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8 Steps to Become a Successful Internet Entrepreneur

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8 Steps To Become A Successful Internet Entrepreneur

Establishing and running a successful startup isn’t all that different from doing it with a traditional brick and mortar company. Most of the rules about good business apply in both cases. As a matter of fact, most of the experience you may have in running a traditional company can help you with your Internet startup as well. Both are businesses and require dedication. However, there are some peculiarities that you need to pay attention to in order to be successful. Here we take a look at the steps you need to take to be a successful Internet entrepreneur.

Work On Your Mindset

This might sound strange but bear with me. Many people jump into Internet business lured by false promises of all play and no work. Once in, they have a nasty shock about the harsh reality that doesn’t conform to their expectations. Whether you want to start a business to escape your 9-to-5 grind or to become rich isn’t really important, but you have to be prepared to work your ass off in order to make that dream come true. If you don’t have that mindset, you are only setting up yourself for a massive failure. There are certain aspects all successful entrepreneurs have and you need to be honest with yourself when assessing your chances of success. 

Read Also: Top Ten Startup Mistakes…That Almost Always Lead to Business Failure

Identify a Niche

A niche is something you can excel at. The rule of a thumb is that the more profitable a niche is, the more completion there is. However, there are many exceptions. There are niches you have probably never heard of that made some people very rich, just because they are very narrow and highly specialized. Now, it is possible to succeed in a niche that is highly populated and competitive, but that’s very hard. You need something that will set you apart from the pack and help you compete with established players that have been on the market for years. Have you got that “something”? If not try your luck with a less competitive field. 

Do Your Research

Before plunging in head first, spend some time researching your field. Who are the biggest players, how did they succeed, what are common pitfalls you can expect, etc. Read everything you can about your niche, even the stuff you are sure about.  If your goal is to create a site that ranks for the Internet’s best online casinos, you need to put in countless hours of research in order to create a ranking your customers can rely on. If you don’t, your career will be a very short one. Having as much information as possible will help you make smarter choices down the line. 

Marketing Research to create a competitive advantage

Develop a Business Plan

If you fail to plan, then you plan to fail, it is as simple as that. Making a plan and sticking to it is a key aspect of creating a successful Internet startup. Your business plan will dictate everything else that follows, like how many people you need to hire and when, what are your key weaknesses and strong points, what jobs to outsource, etc. One important caveat is to keep it flexible. No matter how well you have planned, along the road you will encounter some obstacles you couldn’t predict and you will need to adapt to them. 

Read Also: [INFOGRAPHIC] Is It Time to Hire your First Employee?

Manage your Time

There are plenty of tasks that you need to perform when creating a startup, but usually, there are limited resources. You will need to learn how to manage your time to do everything. The key aspect you will have to get comfortable with is delegating. Identify the most important matters and focus on them, everything else should be delegated to your staff. It can be scary at first, as it will feel that you are leaving your future in someone else’s hands, especially if don’t have much experience managing people, but it is an essential aspect of growing your business.

Advertise Smartly

At first, you probably won’t have enough money to plaster ads all over the web. You need to create a budget and stick to it and you have to identify the best platforms for your advertisements. Remember that research we were talking about above? This is time to use the fruits of that labor. What are your key demographics? Where are they? What platform will allow you to reach them? A good marketing agency can and will do all this leg work for you, but chances are that you can’t afford one at this stage, so it comes down to you and your team. 

Marketing Strategy

Network, Network and Network

Get to know people. This is best achieved by visiting seminars or events related to your field. See who is who and how can they help you advance. Perhaps there is a partnership you can form that can help both sides move forward. Remember, after all, said and done, it all boils down to human touch.

Keep Up with the Hustle

Congratulations, you have survived your first 120 days as an Internet entrepreneur. You have beat 90% of people who have started an Internet startup and failed. Surely you can relax now, maybe take a vacation? No! That was the easy part. The real challenge only begins now. This is the time to consolidate and think ahead. Consult your business plan again and see what changes need to be made, and there will be changes. Keep up with both your competition and technological development. Always keep an eye on new digital trends and think about how you can incorporate them into your business because the competition surely will.

Conclusion

If you want to start an Internet business solely based on some online course you took, like “4 Hour Work Week” or some other nonsense, you are in for a bad surprise. You can’t run an Internet business (or any other business, for that matter) on auto-pilot, while you are out partying all night and sleeping till noon. If that is your plan, you might as well save yourself a massive failure and stick with your cubicle job. All successful Internet entrepreneurs possess a will and a drive, enforced by self-discipline, that allows them to work long hours and go months, even years, without taking a day off. If you are not prepared to do that, this probably isn’t for you. 

[INFOGRAPHIC] Artificial Intelligence – What’s To Come In 2019?

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Artificial Intelligence

You have probably heard a lot of talk about artificial intelligence (AI) in the last couple of years. Scientists and engineers have been trying to make computers that can mimic the human brain ever since World War II, 1943 to be exact. Despite more than 70 years of investment in it and the great advancements achieved, we are not yet where we would like to be.

AI technology, however, has come a long way since the beginning. Today, many established businesses and startups rely on this technology for their daily operations.

What Types Of Artificial Intelligence Are Out There?

There are two types of recognized AI in the world: artificial general intelligence and narrow AI. The latter is pre-programmed for particular tasks, while the former manages to find solutions to tasks that are unfamiliar. General AI, also known as strong artificial intelligence, is what the majority is striving for. This would allow computers to replicate humans behaviors and learning patterns.

While AI technology has gone pretty far and can do certain things better than humans, there’s still a lot of room for improvement and future development. As a matter of fact, we expect this technology to grow by 120%-140% each year until 2025. Although exciting as to where all this could take us, there are many skeptics out there.70% of people still fear what AI could do to our day to day activities. Like many other things, however, fear is driven by a limit in understanding what the technology could do. The same research showed that 70% of surveyed people thought they understood what AI is about, however, more than half didn’t know that AI can solve problems.

What Consumers Really Think of AI: Infographic

What Can Artificial Intelligence Do?

There are many different ways to implement AI in our daily lives. For example, computers can replicate simple and repetitive tasks in a more efficient way as opposed to humans, just by implementing a simple algorithm. With AI, we can also expect computers to learn and change behaviors without the need for additional programming.

Businesses are especially interested in the development of AI. These advanced machines could replace human workers by around 38% in the next 10 years. It can also prevent cyber attacks and help avoid car accidents, saving thousands of lives.

In the latest years, we have also seen how many digital businesses have implemented AI-powered chatbots to improve online customer experience. However, this is just part of it, as many startups adopt AI to also enhance the conversion funnel.

The future sees implementations of this technology across several business functions, adapting to the way users interact with other existing technologies. By 2020, for example, 30% of web browsing will occur without the user interacting with the screen. The below infographic gives more details on what’s to come in 2019 with AI.

6 Reasons Why Sales And Marketing Should Work Together

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sales and marketing

The lack of alignment between sales and marketing is a problem as old as the hills. Although both teams share the same business goal very often they don’t get along, at times reminding of two rivals finger-pointing at each other for not doing things right.

Marketing people blame sales for not taking advantage of all the leads they generate and the content they create. The sales team, on the other hand, think that marketing is not producing enough sales-ready, good quality leads. They often also complain about the content, not being relevant to their clients.

And the “us versus them” feud goes on.

The Reasons For Poor Alignment

But where does this disagreement come from? 

According to a survey by Demand Gen Report, the biggest challenges to sales and marketing alignment are:

These findings are further supported by another survey. This shows that “51% of marketers are not satisfied with the level of communication between the teams and 53% of sales professionals are not pleased with marketing’s support.” 

So, if communication breakdown is the main problem that prevents sales and marketing from working in unison. What is it that the two sides have to say to each other? 

It’s time to sit down and talk.

The Demand Gen Report discloses the following grievances that sales and marketing have for each other:  

Now that we’re aware of the main grudges, the next question is: what prevents sales and marketing teams from working together to resolve their miscommunication problems and start working like a well-oiled machine?

And the answer turns out to be surprisingly simple…

The new research by the Content Marketing Institute and LinkedIn states that the main problem lies in two departments simply NOT MEETING OFTEN ENOUGH, not discussing their plans, not sharing their results. 

The research further demonstrates the frequency of content marketing and sales collaboration on related activities among teams with high and low sales-marketing alignment. 

The key takeaway here is that only 25% of all respondents with low alignment said they discussed how to use the content. On top of it, a mere 19% discussed when to use the content. With no doubts, these are the two most important areas to ensure effectiveness.

If salespeople don’t know what to do with all the content, what’s the point in making it? 

The Benefits Of Sales-Marketing Alignment

So why should the two teams work together? 

The simple answer is – it brings revenue! 

The success of any business is traditionally measured by a set of metrics. Harvard Business Review points out that if sales and marketing teams work together their key business metrics improve. Sales cycles become shorter, market-entry costs go down, and the cost of sales decreases.

Further expanding on the benefits of sales-marketing collaboration is Sirius Decisions that points to the following improvements:  

A LinkedIn report claims that 58% of sales and marketing professionals reporting that collaboration delivers improved customer retention. 54% also note its positive contribution to financial performance. 58% of organizations with highly aligned teams experience improved efficiency and 52% enjoy enhanced productivity.

Not convinced yet? Let’s dig deeper.

According to the research by the Aberdeen Group, “companies that optimize the sales and marketing relationship grow revenue 32% faster”. There are also improvements in the following areas:

Finally, businesses with unified sales and marketing teams enjoy 38% higher sales win rates, 36% higher customer retention rates, and generate 208% more revenue from marketing, according to MarketingProfs

All this only proves that companies need to rethink entirely how their sales and marketing teams work. Does it make any sense to continue keeping them in silos?

And even though sales and marketing tend to disagree on how to deal with potential customers and grow business, it’s not a dead end.

As M. Gandhi once said: 

“Honest disagreement is often a good sign of progress”

6 Ways To Make Sales And Marketing Work Together

There are a number of ways how you can help your marketing and sales teams get along better. Here below we take a look at 6 ways to successfully do so.

1.Work On Creating Relevant Content Together

To start off, let’s recap the key premise. The content that marketers create helps salespeople advance a potential buyer down the sales pipeline faster.

Marketing teams create content based on market analysis and industry trends, promotion strategies and target group segmentation. This type of content is then used in sales proposals.

That’s why sales can really help out by sharing valuable “real life” insights with the marketing team as to what content works best and at what stage. Why? Because they know what questions prospects ask or what concerns they have at each stage of a sale

This makes relevant content creation much easier and eliminates “the guessing game” of what content a target group wants to consume. In other words: “If a customer wants to know about A, don’t feed them information about B.”

And that’s why both teams need to communicate more! 

2. Analyze The Customer Journey And Agree On The Buying Cycle

Stepping into your customers’ shoes and walking the walk with them is the ultimate winning strategy. This is where performing a comprehensive customer journey analysis and defining the buying cycle helps. 

What’s the point of creating tons of content, distributing it on random communication channels and then praying some of it will work? 

By getting together and looking closely at the stages that the customers go through, channels that they use, questions that they pose, etc., sales and marketing can help each other tremendously and create a single, all-inclusive customer experience model

3. Communicate Regularly And Use Customer Feedback

As cliché as it may sound, there’s nothing better than communication. And the more of it – the better.

Sales and marketing will align much smoother if they held regular meetings to discuss their visions and strategies. According to this research, 73% of highly aligned teams meet DAILY or WEEKLY. While low aligned teams only 25% of the time.

It’s also important to analyze the results of a month, quarter or year together. It is very educational to hear how numbers are perceived by both teams. On top of that, it is also a great bonding exercise, helping the teams decide on what works and what doesn’t.

Another thing that goes a long way is listening to customers’ feedback. It allows both teams to see how things are evolving in real time and increases accountability. 

Once again, salespeople are a perfect asset here. During sales calls, meetings or presentations, they get a great chance to listen to customer’s pain points, concerns, and wishes. This information can be then used to refine or improve your marketing strategy.

4. Develop Buyer Personas Together

Defining buyer personas is very important. Being able to describe who your ideal customers are, what they do, what choices they make, what challenges they face, and how they make decisions – gives both marketing and sales teams a competitive advantage. 

Put simply – if you know whom you’re dealing with, then you know what to do! 

Yet, the tricky part here is agreeing on who your ideal customer is. Sales and marketing team might see the same target in different ways. Alignment is once again the key here.

The best is to have the two teams sit down to pick each other’s brain. Combining their practical and theoretical knowledge will help them to define more realistic needs of potential customers. This will result in offering the right products at the right time and to the right people

5. Set Common KPIs And Sync Up Measurement Criteria

The differences in measuring achievements are serious obstacles for sales-marketing alignment. The sales team may focus on the numbers of new accounts, deals closed, upsells, etc.. Marketing, on the other hand, may put more emphasis on the quality of leads, brand awareness ratio and lead funnel progression.

In order for sales and marketing to feel that they are working towards the same goals, they need to share something tangible – like KPIs. 

The importance of using the same key metrics of success measuring is proved by the research that stipulates that highly-aligned teams share a set of common KPIs that prioritize revenue and pipeline growth.

Adopting joint KPIs, driven by the “revenue first” mindset, is a great way to sync the efforts of the two teams. 

6. Speak With One Voice

A successful business always comes across as a united, wholesome organization where everyone speaks with one voice.

If a customer hears one message in the ad or in a social media post, and then receives a completely different information presented in a different style and tone from a salesperson – it becomes super confusing, to say the least. 

Such things as inconsistent naming of products, different terminology, conflicting tone of voice, are detrimental to the entire company’s reputation. If sales and marketing don’t work together, they may, inadvertently, create an image of a confused brand. And who wants to buy anything from a disorganized business? 

That’s why sales and marketing should sing in chorus. They should share and convey the same culture and send consistent and matched messages.

Finding The Best Alignment Tool

One of the best ways for bringing the sales and marketing teams together is by giving them the same working tools. 

A CRM system is arguably one of the best fits here. It unites all documents, activities, and contact information in one, centralized, easily-accessible place. CRM allows salespeople and marketers to access the common database, share their interactions, see each other’s progress, offer seamless customer service. All happens in the same system, and most importantly – it gives both of them a common goal.

It is not surprising that 71% of organizations with highly aligned sales and marketing teams name the CRM software as their top digital technology. 

It’s All About The Good-old Teamwork

Sales is not from Mars and Marketing is not from Venus. 

They are the sides of the same coin called “business success”. The two need each other. 

And even though they work differently, both can bring a lot to the table. If salespeople’s frontline experience and marketing’s strategic knowledge are put together, customers can enjoy a truly seamless experience, where everything flows with no distinct lines.

While marketers know how to create versatile and engaging content for each stage of the buying process, sales can use the content strategically and modify it depending on individual circumstances and preferences of a particular customer. And that’s the true meaning of a customer-centric business model

In the end it all boils down to working as a TEAM – where Together Everyone Achieves More.

7 Key Digital Marketing Trends To Stay Ahead Of The Competition In 2019

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Digital Marketing Trends

Regardless of your level of expertise, one thing you have probably realized is that digital marketing is constantly evolving. With the various strategies and tools used and its different branches, it isn’t exactly a simple area of expertise.

Understandably, making an effort to stay up-to-date can get overwhelming. It requires a huge investment in terms of time. It’s no small feat, but the onus is on you to stay on top of things. Your brand’s success rides on it.

There are currently 4.4 billion users populating the internet, and nowadays, mishaps turn into memes that seem to just go viral overnight. That said, a marketing strategy flop has the real potential to cause damages and setbacks in brand growth, audience acquisition, and overall profit.

It’s a mistake no company can really afford.

What Are Some Key Digital Trends To Keep In Mind?

To help you maintain a competitive edge over the competition, we’ve compiled an infographic about the 7 key digital marketing trends for 2019.

Here below some key facts:

  • SEO still plays a key role in successful digital marketing strategies. In just two decades, search engine use has risen from millions to billions. On Google alone search queries have increased from 3.5 million worldwide to 3.5 billion daily. With new technologies being developed daily, the trend is only upward.
  • Organic search still matters. With voice search seeing increased use and expectations that it will continue to do so, there is greater significance in leveraging sound organic search strategies.
  • The mobile market grows and will continue to do so. From 11.51 exabytes per month in 2017 to nearly double 2018, mobile traffic is projected to reach a monthly consumption of 77.49 exabytes by 2022.
  • Pay-Per-Click marketing remains a smart investment. It currently generates 1.5 as many conversions in comparison with organic search and stands among the top three on-page conversion generators.
  • Facebook still dominates the social media. The platform is home to a staggering 2.27 billion active users. YouTube comes second at 1.9 billion.

These definitely got you thinking, right?

Now that we’ve whet your appetite let’s dive into the main course — the 2019 digital marketing trends infographic courtesy of SERPwatch.

Digital Marketing Trends

Thought Leadership as a Way to Increase Your Social Presence

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Thought Leadership - MyStartupLand

In today’s world, thought leadership refers to the aspect of having intellectual influence in a specialized area of business. Thought leaders are authorities in an area within a specific industry. Often, they tend to have invaluable insights and knowledge in their areas of concentration.

Thought leaders in an organization increase their own and their company’s value. This can be a launching pad for other activities, like increasing the firm’s social presence and marketing as well.

Increasing your social presence entails increasing the reach of your company to parties like:

  • Consumers
  • Media organizations
  • Industry experts
  • Other Businesses
  • Competitors
  • Auditors

Thought Leadership Bolsters Credibility

Thought leadership is all about giving intelligent thoughts and views, regarding a particular area of your business or industry. When industry players recognize that, chances are they will pay attention to your organization and its leaders as well. On a business level, this helps to build credibility, and this makes other players to develop trust in your company.

Gaining credibility opens up an array of opportunities which you could use in the furtherance of your firm’s agenda. You could use the credibility gained to make the firm known further and more extensively, thus increasing your social presence. Expanding your social presence on the back off credibility will help you to attract more business. This could contribute to cementing your firm’s position in the industry.

Expertise & Social Presence

Thought leadership stems from the ability to understand the ins and outs of a specific industry. The ability to build on the information and knowledge leads to intelligence influence. Expertise in a particular area means that other individuals and businesses would look up to you to gain insights and forecasts.

John Green, head of writing services at TheEssayTyper, says: “Giving expert advice on industry and firm trends with regards to thought leadership requires a good knowledge of information management, or getting help from relevant sources.”

The net effect of the cooperation with other businesses is increased social activity, and an overall increased social presence. Therefore, thought leadership is a key driver of social activity for a firm or an individual.

Building a Following from Thought Leadership

Thought leadership will manifest itself in various ways. It could be through a blog or a website that makes information, insights, and forecasts. It could also be through, journals, podcasts, newsletters, or even through social media channels. By making use of FlyWriting and Grammarly, you can improve the quality of your work. Whichever the outlet may be, thought leadership will result in a huge following.

Industry players, other businesses, competitors, and individuals are highly likely to follow your firm, because of it. This situation allows you to build better networking opportunities.

Thought Leadership, Publicity, And Increasing Your Social Presence

Thought leadership can help to fuel the publicity and public relations of your firm and you as an individual. When you get to a level that creates interest, PR won’t be a problem.

Consumers in the world of business get to know about your company through media. When you are a thought leader receiving media attention, the chances are high that you will enjoy publicity and opportunities will grow. Apps like Hemingway, Best UK Writers can help you to better at your content.

This publicity could help you a great deal when it comes to building your brand identity. By gaining a lot of publicity, you can expand the opportunities for your organization as well.

Prospects for Strategic Partnerships

Thought leadership makes you gain attention from many sides. It could be the media, other individuals or businesses, and even competitors. On this account, there could be opportunities of a strategic partnership or a joint venture with your business.

The prospect or the news of a possible partnership is enough to increase your social presence. Thought leaders make the headlines often. Any information regarding partnerships is going to increase the publicity of your company.

Getting the Attention of Intended Audiences

Thought leadership helps to attract individuals, firms as well as businesses that are relevant to you. Having an edge with regards to matters of intelligence gathering, information consolidation, and forecasting, you can use this thought leadership edge to attract and catch the attention of audiences that matter to you and your business.

Carol Marks, the Chief Editor at Best Writer Canada says, “Refining the process of intelligence gathering and coming up with good content is a plus for thought leadership.”

By getting this attraction, you get to enhance social ties between your firm and other relevant entities that are of interest to your operations. In this regard, you get to increase and leverage social presence to advance business activities.

Increasing Your Social Presence from Increased Cooperation

Thought leadership opens up opportunities for working with other people, and businesses. When you are an authority in a specific field, other individuals and companies would seek to work with you on some issues within that area.

Your firm stands to work with other firms on various issues – all this cooperation stemming from the aspect of thought leadership. Collaboration with other entities allows you to build social contacts and networks. This could help you in the broader context of increasing your social presence.

Conclusion

When it comes to leveraging the benefits of thought leadership, your firm can witness an increased social presence. Thought leadership prompts a lot of industry collaborations. Businesses and individuals using these relationships either commercially or non-commercially stand to gain.

Cooperation increases the social network of the business. Whether the relationship is transactional or non-transactional, an opportunity has been created. Business is dynamic and, in the future, there might be a need for some collaboration.

4 Fatal Leadership Mistakes Startups Should Avoid

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Leadership Mistakes - MyStartupLand

I would not reinvent the wheel if I told you that nine out of ten startups fail.

While it means countless startups fail every year, the reasons behind their failure are not uncountable. Research shows that most startups fall into the same traps over and over again. If they could avoid those mistakes, however, the chances for them to succeed would be much higher.

Making mistakes is more than natural. Everybody does and should make mistakes in order to advance. Startups should be no exception to this rule because behind every startup there are human beings.

One of the top reasons startups fail is because they create products that no one wants. There is another mistake though that is commonly overlooked by startups: failing leadership.

The bad news is that startups are vulnerable to even the slightest mistake. The good news, on the other hand, is that you can do something about lowering the chances of your startup failing this year.

To help you with this, we came up with the list of 5 fatal leadership mistakes that your startup should avoid.

#1. Not Delegating Tasks Properly

Failing to delegate properly is probably the most classic leadership problem in business. Both young and experienced leaders make this mistake because they tend to take control of everything. This results in a wrong delegation of tasks where none of the parties feels either effective or satisfied.

Good leaders know what to do in order to achieve maximum efficiency, that is delegating tasks according to personal strengths and interests. Studies have shown that people who have a chance to use their top character traits are on average 74% more engaged and 31% more productive at work.

Another way of delegating tasks is by assigning work to those who volunteer. By taking this chance, both the leader and the employee may discover exceptional skills they never thought about.

Remember that human resource and expertise are one of the biggest assets of any startup. Use this resource wisely.

#2. Over-controlling And Under-managing

Over-controlling leaders

Most startup leaders are either control-freaks or too hands-off. Some argue that the first is better than the latter. However, neither over-controlling nor under-managing can be good for a startup. It is not very pleasing to have your CEO breathe down your neck nor is it cool to be mismanaged.

The secret of successful startup CEOs is the ability to combine both and find the middle ground. If you have built your teams based on their strengths, the only thing you should do is set reasonable goals and deadlines and check from time to time whether those goals are met.

There are numerous tools to help monitor the productivity of your teams and facilitate communication. Choose the one that is more relevant to your business context and objectives.

If you build teams based on strengths and give them feasible tasks, there is no chance your employees will fail to do what they are asked to.

It is all about finding a balance between micromanaging and mismanaging and being able to adjust your style depending on the situation.  

#3. Strongly Believing In The Wrong Idea And Not Listening To Others

Many leaders tend to follow their instinct which most of the times proves to be right. Sometimes though they just cling to the wrong idea and try too hard to push the erroneous hill.  What is more harmful in these situations is that in most cases leaders do not even listen to others.

This usually happens with young leaders who fall in love with their idea and fail to accept constructive criticism. While no one is perfect and making mistakes is a natural thing, good leaders should know when and how to stop.

In order to avoid fatal mistakes that will cost their startups a packet, CEOs should consult with at least 3 people from different disciplines when it comes to making important decisions. Sharing information and listening to other opinions help evaluate if the idea is achievable and if it is worth going after.

So when you feel trapped in your own ideas and when it becomes addictive, take some time to talk about it with your team. In case it is a good idea, it will only boost your motivation.  

#4. Underestimating The Power Of Communication

Communication is fundamental for any business activity. Many startup leaders, however, think that sending out an email once a month is more than enough to keep the communication going. That’s not totally right, though.

Effective communication includes not only sending out recapitulative emails from time to time but also providing and receiving feedback, constantly keeping up with company developments, and inspiring other colleagues. All of this requires good communication skills and the ability to convey important messages in the right way.

In order to keep consistent communication, weekly or bi-weekly emails are a necessity. Startup leaders should use them as a means to communicate any significant changes, new projects, arrivals or departures of employees, or simply wish a productive week to everyone.

Effective leaders should also take some time every week to hear feedback from each team member. It might sound unnecessary but it will help keep the finger on the organization’s pulse and asses the overall dynamics of the team.

Remember that communication is the strongest means of inspiration, so use it to constantly to serve as an example to your team by hearing them out and by helping when required. 

How To Succeed At Being A Better Leader

Anyone can tell what a startup CEO should do. In reality, though, it is easier said than done.

Startup CEOs, most of the times, are people who have a lot on their shoulders and very little time to take care of themselves. In pursuit of their goals, they often forget to take some time for themselves in order to regain energy to conquer the world and inspire more people.

In order to avoid the above-mentioned mistakes and be physically and mentally ready for challenges, startup leaders should follow these simple steps:

  • Meditate every morning for at least 15 minutes: this will help free the mind from unnecessary thoughts and anxiety and leave space for new and creative ideas.
  • Once at work, take 5 minutes to write a thank-you note: thanking your colleagues or partners for their wonderful job or for helping you out benefits one’s physical and mental health a lot more than one can think.
  • Do not forget to do some exercise: sometimes working on a challenging project can disconnect you from the reality, but taking some time to walk around the office or do some basic exercise is essential to decrease the feelings of depression, anxiety or stress.
  • Take up a sport and dedicate some time to it every week:   there are many types of physical activity, including swimming, running, jogging, and dancing, to name a few. Being active has shown to have many health benefits so take some time every week to practice your favorite sport and take care of your body and mind.

The success of any startup depends on numerous factors and leadership is one of them. If as a startup CEO you take care of yourself and are able to prevent the abovementioned mistakes, then you are setting yourself up for a big success. So buckle up!

[INFOGRAPHIC] Web Design Trends In 2019

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Web Design Trends - MyStartupLand

It’s difficult to keep up with the trends in today’s ever-changing digital world. If you want the best for your company, however, falling behind can come at a cost. Customers have higher than ever expectations when it comes to user experience. A good-looking and highly-functioning website is a must. Investing in a quality website design is a wise business decision for any company.

Nonetheless, how and what you can do to increase your online traffic and boost your credibility is often a question of debate.

Why Is Web Design A Crucial Business Choice?

DesignAdvisor has put together an insightful infographic on why investing in website design is the right business choice. It aims to put an end to some of these dilemmas by summarizing the fourteen most important web design trends of 2019.

The trends illustrated showcase studies with the aim of helping website owners get one step closer to create an online presence the audience is happy with. Having a website is not enough anymore. A corporate webpage is part of the brand identity of a company and it should not be ignored.

The collected data range from tips on how to improve your company’s contact information section to advise on how to increase the speed of your website.

The infographic lists real-life examples of companies which have implemented these trends, and the results that followed. For example, one company noticed an increase in mobile traffic by 40%, organic search by 19%, and social referrals by an incredible 1,624% just by improving the website user experience. Another one increased users time spent on-page by 56.19% by optimizing the website for mobile.

Each one of the trends highlighted are a must for companies that get most of their clients online. Implementing one or more of these tips will increase your chances to succeed.

What Makes Business Partners Crucial For Success?

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Advantages Of Business Partners - MyStartupLand

Sole traders, solopreneurs or sole proprietors – whatever you like to call them, a business person who is running their operation alone certainly has some guts.

There are obvious advantages of full control. First and foremost, no one to clash with. On the other hand, however, there are also upsides for those who decide to share the workload with a business partner.

The team at so-sure wanted to find out what kind of relationships exist behind the co-founders of these top startups and the advantage to have a partner.

We asked each one of them one question and got their point of view.

What Are The Benefits Of Working With Business Partners?

Katie Buckett |OneFifty Consultancy - MyStartupLand

Katie Buckett |OneFifty Consultancy

Katie is a digital brand communications expert, with experience working for both global and UK organizations. She and her co-founder, Alex Pearmain, set up OneFifty together in 2015

“I would find it very difficult to do it on my own because entrepreneurship it is quite a lonely place. There is loads of pressure – the highs are highs and lows are low. No one else can quite appreciate those highs and lows. The only person is Alex. It’s quite a special thing to share these moments with someone. It’s also just quite practical, if you can’t make it to a meeting, there is a bit more flexibility if your partner can step in for you.”

Pip Wilson | amicable - MyStartupLand

Pip Wilson | amicable

Pip Wilson is the co-founder of amicable. She is an entrepreneur and technology expert who is passionate about using technology to tackle social issues. She founded amicable with her business partner, Kate Daly.

“It’s good to have someone to bounce ideas off. amicable’s first year started slowly as I was still tying up a few loose ends from the sale of my previous company. Kate had been working for her own business. For the first year we were prototyping and refining the idea and it was just the two of us. It would have been so lonely if it had just been one individual. The advantage is that you have someone else to work with who is just as passionate about the idea as you, so that keeps you motivated. You also benefit from having different ways of looking at things.”

Lilia Stoyanov | Transformify - MyStartupLand

Lilia Stoyanov | Transformify

A chief executive officer and angel investor at Transformify. Lilia is a FinTech and digital transformation expert. She is also a professor at Zigurat Business School and expert evaluator Horizon 2020 at the European Commission. She founded Transformify in 2015 with her business partner and CTO, Desislav Kamenov.

“We bounce off each other. We have very different backgrounds and this helps us when we need to see the big picture. The different points of view add creativity and criticism which are much needed for the success of any project.”

Rachel Hugh | The Vurger Co - MyStartupLand

Rachel Hugh | The Vurger Co

Rachel, alongside co-founder Neil Potts, founded The Vurger Co in 2016. The Vurger Co’s mission is to revolutionise fast food forever through the power of plants.

“Definitely trust! When you know and trust your partner, it’s super easy to rely on one another for everything. Nothing is too much to ask, and no challenge is insurmountable. It’s also pretty special to build a business with your partner in life and business. “

Alex Bodini | Spinbrands - MyStartupLand

Alex Bodini | Spinbrands

Alex is co-founder of Spin Brands, a social and digital marketing agency specialising in SMEs & Startups. Having previously worked in large agencies, Alex met his co-founder in more entrepreneurial ventures and created Spin Brands to serve a huge gap in the market.

“It genuinely does feel like 1+1 = 3 when there is a good partnership. You feel three times as strong, as resilient and capable of making the right decisions. Sharing successes and high points with someone else too is extremely valuable.”

Gauthier Van Malderen | Perlego - MyStartupLand

Gauthier Van Malderen | Perlego

Gauthier is the co-founder of London-based Perlego which aims to tackle one of the biggest pain points for students with its e-book subscription service for textbooks. He and his co-founder Matthew Davis set up Perlego in 2016.

“We have several core members in the team but by being in a team, when I’m having a bad day Matt can lift me up and vice versa. Plus, you live the highs and the lows together. Doing it by yourself would be quite a lonely thing. You’re sharing that burden with someone else.”

Matthew de la Hey | Inploi - MyStartupLand

Matthew de la Hey | Inploi

Matthew is co-founder & CEO of inploi, a cutting-edge recruitment/HR-tech platform based in London. He set up inploi with Alex Hanson-Smith, and Chris Mackie in 2015.

“It would have been impossible to do this alone! You are taking on a pretty insane task with a lot of things stacked against you and a lot to learn along the way. Having to do that alone would have been very difficult. Often times, if you’re having a bad day the other person is not and you can pick each other up. The advantages are also that you can have another set of perspectives and look at solutions or problems from a different angle that you might not have thought about. Lastly, it’s good to have someone to share the burden and have fun with.”

Tessa Clarke | OLIO - MyStartupLand

Tessa Clarke | OLIO

Tessa and Saasha Celestial-One are the co-founders of OLIO, a free app which harnesses the power of mobile technology and the sharing economy to provide a revolutionary new solution to the problem of food waste. 

“To be honest I see only upsides of working with a co-founder! Together we’re able to cover a far broader range of skill sets and bring a more diverse set of experiences and perspectives to the table. All this ultimately makes the business far stronger. Plus, having someone who is on the same startup rollercoaster as yourself is absolutely invaluable in terms of mental and emotional support. When it comes to strategy, product development and marketing initiatives for example, it’s incredible helpful having a sparring partner to bounce ideas off. Finally, it can sometimes feel a bit like a super-power having a business partner because you can ‘clone’ yourself and be in two places at the same time, which is incredibly handy and powerful!”

Alice Holden | Attollo Lingerie - MyStartupLand

Alice Holden | Attollo Lingerie

Alice is this director and co-founder of Attollo Lingerie which caters for D+ cupped figures. She runs the business with co-founder, Fleurette Mulcahy. 

“It’s someone to share the experience with. When we first left university none of our friends could really relate to the fact that we were running off to meet the CEO of banks, or meet managing directors of massive multinational companies; running board meetings, pitching for investment, controlling shareholders. It was a very abnormal environment to be in from quite a young age with very little experience but we had each other to share that with. We know other business owners who have founded on their own and have said that they wish they had had a partner to share everything with. So I guess that’s a big benefit that we’ve enjoyed.”

Jasmine Eilfield | Expocart  - MyStartupLand

Jasmine Eilfield | Expocart 

Jasmine is the co-founder of ExpoCart which she set up with Ryan Farquson. The startup is on a one-way mission to reinvent the way people discover, hire and buy products for their exhibitions. 

“Running a business can be extremely isolating. Having someone to work with helps balance the pressure, especially when difficult decisions need to be made. Having someone to bounce it around and talk through in detail when they know the business so well is crucial.”

Do you work with a business partner? What advantages do you see that otherwise you wouldn’t? Share your experiences in the comment section below.

6 Ways To Start Building Relationships With Prospects

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Building Relationships With Prospects - MyStartupLand

Trust has always been the basis of building relationships with prospects. If you are not able to win prospects’ trust then you won’t be able to close deals and create long-term partnerships. Trust, however, is built over time and it requires efforts from both parties. After all, it is well known that:

People buy people, not products.

Salespeople often think that having a better pitch or fancier deck or a more comprehensive objection handling process is the key to close more deals. The reality is, however, very different.

Buyers couldn’t care less about the way your deck looks or how well you can pitch your company. Marketing materials support your activities, they don’t replace them. Prospects receive tons of cold emails and calls on a daily basis with, guess what, a sales pitch about the “leading company in the industry” or “the best solution in the market”. On average buyers receive about 140 emails from different vendors in a day with a “unique selling proposition”. Do yourself (and your prospect) a favor, stop wasting everyone’s time and start focusing on what matters.

Cutting through the noise, as a salesperson, is not simple but there are ways to do it if you are willing to change the way you approach the sales process.

1. Have A Customer-Centric Approach

Too often, salespeople forget that is the buyer the one making the decision. Inexperienced sales reps get too focused on their pitch and stories, forgetting about the most important part of the equation, the customer.

For example, when talking with a prospect, how much time do you spend pitching your company? Or presenting your solutions? Or making assumptions on why the prospect needs you? Or simply not letting the prospect know what’s going to happen? How much time do you hold the mic? It has been shown that in successful calls there are about 77% more speaker switches than in unsuccessful ones.

Stop putting yourself at the center of the conversation. Start listening to your prospects. Ask questions and listen to what they have to say. This is the so-called sales disconnect between sellers and buyers that affects how successful you will be at building relationships with prospects.

Are you sure to be tuned in the same radio station as your buyer?

As a sales rep, your job is to understand the prospect’s needs. Yet, 69% of buyers think that salespeople are not listening to their needs at all. That’s a third of buyers out there thinking you are listening to what they have to say.

2. Be Genuinely Curious

When approaching prospects, salespeople should be genuine interested in their situation and curious about what issues they are experiencing. Trying to be in the prospect’s shoes should be part of your daily activities.

Even though your prospects might all have the same characteristics, each one of them has a different need that has to be addressed differently. Once again, it’s important to listen to what they have to say and stop making assumptions about their needs.

Objections should also arise curiosity in salespeople. Sales reps tend to treat objections as an obstacle to overcome, rather than an opportunity. Sales managers usually prepare their teams with an objection handling document, teaching them the best ways to go through those rough moments without addressing the real issue.

Learning how to turn objections into useful questions is what will make you stand out from the crowd. When a prospect is objecting to your statements take the time to unveil the truth behind those doubts. Don’t run away. If you redirect your curiosity back at the objection, you are in control of the conversation. By doing so, you will increase the possibility to win the prospect’s trust.

3. Understand The Prospect Fit

In a perfect world, companies would like every prospect to be a good customer. The reality, however, is that there are good and bad customers in terms of ROI. Each prospect is driven by a different set of values and needs that might or might not meet the company capabilities to deliver the results wanted.

Closing a deal is not good enough anymore. Some managers think that the more deals you close, the better off your business will be. However, there’s nothing more wrong than that.

What is the cost of having to deal with an unhappy customer? What are the repercussions of on-boarding a prospect, whose needs cannot be met? How much time will your team have to spend on trying to figure out what to do next? And lastly, how easily will you fire that bad client?

The reality is that many businesses tend to accept any client their sales team bring in because they are afraid of missing out an opportunity. The thought that any customer is a good customer is insane and can harm your company growth. The ideal prospect fit is a method developed to take only valuable customer down the funnel with a carefully planned lead qualification process. You cannot please everyone and you better understand that sooner rather than later. Having tougher on-boarding rules will help your company focusing on building relationships with prospects that matter.

4. Be Honest & Work Together With The Prospects

Honesty is probably the last thing that the common person associates with salespeople. Unfortunately, we have built a name for our profession that is not reputable, to say the least. We are known to bend reality and make things look better than they are as far as we can get someone’s money out of their pocket.

If you want to make a difference and create a long-term relationship with prospects, you need to be honest and work together with them. Honesty, however, is not just about saying things as they are.

For example, when a prospect asks you “Why should I choose you instead of a competitor?”, what do you say?

Most salespeople, as they have been trained to such basic objection, will jump on it and start pitching all the different USPs their product, service or company has against all different competitors in the market. However, doing so will just raise barriers from the prospect perspective. As seen previously, by tackling an objection, you won’t be uncovering the real truth.

Have you thought about why the prospect is asking such a question?

If you get asked what makes your company different in the market, be honest and address that with curiosity. Ask them what problems they are currently facing and try to understand why they are asking this question. You might have the best solution or product in the market (for real) but the reality is that you don’t know if that will suit your prospect’s needs. You are assuming that it will and you might be wrong.

Being honest and showing your prospect vulnerability will increase the chances to build trust and long-term partnerships.

5. Become An Expert

Too many times, salespeople make up stuff just because they don’t know what they are talking about. As a consequence, buyers tend to have little trust in sales reps.

Salesforce reported that 79% of buyers want their sales reps to be trusted advisors. Customers are looking for consultants. Building relationships with prospects is a lot like personal relationships. Buyers are looking for a long-term relationship, not a one-night stand!

Together with this finding, it has been shown that buyers want more than just a sales counterpart. As a sales rep, you need to know the ins and outs of your product or service offerings and understand the market. All of this can be achieved only by becoming an expert in your field.

State Of Connected Customer

Depending on the industry you operate in, it might be easier to stand out if you know just a little bit better than your competitors the market and how things work for your potential customers.

Invest time in researching the market. Schedule personal development time during your working day to learn about what’s going in the industry. Organize with your team “discussion times” to share knowledge and build confidence. Lastly, connect more often with people within the organization who could help you get a higher than average understanding of what your product USPs are.

6. Follow Your Values As A Person

At the beginning of this article, I wrote that “People buy people, not products”. This means that you need to related to your buyers as a person. In sales, you are quite often told to avoid talking about personal things with prospects as “things could get messy”. You might not want to get involved in political talks. However, keeping a distance with your counterpart will not benefit anyone in building a long-term relationship.

The best salespersons I have met during my career are those who are able to connect with prospects just about anything. Understanding that who you have in front is not only a buyer but also a person, it’s crucial to how successful you will be. Get to know them and share a genuine interest in opening up yourself.

In-person communication is crucial to building truthful relationships. I often see too many salespeople spending so much time in front of the laptop or on the phone, ignoring the value that in-person meetings have. In case geographical limitations don’t allow you to visit prospects with flexibility, have a weekly catch up with prospects that are the most valuable to you.

Conclusion

Sales is a challenging but crucial role in any organization. As industries evolve, so do buyers. Salespeople need to adapt to changes and move away from old tricks. In today’s environment, prospects rely on salespeople who are trustworthy and know what they are talking about. Don’t get stacked with the average Joe. You can’t control the product delivery or other people’s behaviours or market conditions, however, you can control what you do and what you stand for.

The Best WordPress Instagram Themes To Boost Brand Visibility

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WordPress Instagram Themes

Instagram is undoubtedly the most popular visual networking platform. It is famous for its application based design and the look. According to Hootsuite, 4.2 billion posts are liked on Instagram each day. This platform has been successful in creating a great name for itself and the traffic capable of making everyone shine overnight.

If companies are not on Instagram, it is time to reevaluate the decision. Instagram is popular amongst celebrities as well as the general audience. The platform has over a billion users, which clearly displays the potential for businesses to promote their brands. Business owners should also consider integrating their WordPress website with their Instagram account.

Read Also: How Instagram Stories Can Help Your Startup Growth

To facilitate this, we collected the best WordPress Instagram themes available on the market.

Carrie

Most of the businesses are constantly hunting for stylish, elegant, as well as a powerful blog theme, capable of serving various purposes. Carrie is undoubtedly the best for those running personal blogs.

This theme is renowned for its unique design and various features, including changing fonts, colors, post views, layouts, and a lot more. The theme also comes with the built-in slider, perfect for displaying the Instagram content in numerous ways.

Alpha-Blog

This is a WordPress Instagram theme, crafted with a lot of attention to various tiny details. This theme is perfect for both personal as well as corporate use. The design is timeless and the layout is known to feature customizer options. This allows the user to customize the layout, the colors, and the typography for personalization. This theme is free from any bloats, and you will be able to customize it easily.

The coding of the theme ensures that it is compatible with most of the plugins. You will be able to create and share all your favorite content with this theme and it is only going to cost $24.

Brooklyn Indie Band

If you are looking for a modern and elegant theme, that is not only clean but also pretty, the Brooklyn Indie Band is definitely for you. It is perfect to make represent bands and works also great to display products and services.

This is not just a theme; it is also known to offer diverse assets for making the band site look ideal. This theme is known to include the best possible features and it is going to cost you $39.

New York

Various businesses and bloggers use this theme. It features a clean and fast design, which is minimal and helps in promoting content greatly. This helps to captivate the attention of the readers.

Usage reports have revealed that this theme compared to other feels less messy and extremely easy for use. There are three styles along with great features and you can get it for only $19.

Jarsen

Jarsen is unique in comparison to the various other blog themes because of the classic and simple style that follows. This theme is well known and widely used because it offers numerous possibilities, optimization, and responsiveness.

The template is retina ready, great for displaying images and videos on new devices. You can customize this theme in a simple and easy way. The cost is only $49.

Donald Arch

Donald is one of the most responsive blog themes in the market. It is perfect for sharing knowledge, displaying personal achievements or usable also as an online web diary. This is a premium blog template and it is convenient for building the various types of professional and personal blog websites. It is based on the CSS framework of Bootstrap and it costs only $19.

Everly

This is the go-to-theme by a number of people, interested in creating personal blogs. Its design is clean and bold. The trendy layout and the elegance of this template add value to the website you would build.

It offers various features, including the sidebar layout as well as the layout with full width. You can get four different layouts when purchasing the theme for $39.

Winston

In case you are looking to displaying content in an elegant and modern style, this template is one of the best Instagram WordPress themes that you will come across. It features a slider, a header, a carousel, a user-friendly panel and it also has various other amazing features.

This theme offers various layouts and post options along with numerous Google fonts. The setup and installation of the theme are extremely simple. The price is $49.

Read Also: 6 Ways To Use IGTV For Great Brand Story-Telling

Conclusion

There are several options when it comes to WordPress Instagram themes. It is certainly difficult to pick one among the many, however, the above suggestions should make your life easier. The most important thing when considering a WordPress theme is to first consider your own needs and then look for what matches the best these. Many templates offer a free version to try out.

What theme did you choose to display in the best way your Instagram profiles? Would you recommend anything else that is not here? Share your suggestions in the comment section below.

How To Keep Your Employees Happy And Productive

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Employees Happy And Productive

Having a happy workforce automatically guarantees they will be productive, too. After all, it’s much easier to get work done when you feel like you are at the top of the world. Of course, it’s as tricky to keep the level of motivation up as it is to bring it up. If you want to be a good and caring boss, you’ll need to realize that this is a permanent job. The changes you implement will have to last permanently, not just for a period of time. Keeping employees happy and productive is what will drive your company to success.

1. Always Give Them Something To Do

Employees Happy And Productive

People aren’t happy unless they are working. As soon as they don’t have anything to do at the job, they start thinking how pointless it is to even go there. This in no way means that you should overwork your employees and burden them with extra work, just that you should always have projects planned ahead. A little breather between projects is fine, even welcomed, but be sure to start the next phase shortly. 

This keeps the mindset of having to work hard ever-present and helps your employees feel like they’re making a difference. In truth, those two components are essential for their mental health, happiness, and productivity. You can even have several projects planned out ahead and then let your employees decide which one they want to work on. This way, you can divide your workforce and have people work on something they’re genuinely interested in. That factor enhances the level of their productivity and happiness all the while leaving them with a purpose.

2. Come Up With A Reward System

The more people go unrewarded for their good work, the less they’re willing to try. After all, what’s the point of working hard if it doesn’t seem to earn you anything than what the others have? Where’s the justice in contributing twice as more without being recognized for it? To counter these thoughts and avoid an inevitable decrease in productivity, you should create a reward system. It can be anything from days off, a raise, or a massage.

In fact, sometimes a kind word is more than enough. This will show your workforce that you take an active interest in what they do and appreciate the work they put in for your company. A simple “you’re doing a great job, keep it up”, will be enough to make anyone’s day.

Of course, real rewards will have a longer lasting effect and will make your employees much more productive and happier. You can start small and then go up to bigger rewards so as to keep things new and fresh and keep the productivity up. Another idea is to ask your team what they would appreciate most as their reward to keep them happy and productive.

3. Encourage Work Harmony

Team building and work harmony are the essence of keeping your employees happy and productive. If they feel like they belong to something bigger than themselves, they’ll feel like they have to do their part to aid the system. It will also give them a purpose in your firm. You can easily achieve this effect by encouraging your employees to socialize and engage with each other. Make them see they’re welcomed and have friends in the office.

Of course, this should be done subtly, not directly. There’s nothing more awkward than your boss forcing you to interact with others. The easiest way to do this is to give them something they all have in common- coffee. Acquire a Blue Pod coffee machine and watch the conversation flow easily during every break. It may start with small talk, but even that’s enough to warm your employees up to one another. In the long run, a simple thing like chatting while drinking your coffee will bring them together
and make the work environment healthier and more pleasant for everyone.

4. Make An Effort To Listen

A happy and productive employee is one who is heard and listened to. It’s often the case that bosses just nod their heads to their employees’ ideas, not really caring about them at all. Even more so, we see cases where the boss flat out discourages the employee from being creative by putting down their idea. This leads to frustration and will inevitably lead to negligence of office duties. Don’t be that boss.

When your team is brainstorming, encourage them to come up with as many ideas as they can. They don’t even have to be all good, the important thing is that they’re actively participating. Challenge them to think and change their opinions and steer them towards one vision. They’ll all have something interesting to contribute, that’s guaranteed. Praise the good ideas and make sure to give credit where it’s due. This way your employees feel both heard and appreciated.

There’s nothing more than a warm feeling in their hearts and a smile on their faces. Everyone likes being valued.

Conclusion

As you can see, keeping your employees happy as well as productive is no easy task. Still, we’re confident that you’ll be able to do a proper job due to your dedication to the workplace. Your hard work is bound to go noticed, too. When employees see how much you’re trying to keep them happy and motivated, they’ll have even more reason to keep giving excellent results. In truth, being more conscious of your work environment and how you can improve it can and will prove to be beneficial for everyone involved.

Why Following Up With Prospects Will Help You Win More Business

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Following Up With Prospects - MyStartupLand

Small businesses tend to be a little resistant when it comes to following up with prospects. Many business owners are afraid to come off as too pushy. If you let your own apprehension take over and not follow up, you are literally leaving money on the table. Are you really willing to forgo business growth?

While coaching might help some people, it will be well worth it, in the end, to be able to make those follow-ups with your potential customers. Doing so will give you a much better chance to make them returning and loyal customers. But first, let’s get to the bottom of the common misconceptions when and why you should follow up with prospects.

Misconceptions About Follow-ups

Thinking that you’re a lot busier than your potential customers is false. You should change the perception of your time. Everyone is busy. Period. Just as you accidentally looked over an important email one day and forgot to respond, the same is true for your prospects.

It’s not always the case that someone is ignoring you. Prospects could honestly just be overlooking your message or thinking they’ll eventually find the time to respond. In these cases, not following up with prospects means throwing away an opportunity.

Over 80% of sales require five follow up calls according to statistics. If you never follow up in the first place, you are not even trying. Knowing this, there’s really no excuse for not consistently following up with potential customers.

Benefits Of Following Up With Prospects

The list of benefits could go on forever. Here, we take a look at three very key ones to keep in mind.

1. Shows That You Don’t Take Customers For Granted

By following up with prospects consistently, you show that you value them and are looking to establish a long-term relationship. Intermittent calls and emails do little to build rapport. While following up, be sure to summarize your previous contacts. Show that you’re detail oriented and focused on their business.

2. Establishes Rapport

Rome wasn’t built in a day, and neither are most sales. In most cases, you won’t be the only potential sales person that the prospect is dealing with. If you follow up consistently, however, you could be establishing a rapport with prospects and become part of their routine. Relationships matter in business. Taking the time to establish a good rapport with regular follow-ups can go a long way toward helping them decide who they want to do business with.

3. Potential To Boost Sales

This one’s a no brainer. While many salespeople give up after one or two follow-ups, those who excel in sales know that persistence literally pays. Who wouldn’t like to boost sales just by making a simple follow up call with a prospect? Well, it’s really that simple! Sometimes you just need some evidence to know that follow-ups work.

Tips For Successful Follow-ups

Once you’ve understood why following up with prospects is crucial for your business growth, you should learn the best practices. There are several prospecting sales tools available on the market, for this reason, it can be very simple to create routine follow-ups.

Read Also: The Ultimate List Of (FREE) Sales Prospecting Tools

1. Use Multiple Channels To Reach Out

There are many sales follow-up channels that can be utilized and even tailored to your specific business needs. You should be using a mix of different channels rather than just choosing one and hoping for success.

A few of the most popular channels include email, phone calls, and texting. If phone calls aren’t your cup of tea, you can create an automatic follow-up email cadence that is sent to a prospect after a call. All this can be edited to meet each prospect needs. Try mixing up channels by sending out a follow-up text message after you get off a call with a prospect.

According to statistics, this approach has a conversion rate of 40% higher than other channels. This multi-channel approach is an effective way to perform follow-ups.

2. Use Templates

There are an abundance of resources including follow-up templates out there, so use them to your advantage. You can customize templates that fit your preferred channel to ensure success. You can choose to create a single template to send to all prospects or to customize a template based on the individual.

Customization can become crucial in email follow-ups as 33% of email recipients open emails based on subject line alone. Templates can also be used for sending out text messages to prospects after a phone call or interaction.

3. Timing Is Important

Timing is a crucial element when it comes to being successful with follow-ups. The perfect message that’s sent at the wrong time only ends in a waste of your own time.  There are many different factors that play into the “right” time to send out a follow-up. While there is no perfect time of day to send out a follow-up, the rule of thumb is to follow-up with someone 48 hours after your initial interaction. 

Conclusion

There’s no need to attach negative connotations to follow-ups, the truth is they’re effective and should serve as a cornerstone of any sales process. Once you’ve developed a routine for sending follow-ups, don’t neglect to measure the success of the different tactics employed.

There are many different metrics you can use to measure your success rate. Don’t keep avoiding following-up with potential customers and start boosting your sales today. 

Top 5 Marketing Automation Tools To Convert Online Visitors Into Prospects

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Marketing automation is at the basis of creating a successful B2B company. When growing, organizations need to automate marketing activities to unite both the marketing and sales departments. By doing so, the growth will be faster.

One of the key questions many business owners have is how to convert online visitors into prospects. This is one of the most difficult tasks ahead of any online business owner. It’s important to remember that a visitor is an unknown person with no data attached to it.

A visitor becomes a prospect the moment an email address is shared, either on a landing page or a contact form.

How To Convert Online Visitors Into Prospects?

Marketing automation together with funnel management can help business owners maximize their online activities. Turning more online visitors into prospects and hence increasing business is the bottom line for any company.

User Funnel - MyStartupLand

Any online user of a B2B organization goes through specific steps of the user funnel. To increase active customers, business owners need to master the art of user conversion funnel management.

What Are The Steps In The User Conversion Funnel?

If your business operates online, the conversion funnel is something that you cannot ignore. Thinking about the steps a user undertakes to become a prospect and from a prospect to a lead is fundamental.

There are 5 steps to keep in mind:

  1. Demand (or Lead) Generation: The act of creating interest in your products or services through marketing efforts.
  2. Conversion: When a visitor gives his/her own contact information to a business through a contact form or customized landing page.
  3. Lead Nurturing: Once a visitor becomes a prospect, there’s a need to engage with her/him in a targeted way. Communication should happen at specific intervals based on their actions and whether or not they have met certain qualifying criteria.
  4. Lead Qualification: This step is crucial to skim through the noise of all prospects. Remember that not all prospects are created equally. Lead scoring helps define better the value of prospects.

Most marketing automation tools offer already ways to optimize and customize the funnel to meet organizational needs.

Here below we take a look at the top 5 marketing automation tools to convert online visitors into prospects.

#1 Pardot by Salesforce

Pardot is a marketing automation tool developed by Salesforce. It integrates smoothly with one of the most well-spread CRM in the world.

Pardot empowers marketing and sales teams to work together to find and nurture leads, close more deals, and maximize ROI. It has several functions that simplify the lives of many business owners.

For example, through Pardot, you can create custom landing pages to convert visitors into prospects. At the same time, you can use the pre-built lead qualification tools for prospects scoring and grading.

Pardot’s lead management features CRM integration, email marketing, lead nurturing, lead scoring, and ROI reporting. All these help both marketing and sales teams qualify sales leads, shorten sales cycles, and track marketing ROI.

#2 Marketo

Marketo is one of the leading platform for marketing automation and sales effectiveness. Its Engagement Platform uniquely provides an easy-to-use, powerful and complete marketing software. The tool helps small companies and global enterprises to grow faster.

The platform includes the first social marketing automation tool, which helps business owners and marketers streamline processes and deliver results for their marketing campaigns.

Marketo offers a wide variety of tools to help guide visitors through your website and turn them into active prospects. There are SEO tools to get noticed while potential prospects perform research online. There are also advertising tools to target the right audience by enriching the data through Facebook, Google, LinkedIn, and other platforms.

#3 HubSpot

HubSpot is an award-winning marketing and sales platform. It helps organizations attracts more visitors, generate leads, and ultimately turn the right prospects into customers.

HubSpot offers a full stack of products, similar to others. It is possible to use some of them stand-alone or all together. Its inbound marketing software has been designed to launch effective marketing campaigns to turn online visitors into prospects and eventually happy customers.

Hubspot Suite - MyStartupLand

The main advantage is that HubSpot can be used as a unique solution rather than having different platforms.

#4 ActiveCampaign

ActiveCampaign is an all-in-one marketing platform that helps organizations scale business with email automation and sales tools. Its marketing automation tool supports business owners understanding what each contact wants.

The tool also helps in lead nurturing campaigns by sending automated targeted messages to improve conversion from prospect to active customer. All this is possible through automated workflows based on unique interests.

ActiveCampaign - MyStartupLand

ActiveCampaign also helps marketers to find the most engage leads by setting lead scoring and engagement tagging to simplify the qualification process.

#5 Act-On

Act-On is a comprehensive marketing automation tool thought to offer a complete suite of applications for business owners and marketers. It includes email marketing, website visitor tracking, lead management, social media management, reporting, and analytics, as well as integrations with webinar and event planning.

Like other automation tools, Act-On helps marketers attract and convert ideal buyers. The suite of applications connects visitors to the products a company offers enabling a higher conversion rate to active customers.

Act-On enables business owners to prove the success of marketing programs and campaigns by showing which channels directly impact the organization’s revenue and growth goals.

Conclusion

As the organization grows and the number of online visitors increases, it is crucial to understand what is the best automation tool. There are many options out in the market and for this reason, having an in-dept research can speed up the decision. However, depending on how quickly the business grows, it might be a good option to look for experts in technology implementation to foster growth.

[INFOGRAPHIC] What Startups Can Learn From Transportation Disruptors

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Transportation Startups - MyStartupLand

The transportation industry is one of the biggest that has been flipped upside-down by startups. From rideshare services like Uber and Lyft to scooters like Bird and Lime, these transportation startups are changing the culture of how we move. And they’re doing it on a global scale. The rideshare industry revenue was over $60B in 2018 and the scooter industry revenue was $15B.

By 2023 these figures will be the double of today.

We know that innovation does not have to break entirely new ground. Many new and successful business models stem from new ways to consider established industries. Industry disruptors are those who find a novel way to approach a service or product.

For example, let’s take a look at the transportation industry. Ridesharing services like Uber and Lyft have disrupted the established norm of taxi and limo services. They provide cheaper options and app-driven functionality for payment and hailing. Tesla is another great example, forcing the auto industry to adapt to electric vehicle technology.

A disruptor starts with a good understanding of the marketplace needs. Then, it searches for where there are issues with the user experience. Lastly, it capitalizes on making improvements. In this case, to disrupt the industry, ride-share services discovered parts of the well-worn travel system that could be repurposed and made more user-friendly through technological advancement.

Even if your business is not in the transportation space, you can still learn a lot.  Check out the below infographic, to find out about funding and successful strategies used to disrup an industry.

[INFOGRAPHIC] 15 Reasons Why Local SEO Matters

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Local SEO - MyStartupLand

Engaging with local customers is always one of the top questions of many business owners. Often times, you’ll host events at your brick and mortar shop or promote yourself within the community to gain local exposure. But when 71% of potential customers search on Google for a local business, you have to expand your reach!

For this reason, local businesses need to be aware of what Local SEO is and why it matters for their growth.

Why Should You Have A Local SEO Strategy?

Having a strong local SEO strategy will directly impact traffic to your website, and subsequently, increase potential leads. Local SEO is all about ensuring your SEO strategy encompasses your geographic location and brings your business to a potential customer, the second they’re searching for you.

Think about when you search for “vintage clothing near me”. If you own a vintage clothing store in the same geographical area as the searcher, you definitely want to be in what’s called the “snack pack” or at the top of the proceeding organic results.

But how do you get there?

Here are 5 ways to improve your local SEO, further ensuring your customers will find you:

  1. Local on-page optimization (Making sure your website content is optimized for local search)
  2. Localized content (Is your content relevant to your location?)
  3. Google My Business optimization
  4. Build local citations (Apple Maps, Yelp, Bing, Review Sites, etc.)
  5. Local link-building (Connecting to local assets through content)
Local SEO Strategy

[INFOGRAPHIC] Is It Time To Hire Your First Employee?

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Hire Your First Employee

Running a startup, you’re likely used to working long hours and putting in extra work throughout the week. With so much on your plate, it can be hard to know when the time is right to hire your first employee.

If you’re turning down work just as often as you’re taking it on, however, it could be a strong sign that you are ready for a new person to join your startup. Because it takes a huge investment in time, resources, and capital to bring someone new on to the team, it’s important to thoroughly consider whether you’re ready for a new hire.

Every startup will grow differently but the things to consider are similar.

Do You Have Enough Time To Do Everything?

While 50 hour weeks may come more often than not in the world of small businesses, it’s important to make sure that you’re not overworking yourself.

The consequences of burnout can cost you more time and money than you’re saving by not hiring someone new. A properly supported team can work more efficiently and stress-free when they don’t have to worry about how everything is going to get done.

In some situations, you may be overworked but not need a new employee. You may find that you simply need a more efficient method of communication, or simply to outsource accounting and HR tasks to larger firms. Explore all your options before signing any contract.

Can You Afford To Hire Your First Employee?

Logistically, it will require consistent and reliable profit in order to pay the salary of a new employee. In addition, you will need to have enough saved or coming in to cover the loss in profit you’ll take from recruiting efforts, onboarding, and training.

Hiring too quickly without considering the costs associated can quickly sink a small operation, so do the math. If you’re working more than full time, yet can’t seem to find room in the budget to outsource any tasks, that may be an issue. Consider raising your rates or cutting back on expenses.

What Profile Will You Need?

With the proper resources, the next step is to determine their exact role. Will you need a specialist to take on the tasks that you’re not an expert at? Or will you take on a jack-of-all-trades to help out a little bit everywhere?

Before you put the word out that you’re looking to hire, create a job description. Include daily tasks, competencies, and monthly goals. Vet this list to ensure that these tasks make sense together and that they will create enough revenue to justify the employee’s pay. If they don’t, they should at least free you up enough to generate more revenue.

Taking the health of your business and the projects required you are sure to find the right employee for your startup. Growing a business and a team can be incredibly difficult, but also very rewarding. Check out the infographic below for a list of signs that it’s time to hire your first employee.

Time To Hire Your First Employee

Are you considering hiring your first employee for your startup? What are the important things you prioritize? Share your experience in the comment section below.

15 Ways To Increase Website Traffic Today For Free

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Ways To Increase Website Traffic Today For Free

In a digital world with 152 million blogs, questioning the value of investing resources and time in building yet another one is a fair doubt. In 2019, however, content creation should not be seen as just regurgitating some ideas with no value into the web. Marketers, as well as entrepreneurs, should understand that having a B2B blog can increase your website traffic overall.

Organic traffic accounts for 51% of the traffic a website gets. It doesn’t matter how much money you spend on advertising or time on social media platforms, creating content and sharing insightful articles will get you far better results over time.

Website Traffic Share - MyStartupLand
https://www.brightedge.com

But, How Much More Are We Talking About?

Websites with a blog tend to have 434% more indexed pages than others that don’t. Having a wider presence on search engines will let more users find your business online.

Being found online while searching for specific keywords can create the right intent in the users’ mind. Getting a user to read your content online is the first step of a successful lead nurturing strategy. As a matter of fact, organic traffic capture 40% of revenues generated online.

It Won’t Be An Easy Journey

Having a blog, however, doesn’t translate into immediate results. If you are looking for sudden spikes in traffic to your website, you are better off investing in paid advertising. Be aware though that paid marketing campaigns can generate traffic as far as you are spending. The moment you stop, things go back to reality.

Blogging is by no mean an easy task. You need to take into consideration that :

  1. You need to be consistent with publishing content
  2. You need to diversify the format of the content you publish
  3. You will need to wait some time before enjoying the results

Blogging is a lot like a healthy diet, not just any diet. It requires efforts, pain, and commitment. You will be losing weight but slowly, maybe a couple of kilos every 2 weeks. There will also be times when you will actually gain back some of the kilos you lost and you will feel demoralized and that all the efforts you put in were just a big waste of time. Yes, that’s blogging. However, if you keep being consistent, your body will react differently to food, your metabolism will adjust and then the change will be permanent.

This is what content creation for results is about. It takes time and you will hardly see improvements immediately. Once you cross that bridge, however, organic traffic will be consistent compared to any paid advertising activity.

In this article, I will focus on 15 ways to increase website traffic today for free. The only 2 things you will need are time and effort.

1. Understand Your Audience’s Preferences

Understanding your audience’s preferences is something crucial to start building a blog that lasts and add value to your uers’ lives. When working on content marketing, many companies feel like they need to add an article just for the sake of having something online. That’s wrong!

At the beginning, you should test different formats and understand how your audience reacts to each one of these. Take notes and learn. A way to learn even faster is to take a look at what competitors are doing. If you have competitors that have been actively blogging for a long time, you should be able to see what their audience engages the most with.

TIP: Remember that just copying what your competitors are doing won’t add any value to your audience. Be creative, brainstorm with your team. Take a look at the same topic in a different way. Be bold, don’t be boring. Your prospects have limited time, they won’t be reading twice the same thing.

2. Make The Most Of Social Channels

Creating content and waiting for your prospects to find it online won’t make it. You need to actively engage on social media channels with your audience. Each social media platform serves your audience in a different way. For example, if you are targeting B2B prospects, Instagram won’t really get you customers. Companies, however, can engage with the audience on this channel to share how’s the life in their company to attract potential candidates.

Social media platforms need a social media marketing strategy. Content needs to be adjusted and thought for each channel. Sharing the same content across all different platforms won’t get you the results you want.

You need to think also about the under-served format on specific platforms. For example, videos on LinkedIn gets priority in the feed compared to normal posts, as the platform seeks to compete with Youtube and Facebook for video content. If you don’t trust me, just check how an average video performs on LinkedIn in terms of views, and then check the same on Facebook or Youtube. The number of views you will get on LinkedIn is easily 10x of other platforms.

TIP: Remember that customizing your content for social media channels can potentially lead to get your post viral. The more shares and interactions your post gets, the more traffic your website will receive.

3. Don’t Be Boring, Mix It Up

An important thing to understand when launching your company blog is that you cannot create the same type of content over and over again. Depending on what you want to communicate to your audience, you need to mix the type of content you put out there.

However, we need to be realistic. Unless blogging is your main business, you won’t be able to publish every single time in-depth articles or have a wide variety of formats, such as white papers, infographics or videos. You need to find a good balance for your audience to digest the content you add online. However, remember that writing 500 words blog posts won’t get you anywhere. Top-ranked articles have on average between 1140 and 1285 words.

MarketingProfs

TIP: It’s usually a good idea to have every 2-3 weeks an in-depth article, maybe about some research you have done or with some best practices. Long articles get a lot more attention, shares and the time spent on it reading it is usually longer, hence increasing on-page engagement.

4. Work On Headlines

Every day, there are about 2 millions blog posts shared online. Your chances to get a click on your articles are extremely low. Working on compelling headlines can, however, increases your possibilities.

When thinking about headlines, don’t go for the first thing that comes to your mind. Write down several options and then pick the one you believe could stimulate a reader to click on your blog post. Here’s an article that could give you some ideas.

TIP: Remember that when it comes to headlines you shouldn’t limit yourself to the title of your article. Think about that the blog post you wrote will be shared on social media platforms. This means that you need to think of a headline also for that.

5. Update Old Blog Posts

This is a very simple action that you should take on a regular basis. Depending on the amount of articles you write, you want to go back on those written a while back and update them.

The way you should update old articles is relatively simple:

  1. Make sure that all the websites you linked to are still working (if not, change them)
  2. Update images and graphs to make it relevant to today, not yesterday
  3. Modify the content to be relevant to today (again), i.e. if you wrote something that was true in 2017, but it’s not in 2019, get rid of it

TIP: Do this only when you have enough content on your website. There’s no need for you to go over 4 articles and update these. The more content you generate, the more opportunities you will have to take advantage of this step.

6. Beware Of On-Page SEO

SEO is not dead and never will. Online you can find different opinions on this matter but if you want to increase organic traffic to your website, you need to focus on SEO.

On-page SEO is the practice of optimizing individual web pages in order to rank higher and earn more relevant traffic in search engines, as Moz puts it. You should not ignore this factor as it is crucial. Note that, on-page SEO is constantly evolving, so you need to make sure that when you research for it, you look for updated resources.

TIP: If you run your company blog on WordPress, there’s a very good plugin, Yoast SEO, that help you optimize your content for important on-page SEO factors, and of course, it has a free version.

7. Focus On Long-Tail Keywords & Similar Keywords

http://divemagazine.co.uk/travel/7334-threshers-in-all-their-glory

When creating content for your blog, on top of making sure the on-page SEO is spot on, you need to focus on long-tail keywords.

Long-tail keywords are specific, long and “unpopular” keywords that convert extremely well. The reason you should focus on these is very simple. The less popular (but specific) a keyword is, the less competition and more relevant to the researcher the results will be. Ahref, after analyzing 1.9 billion keywords found that 92.42% of them get less than 10 searches per month.

When you work on both on-page and off-page SEO, try to improve the ranking for long-tail keywords. These will bring to your website very targeted users.

There are several ways to find long-tail keywords and Google is here to help you.

First of all, go to the Google Search bar and start with a broad term, then look at the autocomplete suggestions by Google.

When searching on Google, you often see a box in the result page, named “People Also Ask“. Here you can find some more ideas as well.

TIP: These 2 methods can require quite some time to find the right long-tail keywords. If you want to speed up the process, there are also a bunch of tools online both for free and paid.

8. Start Guest Blogging Today

Guest blogging is a great way to share your knowledge, get noticed, and potentially get bak links to your website. These 3 factors have separate benefits for your company blog.

If you start reaching out to other blogs and share your knowledge for “free”, you are establishing yourself as an expert in your topic. The advantages are numerous, one above all others is that you gain exposure to someone else’s audience, which is great for your company. On top of that, most blogs will allow you to add a short Author Bio, in which you can have a link to your website and of course also your social media channels.

Another thing to keep in mind is that when reaching out to other bloggers you can establish a mutual collaboration. Basically, you can also ask them to write on your website and share their knowledge. You should be open to guest blog posts (see next point) as it increases the content on your company blog and adds another expert’s point of view on what your audience cares the most. The great thing about this type of collaboration is that you can have mutual do-follow back links.

Do-follow back links are a crucial part of your off-page SEO activities. Search engines use these types of links to follow quality content around the web. The more you have pointing at your website, the more authority your website will gain.

TIP: To find bloggers who are willing to allow you to post on their blog, you need to find people in your niche. The research can be done easily on Google or, for example, I use Moz Free Link Explorer and check for competitors’ websites and who is linking to them. Here’s a list that could be useful.

9. Allow Guest Blog Posts On Your Website

Having other people writing on your website, especially if you run a business can be difficult to accept. However, as seen above, content creation needs to be consistent over time. If you don’t have the time to write every week, allowing others to guest post is a great alternative.

I found this myself as I was trying to grow MyStartupLand. Adding a “Write For Us” section, saved me a lot of time and allowed me to find also collaboration opportunities with bloggers and companies in my niche.

TIP: When opening for guest blog posts make sure you set some ground rules. One above everything should be the quality of content. Once you have this option available on your website, you might get a lot of requests and, sometimes, these are people who are looking for merely a do-follow backlink to their website. After few trials and errors, I now allow only links to other websites in the Author Bio and there is a minimum word count guest bloggers need to write.

10. Re-publish Your Content Across The Web

There was a period when Google would penalize duplicated content. Today this is not anymore the case. This means that you can take advantage of higher authority websites, such as LinkedIn, Quora, or Medium to get links back to your website.

Although your website won’t get penalized, there is still a risk for your ranking. If you re-publish content on other websites with better authority, you might find your blog ranking lower than these. A way to avoid this unpleasant situation is to use the rel=canonical attribute, which tells the search engine to treat that page as a copy of the original.

TIP: I usually wait a couple of weeks to re-publish my content on other platforms. Quora is a great platform to answer questions with your content that people around the web might have. The trick here is to basically copy and paste your article and tweak it to fit the question asked. I use it every now and then and, as you can see from the screenshot below, the spikes in views are clear when you answer something in details.

11. Make Your Website Responsive

I wasn’t sure whether to add this point to this list as today this should be a given. However, I still come across non-responsive websites when searching something on-the-go. Yes, in 2019, there are still website owners who don’t understand the value of mobile optimized pages.

It has been reported that in 2018, 52.2% of websites visits were from a mobile device. On top of the fact that today website visitors are using their mobile devices to access content online, Google has announced that it will rank first the mobile version of your website. This means that if you haven’t optimized your website for mobile devices, you are going to lose a lot of traffic.

TIP: If you want to find out how your website is doing, you can use a free tool by Google, called, surprise surprise, Mobile-Friendly Test. You just need to add your website URL and wait that Google analyzes it. What you want to see, after the test, is something like this:

Another good thing to do is to connect your website to Google Search Console. Here, Google will send you alerts when there’s something wrong with your pages. It is helpful as, most likely, you won’t be checking your website constantly from a mobile device.

12. Improve Your Website Speed

Website speed is crucial for user experience as well as ranking well on Google. As a matter of fact, if your website loads slowly, Google won’t rank it well. It has been shown that users who need to wait more than 3 seconds for a page to load (on a mobile device) will leave that page.

Speed is difficult to manage, especially if you are not a tech expert. You will need to optimize both the desktop and mobile version of your website. This is probably where you might want to outsource, in case you can’t find your way around it.

TIP: Google provides another free tool, PageSpeed Insights, to give you feedback on page speed.

13. Comment On Other Websites

You are probably visiting several other websites in your niche. Unless it’s a competitor’s website, take the time to comment. Adding insightful comments on others’ blogs can contribute to your image.

Some blogs allow you to add also a link that states your website (win-win to get some links back). However, when commenting on the web, you shouldn’t be spammy. Always offer something interesting for the blog owner to actually add your comment to their blog post. As you will see, most websites have an “approval” process in the comment section.

Commenting on other people’s website won’t result in immediate traffic, however, will help you build a name for yourself.

TIP: Take the time to add lengthy comments on other people blog posts. In this way, you can add value to the content shared. It’s also useful to be the first one to comment, as this will give you more exposure. Quality and relevance are key when commenting, don’t forget that.

14. Steal Your Competitors Traffic

As seen in point 8, you can gain some advantages by analyzing your competitors’ activities. You can learn which websites are linking to them and you can “steal” that traffic.

Understanding referrals to your competitors’ websites can give you insights on what topics get linked the most and where you can easily go and ask for a referral as well.

TIP: Use tools such as SimilarWeb or Moz Link Explorer to understand who is linking to your competitors.

15. Host Podcasts or Webinars

The advantage that you have as a business is that you can gather experts and share insights on industry trends or specific topics. Podcasts, especially, have gained a lot of momentum lately. However, also webinars can help your business blog get more attention on the web.

Both podcasts and webinars are great means to share knowledge and people love learning new stuff!

TIP: If you don’t time to put together a podcast or a webinar, what about attending someone else’s? This is, again, a great way to get your name out there and increase your authority. On top of that, you usually get a link back to your website.

Conclusion

There are tons of ways in which you can increase organic traffic to your website. Having a blog is a great way to differentiate the way you talk with your prospects and customers. The above-mentioned 15 tips are all free and can be implemented today.

If you want to speed up your organic growth, you can obviously add some paid activities. The combination will lead to better and faster results.

Do you have any other free way to increase traffic to your website? Share your ideas in the comment section below.

Community Management – Zapnito

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Zapnito - MyStartupLand

Zapnito is a community software platform built to showcase expertise.

Zapnito is the platform for creating expert networks, which promote thought leadership and foster collaboration, connecting brands, and their communities to build engagement and trust.

Location: United Kingdom

Funded: 2013

Languages Supported: English, French

Website

Starting Price: Not stated on the website

Free Version: No

Deployment: Cloud, SaaS, Web

Support: Online, Business Hours

Who Is Zapnito For? 

This tool is for publishing, Media, Events, Membership organizations, Societies, Associations, Institutes, Agencies, Content marketing, Professional services, Education, Not for profit, Life sciences, Pharmaceutical.

What Does It Include? 

This tool allows companies to create custom online communities. It includes:

  1. Content Management & Moderation
  2. Event Management
  3. Group Management
  4. Membership Management
  5. Social Media Management
  6. Ideation/Crowdsourcing

How Much Does It Cost? 

There is a free demo. There is no price on the website.

Community Management – Hivebrite

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Hivebrite - MyStartupLand

Hivebrite Is The Online Community Platform.

Unlock the potential of your community with Hivebrite, the most advanced all-in-one community management and engagement platform.

Location: France

Funded: 2012

Languages Supported: English, French

Website

Starting Price: Not stated on the website

Free Version: No

Deployment: Cloud, SaaS, Web

Support: Online, Business Hours

Who Is Hivebrite For? 

This tool is for professional communities, Alumni networks, Incubators, Interest-based communities of all sizes from all countries, and all languages.

What Does It Include? 

This tool allows companies to scale large brand community thanks to its structure. It includes:

  1. Content Management & Moderation
  2. Event Management
  3. Group Management
  4. Membership Management
  5. Social Media Management

How Much Does It Cost? 

There is a free demo. There is no price on the website.

Community Management – CMNTY

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NodeBB - MyStartupLand

CMNTY Is The Community Software That Breathes Insights.

CMNTY is a powerful online platform used by today’s most innovative brands and marketing research agencies to build customer insights communities.

Location: United States

Funded: 2007

Languages Supported: English

Website

Starting Price: $1250/month

Free Version: No

Deployment: Cloud, SaaS, Web

Support: Online, Business Hours, 24/7

Who Is CMNTY For? 

This tool is for customer communities, marketing, research, and innovation communities. 

What Does It Include? 

This tool allows companies to scale large brand community thanks to its structure. It includes:

  1. Content Management & Moderation
  2. Event Management
  3. Group Management
  4. Membership Management

How Much Does It Cost? 

There is a free demo. The price starts at $1250/month.