SaaS Branding

5 SaaS Product Trial Strategies to Put in Place

Guest author: Molly Gibson Kirby

You know your SaaS company has a really good free trial, but are enough people converting to paying customers after the trial?

Probably not.

Typical trial conversion rates from a visitor to a customer in SaaS are 2%. This means if you have 10,000 web visitors, 200 will become free trial users and 30 of those users will become paying customers. Increasing these numbers are one of the biggest pain points for SaaS marketing departments.

In order to get your trial users to become paying customers, you need to make your free demo something these prospects can’t live without.

If you want to better your SaaS free trial, you need to change your strategy. It is possible to upgrade your conversion rate from 2% and that’s where this article comes into play.

In this article, we’re sharing 5 effective SaaS product trial strategies you can start using today to acquire more paying customers.

Two Types of SaaS Trials

For the majority of software products, the question isn’t – should I have a free trial? The question is – what sort of free trial should I have?

When creating a SaaS product trial, it’s important to note which type of trial your company is offering. Below are the two different types to decide between.

Opt-out Free

Opt-out trials are the free trials that require a credit card to begin. The free trial will turn over into a subscription at the end of the trial if the prospect does not opt-out.  If a free trial requires a credit card, the average visitor to retained customer conversion rate is around 0.6%.

This type of trial needs to have hard work behind it in order to get people to give out their credit card information before the trial even begins.

Opt-in Free

The Opt-in trials are the free trials that can be started without a credit card. Prospects will need to opt-in to a subscription by providing payment details during or after the trial is finished.

According to Totango, if a credit card is not required, the visitor to retained customer conversion rate increases to approximately 1.2%.

This type of trial needs to have hard work behind it to get people to become customers once the trial is up.

Now that you understand the types of free SaaS product trials, let’s get started on the strategies we know that help boost product trial ROI.

Make Sign Up Simple

The fewer barriers that you put in the way, the more likely it is that people will sign up and opt-in for your SaaS trial.

Consider what information your SaaS company needs for the free trial. This goes back to the two types of trial sign-ups. Are you going to do an opt-in or an opt-out free demo? This will determine if credit card information is needed in the form.

Keep the signup short, don’t ask for a separate username, simply use their email as a username.

Also, consider using social logins for account creation. This has become a popular feature for many SaaS companies and makes it easier for people to get started on their free trial without wasting time inputting all their information.

Create Engaging Content

In addition to having a free trial, creating content that relates to the SaaS demo is pivotal.

Users may have questions or concerns about the trial. Having the content that answers these questions will allow them to feel like your SaaS company is credible and authoritative. Start by creating a landing page for your free trial. Include an FAQ section on this page and a how-to guide on using the software, so people see it right when they sign up. Then make sure you have content regarding the free trial and how it can solve a customer’s problem on your blog.

Once you have these key pieces of content, get creative and begin to think of other ways to add valuable and educational content where it fits.

Show Your Value

However good your SaaS product is, the simple truth is that no-one will buy it if they don’t believe they need it. You need to show people what your product can do for them.

Articulate your value proposition on your website, landing page, content and in all marketing campaigns. Once you do that, any visitor should be able to tell what you offer, who needs it, what they will gain having it and finally, why they should choose your company.

Take Salesforce for example.

On their 30-day free trial landing page, they provide everything we just mentioned above.

Value Proposition: Sell Faster. Sell Smarter. Sell the way you want.

What’s offered: Sales Cloud

Who needs it: Canadian companies with a focus on sales managers

What they gain: lead management, opportunity management, sales forecasting and a mobile sales office.

Why choose Salesforce: Trusted by thousands of Canadian customers.

Salesforce does an incredible job at showing their value without sounding too preachy. When creating your SaaS free trial landing page, be sure to include these five sections we just mentioned.

Fix Your CTA

The effectiveness of your Call to Action (CTA) can make or break your marketing. It is the one piece that actually gets your visitors to take action – hence the name. A CTA should make visitors want your product, it should create an urgency for signing up and it should be an easy-to-use form!

Make your CTA visible on the homepage. This allows new visitors to see the CTA, hook them into thinking they need to try the free trial and have them easily sign up right then and there.

Exit Survey

On the same note as engagement, it’s imperative that you conduct an exit survey once someone is finished their free SaaS trial. If a user doesn’t move to a paid plan, it’s valuable to know why. After a week of not upgrading, an email should be sent out to ask why they cancelled.

Sometimes they leave because it wasn’t what they were looking for, but sometimes they’re not fans of a specific part of the trial/software. The latter reason usually can be fixed with needed changes or upgrades to the software.

As you may have noticed, user feedback is key when bettering your SaaS trial.

In the End

In the end, if you apply these strategies and tips, your SaaS trial should perform better. It’s possible for the conversion rate from a trial user to a paying customer to increase from 2%. It will just take time, commitment, user feedback and a handful of a/b tests.

Are you ready to better your SaaS product Trial ROI?

 

Author’s Bio 

Molly Gibson Kirby is a writer and marketing strategist at Roketto, an inbound marketing agency in British Columbia. She dives deep into the world of inbound marketing on a daily basis and writes about this fundamental shift in business on Roketto’s blog. When not writing, she’s either on her yoga mat or getting lost in a new book.

Digital Branding

Why Should You Set Up Live Video Streaming Website on Your Own

Live Streaming Industry

The market is propitious for live video streaming industry. In 2016, its size was $31 billion and marketers spent an estimated $5.6 billion on video content creation and curation. By 20201, it’s projected to more than double in size and become $71 billion industry. Live streaming takes user engagement to the best level. It builds trust and transparency by establishing a relationship between audiences and brands.

Drawbacks of Popular Live Steaming Platforms

Drawback #1: Little Control over Design

The dominance of YouTube Live cannot be quantified. Truth be told, its popularity is overwhelming! Facebook Live, Twitter’s Periscope, YouTube Live and other prominent live video streaming platforms are great. But they have their own limitations. For instance, users have little control over the site design. And yes, they are helpless when it comes to defining aesthetics and controls of the video player.

Drawback #2: Acquisition of Indirect Traffic at the Cost of Direct Traffic

If you are keen on multiplying your sales, you should focus on acquiring traffic. Traffic is of two types – Direct and indirect. Many online marketers believe that direct traffic yields more dividends than indirect traffic. Of course, social traffic is important but it should not be at the cost of direct traffic. As far as indirect traffic is concerned, Facebook Live, Periscope and YouTube Live are extremely resourceful. If you set up a live video streaming website, internet traffic can be conveniently directed to your website.

Drawback #3: Too Many Distractions

Distractions are too many on YouTube Live and Facebook Live. This can be attributed to too many advertisements. Users may skip a few advertisements though. But is it ideal to make prospects wait for the content? No!

Drawback #4: Glitchy Broadcasts

Let’s not discount another major factor – Your live streaming videos on YouTube, Facebook and Periscope can be banned, flagged as fraudulent and reported for fictitious reasons. There are quite a few other drawbacks as well – Periscope is notorious for its glitchy broadcasts. It isn’t smooth and live video keeps buffering and pausing. As a matter of fact, users will not be receptive to such uncomfortable live broadcasts.

Drawback #5: Absence of DRM and Other Must-have Features 

Facebook Live doesn’t have any impressive features either. Can you do multiple live streams on Facebook? No! Monetization features aren’t noteworthy. As far as the concept of DRM (Digital Rights Management) is concerned, Facebook does a shoddy job. And hey, the maximum supported resolution on Facebook Live is just 720p. The maximum supported video duration is just 90 minutes.

In essence, Facebook Live, YouTube Live and Twitter’s Periscope aren’t the magical answers to live streaming.

So, what’s the magical answer? Live streaming software!

How to make a live streaming website?

To begin with, identify and understand your requirements.

Here is a checklist of performance requirements:

  • Reliable storage
  • Functionality
  • Responsive design
  • Access
  • Video Archives`
  • Security
  • Robust network connectivity
  • Bandwidth

Reliable Storage

What does reliable storage mean to your viewers?

Reliable storage is to ensure all-time availability of your videos to your viewers.

What does it mean to you? It’s about hosting your video files in a place which guarantees maximum uptime. You can use an SSD (Solid State Drive) storage. But if you are looking for a cost-effective solution, you should bet your chances on a cloud hosting solution.

Functionality

There are many features that come under the ambit of site functionality. For instance, your site should let audiences comment and chat. For better and higher conversion rates, there should be a push notification feature. Multiple monetization options are always desirable. It’s important to collect payments and hence, payment gateways such as PayPal, Stripe should be used.

Responsive Design

Responsive site design is all about crafting great optimal viewing experiences on a variety of devices. Site navigation should be seamless. Operations such as scrolling and re-sizing shouldn’t be cumbersome. Incorporate a search functionality.

Access

Coming to access, there are three levels of privileges.

Level #1: Only you can create and upload live videos to your site.

Level #2: All registered users can create and upload live videos to your site.

Level #3: Only paid subscribers can create and upload live videos.

Live streaming software should help you keep unsubscribed users from accessing your video website

Video Archives

More often than not, online marketers pay scant attention to storing video archives. The key is to have a flexible and dynamic file storage system. In other words, the file hosting and storage solution should help you handle spikes in traffic, ramp up video scalability and scale down costs.

Security

When it comes to the most commonly pirated and stolen digital assets, video ranks second to none. Live streaming software should help you secure your video assets through DRM support. AES level encryption technology is the need of the hour. It can prevent unauthorized downloads to a very large extent. To be upfront, no platform is 100% immune to piracy. You should definitely watermark your videos.

For all intents and purposes, purchase that live streaming software which locks content to your chosen domains. Token security is another desirable trait. Tokens prevent content redirection to unauthorized third party sources.

There is no denying that online marketers have to adhere to licensing agreements. As part of licensing agreements, you may have to exclude/block a few regions. There should be enough provisions in the live streaming software that let you block users and traffic from certain regions.

Bandwidth

How much bandwidth does a live video streaming website require? Let’s do the math. Let’s say you have 2500 users. Let’s say you live broadcast videos in 720p. Going by the industry standards, every user requires at-least 4Mbps to watch a 720p video. As you have 2500 users, your website requires 10 Gbps. 1080p videos require a lot more bandwidth. Now that 4K resolution videos are all the rage, Hulu recommends at-least 13Gbps. Amazon recommends 15 Gbps while Netflix recommends 25 Gbps.

Robust Network Connectivity

Robust network connectivity is required to minimize jitters. Technically speaking, jitters are nothing but latency variations. Latency variations are responsible for lapses in video frames and images. Lack of synchrony between audio and video can be attributed to latency variations. To address these pain points, adaptive bitrate streaming should be used.

Now that you have a conclusive answer to how to set up a live streaming website, let’s now look at how live streaming works.

There are three stages:

Stage #1: Video Capturing

The first stage is capturing videos from equipment such as video cameras, mobile phones etc. The captured video is then fed to a device called encoder.

Stage #2: Video Encoding

Encoder does the job of chopping the captured video into small packets of information. It converts information in one form to another form to ensure standardization. Encoder plays a very key role in buffer free live streaming

Stage #3: Video Delivery

The final stage is live streaming the encoded content to users. HTML 5 players that are known for great responsiveness and clarity are used to deliver the content.

Found this post useful and informative? If you have any queries, shoot them in the comments. I shall reply in a day or two. Keep watching this space for insights on live streaming software. Cheers!

Digital Branding

Rebuilding Your Reputation After a PR Disaster

Nothing moves faster than gossip over the internet. If your reputation is maligned by an incident, you can bet your customers will find out about it in short order. When that happens, you must respond appropriately to lay their concerns to rest. However, once you’ve done so, you’ll still be faced with rebuilding your reputation after a PR disaster.

These five tips will help you accomplish that.

1. Apologize for Your Mistake

Regardless of whom you perceive to be at fault, your customers are going to lay the blame squarely at your feet. Ignoring this will only serve to make you look callous. Offering up a mea culpa as soon as all of the factors driving the misunderstanding are clear will gain you sympathy. Demonstrating both contrition and compassion are key to regaining the trust of your core constituency. You must also make sure the key elements of the apology are the same everywhere it appears. When people consistently hear the same message, they begin to believe it.

2. Maintain Transparency

Don’t try to sugarcoat the situation. Be completely upfront about the circumstances, the ramifications and your efforts to put things right. People will investigate the incident and if your version of the story is proven false in any way, your reputation will be even further diminished. You’ll be branded a liar and untrustworthy. That’s a very deep hole out of which to dig. As soon as people come to realize “there’s nothing else to see here” they will turn their attention elsewhere. But if you keep dumping fuel on the fire in the form of obfuscation, the story will dribble out bit by bit as the layers of the subterfuge are peeled away. This keeps it in in the public eye longer, which makes the damage more difficult to repair.

3. Demonstrate You’ve Fixed the Problem

If you sell cosmetics from home and inadvertently sold a batch of eyeshadow laced with Pinkeye causing bacteria, your customers are going to be justifiably reluctant to purchase from you again. However, if you take the time to clearly enumerate the steps you’ve taken to make sure it does not happen again, your reputation will be bolstered in the eyes (no pun intended) of your loyal shoppers. Even better, produce a video of yourself apologizing and using the product to demonstrate how confident you are in the efficacy of your solution. People know stuff happens. But when it happens again and again and again, it’s going to be hard to convince people to continue trusting you. Fix it fast, make sure it stays fixed and tell everyone how you fixed it.

4. Exceed Expectations

With the problem in your rearview mirror, you might be tempted to revert to the same old way of doing business. This is a mistake. People are still watching you, waiting for you to screw up again. This is why you need to make every effort to surpass the level of customer service, attention to detail and efficiencies you maintained before. In other words, with the stain on your character, you have to be better than you ever were in all regards. Doing this as you move on from the situation will bolster your reputation significantly—and win you new customers in the process.

5. Invite Scrutiny

It’s going to be happening anyway, so you might as well take control and embrace it. If you’re being flamed consistently by one particular news outlet or blogger, invite them to come see what you’re doing to correct the situation. Extend an open invitation to look over your shoulder and report on your efforts as you set about rebuilding your reputation after the PR disaster.

Local Branding

6 Sure-fire Security Practices to Avoid Theft and Minimize Employee Fraud

Imagine an intruder or a fraudulent employee walks through an open door and steals valuable properties such as fixtures, cash, and intellectual property of the business. Or vandalism on off-shift that shuts down the production line for days, costing a significant budget for the company.

These are some examples of weak security systems and procedures that should never happen to your business. In fact, a study shows that 33% of business bankruptcies are because of employee theft. When the businesses protocols are under control, the operation of the company will run smoothly, as well as keeping its people safe and comfortable.

But when the security system fails, it can leave the company a disastrous effect. To avoid this and other unfortunate events, consider the following steps to safeguard your business better.

Perform a Risk Assessment

Start by determining on what your company does and the things involved including your premises, employees, equipment, and many more. Then distinguish the key risks which can include both external dangers, and internal threats such as employee fraud or accidents caused by improper safety equipment and procedures.

Assess the possibility of each risk, and determine how severe the result would be. Further, prioritize to manage business risks that will be most likely to have a significant impact.

Set a Code of Conduct

A business owner should create a code of proper conduct. This document should define what acceptable or appropriate behavior within business premises is, and what consequences there will be if a staff violates the terms.

Though this text doesn’t need to describe all necessary actions, it’s best to plan for critical areas such as keeping sensitive information safe, protecting the property of the company. More so, you should communicate the code of conduct to your staff upon hiring, and they should sign that they will follow it.

Secure Your Business Premises

It seems like an obvious idea, but some business owners tend to forget about the importance of adequate physical security.

Thus, if need, strengthen or upgrade doors, install security lighting, and fit window locks. Each can prevent burglars since some robberies are unplanned. If the access points are exposed, consider installing a CCTV, but take note that data protection rules may apply.

Also, if you don’t have an alarm system installed, make sure you get a fitted one and hang some signs as a warning of its presence. In addition to that, consider installing either shutters or grilles, but you may need planning approval from your local committee.

Separate and Monitor Employee Duties

The tasks you should be concerned about the most are those of the employees who handle merchandise and do your bookkeeping. Hence, consider distributing the duties to your employees.

For instance, the staff who works on your bank reconciliation should not be the one who is going to pay the bills. Or, the employee who takes in stock for sale shouldn’t be the person who decides if a product should be scrapped or the one who inputs the purchase of a product.

Assign a Floor Marshall

In some cases, it’s almost impossible to recognize every new employee, vendor, or contractor, especially on large companies. Indeed, intruders may take this opportunity to attack.

With regards to that, if the visitor management policy is not existing within the business, it can be a way for them to gain access to an office, steal property or information, or may harm physically. To prevent that from happening, assigning a floor marshall is a straight and efficient way to help protect your premises against such intruders.

Regular Review and Revise

The truth is, it’s not enough to only put these procedures in place. You and your top officials must also take time to review and revise your security measures. Evaluate and make sure you address all the items on your checklist. Then, set some key steps to make sure that slippages are within a right range.

An example, study your rate of inventory turnover this year and compare it with the last few years of operation to whether fraud is involved.

Takeaway

It’s apparent that these security measures may be costly and time-consuming. But they consume far less expense and time than losing company assets caused by intruders, or employee theft.

Securing your business premises can probably the most effective way to protect your business’ property, and locksmithman.ca and other security services can help you with this process.

 

Local Branding

Recruitment Firm GoBuyside Gives Insight Into Challenges Facing Investment Management Firms

Investment management firms are striving to improve how they recruit specialized talent. Research has shown that many financial executives believe that the talent drought could seriously harm future growth. The scarcity of talent has allowed investment management leaders to stay ahead of the competition if they can land top talent. With that being said, here is a look at some challenges that firms face in regards to their investment management recruiting strategies.

Competition

The top talent identified by the investment management industry are constantly being recruited by companies from outside of the industry. If experts are in demand within a number of different industries, that will lead to a lot of competition for these special talents. Recruitment firms are under pressure to meet the needs of their clients. Many investment management companies use an accounting firm to help them with different projects. GoBuyside advises firms to identify experts who have a reputation for hiring top talent. Firms should choose a partner who can directly help them in their field. GoBuyside’s success is evident by the fact that they have more than 300 clients around the World.

Diversity

The importance of diversity in the workforce has been an employment issue for many years. Inclusiveness is a more recent issue that many businesses are struggling to adapt to. In today’s current climate, companies must emphasize diversity and inclusion. GoBuyside recommends that companies find partners that have shown that they can create policies that promote inclusion and diversity. GoBuyside promotes diversity by having a large talent database that features people from all around the World who come from different backgrounds.

Regulatory Climate

The investment management sector is different from others because of the regulation requirements. The regulatory climate is starting to shift in many countries around the World. The regulatory environment often hinders firms and their recruiting efforts. Firms should make sure that their partners have a vision that aligns with their clients. A generalized approach to the recruitment search will lead to firms choosing from a short list of candidates.

Evolving Skills

It is a yearly challenge for companies to adapt to the evolution taking place around them. As the technology continues to evolve, workers will change their skill sets to meet the needs of what is currently in demand. Because of the technology sector, analysts predict that the investment management industry will be threatened over the next decade. Companies are now trying to add flexible workers to their team. Many of today’s employees have a hybrid skill set. Recruiting partners should help companies brainstorm ideas of new training methods that will help workers gain the flexibility to meet any need.

 

Local BrandingSaaS Branding

Journalistic Ethics in Social Media

Modern realities and the development of technologies give impetus to the new challenges that confront the representatives of public professions. This is relevant for journalists and the ways of use of information. The journalist is responsible by his own name for the content of the materials under which his signature stands, and before issuing a new product, he should check the reliability and objectivity of information.

The journalist always works for the audience. He should be aware that in any, even informal, setting, the audience can associate him with the media in which he works. It can position his personal views as the editorial culture. Being active in social networks, a journalist should understand that the social utilities themselves are not a mass media tool, but he is also responsible for the information disseminated in them.

Social Networks Changes the Communication Model

The issue of reassessing and supplementing professional ethical standards of a journalist became relevant in the early 2000s in connection with the beginning of the development of public utilities on the Internet. Now, this issue is complicated with the widespread of research paper services as well. Ethical conflicts associated with the activities of journalists and ordinary users in public utilities began to appear in the global media sphere.

Photo credit https://www.flickr.com/photos/rosauraochoa/3256859352/

Public utilities are a great way to keep in touch with the audience with limited resources. They provide an opportunity to:

  • moderate comments and improve their quality;
  • instantly respond to changes in the behavior of the audience and adjust the activities of the media;
  • conduct surveys and competitions;
  • react quickly to news;
  • receive news from the audience and keep in touch with newsmakers; convert news feeds to a source of information (the social network functions as a news aggregator);
  • draw attention to the main site of the publication (analysis of the number of transitions from the publication page to the mainstream Internet media);
  • develop a personal brand of a journalist;
  • study the interests of the audience by the number of likes to each specific material,
  • promote journalistic texts and the media;
  • form a system of incentives for journalistic work, depending on the number of likes and reposts.

However, there is the problem of artificial increase in likes – promotion of this or that news, informational outfit. This is also one of the problematic aspects of journalistic ethics in public utilities.

Ethics in Public Networks

Communications within public utilities are initially presented as mixed. A person registering an account on a social network is declared as his “owner”. He is given the right to disclose his personal data, establish links with other users of the service, distribute information for individual users (groups of users), and for an unlimited number of persons. Services allow the simultaneous use of various types of communication, including mass one.

Thus, users of the social network get the opportunity to broadcast mass information without the help of the media, which acted as an “ethical filter” and allowed only information that met the requirements of professional ethics in the sphere of mass communication. In other words, there are no previous mechanisms of corporate self-regulation.

For a professional journalist who uses public utilities for personal purposes, the situation is complicated by the “bifurcation” of his communication role. He faces a double representation. First, the journalist, within the scope of his job duties, is a professional communicator who identifies himself with the editorial staff of the media. Secondly, he is a private person who has the right to distribute in public utilities any information within the framework of current legislation and service rules. At the same time, a journalist can designate his profession, position, place of work in public utilities, and talk about his professional activities. This is not prohibited by law and professional ethical codes.

In this case, for the remaining participants of the social network, he is already beginning to act not so much as an individual, but as a member of a specific media, a priori representing the editorial position. In this field, conflicts arise for a person in a “public” profession, implying increased ethical demands on the part of society (officials, judges, politicians, police, journalists, etc.). In these conflicts, corporate ethical demands and personal judgments may contradict each other.

However, there is a positive side as well. The rapid development of public networks in many ways facilitated the work of a journalist to find information about the heroes of the publication. Social networks do not replace traditional methods of journalism. But they can be a help in solving complex journalistic problems. In addition, it is necessary to comply with the norms of professional ethics in the use and dissemination of personal information of users. In social networks, biographical information is easily accessible, as well as photos that journalists use for publication in the newspaper without obtaining the consent of the hero. A journalist does not always check the validity of the data specified in the account and uses them as reliable facts.

What are the Possible Conflicts?

Conflicts of interest in social networks are a certain complexity. If professional journalism declares the desire for objectivity, covering conflicts from different sides, then users of social networks do not aspire to this. Moreover, in social networks, “guerrilla” methods have become increasingly used. The participants in the conflict themselves are included in the dissemination of biased information, disguised as ordinary uninterested users of the network. A separate ethical problem is a distribution through the social networks of images (photographs, video recordings).

Photo credit https://www.flickr.com/photos/alborotadores/5082214184/ 

Here there is a whole complex of issues, which is connected with copyright, interference with privacy, with the lack of permission of persons photographed or videotaped, with the publication of materials of shocking, offensive character and other undesirable information.

In Search of Decisions

The above-mentioned ethical issues are already discussed in the literature. There are already research projects devoted to the problem under discussion. Many editions of the world’s leading media included requirements for the behavior of employees in social networks in their corporate standards.

Conclusion

  1. New challenges in the field of journalistic ethics are connected:
  • with the peculiarity of a double representation of the subject of communication in social networks (public and the private person at the same time);
  • with a lack of social responsibility for disseminating information from users of social networks;
  • with the inability in some cases to verify the reliability of the information disseminated;
  • with the technical features of social networks.
  1. New ethical problems fall into two directions:
  • ethical regulation of information behavior of ordinary users;
  • professional ethics of journalists in social networks.
  1. The solution of the problem of the ethical activity of ordinary users lies in the sphere of self-regulation of a particular social network according to previously announced rules. In the event that information from social networks is used by professional journalists, they must take care of filtering, editing information and verifying its reliability.

4. The decision of a question of a parity of the private and public (corporate) element in personal blogs and pages of journalists practically dares at a level inside the editorial policy. In this regard, there has been a tendency to restrict freedom of expression to journalists who claim to belong to a particular media in a social network. These restrictions relate, as a rule, to statements of political preferences, the dissemination of confidential information, links to commercial structures and harsh expressions that can offend or degrade one’s reputation.

Local Branding

How to manage Your Rebranding

Rebranding your company can be a very important but very stressful process. If you are currently going through this process, then you have probably spent the last few months in the planning stage, trying to figure out how to go about it in the best way. It can be easy to get overwhelmed by the amounts of things that need to be done during the rebranding process which is why we have written this article to give you some tips on how to manage it. Keep reading if you’d like to find out more about this.

Plan Carefully

Before you get started on your rebrand, you need to plan carefully. You need to know why you are rebranding and what you are trying to change. If you don’t do your research properly then you might find that your rebrand will be a waste of time and you would have been better off sticking with the same branding. Plan accordingly and establish a clear strategy of how you want everything to happen. Don’t let yourself get carried away with rebranding before thinking through the consequences of your decision.

Manage Tasks

If you are rebranding a large company, you might find that there are a lot of things that need to be changed and a lot of things that need to be organized. For a company with a large team of people, it can be difficult to ensure that all tasks have been completed in time for the rebranding launch date. This is why you should consider making use of a workflow system like a Kanban board. So, what is a Kanban board? Well, a Kanban board uses different columns to organize tasks into things that need to be done, things that are in progress and others that have been completed. Make sure to do some more research about how a Kanban board works before getting started.

Create A Timeline

If you are going to rebrand your company, then you need to make sure that you create a timeline of how you want everything to go. You’ll need to make sure that you get all of your tasks completed on time and creating a timeline will help you to organize your tasks. Make to create a realistic timeline as if you try to rush things you might find that your rebranding does not go as well as you’d like. If you need some extra help with this, you could download some software that can take you through the steps in order to complete a good timeline that is easy to follow. Make sure to share your timeline with everyone who needs it in order to keep everyone on the same page with what needs to be done first.

Market Research

Before your rebranding gets underway, you should ensure that you are going in the right direction. If you are able to do extensive market research before the process begins, you can trust that you will have a successful project. You should also ensure that you conduct more research as the process goes on. Talk to your clients, find out if they will continue to use your services after the rebrand and find a good middle ground. Working with others on the rebrand will ensure that you are happy with your end result and you won’t have to do it all over again anytime soon. If you do your research properly then you’ll be able to manage your rebrand a lot easier.

Establish A Clear Budget

If you don’t set yourself a budget before the rebrand then you might find that you spend a lot more than you need to on the project. You need to set yourself a budget and try to stick to it where you can. This will help you to manage the whole project a lot easier and you can ensure that you will be happy with the process that you have undergone. When you are setting yourself a budget you should also remember that not everything goes to plan,and you should account for any issues that might arise in the rebranding process. Try your best to stick to the budget to ensure that you don’t end up spending more than you’ll make back over this whole process.

Final Thoughts

Deciding to rebrand your company is not a something which should be taken lightly. You need to make sure that you know exactly what you are getting yourself in to and you need to know what you need to change about your company. Don’t let yourself get carried away with the whole process, stick to your timeline and you’ll soon have your company back up and run. Organise yourself and your team effectively and your rebranding will be a success.

Local Branding

5 Business Risks You Take When You Become a Sole Proprietor

As a sole proprietor, you take on many inherent risks alone. There is nobody else to share the responsibilities, and any results of economic rewards or challenges would be only yours. It’s not easy to run a solo enterprise, but Gov Doc Filing makes it easier by providing the forms needed to apply for an entity and offer fast, simple, and secure processing through their simplified sole proprietor, S-Corp, C-Corp, and LLC forms online. They also provide forms to apply for an Employer Identification Number if needed.

Top Risks of a Sole Proprietor

  1. Limited Earnings – There are only you and a limited number of hours in a day. You also need to eat and rest. Even with hired help, the majority of the work lands on you. Your earnings are limited on how much you are able to accomplish each day. It is common for people with financial problems not to be clear about what they are pursuing (absence of goals) and, if they have them, they are vague, unrealistic or incompatible with their budget. What is not measured is not controlled.
  2. Poor Credit – When deciding to extend credit as a sole proprietor, lenders take your personal finances into account. All your personal spending habits have an impact on your ability to gain credit. It is important that you maintain an excellent credit rating as a sole business owner. It is associated with the possibility of defaults occurring in the established time and manner, which may involve loss of principal and interest, a decrease of cash flow, generation of expenses associated with the recovery processes, etc.
  3. Financial Errors – In addition to completing work for your business, you must also carefully monitor your finances. As a sole proprietor, managing your own books can be risky. Consider hiring an accountant or make it a habit to enter your income and expenses in a daily log or spreadsheet.
  4. Being Sued – A great benefit of incorporating your business is the layer of protection it provides. It is possible to lose all your personal property if you are sued.
  5. High Tax Bills – Although most expenses related to your business can be deducted on your income taxes, your tax burden may be increased from the self-employment taxes you must pay. Your habit of saving is deficient or nonexistent, you do not pay your credit cards, pay loans, understand how normal to acquire everything on credit, as well as paying delinquencies for overdrafts and late payments.

Before wanting to make any comment about it, it is necessary to know the variable and the risk concept with which we live in a day-to-day in a financial institution. In very simple terms there is risk in any situation where we do not know exactly what will happen in the future. Elsewhere Risk is synonymous with Uncertainty, it is the difficulty of being able to predict what will happen. Risk is part of life itself, it is up to us to manage it by becoming aware of the situations that lead us to it and applying the corrective measures to avoid them, as long as it is within our reach.

Local Branding

Using Your Blog and Elevating Your Branding

Your brand is the one things that you cannot compromise on. Elevating your brand means elevating everything about your business, from profits to reputation, from the trust to customer satisfaction. There are many ways to elevate your brand including marketing, SEO, and more.

One of the areas that are commonly overlooked is your inbound marketing and your blog. Your content and what you put on your blog can either elevate your blog or simply be a placeholder on the internet. Worse, handled improperly, your blog can actually damage your image and your brand.

So how do you use your blog to elevate your branding? Here are a few simple yet powerful steps.

Tell Powerful Stories

Simon Sinek has famously said that people buy from you and follow you as a leader not because of what you sell and how great your products are, but because of why you do what you do. This means that to use your blog effectively, you must tell the powerful stories of why you do what you do and the impact is has on your industry and your customers.

It is these stories that will elevate you in the minds of your customers and set you apart from the others in your industry. So what stories do you tell?

  • Talk about Where You Came From
  • Tell Your Customers Where You Are Going
  • Share your Failures and the Lessons You Learned
  • Share Your Successes and How Customers and Employees Contributed to Them
  • Share Work You Are Doing in the Community

These powerful stories will help your customers and lead connect with you on a new level, one that will elevate your brand.

Ask and Answer the Right Questions

What are the things your customers are searching for? What questions do they have, and how can you best answer them? This is the key to any kind of marketing, but particularly inbound marketing. Why? Because these questions are the ones users are searching on social media. Want to rank well on Google? Know these questions and keywords.

So how do you figure out these questions? Well, first of all, you can simply listen to your customers. Social listening is essentially analyzing your social media followers and connections, and learning what they are asking, talking about, and searching for.

There are also tools like SEM Rush and some MOZ tools that will let you analyze keywords and queries that are popular for certain keywords and niches. Using these tools, you can determine not only what you want to rank for, but how to structure your blog content to do so. The value of this inbound marketing and the organic traffic it generates is immense, and an incredible way to elevate your brand.

Give it Away

Got some great answers? Put them in an eBook. Is one of your customers a great example of how your product or service works? Detail that information in a case study, and then give it away. In exchange for subscribing to your blog, offer free content. White papers, case studies, how-to manuals, and more.

The reasons are simple. First, the expertise and care you show elevate your brand in the mind of your leads or customers. The more you share, the more it shows that you know and understand.

The second is that giving something away activates the law of reciprocity. The more you give to a customer for free, the more likely they are to feel that they “owe” you, and so will buy from you when they are ready to make a purchase.

Not that this should ever be your motivation for offering free goods. Users can see right through that ruse. Your goal should be to inform your customers and improve your industry. The results you see will follow this as your brand is organically elevated.

Build Trust and Expertise

This organic elevation will occur as you build trust and expertise with your customers and leads, but also with your peers and with search engines. Google evaluates not only your content but who wrote your content. They want expertise, authority, and trustworthiness from every page on your site.

The more genuinely informative you are, the better your content serves their customer, the person who is searching for something, the higher you will rank and the more traffic you will get. The key, as you see, is great content that is informative and worthwhile and does one simple thing: makes the internet a better place.

Add Value to Your Industry

Finally, you will elevate your brand and become more of an influencer by simply adding value to your industry. The content you share on your blog should not only showcase your company but your industry as a whole. What do you do to enrich the lives of others? How would their lives be different without your product or service? Even more so, how would their lives be different if your industry did not exist?

You know that you have an impact. You are passionate about what you do. You know, and share, why you do it. What you do adds value to your industry and the lives of your customers. When all of these things are true, you elevate your brand, and your blog is one of the best ways to do so.

Digital Branding

Is Domain Flipping Worthwhile?

Let’s say you’ve decided to launch a music site for which you want the domain name HotBeats.com. You run a domain search and find it available for sale at $106,600. A domain flipper hoping someone with deep pockets will come along is holding it. Seeing this, you’re now questioning your decision to launch a music site at all.

Hey, if all you need to do to make a quick $106k is think up a domain name and wait for somebody to want it, why should you put any energy into actually building out a site? That’s a good question. But we have to ask: Is domain flipping worthwhile?

Is It Ethical?

You’ll find many opinions on this. Some people consider it the 21st century version of squatting, while others feel it’s no different than investing in undeveloped land and waiting for the suburbs to grow out to their holdings.

If you’re the person who wants to name their site HotBeats.com, you’re probably more than a bit irritated with the owner of the domain name. If you’re the seller, you’re glad you have it and look forward to the day somebody wants it. In an ideal world, maybe people would leave things alone so those who will actually use them could access them readily—but business doesn’t work that way.

Can You Make Money?

When you consider HotBeats.org can be had for $7.99, you really have to wonder why somebody would pony up more than the price of a Porsche 911 Carrera, for the .COM. Honestly, the potential website buyer could achieve the same result with a .ORG or a .TODAY for less than the price of a gallon of gas for the car.

With that said, someone is likely to come along eventually and want it enough to negotiate for it. Whether it will go for the full $106,000 is anybody’s guess. But with a starting price that high, it won’t be a cheap purchase.

Photo credit https://pixabay.com/en/domain-names-domain-extension-domain-1772242/

Is it an Easy Business?

Theoretically, all you have to do is think up names someone is likely to want, pay the fees, register them—and wait. However, who knows how long that wait will be? Who knows what people are going to want? Who knows if domain names will even continue to be the standard? After all, with social media in its ascendancy, user handles might supplant domain names at some point. Who really knows?

Of course, that’s just part of being in business. Every potential reward entails a degree of risk. The trick is to minimize risk and maximize the reward.

The Bottom Line

Like so many other industries, a few people are making good money doing it, many are making some money doing it and most are making no money doing it. With that said, if you’re just looking for a clever name for your site and you genuinely want to add value to the world, domain flipping is probably not considered worthwhile to you.

The good news is there are lots of good domain names still out there at reasonable prices. All you have to do is be diligent about your domain search.