10 steps to Perfect your Facebook Business Page

Though creating a Facebook Business Page is simple, there are so many important aspects to look at before you invite your friends to like the page.

I will first give you a quick guide on creating a Facebook Business Page. If you have already created yours, go straight to Number 01.

You need to have a facebook account to create a business page. Go to create icon and choose a create page option. Then you just have to provide the basic business information to create your business page.

Though creation is simple, there are so many important aspects to look at before you invite your friends to like the page.

Before doing any of the optimisations, go ahead and open five of your favourite business pages on Facebook for reference. Try to include at least 2 pages from your industry. Keep them opened in a separate tab until you finish all these. In each of the following steps, you need to check how these pages have done the particular step!

1. Uploading the right Facebook icon

Your Facebook page icon is the most important thing on your page after the name. So make sure you do enough research before finalising it. In some instances, like when you comment on a post, its only your page icon is shown.

Mostly business pages use their logo as the Facebook icon. However, make sure your icon is visible and clear.

To easily create a simple logo aka a facebook icon, you can use a tool like canva. Its free and you get the access to many templates and presets to select within the free plan.

2. Uploading the right Facebook Cover image

A great cover image helps create a great first impression for a visitor to your page. You can use canva to create an appealing cover image though you do not have any experience in graphic design.

After you uploaded the cover image, check it from different devices such as from a laptop, a tab and a mobile to see whether all devices show the cover image as expected. Because, sometimes though you created it in right dimensions, the text in corners are not visible in certain devices.

Therefore, I tend to choose a symmetrical cover image like this,

Over this,

3. Edit About section: Description

Use the description effectively to give a clear idea to your audience about what you are trying here.

You need to answer these three questions in the description,

  • What your business is about?
  • What this page is about?
  • Why someone should like this page?

4. Contact information

Update Relevant Contact information in the page. This helps your audience to find you. Relevant contact information depends on the purpose of your page.

For instance, whether you need to include a map to your business location or to show your contact numbers might depend on your purpose of the page right?

To update the contact information, you need to go to the same “About” section.

5. Our Story

This is a new addition from Facebook. “Our Story” can be effectively used to provide an in depth description about your business ad the page. You can edit this in the same About section.

This is similar to writing a blog. You can add a nice image and include a long descriptive article about your business.

You can utilise this space in the following ways,

  • Add an article about the history of your business
  • Add an article about the purpose and values of your business
  • Use this as a dynamic space and update your latest blog post here
  • Use the space to provide a list of contact information and addresses to your different store locations

6. Delete Unnecessary Posts

When you make updates such as Facebook icon, cover image and even when you update certain contact information, Facebook automatically post that on your page.

Most of these posts are not relevant to your audience. Not like in a personal profile, you change the profile picture and every one of your friend start liking and commenting on it.

So go ahead and hide these posts from the timeline.

7. Delete Unnecessary images

Further, you shouldn’t have 10 Facebook icons in your profile pictures album. You should have only one final image in the profile pictures album and one final image in the cover photos album.

The reason is, in a business page, all these uploads are public. So I don’t think you want to show your audience how many attempts you made to come up with your final logo right?

8. Add a Button

This is a very important task before publishing your business page, as this is the main CTA ( Call To Action) on your page which is located just below the cover image at a clearly visible place.

You can choose from so many CTA options and link that into the relevant website, landing page, blog or even to your Youtube channel.

9. Create first 3 Posts

Having some quality posts on your page is vital before inviting your friends to like the page. There should be something for them to realise that your page is worth liking.

Use the following post ideas to create your first 3-5 posts.

  • Welcome Post: to welcome your audience to the page
  • Paste a direct link to your website, youtube channel or blog and ask the audience to ” Go check it Out! “
  • Post a link of a blog post: This can be either an original post on your blog or a copied one from a third party blog

10. Invite Your Friends

Now your Business Page is ready for the visitors. It’s time to get some likes. I will write a different blog post on the ways to get the initial likes on facebook without boosting. However, the easiest and most effective way is to invite your friends.

Invite all your friends to like the page. Go to the “Home” of your page and you will find the “Invite friends” option on the right side.

Now, use this as a checklist when you publish your Facebook Business Page. Which of these helped you create a better business page? Comment your thoughts!

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10 Movies every Marketer should watch

There are so many movies in the world that are made around marketing and sales stories. Hundreds of movies if we go into depth.

One might argue every successful movie is a great marketing case study. Yes, it is. Because, it takes a huge marketing effort to create a successful movie from the beginning. From selecting the right actors, choosing the locations, putting up with the music, and so many more until promoting.

Here, I will be presenting you with the 10 best Hollywood movies you should have watched as a marketer, a salesman or a businessman.

With this, I will attach the trailer to each movie and will notify the IMDb rating. However, the ordering would be based on my personal preference.

1. The Founder (2016)

This is based on the true story of how a 56 years old Milkshake machine salesman named Ray Kroc turned the McDonald brothers’ revolutionary fast food restaurant into the worlds biggest franchise business.

This has an IMDb rating of 7.2 by the time I write this. However, from a businessman’s point of view, I expect it should have a rating above 8.

2. The Pursuit of Happyness (2006)

Will Smith takes into life a struggling salesman Chris Gardner, who is doing his best to create a better future for his child Christopher.

This masterpiece has an IMDb rating of 8.0. A well worth watch

3. 12 Angry Men (1957)

1957? Bit old yeah? Yes It is old as it sounds. In fact it’s an old black and white movie. So how does this movie gets an 8.9 rating in IMDb? what is the specialty?

Persuasion, is how I explain it. This outstanding piece of work is all about how a man persuade 11 others to prevent a miscarriage of justice for a young boy on a murder.

Though this is not directly related to business or marketing or sales, this is a great movie to realise the importance of persuasion.

4. The Wolf of Wall Street (2013)

This is based on the true story of Jordan Belfort, a wealthy stock broker.

This movie particularly comes in the top 10 because of the acting of Leonardo DiCaprio. Every businessman has something important to take from the personality of DiCaprio in as Jordan Belfort.

This has earned a massive 8.2 rating in IMDb. Watch the trailer and you will watch the movie twice!

5. Moneyball (2011)

This is about a baseball team manager with a very tight budget use a computer generated data analysis to create a fighting team.

Carries an IMDb rating of 7.6 which is a fare rating in my mind.

6. Lord of War (2005)

Nicolas Cage starring as an international arms dealer. A story of a chasing success of a salesman, his principles, family and addiction to the business teach you to have a much deeper insight into business.

IMDb rating: 7.6

7. Boiler Room (2000)

Another stock broker story looked at in a different perspective. More about business ethics, with a thrilling storyline.

Gained an IMDb rating of 7.0

8. Joy (2015)

The story builds around a girl named Joy in a complicated relationship and family life trying to pursue her dreams. More about entrepreneurship and business.

Has an IMDb rating of 6.6, but worth more than that as a great startup case study.

9. Tommy Boy (1995)

After the sudden death of his father, Tommy has to take the leadership of a dying auto manufacturing facility, his father’s business. Hundreds of employees’ jobs and the business continuity at stake.

Tommy decides to take the challenge to bring business. Though this is a comedy movie, it creates so many positive propositions about sales.

IMDb rating 7.1

10. The Social Network (2010)

How Harvard student Mark Zuckerberg creates Facebook and how he face the law suits from the others who claim Mark stole their idea.

Earned an IMDb rating of 7.7

Each of these movies are handpicked from my favourite sales, marketing and business movies. If you haven’t watched any of them, its the time!

Further, if you feel like I should have included any other movies in this list, let me know in the comment section, I would love to hear from you.

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6 Steps to Become a Sustainable Twitter Influencer

Creating a large twitter following is hard. Creating a sustainable and engaging twitter following is harder.

This post is for those who already have a large following base.

Using the same parameters I discuss here, I have analysed 40+ twitter accounts on SEO and Digital Marketing and came up with the following results,

Handpicked Related Content: Top 10 Digital Marketing and SEO influencers to follow on Twitter

The analysis was strictly based on these parameters. So, I might have missed the best content creators in twitter or the influencers with the highest number of followers in the considered niche.

However, I believe, these factors together, turn a good twitter account into a great one.

So, some basic mathematics was unavoidable. If you don’t want the mathematics of how I came up with the analysis results and you just want to see how you can use it to grow your twitter account, scroll down a bit!

For each of these parameters, I assigned a weight based on their importance as follows.

Weights assigned to each parameter based on their importance
Weights assigned to each parameter based on their importance

Then I assigned ratings out of 10 for each account on each parameter based on my research.

Addition of the Multiplications of these scores gave me the Comprehensive Twitter Ranking Score.

Take Rand Fishkin for example, he achieved a CTR of 216 as follows.

CTR (Rand Fishkin) = 8*10+7*5+6*7+7*6+5*3+2*1= 216

Here, I present you the CTRs of the top ten influencers only based on my analysis. Out of the 40+ accounts I analysed, the lowest CTR was 112.

For my surprise, some of the top players in the market such as Neil Patel, Danny Sullivan, Barry Schwartz, Matt Cutts, Dr. Pete Mayers were not in the top 10.

Here is why I used the above parameters. If you want to become a successful twitter influencer, consider the following six factors.

1. Original Content

Here, what I meant by original content was that the content one tweet from his own blog or from his company blog, or from any other original source.

This is the most important part of an influencer’s account as one of the first reasons users follow them is for this type of original content.

Blog content
Blog content

Influencers like Neil Patel, Eric Enge, Brian Dean, Shane Barker and John Rampton had the best content on their accounts mostly from their own blogs. However, all of them did not make it to the top 10.

Because, some failed to concern the followings.

2. Relevant Retweets

Retweets is a tricky function in twitter. It has to be used and it has to be used wisely.

Rule of thumb is to use a Tweet to Retweet ratio of 3:1. Going for a higher ratio of 5:1 is still accepted for a content creator as they may have more original content to tweet.

But doing it other way around or totally ignoring the retweeting function would be a disaster.

There is another important reason some influencers fail to consider retweeting which we will discuss in the last section.

3. Post Engagement by the followers

Everything you do on twitter as an influencer, I believe is to improve the engagement of the followers with your posts.

Another way to put it is: The sole purpose of you being on twitter is to engage with your audience.

Follower engagement
Follower engagement

If you have 1 million+ followers and you can not get 20 likes, 10 retweets and 10 comments on your post, remember, you are doing something terribly wrong

4. Post Engagement by the Influencer

This is also an important factor and you can also identify it seen the weight I have put on this.

Social media is not a one way communication where an influencer come and dump their content on the twitter account and go, letting the followers to start arguing, fighting, make assumptions and come into conclusions.

The influencer has a duty to engage with the followers on the same platform and I believe that’s the beauty of social media.

Influencer engagement in posts is important
Influencer engagement in posts is important

That’s the beauty of twitter, where I can directly talk to the president of the United States or the CEO of Apple and they see me irrespective of the number of followers I have. If my concern is legitimate and they find it interesting, they might consider replying.

5. Followers Count

I have put a little lower weight for this factor though most of the influencers are following after this number spending a tremendous amount on advertising.

Engagement matters
Engagement matters

Yes, number of followers are important. But there is a more important and relevant matrix, I call it The average post engagement per follower.

Count the total engagement (likes+retweets+comments) for your last 10 posts, divide it by 10 and divide the number by your follower count and take it as a percentage.

You will be surprised by seeing how little engagement your posts make with your followers. Try to achieve a 1%+ follower engagement for your tweets.

It’s not magic, you have already gathered a great set of followers. Now think about why in the first place they followed you and what value you can offer them in your tweets.

6. Following Count

I have seen some twitter influencers follow back very little as 50 accounts. They might have followed more previously and cleared all the unnecessary followings later on.

Some are using lists, which is also not a great option in an engaging platform like twitter.

However, If you follow back only 50 twitter accounts, how would you get to see the important retweetable content or the content going viral on twitter? Does that mean your sole purpose of being on twitter is to dump your content you create and ask your followers to click?

I would introduce you with a better strategy here. Follow these steps,

  • Clean up your unnecessary followings. Checkout these Apps and Tools for that
  • Start following all the influencer accounts in your niche. They would keep you updated on the changes in the market.
  • Start following business accounts that are relevant to your niche.
  • Follow business magazines and Newsletters that are relevant.
  • Follow your followers based on their regular engagement with your posts. It would make their day, being followed back by an influencer they like. On top of that, you will make a loyal follower who would further engage in your posts.
Following back is not as bad as you thought!
Following back is not as bad as you thought!

Having 1 million followers and 50 followings, if your tweet gets only 10 likes, 1 comment and 3 retweets, it doesn’t make sense. Rather you may prefer to have a 20k followers and 5k followings with a much better engagement with your audience.

Again, if you want to see the results of this analysis I carried out for SEO and Digital Marketing Influencers, Check it out here,

Top 10 Digital Marketing and SEO influencers to follow on Twitter

I hope this helped. If you think I should have included any other parameter for the analysis or I should have changed their weights, let me know in the comment section.

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Top 10 Digital Marketing and SEO influencers to follow on Twitter (in 2020)

The best place to get fresh updates on any subject is to follow a set of great influencers on Twitter.

For those who are interested in Digital Marketing and SEO, I have analysed more than 40 twitter influencer profiles and here I present the best 10 profiles to follow.

Analysis was based on six parameters.

  1. Original Content
  2. Quality Retweets
  3. Post Engagement by the followers
  4. Post Engagement by the Author
  5. Followers Count
  6. Following Count

Read why I used these parameters, how I carried out the analysis and how an influencer profile can be further improved here,

Handpicked Related Content: 6 Steps to Become a SustainableTwitter Influencer

I will first list down the top 10 profiles and then all the influencer profiles I analysed.

1. Brian Dean

One follows Brian for SEO updates. So he gives his audience what they expected by posting some quality content originally created by him and by retweeting relevant content.

On top of that, he has a pretty decent engagement in posts by his followers. Brian also takes his time to reply most of them.

If you are interested about content on Search Engine Optimisation, this is a must follow account. You can also checkout his blog at Backlinko.

2. Cyrus Shepard

Cyrus is mostly tweeting about SEO and post some quality content on the subject from two blogs Moz.com and Zyppy.com.

He also engages with the followers in comments and replies to most of his followers’ questions.

3. Joost de Valk

Joost is the founder of the WordPress plugin Yoast SEO. Currently he is the Chief Product Officer at Yoast. He mostly post quality content from Yoast SEO Blog and from his personal blog.

4. Pam Moore

Pam Moore is the CEO at Marketing Nutz, a social media marketing and branding agency.

Mostly tweets about social media marketing and content marketing from her two websites pammarketingnut.com and themarketingnutz.com.

5. Rand Fishkin

Mostly tweet original content from his blog SparkToro on digital marketing, SEO and startups.

6. Darren Shaw

Darren is tweeting from so many interesting sources including his blog Whitespark. Further, he use Retweeting wisely to inform his audience on updates from a range of sources.

7. Britney Muller

An active character in twitter. Britney tweet original content from Moz and retweet relevant content for SEO and digital marketing from a range of sources.

8. Ross Hudgens

Ross creates his content at Siegemedia. Also retweet quality content on SEO and content marketing.

9. John Rampton

John Rampton tweet some high quality content throughout his feed.

However, the engagement of his 1.3 million followers is at a considerably low level

10. Ian Lurie

Ian tweet some original content from his blog Ianlurie.com as well.

The reason how his twitter account managed to stay at the top 10 is his active engagement with the followers

11. More Digital Marketing and SEO influencers to follow in twitter

I have given the above list based on certain parameters which I discuss in this blog post.

However, there are more twitter accounts you should follow if you are interested about the subject.

For example, some of these twitter accounts could not come to the top five just based on the fact that their engagement with the followers was low or they did not retweet at all.

Therefore based on the parameters I used for this particular analysis, I had to cut them off even though they had some quality content posted regularly.

So this is the list of influencers I considered and I recommend you to checkout their twitter accounts and follow them as well. Following list is not in any order.

Yes It was me at the last. I tweet valuable content on Business, Marketing and Tech.

Now, If you think I should add more influencers to the list, please comment below. I would love to hear from you.

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7 Industries to get highly affected by COVID-19 and how to face it

Effects of COVID-19 to the business is so massive that the impact will last till the end of 2020 for some industries and sectors. It would take even more time to heal the people and get the economies of countries to where they were.

In this, I will observe those industries which are highly affected and will discuss course of actions they can implement right away to minimise the effect.

Handpicked Related Content: 10 strategies to survive and thrive in business during COVID-19 lockdown

1. Aviation

The highest affected of all, I believe. Aviation is a highly seasonal business whereas, their profitability is sometimes so sceptical due to the their uncertain nature. Airlines typically have high fixed costs and finance costs to be paid which requires them to be in business every single minute. They plan for their aircrafts to spend a minimum time in airports and always want to be in the sky with the maximum number of passengers.

However, with COVID-19 situation, some of the countries which are highly affected have totally shutdown their airport operations and other countries have minimised the arrival of aircrafts to their airports.

Most of the airports are closed or restricted travels due to COVID-19
Most of the airports are closed or restricted travels due to COVID-19

Even if an airline operates, they have to adapt to the high safety and security requirements imposed which again costs them time and money. All this has surely caused tremendous losses for airlines.

From the other side, one of the airline’s substantial cost in their financial statements, jet fuel, is down from a huge margin giving them a relief. Unfortunately, most of the airlines are currently in hedging agreements to face the sudden movements of jet fuel prices. Though the fuel prices is dropped, there is no significant benefit for most of the airlines right now. Checkout this article in investopedia to read in depth to how airline hedge fuel prices.

Jet Fuel price variation in the last five years
Jet fuel price variation in last five years – source

However, what generally happens here would be that the governments would use the tax payer money to save the airlines. Though these funds come through, it will take some more time for the people to have that peace in their minds to travel like they used to do.

What Airlines can do

  • Promote domestic travel
  • Cut costs on non essential projects and services
  • Follow strict health and safety requirements and promote them
  • Get into merge operation agreements with other airlines to survive

2. Tourism

There were economies, some in Europe and most in Asia and Africa, that extremely depended on tourism. In these economies there were thousands of individuals and companies providing different services.

With the COVID-19 situation became a pandemic, locking down many tourist destinations and airports, these businesses were closed and operations came to an end. From the five star hotels to the home managed AirBnbs, the airlines and tourism package companies, tourism related entertainment businesses, travel guides and cab services are in the direct affected list.

Eiffel tower is closed for the human travellers
Eiffel tower is closed for the human travellers

Tourism is a highly seasonal business just like aviation. However, it will take some serious time for people to start travelling around the world even after the COVID-19 pandemic. I can’t see that day anywhere close at the moment I write this seeing the active virus situation in the world.

Survival Strategies

  • Start operations focusing domestic market as people would tend to travel locally just after the pandemic situation is over
  • If any business wants to change the way they operated, position themselves into a different segment of tourism, renovate their assets, this is the best time
  • Get ready for the next wave. Keep your costs low and plan to survive for the next six months

3. Automotive

Buying a car at a time that you don’t even know the next day you go for work or you get paid? very unlikely. Movement of people globally, have become historically lowest. Individuals and businesses would not spend their precious money to buy automobiles at this hour.

Following data is about the automotive production lost in Europe in the last month due to the lockdown of the manufacturing facilities. However, I believe, the sales of automobiles would be worst though we don’t have reliable data at the moment to compare.

Effect of COVID-19 on European auto industry
Effect of COVID-19 on European auto industry: Source

However, there is a green light for automobile industry from far as people would not be comfortable using public transportation for a long time even after the pandemic situation is over. A demand for smaller, affordable and dual purpose vehicles should rise which could be exploited.

4. Education

There is a considerable drop in the traditional education sector as most of the institutions are closed, whereas a significant up movement in online education industry as more people stay at home trying to access education online

How school closures has affected students globally
How school closures has affected students globally

According to UNESCO, 1.38 billion students stay at home due to the education institution closure.

  • This is a huge opportunity for online education providers
  • Education institutions can focus on providing support for their students to study from home and some institutions have gone to the extent of ‘Lecturing From Home’ which is a great initiative to face the situation

5. Manufacturing

Manufacturing industry for non essentials were highly affected, mainly due to the lockdown situations in certain countries and reduced demand for industrial products globally.

Manufacturing is an industry which can not be run remotely. It involves so many people and so much human interactions which make a manufacturing facility more susceptible to become a COVID-19 virus spread house.

People working in a manufacturing facility
People working in a manufacturing facility

Safeguarding the workforce should be the highest priority in such a fast moving unpredictable outbreak.

Declining demand, production and revenues while accumulating debt would be critical for most manufacturing businesses.

Survival Strategies

Honestly there is very little apart from the general government support or bank support which any industry can have/ should have to survive in a difficult time like this.

  • Try to start partial operations with the support of the government or health authorities complying to the maximum health and safety standards
  • Consider investing in industrial automation processes such as autonomous material movements, robotics
  • Secure the existing clients and the orders. It won’t be difficult as the whole globe is in the same pandemic situation

6. Construction

Construction is in a similar situation as of manufacturing. However, they follow their own safety standards which can be easily upgradable to the COVID-19 requirements.

But the issue is, this is an industry which involves so many other suppliers and service providers in a daily basis without whom the operations can not be run.

Construction businesses can start partial operations depending on which stage their work is on with minimum work force adhering to the required safety standards if the governments allow.

7. Financial Services

There are two places where all the above businesses seek help in a situation like this. First is the government, second is the bank or the financial institute.

So what would be the effect for financial institutions?

like in any economic recession, banks will start losing their credit as their customers facing temporary and permanent closures, the value of their investments would fall.

Further, it would cause banks to cut credit facilities for the other businesses as well resulting in affecting the whole economy at a time that the lending needs are high.

Providing relief to the existing customers would be inevitable for financial services as it is absurd to pressure them in a situation like this destroying the relationships.

Individuals and businesses will face trouble paying their finance payments
Individuals and businesses will face trouble paying their finance payments

The one thing financial services could do is seeking the government support as everybody else.

Cashless payments are becoming more popular and mandatory in some countries with the virus spread situation through exchange of cash. The banks can surely look into grow their credit and debit card customer numbers.

Cashless payments are becoming more popular among all ages of customers
Cashless payments are becoming more popular among all ages of customers

Conclusion

Seeking the support from the governments and the financial institutions would be the number one surviving method for most of the industries above.

However, with a little bit of thinking and management, businesses could minimise the effects of the outbreak and even turn this uncertain situation into a breakthrough opportunity.That’s the beauty of marketing.

Comment below if you are from any of these industries and what actions your company’s are currently considering.

Stay safe and stay healthy everyone!

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12 Simple Steps to turn your Passion into a Profitable Business in 2020

Many successful businesses, well known brands started with one person’s vision to create their dream into a reality.

If you can dream it, you can do it -Walt Disney-

Did you know your hobby can create you the life you always wanted? Read further to learn how you can turn your passion into a successful business

1. Understand your passion

We are starting from the most difficult and the crucial step where this will make or break your dream. Do you believe most people do not realise what they really love to do before they die? But that’s the reality.

If you have already identified your passion, go to No: 3, or else I will tell you how to do this.

2. Carry out a brainstorming session

Refer this blog post if you want to learn further about Brainstorming, but the idea is simple. You have to stay in a calm place with no distractions and think.

A girl staring. An individual brainstorming
Brainstorming is simple. However, finding your passion may not be that simple

Imagine you are stuck at the place you love the most and nobody forces you to do anything (By the time I write this, I know most people are stuck in their homes due to COVID-19). Further, think you have no financial obligations whatsoever which would affect your thinking.

So what would you start to do? You will take a break obviously for weeks, because you are tired of the work you do. After that you would want to start something you like. That thing you want to start is what you should start!

you may need few days or even a week to identify what you really like doing. Remember, I told you. This is the hardest phase of the whole process.

3. Establish your purpose properly

Here, you are not doing this for money. So you need a clear purpose. If you do what you love and other people like it, you will start earning. Do not place money in first place.

For example, someone whose passion is cooking would set a clear picture of what he/she needs to achieve.

A girl with a plate of burger/ food
My passion is cooking

4. Find your niche

A niche is a specialised segment of the market. You have to clear out which market segment you are going to serve. The golden rule here is ‘do not try to serve everyone’.

Take a photographer for example. There are so many areas where one can specialise and master such as wedding, event, model, child, food and so much more. Do not make your decision based on monitory expectations. Yes, it is true that some niches are more profitable than others. But here, you are not gonna caught up in another job. You are gonna do what you love to do each and every day. Later on, you can always add products for other niches. Just start with what you really like doing.

A Food photographer
A Food photographer

5. Carryout a Competitor Analysis

There may be already established businesses similar to your idea. You can search them in local business directories, in the web or in social media.

Study those businesses and see how they do it. Analyse information like their business names, logos, colour schemes, product or service types, pricing, marketing channels.

If your idea is a brand new one, still you can find some businesses in the same industry and see how they operate. Especially these information are important for you in pricing.

6. Establish your USP

Find your USP, The Unique Selling Point. This is the reason how you differentiate your business from the rest of your competitors.

You need to have at least one to stand out in the market if there are so many competitors.

For example, if you are making cup cakes and you make it with zero sugar in it, you are way ahead in the business. So you can use that one selling point to attract a niche to your business in no time.

7. Create a brand name and a logo

Rule of thumb for selecting a brand name is that it has to be simple. If you are starting up a clothing line, you can have your brand name as ‘Mandarine’ for instance, and it doesn’t always have to be something with the word ‘clothing’ or ‘fashion’.

If you search Apple in Google, the first result you get and the other six and half billion results are not about the apple you eat 🍎, and most of the results are about Apple computers.

Apple search in google
Apple search in google

I have seen in many startups, founders spend too much time finalising their brand name or the business name. Therefore, I have created this Ultimate Guide for you to come up with the Perfect Brand Name for your Startup, Youtube channel, Blog or any business online or offline

Try canva.com to create a logo for free. It’s easy and you can use so many options they have given free of charge to create a logo. If you want to learn more about how to use canva to create these, watch-out this video.

8. Create your first marketing plan

Marketing is not just about advertising or promoting your brand. There are so many aspects you have to consider when developing a marketing plan. I will brief out few important steps to follow.

  • Identify your product (which you have already done) and finalise its specifications
  • Set a price for your product
  • Plan where you are going to sell your product/ service and how you are going to find your customer
  • How you are going to promote your product/ service and which media you are considering to use

I will make an in depth post for this area only, because otherwise this is gonna be too long. Make sure you subscribe to our newsletter in which we send you email updates on the new posts.

9. Learn digital marketing

Whatever the business you start in 2020 need to be on internet. Either you have to create a website or you have to use social media. I recommend using both.

Learn social media marketing
Learn social media marketing

Choosing the right social media platforms for your business is important. it solely depend on the type of business and you can choose between Facebook, Instagram, twitter, LinkedIn and there are more.

Creating a website and carrying out the required Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) to rank in top results of Google is another important thing for your startup.

There are so many things to learn in this subject area and we will learn step by step.

10. Get your first customer

Now this is a challenging part of your whole business. ‘The first customer!’.

If finding a customer for your product or service is difficult, try talking to your family, friends, or a relatives or use your already established corporate links if any.

This is a disappointing step for most startups. So if you ever feel like quitting here, remember why you started at the first place.

11. Keep a source of income until your business takeoff

The business you started on your passion would not start generating profit as soon as you start it. So do not quit your job to pursue your business. Give it some time.

12. Make your business legal

When your business is serving some customers, its time to register your business in your country and start a tax file. This way it is easy to work with corporate clients and your brand become more trustworthy.

After you register your business, start an account in your bank and start maintaining a strong credit history from the beginning.

Wrap up

Now you have turned what you really love to do into a profitable business. It’s important to develop the business mindset from the beginning of your business so that you can think of brand-new ways to make profits and new investment opportunities.

Tastag team is available to help you clarify any doubt if you wish to start your business. Send us a message.

Develop your business into a phase where it will make profit without your direct involvement. Because, life is not even about caught up in a single dream!

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10 strategies to survive and thrive in business during COVID-19 lockdown

Many businesses are being temporary closed due to this pandemic situation without even an opening date. We are passing a desperate time of the mankind and we should face it together.

So many companies are facing their worst time ever in business. Here, I will be talking about businesses in general which are affected by the situation.

For the ease of study, I will split up the businesses into three different categories based on how bad they are being affected. These strategies I discuss would be practical learnings for small and medium organisations. First, understand where you stand and work from there.

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Category 01: Worst affected businesses

If you were in construction, production, restaurant or retail clothing for example, you belong to this category as you can not continue doing business at all in most countries.

Following strategies and steps can be used to minimise the losses for the businesses in this category.

1. Seek out government support

Most governments are willing to help businesses at the moment. If you are a tax paying business, they would help. Grants, loans, tax reliefs are some of the ways they support. Remember you would only get half of the help you ask for. So ask for it.

2. Talk to your bank

If your business had a strong relationship with the bank, now it’s time to test it. They can extend your over drafts, give you debt moratoriums or they can rearrange your loan periods to reduce the monthly instalments.

3. Try a merge operation

Though your business is totally closed down, there are some businesses still functioning which are in category 02 or 03. Think about how your resources can be shared with them.

For example, you are a travel and tourism company with a fleet of vehicles and drivers temporary closed down. There would be so many grocery retailers out there without their own fleet of vehicle to deliver customer orders or essential goods. Make a quick partnership with them.

This is how uber twitter page looked like
This is how Uber twitter page looked like

See how Uber is moving from category 01 to category 03. They could have simply ended up in category 01 creating tremendous losses with the lockdown.

4. Think about the possibility of home delivering your product

Community mobility has been drastically reduced to the business locations with the COVID-19. Checkout the google report on community mobility in different countries. The results are astonishing.

Google community mobility data- Germany
Google community mobility data- Germany

More people stay at homes and if you are a business with a product which can be home delivered, though you haven’t done it before, this is the time to think of the possibilities.

6. Focus on the markets you can exploit

If you have multiple businesses in different industries or markets, this is for you. Check whether you have one business in the portfolio which can be used to serve the community.

Allocate your resources to that business or the market to provide the best service. Try to focus on that one business you can yield and stop worrying about other businesses for a while.

Eventually you can consider whether there are any synergies you can create with other businesses to improve your service.

Category 02: Less affected businesses

Companies which can continue their operations even in the lockdown by working from home belong to this category. Most IT companies fall here.

7. Think of new ways of doing business

Some companies which started working from home might already have realised how much cost they can save with such approaches. There could be better ways to do business and we just don’t realise them.

8. Explore new markets

For example, if you are an IT company previously focused on creating software products for international markets currently with a staff working from home, think about what products you can create to your local market to help them in this situation.

There could be plenty of possibilities. Social distancing is creating so many opportunities for online and software products. People need better payment methods, new ways of retail shopping, even brand new ways of dinning.

Just think!

9. Help the community and the businesses to survive

Take this time to create a strong relationship with the community. It would push you forward and help your company thrive even after the lockdown.

Help other businesses to survive.This is a time we should help each other and stand together.

See this example of the Sri Lankan tech company, Bhasha lanka pvt ltd which has taken the initiative in its capacity to help the community while building up a great business. Shophere is a platform for small retail shops to sell their product in the COVID-19 lockdown time and this became a great relieve for the affected people to do their shopping of essentials.

Shophere: A service started to connect small retailers to the customers
Shophere: A service started to connect small retailers to the customers

I repeat. Creating an authentic relationship with the community is priceless for any business in this era.

Category 03: Businesses with no substantial effect

Businesses such as grocery retail, online entertainment, digital products, fall in to this category and these businesses in fact getting more sales than anticipated as a result of the lockdown.

Remember, you are lucky. But you have a duty to the community at this dark hour.

10. Use resources wisely

You would probably be not ready to handle the instant demand from your customers. Short term staff requirements, capital requirements, and other service requirements would arise. So be ready to hire more people, invest where ever necessary and make ties with other companies to deliver your best.

Target is ready to accelerate to its full speed
Target is ready to accelerate to its full speed

You can help the community while helping other affected businesses as well.

Which businesses you have seen carrying out their marketing in a more responsible and human way even achieving their business targets? Comment below

That’s the beauty of modern marketing. More you help, more you make!

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10 Valuable ‘Things To Do’ at Home during COVID 19 Lockdown

Now this is for you if you and your business operations are being locked down due to the COVID 19 pandemic situation. Each of this point is created with the possibility of carrying out at home without anyone’s support. So be safe. Maintain the distance.

Now this is kinda broad area to discuss with the variety of businesses people get involved in. However, there are some important skills every business person should have and they could acquire during this time period.

If you know how you can utilise your time effectively, COVID-19 Lockdown is a gift for you. Checkout these 10 remarkable ways to spend that time.

1. Learn to create your personal social media accounts

Now, this is one of the most important things every business person should focus on doing. This is not a difficult task at all. Go to Youtube.com or Google.com and type how to create a Facebook/ Instagram/ Twitter/ LinkedIn account, you will find plenty of resources.

Facebook signup page
Facebook signup page

Select the social media platforms depending on your personal preferences and the business goals. First focus on Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn and Twitter. If you need any help on choosing where you should be, contact us, we can help you out.If you are in business, your social media presence adds substantial value to your business and your career as a businessman.

2. If you have already created, optimise them

If you have created your social media accounts, does not mean you are done. Now you can update them and optimise. This is in fact the important part of the process which can make or break your social media experience.

Again you can find so many resources and online courses to learn optimising your social media accounts. First try as much as free resources and if you would like to learn further into the depth, there are some quality paid resources as well. Consider the following basics,

  • Update the profile picture
  • Cover photo
  • Update your ‘about’ section which tells a viewer who you are
  • Update the ‘contact details’ if you provide any
  • Links to your business page or website

However, if you have any doubt, put a comment down or drop us a message.

3. Do the same for your company

If you have not started your web and social media presence for your company by now. A great news for you. You still have time.

Start learning about different social media platforms and try to create your company’s web presence in this time of lockdown. You will never get a better time for this. If you are not sure or confident enough, hire someone to work from home, you will find plenty of freelancers at this moment.

Handpicked Related Content: 5 Remarkable Reasons to hire a Digital Marketing Consultant in your business

We also can help you to take your business online or we can further help you learn how to do this. We recommend you to try this yourself as it would be a great mental exercise and a future investment to learn the art of digital marketing.

4. Engage with the community, customers and employees

Now, this is a momentous time to engage with the community as a businessman as everyone is stressed out and worried. So consider it as a part of your company’s corporate social responsibility to help the community for the fight against the virus.

Act like a real business personality. Be a true gentleman

connecting on twitter
Twitter is a great platform to connect with communities globally

You can use your personal social media accounts and business accounts in parallel to engage with people. Try to help as much as possible though its a tough time for you as well. Consider this golden rule here,

DO NOT expect anything back for what you or your company do to the society

Check whether your employees are safe. Call them or use an application such as Zoom or Google Hangouts or any such to have a conversation. Check this blog to find the best video conferencing applications available. Help who is in need.

video conferencing
Video conferencing is a quality way to contact your employees

Contact your customers. Check on their status. Have some friendly conversations and try not to talk about the outstanding payments 🙂

5. Think about a Second/ Third Income

There was never a time we felt this much of the importance of few independent sources of income. More sources of income you have, you will feel safer.

Even if you do a business or work in an organisation, this lockdown is a great time to think about new ways to make money. Remember, this world is full of Trillion Dollar Industries, whereas you just have to identify one.

Think about ways to make an online revenue apart from your usual job or the business. Check out websites such as Fiverr, Upwork, or even Shutterstock.

You can even start your own online presence with a blog, youtube channel or with a social media platform on something you like to spend your time and effort.

Handpicked Related Content: 10 Simple Steps to turn your Passion into a Profitable Business

6. Learn a software

You can learn windows office. You would probably have an understanding of the basics already, but there are so much to learn especially in Excel. Microsoft Project would also be a great software for a businessman.

If you have an interest in learning a creative software which you can use in your business and in digital marketing, go for Adobe. Learn Adobe premiere pro, Photoshop and Lightroom.

Adobe logo

You will understand the importance when you start creating your social media and web presence. However, it does not mean you can not go ahead with point number 1,2 and 3 without learning Adobe.

7. Read a book on Sales and Marketing

Reading is a quality way to utilise your stay at home. If you already have books, you are lucky. Personally I prefer the printed versions rather than e-books. However, you have no choice at the moment.

Reading a book
Read a book

Find some quality Sales and Marketing books you can get your hands on. Start reading.

Nevertheless, if you are not used to reading books, start with something you would love. Such as an article, a blog post, or even a Novel.

8. Take up an online course

There are plenty of platforms which create you the opportunity to learn a new skill online. First think of what you should learn. I will suggest some skill areas where you can concern on.

  • Start learning a new language (eg: English, French, Chinese)
  • A new software
  • A new programming language, web development or application development
  • A course on Finance, Management, Marketing
  • Photography or videography
  • Yoga, nutrition, dieting
  • A music instrument such as guitar, piano or keyboard

These are just a few areas which you can start from. Luckily, all these learnings can be done at home without the help of anyone. You can find tons of free resources online to learn any of these. However, if you need to sign up for a more structured program, try Udemy.

Online courses in Udemy
They have thousands of Online courses in various categories

9. Start creating a plan to execute just after the lockdown

The lockdown would create so many challenges for your business. So start planning to face them now. Create a list of 10 most serious issues you will face just after the lockdown with number one being the most significant.

Handpicked Related Content: 10 strategies to survive and thrive in business during COVID-19 lockdown

Then, start finding solutions one at a time. You are not alone here. Talk to the business friends, talk with your employees and tweet your problems to create a conversation in social media. We at Tastag would love to help you discover the solutions at no cost, If you are puzzled at any point in this global chaotic situation.

10. Create a list of brand new transformations for the business

Face this global situation in a positive mindset. Think how you can exploit your market or to move into new markets with your business after the lockdown is over. Think about new possibilities. There is a saying that after a storm comes a rainbow.

Business plan
Plan ahead for your business
  • Create a list of the 5 transformational improvements you can implement in your existing business
  • Generate 3 brand new business ideas you can implement in 2020

These are things for you to improve your business and career. However, keep in mind that there are many important things in life to consider at this time of chaos. So plan your time effectively.

Where are you gonna start? Comment below

Good luck!

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Top 5 reasons why Relationship Marketing is Superior to Traditional Marketing

In traditional or consumer era, customer’s buying decision was based on WHAT the company produced and HOW they produced it.

However in relationship era of marketing customer considers WHO the company actually is and their core values in business when making the buying decision.

Following are the key reasons for relationship marketing to be superior and relevant to the present days.

1. Purpose of the business

In traditional marketing, purpose of every business is generating profits. This core purpose comes into effect in almost every decision the company makes.

A business drives on relationship marketing has a far more greater purpose to be in business than mere profits. Yes they make profits, but the profit is a by-product of achieving their purpose. It’s not that they are trying to convince customer that they are something that they are not. The business live on that purpose and it’s been reflected in all its dealings.

Starbucks employee helping a customer to change the flat tire
Starbucks employee helping a customer to change the flat tire

There’s lot to learn from a company like starbucks on how to live on purpose. They reflect their purpose on each and every dealing with their customer and employee.

2. Persuasion vs Authentic relationship

Facebook like box
You can’t buy likes

In consumer marketing, it was all about persuading the customer to buy the product. All the marketing efforts and promotional goals were set to create that persuasion in every possible media campaign.

However, in modern marketing, the goal is to create long term authentic relationships with the users.

It’s simply about how many ❤️ reacts your business’s Facebook post gains vs how many 😡 reacts. And this authentic relationship focuses on turning those 👍 into more ❤️ reacts.

A good example for a company who has created an authentic relationship with its customer is Apple. They do not sell on persuasion. They have created that trust in customer’s mind that what ever the product comes from Apple will be sold.

I love apple google search gives more than 3 million results
I love apple google search gives more than 3 million results

Its pretty sure that more than half of these results where people have expressed their love is not for the apple we eat!

3. Investing in media vs investing in people

Consumer marketing companies heavily focused on promoting their product through media. They used televisions, newspapers and paid millions on advertising their products even with the use of influencers. They even use social media through paid advertisements, Google paid advertisements and many more media to advertise and persuade the buyer.

In Modern marketing, the investment is carried out on people. Basically, your staff and customers. You do not have to persuade your staff to stay with you when they know your purpose and you invest on their growth.

Same with the customers. You don’t have to spend millions on introducing and persuading your products to the customer every time, if you have created an authentic relationship where the customers know your purpose and they trust you.

4.Trust has two meanings

In both attempts to marketing, creating the trust among your customer or user is vital. However, the trust created in consumer marketing is not trust at all as the trust created is simply used to sell a product or a service. See how most insurance brokers exploit the trust to close a sale. That trust is no trust as all.

The word “Trust” in relationship marketing is about creating an authentic trust relationship with the customer. That does not end in a sale. A sale meantime would strengthen it.

5. Customer retention vs acquiring new customers

Whether in consumer marketing or relationship marketing, customer retention and acquiring new customers are both important for a business.

However, the relationship marketing focuses on the existing customers more than the new customers and they invest on the existing customers. The reason here is creating authentic customer relationship is costly and it takes time. Therefore retaining the customers who already trusts you and who know your purpose is priceless.

Conclusion

Traditional marketing is dying due to the transparency that the social media has created in business. You can’t lie to your customer anymore. At least not for a long.

So to move in to the next Era of marketing, it’s vital that your business has a solid purpose for existence and the business and everything in it should live on that purpose.

Then only, the people who love that purpose would get around you to create a sustainable relationship.

Creating a customer centric relationship era branding for a business is not easy as it seems. Because after all, Money can’t buy relationships.

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5 Remarkable Reasons to hire a Digital Marketing Consultant in your business (2020)

Social media and Internet are changing the way we did business, acquiring a massive user base throughout its different platforms, creating tremendous opportunities for the companies to reach millions of customers globally.

However, the competition among the businesses in the internet and social media are also growing rapidly as masses reach these media to make their purchases and to get to know of their products.

Though creating a Facebook page or an Instagram page looks easy for a business, to face this competition requires a businesses to have a dedicated team to handle their web presence to get the best out from these tools. 

Here I discuss why it is a great business decision to hire a digital marketing consultant in 2020. I have given 5 remarkable reasons for you to consider

1. Cost effective

Hiring a Digital Marketing Consultant is cost effective?

Of course Yes. Think about trying to start your digital marketing in house. First you have to hire the IT professionals ( At least one person with experience in Web development and maintenance, depending on the size of your business ), then you might have to hire another to develop your social media platforms and to maintain them.

Weighing between outsourcing and doing in house
Hiring a DMC may not be costly as you think

The worst fear in this approach is what if these employees are not good enough at marketing your brand. Then you have to employee another for marketing to oversee the work carried out by the technical staff.

A digital marketing consultant can guide you through all these from creating a digital marketing strategy for your business up to launching your websites, social media and even to maintain them representing your brand values. So Yes it would be cost effective.

2. You can focus on the core competencies of the business

It’s an accepted norm that, if your core business is your website or your social media, you should not outsource it.

But what if your main business is something far more complex? Then you will find the importance of hiring a professional to handle it.

snags of trying to do everything yourself

By outsourcing your digital media to a third party would give you the opportunity to focus on the core competencies while the digital consultant would carry out your marketing without giving you strokes.

3. Bring in a fresh perspective to the business

This is a benefit of outsourcing any service of your organisation as you are bringing in people with different attitudes and points of view to the business. This usually creates chaos if it is an internal employment as the existing employees would not like changes even though it creates positive impacts to the business.

Hand Picked Related Content: Top 5 reasons why Relationship Marketing is Superior to Traditional Marketing

However, as you are hiring a third party on a contract basis to execute a specific project this would not cause much interruption from the internal staff. In fact, they may help for the success of the project.

And I believe, its very important to have people with different points of view, especially in an active area of work such as digital marketing.

4. Experience in different industries and markets

Digital marketing consultants often carry experience from several industries such as healthcare, construction, retail etc. This experience makes them experts in executing and creating marketing strategies.

Moreover, this gives them the expertise to try out cross industry strategies which may create radical changes in the current way of doing business.

5. Latest trends and bends in the digital marketing

As you know all the ups and downs and lefts and rights of your business, most digital marketing consultants are fully aware of the tools and technics they use and the new features, the trends and bends in different social media platforms and even geographical, social and political changes in the use of the tools.

World is changing faster than we ever imagined

You would not find these information unless you hire a professional, as you would not be in touch with the relevant information sources. 

The importance here is as social media is fast changing, if you miss the right time to exploit a situation, you would miss that opportunity forever.

A bonus point: They are Flexible

Easy hiring and firing.

You can find plenty of digital marketing consulting companies out there in almost any market. Moreover, if you feel like the one you have hired is not the best selection to represent your brand, the process of finding a new company and moving your assets is fairly a simple task.

Hiring and firing is comparatively easy in outsourcing
Hiring and firing is comparatively easy in outsourcing

No geographical boundary

Importantly, if you feel like hiring a DMC from a different country, you can still do it. There are many social media consultants and companies available online at affordable costs to serve the businesses globally.

Conclusion

Hiring a digital marketing consultant may bring your business a brand new perspective in terms of innovation and ideation. With their experience in different industries and different digital media platforms, they would deliver better results. If they do not, you can simply find a new one, as there are plenty of individuals and companies out there.

This gives you the opportunity to spend your valuable time in the core business and most importantly, outsourcing would save you money.

There are few drawbacks of outsourcing your digital marketing which you can checkout before making a decision. However, my personal opinion is that the benefits surpasses them enormously.

Comment below if you think there are more reasons to consider for both the sides.

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