Resources

9 Free Business Tools for Startups

Starting your own business and becoming an entrepreneur is one of the toughest tasks in the business world. Therefore, to make your job easier we have complied a list of simple and free business tools that you can use to better organise your workplace. These tools will help you optimise the growth of your business in all aspects such as team management, communication, financial tasks, task automation etc.

We have compiled a thorough list of internet applications and forums that can assist you in managing your business.

1. TaskQue

It’s crucial for all businesses to have a marketing and sales department; the marketing and sales team has a lot of tasks which can lead to disorganisation. TaskQue can help you organise, assign and track tasks given to the entire team on one platform. Business owners can run their business systematically.

 2. Buffer

Social Media marketing is an incredible tool to give a necessary boost to startups but managing all social media accounts together can be a hassle; Buffer is a free web based application that helps you connect all your social media accounts, moreover you can share posts and schedule things for later.

 

3. Canva

Canva is the perfect tool to visually optimise the content that you’re showcasing to the world. It’s convenient for creating images in order to make your website, emails and social media content attractive enough to gain engagement. Moreover you can even design your portfolios, resumes, brochures etc. which are mandatory tools for any entrepreneur.

 

4. Grasshopper

Communication is key even in employer-employee relationship- productivity level will be at it’s highest when everyone is well aware of their tasks and deadlines. Grasshopper is an application that helps companies pick their own customised number and extensions to create a better alternative for communication. This tool helps you get your own free landline or toll number for multiple extensions.

 

5. Doodle

Scheduling meetings and working hours can be a hassle for entrepreneurs, therefore “Doodle” is an excellent web application designed to simplify the scheduling process. It allows multiple time slots for everyone to pick and choose from at their own convenience.

 

6. Evernote

Ever-note enables entrepreneurs to jot down notes whenever they want to on their phones. It even has useful tools that help capture articles, photos, documents and attach them to your notes- you can create structured notes during client meetings or while designing business strategies at the tip of your finger.

 

7. Sender

Sender is a free marketing tool that you can use to create impressive newsletters for your email transactions. It does not require HTML knowledge and is extremely convenient for someone looking to turn their small startup into something big!

 

8. SendPulse

Customer dealing is an essential part of any business and the best way to display your professionalism. SendPulse helps you create customised emails that you can schedule to be automatically sent to your subscribers. It also figures out the right time by studying the subscriber’s behaviour through triggers and other variables.

9. Wave

Business, whether big or small, revolve around finances and if the business owner isn’t intelligent about handling financial matters, that could significantly harm the business. Wave is a free application that will free you from excel sheets and help you maintain transparent record of your bank transactions such as: invoicing, monetary record, income, billing etc. With “Wave” you can run your business smoothly without having to stress about the finances!

 

Not Convinced?

If all of this feels like a hassle then read our blog on the benefits of hiring a marketing agency, your work will be done for you and on your command.

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Resources

7 ways to become an influencer on social media

Becoming an influencer has become the major trend these days, whether you’re a fashion blogger, a home-based chef or a photographer; blogging on social media seems to be the best option these days to boost your career. With the growth of social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram and Twitter, the world of digital marketing has taken quite the turn- instead of spending tons of money on media advertisement, individuals can create their own brand image online using convenient tools and small investment. Anyone can boost their business or career using personal branding to build an online persona that is both attractive and influential.

What is personal branding? 

An individual’s online presence creates a brand in itself with its own image and influential abilities. All the data you’ve put out there on the internet creates an online persona; such as your personal details, your search history and even shopping behaviours etc. You can take control of your personal brand and ensure that people or your customers see what you want them to see. You can use this tool to establish yourself as the expert in your field and attract traffic towards your business.

Step 1: Figuring out your brand image

Before you start creating the brand, you need to figure out your own professional goals and the kind of audience you’re trying to attract towards your work. For example if you’re a professional photographer you would need to create your brand in such a way that it attracts fashion brands and models that would be willing to hire your services. Therefore, the first step will be to create a mood board of what you want to create and who do you want to appear as on social media.

Step 2: Creating the persona

Now that you have a clear understanding of what your brand should look like, it is time to create your own personal image. Common social mediums are Instagram business accounts, Facebook pages, Twitter and online blogs/websites etc. can all be employed as marketing platforms for your career or business. Most of these networks have specific filters and promotional campaigns for people looking to market their brands. You can employ these to create a specific image for yourself that benefits you. The content you post, share, re-blog etc. every interaction you have online will build your brand image.

Step 3: Audience approval

In order to expand your audience you need to actively interact with your followers and maintain a positive environment. There will be some criticism and negative comments but instead of replying with aggression you can manage to make them understand your opinion without a fight. Weekly or monthly interactive activities will also help your page become more lively and will automatically engage your audience.

Step 4: A little touch of professionalism

In order to establish your brand on a professional platform, you need to create your persona on LinkedIn and Pinterest too which are often overlooked. LinkedIn specifically is the best for professional engagement and moreover you should set up email accounts specifically for business interactions. Also keep in mind that all your social media platforms should be consistent.

Step 5: Following a strategy

Creating a strategy is crucial for your personal branding, you need to understand the social media algorithms and how they’re relevant in terms of your own audience; this includes how many times you should be posting per day, at what time, the kind of content that gets more likes/reach etc.  You can treat it just as if you were creating a brand strategy for a business.

Step 6: Make it more visual

Whether it’s Instagram, Facebook or your website, try and focus on visualising your content rather than prolonged paragraphs. Statistically, if any content is paired with relevant images people retain 65% of the information 3 days later whereas when there is no visual aid they are likely to remember only 10% of the information.

Step 7: Focus on yourself

The major difference between marketing a business and marketing yourself is that instead of your services the focus of your branding should be you. People want to know about you and your personality. Your brand image should be reflective of that but in moderation of course. Not many people are inclined to like a narcissist, but relatable content is always welcome!

Bonus: Be yourself

Try to create your own original content instead of copying other people’s ideas. It is okay to take inspiration but people will be more willing to follow you if you create something out of the box, bring your own creativity to the table. Don’t be afraid and be bold!

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Miscellaneous

6 reasons why you should outsource your marketing activities

 

Initially as a startup business you would want to do everything by yourself, but eventually you will realise that marketing is crucial if you want your business to grow. Therefore, you require marketing experts to achieve success and growth for your business.

“Ignoring online marketing is like opening a business but not telling anyone”

As a small business the most convenient and inexpensive solution for marketing is outsourcing. Outsourcing marketing activities lets you have a team of experts without having to make an effort to hire them. Moreover, you don’t even need to invest in marketing tools; everything will be provided to you by your outsourcing company.

 

Reasons why you should outsource your marketing activities:

 

1.Expertise:

Outsourcing enables you to have a team of people who are experts in their field (graphic designers, web designers, content creators etc.) while you can sit back and focus on your own area of expertise; your brand. These marketing experts will use every resource available in order to find the best marketing solutions for you.

 

 2.Inexpensive

It saves you time and money, because if you were to hire experts for each and every marketing tool in your own company, it would cost you a lot. You will also have the opportunity to reduce overhead, as by outsourcing your marketing, you will be able to reduce the cost of additional office space, computers, vendor relationships and so on.

 

3.Access

A marketing team requires strategists, analysts, product specialists, creatives, brand managers, communicators, e-commerce experts, advertising specialists, content writers and so on. As a small business it would be difficult and costly for you to build such a team. The marketing agency you are outsourcing will give you the access to a world of marketing activities that will boost your business.

 

4.Out of the box

The marketing agency you’ll be working with won’t be a part of your team therefore they’ll be able to give you an outside perspective that will be unbiased. It helps to give your brand a fresh and relevant look and accept certain realities you might not be able to. This will help generate new ideas and make your brand innovative.

 

5.Teamwork

Marketing agencies are very communicative of the working process and you will have daily updates on your marketing strategies. You can follow the process of work done for your company, provide useful or required material to the marketing team and share your ideas. The outsourced company won’t be a separate entity but will work with you as a team.

 

6.One-Step Solution

Instead of a scattered team of experts, you get all your marketing solutions from one place. What does a brand need? A good logo, audience targeting, content creators, graphic designers, SEO experts, website developers etc. A single marketing agency can provide you with all of these and more. So why waste time and money trying to do all this in-house when you can bring an entire team on board without having to make space for them?!

 

Looking for a marketing agency? Contact us now and we’ll make sure you leave satisfied!

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Developing a Marketing Strategy, the complete guide for you.

Whether you’re a business owner, a new startup or an established brand, creating a marketing strategy and executing it is a bigger challenge than setting up your business.

In our time that is heavily influenced by technology and social media, the best way for your product to reach the masses is to use digital mediums. A complete marketing strategy will include propositions and methods of strategically targeting the audience; your competitive advantage, consumer psychology, demographics, brand messaging etc. This marketing strategy will work as a constant building brick for your marketing plans. Now and for all future branding.

 

A Roadmap

A good marketing strategy works like a road map to guide your company and employers. It will help you regulate your goals and corresponding results. It will also help you devise new marketing campaigns. Marketing strategies are built based on extensive research in order to achieve maximum profits for your brand.

 

A well devised marketing plan will

  • underline your objectives,
  • identify your audience,
  • help you budget strategically for your business
  • help you regulate your goals and stay on track
  • create a marketing strategy specific to your product

 

 

7  Steps to Create Your Own Branding Strategy

 

  1. Establishing an Identity

 

The first step to creating a brand is to have a definite identity. You need to decide what your company represents and what it stands for. All of this is then executed through your logo and brand name.

A logo is the perfect way to develop an image for your brand and convey that to your customers. A logo is your identification symbol therefore its very crucial that its noteworthy and representative of your brand. You can hire a freelancer to professionally design your logo which can be costly but its worth the investment.

 

 

 

  1. Knowing Your Target Audience

Before shooting your arrow, you need to study to study the target. Marketing strategies cannot be uniform across all brands, you need a specific strategy specially devised for your brand and its target audience.

To help you figure out your audience you need to answer the following questions:

  • Know your product

First step is to obviously have complete knowledge about your own product and what kind of an audience it attracts

  • How do they think;

What are their interests, hobbies, attitudes, behaviors etc.

  • Demographics;

This includes your audience’s age group, socio-economic class, gender, education, location and family status.

  • What gets their attention

Depending on your demographic research, you will understand what your audience wants; this will help in formulating a marketing plan that specifically focuses on what gets their attention.

  • Which medium can be used to reach them;

You need to know which medium of communication your target audience uses, for example young people are more inclined towards social media (Facebook, Instagram etc.) whereas adults will be more inclined towards print media, email etc.

 

 

  1. Digital Marketing

 

You can market your product or brand through digital marketing platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, Twitter etc. These networking websites are an excellent and convenient way to boost your product. Facebook and Instagram ads are a great tool to market to a specific audience by using their filtration tool. Understanding the social media algorithm can be a complicated affair and due to lack of resources, it can become quite difficult to market the brand on your own. There are marketing agencies that specially cater to small businesses and handle their marketing while you can sit back and focus on your business rather than getting entangled in brand marketing. This also saves you a lot of money because once you hire the agency, you don’t need to invest money in any resources or employees- it will all be provided by the agency.

 


 

 

  1. Attractive Website

A poorly designed website will act as a major turnoff for any new customers. It is crucial that you invest in good web designers that cater the website according to your customers. A good website should be visually attractive and user friendly. It is the gateway to your business; therefore, it must give the best impression to your customers.

 

 

  1. SEO’s

Search Engine Optimisation is the key to redirecting web traffic towards your website. SEO experts can help you understand the algorithm and make your website show up as one of the top search results. It also helps in getting organic engagement and directs customers to your website. SEO helps your website come out on top of search results and if you’ve ever searched for anything on google you automatically click on the top results and ignore the rest.

 

  1. Using influencers and sponsors

In recent times social media influencers have become a force to be reckoned with when it comes to product endorsement. The number of likes and followers on Instagram/Facebook can help you reach a wide variety of customers using someone else’s platform.

 

  1. Partnerships with other businesses

 You can promote your business by partnering with other business that might be getting more attention or engagement to help boost your own products. This will also help you reach new customers and will redirect traffic towards your brand!

 

 

 

 

Want to make marketing more convenient?

Whether you’re a well-established business or a small start-up, there must have been times where marketing and the new digital world feels like a hassle. Maybe you’re too busy trying to work on your business model and provide for your pre-existing customers that you miss out on the opportune world of digital marketing. Instead of hiring employees and investing in more resources that you are not an expert in, the go-to solution for you is to outsource your marketing activities. By outsourcing we mean, you hire a marketing agency that works alongside you to help you market your brand efficiently and in todays day and age, digital marketing is significantly necessary for your brand to succeed.

Still not convinced? Here are 6 reasons why you should hire a marketing agency!

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