problem that they have. If all you have to offer is 5,000 Facebook likes to a person who’s having acne problems, then you won’t get the sale. So don’t invest in social marketing services that will only make you look good, but doesn’t have any effect on how much sales and profits that you get.Now I mentioned that I wanted to go over some social marketing services that you should be using to get traffic to your website. I’m about to list some of my favorite tools to use and how I use them, and how you can use them also to get the positive results in your business that you’re looking for. And don’t be afraid to invest in paid social marketing services also, because sometimes these paid services offer automation tools that are worth the money. Here’s the first social marketing service that you should be using:1) TwellowTwellow is like the “Yellow Pages” for Twitter. If you want more Twitter followers, this is where you should start. You can sign up here and browse through your niche categories, and start following people who have similar websites or Twitter profiles that you have. This is a free and easy way to start getting more Twitter followers without having to resort to a software that may get you banned from Twitter.In fact, a long time ago there was this paid automated software that was very popular called “Tweet Adder”. It was so popular that a second version was made and it was called “Tweet Adder 2″. It allowed you to massively get thousands of related Twitter users to follow you and start marketing to them.Needless to say, it was so successful and popular (and against Twitter’s terms of service) that anyone who was found to have used it at any point was banned from Twitter.People were building massive Twitter followings and using their “direct message” box (DM) to solicit leads and traffic from people. This got out of hand and a solution was needed to stop this poor practice from continuing. So peoples’ accounts got disabled, and they were no longer to use their Twitter profile to acquire business. And ultimately, “Tweet Adder” was shut down and discontinued. Here’s another social marketing service that you should be using:2) HootsuiteNow I did mention earlier that there are some paid social marketing services that you can use to automate your marketing. Hootsuite is one of these tools. Hootsuite provides a wide range of social marketing tasks that can be performed. And it’s 100% legal and doesn’t violate any terms of services on the social media platforms and websites online.One of my favorite features of Hootsuite is its ability to have your social media content posted automatically. What you would do is input some pre-inserted content into Hootsuite and specify when you want the content to be sent out. This saves a lot of time and if you have a website that already has a ton of content on it, this would be a great way to get it syndicated on the internet.And as you already know, if people on your social media accounts like what you are sending them, they are going to forward your information to their friends and colleagues also – give you more free eyeballs to your website and content. Hootsuite is great, and offers a TON of other social marketing services, but just this 1 alone is worth the investment.Here’s another social marketing service that you should be using:3) AddThisAddThis is social media button platform that allows people to instantly share your content automatically on their social media accounts. AddThis allows you to insert code onto your website or blog, and have social media icons appear on every page of your site. If someone lands on a page on your site or blog that has great content, they can instantly click on a social media button on your page and share your content with their followers.This is a quick and easy way to get free syndication without you doing a thing. And AddThis is free!These 3 social marketing services are tools that you will want to use if you want to strengthen your social marketing campaigns and obviously get more traffic to your website. They’re simple, and while 1 is paid (Hootsuite), it’s highly recommended that you invest in it for the longevity of your website and business.