Category: Digital Branding

work culture
Digital Branding

Creating A Workspace Culture With Your Employees In Mind

Is your workspace culture employee-oriented? Are your employees satisfied with their workspace? If you asked around your office how everyone feels about their surroundings, not every answer is going to be positive. The fact is that in these modern times, often people aren’t happy with the place they are working in.

If you don’t update the workspace or ignore providing your employees with benefits, this is certainly going to be true. In result, their productivity will downfall, and your business efforts will suffer. Therefore, it is essential that you create a workspace culture that focuses on your employees.

Have a mission and a vision

Do you know where your company is going? It is vital that you have a mission and a vision of your company’s state and future. Define what your business is about, where it’s heading, and why it’s there in the first place.

By doing this, you will create a kind of compass. It will help you know which moves are right and which are wrong. Everyone in your company needs to be aligned with this. By knowing your mission and vision, your workers can actually feel like they are a part of it. They will be able to contribute to it, and feel like their contribution matters.

Without it, you and everyone else will feel like they’re lost at sea.

Have office design in mind

Office design is one of the essential aspects of how your workers feel about their workspace, and it can boost or diminish their productivity. You don’t want to be looking for cheap solutions. You also don’t want to go for an overcrowded space where people feel like they are in a jam.

productivity tips

As an employer, you want to provide your workers with a place where they can feel comfortable doing their jobs. An important aspect of this is providing them with ergonomic furniture. You need to think about your employees’ health.

Encourage social interaction

It is essential to encourage social relations between your employees, as they are important for them to feel like they are a part of a team and therefore satisfied. You should focus on creating a workspace that promotes communication. You can arrange workstations in a way that employees can interact with each other.

Furthermore, don’t forget about office celebrations and birthdays. Even when there isn’t a particular reason to celebrate, call everyone for a lunch together. You can even promote socialization outside office hours via volunteer programs. This is a chance for people to build relationships outside the office.

Think about hygiene and cleanliness

Proper hygiene and cleanliness are vital for every workplace, and they boost your employees’ productivity and morale. Working at a messy office full of clutter isn’t something anyone wants to do. You need to have your office space carefully thought of, and look for good storage solutions to keep the only the items that are actually necessary in the office.

Next to that, the cafeteria needs to provide various choices of healthy food. You need to hire a reliable company to get rid of pests that might be an issue in your offices, such as cockroaches. You don’t want the workspace to be a health hazard.

Build trust with your employees

Your workers want to be treated like people and not like robots which are assigned to finish tasks. Every person wants to be acknowledged for what they have done. That is why it is important that you form a relationship with them that has trust as its foundation.

productivity

They want to know that you believe them to do their job, and to know that their efforts have some worth. While constructive criticism is occasionally necessary, you need to make every employee feel like they are worth your trust and that they are a part of your company.

In summation

Your employees are the cogs of the machine that is your business, so it is essential that you create a workspace culture that focuses on them. They need to be satisfied with their workplace and feel like they are a part of the team. You need to prioritize their health and encourage social activities, in order for them to bond together, and be more productive at work.

How does today's branding work?
Digital Branding

Today’s Social World Branding

In today’s social media enriched society, many businesses assume they can do the branding and marketing themselves.  This could not be farthest from the truth.  Businesses, new or old, need help with their brand and marketing more than ever in our social world branding environment.

Remember there is a difference in brand and marketing.  Brand IS the Company and what you represent.  Branding includes everything about the company, from the tag line, to colors, to logo and more.

Marketing is the effort(s) put into making your brand known.

What are some practical tips that small businesses can take until they can hire a company or someone knowledgeable to assist with branding and marketing?  There are some things a business can do, especially in the social world, to help make their brand known.  This can even lay some groundwork for help later.

Branding Tips Include:

  1. Audience – who are you trying to reach?
  2. Consistency – are you consistently putting out articles, blogs, posts and more?
  3. Hashtags – be sure to make use of hashtags for the industry you are in and your company name, as well as, who the brand wants to reach.
  4. Focus – there must be a focus, not simply putting out a massive amount of data or arbitrary posts.

Audience

An important factor to reaching others with your brand is to make sure that you are targeting the right audience.  Too many people and companies throw so much up on social media but do not try to reach a specific audience. They are casting a net that is too wide and, if anything anyone is reached, it is usually by mere accident. 

To begin targeting the right audience you must think like the person(s) or company you are trying to reach.  Who would be your perfect client? Even consider some of your current or past clients that were a great fit. Assign a name and characteristic to your ‘ideal client’.

There are many good ways to write up a profile of your ‘Ideal Client’ that a simple Google Search can assist in finding.  Many go to the trouble of drawing or sketching their ideal client (often also called a ‘Buyer Persona’).  There are many templates that can help you through the process of finding out ‘who is your ideal client?’.

Consistency

It is impossible to build a brand, especially in the social media world of today, without being consistent.  There are too many images, sounds, and videos on social media to make an impact if you are not always making sure you are branding your work and shares. 

Inconsistency breeds confusion.

Consistency not only applies to branding all posts but also applies significantly to how much you share.  The company must post on a regular basis whether you want to or not, whether you have material or not.

A couple of ways to keep consistent posting:

Use a scheduler for curated content – this can be Buffer, HootSuite, Social Pilot or others.  In the past Buffer was our go-to, but recently changed to Social Pilot and must admit is much better with awesome options at reasonable pricing. You can even find out the best times to post with these programs and set it as scheduled and leave it.

Create content ahead of time.  When there are a few extra minutes somewhere (I know it is unusual for a business owner), but sit for 5-15 minutes and capture quotes or write a blog, even record a few tips on your phone or computer and schedule it to post when needed.

Post at least a few times a day.  It used to be good practice to just post a few times a week. That is no longer the case.  Think of all the images and videos that come across one of your platforms in a day.  It really would be impossible to know a brand without seeing it often.  It can take 7 touch points before someone will begin to think about doing business with your brand.  How will they be able to have those if they only see 1-2 posts from the brand every other day?  It certainly will not stick in the mind unless consistent.

Hashtags

Yes, use hashtags!  Those little ‘#’ symbols before wording and separate them with a comma.  Be sure to decide on a hashtag for the company prior to beginning to use.  Shorten the name, if it is a long name, and if able include the local city. For instance, our local networking group is eWomenNetwork and we are in Richmond, Virginia.  The organization is International, so our hashtag is  #ewnrva.

Be sure to use hashtags related to the industry you are in and where your ideal client will be hanging out.  If the person your company is trying to reach is in groups of sales, then you would include #sales or #salestips possibly.  There are many articles regarding the use of hashtags, so if curious about more information they are easy to find.

Focus

Finally, Focus is key.  When doing social world, branding keep focused on the core values and brand of the company.  This includes curated content and other posts you share.  If your company is a marketing company trying to reach lawyers, you do not want to share how your grandchild just cut his first tooth on your company page.  Keep focused on the goals set and keep the brand and colors the same in all you share as much as possible. Others will soon recognize the articles and posts you share on online as coming from your company. 

It is very easy to become sidetracked and distracted on social media.  Therefore, the focus should also apply when online sharing.  Set a timer or even as soon as finished doing the company work, just disengage.  Save it for personal time, otherwise, three hours go by without your realizing. Be mindful and focused on the people you are trying to reach.  Try to think from their perspective and what they will want to see or what would be helpful to them.

Social media can be very successful for many brands.  Although it is recommended to hire a professional, it is understandable that small businesses, starting out, may want to try some of these steps themselves.  Be mindful while you are on social media that you represent the brand. When able, hire a professional to assist your company with their social world branding.

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Tammy Durden is President & Founder of Tammy’s Office Solutions.  Tammy’s Office Solutions helps micro, small and enterprise businesses in bookkeeping, digital marketing (brand, social media+), virtual assistant services (OBM, Presentations+) and Writing Services.  Tammy loves empowering disabled professionals to work by assisting their clients to achieve success.

How To Create A Video Advertisement That Works?
Digital Branding

Real Talk: How To Make A Video Advertisement That Influences

This is a guest post from Gary Cain of Memory Tree, a video production company that works with high tech firms in Austin, Texas and Waterloo, Ontario. Over the last two decades, they’ve produced thousands of videos, from 30-second National TV commercials to 20-minute orientation videos produced in 18 languages and everything in between.
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Times are A-Changin’

When you’re creating a promotional video, there’s a temptation to stick with the same old format we’ve been seeing for years — the classic booming announcer’s voice, grand statements, and a smiling homemaker washing pans with fragrant dish soap. The trouble is, the classic ad format doesn’t work like it used to. According to a recent Marketo survey, nearly two-thirds of consumers are sick and tired of the hard-sell.  The classic ad format is seen as insincere and their messages just aren’t seen as credible. The times have changed, and consumers are now rewarding brands that communicate with authentically. The days, people are only responding positively to real talk.

Nobody Trusts your CEO

No matter how inspiring and earnest your CEO, a message directly from him or her may still fall flat. When you have a personal vested interest in selling your product, people will be skeptical of everything you say. The solution? Let someone else do the talking for you.

Choose a Champion

Find a champion — a customer that’s not only willing but eager to talk about how your product or service has enriched their life.  To convince consumers that your product is worthwhile, it helps to hear it from somebody who is just like them. 

In this video for Westmount Golf & Country Club by Memory Tree, a lifelong member shares his personal story.

 

 

If you’re a little misty-eyed after watching that, you’ve experienced firsthand the powerful impact that a lightly branded advertisement can have on a viewer.  This advertisement is effective because of its authenticity; a real person sharing a personal story about his life and family.  The golf course is another character in the greater narrative. The drone footage of the mist over the greens and sound-ups of the birds are there to convey that this is a special place. It’s the quiet backdrop that facilitates important moments of father-son bonding and communication. Instead of a cheesy slogan followed by a “sign up today” call to action, Westmount simply adds their name briefly at the end – a light touch that completes an authentic message.

Conclusion 

People crave authenticity. If you believe your product has made a positive impact in the lives of your clients, let one of them become your champion in your next advertisement. By allowing someone else to tell a real story that involves your brand, you will gain the trust and the business of your target audience.

Building a social media presence
Digital Branding

The Branding Power Of A Strong Social Media Presence

This is a guest post from Pamela Henning of Tresnic Media, a digital agency that helps brands implement growth marketing systems that turn strangers into customers. Her experience in social media is vast, so we got a chance to pick her brain a bit – read away!

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Social media is one of the most powerful tools companies have at their disposal. It allows them to frame themselves in just the right lighting. Companies who maintain a consistent presence on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and/or Pinterest are more successful than their competitors who don’t.

These social media platforms help to increase brand exposure, leverage credibility, close cold conversions, capture referrals, and overall increase cash flow and customer engagement.

Increase brand awareness through social media presence

It isn’t rocket science, it’s simple math.

A greater social media presence creates a greater opportunity to be recognized. More impressions equal more brand exposure, which makes your company more popular and credible.

For example, suppose you want to be hired as a keynote for a conference. Most event planners start their search for credible candidates the same place we do when we’re looking for answers–Google. By establishing an online presence through social media, you’re more likely to rank higher on search engines, increase your popularity, expand your following, and improve your chances of being seen as an industry leader.

Leverage credibility

So you’re not the most credible source yet–no one knows about your little company. What if you’re an entrepreneur and Mark Cuban retweets you? Or Gary Vaynerchuk? What does that say about your brand to their audience? What does that say to your audience?

Social media is powerful stuff. It’s the easiest way to leverage credibility. One of the biggest challenges any business can face is creating trust. Social media posts connect you to industry leaders and their following. Their “share” is a non-committal way that they can endorse your product, increasing your credibility. Something as slight as a retweet could open a huge door for new leads to come pouring through.

Close cold conversions

Let’s say a potential customer has identified their problem and is evaluating potential solution providers. If you have a social media presence (blog, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, etc.) and your competitor doesn’t, who do you think is going to gain their trust and capture their attention? You. If you and your competitor both have a social media presence, but your content is better than your competitors, who do you think will win? You. Again! So much winning, because you understand the importance of managing your brand with an active online presence.

Capture referral

People don’t trust companies they don’t know, but they do trust reviews. Last year, a study conducted by PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) found that 45% of digital buyers worldwide said that reading reviews, comments and feedback on social media influenced their digital shopping behavior.

Social media is the ultimate tool to promote positive customer experiences. You can do so by featuring customer testimonials or by simply responding to people who mention you. The best part about social media is that a little bit goes a long way. You don’t need to write a three page thank you letter to your customers, but favoriting one of their tweets will make you more human and, therefore, more likable.

Increase cash flow

In addition to establishing an online presence, leveraging credibility, and capturing referrals, social media can act as a funnel to your website, where you can convert strangers into customers.

If people like the things you are sharing and the personality of our company based on what they have gathered from your social media platforms, they will want to learn more. Social media is an excellent opportunity to nurture your customers through each stage of the buyer’s journey.

Improve customer engagement and satisfaction

Remember what I said about social media making companies more human? I meant it. Social media platforms like Twitter and Facebook literally give companies a voice. Better yet, they let companies have conversations. How a business interacts with not only their audience but the things that their audience is interested in makes them more relatable, more likable, and more trustworthy. Are you sensing a theme?

Check out some of my favorite (and most successful) social media accounts:

@Wendy’s Twitter
@burtsbees Facebook
@AlexandAni Pinterest
@RedBull Youtube

productivity-tips
Digital Branding

40+ Productivity Tips To Save Your Life And Business

Productivity is essential for the efficiency of your personal life and business life as well.
Overcoming the deadlock of the dreadful indecision and taking that first step is much appreciated and wanted.
After all, when talking about boosting productivity, you will surely improve yours once you go through all the rules presented in this article.

As a single mom who juggles kids, baseball games and running a business, it’s so important to stay on top of everything that needs to get done. Let’s face it, we wear a lot of hats as a woman. Something that I do every day is to create a list of what needs to be done. I tackle those big important ones first. You know, the ones that people put on the back burner while they go through those little, easy to complete ones. I think we have all been guilty of that! Creating your daily list, completing ones that immediately generate revenue first, then the ugly ones that we put off and following up with the little things that can be pushed off to tomorrow if need be. By following this pattern, I feel more accomplished by the end of the day! Deanna Fusillo, Sassy Girl Media

There’s a really simple way to increase productivity. Make an audit of your daily work routines and identify all points that you can automate or cut loose. E.g. use a tool like YouCanBook.me to avoid what I call the “meeting setup ping pong” (“Hey, is Wednesday at 9 AM ok?”, “So maybe Thursday?”) and integrate your CRM with other software. By eliminating few clicks from every process, you gain more time to do the stuff that matters. Bartosz Majewski, Right Hello

It’s so important that tasks are delegated between your team. Do not undertake tasks that are too large and cannot be completed within a certain timeframe. The hardest aspect to this is trusting the team behind you. We’re lucky enough here at MadeByShape to have a solid team who love what they do and excel in their relevant fields. Andy Golpys, Made By Shape

productivity

The CEO of Swipii, Chitresh Sharma, quoted Winston Chruchill on productivity as his favorite tip: “Success is the ability to move from one failure to another without loss of enthusiasm.”

Identify your biggest obstacles that are preventing you from reaching your goals. For example, as a writer, I need to find a way to write stellar content efficiently to get more work from return clients and attract new clients. To achieve my goals, I use Grammarly to make the editing process much easier and a tool like Ninja Outreach to scour for potential leads. By refining your goals, you pinpoint goals you need to accomplish and focus all your energies to reach them.
Christopher Jan Benitez, ChristopherJanB.

As a content marketing team, we find automation and routinizing the most effective.
Automate less creative processes by using management tools (Trello), editing and proofreading (Grammarly, Hemingway) and more. This clears more space for creativity.
There’s a blend of collaboration and solitary work in marketing to keep everyone on track – so time management is crucial. Choose whatever works best for meeting deadlines – the 5-3-1 rule, the Pareto Principle, or the Pomodoro Technique. But to boost the quality, this content strategy is essential:
Conceptualization. Research the topic in general and understand the basic concepts.
Ideation. Research smaller chunks – micro-goals are easier to achieve and more manageable.
Drafting. A first draft is not a post yet. It outlines two or three problem areas that might interest our audience.
Writing. Research key ideas in depth and develop them into articles.
Revision. Look at ways of getting ideas across through storytelling, imagery, and metaphor. Choose the tone. Improve cohesion and readability. Konstantin Pogrebnoy, Code Tiburon

I am always looking for ways to do my work more efficiently and thus I like to develop scripts and workflows to optimize my work, this allows me to increase my output while reducing the amount of time I spend on a particular task. Also, a big productivity booster is the fact that I delegate, reduce or eliminate tasks that I don’t need to do. I really believe in and live by the 80/20 rule which states that 80% of the results that I achieve will come from 20% of the tasks, so I only focus on the tasks that will yield the best results. Alejandro Rioja, Flux Ventures

Plan your day before going to bed, get up early next morning, take on the least desirable and energy burning tasks first, and stay away from social media! Desirable and energy burning tasks first, and stay away from social media! Saad Khan, Cygnis Media, Inc
productive-energy

Work with a Timer – I always use a timer when writing articles or working on a project. This strategy lets me dedicate a set amount of time to devote to a project and helps me stay on task. I use Toggl and can see the timer ticking on the tab at the top of my computer screen. Writing becomes a game to beat the clock. If I gave myself 2 hrs that day to write an article draft and see the timer creeping towards the deadline, I can feel a surge of determination to get more done and more words on paper before the time is up.

Get Rid of Your Phone –  Do more than putting your phone on silent – get it out of sight! I throw mine in a drawer and don’t touch it until break time. Better yet, try giving it to a trusted co-worker and make sure they don’t give it back to you until the break you pre-establish with them. While you may know better than to respond to a text while working on a project, even glancing down at your phone screen when it lights up with a notification can cause you to lose focus. Kaycee Wegener, Rentec Direct

For me, planning and prioritizing are the key to maximizing productivity. I always plan my weeks and days in advance, using Trello to map out my tasks, prioritize activities and ensure I hit my deadlines. Trello is also great for teams, helping everyone keep track of what they and their team-mates are working on. Cam Shearer, Digital Risks

Even though I work for a technology company, I still rely on writing to-do lists in notebooks to check off each task I complete. It adds an extra feeling of accomplishment and keeps me organized. I also like to set appointments for myself on my Outlook calendar – this allows me to prioritize and get the most important things done without interruption. – Ashley Fontes, Tech Networks of Boston

to-do-lists

I’m more productive when I give my attention to one thing at a time, so setting my phone to airplane mode helps me focus on the task at hand and frees me from the distraction of endless notifications. Nwando Ivenso, CapitalSquare

Always pre-plan the subjects and points you want to touch on before you dive in. This helps separate the create processes and the writing processes & always results in a lot more of a focused & informative blog post. Personally I mindmap all the points I want to cover, then arrange the headings after to create a logical flow through the article. If you aren’t a mindmap fan I know other well-known bloggers who just bullet point all the points they want to cover first then start writing. Henry Reith, Fridge Magazine

The most powerful productivity technique that I use before starting any sizeable task, or even before starting my day, is planning, planning, planning! Starting with the end in mind gives you a great head start.
When you have an idea of how you want something to go, it’s much easier to begin a task (no easy feat) and stay focused on it (probably even more difficult).

A simple, yet astonishingly useful tool you can use in any situation is the list.

A list is an extremely versatile tool, in that it allows for quickly jotting down steps or building a detailed plan.
With big projects, I like to break down my lists into categories. When I’m creating a website, for example, I’ll break down my list to include staff, roles, budget. marketing. social media, and so on.

Whether a list is straightforward or intricate, it remains a powerful key to getting organized and staying on task.

Acey Gaspard, A Touch of Business

I’ve found that one of the best ways to work productively is to plan out your entire week as if it were a puzzle. Whether it’s a regular weekly take, a long on-going project or a quick one-shot task, we only have a certain amount of time during the week to get work done. Make a list of all your weekly tasks and block out time during your week to work on each task. Schedule time to work on high priority tasks earlier in the week and lower priority tasks later in the week. This will ensure that you have time to touch on all projects and make the most of your time. Shawn McFadden, Dallas Riffle

productivity

Having an editor and someone to post the finished article is essential. It’s usually the last 10% of edits and getting it live that I find most challenging. Being able to hand that off to others is extremely valuable and helps me keep my commitments. Diona Kidd, Knowmad

Write and post on a schedule and post the same time each week. If you can’t post at least once a week you probably shouldn’t be blogging for a living. Look to hire help if you can’t post regularly, such as freelance writers, to keep your blog fresh. If you don’t have the funds, many writers will write for credit, if you promote them on your site. Shell Harris, TopTenz.net

As a blogger and a freelance writer, I never had the luxury to wait for inspiration to start working. I had to train myself to work whether I feel like it or not. So, after searching for ways to keep myself focused on my work and motivated I found out about the 52/17 rule. It’s simple. You work for 52 minutes with the complete focus on the task at hand and take a break for 17 minutes. Then you repeat. I use a timer app on my phone to manage this. So far, it’s been quite effective. Roshan Jerad Perera, Freelancing Hacks

“Constant distractions from social media and email made it hard for me to focus when working on my book series, so I had trouble meeting deadlines with my publisher and editor. To remedy that, I began to check my email and social media first thing in the morning and then unplug from the outside world for four hours. My productivity has more than doubled and the quality of my writing is much better when working with no interruptions. My routine has become food for my soul.” Cherie Ruffo, author of Amanda Fisher & the Source Crystals book series, CherieRuffo

“Automation is my greatest productivity hack. Good automation means keeping your personal touch while spending less time doing it!” Sean and Mittie, Sean and Mittie

To make my days as productive as possible, I schedule tasks in my calendar the night before. Rather than just winging my todo list, I treat every task that needs to get done as an appointment. This keeps me on track and ensures that everything gets done in a timely manner. Allyssa Barnes,allyssabarnes.com

Don’t lean on technology. Technology can be a godsend to productivity, but it can also be a time suck. I have applications that allow me to sync my calendars and task lists to my various devices, which is great. However, I’ve also spent countless hours trying to figure out different programs in the name of productivity to no avail.

Be the dumbest person in the room

One of the best productivity hacks I’ve learned is to hire people who are better at specific things than I am. I actively work to ensure I’m the dumbest person in the room. By doing this, I become less needed on a day-to-day basis to complete projects, and the company’s talent actually accomplishes more than I ever could. Joshua Conran, Deksia

I’ve found that the best way to increase productivity is to create a routine around the tasks that need to get done. I do the same things at the same time each day. It may sound robotic, but I also block time for ideas that require more creative thinking. This way everything has a place and a process. These routines quickly turn to habits once repeated, and I find myself checking off my to-do list rather easily. Joseph DiTomaso, All The Rooms

As a working mom, I typically get my kids up and off to school in the mornings. This could leave me quite unproductive since I often don’t even get into the office until after 9:00am. However, about a year ago I started getting up early to do my hardest work (brain work and writing) after meditating. To be most productive schedule meetings and other “talking” in the afternoon. Amy Rosenberg, president Veracity

Keep your email minimized during the day to tackle what’s on your to-do list. Set designated times to check your inbox such as 11am for 30 minutes and 6pm for 30 minutes. This will help you tackle your to-do list and eliminate interruptions.  Lindsay Joy Higgins, LeaveittoLindsay.com 

I’ve found that changing up my location is incredibly helpful for increasing my productivity. When I get restless while working in an office or at home, going to a local library or cafe can revitalize my creativity. For me, it’s important to choose a new work location that’s quiet, as I’m always reading and writing. The morning is my most productive time and it’s often most helpful for me to change up my environment in the afternoon and evening to keep that flow going.  Angelica Valentine, Proto.io
As a blogger and a freelance writer, I never had the luxury to wait for inspiration to start working. I had to train myself to work whether I feel like it or not. So, after searching for ways to keep myself focused on my work and motivated I found out about the 52/17 rule. It’s simple. You work for 52 minutes with the complete focus on the task at hand and take a break for 17 minutes. Then you repeat. I use a timer app on my phone to manage this. So far, it’s been quite effective. Roshan Jerad Perera, Freelancing Hacks

A strategized task-list can really boost your productivity level drastically.  Start the day with tasks that directly align with your “bigger picture” then gradually move on to other day-to-day less commanding tasks.  Avoid getting lost in your to-do lists by reviewing your performance daily to assure being on the right track. David Kosmayer, CEO – Bookmark Website Builder

Stay inspired – in my case this means getting outside and challenging myself to new Kauaʻi hiking adventures on a regular basis. By doing so I am able to write with more fluidity and passion, remembering why I started the blog in the the first place and coming up with great new content ideas. I feel it’s very important to maintain a directly felt sense of connection to your subject matter/that of which you are most passionate about! Jeremiah Felsen, Kauai Hiking Tours 

List everything. I use a mix of paper lists and SimpleNote app, so I have my lists everywhere. Breaking work into manageable chunks makes life much easier. Elliot Taylor, Raison

Even though I work for a technology company, I still rely on writing to-do lists in notebooks to check off each task I complete. It adds an extra feeling of accomplishment and keeps me organized. I also like to set appointments for myself on my Outlook calendar – this allows me to prioritize and get the most important things done without interruption.   – Ashley Fontes, Tech Networks of Boston

Limit your time for everything.  The more time you allow yourself to complete a task the longer you will take so keep deadlines short.  If you give yourself a week to complete something that will only take 2 hours if you just crack on with it then get on with it, do it quickly, finish it and move on to the next thing. Lynette Green, Virtual Head Office

Set Goals and prioritize daily! In addition to establishing goals, I find myself constantly re-prioritizing things daily. Working in a content and advertising operations environment means things are always going to pop-up that need immediate attention. These can be a major distraction against overall productivity. Prioritizing daily, allows me to measure not only what was accomplished each day but keep a tally against overall productivity tied back to my goals. Everyone has their own methods of organization whether it is lists, post-its, notes, email, tasks, etc. but prioritization is the key to increasing productivity. Mark Verone, Gogo 

At wandermelon, we believe in setting yourself up today for tomorrow. So the day is not done till you’ve written up tomorrow’s to-do list, in order of importance, and cleared your desk in preparation for a brand new day. To begin, try a cold shower, a brisk walk and a hot cuppa to energize the body. Then, all you need to do is focus your mind on your list and power through it – no distractions! Reward yourself with a healthy mid-morning smoothie, do some yoga stretches with the cat, cross those done’s off, and move on to the B, C, D list. Rinse and Repeat. Kate Ayrton,  Wandermelon

Understand, Understand, Understand — Understand your audience, you must know who you’re talking to so you can save time. Understand people! Once you understand your audience, understanding what makes your audience tick is your next step. Finally, understand your craft and become an expert in your industry. As an SEO, I have to be an expert so I can reassure people without any doubt that I can help their rankings grow. James McMinn JR, Matchbox Design Group

productivity hacks

The most important part of productivity is process, and the most important part of process is people – you’re only as good as your process and your people.” Anthony De Marco, Boston Web Group

 Keep blog posts short, and always include a picture!  I try to keep my blog posts short enough so that they fit on the average cell phone screen, and I always include an attention-grabbing photo.  Miriam Otto, Blue Frog Shoes
My most effective technique for getting things done is to map out a schedule of my entire day with clear, actionable goals. The night before, I’ll write down 3 goals that I need to accomplish the following day. As soon as I get to my office, I map out my schedule hour by hour leaving just enough time to accomplish those 3 goals while still allowing for regular meetings and anything else that might pop up. This forces me to stay focused and get things done because I hate not accomplishing my goals. – Christophe Limpalair, Scale Your Code
Digital Branding

Getting the Most from a Website Design Professional

Website design is incredibly important when it comes to increasing web traffic and revenue. If you are having issues with your site’s design, there are many options available to you. By working with a professional web design agency, you’re doing something beneficial for yourself. This can help tremendously when it comes to gaining the traffic that you need to stay afloat as a blogger or site owner.

Why Your Site Needs Its Own Design

The reason your site needs its own design is because it helps you to feel confident that you’re unique from all the rest. If you use a free site builder, you’re taking the chance that you’re not going to have something that is unlike other websites on the internet. This can be problematic because of the fact that people will see your site and know that its design was free and used by thousands of others. Be sure to look into working with an agency that does website design for a living.

How to Get It Professionally Designed

The best way to get your site professionally designed is to contact a local agency. This agency is there to ensure that you get help when you need it the most. While it does cost money to have your site designed by the experts, it is well worth the investment when you consider what you will get. Also, it does not have to be too expensive to hire these pros, as they are there to make life easier for you without it costing you an arm and a leg.

Different Options Available

There are tons of options available when it comes to getting the most out of your website design. The only thing to remember is that you’re going to want to get involved in the design process. This helps you to feel confident knowing that you’re getting a layout that is specifically meant for you and your needs. If you are working with any type of company offering website design, be sure to ask if you can be involved in the process of getting the layout created and published.


It is imperative that you put the time, effort and energy into ensuring that your design is specific to your company or blog. Once it has been properly designed, you can feel good knowing that this is something that will benefit you tremendously. Because there are so many unique design firms out there, it’s effortless to find the one that is right for you. Once you have made the decision to hire an agency, it is just a matter of working with them to ensure that you’re doing something beneficial for what they are able to offer. You will be left with a design that looks beautiful, customized and unique. The amount that you pay for the items are nothing compared to what you’ll get from having it done. Be sure to ask a professional designer about their own services and products.

best-tech-blogs
Digital Branding

50+ Best Marketing And Tech Blogs To Follow In 2017

The universe of tech blogs is vast!
One of the reasons for it is an inescapable fact: people interested in technology spend hours and hours time with computers, so there’s no surprise why a Web-based medium is so wildly popular.

Just notice how many more tech blogs there are than, say, blogs about home remodeling or sailing! And, surprise, surprise there are even more tech blogs than blogs dedicated to cute kittens.

So, in the ocean of opportunities, the question becomes more difficult than ever: Which of all of these tech blogs are worth your time?

To help answer that, the following list surveys the very best:

1) Gizmodo
Shiny tech toys, cell phones, portable electronics, gaming consoles – all the stuff that helps you increase your credit card balance.

2) Engadget
Still more tech toys, like a calculator watch and a device that reads aloud your Twitter feeds. (Do you really want to hear them?). A good place to look for the newest generation of mini Netbooks.

3) Lifehacker
Learn how to live more productively by leveraging the latest technology, from new software to helpful gadgets. For instance, find out how to recycle a cereal box into gift packaging or find the best FTP clients.

4) TechCrunch
An exhaustive range of tech subjects, from Web business news to software releases to consumer trends to enterprise IT. Co-edited by Michael Arrington and Erick Schonfeld, who seem to have a pipeline to all the upcoming rumors.

5) Scobleizer – Tech Geek Blogger
Robert Scobleizer is obsessed with technology. A constant and intensely passionate commentator who follows tech news of every stripe.

6) GigaOM
Speaking of obsessed: the hard working Om Malik had a heart attack at the end of 2007, but just keeps on posting (though he does claim to be off the Scotch and cigarettes). Malik and his team focus on broadband, Web news, mobile, and more.

7) Silicon Valley Insider
The deals, the dirt, the money – even as you read this, someone is pitching to someone.

8) Valleywag
Gossipy, uncensored stuff – both business and personal – about the tech world, focusing on Silicon Valley but also traveling far afield. Special bonus: It’s actually well written, unlike the great mass of semi-literate blogs.

9) Boing Boing
Presents the weird and wacky, like a guide to watching videos while driving, microbatteries built by viruses, and a clown cigarette umbrella. The self-described “Dictionary of Wonderful Things” has few boundaries.

10) ReadWriteWeb
Helmed by the intrepid Richard MacManus, with help from an extensive team, ReadWriteWeb covers Web technology and news: Twitter, enterprise Internet news, eBay, Google.

11) Techdirt
A team of IT and tech observers provides in-depth coverage of industry developments, including legal issues. They also post reader submissions.

13) Mashable
News, rumor and comment about social media and social networking: Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, and all the other examples of semi-organized Web-based crowd behavior.

14) Seth Godin’s Blog
The prolific and peripatetic Godin focuses more on marketing and branding than tech, yet much of what he does overlaps with Web/emerging technology issues.

15) Ars Technica
Is Ars Technica a blog? As blogs evolve, it’s sometimes hard to tell the difference between a “blog” and a traditional news site. While Ars Technica is commonly listed as a blog, its posts are often full-length pieces written in traditional reportorial style – not the individual voice associated with blogs. If this site is a blog, it’s a good one, covering IT, Apple, gaming, hardware and more.

17) O’Reilly Radar
Tim O’Reilly and his team put out intelligent tech analysis, with the emphasis on predicting what’s coming before it fully arrives.

18) Bits – Technology – New York Times
Smart writing and reporting about both consumer and enterprise tech, with substantially fewer unproven rumors than the typical Red Bull-fueled tech blogger.

19) Internet.com Blogs
Informed commentary by a top crew of veteran writers and reporters, providing insight into everything from software to hardware to mobile to security to PCs. (Published by Jupitermedia, which publishes the site you’re reading.) Among other must-reads, check out Andy Patrizio from Silicon Valley and Sean Michael Kerner on the Linux/enterprise beat. Plus: the new Semantic Web blog covers the emerging Web 3.0 world. Oh, and don’t miss the Datamation blog.

20) Wired’s Blogs
Preternaturally irreverent, but backed up by a hefty staff of in-the-know tech reporters, the Wired News stable of blogs is one of the Internet’s most influential.

21) ZDNet Blogs
Clearly one of the best collections of tech analysts on the Web, including longtime Microsoft watcher Mary Jo Foley, the uncensored insight of Jason Perlow, and the peripatetic musings of Larry Dignan and crew.

22) InformationWeek Blogs
The formidable resources of Information Week gives depth to its panoramic coverage of IT and consumer technology, aided by piquant analysis from Alexander Wolfe, Serdar Yegulalp, Paul McDougall and others.

23) CNET Blogs
Not only does tech heavyweight CNET offer the full universe of tech news, it’s so massively all-encompassing it even has a blog about mechanical engineering. (Can you top that?) Particularly noteworthy is the tech-politics coverage of Declan McCullagh.

24) TechRepublic Blogs
Covers the enterprise IT world: servers, security, tech staffing, virtualization, software as a service, and consultancies.

25) Computerworld: Opinion/Blogs
Experienced voices providing commentary that focuses on enterprise technology yet also delves into consumer tech, featuring voices like Windows pundit Preston Gralla and IT watcher Don Tennant.

27) Dwight Silverman: TechBlog
The Houston Chronicle’s Dwight Silverman earns a spot in the blogrolls of many of top bloggers with his well-written commentary on consumer technology.

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28) InfoWorld
Topics like JavaScript, Sun, Dell, SOA – these blogs focus on mission-critical tech for large corporations.

29) eWeek Blogs
If it has to do with technology – from jobs to security to platforms – there’s commentary about it at the eWeek blog portal. Keep your eye on leading tech pundit Eric Lundquist and security expert Matt Hines.

30) RedHerring Blogs
The once hot print publication still thrives online. (Kind of funny to think they needed a print version, huh?) A mix of software, gaming, gadgets, mobile and big player news.

31) The Guardian’s Tech Blog
Bright, smartly penned commentary with an English accent, mostly about consumer tech: Googlebombs, Windows 7, the iPhone.

32) Financial Times Tech Blog
One of the Continent’s great newspapers analyzes who’s making money and who’s not.

33) BusinessWeek’s Blogspotting
Heather Green and Stephen Baker survey cutting edge technologies: behavioral technologies, privacy rights, social media.

34) Technology Review’s Blogs
Wow, these folks have high IQs (no wonder they write blogs published by the August Massachusetts Institute of Technology.) “Personal genomics”…“people aware computing.” Getting ready for some very heady stuff.

35) Schneier on Security
Is there a more famous security guru than Bruce Schneier? What’s impressive about his blog is the expansive reach of subject matter: software, hardware, the Net, privacy, as well as security issues in a larger societal context.

36) Network Security Blog
Longtime blogger Martin McKeay holds forth on spammers, hackers, black-hatters, and the good IT folks who work to keep them at bay.

37) Securosis
Privacy, app security, physical and home security, Securosis offers thoughtful analysis with a hefty dose of uncensored opinion.

38) Mike Rothman’s Security Incite
Covers the information security marketplace and also offers comment on major security news stories.

39) Brian Krebs’s Security Fix
Backed by the reporting chops of the Washington Post, Security Fix is a deep and widely inclusive resource. Very well done.

40) Rational Survivability
Big time insight about risk management and disruptive innovation. As proof of his street cred, blogger Chris Hoff wrote the infamous “DNS Debacle” poem: “A few months ago/ Kaminsky discovered a flaw / It was with DNS/ It was nasty and raw.”

41) Stiennon on Security
A well known name in the security business, Richard Stiennon pens pithy commentary about enterprise security.

42) Microsoft Security Response Center
All the bulletins and updates you’ll need (or at least most of them) for Microsoft security vulnerabilities. Sign up for a notification so you don’t need to check in regularly.

43) Danger Room
National security coverage written and reported with a high profile reputation. I’ve even heard the Pentagon keeps on eye on this blog.

44) Tao Security
The personal blog of Richard Bejtlich, director of incident response for General Electric. He gets around and knows how to share his insights.

45) The IT Security Guy
Blogger Joel Dubin authored The Little Black Book of Computer Security, which is geared for IT security managers.

50) Matt Cutts: Gadgets, Google and SEO
Cutts, a former software engineer and head of Google’s Webspam team, covers a lot of Internet-related issues along with a smattering of personal tech.

51) Esther Dyson
Describing herself as the “Internet’s court jester,” Dyson blogs about Web business and social media, among other topics.

52) Dan’s Cartoons

Dan Rosandich profiles the cartooning business and world of cartoons.

53) TechLila

TechLila covers unique topics related to Android, Windows, and technology. The main goal of TechLila is to provide unique information, such as quality tips and tricks, tutorials and how-to guides.

54) OpsGenie

OpsGenie is an alerting and incident response orchestration platform which provides reliable alerts, on-call schedules, and escalation policies to ensure the right people are notified about any alert event via email, SMS, phone calls, iOS & Android push notifications and chat/collaboration tools. Through their tool and blog, OpsGenie empowers and teaches DevOps teams to stay connected and collaborate in real-time to respond to problems faster and efficiently.

55) Glanceinfo.com

Glaceinfo is a unique blog about social networking, gadgets, technology, blogging tips and much more. This blog provides latest updates on various modern products and gadgets.

56) WorldBank’s Section About Latin America

We live in the land of plenty and high-tech marvels, but we need to be mindful of those less fortunate, explains Gloria Hernandez from Aesbus. Latin America is gaining marketing attention more and more, but it’s important to understand the politics and culture of these emerging markets. So, although this is not technically a marketing blog, it does provide a look into global financial aspects of new market segments.

With a mission to “end extreme poverty within a generation and boost shared prosperity,” the World Bank blogs provide research and data analysis on international financial markets, developing country entrepreneurship, and government leadership and decision-making that impact economic growth, poverty reduction, and the quality of people’s lives. The range and depth of topics and the impressive list of collaborative bloggers ensure an insightful treatise of current issues that are playing out daily across communities worldwide.

57) Merix Studio

On Merixstudio’s blog you can read about software house’s everyday live, cutting-edge technologies, and web development. They cover topics such as startups and hiring developers. And believe me, it’s not everything! They even won the best company blog title in 2015 in the Polish contest organized by Blogifirmowe.com.
humanize your brand
Digital Branding

How To Humanize Your Brand And Deepen The Relationship With Your Audience

The age of cold PR is long gone and the businesses that will truly prosper in this new economy are those that know how to connect authentically with their audience. When so much of what’s out there is a commodity and when most businesses compete on price, what’s the one thing that makes your brand memorable?

The Gold Is In Your Story

The likeability factor lies in your founding story told truthfully and wholeheartedly. It’s the vulnerability you’re willing to share with your audience that will make them say “Hey, this guy gets me!”

No matter how hard you try to flood your audience with facts, figures and the benefits of them buying from you, it won’t be until you prove that you hear and understand them that they’ll start to actually pay attention to you and open their wallets, too.

If you balance good brand storytelling with delivering high value, you will build a strong following around your brand. Always aim to prove your readers that you understand their problems and make sure that you have a clear intention for every piece of content you create.

How do you want people to feel and what action do you want them to take after consuming your content? The more character you infuse into your content, the more your audience will relate to you and your brand. And likeability is a powerful currency in business.

Why Your WHY Matters

Having a strong connection between you brand and your audience provides a strong base for long-term loyalty and sustainable growth in the future. Telling stories about your brand and business is not just about standing above your competition.

It’s about helping people connect with your big WHY and making them care about what you have to offer. It’s about establishing your authenticity and dictating your value.

Having a good story is what turned Starbucks from just another coffee provider to building a whole new category in their niche and putting themselves above the competition.

Authenticity is not something you can fake. People have strong BS radars and expect a lot from the brands they choose to support. And this is mostly true with millennials who’d rather choose a less than perfect product or service if it has a strong enough “Why” and social mission.

Authenticity Is Bigger Than Marketing

The purpose of running your business – communicated clearly and genuinely – is going to be at the core of a deeper connection with your audience.

Think of Gary Vaynerchuck, one of the most authentic entrepreneurs out there, a guy that’s extremely authentic and charismatic. But why is it? It’s because he’s extremely open, acknowledges his mistakes, he shares his processes, pours his personality into everything he does and always communicates his “Why”.

This is the type of entrepreneurs that you just feel how much he loves serving his audience and making his followers feel understood. It’s from this place that an authentic leader can start to build a strong relationship and really make an impact through his or her business.

So What’s Your WHY?

People are more than happy to support a business that proudly stands for something. Think of “Pencils of Promise”, a charity organization that builds schools all across the world. They have a really strong following and are heavily supported because they have a genuine founding story that connected them to their audience.

This is an invitation to start seeing your brand not just part of a bigger picture, but rather the big picture of why you’re in business. The more compelling your story, the easier it will be for you to rise above your competition and make your audience stick with you for the long run.

The biggest brands in the world, Disney to Nike and Apple are so loved because they went beyond being just a product and became an idea that nourished people’s emotional desires.

Your Followers Are Your Friends

Keep this in mind every time you create a new piece of content. Act as if you’re talking to a friend and you’re describing how their life can be improved as a result of using your product or service.

Take them behind the scenes and give them a personal view of what goes on behind the doors. Use your social media profiles to show photos and videos of you and your team at work or just having fun around the office. This will humanize your operations and help people connect with you on a more personal level.

People connect with people, not faceless businesses, so give your brand some personality. If your brand were a person, who would it be? What kind of qualities would they have? If your brand were a celebrity or car, which one would you choose? And why? What are their traits, skills and interests? Think about human-like characteristics to describe your brand. Zappos, for example, is friendly, helpful, fun and sometimes even silly.

Be open about your path, talk about the hard times and people will be more likely to relate to you. Always stay centered on your customer’s interests and aspirations and remember that the stronger the connection you have with your audience the longer you’ll stay in business.

In Conclusion

Creating an authentic, deep, lasting connection with your audience is not easy and takes time. This is also good news because going the extra mile is never crowded.

And ultimately, all you need is a plan with some goals and lots of perseverance. This is not rocket science. We’re all humans working with humans and if you keep this simple truth in mind, you’ll be OK. Simple may not always be easy but if you love your customers more than you love your business, you’ll always be in business.

Humanizing your brand, fostering trust and a genuine and lasting connection with your audience is serious work. It may not always seem to pay off in the short term and it’s not easy to measure and scale. But in the long run, it’s the only path to lasting success and meaningful impact.

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Digital Branding

Crowdfunding Marketing – How to Raise Millions in a Month

It has been repeatedly said over and over again that, to gain success in your crowdfunding, campaign you need to have a perfect product, project or idea. People must desire the thing that you offer because, when they don’t, you are doomed. However, a beginning entrepreneur needs to be aware of the fact that the difference between crowdfunding success and failure isn’t just about this one factor, as there are many more things that matter in the process. As well as a good idea, you need to think carefully, tweak every step you take and have a well-executed crowdfunding marketing plan.

If you have a brilliant idea, tested with your family and friends, you can start to think about the beginning your campaign. Crowdfunding platforms offer an easy way to kick off the campaign, which enables groups or individuals to collect the exact, specified amount of money needed to reach the market on a high scale. However, publishing the idea on such a platform doesn’t always equal success. Behind every triumph, there’s a great crowdfunding marketing plan with a notable effort by its founders.

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The idea of crowdfunding is all about showing the personal ethos of the campaign, the connection between what you want to say and the emotions of your product’s potential recipients. You have to think how to create and present your product to make people desire it and be the only one who can satisfy their needs.

Follow this article to find out how to plan a successful crowdfunding campaign.

When to Plan a Crowdfunding Marketing Campaign?

The best crowdfunding marketing campaigns are planned out long ahead of their launch. It’s a good idea to schedule all the steps as early as possible, to make the campaign deliberate and fruitful. Make sure that as many people as possible know about your idea, get them used to it and ensure they are ready to share their thoughts with others – it’s how you broaden your potential for better traction, and it all happens before you launch your campaign. It may sound strange at the very beginning, but it is incredibly crucial – if you want to succeed in a crowdfunding campaign, it will be helpful to proceed with early media outreach. Of course, the media is swamped with eager entrepreneurs pitching products. Therefore, you have to be aware that it’ll take some time to get on the radar of most journalists, so the best decision in this case is to not hesitate and begin this process ahead of your launch.

5 Famous Rebrands and What We Can Learn From Them

The Most Important Factors

The important rule for fundraising marketing in general (and crowdfunding marketing in particular) is to take many steps at the same time. You need to do these things in parallel, so be prepared to try your hand at multitasking.

The Product

Although, earlier on, I’ve mentioned that the idea or product by itself isn’t the only key factor in the crowdfunding marketing process, but it is still one of the most important aspects. The object of the campaign needs to be special and unique; in short, it has to attract the attention of potential users. It will be an additional benefit if it is an embodiment of innovation. There should be a need or scarcity of your product in the market. The old rule says that such scarcity drives demand, so it is one of crowdfunding’s expected rules that your supporters should get something in exchange for their participation and money. You can offer some simple exchange for the help from participants by providing them an equity participation in your business or an early bird copy of your product, just as an act of returning a favor.

Broaden Your Network

Start with your personal network on social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter and so on. It is likely that the major part of your social media network consists of your family and friends, and that is an excellent factor. These are people who are eager to hear good news from you and be a part of your success. For sure, they’ll do all they can to spread your idea out there and make good use of it. But how do you make them want to contribute more? Remember not to send out the same message to everyone. Separate your contacts into lists of friends, family, business and acquaintances. This doesn’t mean that you have to write different messages to all of the people on your list, but do try to personalize it, even by just a little. It is also good to know who may be the biggest influencer on your list – in other words, who’s got the largest social circles both online and offline – as they can be of real help when expanding your network.

networking

Besides your social circle, look at the network of other business group related to your campaign. It is a good idea to connect with them and try to write a guest post on their blogs, or maybe they can give you a shout out on your blog or campaign. As you reach this new audience, you have to keep them engaged with questions and conversations – you need to maintain contact with them. Only with this engagement will you be able to build a sense of community and convert followers into supporters.

Create a Narrative

Everyone who is involved in your project should follow the same script. They have to know the history of the enterprise or a startup – how things started, where you want to go and how you intend to get there. Also, you need to explain why you’ve chosen crowdfunding instead of other investment strategies and, of course, you need to give them a description of how their funding will make a difference.

 

Make it Multi-Dimensional

Now, it is still time to persuade potential backers. It is incredibly important to testify with proof and credibility – in other words, support your pitch with facts, figures, and specifics on costs, forecasts and expectations. It’ll make you look and sound like a professional who knows the market in exact detail and is aware of how the product development will be executed, including when to take each step.

Your campaign should also be a media event, something that goes viral across many platforms and social media services. If it goes viral, it will be seen by the highest range of people, amongst whom may be some who desire your idea, like it and, what is highly important, choose to share it on their profiles, making it go further and further.

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Today, people are more likely to pay attention to vivid videos and photographs – so try to make a good use of these. Arrange a few photos of individuals interacting with the product, show the commitments by key principals and testimonials made by older users and people who are eager to support your project.

Last, but not least, create educational, informative and entertaining videos of prototypes in action, the users involved or comments from analysts. It will help to engage with recipients and to better help make your campaign go viral.

Find Early Backers

Before your campaign emerges on the crowdfunding platform, make sure you don’t start at “0% funded.” You’ve already gained the attention of your family, friends and probably your friends’ friends. If you are lucky and creative enough, your material went viral and it is a huge success! You’ve got connections with online business groups interested in your product and you’ve gained some more traction. Now, the aim is to get a commitment from them and make them the earliest backers, who will support your project as soon as you launch the campaign. That way, you can demonstrate momentum right off the bat!

It is not hard to find them as long as you have a brilliant idea, as you’ve already broadened your network and traction – this step is incredibly important to do ahead of your launch.

Improve, improve, improve

As things are ongoing, your product and campaign develop continuously. Prove what has changed and give evidence to support these positive developments. Remember that your strategy must include the development and improvement of existing marketing media – it will be a shred of evidence that more and more people are interested and it is worth shining a light on your product and devoting some time to know it better.

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Revitalize your website as soon as it is needed. Inform your audience about what’s new and what’s shaking with the campaign: keep them up to date. If you do this correctly, you’ll build a loyal community of recipients, ready to support and go for your idea.

Statistics show that 60% of crowdfunding campaigns fail to reach their funding – no wonder, creating a crowdfunding campaign isn’t just about signing up on the platform and looking at how the money on your account rises day by day. The process is much more complicated, as you might have noticed. It is all about being prepared to answer all of the doubts and questions which may show up during the campaign, knowing who may follow the idea and always broadening your network. Furthermore, to gain success, you have to do all of these things in parallel and be ready for any sudden plot twist.

Remember you are the only person who is going to care enough about your campaign. Follow the rules, work hard, and you will succeed for sure.

 

5 Steps to Successful Digital Marketing for Tech Companies
Digital Branding

Crowdfunding vs. Traditional Fundraising: Pros and Cons

Money is one of the most important factors throughout all of the development stages of business, but the time when you probably need it the most will be the very beginning of your activity on the market. Fundraising may become a drudgery because, sometimes, finding investors who will back your idea can be a hard nut to crack. Those who have already gained some experience looking for investors and collecting money are absolutely aware of the fact that investors are known to be quite selective with where they will place their money. The purpose of investing money is to see it grow – if they don’t believe a new business will become profitable, then they are unlikely to take a chance on it.

crowdfunding

Technology and Fundraising

A few years ago, the only way to collect the much-needed money was to fill in an application and ask a bank whether you’re a good candidate to get a loan or not. Another way to get funding was to throw a networking party, where all the guest will be likely to contribute and give your project a chance to thrive, or to look for investors on one’s own account. However, as technology develops continuously, some new options have emerged on the horizon, giving fledgling entrepreneurs and great inventors alike an opportunity to spread their ideas out. One of these comparatively new methods is crowdfunding, which enables people to create campaigns online and collect money via means of the Internet and crowdfunding platforms. All you have to do is to have a brilliant idea, sign up on the platform, create a campaign and start collecting funds to spread your idea wider.

Traditional fundraising and crowdfunding have the same purposes, so it should be indifferent which variant to choose, albeit in some cases where, for some reasons, it is better to opt to specifically crowdfund or fundraise.

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Pros and Cons of Crowdfunding

Crowdfunding stems from fundraising, but with a twist. It trades upon the power of groups of individuals, or a pre-existing community, to kick off a cause or project and initiate its success. It allows you to put the project out there, even if the entrepreneur’s budget is close to none and, rationally, it should be cursed with failure because of these small resources. Fortunately, even if it seems that your only resource is your brilliant idea and you’re completely starved of other resources or support, it doesn’t mean that you have to drop out of the game.

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If you are at the very beginning of your adventure on the market, crowdfunding might be a perfect direction for you. Anyone can create a campaign on these platforms. All a starting entrepreneur has to do is to sign up on the crowdfunding platform, describe what his targeted amount of money to collect is – this is typically the amount which enables the project to see the light of the day. It all sounds like a piece of cake and it really isn’t so hard. The purpose you’re collecting money for doesn’t matter. Whether it’s a new application, an exceptional kitchen robot or a music album, you can create a campaign, set the needed amount of money and the period of which people can contribute and transfer money to back your idea. What is also crucial to mention is that you can personally thank them for this help. The idea of crowdfunding establishes that your backers can either have an equity stake in your business or you can send them an early bird copy of the product, which is like killing two birds using one stone because doing so both shows your heartfelt appreciation and ensures your product sees the light of the day. It is perfect for those campaigns where every single dime counts because the only costs that they bear are – in most of the cases – the incredibly low commissions on the transferred amount of money.

Of course, this approach of collecting money also has some disadvantages. The crowdfunding campaign is time limited, which means that, if the project doesn’t collect enough money during the designated time, it won’t reach its goal and will still be missing the necessary amount of money. The idea of crowdfunding enables supporters to decide whether to dedicate the money to your project or not. It can be an advantage, of course, but let’s imagine a situation in which the potential backer scrolls down a platform which features hundreds of campaigns. So many pictures and volumes of information hits his or her mind at once – they can simply lose their bearings and even bypass your campaign entirely. Your idea can be brilliant for the niche but, for the majority of people who look at the website, it might seem impersonal or needless. Another group of individuals use crowdfunding as a means of collecting money, while also taking the community out of fundraising and will impersonalizing the act of giving. But don’t worry, as, with most investments, people tend to put their money where they will see or feel the most impact. Crowdfunding is all about connecting to real people in real communities, where trust and reputation are front and center in the process.

traditionalfundraising

Pros and Cons of Traditional Fundraising

Traditional fundraising has existed for years, often known as the typical way to raise money for worthy cause. It enables people to contribute to a charity or a cause they believe in, for as long as there has been a need to do so, making other people’s life better. It was – and still is – usually done by collecting money during events or parties where people (potential donors) have fun with something to drink or eat, before sharing their money on a good cause. A much more efficient way of collecting money to start a business, however, is to get funding from venture or angel investors, who share their money with promising projects and see how their money grows in exchange. Another way of raising funds via traditional means is to ask for a bank loan to start or develop your business. All of those methods are not time limited – it means that, by contrast to crowdfunding, this support can be on a long-term basis. Donors sometimes give annual donations, or spread their contributions out. This means that the entrepreneur gets constant financial income, which can be crucial for continual business development.

funds

When you take your first, short glimpse at fundraising in direct comparison to crowdfunding, you’ll see that traditional fundraising may seem much easier. You only need to find an investor or go to a bank to ask for a loan. Beware, it’s not so easy as it seems!

Regarding traditional fundraising, it is often a huge investment of time, money, and valuable resources that lower-income groups or individuals can’t summon. According to the history of fundraising for charity, as well as other good causes, people need to have some money in the first place to offer potential donors some entertainment to make them come and keep them interested. It’s obvious that beginning entrepreneurs and artists don’t have funds to start and develop such an activity, let alone the funds and resources required to throw parties and keep people interested that way. When it comes to loans – which at first may seem like a perfect and fast solution – it may turn out to be nothing but toil. To get a loan, you have to fill in an application containing all of the information about your business activity; you need to prove that you’ll be able to give the money back to the bank – which can be hard. The thing to remember is to conduct good research to find which banks offer the needed type of loan. If you skip this part, you’ll probably lose your time wandering from one bank to another, hearing that you’re not able to fulfill the various requirement that the bank imposes on its borrowers. Remember, you always have to give the money back; it doesn’t matter if your project sinks or swims!

crowdfunding

When comparing crowdfunding and traditional fundraising, the differences are easily visible and, what’s more, both approaches have their own pros and cons, so it often depends on the situation and development level of the entrepreneurship, when it comes to which method to choose.

Undoubtedly, the traditional means of fundraising have been very successful for a lot of projects; however, crowdfunding allows people with very few physical resources the opportunity to develop startup funds for large projects and high needs. The way someone raises money should be deliberate and tailored to his possibilities and business needs.