LONG LIVE BUSINESS 3.0

Wildfire Media World. Welcome to our World!

We have entered the year 2017! Traditional Sales, Marketing and Management is dead. We now use data to predict future outcomes and anticipate what customers, competitors and partners need, way before they do. This is called Predictive Enterprise.

 

 

In order to stay relevant and grow business, all industries are fast harnessing the power of AI. Whether it be through Automated Deep Learning systems. Big Data Analysis, Cloud Computing, Automated cognitive computing or Applied Data Science, the new Business 3.0 model builds prediction into its strategy. Sounds way too complicated for so early in the year, right? Not really…here is how you can become a Predictive Enterprise and upgrade to Business 3.0.

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There are many ways you can leverage online resources to listen to what customers, competitors and even employees are saying and anticipate their every need. Using the information you extract, you can innovate faster than anyone to emerge ahead of the pack in every way. Here are some ways to become a Predictive Enterprise.

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CRM Automation

By applying Automated Deep Learning algorithms to software, companies can automate their CRM. The data extracted can perform various functions like assessing a customer’s lifetime value, what products they require most and how often they require them. The knowledge gained will be useful in predicting what they might need next, and avail opportunities for improvements and innovation.

 

Live Reporting

Your in-house programs can give you reports which you can use to gain insight into spend analytics, customer service performance, manufacturing variability, logistics optimization, consumer demand forecasting and supply chain risk management. But more than that, they can help you offer your customer more than what you thought possible! Big Data analysis affords you a deeper look into your business, helping you solve problems and deliver a better service to your customers. Social Media is another form of Big Data Analytics whereby you can gain insight into your customer’s behavior, reactions and predict future outcomes. This is how so many companies send you recommendations and newsletters pertaining to your interests.

 

Online Applications

Various internet giants like Windows, Google and Amazon allows documents to be shared on their servers. This is where Cloud Computing comes into play. Through their online applications you can access your documents from anywhere and share them to anyone. Information is easily stored and accessed, but the real eye popper about cloud based data is that it can be processed. This lends businesses the opportunity to harvest data from numerous resources. The more information a manager/ sales, purchasing or marketing employee is armed with, the better planning they can do. Having the bigger picture helps in the decisions they make, which ultimately funnels down to the service and support your customer receives. Many brand innovations can stem from the Cloud based computing with the correct information.

 

Data Mining

Just like Big data analyses, data can be mined through Automated Cognitive computing. A broad spectrum of technologies incorporated into software, can enable a business to input instructions, and have the machine learn from the data gathered, find hidden insights and produce an output which anticipates a specific need within your business. It is all about the rhythms in algorithms.

 

Forecasting

Applied Data Science is another word for data analysis, but guess what? There are actual University courses offered in this profession. The very capable Applied Data Scientist is able to delve even deeper into data and analytics extracted. This will help businesses to find even more creative ways to generate business value & generate more business. By using past data, your business will be able to recommend similar products or services to customers in future. Businesses will also be able to forecast complex behaviors, trends and  make viable business decisions before any competitor.

The way in which companies will use data to plan production, keep optimal stock levels, recommend products to drive sales and send automated personalized responses to customers has changed. Information is no longer retrieved for present day monitoring, but to enhance the customer’s experience and future business decisions.

Interactive websites, with the best analytical tools, and solid social media management is the key to becoming the next best Business 3.0!

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Start Up Growth Hacking Management in 5 Easy Steps!

Start Up Growth Hacking Management in 5 Easy Steps!

Wildfire Media World. Welcome to our World!

We all have dreams. Dreams to independently generate income from a hobby or skill that we are passionate about. Be it to give our children a future, live peacefully on a deserted island with sufficient air conditioning and unlimited WiFi someday, or sail around the world in a luxury yacht when we retire, those goals are woven into our dreams. We start our own businesses in the hope to reach our goals sooner, and get away from the depressing pressures of working for someone else.

With the doors open to our four walled dream catchers, comes the reality of marketing and managing a business. However in today’s day and age, that all is done through Growth Hacking, a fancy name for digital age marketing coined by Sean Ellis.  At every step of the way, growth hacking is used for customer acquisition, engagement, transaction, retention and referral.

growth, hacking, marketing, business, startup, management

But first: Why should start ups incorporate growth hacking? Why should existing large corporations bother with this concept? 

The nature of the internet has forced businesses, new and old, large and small, to focus all their efforts on growth. Direct sales pitches and broad based advertising no longer works, because consumers base their buying decisions on the results of online research. They don’t just Google your website, they investigate your heart, body and soul! Allow me to explain:

  1. The company’s heart: Consumers want to know that the company share their values and interests. They want to know that they are dealing with real people, who also face real issues and love the same things they do. What you say online and how you say it is about more than just your core business. It is about how you fit in with your customers.
  2. The company’s body: Consumers don’t just research your products. They research your online reputation. How you interact with them and others, your reviews and the way you handle bad press goes a long way!
  3. The company’s soul: There is something to be said about the sense of community, belonging and value your business can offer them. People want to connect more than ever, because the internet (though it opened up so many ways of communicating), it has left us feeling more disconnected than ever.

The ever changing consumer behavior and spending habits of online users forces product designers, marketers, sales staff, customer service staff and all other departments within a business to change their thinking and tactics in order to keep up. Growth hackers use their knowledge of their products and avenues of online distribution to find ingenious, technology based concepts in order to fit in with the new way of how consumers shop.

 

“There are hundreds of Growth Hacking tools and ideas to use. But how do you manage it?”

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  • Start Up Growth Hacking Management Step 1: 

Have actionable goals for every step from customer acquisition to customer referral! How are you going to attract new customers? How are you going to engage with them? What do they need to make the leap from browser to purchaser? What can you do to retain them as a loyal customer? How can you turn them into brand ambassadors and encourage them to refer your products or services? If you don’t know how, then boy! You are going to want to stick around for next week’s post!

 

  • Start Up Growth Hacking Management Step 2: 

The next step to manage not just your growth hacking tactics, but how they fit into your goals, is through Analytics. Track content creation metrics in terms of size, length, and visuals. Track content created by others as a result, content shares, likes, and devices used. Track content shared in terms of location, demographic, times, KPI’s and platforms. Analytics don’t just inform you when your goals have been reached. It can shape and help you redefine new goals, and it can eventually be used as historical data and be used for relevant tracking metrics of new growth hacking tactics. Easy right?

 

  • Start Up Growth Hacking Management Step 3: 

By leveraging your existing strengths to build plans, goals and tasks, your business can funnel it’s best resources to follow the path of least resistance. What the hell does that mean? Let’s use your product knowledge as an example. During customer acquisition, engagement and retention you can leverage the product knowledge you have, to plan content for your company blog, newsletter and social media campaigns. Much easier than trying to spit out something intelligent to say, which will take much longer and more resources! Thereby you can manage not only the content you put out there, but also set time efficient tasks which fit into your goals.

 

  • Start Up Growth Hacking Management Step 4: 

Before you put your goals into action through whatever growth hacking tactic you have chosen, the best thing to do is to make up a Hypothesis for every possible eventuality and outcome. “Oooh….kay, sounds easy, but why?” I hear you ask.  Having a list of possibilities of what could go wrong, what you hope to achieve and what you think will happen, and comparing that to what had actually happened, will help you manage future growth hacking ventures. As your start up grows you will be less likely to repeat past mistakes and try new things.

 

  • Start Up Growth Hacking Management Step 5: 

When all is said and done, nothing beats control groups and A/B Testing. Whether you want to acquire new customers, engage with them, turn them from a visitor into an user or buyer, or keep them on as loyal customers, and convert them to brand ambassadors, running experiments and tests continuously is the best growth hacking management step for your start up. It is the wash, rinse and repeat to your business cycle, because you will know what works and how to achieve your goals faster and better.

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There you have it. Start up growth hacking management in 5 easy steps. You might wonder why I did not start with growth hacking tactics first. Would you put the tenderized steak on the barbecue before prepping the grill and starting the fire? Yeah… didn’t think so either. Lucky guess I think. Next week tune in for the 3 P’s of Growth Hacking. The ultimate tactics to attract, keep and turn your visitors…Vampire style! Blah-blaaah Blah!

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Your Unconventional Guide to Websites!

Wildfire Media World. Welcome to our World!

The beginners guide to websites has been done! Heck, we even gave you the top 10 basics every website needs. But websites have evolved since the launch of the first ever website back in 1991 with the somewhat shocking url: http://info.cern.ch/hypertext/WWW/TheProject.html.

Nowadays websites are all about content and SEO. RIGHT? But websites are so much more than that.

 

 

Haaaaave you seen your website?

The concept of a website eludes many businesses and, dare we say it, web designers too. It not just a place to showcase your products or services and splash a little “About” section in there…anymore. Websites have become an online experience! We are GUILTY of this! But for a good reason…our website is service orientated and our silver fox of an MD is really old school!

Your Unconventional Guide to Websites, will teach you some possibilities that you can have in your website these days, to not only attract visitors, but retain them as life long customers. You need to know this! If not for you, do it for the good of mankind or something like that? Just do it!

As Michelangelo (the turtle – not the artist) once said:  “Boy, and I thought insurance salesmen were pushy!”

  • Roll out the red carpet!
    A Landing page or a single Call To Action, give visitors a clear direction of what you want them to do. What’s even better is to provide an incentive for them to sign up for your newsletter or try your product or service. Jeff Bullas is probably the expert in this field! (Actually, he really is!)
  • Go with Onboarding: After luring visitors to your website through paid, earned or owned content, you can lead them to where you want them to go. Onboarding is essentially a digital tour guide that creates an interactive experience for your visitor. You can make them learn more about how a product works, or let them chose how they want to use your service, simply by giving them visual directions. Twitter is a great example of this. As soon as you go into it, they show you who else to follow, what’s trending, and immediately get you hooked!

 

 

“Give your customers the interaction they crave!”

  • Game on:  Humans are funny creatures that constantly want to progress to the next level, higher ranking or complete the next task. Assign them badges, trophies or a ranking when they complete a task, like register for your service, or subscribe to your newsletter, or leave a review or comment, and they’ll be sure to return to get to first place. Crossfit’s Game Leaderboard is a prime example of this.
  • Name your price!   Pricing tiers with fancy smanchy names like “Elite package” for the more expensive option, or “Professional” for the less expensive option, helps visitors identify where they “want” to fit in. It also makes them feel better that they are not taking the cheapest option, which they internalize as poor service for them in return.        
  • Give incentives! With time sensitive discount codes, buy-one-get-one-free options, discounts on bundles and free trials, who will not win? Give your customers incentives for using your product and staying a loyal customer. Many brand ambassadors had been gained this way. You don’t even have to think about it! (or Aboot as our Canadian readers would say)                                                                                                                                                                    

There are so many ideas you could use, but in the end it is all about doing what works for you and your customers. The most important thing is to let your customers know that they are not dealing with a faceless robot. Make your website interactive and go UNCONVENTIONAL!

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SEO Your Website and Content!

SEO Your Website and Content!

Wildfire Media World. Welcome to our World!

We have done our fair share of posts on Websites, Content Marketing and SEO. Heaven knows there is a lot of information on the great ol’ www on it. But today we are taking it a step further…Helping you to do all three at once!

That’s right! Follow these tips on how to redesign or start your website, and set up content… all with SEO in mind.

 

Without a website, your business might as well be invisible. And even if you have a killer website, the only way new customers are going to find you, is through optimizing your website and content for search engines.

The first step to creating or re-designing your website is to understand your customers. Who are they? Where are they? What do they value most? How do they search for you online? These are the first questions to ask when you set up a Content Marketing Strategy and SEO Strategy too. Understanding your target audience is the key to a successful online presence.

 

 

To kill all three birds with one stone (metaphorically speaking) incorporate these three guidelines into your website, content marketing and SEO strategy.

  1. Navigation – When your customers search for you directly, they will enter your name or a variation thereof into search engines. Once they are in your website, it should be easy for them to navigate through. If it takes more than three clicks to find what they are looking for, you will lose customers. Create a simple design with very little distraction. In every aspect of your content, navigate your customers to your end goal as set up in your content marketing strategy.
  2. Information – People will often look for information online and start their searches with words like “How to” or “What is”. Keeping this in mind, design your website and create content in such a way that you will be the business they turn to.
  3. Transaction – The majority of the time, people will search for specific products or services not knowing that you provide such a service or product. Their searches will contain words like “best photographer in UK” or “online courses,” which you should incorporate into your website description and content. Your website should have clear sections where they can purchase products or services at a click of a button.

 

“Increasing your ranking in search engines is easier than than your think”

So using the guidelines of Navigation, Information and Transaction, here is how to incorporate SEO into your website, pages and posts.

  • It all starts with the URL – Your domain name, your page titles and post headings are what link your website to search engines. It is the first thing search engines and readers see. Your domain name should be clean, clear and concise with no special characters, or numbers. Just like a store front to a shop, it must reflect your business name. The same will apply to your Meta Title url’s. These are the headings or titles you give each page and post, so they must reflect keywords about what your business does.
  • Describe with descriptions – To really SEO the crap out of your website, posts and pages, you should also have a clear description underneath each title. These should contain keywords, describing what your business does or what your post is about. That way potential customers can read your title and description in the search results, and you can draw them to your site. Having a title and description, improves your SEO ranking. Many websites also add Meta Tags to their blog posts to make it easier for search engines to pick up relevant keywords to relate to search engine topics. A Meta tag is one word, separated by commas, which directly relate to that post and will include keywords your customers enter into search engines, for example “online, shop, shoes.”
  • Anchor that text – When you include links to re-direct visitors to another page on your website to help them find what they are looking for, it increases your SEO ranking. These will often be linked to text, like “visit our online store.”  Linking text to another website that you used as a source for your information, not only improves SEO, but it also makes you look good. However, always credit the source by including their name and direct link to the information your shared. You could also add a “follow them on Twitter” with a link to their twitter handle as added credit.
  • Do the Alt Text – Search engines look for what is called Alt text in images and videos in order to describe what is in the visual. When you give a clear and concise description of the visual along with your business name, it makes it easier for search engines to direct visitors to your website, page or post.
  • Nail it with Social Media links – Your social media pages have an impact on your rank in search engines.The more content visitors share, the more visitors you will get to your website and the more search engines will take notice. Therefore your website, posts and pages must have links to your social media platforms and must have share buttons to make it easy for customers to share your content.
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In summary, always add your company name in the Meta sections and Alt text, along with keywords about what your business is about, into your headings, pages, pictures and posts. That way when potential customers search for you, a product or special keywords related to your business, your website will show up in the search results.

These are some easy steps to make sure your website, blog and content are Search Engine Optimized! If you already have a website with awesome content, it is not too late to go back and edit some of these SEO tricks into them either. We hope it helped you? But if you have anything to add or have any questions, please drop a line in the comments section and let us know?

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10 Website Basics you should know

10 Website Basics you should know

Wildfire Media World. Welcome to our World!
Are you a small business that offers a product or service? Do you have a website or adhere to website basics?
Did you know that over 52% of small businesses do not have a website? What is even worse is that they do not use their websites to their full potential. The first place a customer will look to find a photographer, florist, baker, plumber, seamstress, a web developer, a restaurant, a place to stay or a great book, is …you guessed right… Online! Shocking right?

Statistics show that small business owners (51%) use technology to help with accounting operations. However they are not utilizing technology for appointment booking and scheduling (39%), customer relationship management (34%), point-of-sale systems (25%), and acquisition marketing (14%).  Additionally, more than half of small business owners do not even measure the results of their marketing programs (56%).

So how do you start your own website and use it effectively? Start with the top 10 website basics:

“Very few businesses know how to use their webistes to their full potential.”
  1. A domain name.
    Dot com websites are far better than .biz, .net or .org. for commercial use. Register a domain with a reputable company that will still allow you full control over your domain name. That way if you need to make any changes there will not be any problems. Reputable companies also offer better support as opposed to cheaper options.  Your website needs to be your voice! Make a professional one?
  2. A website host:
    Although there are many free or cheap options available,a web development and hosting company will not limit what you can do on your website and offer great after sales support. They also have the knowledge to help you with your online business growth and give you the best hosting package that is the best for your industry. Remember; you buy cheap, you get cheap. That is the last thing your business can afford!
  3. Website design:
    Use a professional web designer that will provide you with a fully integrated Content Management System, which you can manage yourself. When someone else owns your domain and develops your website for you, your website belongs to them and only they can make changes and manage your content. The most important reason to use a professional web developer is that they can make your website mobile friendly. There is no way around it, as the majority of people use their devices to obtain on-the-spot information.
  4.  Search Engine Optimization:
    Search engines use web crawlers to search websites for specific information  relevant to a person’s search topic. Web developers and designers use popular links, meta tags and keywords when they develop your site, so that these search engines can easily read the text on your site and refer clients in the search engine. Content is the key to your success!
  5. Be Creative:
    All search engines disregard flashing images  and static pictures. Your customers, however, like pictures. The flashing images?  Not so much. They want unique, creative content with quality images. You need to grab their attention and still get your message across.  The best way to do this is through professional photography and exclusive stock photos. They aren’t cheap, but they are worth it. Stay away from site links eg. “click here to continue to site” or “learn more” buttons. Keep your website simple, unique and entertaining.

6. Contact:
Make it easy for visitors to contact you.  List your contact details on every page or have a “call to action” button. Many websites offer options like; “click here to have one of our representatives contact you today!” or “”call us now!” The best call to actions are “Download your guide to success now!” or “get your free sample today!” which encourages customers to contact you. A  web developer can draw up a contact form which can also serve as an appointment booking and quote scheduling, which can be synced with your current calendar.

7. The Opt-in list:
Over and above the call to action, your website needs to encourage visitors to leave their email address in order for you to build your mailing list. The table are turned and you contact the customer first. A mailing list is invaluable to businesses, as many sales leads can be generated from them. Web development companies know thow to make this the basis of your company’s CRM (Customer Relations Management), as the interaction can be analyzed to provide services/ products better suited to the customer’s needs. Past sales and target audience behavior can also be analysed in order to facilitate business growth.  Offer your visitor something of value in exchange for their email address, for example; “Sign up for our newsletter today and get 10% discount on your next purchase!” Staying in contact with your customers will also create future sales.

8.The Point-Of-Sale:

Online shopping has become the norm. If you have a product to sell, your website needs a Point-Of -Sale system, to enable customers hassle free shopping online. Use a reputable web design and development company that know the ins and outs of e-commerce. Their security, problem solving skills and service will be worth every penny.

9. Get the traffic:
You have your whole website up and running with every possible basic covered. Now all you need is traffic to your remarkable site. The best way to do this is through a proper digital marketing strategy. You will need to incorporate three important elements in order to be successful. a) Paid advertising: Google Adwords, Facebook, Twitter, etc. provide excellent paid ad services, however their success rate has been debatable. b) Owned:  This is the content you share from your website or blog to your social media pages to drive traffic to your website. Every post needs to drive engagement and encourage shares so people will visit your website. c) Earned: To earn traffic means engaging on social media. By engaging with influencers, competitors and customers in a positive conversation, you create brand exposure and establish authority in your niche. Offering discounts, answering questions and partnering with influencers and your brand ambassadors you will generate a lot more traffic than just liking posts.

10. Analyze:
You need to know your traffic. Who, what, when, how and where is the most important knowledge to have in any business. Google Analytics can be incorporated by your web developer with a simple code in order for you to analyse your digital success. Your marketing campaigns, your customer feedback and KPI’s can all derived from running analytics on your website and social media pages. Grow your business today!

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The Future of Business in 2017

The Future of Business in 2017

Wildfire Media World. Welcome to our World!

This is what the future holds for businesses in 2017. The game will be changing in every form from Content Marketing, Social Media, to the very way business is conducted. And that is only online! Imagine the changes in the real world?

Browsing habits of consumers have changed already this year. Even though Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn have increased their reach through video sharing, many more platforms are going to make an appearance in 2017. Snapchat has already taken over as the leading platform for video. By next year, businesses will need to go where the consumers are, rather than share to social networks directly from their website or blog. Consumers are everywhere and they go where information is the easiest to obtain in the shortest amount of time. Many would think consumers go directly to the company’s website, but the fact is that they turn to social media first.

“Where consumers go, so must we.”

So where does that leave businesses?

A recent survey by Hubspot showed that video is clearly the future. Consumers have busy lives and as a result, they need content that is easily “digested” and skimmed through. With a mobile focused society, that is even more important. The majority of consumers use their mobiles to search for products, information and services, using popular search engines, and social media like Facebook and LinkedIn. They pay more attention to videos, than pod casts, although the latter has been on a steady rise and will most likely become more popular by next year. Consumers are interested in news first, then social media posts, research content, online classes and interactive tools and games. We can only hope Pokemon Go, stays out of the equation.

We also predict that In 2017, there will be a rise in AI technology, which will be incorporated into some consumer platforms and will no longer be limited to voice search adaptations like Siri.

With all the new innovations soon to be launched by Facebook, Google, Amazon and other online giants, businesses will need to step up their content marketing strategies and marketing efforts to accommodate an ever growing spectrum of consumer platforms and adapt to the consumer’s changing habits. We will be telling you how you can do that in our next post. But make no mistake, 2017 is going to be a very interesting year!

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10 Reasons your Online Presence is Failing

10 Reasons your Online Presence is Failing

In the global economy today, it is more important than ever to have an online presence. Self employed artists like Authors, Photographers, painters and designers, or home based businesses, corner shops, FMCG stores, and major multinational corporations are all in danger of losing out on opportunities and valuable income.

Most businesses have the basics like a Facebook page and Twitter account. Some even go further and use Instagram, Snapchat, Whatsapp, Skype, Pinterest and other platforms to reach their target audience. They put in a great amount of effort and yet yield very little results. Why is that? The reasons are simple.

1. Punctuality!
You need to show up for your audience, and you need to show up on time. If you miss the peak hours your target market is online, your posts will get lost in the feeds and won’t be seen by those very important customers.  Do research online to find out where and when your demographic is online and schedule posts for those times.
2. Bad information!
It is pointless posting content at the optimal time, when the content itself is useless. You know who you want to sell to. Therefore post content that will be of interest to them. A little awareness, a lot of indirect marketing and a smidge direct marketing will go a long way. The best rule to follow is the 70-20-10 rule. 70% of your content should be blog posts, info-graphics, shares from your customers, competitors and popular conversations. 20% should be information that will add value to your target audience’s life, for example; shared values, experiences and educational posts. 10% and ONLY 10%, should be promotional content.
3. Too many Excuses!
The best time to start developing your online presence is right now. Even seasoned professionals get tired of posting content, but they do it. They don’t make excuses for not posting daily. Don’t wait for that special sale to start or your book to be launched. Start in advance and gain traction with whatever campaign you want to run.

“Stop making excuses”

4. Doing the bare minimum!
By posting a few things online and not actively engaging and sharing your content, you will not get far. You also need to encourage others to share your content in order for it to be seen. Simply having a one sided presence is not enough.
5. All smart and no brains!
Once you engage with your customers, it is pointless to act like you know everything and not take other’s opinions or suggestions into consideration. Don’t always give out information. Ask questions, run polls and get your audience involved. Make them feel like they are contributing to your business and adding value to the lives of others.
6. No conviction.
You have to believe in yourself, your business and your company’s vision, values and mission. If you don’t believe in what you are doing, you can not expect others to do so. Share those beliefs, core values and missions. Your business has to come across as authentic, approachable, knowledgeable, professional and friendly. Reflect that in everything you do online.

7. Lack of productivity!
It is all very well to have an online presence, yet not know what to do with the information you gain in return. Many businesses simply ignore valuable analytics and insights into their business and blindly continue posting. Know what works, when, where, how, who and why. These insights will drive traffic to where you need it most….your bank balance!
8. Wrong kind of interaction!
To have an online presence, you need to interact with past, present and future customers. You also need to interact with your competitors and drive conversations. It sounds difficult, but it is not. Follow the golden rules: Don’t be rude, be approachable, don’t flirt, stay on the topic and never have derogatory remarks about another. Play nice as mom would say.
9. Apologies, apologies!
If you are going to come across like you are apologizing for your very existence, you will not get anywhere! On the other hand if you have to apologize a lot for your posts, you are doing something wrong. Evaluate your “online appearance” once in a while and you will never have to apologize again!
10. Lack of commitment!
Time is of the essence. We all know that. However that is not an excuse to rush through your posts, comments by others or any interaction online. Make time to thank those who have shared or commented on your posts. Be sure to reciprocate. Having an online presence means you have to be present. To have a successful online presence you also have to stay committed to the success of others, not just your own business. Your sales graphs will certainly show the results.

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5 Unexpected Uses For Your Website!

5 Unexpected Uses For Your Website!

In today’s world, people have websites for everything! Soon-to-be married couples have a website so invitees can RSVP, check out the venue and find all the information they need about the BIG DAY. Unemployed people create websites to enhance their CV, so potential employers can see who they are, what they stand for and what they offer. Businesses, especially, have gone a step further and are using their websites as an online brochure, customer service center and point of sale all in one! But that’s not all they do. AND, there is so much more you can do.

It doesn’t matter if you are a part-time hobbyist, corner florist or a big company. We have some more amazing ways you can use your website! Check out our top 5!

internet-1028794_960_720Check one! A business Card. 

Wait a business card? That’s right! You can use your website as a business card. Whenever you post a comment online, make sure your Avatar, Gravatar or Profile pic is linked to your website. They can immediately see who you are, and what your business is all about.

“Bet you didn’t know this?”

scarygiphyCheck two! Even the Score. 

Imagine being able to tell someone that you’ve written an article about a specific topic, therefore you know they are “misinformed,”  or threaten a company with an entire article about their poor service on your website! Sure there is Yelp, and other online forums, but writing an entire article? Oh yeah! That would make even the biggest companies a little frazzled.
wildfire media Check three! Good Old R & D.

How many companies that are not in the Research and Development industry use their website for R&D?  Very few! Most website hosts and blog platforms have easy to use Polls which you can add to your posts. So use them to find out all the information you can about your customers,  and what needs they have. Do surveys in order to reduce unnecessary work and streamline your operations.

wfm12Check four! Chat boards.

Let your visitors get to know one another. This is not a new concept. Many companies have bulletin boards or chat boards, where visitors can interact with other visitors and share information from fitness tips, music they like, to movies to see, live events to attend, or anything they want. The conversations never has anything to do with the company or what they offer. The idea is to keep visitors coming back to your site to check the latest on the topics they are interested in. Let them share things about them and you might learn a lot more about your target demographic.

catgiphy (1)Check Five! Show off your VIP’s. 

Your customers, loyal fans, or other people in your fields can contribute to your blog, and they can increase engagement. Enable your website to offer them the ability to create their own profile and share valuable information or exchange stories with your readers. By letting others speak for you, they bridge the gap between the brand and the consumer. Open your doors so they can grab your visitors’ attention.

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What Is The Secret To Your Success?

What Is The Secret To Your Success?

We have been a fan of  Melanie Hook, a photographer in Cape Town for quite some time now. She has been all over the world, and captured beauty wherever she went.

What strikes us about her, is her passion.  We dedicate this post to Mel Hook, as her passion inspires us.

You can follow her on Facebook and Pinterest. For those who live in Cape Town, she is the owner Hooked On Fitness, a private home based gym with NO Queues, where she is your qualified one-on-one personal trainer!

Successful people like Melanie, always say “it is my passion”  when asked about what made them a success. Chances are that if you have a business, it is something you are passionate about. The same goes for your hobby.

If you cook, arrange flowers, take photos, write stories, or believe in your unique ability so much that the thought of failure does not scare you, that is a passion. If it makes you smile, get out of bed and be nice to your momma, then that is something worth investing in.  You need to turn that passion into a business and show it off to the world! How would you do that?

“The secret ingredient to your success is a effective web presence!”

Your blog is the place where you welcome visitors into “your home” and let your personality shine. Grab your visitor’s attention with what you can offer them, rather than your product. Your website is your sales platform, and also the place to handle customer queries, among other things. There are many social media platforms you can use to get your name out there, and we have covered their importance in business previously-  Social Media.  But most importantly, a web presence means interaction! You need to interact with your influencers, customers and follow the conversations of your competitors to stay ahead of the game.

In the famous words of Oprah: “Follow your passion and live your best life!”

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How Small Business Is Making The World A Better Place

How Small Business Is Making The World A Better Place

Now is the time to start your small business. Grow your hobby into cash making machine! So many people think big business drives the world. The fact it, it is small business and their loyal customers.

Here’s how your small business makes the world a better place:

Economic Growth

Small businesses are well placed to build personal relationships with customers, employees, and suppliers. There is little hierarchy or chain of command. With a small business you know who you are dealing with; you can ‘put a face’ to the person you are in contact with. Person-to-person interaction is as important as ever in building strong relationships. Your small business contribute to the local economy by bringing growth and innovation to your community. You also help stimulate economic growth by providing employment opportunities to people who may not be employable by larger corporations. Small businesses tend to attract talent who invent new products or implement new solutions for existing ideas. They are well positioned and have less hassle to introduce and develop new ideas. Larger businesses also often benefit from small businesses within the same local community, as many large corporations depend on small businesses for the completion of various business functions through outsourcing.
Adaptability and Flexibility

Large businesses may have set ways of operating and establish procedures that are hard to change. Small businesses are often far more flexible. It can also reach a quick decision on whether or not it can do what is required. Your small business also possess the ability to respond and adapt quickly to changing economic climates. This is due to the fact that small businesses are often very customer-oriented. Many local customers will remain loyal to their favorite small businesses in the midst of an economic crisis. This loyalty means that small businesses are often able to stay afloat during tough times, which can further strengthen local economies. Small businesses also accumulate less revenue than larger corporations, meaning they may have less to lose in times of economic crisis.

 

“Every business was small once. Through good personal relationships, excellent service and competitive pricing, they have grown.”

Schools and Local Government Offices

Due to the lower overhead costs of small business, their prices are cheaper. They can also enter into several different markets, whereas large corporations are more bound to their core business. When consumers patronize local small businesses, they are essentially giving money back to their local community. A thriving local business will generate high levels of revenue, which means that the business will pay higher taxes, including local taxes. This money is then used for local police and fire departments as well as schools.
Future Growth

Small businesses do not always stay small. Large corporations, such as Nike and Ben and Jerry’s, started off as small businesses that grew to become major players in the national and international marketplace. Many computer-industry leaders began as “tinkerers,” working on hand-assembled machines out of their garages. Microsoft is a prime example of how a small business idea can change the world. Small businesses that grow into large businesses often remain in the community in which the business was first established. Having a large corporation headquartered in a community can further help provide employment and stimulate the local economy.

 

Every business was small once. Through good personal relationships, excellent service and competitive pricing, they have grown. Your small business can become something amazing! All you have to do, is get the right people behind you.

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