20 Women Entrepreneurs Who Are Changing the World

It’s a great time to be a female entrepreneur. There are plenty of trailblazers making their mark on a variety of different industries. If you’re looking for some inspiration or any female entrepreneurs to look up to, take a look at the successful women entrepreneurs listed below and learn how they’re changing the world with their businesses.

Successful Women Entrepreneurs

Rebecca Minkoff

20 Successful Women Entrepreneurs - Rebecca Minkoff

The millennial fashion designer has built her own clothing and accessory empire by targeting young women and actually connecting with them on a personal level, mainly using social media and influencer marketing.

Alexa von Tobel

This entrepreneur actually dropped out of Harvard Business School before starting her business, LearnVest. Her goal with the business is to bring financial knowledge to the masses to help them make better decisions.

Weili Dai

Weili Dai is the co-founder of Marvell Technology Group, a company that makes semiconductors. The tech entrepreneur has won numerous awards and recognition for her ability to succeed in a male dominated industry.

Pamela Slim

Pamela Slim is an author, teacher and business expert. She provides coaching and consulting services to other entrepreneurs looking to boost their bottom line.

Leslie Blodgett

An accomplished entrepreneur, Leslie Blodgett has stood at the helm of multiple beauty brands, including Bare Escentuals and Shiseido.

Tory Burch

20 Successful Women Entrepreneurs - Tory Burch

This popular fashion designer has built a worldwide brand of shoes, handbags, clothing and more. She is also a philanthropist and has won several awards for her designs and business acumen.

Cher Wang

Cher Wang is the co-founder and chairperson of HTC. And her success is magnified by the fact that she does it all in the tech industry, a sector that has traditionally been dominated mainly by male entrepreneurs.

Angie Hicks

Angie Hicks is the founder of Angie’s List, a website that helps connect consumers with local service providers. She started the business back in 1995 and has since grown it into one of the most recognizable sources for finding service providers.

Shelia Lirio Marcelo

This female entrepreneur founded an innovative online startup to help people find child care, pet sitters and house sitters. Care.com is now one of the top sources for finding child care providers online.

Cynthia Ndubuisi

Cynthia Ndubuisi is the entrepreneur behind EverGlow, a company that makes biodegradable dish soap that’s derived from plants. She created the product because of some challenges faced by people in her native country of Nigeria. And she used the help of a mentor to build it into a recognizable brand.

Arianna Huffington

20 Successful Women Entrepreneurs - Arianna Huffington

Arianna Huffington founded the Huffington Post, one of the most notable news publications online. Since then, AOL acquired the publication. But Huffington remains involved in business endeavors and has another startup in the works called Thrive Global.

Erica Nicole

This entrepreneur is the founder and CEO of YFS Magazine. The news site focuses on providing informative content to young self-employed individuals and entrepreneurs.

Rashmi Sinha

This female entrepreneur created an online presentation tool that’s popular with a lot of small businesses — SlideShare. She’s been named as one of the most powerful female entrepreneurs in the world.

Sara Blakely

The founder of SPANX dealt with plenty of failure in the professional world before starting the wildly successful shapewear business. Now, it’s a globally recognized brand. And Blakely’s net worth has been estimated at about $1 billion.

Yang Lan

This entrepreneur is the founder of Sun Media, a Chinese media group. Her empire includes TV, newspapers, magazines and more. And she’s been named as one of the most powerful entrepreneurs in China.

Sophia Amoruso

Although her original entrepreneurial venture, Nasty Gal, folded earlier this year, Amoruso remains involved in the business world. She has a successful book, Netflix show and other projects in the works.

Debbi Fields

Debbi Fields is the female entrepreneur behind Mrs. Fields cookies. She started the business with just a small personal investment and built it into a large, nationwide brand.

Gisele Bundchen

Though Gisele Bundchen might be more well known for her modeling career, she is also an accomplished entrepreneur. Her skin care business, Sejaa Skincare, brings in millions each year.

Corri McFadden

If you think ecommerce reselling is just a hobby, think again. Corri McFadden has built a very successful business based on that concept. Her business is called eDrop-Off. And she and her team collect gently used luxury goods and resell them on eBay.

Mei Pak

Though she actually has a degree in mathematics, Mei Pak decided to go the entrepreneurial route instead and started Tiny Hands, a company that sells unique and handmade jewelry pieces.

Minkoff, Burch, Huffington, United Photos via Shutterstock

This article, “20 Women Entrepreneurs Who Are Changing the World” was first published on Small Business Trends

25 Travel Accessories for Men

25 Travel Accessories for Men

If you’re in the market for some masculine travel accessories, you’re in luck. There are plenty of different products out there that work great for male business travelers. Here are 25 of them.

Travel Accessories for Men

Lifewit Men’s Leather Briefcase

25 Travel Accessories for Men - Lifewit Men’s Leather Briefcase

If you’re taking short trips and mostly just need to transport your work gear, an over-the-shoulder bag like this leather briefcase might work just fine. This leather bag retails for between $130 and $300.

Renwick Shoulder Bag

25 Travel Accessories for Men - Renwick Shoulder Bag

This shoulder bag from Renwick offers another classic option for business travelers. It retails for $17.99.

CaseCrown Laptop Bag

25 Travel Accessories for Men - CaseCrown Laptop Bag

This CaseCrown messenger bag offers another option. It’s made specifically for laptops and comes in a few different sizes, starting at $29.99.

Kopak Slim Business Backpack

25 Travel Accessories for Men - Kopak Slim Business Backpack

Or you could opt instead for a backpack to hold a variety of different items. This slim model is made specifically to fit most laptops, but can also hold some other belongings. Price starts at $36.99.

Targus Rolling Bag

25 Travel Accessories for Men -

You could also go for a rolling bag like this one from Targus. It’s sized to hold laptops and other items. And it retails for $44.95.

HSEOK Laptop Sleeve

25 Travel Accessories for Men - Targus Rolling Bag

While you travel, you’ll need a way to keep your laptop protected. This HSEOK laptop sleeve features a masculine design and starts at $16.99.

Rivacase Tablet Case

25 Travel Accessories for Men - Rivacase Tablet Case

Likewise, a tablet case like this one from Rivacase can be essential if you travel with a tablet device. This product starts at $14.90 and comes in a few different sizes.

ProCase Tablet Stand

25 Travel Accessories for Men - ProCase Tablet Stand

You might also find it helpful to have a stand for your tablet so you can easily work on the go. This ProCase tablet stand is made for Samsung tablets and retails for $17.99.

RAVpower Portable Charger

25 Travel Accessories for Men - RAVpower Portable Charger

This portable charging station will allow you to charge your devices even on the go. The product starts at around $20 and features a sleek, masculine design.

Treblab Connectivity Headphones

25 Travel Accessories for Men - Treblab Connectivity Headphones

If you need to do any video or voice chatting while you travel, some good headphones with a built-in microphone can be a big help. These start at $39.99.

Philips Noise Cancelling Headphones

25 Travel Accessories for Men - Philips Noise Cancelling Headphones

Or if you just need to drown out the distractions around you, consider some noise cancelling headphones like these from Philips, which retail for $114.95.

Roll Up Electronics Organizer

25 Travel Accessories for Men - Roll Up Electronics Organizer

To store all of your electronics without taking up a ton of space in your suitcase, you could use something like this roll up organizer from Patu, which starts at $12.99.

MLMSY Toiletry Bag

25 Travel Accessories for Men - MLMSY Toiletry Bag

For all of your shaving supplies and other toiletries, consider this hanging toiletry bag from MLMSY. It comes in a more masculine style than many other toiletry bags and costs just under $13.

Squeeze Pod Toiletries

25 Travel Accessories for Men - Squeeze Pod Toiletries

Or if you’d rather just purchase the travel sizes of the toiletry products you need, these squeeze pods offer a simple solution at $12.99.

Travel Bottle Set

25 Travel Accessories for Men - Travel Bottle Set

You might also find a set of travel size, TSA approved bottles like these helpful. This set is fairly masculine and costs $16.95.

Parker Travel Shave Kit

25 Travel Accessories for Men - Parker Travel Shave Kit

Or you could go with a dedicated shave kit like this one from Paker that retails for about $100.

AmazonBasics Garment Bag

25 Travel Accessories for Men - AmazonBasics Garment Bag

If you need to travel with a suit or other garments that you need to keep wrinkle-free, a garment bag like this one for $7.99 can be a huge help.

LapGear MyDesk

25 Travel Accessories for Men - LapGear MyDesk

If you need to get any work done while on a plane or waiting around the airport, a lap desk like this one can be a big help. This LapGear product starts at $16.99.

ProCase Travel Case

25 Travel Accessories for Men - ProCase Travel Case

You could also use a multi-purpose case like this one to hold toiletries, electronics or any other number of goods. This ProCase organizer starts at $11.99.

Waterproof Travel Pouch

25 Travel Accessories for Men - Waterproof Travel Pouch

If you plan on doing any hiking or exploring while you travel, having a small case like this one to hold your essentials can be a big benefit. This one starts at $8.99.

Travel Portfolio Bag

25 Travel Accessories for Men - Travel Portfolio Bag

A portfolio bag like this one can provide another option for keeping your phone, wallet and other important items easily accessible while traveling. This one ranges from $9.99 to $21.78.

Caseling Travel Storage Case

25 Travel Accessories for Men - Caseling Travel Storage Case

Or if you need a case that’s really durable, this Caseling product has a hard exterior to protect your breakable goods. It retails for $14.99.

Master Lock Luggage Lock

25 Travel Accessories for Men - Master Lock Luggage Lock

No matter what types of accessories you choose, you’re going to want to make sure they’re all secure in your bags. So you might want to purchase a TSA approved lock like this one from Master Lock, starting at $6.98.

Accuweight Luggage Scale

25 Travel Accessories for Men - Accuweight Luggage Scale

You’ll also want to make sure that your bags don’t exceed any airline weight limits. And this Accuweight luggage scale, priced at $6.99, can help.

Travelmate Neck Pillow

25 Travel Accessories for Men - Travelmate Neck Pillow

This memory foam neck pillow can help you make your travels more comfortable as well. It retails for $13.65.

Traveling Man Photo via Shutterstock

This article, “25 Travel Accessories for Men” was first published on Small Business Trends

10 Job Interview Questions to Stop Asking Candidates

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When I get a job interview, there’s a lot to prepare. I diligently research the company and my interviewers, pore over Glassdoor interview questions, and print out copies of my resume and portfolio.

When I interview someone else, it’s easier to prepare. I don’t have to put together the perfect outfit, I don’t have to worry about how to find the restroom, and at the end of the day, I don’t have to worry about if I got the job or not.

Download our free guide here for more interviewing and screening tips to build your team.

A quick Google Search for job interview questions brings up some of the most common asks you might have already answered 20 times over the course of your career. They’re popular, but that doesn’t mean they’re good questions. In fact, they could be hurting your chances of the candidate accepting an offer.

Nobody wants to feel stressed out, put on the spot, or tricked during a job interview. After all, you wouldn’t want to experience that in your day-to-day job, so why do we demand it of candidates?

Be mindful of the different personality types, cultures, and backgrounds that are applying for open roles at your company, and consider retiring some of the more common interview questions in your arsenal. Instead, try these alternatives that might give you more helpful information about the candidate — without making them feel awkward in the process.

10 Job Interview Questions to Stop Asking (and What to Ask Instead)

1) What can you tell me about yourself?

You might be surprised to see such a traditional interview question at the top of our list, but it’s not as great of an opener as you might think. In fact, from the candidate’s perspective, it might tell them that you haven’t read their résumé, browsed their portfolio, or checked out their LinkedIn profile. Candidates don’t want to brief you on their entire job history during the short time they have to make a first impression — they want to have a conversation.

Instead, ask a question based on what stood out to you most from their resume and application. Show the candidate you’re taking them seriously and want to learn more about them, beyond what’s on paper.

2) Why are you leaving your current job?

This question could lead to an awkward answer that doesn’t cast the candidate in their best light. The answer could be highly personal, and it isn’t that helpful for learning more about the candidate.

Instead, ask them about their favorite part and biggest challenge of their current role. You’ll learn more about their priorities, dealbreakers, and culture fit — without the conversation becoming too negative.

3) What’s the project you’re most proud of?

It’s useful to learn what projects a candidate enjoys working on most, but you could take this question further by asking something broader.

Instead, ask them to talk about how they produced a piece of work with multiple different teams. The answer will reveal how they work dynamically and as a project manager — useful traits for most marketing and sales teams.

4) What’s your biggest weakness?

Simply put, it’s presumptuous to assume that you understand what a candidate’s perceived weaknesses are. The answer could exclude candidates from other cultures or industries who aren’t familiar with yours, and it puts candidates in a negative state of mind.

Instead, ask them to describe a challenge they faced in a role and how they handled it. The answer will teach you more about their problem-solving skills, without putting them in the awkward position of personal self-reflection.

5) What’s your five-year career plan?

HubSpot Inbound Recruiting Manager Hannah Fleishman has made more inclusive hiring her mission, and she suggests replacing this interview question. “It can be a loaded question, especially for women, professionals who are thinking of starting a family, and even aspiring entrepreneurs who want to start a company one day.”

Instead, Fleishman suggests asking candidates a more specific question: “How does this role fit into your long-term career plans?” The answer will give you the information you’re really looking for — if the role and your organization present opportunities for them to grow.

6) What makes you passionate about your work?

Candidates don’t have to be passionate to be successful in a role. Sure, it helps — but passion is such a subjective topic, it’s not necessary for a job interview.

Instead, ask them what makes them passionate about a company. The answer will tell you about their culture priorities and if they’ll fit with the larger team they’ll be working with.

7) Are you a team player?

Generally speaking, we advise against asking yes or no questions. Open-ended questions are more conversational and will give you more information about the candidate.

When it comes to this question, the answer is valuable, but a candidate is unlikely to self-identify as an individual worker. Likewise, your company probably doesn’t have any roles that are completely solitary — everyone has to attend meetings or work on campaigns at some point.

Instead, ask the candidate what their ideal team dynamic is. You’ll get the same answer you’re looking for — if they work well with others — while allowing them to elaborate on their preferred working environment.

8) How many people do you think flew out of JFK Airport last year?

Brain teasers might be entertaining to ask — and they might teach you a thing or two about a candidate’s problem-solving abilities — but brain teasing questions like this one create too much stress for the candidate. They’re usually ridiculously hard to solve and put the candidate on the spot — without revealing a ton of helpful information.

Instead, ask the candidate how they’d solve a problem that’s common on your team. The answer will be more useful, and it won’t take the candidate by surprise.

9) Sell me this pen.

If you’re hiring for a sales role, you should know: “Sell me this pen” has become such a frequently-asked question, it can be easily answered in a quick Google search before the interview. It might not give you the candidate’s true selling abilities — something you need to know before investing time and resources in training them.

Instead, ask them how they would handle a common roadblock your sales team faces. The answer will prove if they’ve done their research, and it will give you an idea of their persuasion skills if they were on a call.

10) What’s your salary history?

Fleishman also suggests avoiding questions or discussions of salary or benefits until an offer has been extended to the candidate. “Salary history shouldn’t determine what a candidate’s offer package is,” she says. “This question can actually discriminate against minorities who are more likely to be under-compensated compared to their peers — which is why cities in New York and Massachusetts have banned it from interviews.”

Instead, scratch this question altogether from your list altogether.

The interview is only one piece of the puzzle for the candidate, but by asking more thoughtfully-phrased questions, you could be doing yourself and the candidate a favor. For more recruiting and hiring ideas for your next open marketing position, download our free ebook.

What’s a common job interview question you wish would be retired? Share with us in the comments below.

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4 Signs That You Must Pivot or Collapse

4 Signs That You Must Pivot or Collapse

The vast majority of startups fail within the first couple of years. While this is sobering, the fact is that many of these failed ventures could have been successful if the entrepreneur behind the startup would have simply recognized the need for a slight pivot. Are you willing and able to face the reality that a pivot could be in store for your business?

What Does Pivoting Actually Mean?

Anyone familiar with basketball has heard the term pivot used by a coach. Within the context of the hardwood, a pivot is a move a player makes after he picks up his dribble.

“Pivoting is done on the ball of the foot,” coach James Gels explains. “You do not want to become flat-footed or have your weight back on your heels. The ball of the pivot foot must be in contact with the floor at all times and must not slide sideways. When you pivot, just actually spin around on the ball of your pivot foot.”

In other words, a pivot is nothing more than keeping one foot in contact with the ground and using your other foot to move around in order to find a new angle or gain an advantage over your defender.

But it’s also important to note the distinction between pivoting and immediately passing. When you pivot, you’re essentially saying, “I’m no longer in a good position to score/pass, but I’m not quite ready to give up the ball. If I could just gain a different angle, maybe I can successfully get rid of the ball.” In a pivot, you aren’t totally abandoning your current situation. Instead, you’re looking for new options that may arise out of your current state.

The term pivot is used a lot in financial circles, as well. You’ll hear financial analysts and stock traders talk about “pivot points” all of the time. What they’re referring to is the point on a stock chart where the market changes directions for the day. By spotting a pivot point, a trader is able to identify a point of leverage and switch gears (so to speak) in order to profit from a change in the marketplace.

The business definition of pivoting, according to Eric Ries, entrepreneur and author of The Lean Startup, is a “structured course correction designed to test a new fundamental hypothesis about the product, strategy, and engine of growth.” It’s akin to leaving one foot planted on the ground, picking up the other foot, and seeing if a better opportunity exists when you change your orientation. But instead of a basketball, high-tops, and hardwood, you’re dealing with a startup, revenue, and a unique product.

See, the term pivot is commonly used in many different areas of life. But nowhere is a pivot more critical than in the business world. A failure to pivot at just the right time can result in a total collapse of your business. A pivot in the wrong direction can also lead to failure. In fact, you have to pivot at the right time and in the right direction in order to reap the rewards of such a transition.

Groupon, the popular online deal site, is a relevant example of what a successful pivot looks like. Unbeknownst to many, the site actually stemmed from another website, called The Point. It was an online activism platform and was met with very little acceptance in the marketplace. But instead of closing up shop, founder Andrew Mason and his investors performed what has now become a billion-dollar pivot to become profitable.

The Point, which was basically designed to help fix what was broken in the online fundraising industry at the time, did a lot of things wrong. But Mason and his team noticed that it did one thing very well. It allowed groups of people to come together, combine resources, and enhance their buying power. So, instead of totally giving up on The Point, Mason merely pulled this “good part” out and turned it into a group deal site that’s now known as Groupon.

There’s obviously a lot more that went into the pivot — and you can read about it here — but the basic takeaway is that Mason successfully executed a pivot at a time when it looked like his only option was a collapse.

4 Signs That You Must Pivot Pronto

Okay, enough about basketball, stock markets, and deal sites — let’s talk about you. If your startup feels like it’s stuck in place or slowly dying off, it’s time to face reality and start thinking about your two options: pivot or collapse. That may seem overly dramatic, but unless something changes, this is where you’re headed.

But before you pivot, you probably want to be sure that you’re making a smart decision. So, let’s take a look at some of the top signs that you need to pivot as soon as possible:

1. Too Much Competition

You may have had a great idea when you first launched your venture. But the problem is that you won’t be the only one with the idea for long. Bigger companies with much deeper pockets and more powerful workforces often come in and run with somebody else’s idea and do a better job of executing. That’s just the nature of the business world.

If you launched a small tech venture last year and then IBM came in and essentially one-upped you, you don’t really have a choice but to do something differently. You aren’t going to go toe-to-toe with IBM and win. But instead of scrapping the business altogether, you may be able to use some of your resources to pivot in a proprietary direction that others can’t follow.

2. Limited Response from the Marketplace

There’s a difference between doing some customer research and testing before going to market and then actually taking a product to market and trying to sell it to customers. People often say they’re interested in something or willing to pay X dollars for a product, but then totally reject the product when it goes from a prototype to an actual item with a price tag.

If you’ve launched only to experience a lack of customer enthusiasm, then this is a sign that something isn’t right. Either your marketing and branding strategy is terrible, or the product itself doesn’t get people excited. A pivot may be your best option for getting out of the mess.

3. Your Perspective Has Changed

Sometimes a pivot isn’t rooted so much in the product or venture as it is in the founding team. Perhaps you’ve learned a lot since launching and your perspective has changed. As a result, you now see new opportunities that you previously didn’t know existed. This happens a lot when entrepreneurs get more familiar with a niche and begin to understand who their customers are and what they really want.

In this situation, the key is to avoid rushing into a pivot. Serial entrepreneur Steve Blank always suggests sitting on new insights for 72 hours to see if they still seem as good after reflection. If you still see more potential in the pivot, then you may want to start working in this direction.

4. One Part Works Really Well

The fourth sign that you need to pivot is that one part of your business venture is more powerful than the sum of the parts. This is what happened in the Groupon situation. Mason recognized that the best aspect of The Point was the collective buying power it gave people, so he chose to get rid of the other parts and turn that aspect into a new business (i.e. Groupon). Could you do something similar?

Pivoting is Not a Sign of Weakness

Entrepreneurs often put off a pivot because they feel like it’s a sign of weakness — as if they’re publicly admitting failure for everyone to see. But the reality is that the opposite is true. A pivot shows that you’re aware of your surroundings and willing and able to recognize new opportunities as they arise. Investors, business partners, and customers respect this.

So next time you find yourself facing one of the four circumstances outlined in this article, consider the viability of a pivot. It might be the best decision you ever make — just ask Andrew Mason.

Pivot Photo via Shutterstock

This article, “4 Signs That You Must Pivot or Collapse” was first published on Small Business Trends

How Luck Affects Investing in Startups

How Luck Affects Investing in Startups

Suppose you were given $1 million to invest equally across ten start-up companies and you were told that you would receive $100 million if all ten failed and lost your entire investment. Are you sure you could lose all of your money?

This seemingly bizarre question highlights an important point about the role of luck and skill in angel investing. If you cannot guarantee that you will lose money on your angel investments, then there must be some luck involved in the activity. Moreover, if bad luck is necessary to lose all your money on the downside, then good luck might also be necessary to make money on the upside.

How Luck Affects Investing in Startups

Now suppose that there is a cost to trying to lose all your money by picking start-ups in which to invest. Maybe you are required to incur a $10 million loss to try to make the $100 million by identifying ten start-ups that would fail and wipe out your entire investment. Would you take this deal? If you would not accept this deal, then you must believe that there is some amount of bad luck that could result in one of your companies surviving and thereby causing you to lose $10 million.

Remember that luck cuts both ways. You can get lucky and happen upon a winner and you can get unlucky and fail to pick any winners at all. That point has another implication for investing in start-ups. If you’re not sure you can pick losers, then why do you think you can pick winners?

But don’t fall into the trap of thinking luck has a symmetrical effect on the upside and on the downside. Human beings love symmetry and tend to assume that good and bad luck will have similar effects on angel investments. That need not be true. As one angel investor who has funded over sixty startups pointed out to me, “a single stroke of bad luck can destroy a company, but a single strike of good luck cannot make a company successful.”

When luck plays a role, you need a large portfolio. With long shot outcomes, which is what angel investing is, you need a very large sample size to identify whether or not someone has any skill at the activity.

Moreover, the relative balance between luck and skill in an investment tells you something about the size of your investment portfolio. The more luck-dependent something is, the larger a sample size that is needed to draw inference. As the French mathematician Abraham De Moivre found, “the variation of the mean is inversely proportional to the size of the sample.”

What about the balance between the base rate and the individual case? Amos Tversky and Daniel Kahneman said that prediction depends on identifying the balance between the two. Translated to luck and skill, this means if skill is the most important, you should heavily weight the individual case. But if luck is the most important, then you should focus on the base rate.

A final point I would like to make about luck is how bad human beings are at making attributions to luck. Most people are terrible about understanding the cause of outcomes. We tend to look for patterns in random data. This means that just because someone got lucky and picked a winner the first time doesn’t mean they know anything about picking winners. Following the advice or investment choices of someone who was lucky the first time won’t get you higher returns. Emulating someone else’s approach makes sense only if their skill has contributed to their investment performance.

*This piece is my interpretation of several presentations of an experienced angel investor who would prefer to remain anonymous.

Luck Photo via Shutterstock

This article, “How Luck Affects Investing in Startups” was first published on Small Business Trends

The Top 8 Ways B2B Brands Are Reaching Customers in 2017 [Infographic]

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“Being a B2B marketer is a piece of cake,” said no one, ever. “A real walk in the park. Easy-peasy.”

The truth is, no marketer has it easy — but sometimes, it seems like B2B marketers have it especially tough. Their work doesn’t always get the same kind of spotlight that B2C marketing might, especially when it comes to things like word-of-mouth. Industry figures reflect this: Only 30% of B2B marketers say their organizations are effective at content marketing, for example.

But that’s not to say being a B2B marketer has to be tremendously difficult. And there’s no reason why it can’t be fun, too. It seems like much of that success exists in marketing to the customer — not entirely unlike account-based marketing. That’s the philosophy behind Koyne’s 2017 State of Customer Marketing Report:

Customer marketing is not just renewal or repeat purchase efforts, but the complete set of activities undertaken by a company following a customer’s purchase of products and services in order to help those customers be successful and productive, as well as advocate for the company.”

Sounds good — but what does that look like? What are some of the best ways for B2B marketers to execute customer marketing, and why? To answer that question, Digital Marketing Philippines pulled some of the most interesting data from Koyne’s report and compiled it into the infographic below. Read on to learn more.

B2B Customer Marketing Trends
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New US Beef Export Deal with China Could Be Huge for Domestic Producers

Cattle Ranchers Applaud New US Beef Export Deal with China

Sonny Perdue, President Donald Trump’s secretary of agriculture, said once China begins importing American beef under a new trade deal, they will want more.

“When the Chinese people taste our high-quality U.S. beef, there’s no doubt in my mind that they’ll want more of it,” Perdue said in a statement Friday.

US Beef Export Deal with China

“This is tremendous news for the American beef industry, the agriculture community, and the U.S. economy in general,” Perdue said. “We will once again have access to the enormous Chinese market, with a strong and growing middle class, which had been closed to our ranchers for a long, long time.”

The bi-lateral trade deal announced Thursday will open Chinese markets for American beef by July, allowing American producers to export meat for the first time in 13 years.

China banned U.S. beef in 2003 after it discovered imported meat contaminated with mad cow disease. American beef exports dropped from $3 billion to $1.1 billion by 2004, but the market has since recovered to pre-2003 levels without exporting to China.

Under the new trade deal, China will also be able to export certain cooked poultry products to the U.S. Commerce secretary Wilbur Ross said that the impact of poultry products on U.S. producers is uncertain but would not be severe.

American beef producers are pleased by the deal, which finalizes a preliminary agreement to lift the ban on beef imports in China reached in September.

“After being locked out of the world’s largest market for 13 years, we strongly welcome the announcement that an agreement has been made to restore U.S. beef exports to China,” the National Cattleman’s Beef Association said in a statement.

Republished by permission. Original here.

Beef Photo via Shutterstock

This article, “New US Beef Export Deal with China Could Be Huge for Domestic Producers” was first published on Small Business Trends

15 Fashion Brands You Should Follow on Instagram for Marketing Inspiration

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No other B2C industry has thrived on Instagram quite like the fashion industry.

Between their carefully curated photos, expertly targeted ads, and decisive adoption of Instagram Stories, fashion and beauty brands have become masters of consumer engagement on the visual content platform. And brands from any industry could learn a thing or two from these inspirational feeds.

Back in 2015, business intelligence firm L2 found that fashion and beauty brands were growing their community size and engagement rates on Instagram at a rapid rate.

Source: Digiday

The L2 report also found that among fashion and beauty brands, Instagram had firmly become the social media platform of choice — far outranking Facebook and Twitter.

Source: L2

In 2017, the industry’s love affair with Instagram isn’t showing any signs of slowing down. Digiday recently checked in with a number of fashion and beauty social media insiders at SXSW’s Decoded Fashion and Create & Cultivate events, confirming that Instagram remains a top priority in their digital marketing strategies.

“Instagram is always a priority for us,” Rosi Sanchez, a social media strategist at Fossil, told Digiday. “We have more reach and a larger new follower group there, so it leads to more conversions. Until we get to 1.5 million or 2 million followers, it’s going to be our number one priority.”

Fossil isn’t alone. Social media strategists from more established brands like L’Oréal USA, Shopbop, and Murad also indicated that Instagram was their top social media priority for the foreseeable future.

Brands from any industry looking to level up their visual storytelling chops should keep a close eye on fashion brands for inspiration. To help get you started, we’ve compiled a list of 15 fashion accounts — both big and small — who are crushing the Instagram game. Take a look below, and start planning your next big Instagram push. For a deeper dive on how to build a presence on Instagram, check out our complete guide to Instagram marketing.

15 Fashion Brands to Follow on Instagram

1) Everlane @everlane

While Everlane’s account has no shortage of beautiful product imagery, they also feature photos of their customers wearing Everlane clothes, inspiring travel photography, and tips on food and art destinations in different cities around the world.

2) Nike @nike

The behemoth athletic brand has enthusiastically embraced video content, and can be regularly found sharing clips with their impressive 7.1 million follows on Instagram. Their feed features a motivational mix of professional athletes and regular, everyday fitness enthusiasts.

3) Teva @teva

Teva’s Instagram feed is perfect proof that it’s possible to give your brand a modern update without losing the spirit of what made you successful in the first place. Their feed includes customer-generated photos of their sandals out in the wild, as well as sleek product shots highlighting their new styles.

4) Zara @zara

Zara has made a name for itself by emulating the marketing of more expensive, luxury brands, and their Instagram feed is no exception. Their account looks like a high-fashion magazine, with professional editorial shots of their men’s and women’s styles.

5) Fossil @fossil

If you like photos of neatly organized items, then Fossil’s Instagram is definitely for you. The accessories brand curates an impressive feed of food, fashion, and celebrity influencers like Kristen Bell.

6) Kate Spade @katespadeny

Despite being a well-established label, Kate Spade’s Instagram has a distinct personal touch that sets it apart from similar brands. Their social media manager shares daily outfit pictures, snaps from around New York, and behind-the-scenes shots of the design process at the Kate Spade studio.

7) Fjällräven @fjallravenofficial

The Instagram feed for Swedish outdoor apparel brand Fjällräven is less about their products, and more about the adventurous spirit that has defined the company for almost 60 years.

8) Madewell @madewell

Apparel brand Madewell is known for their relaxed, classic styles, and their Instagram clearly reflects this aesthetic. With bright, sunny images of their latest products and collaborations with brands like Vans, their feed is a fashion lover’s delight.

9) The Row @therow

Another account that focuses less on their products and more on visual inspiration, The Row features vintage photos of art, architecture, and fashion — only occasionally sharing images of their actual products.

10) Asos @asos

British online fashion and beauty retailer Asos keeps their feed updated regularly with colorful and bold product images and editorial snaps from their latest campaigns.

11) Aerie @aerie

Scrolling through Aerie’s Instagram feed is like taking a tropical beach getaway. The lingerie and bathing suit brand has been applauded for their commitment to unretouched photos in their print ads, and they continue the effort on their Instagram account by celebrating a diverse range of women and body-positive messages.

12) Eileen Fisher @eileenfisherny

Eileen Fisher keeps the emphasis on their quality materials and environmentally friendly production processes Instagram presence. By featuring images of women from all walks of life, they prove that style is truly ageless.

13) Anthropologie @anthropologie

With colorful close-ups of their brightly patterned styles, Anthropologie’s feed is a visual smorgasbord of inspiration. We especially love the travel shots featuring their clothes around the world.

14) Girlfriend Collective @girlfriendcollective

This leggings startup has yet to even officially launch a full collection of clothing, but they already boast an impressive 60.2k followers on Instagram. Thanks to a free leggings promotion they advertised earlier this year on Instagram and Facebook, the brand has enjoyed explosive social media growth. Their feed keeps customers engaged with stunning product photography of their minimal styles, and screencaps from inspirational movies.

15) J.Crew @jcrew

J.Crew has mastered the art of follower engagement on Instagram. With daily-updated Stories and regular contests to select new styles for clothes and accessories, their vibrant feed keeps customers inspired and interested.

What fashion brands do you follow on Instagram? Let us know in the comments.

Editor’s Note: This post was originally published in November 2015 and has been updated for accuracy and comprehensiveness.

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Negative Press Has Impacted How 57 Percent of Consumers View Uber

The Negative Effects of Bad Publicity

If you think all press is good press, you might need to learn a little something from Uber’s recent string of controversies.

The company’s scandals, which include lawsuits, self-driving car mishaps, allegations of sexual assaults in the workplace, executive missteps and more, have seriously hurt its reputation according to a recent report. In a survey from Statista, 57 percent of 1,500 respondents said they currently have a negative or neutral opinion of Uber. Compare that to 69 percent who said they had a positive opinion of the company before all the bad press.

And that’s not just public opinion either. It’s actually impacting Uber’s bottom line. Of those customers who have left Uber in recent months, 56 percent said they’ve done so because of negative stories in the press, according to another report by cg42.

In all likelihood, your small business will never experience a string of controversies comparable to the magnitude of Uber’s recent problems. But this report should serve as a wake-up call for businesses of all sizes nonetheless.

The Negative Effects of Bad Publicity

Negative press isn’t just bad for your business in the short term. It can actually lead to customers leaving and it can stop potential customers from patronizing your business in the future. So you should try to keep all of your press on the positive end of the spectrum to avoid suffering the negative effects of bad publicity. And when you do experience controversy, you could use Uber as an example of how not to handle it.

Uber Photo via Shutterstock

This article, “Negative Press Has Impacted How 57 Percent of Consumers View Uber” was first published on Small Business Trends

25 Travel Accessories for Women

25 Travel Accessories for Women

If you’re in the market for business travel accessories, you might find a lot of plain old bags or masculine products. But there are tons of great travel accessories out there specifically for women. Here are 25 ideas for you to take on your next business trip.

Travel Accessories for Women

ECOSUSI Faux Leather Briefcase

25 Travel Accessories for Women - ECOSUSI Faux Leather Briefcase

For a stylish way to carry your computer and other work gear, you can opt for a satchel or briefcase like this faux leather one that retails for $46.99.

Trendy Flyer Computer Luggage

25 Travel Accessories for Women - Trendy Flyer Computer Luggage

This bag is more than just a fashion statement. It is made to hold a computer and other work related items. And it can be carried over the shoulder or as a roller. Price starts at $114.91.

Berchirly Oversized Duffel Bag

25 Travel Accessories for Women - Berchirly Oversized Duffel Bag

If you want a stylish bag that holds a lot of belongings, this duffel bag from Berchirly can be a great option. The bag ranges from $50 to $100.

Brinch Laptop Backpack

25 Travel Accessories for Women - Brinch Laptop Backpack

Or if you prefer using a backpack style bag, this unisex product from Brinch comes in some stylish colors and is large enough to hold a laptop and some other belongings. It retails for $49.99.

Lightweight Waterproof Backpack

25 Travel Accessories for Women - Lightweight Waterproof Backpack

Or if you like to travel light, you could opt for something like this lightweight waterproof backpack, which can work even for things like hiking and backpacking. This product starts at $19.99.

Master Lock Luggage Locks

25 Travel Accessories for Women - Master Lock Luggage Locks

You’ll also want a way to keep all of your belongings secure in your luggage. These locks from Master Lock are TSA approved and come in a variety of colors at $7.69.

Leather Luggage Tags

25 Travel Accessories for Women - Leather Luggage Tags

And to keep all of your bags properly labeled, consider a stylish luggage tag like this leather option priced at $7.99.

Tile Luggage Tags

25 Travel Accessories for Women - Tile Luggage Tags

Or you could purchase a tag system that also lets you track your bags, like this one from Tile, priced at $32.65.

Flower Laptop Sleeve

25 Travel Accessories for Women - Flower Laptop Sleeve

To keep your laptop safe and protected while you travel, you’ll need a stylish laptop sleeve. This one includes a fun pattern and retails for just under $13.

Neoprene Tablet Sleeve

25 Travel Accessories for Women - Neoprene Tablet Sleeve

Or if you travel with an iPad or other tablet, you’ll need a protective sleeve like this Neoprene one that costs $8.99.

Kitdine Travel Bottles

25 Travel Accessories for Women - Kitdine Travel Bottles

To hold any toiletries or liquids while you travel, you can use these colorful silicone bottles from Kitdine, starting at just under $9 for a pack of three.

Luoyiman Travel Bottles

25 Travel Accessories for Women - Luoyiman Travel Bottles

Or you could opt for these clear bottles that have a few different options for dispensing, like spray tops, pumps and more. The full set starts at $6.99.

Mr. Pro Cosmetics Case

25 Travel Accessories for Women - Mr. Pro Cosmetics Case

You can also use this cosmetics case to hold various products while you travel. It even hangs on a hook for easy access to all of your products. The price starts at just over $12.

Convenience Kit

25 Travel Accessories for Women - Convenience Kit

Or you could purchase a cosmetics case with the products already included. This convenience kit includes travel sized necessities like shampoo, deodorant, mouthwash and more at around $20.

Vlando Jewelry Box Holder

25 Travel Accessories for Women - Vlando Jewelry Box Holder

To keep all of your jewelry safe and organized during your travels, you can use something like this jewelry box from Vlando. The product retails for $10.99.

Conair Jewelry Roll

25 Travel Accessories for Women - Conair Jewelry Roll

Or if you have a larger amount of jewelry and want to keep it compact in your bag, you could opt for a jewelry roll like this one from Conair, starting at $12.99.

Happy Hours Digital Pouch

25 Travel Accessories for Women - Happy Hours Digital Pouch

You could also go with more of a multipurpose pouch like this one from Happy Hours. It has pockets that you can use to hold electronics, cords, or cosmetics and other types of products. The pouch starts at just over $7 for the smallest size.

Dulla Portable Charger

25 Travel Accessories for Women - Dulla Portable Charger

To keep all of your mobile devices charged even on the go, you’ll need a portable charging station. This Dulla model includes unique colors for a feminine style. The product retails for $19.99.

Portable Luggage Scale and Flashlight

25 Travel Accessories for Women - Portable Luggage Scale and Flashlight

No matter what type of bag you choose, you’ll want to make sure that it doesn’t exceed any weight limits using a luggage scale. This one is a portable model that also includes a flashlight and some other features at $12.99.

TeckNet Ergonomic Mobile Mouse

25 Travel Accessories for Women - TeckNet Ergonomic Mobile Mouse

If you need to get some work done while you travel, having a mobile mouse like this one can be a real benefit. This TeckNet product comes in many colors and retails for $9.99.

LapGear Lap Desk

25 Travel Accessories for Women - LapGear Lap Desk

You might also find it helpful to have a lap desk so you can comfortably use your laptop while traveling. This one from LapGear goes for $14.99.

Bose Noise Cancelling Headphones

25 Travel Accessories for Women - Bose Noise Cancelling Headphones

To eliminate loud distractions while you travel, consider investing in some noise cancelling headphones like this stylish pair from Bose, which starts at $288 for a new pair.

Hibernate Sleep Headphones and Mask

25 Travel Accessories for Women - Hibernate Sleep Headphones and Mask

Or if you prefer to sleep on flights or while traveling, you might opt for some sleep headphones and a mask like this one that retails for $39.97.

Aeris Travel Pillow

25 Travel Accessories for Women - Aeris Travel Pillow

You could also purchase a whole set of comfort items like this travel pillow that also comes with a sleep mask, ear plugs and more for $24.90.

Daixers Folding Clothes Hangers

25 Travel Accessories for Women - Daixers Folding Clothes Hangers

To keep your clothes organized and unwrinkled, even if you don’t have a full closet at your hotel, you can use these portable folding clothes hangers that are priced at $10.99 for 10.

Woman Traveling Photo via Shutterstock

This article, “25 Travel Accessories for Women” was first published on Small Business Trends