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3 Effective Ways to Build Your Brand and Grow Your Community Using LinkedIn Live

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3 Effective Ways to Build Your Brand and Grow Your Community Using LinkedIn Live

Every brand is looking to stand out from its competition. Building a unique and engaging brand requires a thoughtful approach and finding ways to showcase how your brand is different from others that may provide a similar product or service.  

One of the real advantages of social media marketing is the opportunity to grow a community. Your audience for your business is out there. In many cases, they are building their own communities without any brand engagement. The ability to establish and grow a brand-driven community can propel a brand very quickly. Brands can tap into or leverage those existing communities that align with their brand offering. This, of course, is easier said than done. 

There are a set of questions that can help lay the foundation for building a brand community.

Who are the members of your community?  

Where can you find them?

What do they care about?

How can you reach them?

Let’s take a closer look at each one.

Who?  

Any marketing effort should begin by understanding your audience.  Who are they? What do they look like? Social media is extremeley adept in gathering information of its users and being able to organize them in an accessible and useful way.  If we know the demographics (age, location, etc.) as well as the psychographics (attitudes, behaviors, etc.) of our audience, the tools available through most social media platforms enable us to target them quite effectively. 

Where are they?

The question of where is not related to any geographical location (even though that can be significant as part of who they are). Instead, the question of where is your audience relates to where in the social sphere do they spend time. Which platforms, which groups within those platforms, where are the online and social communities that they show up. Even if we know a lot about who our audience is, if we don’t know where to find them we won’t have the chance to engage and connect with them.  

What do they care about?

Oftentimes when we develop content that revolves around our brand and its wonderful features and benefits. Unfortunately, consumers of content rarely care about what you can do. They only care about what you can do for them. We are all self-interested, and as such want content that resonates with our beliefs, concerns, needs. Understanding what our audience cares about and finding ways to show them our brand also cares about these same issues will help foster a stronger community.

How can you reach them?

Now that we know who they are, where to find them, and what they care about – how do we connect with them. The how of reaching your audience is also the what type of content you will share and in what manner will you deliver it.

Visual storytelling is a powerful way to share your message to connect with your audience. 65% of the population are visual learners and the human brain processes visuals much faster than text – in fact, 60,000 times faster.

Engaging visual content is a must for anyone trying to reach an audience. There are many options from photographs, other static images, corporate animation, recording video, and live video.  

Video content, whether live or animated, when coupled with a compelling story will capture your audience’s attention and help them remember your message.

Live video across most social platforms is trending high. Going live is very now. 

What Is Live Video Streaming?

Live video streaming is when a video is sent over the internet in real-time. This typically takes the form of broadcasts where one creator is streaming video content out to many users at once. This differs from typical video content in that typical video content is recorded beforehand and then accessed by users asynchronously.

Live video streaming is the next big thing in advertising and if you have content worth sharing, a live video might be the way to present it.

82% would rather watch live video from a brand than read a social post and the emotional engagement rate for live content is a whopping 25% – much higher than the 17% for on-demand viewing.

Where should you go live? If you are a Business-To-Business marketing, LinkedIn, with more than 774 million members across 200 countries, is the platform to connect and build a community and hence start using live video.

LinkedIn Live allows you to build deeper connections and drive more engagement with the world’s largest professional community. Live videos get, on average 7x more reactions and 24x more comments than native video produced by the same broadcasters.

Going live on LinkedIn hasn’t been around as long as other platforms and you will need to apply to go live. A scheduled live stream will automatically create a public event post. When you create a scheduled live stream from one of LinkedIn’s third-party streaming software partner platforms (Restream, Socialive, StreamYard, and Switcher), it’ll automatically show up on the LinkedIn feed as a new LinkedIn Event post. This change combines the discovery benefits of LinkedIn Events with the viral reach and engagement of LinkedIn Live. Although engagement at the moment is not incredibly high, now is the time to dive in to take advantage of this growing trend.

Here are 3 Effective Ways to Leverage LinkedIn live for building your brand and growing your community

Be Prepared

Before you go live, make sure that your internet and wifi are ready for it. If you have low bandwidth and it takes time to load you are going to lose people. Like any video recording ensure you have a good setup with sufficient lighting and proper sound. Finally, test everything before you go live. 

Be Engaged

The aim is to build your brand and your community. When you are live, say hello and give people shoutouts, answer any questions, ask questions and try and engage in a conversation. It is suggested to broadcast for at least three minutes to reach more people. 

Provide Value

Remember audiences are looking for relevant and valuable content.  Share your knowledge and expertise to add value. Perhaps have another subject-matter expert live with you to interview to share their expertise with your audience. 43% of viewers say compelling content is the primary motivator for live online viewing. Give viewers a reason to engage by providing compelling content that matters to them.

LinkedIn and visual storytelling through live video offers a fantastic way to build your brand and grow your community. 45% of consumers want to see more live videos from brands on their social media. Start your LinkedIn Live broadcasts today!

Geoffrey Klein is the Founder & CEO of nine dots, a video and animation company that helps businesses share their message through visual communication to connect with their audience. Geoffrey is also a Tedx speaker and an adjunct professor at Temple University’s School of Media & Communications. His experience spans from being legally trained to working for Seth Godin to working on major motion pictures at Paramount Pictures and MGM Studios.

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6 Steps for Starting a Successful Cafe Business

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Steps for Starting a Successful Cafe Business

Let’s get it honest – people love their cup of coffee and the kick they get out of it. And who can blame them – with so many varieties, flavors, and different types to choose from, this small dose of caffeine-laden productivity offers someone for everyone. According to recent research, people around the world drink more than 2.5 billion cups of coffee a day.

So, if you wanted to start your small coffee shop, the market is definitely out there.

On the other hand, as we can see from Starbucks and other similar brands, the people are not coming only for coffee. They also look for a unique experience, interesting brands, and fun, engaging business models. Let us take a look then if we can help you crack these business-related issues and help you start your café gig.

Pen down the business plan

Essentially, every successful business starts with good business plans – cafes are really no different. This document also gives you an opportunity to start solving some of the challenges like your target market, competitor analysis, revenue projections, milestones and goals, and other critical topics without actually putting your money on the table. The more thorough you are, the fewer things you will leave to chance once you take off. Also, this is an opportunity to make a final decision on some of the popular business models:

·         Coffee kiosk

·         Coffeehouse

·         Internet Café

·         Café bistro

·         Coffee roaster

·         Mobile coffee cart

Find a killer location

Seriously, the location can make or break your coffee shop business no matter how thoroughly you have covered the previous step. So, make sure the premises you rent meet the following requirements:

·         The store is located in a busy area and accessible via different means of transport

·         The location is visible and sees constant and abundant foot traffic

·         The environment fits your branding vision

Furthermore, if we take a look at Australia as an example of a trendy country we will see the growing presence of services like coffee subscription and roasted coffee delivery. If your company is going to utilize these services, the premises need to be able to support seamless logistics and company car fleet.

Find a middle ground between familiar and unique

As we have briefly mentioned in the introduction coffee shops live and die on the experience they are able to offer to their visitors. You need to offer something fun, engaging, stylish, laid back, and pleasant. If we, once again, go to Australia for an example, we will, for instance, see the enduring popularity of bentwood chairs in Melbourne and other metropolitan areas. No wonder, since these pieces are very traditional pick and cozy, but still leave enough room for playing with other styles and design elements. In the same vein, your coffee shop should strike that sweet middle ground between familiar and unique.

Start defining your brand

Of course, to do that, you will first need to conduct thorough market research that will give you an idea about who are your ideal target clients. Try to assess what they seek, what they need, and how you can solve some of their problems. For instance, if your coffee shop will be located in the vicinity of a University your guests will probably need some room to socialize, plug in their devices, and maybe even a quiet corner to repeat the lessons. This knowledge, in turn, will help you give your brand a more clearly defined voice and start working on the unique traits that will set you apart from the competitors.

Nail down the menu

Figuring down the menu will be one of the most responsible tasks you will need to handle before the launch. And even though this chore may sound mundane, the menu composition and pricing will have an influence on all facets of your company ranging from budgeting, and marketing to space requirement and physical location. So, start by getting in touch with local vendors and looking at how your competitors handled this problem. If you have a problem finding a functional financial model, consider expanding the menu with traditional moneymakers like wine, snacks, food, and beer and refocus your branding efforts.

Choose the right employees

Last but not least, we would like to remind you that employees make the backbone of any hospitality company and your café business is really no different. Also, the people who you hire prior to launch will one day hopefully take more responsible roles. That is why, aside from meeting the requirements like focus, motivation, and meticulousness, your future staff should genuinely enjoy coffee, know the industry, understand the concept of your coffee shop, and simply enjoy the company of like-minded people. Your visitors will be able to tell the people who are there just for the gig and they won’t like it.

These were some of the most important steps you will need to take to get your café business on a good start. Of course, you will also need to open a bank account, apply for necessary permits, and so on, but these tasks are not really related to the core of your future company. The people who like to visit the coffee shops come for the experience and service just as much as for the hot beverage itself. That is why your primary task should be to offer your clients that unique experience.

The tips we gave you will definitely point you in the right direction.

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How to Start and Scale Your eCommerce Business

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How to Start and Scale Your eCommerce Business

Emily Newton is the Editor-in-Chief of Revolutionized, an online magazine showing how technology is disrupting many industries.

There has never been a better time to own an eCommerce business, but knowing how to start and grow one can be challenging.

Success in eCommerce depends on your business’s ability to stand out and form genuine connections with your customers online. Having a plan to start and scale your eCommerce business will make sure you have a strong foundation from which to grow.

Getting Started in eCommerce

Before you can scale your eCommerce business and expand, you will need to get off on the right foot. In many ways, starting an eCommerce business is much like starting a conventional business. However, there are some unique challenges and considerations that come with starting an eCommerce business.

Find the Right Niche

The first step in starting any kind of business is identifying the niche your business will focus on. This is a twofold challenge: you need to find the niche your products or services will be in and the niche of customers you hope to serve. When starting an eCommerce business, you also need to consider virtual niches, such as online communities.

To identify the right niche or niches for your eCommerce business, you will need to carefully consider the products or services you plan on offering. What problem are they meant to solve? How will they improve the lives of customers? Who might benefit most from buying what you have to offer?

Register Your Business

In order to start and scale your eCommerce business, you will need to take care of some important technical steps. Every business needs to be legally registered in the U.S. and eCommerce businesses need to have a registered domain name.

You’ll need to apply for a federal employer identification number (EIN) for tax purposes. Your state will have its own unique registration requirements, as well, so make sure to check with your local Department of State for details. Usually, business registration can be done online.

Make sure to verify that your business has a unique name, as well. You can check to see if another business has a name similar to yours by visiting your state’s online database of businesses.

Create a Strong Business Plan

One of the most important, but challenging, parts of starting a business is creating a business plan. This is an important step if you want to be able to scale your eCommerce business down the road, since your business plan acts as a foundation for how you will operate and grow.

There are different ways to approach writing a business plan, but most include a few core components. Examples of common components include:

  • A company description
  • Market analysis
  • The legal and organizational structure of the business
  • Your marketing and sales strategies
  • Financial projections.

Set aside plenty of time to write and do research. Investors, lenders, partners, and other stakeholders will appreciate a detailed and thorough business plan.

When starting and scaling an eCommerce business, you’ll also need to take into account things like inventory management and shipping. For example, the specific type of boxes you use for shipping is an important part of your business, financially and logistically. Similarly, you’ll need to research things like shipping carriers and costs as well as storage space for goods or supplies.

Get Your Website Set Up

If you want to start and scale your eCommerce business successfully, your website should be one of your top priorities. The first thing you’ll need is a domain name. Choose one that’s easily recognizable and identifies your business’s specialty. When you purchase and register your domain, you’ll be able to confirm that no one else is already using the name you want.

When you are just getting started in eCommerce, you’ll want a web hosting provider that offers convenient web design tools and accessible customer service, especially if you don’t have previous web design experience. Take some time to research web design basics while you’re setting up your site. The UX (user experience) of your website will be a major factor in how it performs in search engines and whether or not customers trust your business enough to make a purchase.

You’ll also want to ensure you have reliable cybersecurity. When you’re starting an eCommerce business, you’ll need more than consumer-level antivirus software. Cyberattacks have skyrocketed since 2020, so your office or home office will need strong defenses to keep your customers’ data safe.

Make a Scaling Strategy

As you iron out all of the initial details, you may begin thinking about scaling your eCommerce business. Early on, it’s important to focus on getting a good start first and foremost. It’s a good idea to have an idea of where you want to go, though, and how you plan to get there. Your scaling strategy will give your business a direction to grow towards.

Form Connections in Your Niche

One of the best things you can do to scale your eCommerce business is network. Forming a community within your market or niche will help build up a good reputation that will allow you to expand and reach more customers. There are a few ways to network as an eCommerce business.

For example, working with relevant influencers is a great way to build trust with potential customers. If you run an eCommerce business that sells craft supplies, you might do a sponsorship with an influencer who runs a successful crafting blog or YouTube channel.

Similarly, you could connect with local groups, even if your eCommerce business doesn’t have a physical storefront.

Adapt to SEO and Algorithms

When scaling an eCommerce business, SEO (search engine optimization) and algorithms can either be your best friends or your worst enemies. Search engines are how many people will discover your business. You’ll need to adapt as the algorithms for search engines and social media change. Stay up-to-date on SEO and continually work to optimize your site for search engine performance.

This is where the initial UX design for your business’s website becomes extremely important. The appearance and functionality of your site have a major impact on how trustworthy it appears to customers and algorithms alike.

Think of UX and SEO the way you might think of presenting yourself in a boardroom. You want to demonstrate that you are professional, trustworthy, and knowledgeable. Adapting to SEO, algorithms, and web design needs is how you do this in eCommerce, and it’s vital for growth.

Bring in the Right People

Part of scaling your eCommerce business is physically growing your team. Scaling successfully relies on bringing in the right people to help your business reach its goals.

It is possible to find good talent as a small business. Focus on identifying areas where you could most use help and search for people with the right balance of skills and mindset. Remember: new skills can be learned on the job, but interest in your audience and enthusiasm for your business is harder to find. So much of scaling an eCommerce business is about having a supportive, resilient team behind the scenes.

Building a Career in eCommerce

Starting your own eCommerce business can be an exciting and rewarding experience. It will be challenging, but it can also be an opportunity to learn and bond with a community that is enthusiastic about the same niche you are. Going in with a plan will ensure you get started on the right foot and have a roadmap to start and scale your eCommerce business successfully.

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How to Handle the Workforce Conditions in 2022

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Living and operating any business in the post-COVID era, we have to think about health threats, as well as workforce metamorphosis that happened due to these threats. As owners or managers of any business in the world, this is something of extreme importance.

The rise of the COVID-19 pandemic forced many companies, as well as small businesses, to reduce their workforce. This change pushed people to think about freelancing, more than ever before. Because of it, companies are relying on freelance workers and outsourced firms to complete lots of different tasks.

Is this good in the long run? How can a serious company be sure that they will always find available freelancers, if everybody is hiring them and their power becomes stronger every day? Or should employers think about how can they make their own workforce happy to stay where they are? Let us explore some options which could help keep the employees, as well as freelancers, satisfied and doing their jobs better than ever.

Work on your employee’s engagement

Employee engagement involves the degree to which a worker is passionate about the things they do for your company as well as the commitment they show and the effort they apply.

When an employee knows their exact role inside a business venture and the company and if they are well-driven as well as determined to do good, then their performance will go sky-high. On the other hand, if your employees are not engaged enough, their performance will go down and, eventually, the rest of your business will follow down that path.

Well-being of every worker is crucial

When so many people are deciding that they can be their own boss and still do quite well, then there is not much that can stop them from quitting the job where they are not appreciated and their health is disregarded as unimportant.

We are currently operating in different conditions than ever before because of what happened during the recent pandemic. So, any serious CEO will take care of their workforce’s needs when it comes to health insurance, health code in the work facilities, crisis measures and precautions, as well as mental health of the employees.

With the COVID vaccines being easier to get, people are starting to feel safer but there are still different kinds of concerns to have and you must always be sure to keep your employees’ health in mind. There is, of course, an option to work remotely, we will talk about it in one of the next tips.

Keep the company/freelancer relationship firm and legal

Along the way, you will surely do business with outside workers and companies, depending on them to deal with all the workload your own employees cannot handle at this point. However, you must always have the state regulations in mind.

Many companies engage some freelancers for multiple tasks but they don’t report those expenses to the government, which can lead to all kinds of trouble. Tax evasion was maybe easier before but it was never a safe choice, nor recommended. Now, with new regulations, and the IR35 compliance being introduced in 2021, be sure to always include your freelance workers when calculating your taxes and  hire a competent consultant for the IR35, in order to have all papers clean and your company and workforce safe and sound.

Support your remote workforce

While lots of company owners and CEOs continue to nurture hope for a return to close-to-normal as soon as possible, it is important to explore the “new normal” as well. The anxiety that happens when returning to regular working conditions after the pandemic of COVID-19 can be a huge burden for both the workforce and the management.

Considering this and the growth of freelance opportunities, a huge percentage of workers are asking for benefits like working from a remote location and flexibility concerning working hours. This, of course, initially comes from the desire for a somewhat flexible work-life balance but also from the fear for one’s health.

Therefore, it’s wise to examine the possibilities of making the right conditions for remote work happen as well as make a plan of how that could benefit your business in the future years. With the help of the latest technology, we can now operate through video calls, emails, text app correspondence, etc. We are also able to have fast, secure, international money transfers. So, obstacles that were once slowing down the work process are now hugely diminished through these simple sidesteps.

Always think about inclusivity and diversity

While diversity and inclusion are pretty much normalized when employing new people and in the treatment of the workforce, there is always space to work on it more. With international actions like the Black Lives Matter movement, this topic is at the top of many CEOs’ minds, of course, for good reason. The work on equality in the workplace seems to be a never-ending endeavor but it can be done.

Of course, an employer must never forget that the work doesn’t stop there and that they must try to work on inclusion as well. Ensure that every worker has what they need for a safe work environment and if a person has a disability, help them feel included and able to finish tasks fast.

Follow these pieces of advice, keep your workforce happy, and you will be sure to see good results in this new era that’s not so easy to adapt to.

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