by NextGen | Apr 11, 2020 | Other
The Coronavirus pandemic has created a major economic crisis and has put many businesses in survival mode. In this blog post I will give you some advice on how you can help your business survive the Coronavirus crisis.
I have an MBA from the University of Michigan, one of the best business schools in the world. After business school I worked as a business consultant for a Fortune 500 company in NYC. As a business consultant I helped executives deal with a variety of different business crisis. Therefore, I decided to write this blog post today with some basic steps that you can take to save your business the unprecedented global economic crisis caused by the Coronavirus.
ADVICE #1: RESEARCH FINANCING OPPORTUNITIES
If your business has any physical locations your revenues must be way down this month. It is difficult to generate sales when most people have been asked to stay at home. Even if your business is an online business you probably have not been spared from the global economic crisis. I run a digital marketing agency and my revenues are way down this month too. When people are not allowed to go outside money doesn’t circulate and there is less money for everyone.
On the positive side, governments worldwide have been very proactive about helping businesses overcome this challenging situation. Governments from countries impacted by the Coronavirus have put together huge business support packages for local businesses of all sizes. In the USA president Trump signed a $2 trillion virus bill, the largest stimulus bill in USA history. While the UK government announced a £330 billion business loan package, the largest peacetime business support effort in UK history!
If you are a business owner, my first advice for you is to perform an extensive research about business financing! Try to find all the government financial support programs that your business is eligible for. Then, you should also research financial support programs at business-related governmental agencies (e.g. the Small Business Administration in the USA), charity organizations and even commercial banks.
However, before you apply for any program, please make sure that you thoroughly review their terms and conditions. Governments and banks have announced very “creative” financial support programs to help local business survive, but those programs have very non-standard, terms and conditions too. Therefore, it is very important that you review the fine print for those programs before signing up.
ADVICE #2 NEGOTIATE
You know that good negotiation skills are very important for success in business. The Coronavirus crisis has has totally flipped our world upside down! As a result, everything is up for negotiation and re-negotiation right now.
I have experienced this in my business too. Some of my clients have asked for discounts during the Coronavirus crisis. Also, I have offered discounts to some of my long-term clients too. I value my relationships with my long-term clients, and since some of them are struggling right now I have proactively offered them discounts.
If you are a business owner, the second advice that I have for you today is to re-negotiate your expenses! Make a list of all your reoccurring expenses and then call the suppliers/vendors to negotiate. You should be able to get many deals and discounts in the current economic climate.
ADVICE #3 WORK ON YOUR BUSINESS
As business owners normally we are very busy working “in our business”, and we don’t spend a lot of time working “on our business”. What does that mean? Working “in your business” means doing specific and repetitive daily tasks for your business like an employee would. For example, if you are a fitness coach,when you have sessions with your clients you are working “in your business”. As business owners we are also employees of our businesses, therefore it is understandable that we have to spend some time working “in our businesses”.
On the other hand there is the concept of working “on your business”. When you work “on your business” you look at your business as the boss and you think about how to improve the business entity as a whole. When you work “on your business” you think about new processes that you can introduce to run the business more efficiently, you think about new products to introduce to the marketplace, and you think about the skills that you need to develop or acquire in order to grow your business.
If you are a business owner, the third advice that I have for you today is to spend the additional free time that you have during the lockdown to work “on your business”. Think about how to reorganize and improve your business now sot that it will not only survive the Coronavirus crisis but will thrive after the pandemic ends.
I hope that the advice that I shared with you in this blog post was helpful. I have also recorded a video on this topic that you can watch on my YouTube channel. Also, please subscribe to my newsletter to get monthly updates on hot topics in marketing and business.
by NextGen | Apr 3, 2020 | Other
The Coronavirus pandemic has changed our world in the last couple of months. Of course our health is the most important thing during this pandemic. However, many people have let the Coronavirus crisis impact on other areas of their lives, beyond their health. In this blog post I will share with you three pieces of advice about how to limit the impact of the Coronavirus crisis on your life. Let’s first stay healthy and then say no to the Coronavirus when it comes to other areas of our lives.
I am not a doctor, therefore I cannot give you medical advice on how to protect yourself from the virus. But, I have experience in dealing with crisis in the business world. l worked as a business consultant at a Fortune 500 company in NYC for a few years in the early 2010’s. As a business consultant I helped executives deal with many business crisis. So, I decided to write a blog post about how to deal with the current Coronavirus crisis, and how to limit its impact on your life.
ADVICE #1: DON’T FOCUS ON IT
When we are in a crisis situation it is very natural to completely focus on the crisis, to try to find all the information that is available about it online, and to constantly follow the news. I must admit that I am guilty of this too when it comes to the current Coronavirus crisis. I spend about 3-4 hours per day watching news from all around the world about the Coronavirus pandemic! And, I realized that obsessively gathering information about the Coronavirus is not helpful at all. Such behavior is expanding, not limiting the impact of this Coronavirus crisis on my life.
The first piece of advice that I have for you today is to not focus on the Coronavirus crisis so much! It is ok to watch news about the pandemic for 30 minutes to an hour each day. Of course it is very important to be aware of all the preventive measures that your government is taking to limit the spread of the virus. But, you definitely don’t need to watch several hours of Coronavirus coverage on TV every day. Say no to the Coronavirus by not focusing on it so much!
ADVICE #2: KEEP YOUR DAILY ROUTINE
Crisis situations cause disruption to our daily routine. Due to the recommended social distancing measures we are forced to stay at home for extended periods of time. Normally we spend a lot of time in the office and outside. So, the Coronavirus has definitely turned out daily lives upside down!
In order to minimize the disruption caused by this crisis on your life you should try to maintain normalcy as much as possible. Even though you are not allowed to go outside, or go to work, you should try to maintain your daily routine as much as possible inside your home. Even though you don’t have to commute to work now, you should try to wake up at the same time that you normally wake up. Then, you should try to work from home during normal business hours. And, you should try to have dinner at normal time too. Let’s say no to the Coronavirus trying to maintain our daily routine!
ADVICE #3: THINK LONG TERM
When you are in a crisis situation it is very normal to spend the majority of your day thinking about how to get out of the crisis. During the Coronavirus crisis many people are concerned about potentially contracting the virus. But, many people are also panicking about the economy, about losing their job or about bankrupting their business.
Earlier this year I decided to start a YouTube channel for marketers and entrepreneurs. I must admit I was very concerned about the future of my YouTube channel when the Coronavirus outbreak started. Just as I was starting to upload videos to my channel the Coronavirus outbreak started to develop and everyone became obsessed with the Coronavirus. My videos were not getting many views which was very disappointing. So, I debated whether to continue making videos during the Coronavirus pandemic.
After some serious thought I decided to not give up! I decided to keep making videos because the videos that I will create over the following couple of months will live on YouTube forever, well after the Coronavirus pandemic is over. Hopefully people will start discovering my videos after their current obsession with the Coronavirus. I know many of you are facing similar decisions about whether or not to continue certain activities during the Coronavirus pandemic. My advice to you is to think long-term when making those decision. Say no to the Coronavirus by thinking long-term and continuing to do things that could be helpful for your brand or your business in the long term!
Thank you for reading this blog post! Click here to watch a video about this topic that I created for my new YouTube channel.
by Sofi | May 30, 2019 | Other
Video is a powerful content marketing tool, and many businesses have made it an integral part of their marketing strategy. According to Renderforest, 5 billion videos are watched on YouTube every day, 100 million hours of video per day are watched on Facebook, and 4.6 billion video ads are watched online each year. These statistics prove that video marketing can be a rather effective way to promote and grow your business.
So, here are six important benefits of using video marketing:
#1 Increases brand awareness
Video attracts people’s attention more than other types of content. Creative and engaging video content is more likely to get likes, comments, and shares and has a great potential to become viral. This will increase people’s awareness of your brand and can get you new followers and new potential customers.
#2 Builds trust and emotional connection
The number one goal of marketing is to create long-term relationships with your customers, which are based on trust. Video is a great way to create a personality for your brand and connect with your customers in a more meaningful way, unlike other types of content. In videos, you can use things like voice, music, facial expressions, etc. to tell a story which evokes emotions. You can also create product videos to educate and inform customers about your products, which can help you build more trustworthy connections.
#3 Improves search engine rankings
Search engines love video content because this type of content engages people a lot. If you embed videos on your website, visitors will spend more time on your site, which in turn will help you rank higher in Google search. Also, don’t forget to optimize your video content for SEO by adding relevant titles, descriptions, links, and other important information.
#4 Boosts conversions and sales
According to a study by Eyeview, including video on a landing page can boost conversions by 80%. So, consider including a product video on your landing page to achieve this. Videos can also help you drive sales. Including an informational product video on your landing page might positively influence people’s decision to buy your product as well.
#5 It’s great for explaining products and services
By combining the visual and audio elements of a video you can easily explain or demonstrate your product or service. According to Wyzowl, 98% of users say they’ve watched an explainer video to learn more about a product or service. Also, according to Animoto, four times as many consumers would rather watch a video about a product than read about it. So, try to create informative product videos that will be useful for your viewers.
#6 Improves social engagement
Creating great video content will help you drive engagement on social media. If your followers like your content they are very likely to share it, and social sharing will increase your audience reach. The number of social media users is constantly growing, so keep that in mind when planning your future video marketing strategy.
by Sofi | Mar 15, 2019 | Other
Ranking refers to your website’s position in the search engine results pages (SERPs), and ranking factors are essential for effective search engine optimization (SEO).
According to SEO experts, there are over 200 ranking factors used by the Google search algorithm to rank websites and pages. However, not all ranking factors are equally important.
Here is a list of the most important Google ranking factors you should consider for 2019.
#1 Content quality
Publishing high-quality website content is crucial for good rankings.
- Create pages containing content that provides valuable information for the users, but also make sure your content has some length to it. According to research, content with over 2000 words gets higher rankings.
- Do a keyword research and use relevant keywords in your content. Also, use LSI keywords, which are keywordssemantically related to your main keyword.
- Understand search intent to understand what people are looking for and optimize your content accordingly.
- Optimize your pages for voice search since more and more people search content by voice.
- Video is very popular and drives a lot of traffic, so make sure you include video in your content strategy.
#2 Secure website
Switch your website to HTTPS, if you haven’t done so yet. HTTPS was first announced as an official ranking factor on the Official Google Webmaster Central Blog in 2014. Although it doesn’t affect SEO significantly, according to Google’s Gary Illyes, HTTPS may serve as a tiebreaker when the quality signals for two search results are otherwise equal. Plus, transitioning to HTTPS will help you deliver a better experience for your users.
#3 Mobile-friendly website
More than 50% of searches are now done on mobile devices, so you need to have a mobile-friendly website to provide a good user experience to your customers. Google now uses mobile-first indexing, which means that they use the mobile version of a page for indexing and ranking. Optimize your website for mobile and make sure your desktop and mobile content match.
#4 Page speed
Google wants to provide the best web experience for users, so the websites that load faster will rank at top results. That’s why page speed is a major ranking factor for your website, and you should optimize your page speed on both desktop and mobile.
Backlinks are one of the most important ranking signals on Google. To rank higher in the search results, your content should get quality backlinks from authoritative and relevant websites. You can build backlinks by writing great blogs and articles, creating infographics, guest blogging, writing skyscraper content, etc.
#6 Domain age and name
Websites that have existed for a longer period of time hold top ranking positions, while new websites have a hard time achieving that. So, it’s a great advantage if your website has been active for more than a year. Another relevant ranking factor is the domain name. If you have a quality website, an exact-match domain can help you rank higher.
#7 User experience
User experience (UX) influences your SEO as well. Focus on providing a great user experience by creating a website that is easy to use and navigate and has relevant, valuable content. This will keep visitors on your page longer, and it will help improve your search engine ranking.
#8 On-page SEO
On-page optimization is another important factor for improving your ranking position. Here are some aspects you need to look at when optimizing your website:
- Optimize your website with efficient metadata by writing relevant meta titles and meta descriptions for your pages.
- Use header tags to show the hierarchy of your content.
- Use keywords in the alt tags of your images to describe them.
- Use schema markup to provide search engines with more information about your content.
by Sofi | Dec 14, 2018 | Other
In order for any business to prosper and grow, a good marketing strategy is necessary. This requires a good marketer, and in order to be a good marketer it’s crucial to have a marketing education of some kind. Whether you’re a beginner or seasoned professional, there are a lot of options for taking marketing courses or accessing helpful resources online without having to pursue a formal education. Marketing trends are constantly changing, so even someone with a formal marketing education can benefit from taking one of these online courses. Often, you can find these tools online completely free of cost and available to anyone. Here is a list of the best websites for marketing education classes.
Hubspot offers both free and paid courses on a variety of marketing principles that include videos and quizzes to test your knowledge. Along with these courses, there is an extensive marketing library where you can read articles on the topic. One of the unique things about Hubspot is that the training academy allows you to access or rewatch course videos on specific topics without going through the course. The inbound marketing certification course is a great introduction to content marketing and lead generation. It includes 12 classes with over 5 hours of material, and there is a 60 question exam at the end of the course to become certified in the material.
Coursera is known for making the best courses on a variety of topics available to anyone anywhere. Partnering with top universities, these courses are built to fit your schedule. You can take courses on business and marketing, as well as on topics like psychology that could benefit your marketing strategies. Although these classes are not free, they are much more affordable than taking the same class at a university. Courses range from $29-$99, with advanced specializations for $250-$500. This offers options for almost any budget.
Udemy claims to be the largest online learning marketplace with 14 million students. There are courses on business, development, design, marketing, and productivity that are all beneficial for the success of a business. Typically classes cost around $200, so this option might not be for everyone. However, there are sales and discounts throughout the year to make these classes much more affordable on almost any budget. Businesses can also invest in Udemy courses for their employees to provide valuable training.
My.Copyblogger specifically focuses on the content aspect of digital marketing and offers a lot of useful materials beyond courses. Members can access webinars, eBooks, and forums to expand their education in a format that suits individual learning styles and interests. There is a free 20-part course to improve copy and content marketing that provides a certification at the end of the class. This website is a great tool for introducing people to the best digital practices and writing for the online world.
#5 Google Certifications
Google offers certifications for their online courses in Google Analytics and Google Adwords. Many businesses are requiring employees to be certified in Google Analytics and Adwords because they’re heavily used marketing tools. This makes sure the marketing team has a complete knowledge of how to use these tools via virtual training. Each course combines information pages and video tutorials along with activities and quizzes to help students master the information. The Google Adwords Certification includes specialites in Search Advertising, Display Advertising, Mobile Advertising, Video Advertising, and Shopping Advertising. These certifications are completely free.
by Sofi | Dec 7, 2018 | Other
If you’re a marketer living in the 21st century, you almost certainly own a smartphone. This is a good thing, because it means that you can actually get some of your job done even when you’re on the move. To do this, you need to have the appropriate apps on your phone. So, let’s look at some of the best apps used by marketers worldwide.
The Hootsuite app allows you to connect to your Hootsuite account and manage all of your social networks from your phone. You can use the app to monitor the activity on multiple social accounts, create and schedule posts, engage with your followers, track your performance with various analytics reports, and more.
Buffer is a social media management platform with similar features to Hootsuite. Its main feature is the automated scheduling of social media posts. Buffer is a little bit more expensive than Hootsuite and usually a better option for large businesses.
Trello is a free tool for project management that marketers can use to organize and manage their campaigns and collaborate with their teams. The Trello app is very intuitive and easy to use, which makes it a favorite among marketers and other professionals alike.
Slack is a great software for messaging and team collaboration. It can integrate over 1500 different apps–which you can use to manage your entire workflow. The Slack app can be a handy marketing tool which you can use to work on your campaigns while being away from your desk.
The Canva app is a powerful, easy-to-use graphic design tool. You can use it to create social media images, infographics, posters, brochures, and other types of beautiful visuals, right from your phone.
#6 Adobe Photoshop Express
If you need to edit photos or create beautiful collages when you’re out of the office, the Adobe Photoshop Express app is a real lifesaver. It offers less features compared to the desktop version, but they are enough to get the job done.
The Dropbox mobile app lets you share files with other people who do or do not have Dropbox, and it can be a handy tool for project collaboration with your team. It also allows you to keep your data private and protect your files, folders, and links with passwords.
If you own a WordPress website or blog, it’s good to have the app on your phone in case you need to manage your website or blog when you’re out of the office. As with the desktop version, you can create and edit posts and pages, upload media, view stats, etc.
With the MailChimp app you can take care of your email marketing campaigns from the palm of your hand. You can design and send emails, create and manage lists and campaigns, check your stats, and more.
Evernote is an app that can help you organize your work. It allows you to take notes in the form of a text, photo, voice, web pages, etc.–which you can access at any time. It’s a very useful app that can help you be more productive and efficient in anything you do.