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Share Your Expertise: Why It Pays and How to Do It

Category: Popular Topics
Published: Monday, 11 July 2016
Written by Admin
Erb found that posting tax law articles on the Internet leveled the playing field relative to much larger firms, especially when she and her husband formed their own law firm in 2000. We didnt have $5,000 to update the website or place ads in Pennsylvania Lawyer magazine, she says. One of the great things about writing ...is [that] you dont have to put huge dollars behind it.

Another benefit of content marketing is that clients see her as human and likablekey traits for winning trust. Writing helps people put a face to you, she says. My readers know I am a mom and have three kids. I talk all the time about how Im a busy mom.

Showing that youre relatable is important for many service professionals, Erb explains: Especially with CPAs and attorneys, people arent coming to you because its a great moment for them. Its usually because something bad has happened, or theyre worried something bad might happen or theyre overwhelmed. Theyre coming to you because theres a problem. When those people are looking for who can help them, they want a human.

Finally, Erbs writing has led to strong networking with industry peers and with other important audiences. She first realized this when her blog was named in 2008 to the best legal blogs by the American Bar Associations ABA Journal, and again when she was asked to speak to tax professors at a law symposium. I realized that new media had the potential to affect not only my relationships with clients but also other professionals and colleagues.

How to become a thought leader:

Define goals
Dont overcommit
Find your lane
Get a system

If you want to write and develop thought leadership content, Erb has several tips.

First, define you goals. What is it you hope to accomplish? she asks. If you need the phone to ring immediately, an online equivalent of a Yellow Page ad might be more helpful. Writing articles for your company blog or newsletter is a longer-term play that can establish you as a resource, get you noticed and showcase your expertise when your firm shows up in Internet searches.

Second, dont overcommit. A common mistake new writers make is to set expectations on the blog that articles will be posted daily or more regularly than schedules allow. Dont be afraid to know your limitations, Erb says. Pacing yourself is also part of providing thought leadership content.

Everything doesnt have to be a journal article, she says. One friend offers brief advice each week on Facebook in the form of a post titled Tax Tip Tuesday. You could create a brief list, or tell a story of a recent meeting that helps clients and prospects learn from others circumstances. Answering questions from readers once youve started to cultivate a following can generate terrific blog posts as well.

Another way to limit any burden is to line up guest columns or interview another professional who has expertise outside your realm. Not only are you networking and possibly helping someone else with their business, which is a good thing because they might be happy to refer someone back to you, youre also reminding people, Hey, this is what I do.

Third, find your voice and your medium of communication. Dont assume you have to write about everything related to accounting. Sometimes focusing on a niche is better than taking a broad approach to your writing. If you only like to do sales tax, write about sales tax and become the authority on sales tax, and when ABC News is looking for an expert on sales tax, theyll come to you, Erb says. And if youre not enthusiastic about writing articles, look for other ways to share your expertise: Facebook entries, brief videos on YouTube or podcasts addressing popular topics among your customers. There are so many ways to put your 2 cents in, she says.

Finally, work out a system. Erb likes to keep a list of potential article topics in her purse so that whenever ideas strike, she can record them. You may need to set aside a block of time each day to write or develop ideas. Learn to edit your writing or ask others in your office to be a second set of eyes.

Erb is a strong proponent of sharing expertise via thought leadership, because the cumulative impact is that it builds your practice. Whether youre blogging or doing a podcast or having a nice, updated website, it allows you to control how you present yourself to the potential client and gives the client the opportunity to understand youre a real person and you [realize] your job is to help them, she says.

To learn more about growing your firm through thought leadership and better client communication, download the complimentary eBook, Next-Level Accountants: Your guide to growing a firm of trusted advisors.

Mary Ellen Biery is a research specialist at Sageworks, a financial information company that provides financial analysis and valuation applications to accounting firms.



Networking is your chance to spread the good word...

Category: Popular Topics
Published: Monday, 11 July 2016
Written by Admin

Theres no news like good news, according to a popular saying.

As business owners, we look for opportunities to share our story in a positive way. If we have a new and exciting product or service, we want to shout it from the rooftops. Joining organizations like Mississauga Board of Trade is your chance to share your good news story with others.

Our mission is to connect, champion and advance businesses in Mississauga, says David Wojcik, President and CEO of the Mississauga Board of Trade (MBOT). Our role is to be the permanent voice for business in Mississauga.

From advocacy to organizing networking events like their popular Growth amp; Power speakers series, customer service workshops to organizing golf tournaments for members such as the Nine, Dine amp; Networking Golf Classic, to NGen events such as the Summer Patio Party, MBOT has a mission to help Mississauga companies grow and thrive.

We have three types of networking events; our Good Morning Mississauga (GMM), Good Evening Mississauga (GEM) and our NGen events. Weve featured many corporate and community leaders as guest speakers as part of our Growth and Power speakers series, including Christine Magee of Sleep Country Canada, Pierre Morrissette, head of The Weather Network and Michael MacMillan, co-founder of Alliance Atlantic, saysWojcik. We have a fireside chat and interview these people who are making a difference. Its an opportunity to hear their stories.

According to Wojcik, the MBOT Womens Leadership series is yet another opportunity for members to hear guest speakers from many business sectors, while networking with like-minded members.

Our Professional Development Series is put on by the business learning office and weve featured popular topics like Your Marketing Sucks. As part of the speakers series, weve also had Olympic athletes and pro football players talk about what they learned from sport that helps them be successful in business.

Each year, the MBOT recognizes outstanding citizens for their achievement in business by announcing the Business Person of the Year at their AGM each fall, and they also select a recipient of a Lifetime Achievement Award.

John McKenna of Logistics Management Solutions was named the MBOT 2015 Business Person of the Year.

John owns a family business which he has built into a robust logistics company and he sits on several boards of not-for-profit organization, says Wojcik. He is someone who has dedicated his career to business success as an entrepreneur, but he also has deep roots in the community and is involved in a number of community organizations.

This years 2016 winner of the Lifetime Achievement Award is Gil Moore of Metalworks Studios, recognized for his outstanding achievement in business and in giving back to the community. Previous winners have included Iggy Kaneff, Harold Shipp and Hazel McCallion. The award is based on the lifetime achievement of an individual and their contribution to helping business grow and succeed in the community. Hazel was given the Lifetime Achievement Award for her work in helping attract 63 Fortune 500 companies to Mississauga.

To learn more about how to grow your business, CLICK HERE.

MBOT is a private sector, non-profit, volunteer-based business organization that represents business in all industry sectors in Mississauga. Established in 1961, MBOT plays a key leadership role in representing the interests of small to large size businesses in all sectors in Mississauga. MBOT boasts approximately 1,000 members and is one of the most active and vibrant business associations in Canada.

As the Voice of Business in Mississauga, we advocate on policy issues that impact local business at all levels of government and help shape policy decisions, says Wojcik. We listen to the concerns and issues facing our members and advocate on their behalf. Our mission is to impact the growth and prosperity of Mississauga business by taking a leadership role in representing and serving the interests of business.

No business is too small, or too large to take advantage of the benefits of MBOT membership, says David.

Our 1,000 members represent about 40,000 people in Mississauga with small businesses with one to 25 employees making up 77 per cent of our membership, 15 per cent of our members represent medium size companies with 26 to 300 employees, and the balance of the members are from large companies. Membership fees are based on the number of employees. We are a small but might team of 10 staff members who work diligently and passionately to advocate and serve businesses---all businessesin Mississauga to thrive.

For more information, visit www.mbot.com



Forme "Made by the UK" advertising campaign launched

Category: Popular Topics
Published: Sunday, 10 July 2016
Written by Admin

Moore Large has been working with an award-winning agency to actualise the Made by the UK campaign, which is due to launch onJuly 1st 2016.

For the remainder of 2016, the company will spend a minimum of pound;10,000 on Forme advertising each quarter. The main advertising medium will be social media, with an emphasis on Facebook in particular. Geographical areas in which Forme stockists are present will be targeted, ensuring that demand for the brand is high and products sell through.

Forme blog posts will be released on a weekly basis, covering popular topics such as best UK trails, family-friendly cycle routes, tips for buying your first road bike, must-have accessories, and guides for subjects like recovery, nutrition or maintenance. These will drive traffic to the website, increasing search engine optimisation, promoting engagement on social media, and helping to support the message that Forme create bicycles for UK riders, UK terrain and UK weather.

Forme create bicycles for the British public, all designed and tested in the UK. The inception of each model starts with a realistic conversation about what the British rider needs from their bike, given that the terrain and riding conditions are very different than the warmer climes on the continent. The result is a high-quality product designed for UK riders, UK weather conditions and UK terrain.

Article continues below

When Hollywood does AI, it's fun but farfetched

Category: Popular Topics
Published: Sunday, 10 July 2016
Written by Admin

Go to the movies or turn on a TV, and youll quickly learn to fear artificial intelligence.

The power of rogue computers is one of Hollywoods most popular topics. Call it an existential fear of the unknown, or perhaps a sense of our own mortality. Whatever our future actually holds, were fascinated today by how we might share it with machines that become smarter, nimbler and -- gulp -- meaner than we are.

Even a techno-sophisticate like Elon Musk frets about us summoning the demon, and research companies like OpenAI have been founded with the goal of ensuring that AI doesnt turn around and bite us.

While researchers creating AI in Silicon Valley and collegiate computer science labs have their own theories about what this software will become, theyve seen the movies just like us, and they know whats on our minds.

They also think few Hollywood films have depicted the technology in a realistic way. In fact, they say, its downright madness.



ATA Gives the Nation a Passing Grade for Telemental Health

Category: Popular Topics
Published: Saturday, 09 July 2016
Written by Admin
Eight states score an A in the organizations report card on telemental health standards and licensure, issued in June, while Colorado gets a failing grade.

The American Telemedicine Association is giving much of the nation a good grade for its support of telemental health.

Eight states have received an A in the ATAs latest state-by-state analysis of telehealth standards and licensure, released in June, while one state Colorado flunked.

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Our analysis indicates that decades of evidence-based research highlighting patient adherence to treatment, positive clinical outcomes and increasing telehealth utilization have been met with overwhelmingly supportive scope of practice policies for psychologists, ATA Chief Policy Officer Gary Capistrant and Latoya Thomas, director of the ATAs State Policy Resource Center, wrote in their summary of the 50-page report. However, psychology boards, much like other health professional licensing boards, remain mired in a fragmented state-by-state licensure approach which stifles collaboration, service access, and availability.

The report grades each state on three factors psychologist-patient encounters, informed consent guidelines and licensure policies then issues a composite grade. Mississippi, Missouri, Nebraska, Nevada, Oklahoma, Texas, West Virginia and Wisconsin scored the highest grade from the ATA, while 41 states and the District of Columbia received either a B or C.

State Telemedicine Gaps Analysis: Psychologist Clinical Practice Standards amp; Licensure is the third report card to be issued by the ATA. The previous two, one focusing on practice standards and licensure and the other on coverage and reimbursement, were first issued in 2014 and have been updated annually, most recently in February.

According to the ATA, 49 state Medicaid programs now reimburse for telemental health services, while 30 states and the District of Columbia mandate that private payers provide coverage regardless of the delivery method.

Telemental health is also one of the more popular topics on conversation in state legislatures these days, with some 25 states debating new proposals for practice standards in the past year. States have debated how to compare telemental care against in-person care, with some opting for stricter standards that include a mandated face-to-face visit before telehealth can be used. Other issues of debate include requirements for informed consent and licensure portability.

Most states require a health professional to have a license in the state where they physically are located as well as where their patients are located, the report notes. Some psychology boards have also adopted policies permitting an expedited licensure process and triggering reciprocity agreements with other states. However, these state-by-state approaches prevent people from receiving critical mental health services that may be available to their neighbors living just across the state line. They can also be bad for patients restricting patient choice and provider competition.

In its analysis, the ATA gave Texas the only A for its licensure policies, since the state has a reciprocity agreement in place with Louisiana. The District of Columbia and 31 other states do make the process easier, though a full license is still required in each state, while a majority of states impose policies that make practicing psychology across state lines difficult regardless of whether or not telehealth is used.

The Association of State and Provincial Psychology Boards (ASPPB) has created an interstate licensure compact called PSYPACT - similar to that now being touted by the Federation of State Medical Boards for doctors wishing to practice telemedicine in other states. To date, only Arizona has signed onto the compact, which will take effect once seven states have voted their approval.

Dig Deeper:

Analyzing Telemental Health: 50 States, 50 Policies

Texas Boards Ruling is a Victory for Telehealth