Category: Digital Branding

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.

Digital Branding

Gumtree Australia Evolving With Brand New Logo

 

GumTree

Gumtree Australia New Logo

 The Australian arm of world renowned classifieds website Gumtree, has replaced its dated old logo with a sleek and modern design.

The fresh new logo on the Gumtree Australia site keeps the heart and soul of the original logo, whilst eliminating unnecessary visuals.

It has been crucial for the company to cultivate their online community. After a lot of market research, results showed that many consumers had negative feelings towards the previous company logo.

Feedback received stated the old logo lacked significance and was a little too chaotic for the modern day online shopper. Therefore, Gumtree hired design and branding connoisseurs Koto, to create something more in line with today’s online consumers.

The original design encapsulated a Eucalyptus or Gum tree. The gum tree belongs to the Eucalypt family and reflects natural connotations of stability and growth.

However as mentioned, it looked visually hectic and has not been changed much since Gumtree’s inception.

The tree is essential to the Gumtree brand, so the brief required that this remain. The tree has now been positioned and designed in a way that enhances recognition. The fresh new tree design can scale up or down on mobile devices or billboards.

The ideas for the new design kept three main criteria in mind; simplicity, digital and modern.

Wikipedia

Source: Wikipedia

Gumtree Australia’s new logo uses very simplistic geometric shapes to represent the gum tree. It uses a bright green color for emphasis.

As a giant of classified websites, the new logo finally reflects Gumtree Australia’s digitally innovative and sophisticated development.

The logo is now streamlined and functional, improving brand perception and reflecting the usability of the site.

Consumers use Gumtree to find something to buy, or post an ad to sell a service or product. 80% of Gumtree consumers use the website from their mobile device, so the new logo had to be simple, but recognizable.

Before settling on the final design, Koto presented Gumtree with eight options to choose from. The new logo was decided upon based on user feedback.

The new logo has been met with a lot of positivity from designers.

Logo Tree

Source: Pixabay

What has been most significant about the entire process is that Gumtree adapted and transformed their logo in response to user opinion.

Although it is occasionally risky to put your business decisions in the hands of your customers, this rebrand process proves that Gumtree is essentially a customer-driven business, that are willing to take on customer feedback and act on it.

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

50+ 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

If we do things that we like, we don’t get distracted and get into the zone very easily. Most of us think that this can only happen with tasks that we are passionate about, but we tend to forget that we can put passion in any task that we do. Doing things with passion is a mindset. By focussing on the big picture of the task on hand even the dullest task has a higher reason. – Frédéric Ghys, Silicon Armada

productivity

Everyone works differently but I find that I am the most productive when I can camp myself out at a coffee shop for a day. As long as I can have my cup of joe, free (fast) wifi, and an electrical outlet, I can work all day. There’s something to be said for being amongst a crowd of people, also trying to get work done, and the ambient noise where you feel like you’re not alone. William Tang @  Going Awesome Places

I find that the biggest challenge when it comes to being productive is not getting overwhelmed with everything on my plate. It can be hard to see the forest for the trees sometimes, which is why I use a series of tools to help me stay on track:
Trello. I rely heavily on Trello for all my long-term project planning, especially when I’m working with others.
Digital calendars. I use my digital calendar to keep track of all my high-level to-dos, like meetings, calls, and due dates.
Day planners. I’m obsessed with my Day Designer, which allows me to break down my days into to-do lists with checkboxes for each day.
I also try to fit as much “work” into weekdays as possible. I run my own company, so it can be tempting to let work seep into other areas of my life, but I find that the times when I’m most productive are when I’m physically at my desk during the workday. Alyson Shane – Owner, Starling Social

1. Planning. In the company, the workflow is built according to the Scrum methodology. The key point is planning tasks.

Planning is divided into daily, weekly, monthly, semi-annual and annual.
Every morning the team discusses what tasks its participants will perform. Each participant fixes his tasks for the day and works only on them.

• Each task is posted on the board in the column “In work”.
• After the task is completed, the task is moved to the “Finish” column on the board.
• New tasks are posted in the column “New tasks”.

2. Breaks. Take a break every hour for 5-10 minutes. Take your relax-time to re-immerse yourself in the task. It is better to take a break and gain strength, than to work on a task unproductively.

3. Silence. Quiet surroundings help to concentrate. The company has a working area where most of the time employees work in silence.
In a separate room – you can relax and discuss various issues.

4. Retrospectives. Every month, half a year, a year – conduct a retrospective, where you discuss with your colleagues your achievements, as well as your plans for the future period. Awareness that you are doing an important thing greatly increases productivity.

5. Reading books is one of the best tools for personal growth. For example, in the library of the company WOXAPP already more than 250 books.

6. Say “No” to new tasks. Work without interruption is the guarantee of efficiency.

7. Get up early. Go in for sports or exercise. The company WOXAPP practice a 5-minute exercises during the day.

Finally, the most important thing is to keep your personal goals in focus and live harmoniously!

Company WOXAPP is an experienced mobile application developer. On the market since 2011.

Over this time company has developed more than 50 projects.

Responsiveness is crucial! You must engage with your audience, and in a timely manner. Vincent Sharps, Mindgrub

As a blogger, I often work from home. It’s great under some circumstances where I need the silence and solitude to write, but it can also feel lonely and sap my creativity. I find working in contact with other people really helps to boost my creativity and productivity. I like the background noise and going to a shared location also gets me away from the distractions of my home. Coffee shops are pretty good for this, but I recently tried coworking at The Farm SoHo coworking space. It really helped as I got good advice from the other members using the space, and it was great to have a change of scenery. Gemma Church, The Farm Coworking

I find keeping things simple as one of my top tips for increasing productivity when writing. Humans tend to overanalyze. When I find myself way out in left-field, explaining every detail, I step back re-think, re-adjust and go back in. No one cares about every detail. In fact, when reading web articles and posts people tend to focus for less than a minute. Time is sacred and shouldn’t be wasted on unnecessary points or facts. One can write an amazing article and engage readers by focusing on the proposed topic and produce content that makes the reader wanting to know more.
Dana, founder of 365 Days of Health and Fitness.

“80% of success is getting out of your own way. If we stop doing things that are counterproductive, we have time and resources for things that matter. Nobody lost weight or became wealthy drinking a latte every day. Jay Elkes, Extreme Common Sense

Arguably the best productivity lesson I’ve learned over my years of blogging, is that an editorial calendar can be a life-saver! When you’re using an editorial calendar, you’re automatically organizing all of your blogging, which not only helps you save time – and saves you of those “oh, no, I don’t have anything to publish today” moments – but it also helps you get better results from each and every blog post.
You can better strategize your blogging schedule and content and make sure that whatever else happens, you at the very least have blog posts planned and ready to publish. It also helps you plan the right blog post at the right time so that you maximize the results you get from each one. Lilach Bullock, LilachBullock

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

Plan not only work but a rest too. Margarita Logoshina, Mentalstack

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

We all sit and stand all day long, how we get our bodies moving is the important question. DeskStand™ offers a range of ergonomic products that are not only give you a healthy posture but get you moving too. By staying active and moving your engagement levels increase in the work place and so does your productivity and alertness. We strive to bring the very best quality product to any active work lifestyle, globally. Ryan Roberts, DeskStand

Staying productive in my daily life is critical. I currently run four divisions of my business so staying organized is essential for me to stay on track. My absolute best tool has always been simple list-making. I make a goal list for the month for the bigger needle-movers I want to achieve, a weekly to-do list to make sure I am advancing, and a daily list each morning to tackle each item that needs to be completed within the day. To be able to look back and cross off everything that was accomplished in the weeks and the month overall is empowering, and it provides a solid timeline for where I’m headed next! – Kristin Weissman, Owner and  CEO of Studio K

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

As an owner/manager, I canʻt imagine running a business without making lists of things to do and prioritizing their importance. Itʻs important to be “productive” and not just “busy”. Not only do lists help me attack my days more efficiently, but they also insure that nothing gets overlooked which brings me a peace of mind. As for the Captains, they have lists too, only a different type of list. Similar to a pilot, our Captains have checklists to make sure their boat is ready for an amazing day out on the water. This helps with their peace of mind too, knowing they didnʻt forget to check the plugs, oil, or load snorkel gear, etc. Without these lists, I do not think we would be where we would be today. Nathaniel, Na Pali Experience

Create a blog wall. In our office, we have colored index cards and write topic ideas as they pop up, questions from clients, new technology, whatever. And pull a card from the wall whenever we need inspiration. Lorraine Ball, Roundpeg

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.

I combined topic days with an editorial calendar to boost productivity on my blog. I try to have certain topics on certain days of the week, which allows me to plan posts a bit further in advance. When I’m really in the mood to write about one topic, I can schedule several posts weeks ahead. That not only helps me reduce the deadline pressure but also helps me see at a glance on the calendar where I need to focus to remain on schedule! Patrick Phillips, Patrickkphillips.com

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

When it comes to managing projects, project management tools can help, but they are not a replacement for sound management practices and hands-on experience. Good project managers know project management software is just tool which makes it easier to plan, track and collaborate on projects more effectively, but does not replaces basic management knowhow. David R. Robins, Collaboration Corner

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. Maintain a directly felt sense of connection to that of which you are most passionate about! Jeremiah Felsen, Owner & Lead Guide @ Kauaʻi 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 

I do find that I’m more productive and more relaxed if I start my day early with a set routine. There’s always room for flexibility (life is unpredictable!) but overall, if I wake up and am able to complete a handful of tasks that I’ve already planned for, the rest of my day goes a lot smoother. It decreases stress because I don’t spend my entire day worrying about when I’m going to work on the things I accomplished that morning. I don’t know if beginning your day early with a routine actually gets you ahead in the grand scheme of things, but I do think the early bird has an advantage in terms of time management and peace of mind. Megan, Hole Punch Design

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
How much time do you spend looking for your keys, phone, glasses and other items you use frequently? By putting items in the exact same spot, without exception, you can save hours over a year by never having to look for them. It also reduces stress when you’re not running around frantically at the last minute looking for these things! – Lori Dennis, Lori Dennis Interior Design
My productivity tips are actually a list of four pretty actionable pieces of advice:
1) Stay as organized as possible.
2) Have a good, supportive help system.
3) Employ honest workmen with an excellent skill set.
4) Make sure to tell the truth at all times.
Start with the most important and time-consuming task on your list first as we naturally procrastinate them and as the day unfolds many other unplanned things disrupt our schedule. Being an interior designer, I have discovered, that by getting the main things out of my head early in the day, sets my mind free to be more creative and at the end of the day I feel more productive. Develop the mental discipline to focus on one thing at a time and try to finish what you started. For example, I have specific times during the day when I respond to emails and check in with social media. – Renata Pfuner, Pfuner Design
Make a to-do list and prioritize it. Then, do the most important thing first each day. Everything else should wait or be handed off to someone else. – Mary Foster, AsterHouse Design

Staying organized and being prepared for the next day’s tasks and meetings have saved me so much time. I use to waste so much time driving back and forth to the office to grab things for each client and looking for items I didn’t have with me. I have found that if I start and end my day looking at my task list and meetings for the day ahead I can organize and be prepared with everything that I would need. I also digitally organize all of my notes and photos at the end of each meeting or each day in a program called Trello, which I can access from my computer or mobile device and ALWAYS have all my client information, notes, and photos with me at all times. This has been INVALUABLE! – Christine Julian, Christine Julian Interiors

While it may sound strange, staying disciplined about breakfast, lunch and snacking plays a big role in personal productivity. Overeating or eating unhealthy foods during the day can make you feel sluggish and tired, and make you lose focus, which on turn can lead to major losses in productivity. Healthy eating and committing to portion control, on the other hand, can help you keep your edge for the full work day. Phil Singleton, CEO, Kansas City Web Design

 

Close all browser tabs not relevant to what you are doing, and put your best pair of headphones on. – Logan Abbott, President of Voip-Info.org

How do you manage to get productive? That’s the million-dollar question for every type of job! In my case, everything should start by making a good detailed plan. When I want to boost my productivity, I always make sure to write down on a piece of paper all the different tasks that I have to complete. In that way, I can have a good overview of what I need to work on and I can prioritize my responsibilities accordingly. Some privacy and good music can also help a lot. Finally, I would strongly recommend to everyone, who is reading this, to invest on a good laptop and digital tools that could minimize the manual “busy work”. In that way, you can save valuable time daily and remain focused on your work. Anastasios Koutsogiannis, GenieBelt

A big challenge can be not getting overwhelmed by what’s on your plate. What’s helpful is to begin by gathering your tasks by e-mail (or wherever) and simply writing them down. Once you write them down you can prioritize and set yourself deadlines for each task. The important thing isn’t to meet every deadline but approach them realistically. Tasks that consume less time can be completed intermittently. Don’t beat yourself up for not meeting every deadline, just be prepared to set new ones and strive to meet them. Overall, these are good problems. It’s better to be busy than to be bored 🙂
Anthony, The Movie Blog

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.

Digital Branding

Getting the Right Training for Your Crew

When you are a busy manager, the last thing you have time for is to teach workers how to use a new program, whether its a program for managing employees or even a web-based subpoena management software. Because of this, it is essential that you make use of an excellent quality option and Scrum Master Training that will help you to get the job done right. One of the most important things is to train your workers so that they know what to expect out of the programs that you’re considering for the work place.

Program Training Benefits

One of the major benefits to program training is that your workers will find it beneficial to utilize these programs day in and day out. The problem that a lot of work places have is that not everyone knows how to use the programs in question, and so they are left having to do all of the work on their own while their workers do not have to do anything. This training is highly beneficial in many different ways and can be exactly what you need when it comes to performing in the correct manner.

Ways to Be Trained

There are a few ways that you can be trained if this is something you feel is going to benefit your work place. For one, you will find it beneficial to make use of online training programs, as these are the most flexible for workers and managers. You will be able to get everyone on board who wants to be trained, and this is essential if you are looking into something that benefits them in many different ways. Be sure to look into these options if you are going to be getting the training done. Also, you can take a local class if this is something that you feel is going to be the right choice for you and your employees.

Essentials for Employees

The most important thing you can do as a manager or boss is to keep your workers trained when it comes to new programs and software. This is something that will benefit you in many different ways and can be something that you enjoy doing because you will feel confident in that it will get done. Because there are so many training options out there, it is pretty easy to find the one that is ideal for your needs and allows you to feel confident in the fact that you’ve trained your workers.


Now that you know how important it is for you to get the right type of work done in training, you’ll want to think of it as an option for yourself and your work environment. There are lots of low-cost options out there in terms of training, so this is something that is going to benefit you greatly. Once you make the choice to get training done, there are lots of options out there that will benefit you and be a wonderful option for you and your many workers who are looking to get the job done.

 

Digital Branding

30+ Best Marketing And Tech Blogs To Follow In 2018

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

Best Tech Blogs To Read

1) Clockspot

Workplace Productivity, optimization and management tips for every business professional.

2) Invoicebus Blog

On the Invoicebus Blog, we share knowledge on billing, invoicing, accounting, marketing, productivity and business management to easily succeed in your business. This blog is brought to you by the team behind Invoicebus, the automated cloud invoicing platform.

3) Madrivo

Madrivo works only with reputable global brands to deliver data-driven lead generation, customer acquisition, and brand awareness campaigns through email, mobile, social and display advertising, partnering with the most proven, ethical, and compliant publishers to deliver sustainable, scalable returns. On their blog they share their best insights and tips in the departments mentioned!

4) The Next Scoop

The Next Scoop is an Internet Marketing Blog, providing an benchmark news, tips and information related to Internet Marketing, Social Media Marketing, Search Engine Optimization (SEO), Search Engine Updates, Google Algorithm updates and Reputation Management. Their Blog houses expert take opinions and reviews on all the latest creative, marketing and internet related stories from the daily, week basis.

5) TechnoGiants

A great blog that will help you stay on top of your game. A constant and intensely passionate way to follow tech news of every stripe.

6) eMarketing Blogger

eMarketingBlogger is SEO & Blogging (How-To) Tips Blog run by Navneet Singh. Here you’ll find in-depth articles on SEO, Link Building, Blogging, Lead Generation and Conversion Optimization strategies. This blog has been featured in Forbes and Marketingland. Here is a recently published article on 17 Blackhat Techniques Killing Your SEO Campaign.

7) The Content Rewired blog

The Content Rewired blog is regularly updated with articles on effective content marketing. It’s a great resource to find tips, tools, and tactics to improve content marketing and corporate storytelling. Posts cover content marketing strategy, content creation, content amplification and promotion, and analytics. Content Rewired specializes in helping Fintechs and other B2B companies tell their best stories online. 

8) The Good

The Good publishes weekly long-form insights focused on helping ecommerce brands turn more of their visitors into customers.

9) Delightfully Designing

Improve your branding, design + general business knowledge with helpful articles that are sure to help you build a thriving brand.

10) ERPINNEWS

Apart from the top ERP News Channel with hand picked content, ERPINNEWS (News driven success)  specialises in providing lead gen service which helps businesses reach their target customers using their USP. They invest a lot of time and resources in their customer upfront and provide first 5 leads complimentary. Customer only pays for subsequent leads, if they are happy with our quality of service and lead.

11) Ultimate QA

Nikolay Advolodkin is a seasoned IT Professional, Test Automation Expert, and Quality Assurance Innovator whose dedication to innovation and progress has earned him the reputation as a strategist in the information technology space. Throughout the span of his technical career, he has not only cultivated extensive experience, he has received extensive acclaim for his continual success. Now he shares his experience on his blog on UltimateQA blog and in his online courses.

12) Contentmart

A global content marketplace, has come up with the most innovative concept of bringing in both content buyers and content creators together from all around the world, on to their platform and leveraging them to benefit from each other. It connects thousands of clients & writers globally over the platform and has progressed since its inception in the year 2015. With thousands of projects completed to date; they offer comprehensive multilingual content writing services, including business writing, web page content, articles, blogs, press releases, travelogues, case studies, whitepapers, and academic writing across print, electronic, and digital media platforms.

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) eAskme

eAskme is a place that not only help you to grow an internet entrepreneur but also help you to learn how to stand in the hardest times of the life. It talks about startup business, money making opportunities, business ideas, growth hacks etc.

15) ALC21

The everyday consumer wants reliability and good feelings in a continued relationship with companies when they choose to purchase their products or services rather than temporary customer service.Therefore, it is important to have a good grasp of the current trends to apply the appropriate marketing techniques to the different situations at the time.

16) Matt Curry

A great blog and resource for everything Linux; from Raspberry PI, home automation, to DevOps help, and even getting started with the basics.

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) Geckoboard

Geckoboard – a live TV metrics dashboard software – uses their blog as a platform to help online businesses use their data simply and effectively through in-depth articles, interviews, and video content.

19) iSmart

A ton of great information about multi-channel, online-offline B2B lead generation approach that consists of Inbound Marketing, Email Marketing, Social Media Marketing, Search Engine Optimization (SEO) / Search Engine Marketing (SEM), Advertising, Event Management and Telemarketing.

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) Socedo

Socedo is a blog that exclusively focuses on the B2B marketer who needs insights, ideas, case studies and inspiration. Every week, Socedo provides actionable, B2B -centric, in-depth content that help busy B2B marketers take their programs to the next level. Key topics covered including social media strategy, SEO, marketing automation and content marketing.

22) Coast Of Illinois

Coast of Illinois encompasses the Midlife and Times of Landlocked Beach Bum Laura Ehlers as she sails, cooks and adventures through life in the Midwest, all while noting those little things that make living fun.

23) Become A Writer Today

If you’ve always wanted to become a writer (or the idea has kicked in just now) this blog should be your first and must-visit stop. An awesome and in-depth guide on how to start your blog, step by step and avoid mistakes as much as possible. Bryan has boiled it all down for you, your is just to jump to the article and pull out that valuable info from it.

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.

26) Omniconvert’s CRO blog

A collection of articles and resources related to conversion rate optimization. They offer great optimization advice for e-commerce, SaaS, and publishing businesses. Some of the most covered subjects include A/B testing, personalization, lead generation & landing page optimization.

27) Volume SEO

Volume SEO provides actionable SEO advice drawn from in-depth case studies to help you grow your organic search engine traffic. You won’t find hyped up regurgitated content here, just the good stuff based on results.

tech-blogs

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) Shoestrings & Fancy Things

A blog that talks about the intricate love story between brands and consumers, Shoestrings & Fancy Things, is a place to explore tips, how to’s, ideas and challenges, about Content Marketing, Digital Strategies, Storytelling and other assorted goodies.

31) Techy Mantra

An awesome blog about web development, graphic design, marketing and tech news.

32) M-Connet’s Magento & eCommerce Blog

Great collection of article on Magento 2, eCommerce trends, online holiday sales and startup tips. updates weekly! A useful resource for eCommerce technology people.

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) John Reviews

In johnnreviews Website You Will Find An In-depth Reviews About The Latest Highly Recommended Internet Marketing Training Courses + Tools + Important Tips To Enhance Your Online Business.

37) Automizy

The Automizy blog is recognized as one of the 60 best marketing automation blogs. It features in-depth, actionable articles on marketing automation, email, growth, and SaaS marketing. Their mission is to make the lives of marketers and entrepreneurs easier by providing great resources.

 

38) The Chat Shop

 
Here you will find the musings of live chat experts from delivering real conversations. The blog brings together insight from The Chat Shop experts and some select guest authors about the latest trends, techniques and thinking regarding sales enablement and customer service.

39) Prevaj Consulatnts

PREVAJ offers technical solutions and services and their blog helps all those who need insights in web, cloud, eCommerce and mobile technologies.
 

40) iTristan Media Group

 
For us it’s all about being fast, or first, better or innovating to be the best. The speed of digital business means that there is no standing still. Even micro-improvements in how we do business make a difference so in DigBiz articles and podcasts we discuss it all. From the very nerdy, to best practices, finance, sales, creativity, to the innovative cutting edge, if it’s digital and brings a perspective on improving we’ll talk about it.

 41) DSquad

 The DSquad is an innovative, results-driven digital marketing agency that specializes in effective search engine optimization (SEO). Their commitment to clients is their honest, open and transparent process support, aiming to achieve all the search engine homepage ranking, no matter how client’s keyword needs, and through the use of various forms of social media, they make sure that your site is fast, streamlined and reputable in the eyes of the digital world.

 42) The Art Of Service

 The Art of Service’s Standard Requirements Excel Dashboard and accompanying Books are for managers, advisors, consultants, specialists, professionals and anyone interested in self assessments. Their pledge is to empower and enlighten technology leaders to truly gain a competitive advantage within their field.

43) Limpid China

All the latest from China Internet and marketing experts and specialists who have experiential knowledge about the market, consumers, trends and many more.

44) SBWeb Center

The Small Business Web Center was created to provide advice and resources for small business owners trying to take their business online, or for people who just want to make some extra money on the Internet. Why the focus on small business? Because, small businesses make up the majority of businesses in America, and they are the ones that are the most disadvantaged. I will be sharing news, information and opinions on a wide range of topics related to online business, including SEO, online marketing and small business tips.

45) Buildateam Academia

Buildateam Academia is a place where you can learn a lot of development, design and how to use it wisely in order to skyrocket your business.

46) Copley Sutton

Copley Sutton is a copywriter who believes that excellent content is the fuel that drives SEO and online reputation management. His skills involve SEO copywriting, user-friendly blogging, and website content that’ll keep users hooked and ready to buy.

47) Beaconsoft Ltd

Beacon track website visitors from individual social posts. They discover which posts drive the most website traffic and sales, and learn how to replicate the success. Also, discover the effectiveness of each social post; learn what message performs best with clients audience and see the actions directly resulting from each.

48) Blog Virals

Blog Virals is founded in 2016 as a result of simple observation. Their motive is to give people latest news regarding tutorial & some entertainment through viral blogging. Blog Virals provide best blogging tips & tricks. They want to teach everything regarding blogging, how to earn money online & much more things.

49) James Willett Blog

Take your REST Assured, Gatling and other technical testing skills to the next level by visiting this expert blog.

50) Blogsden

Aspiring community for Blogsden readers which provides useful content on various topics such as Development, Web Design, Business, & Marketing, Etc.

51) Function Point

The Function Point Blog brings together insights into project management, productivity and marketing best practices to help creative teams stay positively productive.

52) Startupily

Startupily is a platform for entrepreneurs seeking useful content, resources, and tools to start and grow their business.

53) IntelligenceBank DAM Blog

Marketing departments move at the speed of light and streamlining management processes for creative assets and brand compliance is essential for today’s marketer. Visit the IntelligenceBank DAM blog to learn how some of the world’s largest brands simplify marketing processes.

54) Youmegeek.com

A tech web blog about all things computer, blogging and internet technology guides.

55) Jason Fox

More than 30 years of combined marketing for real estate professionals this company understands that your time is precious. That you are juggling the duties of Sales Manager, Customer Service Representative, Accountant, Marketing Manager, and CEO. That’s why they are here to help – both with their services and their content they put out regularly.

56) Shane Barker

Shane Barker is an accomplished digital marketing consultant. From working with celebrities on digital reputation management to obtaining a #1 national ranking with PROskore as a social media consultant, Shane has built an impressive list of accomplishments in digital marketing. As a regular contributor to publications like Salesforce, Yahoo Small Business, Marketing Profs and others, he continues to grow and share his knowledge.

57) Gurock

With more than 34 thousand subscribers, this blog is a carefully researched and popular article hub on software testing and QA every few weeks. You can find top resources to become a better tester, learn new tools and build a team.

58) Arcs & Curves

Knowledge Hub On Arcs & Curves Knowledge Hub you can get actionable advice, digital marketing tactics and captivating content on Marketing, Social Media, Lead Generation, CRM & more! Check them out on www.arcsncurves.com, and don’t forget to subscribe to their newsletter.

59) Spec India Blog

SPEC INDIA is a boutique software solutions company based in Ahmedabad, one of the most enterprising cities of Gujarat in India. With their beginnings about 30 years ago, they have proven their capabilities in providing accelerated and cost-effective enterprise software development solutions to a large portfolio of customers across the globe. On their blog they share many insights from their three-decade long experience and all the lessons learned.

 60) Dev Mountain

DevMountain is an industry-leading coding school that began in the heart of the Wasatch Mountains. Founded by fellow coders, DevMountain’s expert faculty are passionate about sharing their craft and empowering the next wave of programmers, entrepreneurs and designers. Their blog features many insights for future web developers, programmers and anybody wanting to get into tech.

61) GreenRope’s Business Blog

GreenRope’s Business blog focuses on CRM and marketing automation strategy helping business succeed with a complete and comprehensive technology stack.

62) JBKlutse.com

JBKlutse.com is a go-to Tech and Social information website. They focus on delivering up-to-date content on trending tech and social issues everywhere. They run product and service reviews and features for both individuals anorganizationsns.

63) Folderit.com 

DMS Blog covers topics from efficient business management, cyber security and SaaS business software to articles about achieving a healthier workplace and office hacks.

64) Coding Sans

They love building web and cross-platform mobile applications. The team behind the code loves to share insights on their blog. Be sure to check them out to learn more about latest development practices.

65) Network Bees

Network Bees is a technology blog that focuses on a wide range of of topics, including Search Engine Optimization, Rank Tracking and Web Hosting. In fact, if it’s about technology, you are likely to find it on Network Bees. Although it was started only a year ago, Network Bees has already gained a large number of loyal readers.

66) Continuous Testing Blog

Eran Kinssbruner is an influential blogger and speaker at global conferences like StarEast, StarWest, DevOps West, AndroidSummit, Eurostar, Automation Guild and QAI Quest. Eran’s trying to provide valuable practices to developers and testers at organizations large and small. At a community level, he’s founded Meetups in both Boston and Israel to empower, educate, and bring together local dev/test experts, and launched a LinkedIn Group with over 5,400 mobile developers and testers from all over the world.

67) Socedo Blog

The Socedo blog is the go-to resource for digital marketers and social media managers at growing B2B companies. Learn from interviews with experts, case studies from innovative marketers, and anecdotes from the Socedo marketing team about building a social media audience, growing traffic, and increasing conversion rates.

 68) Etech

Etech has grown over the past 20 years to be a leading outsourcing provider of intelligent sales, effortless customer experience, and advanced technology solutions. Started with 400 seats in Deep East Texas and grew to be a global company with 2500 seats without mergers or acquisitions. Today, Etech has 8 successful contact centers located throughout the United States, India, and Jamaica. Global presence, combined with the knowledge and adaptability, allows Etech to provide a remarkable difference to the customers and provide outstanding insights on their blog.

69) Livestorm Blog

Livestorm is the modern software for webinars and live video sessions online. On the blog, they write about video marketing best practices on a weekly basis.

70) Deliverbility Blog

Deliverbility is a Bulk email verifier and validation tool. Their blog covers latest advancements and trends in Emailing Campaigns.

71) Ask Tester

AskTester is not just another forum. AskTester is a community of professional testers where we can freely ask questions about testing, speak up your opinions, show your interests and sharing quality content. Noa t like forum, AskTester will make sure your voice is heard.

72) BroadVision Marketing 

BroadVision Marketing is an inbound marketing agency that focuses on helping increase awareness, drive revenue and attract ideal prospects for your business. We blog about the latest marketing trends, search engine news, and provide marketing tips and expertise to our readers.
 

73) Process Street

The Process Street blog writes enthusiastically about the tedious side of your business, covering operations, processes, and automation without the jaw-breaking yawn. As well as processes, Process Street writes about startups, marketing, and technology.

74) JReport

JReport empowers companies to embed the most sophisticated reports and dashboards into web applications. Check out our blog for the latest on embedded analytics technology.
 

75) Trunk.Ly 

 
Trunk.Ly is an online WordPress resource which focuses on WordPress tutorials, How-to’s and more. The main goal of this site is to provide amazing information on anything everything about Blogging.”
 
 
 
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.

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.

marketingfounders

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.

plumfund9

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.