How to Generate B2B Leads for Your Small Business in a Smarter Way
Every single business aspires to achieve a steady flow of clients. However, not everyone knows how to go about it.
Given the long list of hacks and growth strategies for small businesses, it’s easy to get lost in the woods.
It’s only evident how one witness an average product churning out great revenue, while a genuinely good one struggles to make an impact.
When it comes to securing B2B leads for a small business, the story takes a flippant turn.
Industry reports indicate how only 50% of startup businesses make it past the first five years. Damn right survival is a dirty game, and without a steady flow of leads, you are destined to crash.
Simply put, Leads = Earning.
In this post, we mull 5 surefire ways that will usher in maximum B2B leads (read, your ideal customers) for small businesses.
This is one of a few B2B marketing strategies that work on a reverse methodology. In other words, it pulls prospects towards your business rather than you running after them.
Market research indicates how inbound marketing gains a command being at least 10x more functional than any other approach, for steady lead conversion.
For instance, any potential customer who Googles for “best LinkedIn Automation tool”, and your website pops up among the top search results, you stand a chance of being seen. So, in this typical example of inbound marketing, the prospective customer/client is coming to your site, rather than you having to email or cold call them.
Popular inbound marketing instances include:
- Informational content and well-designed graphics for social media posts.
- Relevant YouTube videos.
- Content marketing across more than one channel/ platform.
At the very core of all inbound marketing strategies lies great content. Content that is not only informational but also drives a call for action.
Start by knowing your target audience. For a small business, it is of utmost importance that you have a comprehensive view of the target audience before you interact as a brand. Besides content, your SEO approach has a major role to play.
You know how they label social media platforms, like Facebook for friends, Twitter for political debates, Instagram for celebrities, and Snapchat for teenage fun.
Well, LinkedIn is one such platform that people relate instantly with work.
That’s right! LinkedIn means serious business. Seldom do you find an individual who has joined LinkedIn just for the fun of it?
LinkedIn is one such platform, when used wisely, can up your B2B lead generation game, better than anything in comparison. Not only can you connect with like-minded professionals and hunt your next big job, but can also exchange ideas, strike up mutually befitting deals, and even start a new partnership.
Exclusive case studies of LinkedIn depict how this one single platform drives the biggest share of the revenue for just about any small-sized business.
LinkedIn automation tools like Lead Connect are a great way to reach out to prospective B2B leads, engage them, and effectively follow up towards a successful closure. Automation has helped several brands to grow at a progressive speed and with the right support by your side, one can always be assured of effective B2B lead generation for their small-sized business.
Freebies still do the trick
An industry survey report suggests how more than sixty percent of consumers prefer testing a free sample before purchase.
Essentially, a rip off dating back to traditional email lead generation, freebies have managed to retain its classic charm. While many small and mid-sized businesses are already into it, not everyone does it right.
Well, you can’t blame the brands all the way. The notion around “Free” stuff has witnessed a lot to finally lose its meaning in translation. Regrettably, the free stuff offered these days by the majority of brands is practically useless.
Hence, one must be careful while promising free stuff to prospective audiences. For instance, if you design and sell premium business templates, make sure they are functional and worth downloading.
Doing so will help you embark on a B2B lead generation methodology, where customers will eventually sign up as they realize how laborious it can be to set themes, shift objects, and manually edit styles for a document.
In other words, it is the power of your lead generation strategy that helps communicate and establish the value of your product/services, offering people a reason to pay.
For any B2B small business owner, guest posting or guest blogging should never be an afterthought. With blogging, the thumb rule is consistency.
Once you set a routine for your blogs to go live, you are already setting out expectations for your customers looking to hear from your brand. As you focus on delivering high-quality content, you will always have a better chance to pull leads to your side.
Guest posting on high DA sites builds trust and credibility for your band. Thus, when one gets redirected to your site, you can use a B2B lead generation tool to identify the source and convert them into worthy leads. In the process, you not only widen your brand reach but also discover more traffic and enhance your domain authority to boost the chances of a sale.
The key to successful lead conversion is interaction.
That’s right! It takes less than 24 hours for a lead to turn cold. Blasting emails is never going to change the scenario. Hence, it is more than important that you make the most out of your interactions.
No matter what product/service you sell, if you have a lead using your product for some time and then going kaput, it’s probably a good thing to lure him back to the game.
Take a cue from Grammarly. They ran an awesome re-engagement email campaign targeting users who used the tool in the past for a brief period and never returned. The company not only pointed out how they wanted them back but also gamified their interaction efforts by awarding a makeshift badge.
For Ecommerce brands, industry reports indicate how re-engagement emails have an opening rate of no less than 12 percent. (which is great, compared to the overall email opening rate of 14 percent). With more than 25 percent of marketers losing potential leads from their email list each year, re-engagement emails are a great B2B lead generation tool.
Besides enhancing incremental engagement, it also promotes lower churn rates, thus re-establishing brand value among inactive subscribers and widening the net for conversion.
Besides LinkedIn automation, free downloads, and guest posts, you can also harness the power of forums, answer questions on Quora, interview influencers, run a quiz, and a lot more.
You see, optimizing your B2B marketing strategies doesn’t have to be difficult. All you need to know is to make the right call at the right time.
Also, it’s a good thing to have multiple options at work. Such an approach will significantly bring down the bounce rate, augment your brand presence, and increase chances of lead conversion.
I am Richard Mullins, a professional content writer, a blogger who always willing to write on technology, marketing, marketing strategies, lead generation strategies, and more,. I love to write some awesome blog posts that will create values for the reader.
The 5 Vowel-Mantra Brands Need to Liberally Use to Build a Post-COVID Language
While marketers over the world are well-versed with the 4Ps of marketing – product, place, price, promotion, most of them were caught off guard with the now looming, omnipresent 5th P – ‘the Pandemic.’
COVID19 has literally ensured that we take a step back and distance ourselves from the known to unlearn most of what we were certain of. There are many predictions and schools of thought rampant around us all. However, the commonality that they all share is that change is inevitable.
So, as most of us try to acclimatize ourselves on how to re-plan our product, place, price and promotion, let us first equip ourselves with what the new normal is most likely to entail.
1. A – Acceptance
Sundar Pichai – Alphabet, CEO – spoke to Time on #COVID19 and said that the pandemic is ‘a test that we have to pass’.
While restrictions are being lifted the world over and governments are collaborating to facilitate ease-of-doing-business, brands need to be wary of the fact that the pandemic has left lasting impacts on the global economy – the effects of which are still unknown.
The assumption of the oblivion of the virus may lead to detrimental effects on a brand’s health. Accepting that the number of fresh cases is slowly reducing, however, the effects of the outbreak are still surfacing in large numbers, is the way forward.
Once brands accept that the effects of the pandemic are here to stay, they can start restrategizing their goals, both for within and outside the organization. Recrafting product line-ups, repositioning existing products and services, focusing on understanding new consumption patterns will all be impacted by the simple acceptance of the pandemic and its effects.
Most importantly brands need to accept that marketing themselves is going to change. Traditional mediums such as outdoors are going to be questionable for a long time to come. Digital-first avenues shall be the future.
With emerging technologies and platform features, also acceptance of such mediums by consumers will make it challenging and convenient for marketers the world over.
2. E – Empathy
Owing to its power of affecting anyone – irrespective of class, caste, creed, race, region – what the pandemic has effectively done is made all of us far more empathetic toward one another. Many had to swallow the humble pie to understand that money is not something that can ensure your safety. Something that the agency and the brand team of Kent RO – an Indian healthcare products company – had forgotten to account for.
The campaign communication focused on the utility of the product – a contactless bread kneader – ensuring convenience. In an attempt to tie in the severity of the situation – that of maintaining hygiene, they focussed their narrative on lack of hygiene of domestic help. And how with the said product, that no longer needed to be a concern.
Needless to say, the brand received flak, was called out for being inappropriate and classist. The backlash resulted in many unfollowing the brand, and some even solemnly agreeing to discontinue using their products.
The efforts that should have gone towards marketing the new and innovative solution, were dedicated toward firstly releasing an official apology and then damage control.
With consumers being more sensitive than ever, brands need to be extra mindful of the repercussions of their communication and product positioning.
Empathy, the underdog for all these years, will now be the frontrunner if used right that is.
3. I – Inclusion
Diesel – a brand that has relied heavily on sex-appeal and has never shied away from shocking people with its use of bold statements, released a digital film amidst the ongoing pandemic.
The movie, simply called Francesca, shows the journey of gender reassignment of an individual and how Diesel has been a constant. Released worldwide in the month of June, which is globally observed as LGBTQ Pride Month, the brand received praise. Members from the LGBTQ community that usually shunned the brand for being unabashed warmed up to it.
Inclusion a principle that has only been spoken of or brushed upon from a peripheral vision is now a ground reality.
The revival of the #BlackLivesMatter and #AllLivesMatter movement across the globe have made inclusion a must. No longer can stereotypes dictate brand stories. What was earlier seen as sensational and considered ahead of its times, is now the new normal.
Embracing inclusion and sensibly placing your brand’s narrative is the way forward for impact creation.
A word of caution, being forcefully inclusive or using the matter without actually doing something about it can have severe negative repercussions. However, if the brand has an opportunity to step in and make a difference, the large and ever-growing LGBTQ community is more than welcome.
4. O – Ownership
What the Black Lives Matter movement has also shown us that people are no longer ready to exercise silence. Despite the pandemic, millions of people took to the streets to make their view known. Support did not just come in from America, but the world over.
The populace across many countries risked their lives to make sure that the government and people in power heard their concerns and demands. A brand that can enable people to take ownership of the situation and join their cause will be rewarded.
Credit where credit is due, which is why nobody can deny that brands, big and small alike have not shied away from reaching out in the times of such crisis. From monetary to materialistic, the world has received generous donations. However, what needs to be understood is that the effects of the pandemic are long term and therefore relief too has to match.
When employment protests broke out, what people were demanding were not stop-gap solutions, but systematic and consistent help. That can only happen if companies take ownership and respond so. Therefore, choosing the right catalyst which can be the face of your cause is where brands should converge their energies into and the heavy lifting of the dissemination of the cause for it to become a movement will automatically be taken care of by communities at large. The stickiness of the movement can again be reinforced with timely actions and not just a strong start.
Case in point, back in 2009 when Coca Cola took the ownership to ensure clean water in Africa. The beverage giant promised $30 million to ensure 2 million people received clean water in Africa. It ensured the cause saw the light of day and delivered necessary measures for the next 6 years as promised. The project continues even today, with the company and its community constantly committing and achieving more.
The world and most importantly its people need such brands, now more than ever.
5. U – Unity
‘Collective action is the most powerful resource we have’, paying heed to these words by Sundar Pichai will have lasting impacts on a brand’s legacy.
With Apple and Google collaborating in such unprecedented times to steer the world towards being safer, the man shows not tells. To follow his example is not a choice, it is one of the safest moves a brand can make.
Understanding what you can offer in the form of collaboration is the first step towards uniting your brand with another for a campaign or cause. The marketing world is not aloof to collaborations and consumers always look forward to seeing their favourite brands come together.
- The Uber and Spotify collab with value-added services lead to the ultimate personalized customer experience and was a win-win for both parties involved.
- There was a mammoth increase in the share of voice of both Hello Kitty and McDonald’s when they introduced their limited time for only collaboration.
- German auto manufacturer, BMV worked together with the French fashion house, Louis Vuitton to exemplify the common thread they share – travel.
Point being that there are many examples from both the past and present that make a case of uniting strengths. Many FMCG brands in India will vouch for this when during the lockdown they decided to reach their consumers through collaboration with Zomato and Swiggy. If it suits the purpose, pursuing a collaboration might just be the silver bullet that you were always after.
Whatever change in strategy that you may decide to put your money and faith on, remembering the above cues can help you eliminate some of the uncertainty. Most importantly, as Jonathan Midenhall said, ‘amazing things will happen if you listen to the consumer’.
Aditya is the founder of Digital Polo a unique design company that provides unlimited design work for a simple, affordable fee. He also heads a full-service digital agency called Nico Digital.
How Businesses Can Leverage SEO Amidst the Coronavirus Crisis
The recent Coronavirus pandemic has direct and indirect effects on most businesses in many ways. These SEO tips should help your business thrive even during difficult times like this.
Covid-19 impact on businesses and marketing
Small to medium businesses have been told to close doors. When will they reopen? No one knows for sure.
With recent government orders, small to medium businesses have been currently shut down to stop the spread of the COVID-19 virus, adding those to the already closed malls, restaurants, gyms, fast-food chains, and even large companies like Apple. The effect on the local and global economy has been predicted to be severe.
How can businesses and marketing companies survive from this ordeal?
Business owners and marketing experts are left in limbo. While the near future may appear to be bleak, experts say that we can learn from the past.
The immediate impact has caused businesses, stock markets, and the global economy overall to cut deep all under the threat of the COVID-19 pandemic. This has led thousands or even millions of people to lose their jobs or having dramatic impacts on their income.
Like a domino effect, businesses have to be strict with their expenses. What is the connection between COVID-19 crisis and SEO? Let’s explore in detail.
A social media advertisement can bring new leads and reach thousands of people faster; however, it depends on the ad spend. Ads are recurring expenses; however, SEO is a much better investment in the long run.
Every business needs new prospects and has to convert those prospects into customers and retain them. In all these phases, SEO can help you out and is proven to work effectively.
How Can Businesses Leverage SEO Amidst the Coronavirus Crisis?
SEO is a never-ending game with search algorithms. Relevant and useful content will continue to stay on top, provided there are no technical errors on the website.
Because of the lockdowns in many parts of the world, people are staying at home and are searching online more than ever!
Content strategy: Trends vs evergreen content
As we all know, trends come and go. What is trending today might not be in demand tomorrow. As a business owner, you should strike the iron while it’s hot!
If your industry is in demand during this crisis like a food delivery service, such as online courses, you should publish content related to the trending topics. This will help you to get new prospects, and assist in brand awareness.
On the other hand, evergreen content like how-to guides, tutorials, list posts will continue to gain traffic. For example, people have to try new recipes at home as they can’t dine out; food blogs see a spike in their traffic.
SEO and digital transformation
More and more businesses are transforming their operations online as much as possible. Restaurants have to improve their online presence and partner with a delivery service to keep their business going.
Google Trends data for food delivery – Interest over time increased after COVID outbreak.
Google Trends data for online courses – interest over time increased after COVID outbreak.
In the medical field, online consultations became inevitable. Every business should adapt, or they lose the game. Whether your business is recently launched or has been existing for many years, SEO will be an excellent long-term investment.
Find and use long-tail keywords with enough search volume and low competition to rank high on search engines.
A long-tail keyword that has high search volume but low competition.
If your content is already performing well, update the pages to retain the rankings. Use title tag modifiers like “updated”, “new”, etc. Considering your long-term vision for your business in the industry; your decision today will impact your future.
Every SEO-optimized blog post is going to bring you traffic every day. The added advantage is that you can repurpose the content. Make them as a newsletter for your subscribers. Turn them into social media posts. It’s an excellent way to reach more people with this combination of multiple platforms.
As you see, content is always the king and a well-planned SEO strategy will help you get more customers.
How SEO wins over social media
Which is the best way to boost your online business presence: SEO or social media?
Both strategies are essential for every business’s online success. They are relevant for boosting brand awareness, promoting products and services across all platforms, bringing in more traffic, and converting traffic into sales.
While there is an ongoing debate among experts about which strategy is best to use to grow a business online, what do small business owners, webmasters, and digital marketers say about this?
SEO and social media both can bring business success but are very different. Let’s take a look at how SEO takes on the challenge for the win.
Social media does help you get your content in front of more people faster and virtually has no limit to the number of users to see. Still, your post will likely broadcast on timelines of people who are not interested or will not find your content relevant for them.
SEO allows businesses to gain traffic from search. Transportation will never exceed the number of people who search for keywords or phrases each day. People who visit your site are the most interesting ones with a specific purpose, need or question.
Visibility in social media can drive likes, follows, comments, and shares, but these engagement metrics are difficult to report. Most of these may not even turn into sales conversions which are what you ultimately want to achieve in business.
Search engines, on the other hand, gives more focus on optimizing for user intent rather than just broadcasted content. SEO gives you an upper hand to plan and create your content with search keywords or phrases that are more targeted to people’s intent. Hence, giving them what they want. Although they are less likely to share and interact, they are more likely ready to make that purchase.
Long Term Results
Growing social media following takes time, but posts may appear instantly and can bring results within minutes. However, most content is short-lived and results often last for minutes only. Therefore, it requires continuous efforts.
SEO also takes time to build up enough credibility and may even be uncertain. While it may take days or weeks to index or rank, when done right and once it’s working, SEO will make sure that your content can be read by search engines while improving your rankings.
This means traffic can be a passive source of visitors to your site; more leads are generated, and more sales are converted just by people using the Google search box. High rankings often last for weeks or months. Therefore, less effort is required.
People either have a problem and are looking for a solution using keywords, or they have a question and are looking for an answer. Your audience is one of your best sources of content. One of the best ways to keep up with the trends and stay relevant is to look upon marketing statistics.
Why is SEO organic reach better than paid promotion?
In the world of online content and marketing, two strategies can vie for your time and money to grow your business. While business owners may find it hard to choose which one suits their liking and situation, it is best to know which of both methods works better.
So let’s look at each and see which one fits into your online strategy.
A paid advertisement is as what it sounds like. You give money to advertising platforms to put up your ad live quickly after staging parameters, including your target demographic and psychographic reach.
While there are tons of platforms for businesses to advertise on, directly and indirectly, paid ads sure gives you tons of options to amplify your content. It is fast and flexible, and the results are easily measured.
Some of the top direct advertising platforms include Facebook, Instagram, Google Ads, and more. A few examples of indirect advertising platforms are sponsored blogs, social shoutouts, and guest written blogs, among others.
Paid ads can simply be posted for a certain length of time through boosting; it can be optimized for a pay-per-click model, text ads, video ads, or offer lead generation forms, among other objectives.
Your set budget determines the amplification impact of your paid ad content. Starting with a small budget could bring some traffic to your site, but it can become quickly expensive if you are not careful.
The biggest downside of paid promotion is money. Paying more to perform more can be a misnomer, so you need to make sure you are getting the most out of what you are paying for to put your content out there.
Organic reach occurs on non-paid advertisements or campaigns. As implied, it is an ideal method for you to listen to what your audience is saying about or to you.
If you are about long-term goals, and you are focused on building a more extensive and more diverse content base that serves people looking for it, then the organic approach is the way to go.
Remember, online or digital marketing is about people, providing them value and solutions by creating ‘meaningful’ conversations, developing leads, and eventually converting sales from those relationships.
The organic approach is a great and better way to increase your website traffic by connecting to specific groups of people. It also establishes you to become a thought leader or a subject matter expert in your industry and build a community that wants to share knowledge and learn from others.
Listening and learning are critical elements of your organic approach. You do not need to pay to promote, but you need a quality audience.
Putting in a well-thought-out content that resonates with your target audience and responding effectively on a personal level to their inquiries and concerns may turn your fans into customers, and your customers into advocates. Chances are, those people will even share your organic content in the future without costing you a penny.
Facebook and Instagram’s feed known to hinder the organic reach, while search engines still bring in the organic traffic.
Google Analytics report showing steady organic reach amidst COVID crisis.
According to a HubSpot Research survey, 63% of marketers are actively investing in search engine optimization and will likely increase significantly across all industries.
To wrap up, the sure-fire and better way is to give users what they want is by focusing on their intent. SEO will do the job for your business. Getting more quality traffic that can make you more sales is better than just likes, comments, and shares.
Saurabh Pandey CEO and Founder of Brandveda- “Digital Marketing Institute“. He started his entrepreneurial journey instead of working in the corporate sector. His niche lies in lead Gen., PPC, Social Media marketing and is inclined towards All Things Digital.
Cloud Uptime: Everything You Need to Know
Cloud computing is what leading modern technology and taking the currently available technologies to a new height. Without the availability of cloud computing, we would never have been able to come so far in the race of technological development.
From small businesses to science and research, cloud computing is being used everywhere and this is why the modern-day cloud computing applications have become the base of all the technological solutions that we use.
There are many things that you need to understand about cloud computing but in this blog post, we are going to talk about the most talked-about feature of cloud computing which is known as uptime. If you have ever gone through the best Hosted QuickBooks provider website then you must have seen features like 99.99% of high uptime and that is guaranteed from the cloud vendor but do you really understand what does this uptime means and how the cloud vendor calculates the percentage of uptime they can offer?
Well, if you are not aware of these things about uptime then you have come to the right place. In this blog post, we will go through everything that you need to know about uptime so that you can understand the cloud platform in a much better way.
What is uptime?
If we go by the definition of uptime given in the dictionary then we can simply say that uptime is the time period during which a particular piece of equipment or technological solution like a computer or is functioning properly. When it comes to cloud hosting then we can say that uptime is simply the percentage of time that your server or website remains active or is able to function during a course of a year.
This means that the higher the uptime, the better your productivity will be. More uptime means less interruption in your workflow and this is why with more uptime, you will be able to maintain the business continuity and maintain the workflow without any hitches.
What is 99.95% of uptime offered by cloud vendors?
If a cloud vendor is offering you a guaranteed uptime of 99.5% then it means that if for all the days during a year, leaving the 1.83 days, your server or website will remain active and accessible. You should know that there are many cloud vendors like Cloudwalks in the market that create aggressive SLAs around the uptime guarantee and they highlight 99.95 or even 99.99% of high uptime.
It is always better to choose a hosting provider that offers guaranteed uptime. If you will work with a cloud hosting provider that offers guaranteed uptime then you will be able to work more effectively and provide a better experience to your customers and employees as well.
But one important thing to know in uptime is that the uptime guarantee doesn’t include maintenance or schedules outrages.
What is the mathematical calculation for uptime?
There are many common uptime guarantees that can be broken into the mathematical calculation in order to know the expected downtime during a full year.
If a cloud vendor is offering you 98% of uptime then it means that you will face 28.8 minutes of downtime every day. Now if we will calculate this downtime for a whole week then we will get, 3.4 hours of downtime during a whole week. In a month, this downtime will be for 14.4 hours and in a full year, you will get 7.3 days of downtime if the cloud vendor is offering 98% of uptime.
Similarly, if you will calculate the hours into days and then go for a full year in the case of 99.99% of uptime then you will see that there is only 8.8 hours downtime. And 8.8 hours of downtime in a whole year is almost negligible downtime like in the case of some of the best QuickBooks cloud hosting service.
What is the importance of uptime in the cloud?
Most of the people shift to the cloud platform for better security, flexible accessibility, cost-effectiveness but high uptime is also one of the driving factors in this shift. One of the biggest hassles in in-house hardware-based solutions is that you will always have to face interruption due to the failure of the hardware and it can’t be avoided, even with the best IT team working in your company. This is why people shift to cloud in order to avoid this interruption.
The cloud platform, with its high uptime, increases the availability of the business solution and employees are able to work on the solution without any interruption. In the case of website hosting, high uptime means the website will always remain functional and the high availability of the website enhances the customer experience.
So, this is all that you need to know about uptime on the cloud platform. Now the next time you will see guaranteed uptime on the website of a cloud vendor, you will be well aware of what it means.
Best Ways to Get Funds for Your Startup
If you are running a startup then you will surely have to face many challenges. From taking care of the market to looking for upcoming opportunities. There are many things in a startup that you need to take care of. The number of startups might have increased during the past two years but that doesn’t mean that running a startup is easy.
Digitization and technological solutions like QuickBooks cloud Hosting have made commencing a startup quite budget-friendly and that’s why we are seeing so many startups coming out every day. But one of the biggest challenges that startups face is getting the fund.
You should know that startups are always low on budget. It doesn’t matter in which country you are running your startup or which type of industry you are in, you will always have to face the challenge posed by a limited budget and this is why getting funds for your startup is very much important.
If you are running a startup and looking for various ways to get funds for your company then you have come to the right place. In this blog post, we are going to look at some of the best ways to get fund for your startup
You should know that small loans are the best way to get funds for your startup. If you will go for small loans then it will become easy for you to repay and give out instant cash for emergencies, business. It is very important to know that small loans are also very helpful if you simply need cash for a big investment or any other purpose related to your business.
There are many ways you can get small loans. The best way to get online loans is to apply to online lenders. You should know that online vendors have become the most accessible way to get your small loan. The process of granting loans by online vendors is quite quick and that’ why most of the people prefer it without any second thought.
In addition to this, you can also opt for credit unions in order to get small loans. If you will apply for small loans from credit unions then you don’t need to have a perfect credit history.
After small loans, the most preferred way of getting funds your startup is bootstrapping. You should know that most of the small business prefer bootstrapping for getting the money required without any inconvenience. Bootstrapping is basically a situation where a person starts a company only by using personal funds or business revenues.
There is no denial in the fact that if you will go for bootstrapping then it will become much harder for you to yield the desired amount of fund but you will not have to stay dependent upon any other source of funding and there will no issue of paying interest on the money that you have used.
One of the best things about bootstrapping is that if you are able to succeed with this type of funding then you will become the sole owner and you will not have to share even 0.0001% of the profit that you will get with anybody else.
Crowdfunding has surely become one of the most popular ways of getting funds for your business. You must have heard about crowdfunding in newspapers and on TV, but you should know that you can use this popular method of arranging funds even for your startup. You will have to use the online power in order to get funding through this method.
In order to get crowdfunding, you will have to use a good crowdfunding website. When it comes to crowdfunding website then the first name that pops up in the mind of most of the people is Kickstarter but you should know that there are many other alternatives as well.
Some crowdfunding websites will put you in a pool of professional investors while others will allow you to raise money from anyone. You should know that if you are able to promote your business properly then you can generate huge funds for your company.
Getting funds for your startup is very much necessary because most of the startups are always short on budget. If you are running a startup then you will surely need lots of fund in order to implement a new idea or concept.
Most of the startups have many ideas but they are not able to bring those ideas into reality because of lack of funds. All the three ways of getting funds for your business mentioned in this blog post are effective and efficient as well. Use any one of the ways in order to get the required fund for your startup and invest in your new idea.
Jeff Morgan is a writer at NetworksGrid with several years of experience in the IT industry. She loves writing and exploring the world of technology while making the digital platform a more informative platform. Technology is what she eats and drink and she has a firm grasp on topics like managed IT service and managed NOC service.
How Business Cards Improve Brand Identity
The rapid advancement in technology has changed the way we do business and there’s no doubt about it. When creating new opportunities, strengthening brand identity or securing customer base, priorities lie in online marketing.
There is nothing new, and we know it well. But what would you do after your interactive strategies have landed you a potential client? How would you ensure you leave a lasting impression after that first meeting? What’s that one thing you are going to give that would reflect you as a brand?
The answer lies in a tiny piece of card called business card. You might not know, but a business card is nothing less than providing a sensory experience to your clients. It’s your brand’s image that makes or breaks your impression in the first meet. And, creating that impression is an art and science both. You need keen eyes to create business cards along with a strategic approach to reflect your message.
Focus on all the touch points. Also, keep your position and your target audience aligned with each other.
Importance and purpose of a business card
Before you know why brands focus on business cards, you must know what it is. A business card is a tiny piece of card that carries the name, other credentials of a business, or a person representing it.
In general, it’s a tangible way of passing on your company’s information such as its name, phone number, address, email address, and website URL. They do more than just carrying your contact info on a paper. They visually stand for your business; create your company’s identity.
Let’s find out how business cards improve brand identity:
1. Help develop human connections
In the world of virtual reality, human relationships haven’t lost yet. We don’t deny that connecting and information sharing through digital media is now easier and faster, but it has a drawback. It lacks trust, in person participation and human touch. Virtually you may be connected, but personally, you are not.
And, that’s a major problem for businesses seeking growth opportunities. It is because digital communications do not include essential elements like handshakes, authenticity, eye-contact and small talk.
Giving out businesses cards, however, is a great way to create human connections. You get an opportunity for proceeding further communication with those who are interested in your business. Therefore, make your own business cards like others to reach out to your target audience.
2. Establish a link with non-smartphone users
The technological advancement has been every significant lately. And this advancement has led to a high level of connectivity. Over the last couple of years, the number of people using smartphones in the US has increased. In 2020 the number is expected to grow above 270.66 million.
While it’s a huge number, not everyone has a smartphone or wants to own one. There are many reasons for it that range from no interest in distraction to preferring old-fashioned communication and low technological familiarity.
Where does your business stand in this? Well, you need to go traditional way to tap into that section that does not use smartphones. You can do this easily with business cards. And, it would easy for them to reach out to you.
3. Enhance the authenticity of your business
Before buying any product or service from a company, people verify the authenticity first. And to do so, they always seek information like — who are you as a brand? What services or products do you offer? Where is your company located and how to get in touch with you?
There is no better way than handing out business cards as answers to those questions. Take help from a business card maker to professionally design your cards. This way they will boost the authenticity of your brand. They will let people know your business is serious and ready to cater to their needs. Apart from that they also build brand awareness.
4. Facilitate networking
As a company owner, you already know the significance of growing professional contacts. It also leads to expand your network of contacts. There are several ways to connect with others and build your network like initiation telephone calls, emails, face-to-face conversations, and through social media sites.
People, however, prefer personal interactions. No matter how technology advances, nothing can replicate the importance of face-to-face communications. According to a study, 72% of people say that in-person meeting with a strong handshake impacts their first impressions. It is because in-person meetings build strong relationships.
When you attend networking events in person, do not forget carrying your business cards. It would be beneficial for people interested in your business to contact you. Likewise, their cards furnish you with the information you want to meet them again. A boost in your network means an increase in your business.
Wouldn’t you want to grow the reach of your networking? Of course, you do. Take help from a business card generator to create attractive business cards without increasing your overheads.
5. Your brand gets a visual representation
Yes, a business card gives your brand a visual representation. It works like the face of your business when your prospects look at it. It reminds them who you are as a business. If designed expertly, a business card reflects your brand’s message, its values and personality positively. This goes on influencing your recipients and makes them interested in your business.
You can use an online business card maker to make your brand recognizable. Do it correctly, and your prospects will be ready to buy your products or services.
Make sure you instil usability with creativity to hit the bull’s eye. Take Broke Bike Alley’s business card for example. It’s creative and functional. That means a business card turns into a handy tool when your bike needs some sorts of servicing that you could do easily. The plus point is, it’s tiny, and nobody would mind carrying a functional business card!
The tiny card that we often see as a stack on the table or in the card-holder is an effective marketing tool. The tiny business cards are still a necessity among businesses. Their tangibility gives brands a chance to create human connections and grow their network.
If you haven’t considered it for your business yet, it’s never too late. Add business cards as one of your marketing tools to reach your target audience.
Henny Kel works as a Digital Marketer, brand consultant and business strategist with Designhill- A reliable marketplace for logo design, business card maker, web design, custom tank tops design, and many other designing works. With extensive experience working both client side and within the agency environment, he has authored several articles on topics related to digital marketing, business strategies, content marketing etc.
Cybersecurity Best Practices for Small and Medium-Sized Businesses
We all might think that no one will mind giving a fair expenditure of labour to attack our website. Our business is small and confined in the corner of this vast world wide web. But reportedly, around 47% of small businesses face cyber attacks at least once a year.
Cybersecurity is becoming crucial for all website owners over time. As the possibilities of attacks and looting are increasing with advancing technologies, the vulnerability is also getting higher.
Cyber criminal activities are diversified. We cannot anticipate the way they try hacking and cracking our website. Their purpose may be different. As data is becoming a significant resource for business growth, some may attack our site for data, and some other will do it for ransom.
To wade off all these threats and menaces we have to take some precautionary measures and have to remain vigilant. A number of options are available today for securing our digital spaces. Also, the security experts are trying out different kinds of digital shields and armaments to fend off all the enemies.
Let’s check some of the best tips and tricks that can safeguard our business.
There are some reasons behind asking for using a strong password. An uppercase letter, a lowercase letter, numbers, and symbols may irritate us while setting up a password.
Moreover, some people use the same password for every account. Whether it is professional or personal, they do not care about the security. With that negligence, we are making us vulnerable ourselves. Passwords are serious factors to take into consideration. Especially, for cash transactions and user data communication, it is better to use two-factor authentication.
So, use strong and good passwords. If you are finding it difficult, you can use a good password manager to store your different passwords.
Encrypting your sensitive data is the most effective way to secure it. If data is encrypted, you don’t need to fret about any hackers or looters.
An SSL certificate is the best available option to encrypt our data. SSL certificates help to safeguard the communication and transaction between two systems. Its security protocols generate a public key and a private key to operate the process.
The HTTPS URL also helps protect our network and website. Moreover, it adds a seal of security to customer data and business information.
Secure remote connections
On this age of cloud and advanced virtualisation technology, people are freer to access systems and devices remotely. The new work culture work-from-home and bring-your-own-device add more risks to your business. Accessing public wi-fi is another risk factor to consider. One should always try VPN networks in case of accessing public or vulnerable network.
As computers are a must have of our life today, we may need to use numerous applications and use many online services. So, the proneness of getting infected by a virus and malicious is high.
So always run the machines with recommended as well as efficient antivirus packages. Further, make sure whether all the anti-virus packs are working and enabled as well.
Unawareness is one of the most crucial reasons that boosts cyber attacks. Educating the requirements and the consequences will upturn the process of fighting cyber attacks.
Educating how to protect business data and the possibilities of loopholes and the new trends in cyber crimes will help to mitigate the threat considerably.
As a business enterprise, we would need to entertain many of our customers with all the possible amenities in our facility. Always make sure that you have set customised access so that an employee can only access the data which is related to his role.
Backup is more of a precautionary measure for business continuity than a preventive measure. A good backup policy will help to maintain our uninterrupted business flow; even we come across with a security breach or unexpected error in the machines.
But, backup servers are more prone to security threats. Since it confines, a massive amount of data hackers have a particular interest over our archives. So, we need to be careful about our data servers and monitor it round the clock to avoid any data loss.
There are a lot more complex steps one can take to secure their Business website and to fend off the hackers. But, these basic ones will give you good protection against most types of cyber attacks.
10 Ways to Turn Your Business into a Successful Brand
If you thought that establishing a business was the toughest part of the challenge, then you are sorely mistaken. To develop a brand of your company and carve out its own place in the crowd is actually the toughest part. In addition, considering how effective can branding be, it becomes an immense responsibility to be able to create a brand that can help your business stand out from the competition.
Branding also supports your marketing and advertising efforts. When people start recognising your company through your logos and start connecting with your company on an emotional level, your ROI shoots up dramatically.
So if you are struggling and wondering how to build a brand for your business, then I have come up with a few branding tips that can be of help. Let’s delve deep into them, shall we?
1. Determine your target audience
When you laid the foundation of your company, you had goals that you wanted to achieve, right? Now before you go about achieving the set of objectives, you first need to be sure about the audience you want to target. No business can cater to all kinds of customers. Your products or services are for a particular group of people.
So your first need to understand who you are trying to reach and then tailor your mission accordingly. Once you have figured out your target audience, study the various demographics about them – their preferences, their locations – so that you can cater to their needs.
2. Establish a brand mission
Branding is all about communicating your mission to the world – why are you here and what do you want to achieve? So you need to craft a phrase that reflects what your company aims to do and what it is most passionate about. The statement should be impactful enough to highlight the value your business provides. And it is around the mission that the logo and the other messages should be built around.
For instance, consider the brand building technique that Nike adopted. Based on their mission (which is “If you have a body, you are an athlete“), they have crafted the famous tagline “Just Do it”! See the magnanimity of the mission – how wide do they make their base of the target audience with that one simple line!
3. Check your closest competitors
The key is not to copy but to take inspiration. Moreover, you must keep a close eye on what your contenders are doing so that you can differentiate from them. The step to successful branding is to be able to stand out from a crowd. So conduct thorough research on the most successful brands and their branding stories.
Study the techniques that they have adopted in their way of building a brand name and see what has worked and what hasn’t so you know what to practice and what to steer clear of. Observe how the competitor has communicated the messages across channels and take a cue from it.
4. Highlight the key qualities of your brand
However effective may the branding and marketing techniques that you adopt be, every effort can go down the drain if your products and services are not up to the mark. True that customers get attracted by the logos and smart taglines, but the only reason that ultimately makes them purchase a product/service is the value of a product.
So you need to delve deeper into the market to find out a unique product or service that no one else offers. And you need to focus on the qualities and benefits of what have in offer for your audience to make your company’s branding unique.
5. The brand logo & tagline should connect with the audience
When we talk about branding, the first essentials that come to our minds is the logo and the slogan. Now, this may not be as easy as it sounds! The logo is like the flag bearer of your company, and that’s the one visual that is going to create the first impression on your audience.
So your approach towards crafting a logo for your company brand should be holistic in nature. The objective of your company should come out evidently in your logo.
For example, take the ubiquitous logistics brand FedEx. When you see their logo closely, you will understand that there is a highlighted arrow in between the E and the X depicting their mission that is to move forward as well as telling what the company deals in–logistics.
Another great example would be Amazon. In the logo, you’ll see how an arrow connects the A and the Z referring to the phrase that they can cater to all your needs, from A to Z. So your logo does not need to be too artistic or intelligent. It should be smart to tell a story and easy enough to be understood.
6. Develop a voice for your brand
“Having a voice to communicate with your customers is essential for business branding. Your customers should be able to recognise and connect with your brand just by the voice you develop”, says Emily Anderson, advertising head for online essay writer. The tone should be professional and friendly at the same time. It should be authoritative and conversational too.
This is especially important when you publish blogs and articles on your website. Maintaining a voice consistently will help your brand image become recognised on multiple channels in the same way. They will identify the voice with your brand only! Take a lesson from Buzzfeed, who has made listicles a trend! Now when we talk about listicles, the first name that comes to our minds is BuzzFeed.
7. Be your brand’s biggest advocate
No one knows your brand better than you and your employees, and therefore you all will make the best advocates for your brand. You and your employees can market your brand like no one else can because you are aware of its missions, goals and objectives. So tell your employees to share your posts and publishing on their social media accounts.
Encourage them to establish a personal brand aligned with your company branding to help you build more reach. Even while hiring the workforce for your company, make sure that you choose employees who believe in the mission, vision, and the values of your brand.
And for your loyal customers, encourage them to share how they feel about your company and post testimonials on social media. Request them to share your content if they find it interesting.
Brand building can bring about a miraculous change in the way your new or existing business is performing. A robust brand building process can transform your business from a small player into a successful competitor. With a successful brand, your customers will be able to trust your company more and will be willing to invest in you.
With the above tips, I am sure that you will be able to create a brand for your company that is going to stay with your customers forever. All the best for the endeavour! Hope to see your brand conquering new miles to reach the zenith soon.
And if you have any other tricks up your sleeve, then feel free to share them with us!
Kefaya Hassan is a school teacher by profession, but she is also part online essay editor at Allessaywriter.com, Kefaya has a PhD in Sociology and loves to spend time with her pet.
How to Choose a Web Development Company
The vast amount of website design and web development offices around the globe makes it difficult for the amateur business visionary or those with limited technical knowledge to differentiate the good and the bad.
The essential element to online success is knowing how to find the right organisation, among the thousands, that has the internal ability to employ the explicit requirements of your business and more crucially, give the business an exceptional online identity through the website and online marketing.
The majority of customers are left in the dark about where to begin, what to begin, what they ought to have, or what they ought not to have, and the amount of cost the entire process is expected to be. Finding a service provider who will study your business, set clear goals and develop a successful website focusing on your customers is hard. Don’t worry. You will find the right web development agency if you follow the steps discuss here.
Find a developer that can explain to you the entire process
Your digital agency should know and be able to explain, with a suitable and practical structure and approach, the entire process to customers in a fairly basic and straight-forward manner. This will often be a good indicator to the customer they are choosing the correct web design company.
This article will detail some essential things that a website ought to have the capacity to project to customers, to grow the business and strengthen themselves and the brand with a web development plan that is detailed and based on the provider’s experience.
Knowing the industry plays a critically important role towards the success and relationship between your business and your digital agency.
Build a plan with your web design company
Brand methodology and market positioning need to be decided before a website is assigned to a web developer. First, it is essential to consider whether the business is already a top of the line brand, mid-level, or new startup and does the company wish to peruse an angle of marketing specific products and services or shift some focus more towards branding of the business name.
Once this has been done, the business needs to figure out what it brings to the table or rather, how its products and services are to be offered. This is vital towards the digital agency being able to determine the substance of each web-page on the website, along with allowing the developer the ability to envision the best method to target these pages from an SEO point of view, before the work has even begun.
Implementing the perfect content for each product or service, located at the correct locations within the website design, will assist to achieve a superior customer experience and also search engine ranking from very early on, which will lower the cost of ongoing monthly SEO contracts.
Determine the best method of controlling your website’s content
In terms of usability, the graphic design factor kicks in, usually the design is best left to a web designer/developer who will first design a professional looking site and then either static code the website (no ability for the customer to change the content themselves, but far less code required and usually best for SEO).
Or you may prefer the use of a Content Management System (CMS), where essential elements of the website are able to be controlled by people outside the digital agency (usually based upon simple ‘WordPress’ software).
Fairly recently the additional option has become available for a completely customer controlled GUI for the design and content of the website (WordPress plus a Visual Drag & Drop Builder implemented).
Recent research has shown however that the use of a Visual Drag & Drop Builder is not yet an ideal choice for SEO, and increases the amount of money needed to be spent in ongoing SEO costs.
Hence, for the time being, meeting in the middle and using a general WordPress controlled website for basic content control is advised.
Ensure the company can produce websites which are engaging to viewers
Concerning how the website looks to customers, a large number of companies tracking online behaviour show that show that a poor graphic design on your website makes the site visitors typically leave in around 7 seconds or less. This is why the visual factor and focus on ‘User Friendliness’ is a crucial phase of development, followed by the ‘attractiveness’ of the web-page regarding the content as well as its value to viewers.
Without an attractive modern website, user-friendly layout, and graphics that are immediately recognisable to the goods and services being offered, many users will ‘bounce’ back to google and find another website offering similar products and services.
Find a company with all the skills required in-house
The basic thing to understand is that there are many initial essential subject matters that need to be planned out to build a good and practical top-notch website. Primarily these are based around 3 elements, Strategy, Design, and Development.
The majority of developers usually turn out to be extremely skilful in one or two of these areas, which can leave a hole if they cannot complete all of the areas required.
If the company wishes to refer you to third parties for certain services, you should try speaking with other companies who can offer everything all through one agency before taking on this method.
Changing digital agencies or web design companies later can be a complicated process, it’s often best to choose once and choose wisely.
Experience is the key to a great web development company
Most web development companies who have been around for ten years or more should already have all the required skills to perform all these tasks, that is design, development, search engine optimisation and online marketing, along with social media services included.
While few developers are experts in all these areas, they do exist and discovering them is where you should begin before starting.
Many long-term developers step up with regards to having expertise in all areas, and can both in-house and via outsourcing (while performing quality control themselves), provide completely competent service.
You want a company who has all these skills themselves. Even if they choose to outsource, otherwise, quality control can be difficult to determine.
In the end, the main thing to take note of is understanding the basic requirements a website needs to be successful, and spend time to discover developers that can cater to all these requirements, either in-house or those that outsource a portion of their work.
One Agent Multiple Tickets? A Guide to Resolving Multiple Tickets at Once
If you find yourself trying to fight through a mound of support tickets – a great way to bring a level of automation to customer support is through a ticket management system. A ticket management system helps you turn your existing support team into a query management force by automating ticket allocation.
An important metric to keep in mind is something called the ‘Average Call Handle Time”. The average call handle time is the amount of time it takes for you to solve a customer’s query or problem from start to finish.
From the time you receive a query through your email, chat system or telephony integration – to the time you complete the first contact – is the ‘Average Call Handle Time”
There are a few specific tools that you can integrate into your existing support hierarchy that will help you handle multiple tickets at once. These tools are all integrated into a ticket management CRM. Here are a few features of the CRM that you can use to reduce your average call handle time by close to 50%.
1. Use the automated chatbot to soar through multiple tickets one at a time
Each time a customer poses a query or requests your support through a chat system on your website– a ticket is created and is auto-assigned to the nearest available agent who will then respond to this customer query through the chat system itself.
You can then get one agent to handle multiple tickets by using the chat systems preexisting templates that you can customize. These templates act as an intelligence-gathering tool – that helps your agent sort out the ticket faster through AI driven research using a Knowledge Management system (explained below).
2. Shave off valuable minutes of each support interaction with a knowledge management system
A great way to shave minutes off your average call handle time – is to use something called a Knowledge Management System. A Knowledge Management system (KMS) is basically a series of FAQ’S and How to articles stored in your CRM Dashboard that gives your agents access to commonly asked questions.
So when an agent is handling multiple calls for example – he could quickly type in the customer query into the KMS search bar and effectively sort out the ticket immediately without having to put the caller on hold to gather more information.
3. Use the power of telephony integration to quickly solve customer queries
When your agents are handling multiple calls – it becomes tedious and expensive to have multiple phone lines for each agent. In such a case a Telephony Integration in your CRM dashboard can help your agents receive calls from their systems itself – helping them finish tickets faster by handling multiple calls at once or receiving back to back phone calls.
This process helps your team solve issues faster and will help them dramatically reduce their average call handle times. Solve multiple tickets at once by using the ticket management CRM.
The best mindset to have in a business is one that turns your liabilities effectively into assets. When it comes to handling multiple tickets with a small customer support team – the ticket management CRM helps you bring a level of professionalism and order to your customer service.