All posts by Wendy Dessler

Wendy is a super connector who helps businesses find their audience online through outreach, partnerships and networking. She frequently writes about the latest advancements in digital marketing and focuses her efforts on developing customized marketing plans depending on the industry and competition.

Legal Branding

Professionals Discuss How Is Airbnb Affecting The Real Estate Industry

According to Inc., the vacation rental market will be worth roughly $170 billion in the next two years. As for Airbnb, Fortune projects that the community marketplace will go up in 2020 to $3.5 billion. Still, Airbnb has made tremendous growth this year; Fortune further indicates that Airbnb spent $300 million on expansion efforts. While this could be seen as a positive sign for a booming real estate economy, some say Airbnb could reel in suspicious individuals and activity.

Nonetheless, this could be a key investment opportunity for individuals looking into breaking into the industry—as well as for landlords looking to up their game. With Airbnb’s expansion, landlords may have to turn to the third-party housing rental company to bring in more cash flow.

With Airbnb expanding across the real estate market, it is looking like the monopoly could push out their smaller competition or force them to consider including the third-party community company in their efforts.

Will regulations stop them from expanding? According to Inc., it is not looking like it. The company continues to grow despite regulations—such as, as Inc. reports, rental companies needing to register with San Francisco (should they want to provide rental services to customers).    

Not sure if Airbnb’s efforts are great for the real estate industry? Can’t make a decision? Are you considering on cashing in on Airbnb’s expansion efforts? In this article, you’ll learn 6 different opinions from real estate professionals (spoiler: be prepared to be surprised by how diverse they are). From reading this, we hope you gain a better perspective on how Airbnb’s future expansion will affect the real estate industry, and whether this is seen as a welcoming sign or a future pain in the neck.

Read on to learn what real estate professionals are saying about Airbnb’s expansion impact.

www.appfolio.com

“AirBnB is definitely growing in the industry as tenants try to make additional money on the side. That said, large MFRs are cracking down on this as they find it disrupts the resident’s experience at the property and leads to higher turnover of units. Virtually across the board this type of sub-leasing violates the signed lease. I anticipate Airbnb continuing to struggle to gain traction in the MFR space.” – Nat Kunes, VP of Product

www.authoritypm.com

“We own and operate a property management company in Redding, CA that offers long-term rentals but stays out of short-term rentals such as Airbnb. We have seen a huge spike with regards to people looking to have a single family home rented out under Airbnb and managed by a third party such as a property manager. In our community, we don’t have any third party companies that handle management of Airbnbs, leaving property owners to handle them on their own. Vacation rentals require much more energy to manage than a traditional rental. In recent times, we have experienced several property owners converting AirBnB rentals to traditional rentals. Many have expressed frustration due to the much smaller cash flow on a traditional rental vs. Airbnb. We believe the Real Estate market has had additional players picking up investment properties as vacation rentals that may not have jumped in the game otherwise.” – Aaron Robertson, Authority Property Management

www.realpropertymgt.ca

“Recently, the Ontario marketplace has seen a lot of changes around the laws and these sort of disruptive technologies like Airbnb. People are taking residential suites and making them something they are not setup for and this causes a lot of problems for neighbours, property managers and the facilities, while offering no protection for these parties. Some of the municipalities are setting up rules and regulations, however, enforcement will be a very difficult course— how long till the next UBER comes along.” – Jason McGuire, Owner at Real Property Management Service

www.barrettpm.com

“I think this question must be answered with a specific community/county in mind due to the dramatic differences Airbnb could have on certain areas. Some factors that play into whether Airbnbs affect a community can include: Is tourism big in the community? Are there vacation destinations in the community? Does the community have recurring annual events that attract a large crowd? And does the city/county government allow for Airbnbs? The more “yes” answers to these factors, the more Airbnb will affect the real estate industry in that community.” – Amelia Barrett,President at Barrett Property Management, Inc.

www.sparkrental.com

“In larger cities and destinations with heavy tourist traffic, some homes can earn significantly higher returns on Airbnb than through long-term leasing. That’s good news for landlords (and some entrepreneurial tenants), but it can mean even stiffer competition for limited long-term rental housing.

One problem is that the areas with perfect conditions for Airbnb leasing are also usually those with already-tight rental markets. These tend to be the most desirable urban neighborhoods, with the most competition for housing supply. Airbnb rentals pull more inventory from that supply, constricting supply even more.

With that said, the market will fix this problem over time. For example, some not-as-well-managed hotels will likely go under due to the loss of business to Airbnb, and that space will likely be converted into additional residential housing supply. Or consider the retail apocalypse – this is more valuable real estate that can be rezoned to its highest and best use (in many cases, residential). It may also push lumbering city bureaucracies to approve more new housing permits to increase supply.” – G. Brian Davis, Director of Education

www.skypropertiesinc.com

“As a management company, we are both for it and against it.. For it, because our clients make money doing it. Against it, because it may bring unknown people who could cause a noise disturbance, have criminal intent, or even be a criminal, into an unsuspecting apartment community.” – Kari Negri, Chief Executive Officer at SKY Properties, Inc

Digital Branding

Four Top Tips for Making Sure Your E-commerce Store Stands Out

With online shopping booming, there have never been so many online stores available. Whether you’re looking to buy a new outfit, health and beauty products, Christmas gifts, electronics, novelty items, or even things for your pet, you can guarantee that you’ll find a range of options to choose from online.

For anybody who is considering going into business with an e-commerce store, the growing popularity of online shopping can only be a good thing.

However, the biggest drawback is that standing out from your competition has become more difficult than ever before.

So, we’ve put together some top tips to help you ensure that your e-commerce store is grabbing attention for all the right reasons.

Tip #1. Quirky Labels

When you order something online, you’re usually more interested in your product arriving rather than whatever the store has sent you in terms of flyers and other advertisements.

But, as an e-commerce owner, there are several things that you might want to consider doing for your customers to change this.

For example, printing quirky and unusual labels for your parcels using Dymo Shipping Labels from Label City can be a good way to make them sit back and notice. Or, why not send them a small free gift as a token of your thanks?

Tip #2. Offer Something Different

With most e-commerce stores operating in much the same ways as each other, one of the best ways to stand out from the crowd in online business is to offer something different to your target audience.

For example, ASOS have recently achieved this fantastically, offering the never before seen option to buy now and pay later through Klarma, without the need for customers to borrow money. Previously, any ‘buy now and pay later’ options would require the customer to open a store card or borrow credit.

Think about things that are missing from the market and what you can offer your customers that nobody else does.

Tip #3. Go the Extra Mile

When you’re buying items in-store, customer service is easy – all you need to do is visit the customer service desk or information point and ask the assistants for help.

However, when shopping online, getting good customer service isn’t always so simple. As an e-commerce store owner, it’s down to you to understand the importance of good customer service and go the extra mile for your customers.

Whether it’s offering a live chat service twenty-four hours a day, having a member of staff manning social media at all times to send replies, or offering a generous return policy, putting your customers first is a sure-fire way to ensure that your company stands out.

Tip #4. Offer Great Deals

Lastly, bear in mind that many people who shop online do so because it’s cheaper and there’s more chance of them bagging a fantastic deal.

So, wherever possible, make sure that you are offering exclusive deals to your customers that they wouldn’t be able to find anywhere else.

If you enjoyed these tips, we’d love it if you shared them with your friends and followers. 

Digital Branding

6 Digital Branding Cliches That Are Way Overdone

The road to branding excellence is littered with cliches, and while there is a time and a place for these overused staples of digital communication, they should be used sparingly and with careful forethought.

As they say, “imitation is the sincerest form of flattery,” but when it comes to digital branding, it can definitely go too far.

It doesn’t matter if your company sells bespoke products, sources goods from a third party, grows them, blows them up, or consults on technology; when it comes to your branding, following the herd is NOT a good idea.

Here are six of the most overused and overdone cliches of digital marketing, and how to navigate the temptation to use them in your own branding.

1. The World’s First

Okay, if you really are the first, then you might just be able to get away with this one…

Unfortunately, this phrase is so overused that, even when true, it just comes across as being insincere. And if you decide to use it, you’d better make sure to have done your research.

The internet loves to point out a marketing fail, and if it turns out that your world’s first is actually a second or third, you’ll either appear silly or dishonest.

This problem is easily avoided through thorough and creative research – there will almost certainly be something more informative and relevant that you can use in place of this tired cliche.

After all, getting somewhere first is not a guarantee of quality, or anything else for that matter…

2. Generic ‘Hipster’ Logos

Your logo should evoke your brand, and be both distinctive, and recognizable.

A smart font with a colorful accent might look quite professional at a glance, but if it is too generic, it will be forgettable, and easily confused with other brands. There are a ton of ‘samey’, vaguely ‘hipster’ logos flooding the market right now: from tech companies to coffeeshops, everyone seems to be doing it! The same aesthetic is being used to sell tea, shorts, software, beard oil, and a plethora of products. But in the end, it’s all just one big sea of aesthetic blandness.

You can, and should, do better.

3. Bespoke Next-Level Solutions

All of these things. See how vague that description is? Yet this phrase, with varying synonyms, can be found throughout the digital marketing world.

Yes, you may offer a service that is tailored to the customer, and solves their problem using brand new technology. There is nothing wrong with advertising that.

The problem arises when you give no further details. If someone tried to sell you “next-level” cheese, you’d want to know what made it so special. It’s the same thing here: the lack of descriptive words makes the statement sound empty and hollow.

Solutions can hide many sins, so be more specific.

Don’t assume that your audience will simply take your claims at face value. Instead, give them some genuine, relevant information that will help them decide whether your service is for them.

4. Shame-Based Copy

Have you ever been to a site that boldly proclaimed you were not a real athlete/book-lover/human being unless you bought their product? Or that tried to niggle at your insecurities before offering the solace of their premium service?

Just don’t do that.

You don’t need to make your audience feel awful about themselves to convince them to buy your product. The same applies to those annoying CTAs, like those mailing list pop-ups that make you click “No, I’d rather be a failure” in order to get back to what you were reading.

You should be able to sell your product or service on its merits, convincing your audience that whatever their life is like, you will make it even better.

While there’s nothing wrong with a little humor at the expense of your audience, shaming and diminishing your customers with is just not cool.

5. Awful Brand Videos

There are plenty of examples of video marketing gone wrong, and you don’t want your brand to be added to the long list of painful brand videos.

You know the ones; the director of the company delivers a jargon-heavy marketing spiel, while moving through a featureless office space.

It’s hard to come across at your best in video content if you’re not used to being filmed. But that doesn’t mean you should just accept the results and release bad content.

Your audience want to get to know the personality behind the brand, not simply be told things they can read on your website.

In less time than you think, you can create excellent video content that really grabs your audience’s attention. Put some personality into your brand marketing and give your customers a glimpse behind the scenes of your business. Don’t settle for a stiff showreel.

6. Keep Calm

Sure, it was good while it lasted, but we’ve seen quite enough of the “Keep Calm And Please Share My Content” offerings.

Of course, if it turns out that your audience still loves that sort of thing, then maybe you can make it work – perhaps your brand lends itself particularly well to the cliche, if you sell carry-on luggage, for example – but there’s almost certainly a better option.

Jumping on similar phrase bandwagons can make your brand seem imitative and unoriginal.

Establish your target audience. Then do some in depth research and find out what makes them tick:

  • If you’re selling cars then maybe your audience want to keep going fast, whilst being safe
  • If you’re selling winter clothing then maybe your audience want to keep warm, without sacrificing fashion
  • If you are selling art supplies then maybe your audience want to keep being creative alongside their busy day jobs.

Whatever it is they want, make sure that’s what you give them – not tired phraseology.

Did any of those sound familiar? If so, don’t freak out — it doesn’t mean you need to go back and rehash all your content. The reason cliches come to being is that for awhile, they worked.

Remember, you don’t need to do what works for others, you need to do what works for you. So cut the crap and don’t be slack; get into the mindset of your audience so you can represent your brand in a way that both you and they will love.


Victoria Greene is a branding expert and freelance writer. On her blog, VictoriaEcommerce, she shares tips on ecommerce, how writers can hone their craft, and how companies can improve their digital reach. She is passionate about using her experience to help brands improve their marketing.

Create an effective Instagram profile
Digital Branding

Is a Business Loan the Best Financing Option for Your Start-Up Company?

When asked what the biggest hurdle is when starting your own company, most people are going to respond, ‘the finances’. It’s no secret that starting your own business requires a lot of cash up front. You need cash to pay for equipment, inventory, overhead costs for space (renting or leasing business space), employee’s wages, and so much more. There are fixed and variable expenses involved, and these need to be covered. In the end one of the most common reasons new businesses end up failing is because they struggle to cover start-up costs.

Unless you happen to have a trust fund, or have been saving your entire life, chances are you’re going to have to look into financing options. One route that many start-ups end up going for is a business loan. Now with that said there are a few different types of business loans available to you, more specifically secured and unsecured business loans. Are either of these right for you, if so which one? It’s important to look at them closer.

What is a Secured Business Loan?

A secured business loan is a very common type of loan. With this loan you will be borrowing money and you will put up collateral in return. Should you default on paying back the loan, the bank or lender can then take legal action against you so that they can take the collateral you have put up.

This type of loan allows you to borrow the maximum amount of money since the bank doesn’t see it as risky. They know they have the collateral to fall back on. Because the loan is less of a risk, you’ll be rewarded with a lower interest rate.

What is an Unsecured Business Loan?

An unsecured business loan is money that is borrowed from a bank or other lender without any sort of collateral being put up. In this type of agreement the lender is taking all the risk. Should you default on your payments, there is nothing that they can take ownership of. For this reason you may be approved to borrow less money, and the interest rate tends to be higher.

For a new business just starting out, an unsecured loan is often the only solution available. If they had access to collateral, they would probably use that to finance the business. Sometimes the lender may ask for a “director’s guarantee” in these unsecured business loans. What this means is that if you default on paying back the loan, they can then take legal action against the company’s director. Clearly this is something you will want to establish before signing anything.

Don’t Just Focus on the Banks

If you are going to go ahead with a business loan, it’s important you keep in mind that banks aren’t the only ones able to help you out. There are other routes such as trustworthy loan companies like Aspire Business Loans that specialise in both secured and unsecured business loans. You can apply for a loan anywhere between £1,000 and £300,000 and they will search a number of lenders to ensure you get the best deal possible. Often you’ll get a decision that same day.

These companies are brokers, meaning that they will have experience dealing with lenders and therefore the likelihood of the lenders trying to take advantage of you is much smaller.

The Right Solution Exists

The good news is that even if you don’t have the start-up cash required for your new business, there are plenty of solutions out there that can provide you with access to the cash you need. It’s a matter of finding the one that best matches your needs. Remember, starting a business is a long term commitment – finding the funding may be difficult, but it might not be one of the hardest things about starting a business. Once the costs are covered, your business will only be a success if you’re willing to put in the effort to make it one.

Appeal to your mobile customers
Digital Branding

How to Get Your Business Mobile App Right First Time

When it comes to engaging with your customers, creating a mobile app is one of the top methods used by many brands today. With an increasing number of web users now preferring to log on via their smartphones and tablets, adding a mobile application to the customer experience makes sense in today’s fast-paced business world, where keeping up is paramount.

So, you’ve decided that a mobile app is just what your customers need to improve their experience with your brand. But, what can you do to ensure that your app isn’t a flop? We’ve listed our top suggestions.

Tip #1. Hire the Right Professionals:

Chances are, you won’t be creating your business’ mobile app all by yourself. If you’re going to be hiring a mobile app developer to help you with putting your app together, then it’s important to invest some time in conducting thorough research beforehand. Getting recommendations from contacts that you trust, reading online reviews, and searching through portfolios of developers’ past work will certainly pay off in the end. Go for a company that has extensive experience when it comes to creating business and marketing apps, such as this mobile app development London company; https://www.lexel.co.uk/mobile-app-development-london.html.

Tip #2. Testing is Key:

Testing should be an integral part of the app development process, since the last thing that you want is to roll out an app to your customers only to find that its riddled with bugs and other issues that could have been fixed had you tested it beforehand. One good way to do this is to get unbiased reviews of your app before releasing it, by allowing a select few customers to download a beta version. Once they have done this, they can send you information about what’s working well and what needs improvement. You can reward their efforts with discounted products, vouchers, or a free gift.

Tip #3. Understand Your Users:

Before you even start planning your app development, you’ll need to know exactly what it is that your users will want from it. Bear in mind that your users’ motivations to use the app will always matter much more than your own, so it’s vital to get their opinions on your ideas before going ahead. Conducting intensive market research to determine what your target audience require and want from the apps that they use will get you on the right track to developing an app that goes down incredibly well and produces excellent results.

Tip #4. Keep Ease of Use in Mind:

Although millions of people today use smartphones, bear in mind that not everybody is extremely technologically savvy. Along with that, your average app user today will place a lot of value on convenience. Because of this, your top priority when designing an app should be the ease of use; ensure that it has a user-friendly interface, simple navigation system, and a seamless design flow. Make sure that it’s easy for any potential user to find exactly what they need when using your app.

Did you enjoy these tips? We’d love to hear from you in the comments.

Digital Branding

How Do You Choose a Leaflet Printing Service for Your Traditional Marketing Strategies?

With more and more printing services setting up shop on every street corner, it’s becoming much harder for businesses to choose a reliable service to cater to their needs. It’s easy to go and choose a printing service and get what you need. But, the reality is, it’s not that easy. There are many services out there that provide an excellent service. However, there are also many others who’re looking to take your business for granted. With that being said, by taking advantage of the following tips, you’ll be best able to choose a printing service that perfectly suits your marketing strategies.

Ensure They Offer Varied Products

Firstly, look at some of the products on offer. If the business in question only offers postcard and leaflet printing services, then you’ll end up having to find another printing service in the future that can offer more business branded accessories to suit your needs. Try to find a business that can offer your business a varied product catalogue from the get-go so you don’t have to waste time finding a supplier in the future. For example, try to find a printing service that not only offers leaflet and flyer printing services, but a business that can also offer pencil, pen, apparel, and the many other businesses branded accessories that could help your business thrive.

How High-Quality Are the Products?

The next thing you’ll want to consider is the quality of products on offer. Some businesses are much greener than they were 5-10 years ago, so you’ll likely want to settle for a business that uses recycled paper and the like for your cheap leaflet printing requirements. However, you’ll also want to consider how professional you want your flyers to look and feel. Many services, one example can be seen through the leaflet printing at print24, offer you the chance to select different paper weights and types to better suit your requirements. Customers could well be pulled in by the use of cheap paper flyers, but investing in something of much more quality could be the difference in your marketing campaign being a success.

What’re Their Previous Clients Saying?

Next, look at the printing services current and/or past clients to see what they think/thought of the services they received. This is easily done now thanks to Google. Simply type in the company’s name and it’ll come up with a host of links with regards to testimonials and reviews they’ve already received. This will give you a good idea of customer service, quality of products and overall how good the service was. If you’re seeing more problematic reviews than you are positive, it could be a good idea to look elsewhere, otherwise, you could end up with losing out on a good service. Also, check out reviews for all their services (leaflet printing, flyer printing, print flyers, cheap leaflet printing, print leaflets) to ensure you get the best service.

Toot your corporate horn with workplace branding

What’s It Going to Cost You?

While the cheaper printing services are still reliable, the best ones are usually the ones that don’t have pricing structures that seem too good to be true. Always judge a business on their pricing structure to not only ensure it meets with your marketing budgets but also to see if it sounds too good to be true. This will give you a better idea of where they are and, more importantly, how they can realistically offer you the reliable printing services you crave. Again, you’ll want to look at all their services and pricing lists at this point, just to see if they’re realistic in all services they offer.

Delivery Terms

Delivery is also vital when it comes to hiring printing services. The last thing you want is your leaflets to turn up two weeks after Christmas when all your leaflets are merry and Christmas-based designed. Always consider the delivery terms of any printing service, otherwise, your marketing strategies could take a monster hit.

What About a Bulk Order?

If you’re a big business, you’ll likely have a bigger marketing strategy in place. Therefore, you’ll need to invest in accessories and leaflets in bulk. Remember, all printing services are out there to compete for your custom, so always choose a service that can offer your business a bulk discount to better suit your budgets. Of course, you’ll still want to take their pricing structures into account as stated above, but searching for a business that offers good bulk discounts should also be considered, especially when it comes to a fruitful long-term relationship.

There’s plenty to do when it comes to hiring a printing service. You could be one of the lucky ones that gets a reliable business from picking their first printing services. But the reality is simple, if you don’t spend the time in researching a business or by implementing the above tips in your search, you could end up wasting time and money on planning business marketing strategies that you don’t get your accessories for to help promote them.

Digital Branding

The Impact of Financial Dependence on Your Brand

What brands do you respect and like? Companies like Coca-Cola and Apple have brand images and assets that are recognizable worldwide. These strong, and often positive, associations have a value which cannot be measured. The value of a brand may help or hurt a company, depending on the identity of the brand. Stay realistic about your brand image, understand your financial dependence on the brand, and learn ways to save, in case of brand-related financial setbacks.

Understanding Brand Identity

By definition, brand identity is how a company wants to be perceived by customers and includes components a brand presents to the world including a logo, font used, a mission statement or tagline, and a company name.

A strong brand identity builds your business’s reputation in the market. Think about airlines and what they each stand for in your mind. Often your perception of them is because you’ve formed an opinion based on brand identity. Southwest is known for not adding fees and has a heart as its logo. Delta is known for a range of options and itineraries to suit all travel needs. What brand identity do you want for your company?

Financial Benefits of a Great Brand

A great name may have economic advantages in the billions. For example, Four Seasons Hotels, which is a five-star hotel management company, was recently purchased not for its locations, property, or even its staff but its brand. There are many other examples, including the purchase of Cadbury, Budweiser, and even Volvo.

The financial benefits of a great brand impact your company in some crucial ways. These include:

  • Increase the perceived value of your business to customers with a strong identity. Customers think they are getting a better product or service, and your company grows.
  • A strong brand identity means you can ask a higher price for services rendered. Think about the Four Seasons again. They command a higher price because of their association with sophistication and elegance.
  • A higher perceived value boosts your company’s return on investment in the marketplace. A better ROI means you get more out of your marketing, sales, and advertising dollars as well.

Implications of Brand Dependence

At times, dependence on one brand is a tough area to navigate. If you are dependent on one brand’s identity, it leaves your business in a difficult financial position. Just ask United Airlines. They had a reputation for quality service, but when a video of an employee dragging a passenger off of a plane surfaced, their stock prices plummeted by $1 billion. There are negative implications if you financially depend on a brand too much:

  • Losing actual value of your company if your brand goes out of favor with the customers
  • A public relations issue impacting the company’s financials negatively
  • Delay in product or service offerings leaving the company without a financial cushion
  • Problems in your supply chain harming the entire organization
  • Loss of morale among employees
  • Making a change in your brand that isn’t taken well could leave your company crippled financially

How Can I Measure Brand Value?

As brands become more valuable in the marketplace, ways to measure brand value, also known as brand equity, were created. This valuable nontangible asset needs to be evaluated on a regular basis to get a better understanding of your targeted customer base, to further meet the needs of your clients, and to improve your company’s marketing strategies.

There are three metrics used to evaluate brand equity: the financials, the knowledge pieces, and customer preference. Financial metrics analyze your company’s financial situation, knowledge metrics track the popularity of your brand, and preference metrics show how customers perceive your brand. Pay attention to the following:

  • Analyze what is your brand’s truest strength
  • Determine your brand management performance
  • Add a dollar amount to the value of your brand
  • Look for trends in your industry then evaluate yourself against those trends
  • Pull numbers on market share, price premium, growth rate, revenue generation, and transaction value
  • Find anomalies in your services and potentially conduct customer surveys for your brand

The Bottom Line

The bottom line is that a strong brand is a key to financial success. Your business needs to stand for a set of values, principles, and concepts. It takes time and potentially years of service to do this. As a general rule, follow these pieces of advice:

  • Build a strong brand that you will be proud of for years
  • Educate your team about the value of branding in every interaction
  • Measure brand success frequently
  • Realign branding as necessary to meet business objectives

Conclusion

There is a unique balance your company must maintain with your brand identity. Its strength adds value to your business but also can leave you in a precipitous situation if your brand goes out of favor. While building a brand, be sure to set aside money for a rainy day in case you need it to keep your business going. Brand identity is an asset as well as a risk factor but a strong brand is key to financial success.

Digital Branding

Why You Should Pursue a Career in Digital Marketing?

Technology is evolving at a faster pace than ever before and we simply cannot imagine life without it anymore. Wherever we go and whatever we do we are surrounded by it and many new jobs emerged as a result of advancing technology. Digital marketing is a field that is relatively new and jobs connected to it are becoming more and more popular and demanded from employers. We have examined some of the reasons why you should consider pursuing a career in digital marketing.

  1. Almost every business has already recognized the importance of being present online, which means that new digital marketing jobs are created every day. Some researches even suppose that the demand for digital marketing specialists will soon exceed the supply. If you decide to focus your career in this field you will definitely not have any problems with finding a job. It might even happen that you will be in a better position as the employers as you will be able to be “picky” about which job to choose.
  2. Digital marketing is a very broad field and includes many aspects and topics. This allows you to focus on the area which you find particularly interesting and for which you have the best skills. For example, if you like to work with numbers and data you can focus on analytical part of digital marketing. Social media marketing on the other hand might be perfect for you if you are really creative and always come up with new ideas of promoting a product or a service.
  3. Although it has always been important for businesses to gather data and evaluate their performance, digital marketing and the advancement of technology are making this task gain its importance. Companies have more need for data collection which means there is also an increase in job positions in this area.
  4. For many other professions and careers you need various trainings or even special courses, but with digital marketing there is a lot you can do on your own and be more responsible for your own career. There are tutorials you can watch or guides you can read- the web is full of many practical advice on digital marketing and on what one must know in order to launch a career in this field.
  5. The wages for digital marketing jobs of course differ and depend on your education, experience and the location of the job, but it is generally believed that the jobs in this field are paid very well. Companies are aware of the fact that it is extremely important to have a specialist in digital marketing and are therefore willing to pay more for this kind of knowledge.
  6. Since technology is evolving extremely fast, it is also to be expected that digital marketing will continue to grow along with it. You have probably already heard of the saying that if you are not present online you do not exist and this is only going to deepen in the future. This means that we can expect new areas and tasks to be added to digital marketing which will make your career exciting and you do not have to worry about it ever becoming a boring routine.

The best thing about a career in digital marketing is that you can have it anywhere in the world. It is a field that is growing internationally and you do not have to settle at one place to pursue it. Having some experience from abroad is an excellent way to add value to your CV and to stand out from the crowd when searching for a job. An internship abroad might be the best way for you to launch a career in this growing field. When searching for it you have to consider many factors and one of them is definitely finding a place to stay. There is an online booking platform called HousingAnywhere.com that can help you with that. The whole process from finding to booking your room is fast, easy and completely secure.

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Digital Branding

What Would Those Bloggers Tell Their Younger Selves Before Traveling Abroad

If I Knew Then What I Know Now

Hindsight is 20/20, as the saying goes. You can always see what you should have done. It’s frustrating to miss the ball on something important; especially when avoiding the trouble would have been so simple! If you have something so regrettable happen to you often enough, eventually you’re going to try and avoid future instances of the same discrepancy. You’ll start doing your homework in advance. But if you really want to get ahead of the game, start by doing something now.

Look into those who have gone before you in whatever you intend to do. If you’re looking to start a new job, look online for blogs from individuals who have done the same job before. If you’re traveling abroad, find forums, resources, and testimonies pertaining to the regions you intend to visit. Look for checklists, and spend a few months planning your journey.

To help facilitate and expedite the process, following are several bloggers who looked at their foreign travels and took a moment to reflect on what they would have changed. You’ll hear what they would have done, what they wouldn’t have done, and a few funny stories that happened along the way. It may not be exactly so clear an experience as hindsight, but hopefully, if you learn from these travelers, you won’t find yourself looking back with any regrets to consider.

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Jayden & Brittnay from the Travelling House Sitters

There’s no point waiting for a flight to get cheaper, it never will always book it when you see it. If we didn’t spend $300 AUD on a one-way flight to London one Sunday afternoon, we would have never travelled to over 23 countries in two years.

We would also let yourself know you don’t have to pay rent! We looked after a friends place in London,  we realised it was nice not to pay bills or rent, so we decided to learn how to become house sitters. Since then we have saved over €4000 and even had Bono as a neighbour in Dublin.

Adam, from travelinspired.co.nz

Put your worries aside and do everything you can to make your trip happen. Save your cash, make necessary plans and book those flights – after all, how many people do you know that have regrets about going traveling? Very few I’m sure. While on your trip, be as open-minded as possible. Put yourself out there. You’re there for new, exciting experiences, right? Remember to be positive, try new things, see new places, talk to fellow travelers, and make friends. Within no time at all you’ll have a bunch of fantastic experiences and memories from your first, but probably not last, trip.

Authors from Tales Of Two:

If there was one thing I would tell my younger self before taking the first trip overseas, it would be the importance of the right mindset. Travelling is less about the places you see and more about how you feel when there. We were lucky to travel at a time where we were in the right frame of mind to truly enjoy it. I recognize the value of it more in hindsight than I did back then and it’s something I would reiterate to my younger self.
Stefan, from iexploremania.com

There are so many things I would tell myself if I were younger, facing my first trip abroad! I would say “shush!” to my scary thoughts about flights, bad weather or unknown experiences! I wouldn’t wonder how places were, but how people were–because all places “spoke” of people! I would expect less, and enjoy more!

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Robyn, from intote.co

I would tell myself: “Take so many more pictures! Try more things! Pack WAY less, meet more people, and get out of your comfort zone. Travel will be such a big part of your life and business down the road, so take it all in. And especially pay attention to how much more Europeans enjoy the simplicity of life so you can bring that to your own routine.”

Betsy, from eurotravelcoach.com

Read about the history and culture of the countries you are visiting. Use their language. Smile and be respectful. Appreciate that others do things differently. The more we travel, the more we discover that people are really more alike than they are different. Experience and appreciate the new culture, and take this as an opportunity to change your perspective in ways that will alter your impact on your home country in a positive way. Relax. Know that you can make travel a priority and return again. You don’t have to do everything on the first trip. You can come back.

Tryphena, from theheartworks.co

My first trip overseas was a semester abroad in Ghana, West Africa. I was so excited because I had been dreaming of visiting all parts of Africa since I was a child and it was finally happening! I had absolutely no fear and no trepidation about being away from the U.S. and what I knew as familiar for a couple months. That said, I certainly wish someone had told me that my experience abroad, specifically to Ghana, would change my life completely, provide the most defining moments of my life, and make me insatiable for travel. It’s true! Since that first trip overseas, I have not been able to get enough of the world. I get such a thrill from dropping into a new location, experiencing a new culture, finding my way, falling in love with a new locale, trying new foods, struggling with a foreign tongue–all of it. World travel and exploration has set up shop in my heart and it’s never going away. So enjoy your first moments abroad. There’s nothing to be afraid of! And get ready to never be the same!

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Charlotte from Just Muddling Through Life

Travelling abroad for the first time can be pretty terrifying – but do it anyway! Be safe, be aware of your impact, and be informed about where you are going, but absolutely go. Travel will open your eyes to a wider world, and give you experiences you never imagined, so no matter how nervous and worried you feel, do it anyway. You won’t regret it.

Aisleen, from lifesgreatadventures.com

Whilst your parents may have been right to warn you of “stranger danger” when you were a kid, try not to let this cloud your judgment on your first trip abroad. Too much suspicion of “strangers in a foreign land” can easily result in you missing out on many new, exciting and memorable experiences. It’s easy (especially coming from the UK where people are typically more reserved) to remain guarded, but a little more open-mindedness can go a long way! I’m a firm believer that people are generally “good” so, while you don’t want to be accepting dinner invitations from every Tom, Dick, and Harry you meet, don’t be afraid to loosen up and embrace the “new”!

Jenna, from jennawimshurst.com

Without a doubt, I would tell my younger self to research the places that I was going to be visiting before I went there. So many times I’ve been to places only to get home and find that I missed out on somewhere really cool or interesting. If only I’d Googled the bloody place! My other tip would be to film as much as possible. Yes, pictures are great and all that; but videos capture memories far better than any photo. Plus you get to see how much weight you’ve lost/gained since you first started traveling.

Turner, from onceatraveler.com

There are going to be days when you’re tired of being stared at, hungry because you just want familiar foods, lonely because you can’t speak the language, and angry because the weather wasn’t as planned or the kind man you met just wanted to scam you. When days like these happen, screw your plans; have funds set aside to treat yourself so you can carry on the next day and write those experiences up so that others can learn from your mistakes. As repetitive as the conversations may get, and as cynical as you might start to feel, don’t forget to keep talking to people. Engage. Explore. Eat more chocolate.

Meghan, from expeditionlimitless.com

My first big trip abroad was to Italy. When homesickness inevitable crept up on me, I would feel guilty. I never thought I’d miss anything American—I’m not particularly patriotic—but there were days when I would have committed murder for a plain old PB&J. It horrified me. I loved Italy! I loved the people, the landscape, the architecture, the history, the food… So why did I sometimes wish I was home instead?

My feelings of guilt, feelings that I wasn’t a “real” traveler—whatever that means—were completely unfounded. It’s only natural to miss home, especially your first time abroad. If only I could have told my younger self, “It’s okay to be homesick.”

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Nikita, from ourvagabondstories.com

We all remember our first trip abroad to be full of anxiety, mostly because we are going to a foreign land! Looking back at my first trip, I would tell myself to plan more carefully, and definitely, try to learn the basics of the language where I’m going. Unless you enjoy getting lost, I’d advise you to do the same! Also, it’s advisable to go with trusted friends to guide you, as roaming around alone in a strange land can be daunting and can scare the best of us!

 

Joana, from travelingslippers.com

I have lived and stayed in the Philippines almost all of my life. I grew up with the comfort of my family. I never thought about traveling outside the country. All I knew was, it is expensive to plan a journey abroad. It was only when I decided to work outside the country that I had my first major foreign trip. From then on, I never stop exploring the world. Looking back, it was the best decision I have made in my life. If I could turn back time, I would have told myself: “Just pack your suitcase and never be afraid to travel on your own. Go with the flow of the new country and learn the new culture on its own terms. Though traveling entails money, you don’t need to be rich. You just need to learn the art of saving and proper budgeting.”

Alex, from alexcerball.com

We all have it… that desire to explore, see the world and experience new cultures.

As a teenager, I went on my first solo trip to visit family in Bolivia. In college, I traveled throughout the U.S. with friends, but it wasn’t until I was well into my career that I decided to take a six-month break to visit South America again. It was one of the best experiences I’ve ever had and I would do it again in a heartbeat.

Go where you want to go. When you start talking about travel, many people will tell you how dangerous it is, or how scary a place can be. But it wasn’t until I actually went to such places that I realized the people who were saying these things had never even stepped foot in that country. Don’t be afraid to go somewhere. Use your own judgment.

Will you have enough money? Money comes and goes and if you want to travel, you can make it happen. Start budgeting now, and figure out where you can make cuts. The travel experience will be so worth it.

Don’t overpack. Just about everything you need you can find in another country. Pack lightly so you have room to bring something back if you want to. If your bag is too heavy, consider donating stuff you no longer need.

Take the trip, enjoy the ride, and don’t stress! Everything always works out in the end.

Mo & Jo, from bestcaptured.net

Your suitcase is over-packed, your thoughts occupied with dreams of places you’ve read about in books and travel magazines. At first, you feel homesick, but it will pass. You’ll incorrectly babble the unfamiliar language and learn that a smile is universal. Don’t forget to buy too many of those delicious pastries, and write home. Be vigilant in understanding your surroundings, and with the same awareness remember that you can’t reverse time. As you witness God’s picturesque scenery, strive to internalize even a piece of the culture; and before you leave, grab a postcard that will remind you of a particular moment when your love for the place and people thrived.

Taylor, from travelswithtaylor.com

The first time I traveled abroad was when I was a 20-year-old college student. I was excited to finally cross studying abroad off my bucket list, but I remember how nervous I was the day of my departure. It was my first time flying alone and going overseas. All I could think of was what could happen after landing. What I would tell my younger self is: “ Anything can happen, but know that you are never alone. Don’t be afraid to ask for help because there are many people out there who empathize, and will offer a hand regardless of cultural barriers.”

Shivani, from planforatrip.com

My first trip to abroad was full of unexpected experiences. I hadn’t explored much as I was not
so experienced, and I made a lot of travel mistakes. If I could talk to my younger self before my first trip abroad, here’s what I would advise my younger self:

  1. Don’t be scared to explore and try new things.
  2. Pack light – pack only the essentials, and not the “just-in-case” scenario stuff.
  3. Meet new people and make friends.
  4. Don’t stress when things don’t go the way you expect, just go with the flow.
  5. Trust your instincts. Following your intuition will keep you safe.
  6. Learn the local language. It will help you in communicating with and understanding the locals.
  7. It is okay to leave your comfort zone and experience the changes.
Samantha, from thewanderingwanderluster.com

Don’t travel by the guidebook! When I first started traveling in my late teens, I would literally study everything about the destination I was going to visit. One of my first solo trips was to Paris, so I went down to the local bookstore months before my trip and read “the book”, cover to cover. I knew all the top sights to visit, I had a list of everything I wanted to do and see and even the restaurants I wanted to eat in. The trip was a great success and while I achieved a lot of what was on my list, I didn’t allow time for spontaneity or exploring.

As an older, more “wiser” traveler, I would say the best source of information now would be people. Connect with locals, join Facebook groups of expats and find out from people living there what to REALLY do and see. Hit up some of the main sights but allow yourself time to sit in a local cafe, meet a local, and explore sans guidebook or map!

Swee, from roving-light.com

Don’t try to be see everything. The world is too big. Heck, the place you are going is probably too big for you to see everything. Yes, you may not have the chance to return again, but it is precisely that, that you should go deep and go intimate. The memories last longer.

Diwakar, from holidayporch.com

It is much better to invest time and money on exploring a new destination rather than staying indoors at an over-expensive hotel. Choose a holiday home over a hotel as it would offer you more space, privacy, & freedom. Preferably in or close to the city center to have better access to different parts of the city and major tourist attractions. Top of all, book all your travel arrangements well in advance and prior to reaching your destination, not just to get better prices, but also to avoid any unnecessary inconveniences that could potentially ruin or spoil your holiday.

Katia Perdicaro, Founder of EMILIASTORYTELLERS Artisanal Food Tours

My first “big” trip abroad -backpacking in Australia- was like the first time I fell in love. I was excited about the unknown. Inside my backpack, my guidebook, few clothes and my sense of freedom. “Always keep this genuine sense of freedom” – I tell myself. As a Tour Guide and Tour Operator specialized in food and wine culture, I love to listen to people’s stories. Learning about their culture opens my mind and makes me a better person… So “never lose your curiosity, Katia”!

Charisma, from penchat.net

I will tell myself that I don’t have to take loads of photos during my travels. The most beautiful and natural things happen in the absence of the camera. I will stop reading ‘popular places to visit’. Instead, I will reach out to locals and see a more in-depth perspective about the places and culture.

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Vicky, from dastravelblog.com

Even when you’re on a budget, sometimes it’s worth hiring a local guide. They’re often not as expensive as you’d think, and allow you to experience your destination more fully. The dinosaur carving at Angkor Wat? We walked right past it the first time, reciting dry guide book facts. We only saw it when we went back a second time with a guide.

Monika, the author of

packyourluggage.blogspot.com

Learn some basic phrases in the local language. It will help you to connect with locals and you will be surprised how such a small gesture can make people open up to you much more.

Go on Instagram and read blogs while preparing for your trip. This will help you to get some really good insider tips about cafes, restaurants, clubs and nice little design shops for instance.

Be flexible and spontaneous. Whenever I travel I have an approximate travel budget but I also allow myself to indulge a bit. Some of my most beloved home decor pieces are the ones I discovered accidentally in shop windows and then bought later during my trips.

Be open-minded. First impressions are good but not always accurate. Learn to listen to people around you. You will be surprised how many interesting stories people have to tell who you meet while being on the road.

Tell about your travel experiences to others. Knowledge brings understanding and understanding leads to more love and acceptance in the world.

Paul, Founder of travelislife.org

What would I tell my younger self before traveling abroad for the first time? I’d tell him to pack less. Definitely, pack less. Lay out everything you want to pack, cut it in half, and then cut it in half again. The other side of the world has whatever you need. I’ll also being telling my future self that too.
Pavla from kievtravelblog.com
The best way to explore is not just to go somewhere, but to indeed be there. You have to adopt customs, to eat locally, to contribute to the community, to make friends. Before I’ve started travelling I thought seeing monuments would make my trip “valid”, but hey guess what – it’s hundred times more than that. Don’t be shy – let your spirit explore.
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Mike and Oshin, from hobowithalaptop.com

What would I tell myself before my first trip abroad? That’s easy; I’d tell myself to pack lighter. There’s no point in packing for eventualities –human needs are the same everywhere, they’ll have what you need wherever you’re going. Avoid excess baggage at all costs. – Oshin

Leave plenty of room for serendipity, don’t spend the whole time looking at your phone. I’d also tell myself to get a passport sooner, and not to stress so much over the details or the money. Travel is much more affordable than you think. And wear more sunscreen, focus on your health wherever you go, and never plan your entire trip in advance. – Mike

Vanessa, from wanderlustplusone.com
Don’t be scared and have confidence in yourself, your feelings and judgment – people in all countries are normally helpful and friendly – but do take basic precautions like splitting and securing your valuables and key items across pockets and bags.  You cannot plan for everything so travel light, take all the key items for a few days in your hand luggage, and do not worry if you forget something – just buy it there. Finally, travel is an adventure so flex your tastebuds, open your mind to new experiences, be daring and try new things.
Staffo, from wanderu.com
I would tell my younger self who’s about to embark on his first trip abroad to be a little more courageous and optimistic about where the journey he’s about to embark on will lead him. Even if they lose all your baggage and you have to spend the night sleeping on a bare mattress with a towel for a pillow, it’s still going to be worth it because you will meet some of the most exceptional people, you will see how diverse the world is, and that will change you forever… for the better!
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Saphira, author of indohoy.com
The world if full of awesome surprises. In different countries, you’ll experience different things, feel different ways about things that you see, eat, and do. Definition of ‘cool’ varies, like the sort of jeans trending in Myanmar, the music that the youth listen to in Korea, and the hangout places in Greece. But no matter what, how you perceive these things that matter the most. Have an open mind, and perhaps stay longer than you planned.
Jasica
When you’re young, it’s easy to be seduced by the lowest cost getaway.
But hold off, save up, and go for an experience you’ll long treasure.
Skip the three-day splash-and-dash bargain to the Bahamas and cruise on a smaller ship to a sublime destination like Guadeloupe, Martinique or St. Lucia. But don’t skimp on the shore excursions!

Sonja, from myhammocktime.com

Everything will be fine, don’t be scared. Trust yourself and your feelings. Be attentive along the way but don’t make yourself crazy. Just go and enjoy it. The world is beautiful. There are many open-minded, interesting and friendly people out there. Be brave and connect with them. Listen to their stories, answer their questions and tell them about your country. Get inspired, embrace their different culture, watch, observe and learn. Don’t be a tourist only, get local and be a real traveller.

Marta, from learningescapes.net

The advice I would give to my younger self about travel is ‘feel the fear and do it anyway!’ Traveling abroad can be scary and it is normal to feel some anxiety, especially the first time. However, planning can turn that anxiety into excitement. Sort out practicalities before you go, book accommodation and transport so you don’t have to do in while away, and make sure you phone works so you can talk to friends and family. You will be too busy having fun to call them but it will make you feel better to have them close!

Food For Thought

Everyone will have their own perspectives when it comes to traveling, but as you can see from these testimonials, for the most part, what you want to do is be ready for that which you don’t expect, and roll with it. That’s good advice. Anyone who has traveled understands that you just can’t control everything on your trip. Get too caught up in that, and you won’t enjoy it. So do your homework, but be flexible. The adventure could be just a step away.

Digital Branding

American Mine Services: Revitalizing an Old Brand

The 1970’s and early 80’s was an incredibly culturally significant period of time in the United States. This era marked the popularization of sci-fi films such as Star Wars and Tron, video games such Mario and Pacman, as well as musical genres such as hip-hop and disco.

While some of these brands, franchises, and genres managed to hold on to their popularity and remain relevant, others failed to re-invent themselves as the years went on and ended up becoming “deader than disco.”

While all of these examples spawned from the same era and are pretty similar to one another, we’d like to explore two ways that the revitalization of certain brands such as AMS can be more successful than others.

Brands Which Struggle To Update

Some brands are flexible enough that they manage to easily allow themselves to be informed by the current popular trends and visual designs of their current era.

Other brands with more rigid or inherently dated designs and subject matter have a harder time keeping up. This often means that in attempt to remain relevant, these brands end up forcing a look or a style which doesn’t suit them and does nothing to advance the brand, such as 2006’s “edgy” Bomberman video game re-imagining or 2017’s CHiPs feature film adaptation.

If you aren’t aware of these examples then that only goes to further demonstrate how forgettable and uninspiring such attempts at brand revitalization are.

Brands may actually benefit more from embracing their roots and intentionally dating themselves a bit.

Case and point, Parker Brothers board games. While almost everyone is aware of such classics as Monopoly and Clue when was the last time you can remember playing one of these games? Board games have struggled to compete with the influx of cheap, easy, and instantaneous entertainment provided by digital media sources such as online streaming or video games.

An attempt to combat how “old fashioned” board games had become was by highlighting that fact and using it as a selling point in a series of repackaged classic Parker Brothers board games. The packaging on these new editions of the games was made to resemble the original packaging of the games, with even the boards and game pieces being made to look older. Because these games all of a sudden looked like they were from a different era, they stood out on store shelves and found a market with people who think old and analog is hip.

Brands Which Have Returned After Some Time Away

Sometimes a brand falls out of relevance not due to a sudden lack of quality or shift in style, but rather due to an extended period of time out of the public eye for one reason or another.

American Mine Services is a great example of this. While once a prominent and well-known player in the mining industry with plenty of success to their name, operations were halted for a little over a decade as the AMS personnel worked as a part of a larger civil contractor. Having returned to their original form as AMS back in 2016, the company was faced with the challenge of having to re-obtain their old momentum.

To this end, American Mine Services decided to focus on promoting their brand through the internet instead of simply going back to their old methods of brand-building before their operations stopped in 2005. They sought out an updated website and a stronger online presence in order to let the world know that they were back, had re-invented themselves with a fresh look, and were ready to take on new contracts.

It can be exceptionally difficult to rebrand and update a company which is still in business as there are many moving parts which must be taken into consideration and worked around.

In this case, their absence gave AMS a strong advantage over many of their competitors currently in operation. New businesses, or those that have experienced an extended hiatus such as AMS, have a fresh and clean groundwork to be built off of. Being thrust into the internet age head first instead of having to gradually “catch up” is partially what has allowed AMS to modernize and revitalize the brand as much as it has.