Archive for September, 2012

KKR branches out with Acteon

Sunday, September 30th, 2012

First Reserve has sold its stake in the oil services company to the US buyout group in a deal that values Acteon’s equity and debt at ?800m-?900m

Xstrata deal close after move on pay vote

Sunday, September 30th, 2012

Miner hammers out novel structure designed to win support from its shareholders to create one of the world’s largest natural resources groups

Work.io: An Online Marketplace for Hiring Help

Sunday, September 30th, 2012

For small businesses looking to hire help or just outsource a few tasks, recruiting tools can often seem complicated, especially for businesses that aren’t large enough to have someone who’s specifically in charge of finding new talent. Work.io is a startup that aims to help connect companies with people who can help, but it does so in a new kind of way that may seem more familiar.

Work.io

The site, which launched last week, positions the company looking to hire as the “buyer” and creates a sort of online shopping experience for professional talent.

Businesses can browse through the specific skill sets and experience they’re looking for, whether it’s legal research, lead generation, or anything in between. Companies can also specify whether they need quick help for one specific project, or potentially a larger workload.

Once companies use the Work.io template to specify their needs, the site then finds relevant matches in its database and pitches the job to potential workers. They can then respond to the posting, including information such as rate, skills, experience, and bio.

Companies can see who is responding and how many individuals they’ve reached with their posting in real time. They also have the opportunity to reach out and speak with anyone involved at any time throughout the process.

Anyone can create a profile on the site, but Work.io controls who has access to the actual site database based on how well their skills and expertise match up with demand from businesses. So instead of wading through classifieds or creating a post on a general recruiting site, users of Work.io have access to a sort of curated list of potential help.

For companies, this type of site could potentially simplify the whole recruiting process by turning it into a more familiar kind of user experience, like an online marketplace. But it could also be helpful for business professionals who want to market their existing skills to gain freelance or consulting work.  The constant stream of leads targeted to your experience could not only help freelance workers or very small businesses gain jobs, but it could also help create contacts in industries where you may continue to find work in the future.

However, this isn’t the only site currently available that matches companies with new talent. Services like oDesk and Taskrabbit that help companies outsource certain jobs and tasks have been gaining some popularity and support in recent months.

But Work.io claims to have a more simplistic approach and fewer hoops for companies to jump through when looking to hire.

The post Work.io: An Online Marketplace for Hiring Help appeared first on Small Business Trends.

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Ivana Taylor is Curious About Why People Buy

Sunday, September 30th, 2012

Some of us know what we want to do “when we grow up” from a young age. However, Ivana Taylor, President and Chief Marketing Officer of Third Force, took a while longer:

Ivana Taylor“I got into marketing the day I registered for classes at Penn State.  

I was there to register as a Chemical Engineering major and as I sat and waited my turn, I realized that I wasn’t nearly as passionate about engineering as I needed to be.

As I flipped through page after page of the different majors I landed on Marketing right when they called my name!”

She’s been immersed in marketing for the past 25 years – and loves it.

Curiosity Fuels Her Business

Whether she was working in a corporation doing marketing or running her popular DIYMarketers blog and community, curiosity has always been the driving force behind Taylor’s marketing efforts:

“My curiosity and interest in how people buy and why people buy has never changed.  It’s just grown.  I went into consulting in 1999 and when I had to convert my “jobs” into a service offer, I realized that my gift was in helping my clients become THE ONE their ideal customers choose regardless of price.”

Taylor focuses on helping small businesses with their marketing. Her clients tend to have sales of less than $1 million, and are overwhelmed with not knowing the best way to market their brands. She says she loves the commitment that small business owners have to build and create something that makes the world a better place.

“Tayloring” a Marketing Solution

Realizing that there was not one marketing strategy that suits all business types, Taylor recently launched a unique marketing style assessment that helps business owners choose their three best marketing strategies based on their unique marketing style on DIYMarketers. Once a visitor fills out the assessment, they are sent a customized report that helps them define their unique selling proposition and develop their brand to leverage the marketing strategies.

From Behind-the-Scenes to the Limelight
Taylor was heavily involved in coordinating the 2012 Small Business Influencer Awards, which she said was even better this year because voters had the opportunity to leave supporting comments and testimonials for their favorite nominees:

“My favorite part of the SMBInfluencer Awards is the focus on putting a spotlight on what I call the invisible heroes and influencers of small business.”

* * * * *

Editor’s Note: This article is one of a series of interviews of key players in the Small Business Influencer Awards.

The post Ivana Taylor is Curious About Why People Buy appeared first on Small Business Trends.

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Muslims Torch Buddhist Shrines in Bangladesh

Sunday, September 30th, 2012

Crowds of angry Muslims attacked Buddhist shrines, torching some of them, over the weekend in Bangladesh to protest after a photo of a partially burned Quran was posted on Facebook, CNN reported.

The protesters chanted anti-Buddhist slogans, blaming the burning of the Muslim holy book on a Buddhist boy, district police superintendent Saleem Jahangir said.

The boy is tagged in the photo but did not post it himself, Jahangir said….

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US Group Sets EUR 8 B Price Tag for Bulgaria’s N-Plant

Sunday, September 30th, 2012

The construction of Bulgaria’s nuclear power plant in Belene would cost EUR 8 B, according to estimates of the consultant of the alleged US investors in the project.

Earlier this week the recently US-registered Global Power Consortium expressed interest in taking over the project to install two 1,000 megawatt nuclear reactors at the Danube River town of Belene and build it without state funds or guarantees.

The companies behind the consortium however are yet unknown.

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Bulgaria Rulers Confirm Pension Hike in Election Year

Sunday, September 30th, 2012

Bulgaria’s ruling center-right party GERB and the Cabinet of Prime Minister Boyko Borisov have reiterated their promises to raise the pensions of retirees in the country ahead of the 2013 parliamentary elections.

The promised pension hike will probably come into effect as of April 1, 2013, Finance Minister Simeon Djnakov said on Sunday, while on a visit to a coastal resort near Varna city.

Bulgaria’s government is also planning to raise the minimum monthly salary in Bulgaria from the current BGN 290 to BGN 310 as of January 1, 2013….

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Bulgarian Rulers Confirm Pension Hike in Election Year

Sunday, September 30th, 2012

Bulgaria’s ruling center-right party GERB and the Cabinet of Prime Minister Boyko Borisov have reiterated their promises to raise the pensions of retirees in the country ahead of the 2013 parliamentary elections.

The promised pension hike will probably come into effect as of April 1, 2013, Finance Minister Simeon Djnakov said on Sunday, while on a visit to a coastal resort near Varna city.

Bulgaria’s government is also planning to raise the minimum monthly salary in Bulgaria from the current BGN 290 to BGN 310 as of January 1, 2013….

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Real Estate Content Strategy: SEO And Your Blog

Sunday, September 30th, 2012

If content writers had cocktail parties, I imagine things would go along quite swimmingly for a half hour or so: interesting conversation would be peppered with the most random factoids that only content writers would ever know.  Then, somewhere around the bottom of everyone’s first glass, I can envision some disagreements breaking out.

You see, we’re not all of the same camp.

search

I’m imagining an argument about SEO (search engine optimization) developing.  The fact is, there are some copywriters who want to stuff their blog posts and static website pages with every keyword imaginable, over, and over, and over.  Then, there are others who will use a keyword twice, and pat themselves on the back for writing an essay worthy of Montaigne.

Surely there’s a medium, wouldn’t you agree?

The Perks of SEO Focus

When it comes to real estate, there are many reasons why you might want your content to be SEO heavy.  The truth is 94% of homebuyers begin their search for a new home online.  96% of first time homebuyers begin their search online.

Are you getting excited?  Or, are you freaking out because you don’t have an online presence?  Hang with me here!

When that many people are looking for a home online, it’s inevitable that the search engine terms they use are going to be all over the map.  “My Title Guy” says that 50% of Google searches will happen once, and are never performed again.  Wow!

So how do you combat those daunting statistics?  The SEO camp would say you stuff your content with keywords in an effort to grab onto all the Web traffic you can.

But What About Quality?

If you’re like me, you might be feeling just a little bit uneasy about that approach.  Sure, you want to get traffic, but you also want to have a little style… a little flair, right?  Well, you can.  If you’re new to this wonderful world of real estate content marketing, then there’s one thing you’ve got to know about:

Landing Pages

Landing pages are the hubs that take your visitors from the busy streets of Google into the quiet, nicely decorated rooms of your house.  They’re kind of like the threshold.  Your guests can see inside, but the street is also within earshot.

What am I talking about?  Let me put it this way… your landing page is where you load up on keywords.  Everything from “six bedroom house in Omaha with pool” to “Nebraska high end real estate.”  You throw everything you can out there onto your landing pages, and you spread these terms out over multiple landing pages, each with their own specific niche focuses.  It might not be pretty, but it brings your visitors to your home.

Your Real Estate Blog

Next, your landing pages have a call-to-action that brings visitors into the comfort of… your blog.  Your blog is where you can share valuable information.  This is not the SEO-heavy, keyword-centric content.  This is the meat: the juicy pieces that your visitors can savor.

If you’re curious to know what a great real estate blog looks like, I’m happy to recommend you the Zillow blog.  Zillow does a great job with their blog because they’re largely non-promotional.  They focus on being a valued resource, realizing that their audience will convert to customers as they consume more and more content.

Here are some great examples of Zillow’s non-promotional blog posts:

These posts are completely different from one another, but they both offer valuable content (albeit, of totally different natures).  Also, check out how non-promotional they are.  Then again, notice how slyly that second post encourages the reader to link through to additional resource pages.  Perfect.

Your Real Estate Content Approach

So what will your real estate content approach be?  Do you see major issues with either side of the SEO spectrum?  Or, do you believe there’s a better way to reach a happy medium?

Do you have any thoughts on what a good real estate blog should do?

SEO Photo via Shutterstock

The post Real Estate Content Strategy: SEO And Your Blog appeared first on Small Business Trends.

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Bulgaria IRC Dominated by Local Drivers, Iliev Wins

Sunday, September 30th, 2012

National champion Dimitar Iliev clinched his sixth victory of the rally Sliven on Sunday morning that concluded the Intercontinental Rally Challenge’s Bulgarian debut.

In the absence of the championship’s top names, local drivers dominated the race.

Petar Gyoshev, driving a Peugeot 207 Super 2000, was 5….

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