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Facebook Traffic Ads: 5 Ways to Get More Visitors at Lower Costs

Years ago, ads using Facebook’s traffic objective were so cheap that site owners could make money just by driving traffic to pages with display advertising. It’s a strategy known as Facebook ad arbitrage. But as ad costs have risen, it’s also a strategy that’s essentially extinct.

Of course, the “traffic” objective still has its uses in 2021. Some sites use it to bring top-of-funnel awareness to their product or service. Others still use a form of arbitrage, where they’re monetizing via affiliate offers.
The strategy I’ve used to grow my personal finance website has been to combine both of those approaches, simultaneously building my brand and monetizing Facebook traffic through affiliate offers. I first started using Facebook to drive traffic to informational content in 2017. Between then and now, we’ve brought in over 10 million visitors, with Facebook being our #1 referrer. And most importantly, our ad costs have remained flat since 2019.
I’ve tested hundreds of different ideas and strategies over that time, and my best practices are constantly changing. In this post, I’m sharing the strategies that helped me bring in high-quality traffic at what was an average cost per visitor of $0.05 in January of 2021.
So first, let’s take a look at the basics of Facebook traffic ads and why these best practices work.
What are Facebook traffic ads?
When you are setting up a new Facebook or Instagram ad, you can select one of five objectives for your campaign: engagement, app installs, video views, lead generation, and of course, traffic. Facebook traffic ads are those which use the traffic objective and can be used to send traffic to a website, mobile or desktop app, or Messenger conversation.

Why are Facebook traffic ads so cheap?
Facebook Ad benchmark studies are useful for comparing what others in your industry are doing. However, they’re just as useful for understanding what strategies advertisers are not using.
For example, we know that conversions are the most popular objective on Facebook. We also know that people who are known to convert—specifically, people who would buy a product or service from a new brand as the direct result of an ad—are some of the most highly-targeted users on Facebook.
As such, the cost of advertising to those users is higher on average.
On the other hand, there are more people who are likely to click a link and read a piece of content that interests them than people who will convert quickly. And naturally, because fewer advertisers are targeting these users, reaching them is more affordable.

A second principle that’s important to understand for running traffic ads is that Facebook’s goal isn’t just to constantly show ads to the small group of people who have a history of making quick purchasing decisions.
To maximize revenue, Facebook wants to show relevant ads to as many people as possible. After all, if users are not known to convert, constantly seeing ads asking them to buy something is a poor experience—which means both the advertiser and Facebook loses.
What’s also important is that the number of Facebook users in your total addressable market is greater than the number of Facebook users who are in your total addressable market and are known to purchase directly from a new brand as the result of an ad.

It’s not that the first group will never convert. The big takeaway is that you have to walk these people down the sales funnel step-by-step.
And this is what Facebook traffic ads are ideal for.
5 Facebook traffic ad strategies to get more visitors at lower costs
As I mentioned in the intro, the strategy I’ve used to grow my personal finance website The Ways To Wealth has been to both increase top-of-funnel awareness and monetize traffic via affiliate offers.
Here are five best practices for driving traffic at a very affordable cost while making sure that the people visiting your site are of high quality.
1. Make the content good (really good)
To get the lowest possible cost per click on your Facebook ads, priority number one is making your content so good that it encourages positive engagement (aim for a like or a share).
Shares drive down your overall cost per landing page view, and likes let Facebook know that your ad is of high quality and they can show it to more people.

Quick reminder: The more people Facebook knows it can show your ad to, the wider your overall reach and the more you’re able to target users who are rarely targeted.

Of course, every marketer thinks they have the absolute best content. So this is where it’s useful to have a third-party perspective on the quality of your content.

High-quality content is actionable and visual (Image source).
A question I like to ask myself about the content to which I’m sending cold traffic is: Would a subreddit moderator find this valuable? As any site owner who has submitted their content to Reddit knows, it’s a tough crowd. So a good litmus test for whether your content would get the positive engagement needed to have super-cheap costs is whether it’s good enough for Reddit.
I’ve also hired people on Fiverr to compare and contrast my content to other top-performing articles in the space.
The end goal is to create content that readers find valuable and share or like, as this is what causes positive engagement on your ad (which Facebook really likes).

This doesn’t mean you can’t make a profit or have a call to action on the page; it just means that you need to provide real value first.
2. Nudge people to share
While making the content so good people want to share it, you can use specific copy to nudge them in that direction.

My rule is that someone viewing my ad should have a specific person in mind that they’d share the content with, even before they read the article.

As an example, the text on one of my long-standing control ads reads:

Reading through the comments, this content is often shared from a parent to a child in their 20s — both of whom can be my target market.
Personality traits or hobbies can also work well here. For example, in driving traffic to an article on gig economy jobs, I’ve used the personality trait “introverts” in the ad text. Ideally, they’ll want to check out the content themselves, as well as have a specific person in mind that they can share it with.
3. Create content with mass appeal
Because positive engagement decreases your ad costs, you want a large percentage of the people viewing your ad and content to like or share it. That means it’s best to create ads and content that appeal to as many people as possible.
From my testing, larger audience sizes have resulted in the lowest cost per click. In fact, my minimum audience size is a 1% lookalike audience, which reaches over 2 million people.
For those with a smaller niche audience, this can require some outside-the-box thinking (which we’ll cover below).
4. Test different campaign objectives
I start my campaigns using Facebook’s traffic objective and having it optimize for landing page views. Earlier, I also mentioned that for the cheapest possible clicks you need large audiences.
The big question is this: How do you bring in high-quality traffic —i.e. traffic that will eventually convert— while maintaining large audience sizes?
In my experience, I’ve found that testing different campaign objectives works best.

While the goal is still to bring in top-of-funnel awareness by getting people to read your content, there are in fact a number of campaign objectives in Facebook that allow you to do this.
Say you’re a direct-to-consumer organic baby clothing brand. You start by driving users to a piece of content they love, such as a blog post titled “How to Create a Minimalist Eco-Friendly Wardrobe For Your Newborn,” which features your products.
You then use a 1% lookalike audience from people who’ve visited that page. From there, you create campaigns with different campaign objectives. This could include:
Landing page views
Time on page
Vertical scroll rate
Engagement
Conversions
By targeting different types of users, and by publishing content that has wide appeal to your target market, you’re exponentially expanding the amount of people you can reach on the platform.
5. Create content solely for lookalike audiences
Because having a large audience is important for driving costs down, it’s important to constantly test new audiences.
I’ve found that lookalike audiences, which significantly increase the amount of people I target, work the best.

Image source
One of my favorite ways to get lookalike audiences is from other pieces of content on my site, which is at the end-stage of a buying cycle.
For example, if I’m driving traffic to a page on money-making apps, I’ll use the lookalike audience from one of the reviews from a product mentioned, such as Capital One Shopping (a very popular rewards app mentioned in the apps article that gets high-intent search traffic).
In the past, I’ve even created content not because I knew it would do well in search, but because the few people who would read it are my ideal readers.
So, say our DTC organic baby clothing brand from the previous example has found that women in their third trimester have the highest lifetime term value. In this case, this company might create a blog post titled “A Checklist For Preparing For Your Baby In Your Third Trimester.”
Once they drive some traffic to that page via their own social channels and through outreach, they can create a lookalike audience from visitors of that page, driving traffic to their guide on “How To Create A Minimalist Eco-Friendly Wardrobe For You Newborn,” as this is their ideal customer.
This ideal customer may not have been reached if they were just using the “conversion” objective.
Plus, if this company did want to run a conversion campaign retargeting users who viewed their checklist, they’ve expanded their audience size (which allows for cheaper retargeting ads).
Final thoughts on Facebook traffic ads
As the number of advertisers on Facebook increases, it’s only natural that when deploying the same strategies as everyone else — e.g., using only the conversion objective — costs will increase.
Utilizing the lesser-known “traffic” objective is a chance to play a different game than the majority of other advertisers.
And if played right, it presents a chance to acquire customers at a cost far below what your competitors are paying.
About the author
R.J. Weiss is the founder and editor of The Ways To Wealth, a Certified Financial Planner™. He’s spent the last 10+ years writing online about personal finance and has been featured in the New York Times, Forbes, Bloomberg, MSN Money, and other publications.

4 Tweaks to Make to Your Website to Sell More

A robust online presence will become businesses’ primary medium for sales in 2021.

March 4, 2021 3 min read
Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.
With all the social media platforms available, why does a business require a website? Instagram and Facebook are excellent promoting platforms. However, you have limited control over what you can post as you’re using these channels and having your own domain gives you total control of what content you want the world to see and how you want your brand to get represented.
Social media sites also lose their popularity over the years. Myspace was the most popular platform between 2005 and 2008, with almost every celebrity on the forum. Nowadays the destination is an online punchline and it’s downfall proves that any social media network might become obsolete over time. 
Having a digital presence directly impacts revenue: When you hear about a company, do you blindly trust them or do you do some research on whether they have some online real estate? Every client needs proof that an XYZ enterprise is legitimate. Your own site provides one of the best guarantees for this. 
Related: Build a Professional Website that Meets Your Specific Business Needs with Wix
No matter your URL’s purpose, the best way to succeed is to treat and build your website as your number 1 salesperson. Any business’s website interacts directly with customers and every sale begins with just that. Here are some time-tested guidelines…  
Related: 5 Reasons to Have a Web Presence Now
1. Be welcoming
In a brick and mortar setting, will you ignore the customer that just walked right through the door of your business? Probably not. Instead, you will offer them a warm welcome, ask them about what they are looking for, guide them around the store, etc. Your site must carry out a similar approach in welcoming users. It is achievable by having a landing page that assures visitors they have come to the right place for what they want.  
Related: 9 Ways to Increase Landing-Page Conversions
2. Establish trust
Trust is an integral part of every relationship. Thus, once you have warmly welcomed your users, it is time to build faith in them. Companies build confidence in their website’s users by providing testimonials. Use  conversational language and honest information rather than sounding “salesy.” Never lie about anything, otherwise someone else will offer them the truth. 
3. Believe in your services
Customers need to be provided with objective information about your company and the services you provide. Giving information requires having some amount of faith in your product. Never underestimate your clients’ and employees’ perceptiveness as long-term success is impossible if you do not believe in the solution you are selling.
Relate: 3 Ways to Create More Engaging Website Landing Pages
4. Understanding the customer’s needs
Always have a designated place where customers can leave their feedback on the service you provided them. You can also use web analytics software to understand more about your website’s users’ behavior. Are a significant number of users directly going from your “Products” page to the “Help” page? If so, it would be best to have more text on the product’s page explaining how users move forward to make a purchase.
Related: 8 Tools You Need for Tracking Website Performance

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How Millennials Are Changing The Face Of B2B Selling: A Case Study With Derrick Yeo

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Derrick Yeo, Head of Empereur Holdings
Derrick Yeo
Let’s face it: no matter how great the branding is, some industries will always have trouble capturing the public’s imagination.  
One of those is industrial manufacturing. Whether it’s the machinery used to make the cars we all drive, or the sewing machines garment workers use to create the clothes we wear, the products that come out of industrial manufacturing are things most of us never think about. 
Perhaps because of that, it’s not a field known for attracting huge numbers of young people—even though it’s competitive and, potentially, highly lucrative. 
One exception to that rule is Derrick Yeo, a Millennial entrepreneur and head of Empereur Holdings, a B2B company that supplies industrial sewing machines to companies including Under Armour, Nike, and Adidas. 
I spoke with Yeo recently to get his thoughts on how Millennials are bringing new energy to B2B selling, changing the face of industries like industrial manufacturing. 
Shama Hyder: How do you believe Millennials are bringing new ideas and changes to traditional industries like manufacturing? 

Derrick Yeo: Firstly, as a generation, I think we are more flexible. If there are problems we need to troubleshoot, we can solve them via a Zoom meeting or video call, rather than the traditional method of sending the engineer over to the country. We’ve been doing this not only because of Covid, but because it’s more efficient and saves costs on both sides.  
Another unique thing about how we work with clients is that we offer bespoke services to every customer. We customize the equipment to match each company’s needs and specifications. In another word, we innovate and we stay ahead of the competition. 

We’re more willing to assume positive risk than many of the other companies in our sector—specifically, we offer flexible payment models and terms. We know that to stay ahead of the game, we have to adopt some creative strategies.
Finally, we adapted to the way that Millennials want to work long before Covid forced everyone to begin working from home. Millennials and Gen Z want flexibility and independence at work, and we put ourselves at the forefront of that movement in our industry. Allowing staff to work from home makes work more interesting and motivating, which in turn has helped to stimulate creativity and productivity. 
Hyder: What are a few attributes that have helped you reach success? 
Yeo: I’d say one is my attitude. Being an entrepreneur, you have to adopt the Never Say Die outlook. As Rocky Balboa said, it’s not about how hard you hit, it’s about how hard you can get hit and keep moving forward. 
That’s how you win—it’s about being resilient and never giving up. 
My leadership style is rooted in the culture I grew up in, in Singapore, which has a strong belief in meritocracy. I always try to reward the staff who deserve to be rewarded. 
Since we’re a relatively new company, I’ve adopted the Michael Dell (of Dell technology)  model, which is based on streamlining and operating small. That leads to more cost savings and efficiency, while also helping us increase our productivity to the maximum.
Hyder: What tips do you have for attracting major clients when you’re a newcomer to an industry?
Yeo: It can be challenging to be young when you’re trying to make business deals with people who have more experience, and who work at some of the biggest companies in the world. 
They don’t always trust what you say and think you’re too young to be there in the boardroom talking to them. 
The way I overcame that was by being patient, persistent, and not giving up even when the going gets tough. Eventually, these clients started believing in me because I always deliver.  
As Millennials and Gen Z begin taking the reins at companies across industries in greater numbers, we’ll continue to see more of the changes Yeo mentions, from stronger branding to more efficient operating models. And as these shifts take root, no doubt we’ll see more young people taking a harder look at careers in industries with perhaps less glamour, but a lot of potentials.

Is Your Company at Risk Due to New International Sanctions?

The new U.S. administration has a very different approach to international relations than the previous one. New tech tools mean companies are expected to know much more about their suppliers.
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March 4, 2021 5 min read
Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.
Every now and then the geopolitical pendulum makes a decisive swing and the effects reverberate through economies as well as manufacturers and their supply chains. This feels like one of those moments as a new U.S. administration takes office with a very different approach to international relations than the previous one.
The Biden administration has committed to taking a tougher stance on countries that violate U.S. human rights standards, threaten national security or even undermine democratic standards. That raises the prospect of the more widespread use of sanctions. In an early sign of its resolution, the White House was quick to threaten sanctions against Myanmar after the military’s February 1 coup.
Related: Alamo Drafthouse Files Chapter 11; Maintains Covid Protocols Despite Texas Governor Lifting Restrictions
This environment promises to ratchet up the consequences for manufacturers and other companies with risky third-party relationships. Specifically, it underlines the need for firms to understand their exposure to potential legal violations and to adopt compliance processes that provide protection.
In the spotlight
China and Russia are two countries recently in the spotlight – though they are hardly the only ones. In January, Washington announced a ban on all cotton and tomato imports from China’s Xinjiang region, citing their suspected connection with forced labor abuses of the Uighur ethnic minority. In December, the Department of Commerce announced the creation of a Military End-User list containing 102 entities in China and Russia, aimed at preventing U.S. exporters from supplying products that could benefit those countries’ military forces. 
Even if your company doesn’t have a direct relationship with China’s cotton suppliers or Russia’s military, it may have third- or fourth-party relationships that put your company at risk.
The legal onus is still on your firm to know the end-user or original supplier of your products and to act accordingly. A U.S. manufacturer with a subsidiary in China, whose staff uniforms are purchased from a firm that uses Xinjiang cotton, could well face DOC sanctions under the new rules, for example. The consequent damage to the company’s reputation and brand could be even more costly than the fines.
No excuses
Companies that have fallen afoul of U.S. sanctions programs will be well aware of these dangers. One California firm last year agreed to pay a nearly half-million-dollar settlement to the U.S. Treasury after its acquired Finnish subsidiary continued to sell software products to Iran despite its agreement to stop doing so. 
It’s not just the U.S. looking to come down harder on ethical violations. The European Commission is under pressure to propose a new law that holds companies accountable for human rights and environmental abuses that occur throughout their supply chains. France led the way in 2017 by passing a law requiring all companies with more than 10,000 employees worldwide to publish an annual “duty of care” due diligence report on its human rights impact, including its suppliers, subsidiaries and sub-contractors.
Related: Senior Nike Executive Resigns After Shoe Resale Scandal
And just as the sanctions environment tightens, technology is raising the bar on what companies will be expected to know and control. A decade ago, authorities might have been more understanding if an obscure third or fourth party was found to be involved in prison labor or government corruption. But today there are a plethora of tools companies can use to understand their relationships. Ignorance is no longer an excuse.
Is your company at risk?
The first step for companies with potential exposure to new sanctions is to conduct an internal assessment to identify which products and third parties could fall afoul of new rules.
Then, they need to think more broadly. Many companies are taking the opportunity to implement comprehensive ethical compliance policies across operations. The logic is unassailable: If it’s unacceptable to have third-party or even fourth-party links to forced labor in China or Indonesian rainforest destruction, it should be unacceptable to have similar links anywhere in the world.
This systemic approach to compliance means companies can – and should – be much more proactive about risks, rather than checking off a list and scrambling to take action every time a government announces new sanctions. Firms can develop workflow processes that dig down into third and fourth parties and focus on the areas of greatest vulnerabilities before they become a problem.
Having this process in place is a powerful protection against potential enforcement action even if one rogue actor manages to slip through a company’s compliance net.  Authorities don’t expect a company to be omnipotent, but they do want to see evidence that it made genuine efforts to monitor its relationships and avoid the kind of abuses that are now coming under closer scrutiny.

What You Should Know Before Investing in Bitcoin

March 4, 2021 5 min read
Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.
“Born in Japan, raised in Silicon Valley.” That’s the tagline of Bitflyer Inc., a Bitcoin exchange and blockchain developer. While there are several risks involved in using virtual currency, Chief Operating Officer and Head of U.S. Business for bitFlyer USA Joel Edgerton believes this is a very exciting time for cryptocurrency. While risks include the fluctuating price of cryptocurrency, liquidity and system failures, Edgerton says if done right, cryptocurrency can be a catalyst for wealth. He sat down with Jessica Abo to explain how Bitcoin works, why it’s so popular and what you should know before investing.
Jessica Abo: Joel, there are so many people who feel left out of the cryptocurrency conversation, and I want to invite them into that conversation today. Talk to me about why Bitcoin is all the rage right now.
Joel Edgerton: Bitcoin originally started after the financial crisis of 2008. It was basically set up as a response to the banks collapsing and the loss of trust within the financial system. It allows people to bank themselves, to have their own store of currency, just like gold, or something like that. Traditionally, whenever there’s risk in the markets, or whatever, people flee to gold as a way to protect themselves from that. Bitcoin is basically a much more efficient way of doing that. It protects people from the risks that are in the current financial systems, and which they see increasing, now that you have governments printing trillions and trillions of dollars of new money. It’s something that can protect them and their savings.
How does Bitflyer work?
Bitflyer is a traditional, centralized exchange. Basically, a customer can sign up. We have a little bit of KYC (know your customer), because we’re fully regulated, so we have to pay attention to the laws that we have to meet. Then, they can add their company onto the platform and buy Bitcoin, or other coins that we sell. It’s very simple, very easy. They can hold it, they can use it for exchange, they can take it off the platform to put it into their own wallet. It’s basically a centralized exchange for people to buy cryptocurrencies.
For someone who is new to this world and wants to get started, what is the first step they should take?
Well, the first one is to pick a company that they can trust, that’s been around for a while, that is licensed, that’s going to protect them, because you hear a lot of different things about scams. You see on YouTube, there’s different scams and stuff like that. There’s a lot of people trying to take your money. It’s very important to pick trustworthy companies that have been around, they have proper security in place, they have proper protections in place. Bitflyer is one of those companies. We’ve been around since around 2014, 2015. We’ve seen a lot and we’ve built up a very strong infrastructure to protect our clients. We’re very serious about protecting our clients and protecting their money.
What part of managing these operations is so rewarding for you?
I think the best thing is just seeing growth: growth of our customers, growth of our people, as we solve new problems. Also, getting into new things, talking to customers and finding out how are they using all different cryptocurrencies and what can we do to help them make that happen? Just seeing the growth of the company, and seeing the growth of new employees and the growth of the ecosystem that we’re in, talking to the customers, that’s really, really fun.
What is your number one piece of advice for the people out there, who are on the fence when it comes to investing in Bitcoin?
I had a conversation recently with my mom, who’s in her mid-70s. She was asking me about Bitcoin. I was totally surprised that she was asking about Bitcoin. She’s like, “Well, how do I invest in Bitcoin?”
I was like, “You sure you want to get into this?” I think at the end of the day, it’s something that is essentially investing within yourself. You’re taking your money, you control your money. It’s not something that you should just throw all your life savings into, because it’s still quite volatile. It is an early product, but I think the easiest thing for people coming into it is to pick a company that can help you, like Bitflyer USA, that can hold your hand, look out for you and protect you, and then not allow you to go into 5,000 different scam coins that are out there. I think that education, and learning about it and taking care of your own finances is important. If you want to just put it on autopilot and then go, then maybe cryptocurrencies are not the way to go for you. If you want to be involved in your finances and take control of your finances, then cryptocurrencies can be quite interesting for you.

Madam C.J. Walker: Black Entrepreneur Legend and Haircare Pioneer

March 4, 2021 6 min read
Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.
Another Black History Month has come and gone, but per the findings of a new study commissioned by Groupon and the National Black Chamber of Commerce: Educating ourselves on the adversity African Americans have always faced in the workplace MUST be a year long thing.
Depressingly, 80% of black business owners polled stated they faced more challenges getting their business off the ground due to their race while 85% claimed they had to overcome more obstacles than their non-black peers. Fifty-nine percent reported being victims of bias or racism when starting their company.
All the more reason (even in March) to be aware of the franchising savant, philanthropist and one of the country’s first African-American female millionaires that was Madam C.J. Walker. She still has much to teach us 101 years after her death.
Born Sarah Breedlove in 1867 within the Louisiana Delta, Walker was orphaned at a young age and spent more than a decade working as a washerwoman to support her young daughter. One day she looked down at her hands in the tub and thought: What am I going to do to support my family when I am no longer able to scrub this laundry?
This question, coupled with the fact that Walker felt her follicles were thinning, prompted her to begin working as a salesperson for the hair care product brand, the Poro Company. Walker also worked as a cook where she learned even more about the chemistry behind beauty elixirs and she eventually created her own line of beauty aids. 
Walker was a phenomenal brand builder. Her business and signature “Walker Method” for hair care provided career opportunities and economic independence for thousands of African American women. Her company trained some 40,000 “Walker Agents” in her specific product strategy.
The story of Walker’s success is packed with life and leadership lessons.
Related: This Is How You Close the Black Entrepreneurship Gap
An underprivileged background does not define you
The idea that you are more than your circumstances is the basis of my podcast. It is women like Walker that inspire me to continue to build Code Wiz and share this message. 
Walker was born on a plantation where her parents were enslaved, and although she was free, her life was filled with struggle, turmoil and heartbreak. But if you believe, as Walker did, that your circumstances do not define your shine, you can go after your goals and dreams with determination and you can create a new path. 
Believe in yourself AND your product
The truth about business is that you WILL face uphill battles. Hearing things like “you won’t succeed” and feeling overwhelmed by the obstacles may feel too much at times. Your own black brothers and sisters may tell you that you won’t succeed because African Americans just don’t make it this far. But you cannot let the words and actions of others diminish your belief in YOURSELF and your product. 
Walker faced many critiques for her products, including the claim that encouraging straight hair for black women would internalize white standards of beauty. But Walker knew that her vision of using ingredients from African origins to empower black women to love their hair was a powerful goal. She didn’t lose faith in her company, her vision or herself.
Every endeavor makes you wiser
Walker worked as a laundrywoman, cook, lived with her brothers who worked as barbers, and learned sales from the Poro Company before selling her famous products. 
She used these experiences to create her company, applying her skills in chemistry and sales experience. We can look at painful aspects of our past as hindrances or we can see them as assets. At every stage in our lives, there is always something to learn. 
Don’t just build a business, build a brand
Walker didn’t just sell hair products, she sold a lifestyle. She created an entire brand around the idea that African American women should look good, feel good and encourage themselves to create a better life. Walker embodied her brand. She put herself on the labels and used her own photos in print ads. She positioned herself as a ‘hair culturalist’ and empowered thousands of sales agents to look their best, feel their best and make a living empowering other women to do the same.  
Related: Here’s How Black Employees at Apple and Amazon Rate Their Job Satisfaction
Leverage the love 
One of the ways Walker stood out was the way she pioneered the franchising model. She was a brilliant salesperson by turning customers into brand ambassadors. Walker not only sold women her products but she also leveraged the lifestyle and dream of being a part of her brand. She trained women on the “Walker Method” and gave cash incentives to agents who did well in sales and embodied the brand.
When you are building your company, remember to leverage those who already love your brand. They are a powerful part of your business and having strategies like reward programs and referral perks are an important part of growth.
Make room at the table
As an advocate of black women’s economic independence, Walker opened training programs in the “Walker System” for her national network of licensed sales agents. She paid healthy commissions and employed hundreds of black women in her company. 
Our fortunes will not change if we don’t empower our tribe to also be successful. Don’t forget to be looking for ways to bring more voices to the table and use your success to create even more seats.
Give back 
Walker was a well-known philanthropist and we can all be inspired by her generosity. Giving back to your community and the causes that are important to you and your company can be done in many ways. Having philanthropy as part of your mission statement means you are creating motivation and unity within your team.
Walker is a true inspiration and it is invaluable to look at incredible black women in history and find teachings from their lives and accomplishments. 
Related: Maggie Lena Walker Made History as the First Woman To Own a Bank in the United States

How Private Banks Can Succeed In The Digital Era

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Karam Hinduja, the CEO of the private bank S.P
Karam Hinduja
As banks have evolved to serve Millennials and Gen Z customers, they’ve adopted a host of digital-first strategies, from digital on-demand advising to robust financial literacy libraries. 
But one area of banking that’s still stuck in the past is wealth management. Despite the fact that Millennials are starting to make up a larger proportion of those using investment and wealth management services (even though they control a much smaller percentage of wealth in the U.S. than older generations), private banks, in particular, have not yet evolved their offerings to meet the expectations of these younger customers. 
I’ve written about the ways the financial industry is changing before, much of it stemming from Zen Media’s work with FinTech clients to engage small businesses.
So I was interested to hear thoughts from Karam Hinduja, the CEO of the private bank S.P. Hinduja Banque Privée. One of his priorities has been tailoring the bank’s offerings to resonate with the values of new generations of ESG investors, aligning capital growth, asset protection, and holdings management with a commitment to mitigating sustainability risks.

He shared some of his tips for private banks looking to succeed with new clients. 
Millennial investors are more conservative than many in the industry assume.
“There’s a misconception that the Millennial generation is speculative and aggressive in its investment approach,” Hinduja says. “In fact, the new generation of investors are highly strategic and relatively conservative.” 

This is borne out by the data, which finds that Millennials are more risk-averse than previous generations. 
Banks need to stop laboring under this misconception in order to give Millennials and even Gen Z investors (a group that is slowly growing) the kinds of services they’re actually interested in, not to mention the financial education and knowledge they need to understand how to invest conservatively and safely. 
Millennials’ interest in sustainability and social responsibility extends to investments. 
The Millennial generation is famously committed to supporting businesses, endeavors, and individuals who embody their social and environmental values. 
Hinduja himself shares this commitment, and so has focused closely on incorporating social responsibility and sustainability into his bank’s operations and services. 
“Today’s investors understand that wealth is about more than mere financial returns—that ‘true value’ is rooted in adherence to social and environmental principles,” he says. Given the risks of the climate crisis and other long-term challenges, any sound long-term investment strategy must regard taking a sustainable approach as standard, rather than as an alternative.
Hinduja has sought to partner his bank with individuals, families, and businesses that share his outlook, viewing the private banking business as a mechanism and vehicle for realizing not only ethical but sustainable principles, as well as growing wealth.
“Impact investing” doesn’t go far enough
Impact investing is an approach that’s growing in popularity, and it’s achieved some admirable goals—among them, simply making investors and the general public more aware of how their money affects the world, from ethical industries to sustainability. 
However, Hinduja says, it’s not enough to be an impact investor. That alone doesn’t go far enough. “‘Impact’ as a term doesn’t even make sense–it’s just investing,” Hinduja says. “The more dire our global challenges become, the more we need to mobilize capital and entrepreneurship. Addressing these global challenges is the greatest of market opportunities of our generation.”
Like the banking, investment, and wealth management sectors evolve, we’ll continue to see more and more focus on the kinds of values-based offerings that Hinduja is already a proponent of. The question for financial institutions going forward will be how they meet the challenge.

Small Businesses Add 32,000 Jobs in February

The ADP National Employment Report for February shows small businesses added 32,000 jobs for the month, but it was much lower than January, at 51,000 jobs. This as the U.S. continues to accelerate the vaccination for COVID-19 and cities across the country start easing restrictions they have in place. And so far, the recovery in the labor market is sluggish at best.
Nela Richardson, chief economist, ADP, echoed this very sentiment in the release for the report. Adding,  “We’re seeing large-sized companies increasingly feeling the effects of COVID-19, while job growth in the goods-producing sector pauses. With the pandemic still in the driver’s seat, the service sector remains well below its pre-pandemic levels; however, this sector is one that will likely benefit the most over time with reopenings and increased consumer confidence.”
And the service sector will play a great role in reviving many small businesses.

February 2021 ADP Small Business Report
When the ADP report for January came out with 51,000 there was reason for celebration. This because of the bleak -13,000 jobs in December. However, February put a damper on the celebration because there were 19,000 fewer jobs for the month.
In the ADP report, very small businesses (1-19 employees) managed to generate 21,000 jobs while those with 20-49 employees created 12,000 jobs.
According to the report, there was a total of 48,000 jobs created in the service-providing sector. But this was revised because the goods-producing sector lost a total of 16,000 jobs.

A Great Spike from Franchises
At 35,500 jobs, franchises were responsible for gaining just under 25,000 new jobs for February over the January numbers. And most of the jobs came from restaurants at 30,000. This number highlights the statement from Richardson regarding the growth in the service sector industry.
In addition to restaurants, auto parts and dealers created 9,400 jobs with business services and real estate franchises adding 300 and 200 jobs respectively. The other franchise segments, food retailers and accommodations were -1,800 and -900 jobs respectively for the month.

The National Report
The national total for February is down to 117,000 jobs compared to the 174,000 in January.
Small (1-49 employees), midsized (50-499 employees), and large (500 or more employees) all managed to create positive net jobs in February. Small businesses came with the aforementioned total, while midsized and large businesses added 57,000 and 28,000 jobs respectively.
Once again, the service-providing sector led the way with 131,00 jobs. Trade, transportation, and utilities, as well as education and health, led the way with 48,000 and 35,000 jobs in that order. The goods-producing sector didn’t fare well, losing 14,000 jobs in manufacturing and 3,000 jobs in construction.

Images: ADP

2 Ways to Mess with the IRS

A CPA, CMA and self-described “cashflow maven” explains how to expedite your tax savings plan with a pair of super-easy pointers.
Free Book Preview Tax and Legal Playbook
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March 4, 2021 2 min read
Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.
Do you hold your breath while waiting to hear your tax bill each year without ever speaking with your CPA or Tax Expert?
Your tax bill is always more predictable if you take the right steps early. But if you’re reading this, the bad news is you’re already late. The upside is I’ve got you covered with two quick tips to absorb before April arrives.
Related: Still Haven’t Gotten Your Stimulus Check? Here’s What to Do
1. Better bookkeeping
Good bookkeeping impacts every area of your business and will impact your decisions and strategy.
* Ask yourself: How many months are left to be updated? Do you have all your supporting documents ready or will you have to search for key supporting documents?
* Remember to make sure your bank reconciliation is also being updated with all amounts accounted for – both payments and receipts.
* Ensure the Chart of Accounts  (how your business dealings are categorized) is current and properly reflects the various transactions of your company. 
Each type of transaction in your business will have varying tax rules and reporting requirements. When transactions are not reported in the correct category you risk losing key benefits or credits. 
When transactions are missing and not recorded in your business that will also impact the taxes paid. Each missing expense results in a corresponding missing credit or deduction depending on your rate. Setting up your business to ensure effective systems exist will seek to minimize your risk of missing transactions and paying more than you want (or need) to pay.
Related: How to Give Yourself a Tax Cut
2. Reach out to a professional ASAP
Pay a little to the pros so as to avoid paying a lot to the government. Here’s what to ask a tax expert…
* Are there are any changes in the laws which will impact your business? Do you need to do anything, right now, to qualify for any credits or deductions which are applicable? How will any final purchases/expenses or payouts such as dividends impact my tax bill? 
Tax planning is where you work with an expert to develop strategies on saving. Your bill is dependent on your business situation, environment and government rules/regulations, so you need a clear defined game plan. 
Pay less by organizing effectively.
Related: What to Know When Applying for a New PPP Loan By March 31