Archive | December, 2015

Lessons From a Surprisingly Effective Email Newsletter

Last week I sent out a newsletter of a very personal and vulnerable nature.

I wrote it not because some email marketing best practice says so.

I wrote it because I HAD to. Life is too short to have a message bottled up inside.

In fact, I might have broken every single “rule”…

No “5 simple ways” or “7 easy steps.” Screw SEO. Not particularly actionable. Definitely quite a bit about “me” and not a whole lot about “you.” Not exactly uplifting and definitely not kumbaya easy reading.

Imagine my surprise when I looked at the metrics a few days later:

3 people unsubscribed. THREE.

A low number for any list that comprises of more than self, mom and cat.

On the flip side, I had quite a few people hit reply and wrote back. Sharing their experience, appreciating the content, cheering me along. (Translates as “engagement” in marketing speak.)

I want to share this because I see so many folks being stuck in the land of “am I saying it right?” “Is this marketing-kosher?” “Am I checking everything off the list?”

Overlooking the fact that at the core of effective communication, the goal is to create resonance and connection.

In an earlier post, I wrote how Connection and Resonance are the new currency of Conversion.

For my peeps, who are (mostly) solo-entrepreneurs and practitioners such as coaches, consultants and change agents, creating a personality-driven brand can give you an edge in marketing when you prioritize building relationship and taking a stand by having a point of view that resonates with your community.

In a world in which so many try to run happy camp and not to offend anyone, having a POV can be scary. Especially one that asks you to stick your neck out and challenge the status quo.

I get it. I noodled for three days whether I should send that email.

Truth is, having the GUTS to say what needs to be said, fully express your value and CONVICTION, and share who you are and how you BE, will set you apart from a sea of sameness. Bottom line: good for business.

Time to break out.

No more hiding behind templates. No more taking the easy way out by mindlessly following “best practices.” (Note: you do have to learn the rules before you break them.)

“5 simple ways” or “7 easy steps” kind of content sprinkled with some keywords can certainly be useful – no harm in getting some clicks and SEO juice, but don’t make them your entire content marketing strategy.

They often lack the personal touch that takes the relationship with your readers to the next level.

Adding personality to your communication often means opening up. Your value, conviction, quirks, and flaws are all beautiful things.

It doesn’t mean pouring it all out with no filter though. Do that on your personal journal.

Walk the hairline, mindfully.

Vulnerability can be a tricky thing to master in marketing communication.

(And the abus of the word “authentic” makes me cringe.)

You can’t “do” vulnerability.

There’s no formula – in fact, if you follow some template to “do vulnerability,” your stuff probably would sound forced and eeeek!

Being vulnerable means putting YOU out there. There is only one YOU – own it. You can’t find a formula to do YOU.

There is a fine line between “personal” and “private”. I’m not asking you to share anything you’re not ready to share.

If the wound is still raw, if it’s too close to home, if you’re still whining about it… let it heal. You’ve to integrate the lesson first, before you can share it meaningfully.

Sure you can talk about your experience when you’re in the thick of it. I’ve done that and it’s very powerful. Only do so if you can keep a distance when you write the piece… and ready for whatever that may get stirred up.

When you’re ready, and you can make it relevant to your readers, being personal and vulnerable can be a rewarding experience for all.

Now you may wonder – how to make something personal highly relevant to others?

We’re all human. The fact that we all share the same human condition with each other is what makes connection and resonance possible.

When you share your value and conviction infused with emotions through storytelling, you create Resonance.

Resonance goes deeper than engagement. Engagement could end at a “hey nice post!” comment, or a share on social media.

Resonance is deeply empathic.

It can be hard for us Empaths. It could be painful if you take in everything and forget to unplug carefully. Do it anyway, it’s worth it.

When someone resonates with your communication, heartstring is pulled and your personal brand takes root in their psyche. It’s an honor to have that kind of impact.

Now you are different. You’re no longer a provider of “5 simple ways” or “7 easy steps” articles available through fiverr.

When you share a deeper side of YOU, you put your very own identity at the forefront… the value you stand for, the conviction you live by, the person you aspire to BE for your peeps.

Here is where the magic happens:

When you rock your IDENTITY, you inspire others to take on that identity too.

Passion and conviction are contagious.

Why is that important? When that identity is in alignment with the person they could become when they work with you, they’re more likely to say “yes” (our subconscious can’t stand cognitive dissonance):

If you’re a personal trainer, it would be an uphill battle to convince a potential client to use your service when he identifies himself as a couch potato.

If you’re a health coach, it could be a fruitless endeavor to try selling your package to someone who prides herself as a junk food connoisseur.

Often times that identity you want your potential client to take on is a reflection of your values and beliefs.

When you can use your content to aspire your readers to adopt an identity that aligns with the transformation you deliver, you have won half of the sales battle before any sales conversation even begins.

Here’s your challenge:

Should you decide to take it on… to reflect on these questions:

How are you going to put forth your personality, value and conviction in your marketing communications?

Who do you want to BE in your business and for your peeps?

What IDENTITY do you want to inspire your readers to take on? How are you going to step up and just BE it?

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List Building With Free Ebooks For Web Biz Success

List Building is more challenging for newcomers to home based Internet business marketing than it is for experienced web biz marketers, but no matter whether you are a newbie or a veteran, the current size of your email list is not nearly as important as a sustained commitment to an ongoing List Building campaign.

Web biz success depends on effective list building. List building involves the practice of gathering the names and email addresses of potential customers who may be interested in the products, programs or services you have to offer.

Most people surfing the Internet are looking for information and insight into topics and issues that are important to them. Many surfers are looking for the secrets to web biz success. You can help fill this need and build your email list at the same time by offering a free eBook on a topic directly related to your marketing niche or the theme of your website.

eBooks are very popular and free eBooks attract the most attention. If the promo for your free eBook can demonstrate to your targeted prospects that the information contained in the eBook will be of benefit to them, they will happily opt in to your email list to get their hands on your eBook.

You can write the eBook yourself, or you can do an Internet search to find them free from web biz marketers who, in exchange, will want to include their resource box or advertising in the eBook.

Although list building using free eBooks from other Internet marketers it is not the preferred way to do it, it can still serve your purpose: you get a free resource that is ready to go, your prospects get the information they seek, and you end up with their name and email address on your list.

A second way to use free eBooks to build your list is by getting pre-written eBooks from web biz marketing companies and affiliate programs that let you “rebrand” the eBook with your own name, contact info and web biz links.

Often, with this method, the web biz company or affiliate program will include links in the eBook that point to their sales pages or services. Usually, when a prospect follows one of those links and makes a purchase, you get the credit or commission as the referring affiliate.

Once again, your key benefit and purpose for using this method is to give your prospect something of value and get their name and email address on your list.

The best way to use free eBooks to build your list is by writing them yourself. That way, you have full creative control and complete marketing rights for the eBook.

To write the eBook, draw upon your web biz marketing experience. For additional insight to round out the eBook, you can research other information resources, but never use any material written by others without first getting express permission to do so. Always respect copyright.

After writing the content for your eBook, the next challenge might be finding the best software to help you format the eBook and prepare it for easy Internet distribution.

Information on one source of eBook software can be found in the web biz blog post, Easy eBook Publishing. You can also do an Internet search for eBook software to find additional resources and choices. List Building with free eBooks is one of the best ways to build a foundation for web biz success. eBooks are win-win for everybody involved: your subscribers get the info they need, you get their email address and that serves your ultimate purpose of promoting your home based Internet business ideas, opportunities, products and services.

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How to Be Successful As an Independent Contractor

Aside from being a home based employee and from doing a work from home business, another alternative is to be an independent contractor. This time you won’t be selling products but rather you will be rendering your services on a per project basis. But unlike an employee, you cannot expect any of the medical and other benefits regular employees get. You are even responsible for reporting and paying your own taxes too.

Why Be an Independent Contractor

Even without these benefits, being an independent contractor is actually a good idea too. You still have the control over your hours. You can even at times choose the kind of jobs you want to take on.

What Types of Jobs Can You Do?

Among the usual jobs available for independent contractors are data entry, transcription, typing and customer service. Your choice would naturally be something you have the skills and the knowledge in. Data entry and typing are among the simplest to do so many people take this job. However, this also means that you will have more competition for this type of jobs.

On the other hand, customer service needs an ample amount of knowledge on the industry you are serving. For instance, if you are servicing a broadband Internet company you need knowledge on its operations and workings as well. You cannot be a freelance medical transcription without sufficient knowledge on medical terms, anatomy, physiology and other relevant medical courses. An experience on general transcription might just not be enough. To do any kind of transcription, you also need a good typing speed. If you are a slow in typing, you might want to practice on your typing first. Better yet, you can get addition training first before getting into transcription.

How to Earn Better

Even when connected to a company for a long time, you are not assured of continuous work. During some days, work might be light too. To maximize income, you can always search for some more work from other companies too. Of course, this is if you don’t have an exclusive contract with your current company.

Just be sure that you can actually do all the work you get. Getting so much more than you can do will only ruin your reputation. For one, the quality of your work will likely diminish if you are overloaded with work. You will also miss deadlines. So even if you want to get as much income, you will only be successful in the long run if you balance income with the quality of your work.

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Cowboy/Cowgirl Birthday Party

Make the Wild West come alive with a cowboy/cowgirl birthday party. Let your birthday boy or girl have some rollicking good fun. Have guests dress in western attire so they can join in the fun.

INVITATIONS

Make in the shape of a Wanted Poster. Use beige construction paper with black marker for the word WANTED. Put a picture of the birthday boy or girls name on the invitation. It will read: YOU ARE WANTED AT THE PARTY OF …

Include the date and time of the party, your address, and R.S.V.P. and your phone number.

DECORATIONS

Use a red and white checked table cloth on a picnic table. Decorate back yard with several bales of hay. Use bandanas as napkins. Large plastic horses would work nicely as centerpieces for the table. Drape Mexican blankets over saw horses and set out a few potted cactus plants.

MENU

To make an authentic cowboy party it is best if you can have a campfire. If not, use an outdoor grill. You can grill hot dogs and heat up baked beans. Round out dinner with some potato chips and bottled root beer. For dessert, let kids roast marshmallows over the fire if the children are older, or let adults do it if the kids are little. Now you can create delicious s’mores.

ACTIVITIES

Stick Horse Rodeo

Give all of the cowpokes a stick horse. Set up a hay bale obstacle course for the rodeo. Each cowpoke takes turns riding their stick horse through the obstacle course. The one who finishes in the shortest amount of time is a winner.

Horseshoe Toss

Buy some plastic horseshoes to use in a contest of skill. Set several stakes in the ground. Place each stake a little further from the starting line. Have the cowpokes stand behind the line and see who can toss their horseshoe around the pin. The one who gets their horseshoe closest to the stake wins.

Musical Horses

Have each child mount their stick horse. Place round disks in a circle on the ground. Make sure there is one less disk than there are children. Play some music. When you turn the music off, each child must stand on a disk. The child without a disk must sit out. Repeat this pattern until only one child is left standing.

Tin Can Target Practice

Place some empty tin cans on a fence post or picnic table. Have the children use squirt guns to knock over the tin cans.

FAVORS

Use red and blue colored bandanas to tie up some party favors. Inside each bandana you could include: toy squirt guns, plastic cowboys and Indians, silver badges, and licorice ropes.

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How to Remove Gel Nails, Even If You Have No Experience

Removing gel nails can be hard and seem impossible. Although I suggest always having an experienced nails manicure technician do this stuff for you, if you’re really into getting them removed yourself, read this simple procedure and you’ll be removing it from your fingers in no time.

Place

Make sure you are in a very well ventilated area. The best places being outdoors or beside an open window. The mixture of nail polish remover and gel nails creates a stronger odor than nail polish itself, and smelling it for hours inside your room or house is just plain intoxicating.

Remove Nail Polish

This is an often skipped and forgotten step that comes back to frustrate women. Removing nail polish from the nails seems unnecessary since you’re already going to remove the gel nails. However, removing the nail polish before removing the gel nails saves you the frustration from having to remove spots, residual or partially dissolved nail polish on your fingers after removing them. And believe me, this simple additional step will save you a lot of time and frustration later on. So to remove the nail polish have a bunch of cotton balls ready. Get one and use polish remover to remove the nail polish off of the gel nails.

Soaking your hands

After removing the polish, pour about half an inch of polish remover into a bowl. For better results you can heat the nail polish a little to make it warmer and also use a stronger acetone nail polish remover available in many drug stores. Place your whole fingers tips in the liquid so that the whole gel nails is completely submerged. Do this only one hand at a time. You always want a clean free hand to work on the other instead of two wet and messy hands. After a few minutes if the liquid solution has cooled down a bit, add some more warm acetone.

Five minutes later, if the gel nails have developed a strong odor and is now a little soft and sticky you can try gently pulling the ends of the gel nails to remove it from your real nail. You may also use an orange stick to gently pry the tips from your nail beds. If you feel any sort of pain or if the nails simply won’t budge stop and continue to soak your finger tips in the liquid mixture. Remember to not force anything as this might damage your real nails. Continue to repeat this tug and soak process until you can comfortably remove all the gel from your finger tips.

After removal of gel nails

With a clean cotton ball and some clean nail polish remover fresh from a bottle, quickly wipe off the remaining sludge or goo on your fingers. Don’t be alarmed if your natural nails are a little rough, you can smooth them out by gently buffing them with a nail buffer or the softer side of a nail file. You can now repeat the whole process with the other hand.

Finishing touches

So your fingers nails are now free of gel nails. At this time, your natural nails are very delicate and have been weakened by the gel nails. It will take some time before it becomes fully healthy so you have to be extra delicate with them from now on. Some suggestions on what to do now is you could shape your nails with an emery board or continue using the nail file and apply a clear coat of polish on your nails.

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List Building – 5 Easy Ways to Multiply Your List Building Super Powers

If you’re tired of just not getting anywhere near enough subscribers for your list, then here are 5 simple things you can do right now to turn this situation around faster than a speeding bullet!

1. Add a subscriber sign up box to every page on your website. If you’ve got more than 1 web page on your site you simply must do this because you never know which page people will arrive at. Especially if your website has been fully indexed by the search engines.

2. Add a pop-up on exit window (or exit grabber) to your website pages that includes your subscriber sign-up box along with a special offer like a free eBook or audio you give people in return for subscribing.

What’s great about popups that “only” appear on exit is they don’t get in the way of your website content because they’re only seen when someone leaves your website.

3. Add a signature file to every email you send out. Signature files are just simple messages that you can have your email program automatically tag on to the end of every messages you send out. So why not write a quick P.S. with a link to your website? Whilst it won’t instantly get you 100’s of new subscribers, over time it will.

4. Swap emails with other list owners. Here’s all you do with this one, I’m sure you’re already subscribed to dozens of other lists on subjects similar to the list you’re building.

Just pick an email you’ve been sent recently that’s part of an ecourse you subscribed to, then reply back with a request for an email swap. In other words, you’ll promote them to your list if they do the same for you.

5. Use viral co-registration to put your list building on autopilot Viral co-registration is simply you advertising other people’s newsletter on your website, and they do the same for you… but in a way that grows and expands your exposure and the number of subscribers you get.

Systems like this are very simple to use and when you set them up right you can turbo charge your list building with very little extra work. What I like about viral co-registration list building is you don’t even have to publish a newsletter or ezine. You can advertise anything you’re able to deliver by autoresponder.

If you know your way around your favorite HTML and email programs I’m certain you could have all 5 list building multipliers set up by noon tomorrow.

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Top 5 Mothers Day Practical Presents

When it comes to buying Mother’s Day Presents it is very easy to fall in the old trap of spending a lot of money on things that and let us be honest here, do not do very much. Time and again we choose the easy option of flowers that wilt and die, chocolates, that people probably do not want, will not eat half of or do not like very much, or novelty gifts that will quickly be discarded and left on the shelf to gather dust for many years to come. However, this year’s Mothers Day presents can be different. You can choose to buck old trends and to actually buy gifts that are practical and useful!

Choose Mothers Day presents from the list of Top 5 Mothers Day practical presents and you can be sure you are giving a gift that will be used in everyday life and that can act as a constant reminder to your mum of how much you love and appreciate her.

1) Cloth Cat Towel Holder

It can be hard to find practical Mother’s Day Presents that are also pretty, will not break the bank, are suitable for cat lovers (and cat haters) and (more so) will appeal to someone with a quirky sense of humour! If this is what you are looking for, then this is the Mothers Day present for you! The cloth cat towel holder has a strategically placed ‘grip hole’ that will certainly make you smile when you hang a towel or dish cloth in it. Suitable for the bathroom or the kitchen, the Cloth Cat Towel Holder won gift of the year in 2007 and can certainly be classed under ‘practical Mothers Day presents’, as well as unusual, quirky and very funny!

2) Flower Power Mum Kneepad

If your mum has green fingers and you are looking for gardening related Mothers Day presents, then this might just be up your street. Ridiculously cheap, but very practical, the Flower Power Mum Kneepad is an essential accessory for those who love to garden. It will keep your old mum’s knees spick and span, as well as providing the old dear with a much needed extra bit of padding when she is doing her weeding! The Flower Power Mum Kneepad can be wiped clean really easily and it is easily stored. Plus, every time your mum does a spot of gardening she will think of you!

3) The Slanket – Lavender Pink

The Slanket is one of those Mothers Day presents that you may have to consider buying two of, because once you see your mum all snugly and cosily wrapped up in one on the sofa with a good book or the television remote in hand, you will want one of your own! This fleecy blanket has been fantastically designed to keep you warm, whilst allowing you to keep your hands free so you can get on with important activities – such as tea or wine drinking, biscuit nibbling, or channel surfing. It is practical, it is pretty and it is cosy – a perfect Mothers Day gift all round!

4) Cinema Trip For Four Gift Pack

If your mum loves going to the cinema, then this really is one of those practical Mother’s Day Presents that will get good use! The cinema, much like most things in life, is getting more expensive with every trip, so why not treat your mum to the Cinema Trip For Four Gift Pack. With four tickets in the pack she can go alone four times, or if you are lucky, even take you with her once or twice!

5) Faux Suede Wash Bag – Photo Gift

If you want to buy some Mothers Day presents that are both personal and practical, then this is the ideal gift. A gorgeous Faux Suede Wash Bag, measuring 19.5cm high, 26cm wide and 7cm deep and available in either cream or black, can be made all the more special with a photograph of your choice (which is then professionally printed on it). Imagine your mother’s joy when she opens the present and finds a picture of her grandchildren on it! Always being able to carry them around will be a great treat for her! Or, be adventurous and choose a picture of her when she was young, or a funny picture of your dad, or even a complete family photo!

If you think the wash bag is a smashing idea, but would like something smaller then opt for a canvas photo bag or a make up bag. If you think something bigger would be more practical then a tote bag or beach bag should do the job. You could even push the boat out and get the full set! Practical and beautiful, as well as sentimental and thoughtful, personalised gifts certainly do make perfect Mothers Day presents.

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Email Marketing Benefits – What Are Some Benefits of Using Email to Promote Your Online Business?

How much does it cost to send out direct mailer advertisements for you business? How often do you think that that those paper mailers are looked at and tossed in the garbage, lost in a junk drawer, or simply used to kill a bug? Is that really how you want to spend your advertising budget? I didn’t think so. Email marketing campaigns are what your business needs to save money and prevent waste in your company.

Email marketing allows your company to maximize your advertising budget without sacrificing quality and coverage of customers. With each new marketing strategy email is an effective way to disperse your company’s message to the largest number of potential customers. Email can target extremely specialized groups of potential customers without the worry of waste and the high cost of traditional direct mail.

In terms of demographics, Email marketing benefits your company because of the ability to pinpoint a particular type of customer for a particular type of service or product. Allowing your company to best utilize its resources, Email marketing benefits can save you time and money, as well as reach a broad range of customers in a cost effective way that best suits the needs of your company.

Without the hassle of traditional direct mailing you leave the possibilities wide open with email advertising. Increased productivity, increased potential customers, increased sales, and less waste all accompany direct email promotions. Whether you are a start up company, an established business looking to reinvent yourself, or a simply struggling to maintain your place in this ever changing new economy of today, there is a solution for you. Just remember the benefits of marketing through email and you can reap the positive financial benefits of making such a wise decision to improve your company business.

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Long Arm Quilting Machines – Choosing the Best

Top Quality Products

The first company for you to consider purchasing your long arm quilting machines from should be American Professional Quilting Systems (APQS for short). They offer six different styles of long arm quilting machines. Prices will range from around $10,000 to around $18,000 for each machine.

The price, of course, will depend on the particular model you choose. You may also want to purchase their computer system along with it. With this you can incorporate feathering and other designs into your quilting stitches. Even with the high price tag, because these machines can create beautiful lasting pieces, they are well worth the money. In addition to the machines, APQS offers classes and much more through their website. When you purchase one of their machines, you are not left out in the cold in an attempt to figure it out by yourself.

The second company for you to consider in your quest for the perfect long arm quilting machine is Nolting Long Arm Quilting Machines. Nolting’s machines are reputed to be one of the best machines you can buy. The great thing about Nolting is that not only can you purchase their machines from their website; but they also provide you a list of dealers around the country who carry their machines.

While you may not get all the training directly from their website, you can certainly find a dealer who can give first hand instructions on how the machine works. The classes they offer are conducted in their factory and they run about $150 per class. Nolting offers helpful financing on new machines, and in addition, they have used long arm quilting machines available.

New Spin on Quilting

The great innovations of the long arm Quilting machines have put a new spin on quilting. These machines offer faster and more creative ways to design fascinating quilts like never before. If this new technology appeals to you, check out American Professional Quilting Systems and Nolting Long Arm Quilting Machines.

Both companies are at the zenith of the quilting industry offering the finest machines. They also offer many additional options such as instruction with each purchase. It will be worth your time to check out what they have to offer. If you are ready to investigate long arm quilting machines, these are the companies to check out first!

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Healthy Mind, Healthy Body, and Healthy Soul

Stress will not arise from somewhere to trouble and disturb our daily routine. We create our stress and become victims. Not just mind power, body power also influenced by external stress. Thus our mental health is influenced by mental stress. Every incident, problem we face in daily life will become the cause of ‘mental stresses. Every human being has to respond to the challenges and problems of life. You should respond to the problem in a balanced manner. If you stretch your thoughts unnecessarily, it will lead to mental stress.

Due to this reason, we wish to miss our food and lose sleep. We cannot concentrate on any task on hand. Unknowingly, we will get used to bad habits. Health will get spoiled due to unwanted reactions from body and mind. Mental stress leads to ill health which reflects on your body. You will become tired easily. You will lose interest in your sexual life. If you are suffering from Diabetes, it will increase. You will suffer with low blood pressure. Cholesterol increase in blood may lead to heart disease. The list of diseases arise due to mental stress is unending.

If one was suffering from sudden snake bite, he will die not because of the snake bite, but the fear and stress created will lead to the loss of his life. You have to develop some techniques to reduce your stress.

1. Always think positively. You should not think of others problems, which may create stress for you. You should think about yourself for your further progress in professional and personal life. You should think of the things which would be helpful to others.

2. Do not develop unnecessary phobias which may lead to stress. Many of our fears are meaningless. We always cover ourselves with unwanted gloom and sadness.

3. Problems are the real reason for our stress. Take every problem as a challenge to improve your mental health. Detach yourself from the consequences of the problem, which would help you to solve the problem effectively.

4. If you could control some bad habits, you can relieve from stress. Stop all bad habits like smoking, drinking which will have bad effects on your health.

5. Good health is the key to face mental stress. If you maintain your health properly, that will help you to avoid stress.

Stress is in our minds. Its origin is in our minds. That will spread to each and every part of our body. Our body will become ill only due to stress we create. If you avoid stress, it will lead to good health. If you wish to become successful, you have to be stress free. If you wish to lead healthy life, you have to develop healthy habits. Physical exercises, good eating habits, avoiding bad habits, timely sleep and all such other good habits will lead to stress free life. Finally, contentment and commitment to lead healthy life will make your life stress free.

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