How to Grow Your Brand on Social Media for Generating Leads and Customers

How to Grow Your Brand on Social Media for Generating Leads and Customers

How to Grow Your Brand on Social Media for Generating Leads and Customers

Abhik Shome

Founder and Editor-in-chief
The Starting Idea

How many of you reading this are posting regularly on social media?

Social Media right now is the hottest free source out there for growing a brand & generating leads/customers for your business.

Having said that, a lot of people are clueless about how to leverage it in a way so that you can get max ROI for your brand and business.

Here’s the key mindset to take note of when posting on social media:

Post on social media in a way that makes you behave like a human and is focused on providing value first and encourage real conversations through it.

In other words, act like a real person on social media. Act like a human being and not a robot who pushes a bunch of links out.

Post a variety of content that is focused on providing value and encourages others to have conversations with your brand.

My team and I have figured out a system of strategies and tools to get a lot of social media growth in a short time.

Here they are:

1. Deep dive in research

Research the best performing social media posts of your industry leaders/competitors in terms of blog links and images. Also for safe measure, see the weakest performing posts, so you know what kind of posts to navigate from.

Tools you can use for researching your industry leader’s/competitor’s social media profiles:

2. Post a variety of content

Create an assortment mixture of content pieces in the form of value bomb videos, inspirational videos, inspirational quotes, viral interactive posts, blog pieces, etc.

There are many ways to find viral content, but one easy way is to perform a Google search ‘viral inspirational posts’ and then choose the Images tab.

Here is a list of certain terms you can search for:

  1. Viral Engagement Posts
  2. Viral Inspiration Posts
  3. Viral Tweets
  4. Viral Quote Posts
  5. Viral Interactive Posts
  6. Viral Instagram Posts

and so on. 

3. Post at least 8-10 times on social media every day

A lot of people who miss out on your posts in the day will see you appear on their newsfeed at night.

Do not leave out a single time schedule/time zone of your target audience.

Always be visible for having an omnipresence effect on their lives.

4. Use recycling post feature

Create a minimum of 40 posts that is an eclectic mix of interactive posts, quotes, blog pieces, videos, CTAs etc., and then schedule them with recycled posts feature.

This constant and spanned visibility of same content through time will cause a mere-exposure effect.

What is the mere exposure effect, you ask?

Well, have you noticed certain songs you find distasteful and ugly in the beginning slowly start to grow on you to the point you eventually start liking them?

That’s mere exposure effect where we develop favorable feelings to things when we are constantly exposed to them.

Use this to your advantage by putting your best foot forward and constantly showing it off in front of your target audience in strategic bursts.

Note – Remember to schedule them in such a way that no post is repeated twice in a very short time.

Tools you can use for post recycling:

Want us to manage your social media growth for you?

Just shoot an email to abhik@thestartingidea.com

5. Use contrasting colors & patter interrupt images

Colors and images matter in terms of conversion.

Use a color contrasting to the platform on which you are posting. Since most major networks (FB, LinkedIn, Twitter) are some shade of blue, try posting colors that are in contrast to the various shades of blue, but not overdo it.

Mix and match it with pattern interrupt images.

Tools to design social media posts:

Websites to find pattern interrupt images:

6. Follow Jab Jab Jab Right Hook Approach of Gary Vee

Post valuable helpful pieces of content that engages, informs and entertains your audiences (called value posts) and mix it with the occasional sprinkling of an ASK post (where you ask them to commit to a Call-To-Action, i.e, sign up for your lead magnet, join your newsletter, buy your product, etc.).

The order of this can be VVVVA (V=Value post, A=Ask post).

7. Follow and add the people who are following other influencers in your industry

Tools to use:

  1. Socialbee for following competitor’s followers.
  2. Leonard for Linkedin for adding people connected with your competitor’s LinkedIn profile.

8. Create a messenger bot

Double down by creating a messenger bot which delivers blog pieces and lead magnets to your audiences.

Tools to use:

Want us to manage your social media growth for you?

Just shoot an email to abhik@thestartingidea.com

Abhik Shome

Abhik helps entrepreneurs shorten their path to online growth with conversion marketing. He is a leading conversion marketing expert and online marketing thought leader. As CEO of Brand Bridge Solutions, an online marketing agency, Abhik’s content has been featured in mainstream media outlets like Inc Magazine, Business Insider, Inc ASEAN, YourStory, and Influencive among others. Abhik is the Founder of The Starting Idea, a business growth magazine focused on giving fast-paced actionable marketing strategies to the modern day entrepreneur. He is also the founder of Product Know, an exclusive library of business software and resources. He has recently authored the book The Growth Toolbox covering 210+ tools to grow every aspect of a modern day business. Get it for FREE here.

How to use your industry leader’s marketing budget for your own business success

How to use your industry leader’s marketing budget for your own business success

How to use your industry leader’s marketing budget for your own business success

Abhik Shome

Founder and Editor-in-chief
The Starting Idea

Today I want to share with you the super simple “Swipe and Deploy” trick that will help you leverage your industry leader’s marketing for your own success.

So here it goes.

STEP 1

Visit the websites of all your industry leaders.

STEP 2

Use a chrome extension called Full Page Screen Capture and take a full page screenshot of these companies websites.

STEP 3

Save them to a folder named: “Industry Leader Web Copy Swipe Files”

STEP 4

Next, it is more than likely that you will be retargeted on Facebook, YouTube, and Google by these companies.

Whenever you see an ad coming in your feed or stream, record it with a free tool like CloudApp.

If it’s a static ad, use CloudApp to take a screenshot.

After recording the ad, click the ad and visit the landing page. Screenshot it with Full Page Screen Capture.

STEP 5

Create a folder called “Ad swipe files” and under it name sub-categories based on names of your industry leaders.

Save all the ads pertaining to one company in their respective subfolder.

STEP 6

Now every time you need ad copy, take inspiration from these industry leaders.

See the kind of language they are using, how are they presenting the problem and the solution.

Since they are industry leaders, they are proven winners.

Most of the copy that you see will be market tested and coming up after a lot of tests, experiments, and refinement.

Take advantage of their research and hard work, and simply templatize the approach for your own marketing campaign.

STEP 7

Do the same swiping for emails sent by these industry leaders.

Simply search the industry leader’s name on the from field in the search mail section of your Gmail.

Search the name of your industry leader and see his emails.

Notice the subject line presentation, the copy, the time the mail was sent and the amount of time between two emails.

Copy paste the emails for future reference.

STEP 8

Additionally you can use some famous online swipe file sites like swiped.co and swipefile.com to take even more inspiration about marketing copy and campaign arrangement.

Did you like this hack? This is just one of the many advanced level hacks where you can literally spy on your competitors and take their best performing brand strategies, and swipe them for your business.

Not only that, but you can also see the worst performing strategies of your industry leaders and know the dangerous pitfalls to avoid.

All these strategies will be part of just the Marketing Vault in The Starting Idea VIP – A straight to the point no BS library of advanced level strategies covering every topic from Marketing, Entrepreneurship to Productivity.

Stick around for further details. It’s going to be awesome.

Abhik Shome

Abhik helps entrepreneurs shorten their path to online growth with conversion marketing. He is a leading conversion marketing expert and online marketing thought leader. As CEO of Brand Bridge Solutions, an online marketing agency, Abhik’s content has been featured in mainstream media outlets like Inc Magazine, Business Insider, Inc ASEAN, YourStory, and Influencive among others. Abhik is the Founder of The Starting Idea, a business growth magazine focused on giving fast-paced actionable marketing strategies to the modern day entrepreneur. He is also the founder of Product Know, an exclusive library of business software and resources. He has recently authored the book The Growth Toolbox covering 210+ tools to grow every aspect of a modern day business. Get it for FREE here.

GDPR Compliance Deadline: How to Be Compliant in Simple English

GDPR Compliance Deadline: How to Be Compliant in Simple English

GDPR Compliance Deadline: How to Be Compliant in Simple English

Roshni Shaikh
Guest Contributor

Just think about what made companies like Google, LinkedIn, Twitter and the like change their terms and privacy policies one after the other. You must have noticed the notifications by now.

Yeah, Facebook is already in the limelight for user data discrepancies. But look at what’s happening to all the cookie policies. Companies are updating their terms quickly.

What’s triggering this frenzy? Of course, this is happening because of one law that has managed to stir the business world – G.D.P.R.

The European Union’s GDPR law takes effect from May 25, 2018. This has been in the news since its inception and adoption by the EU Parliament in April 2016.

The Law will affect businesses that manage a large amount of data. This applies to all EU citizens’ data, irrespective of their location.

What is GDPR and why is it being rolled out?

In simple terms, as someone who resides in the EU, my data is being protected because of GDPR. 

GDPR stands for General Data Protection Regulation. It replaces the old and obsolete 1995 Data Protection Directive. GDPR is more relevant today as a lot has changed over a period of two decades.

Rapid technological advancements and data processing/usage by businesses has led to realize the need for a law like GDPR.

This new regulation is being brought into effect to give personal data control back to EU citizens. It is put into action to control a business’ ability to exploit public’s personal data. GDPR is rolled out to give the citizens their digital rights

This law does not require national governments to pass any sanctioning legislation. This means that it is naturally applicable to any person, organization or business that deals with EU citizen’s data.

This law applies to your business irrespective of your company operating on a business to business level or business to consumer level. 

How will GDPR affect your business?

About the effect the GDPR wave has had, there is both good and bad news. Let’s see why.

Some small business owners are panicking and complaining about the sudden work overload. Russel Xiam, owner of a product support company says that there is so much to do to migrate to GDPR compliant software platforms.

Planning for GDPR is equivalent to revisiting your business choices. –  Russel Xiam

This implies that small businesses are the most affected.

John Higham, owner of Azybao, a project management company said that people are refusing to do business with European companies because they are afraid that they’ll be caught in the jam.

Isabelle Trijt, an HR officer from Germany says –

I had to modify/change/scrap the new hire and employee onboarding policies so that we stay inside of the GDPR compliant circle. I also had to take up the responsibility to delete all the old records containing data of the past interviewees.

To add to this, a business owner in Brussels migrated to MailChimp from Convertkit because Convertkit wasn’t giving a checkbox option that lets the user “choose” the data. This implies that business owners are abandoning email service providers that do not give more control to the user, although Convertkit has updated their functioning as of today. 

This makes sense because you, as a business, shouldn’t be put in jeopardy due to the rules your email service provider did not follow. After all, the email responder may have policies that do not hold themselves accountable for any loss caused to your business, right?

Although it is rare that such a scenario arises, you will still be held accountable for not conforming to the laws as it is your email list.

On the other hand, Sidney Burks, the CTO and Co-Founder of Ivizone from France says,

The new policies haven’t had a huge effect on our business. This could largely be due to the fact that French law already had quite stringent requirements around data protection and privacy. GDPR did force us to take data privacy into the core of our products, and think of it from the ground up, however as we are developing a new release for our product, we were able to do this in a clean and efficient manner.

Sidney also adds that GDPR has forced the businesses to get their data houses in order. They have now added additional policies to delete stale and unnecessary data and reinforced their internal security policies around data storage and access. This means that they provide a higher level of data security to their clients.

So, if your business or organization handles and processes user data, you should be concerned about your user data security. You are obligated to be GDPR compliant in this case. If your business does not comply with the GDPR law, you may face heavy penalties. 

The highest penalty for the severest deviation will cost you 4% of your global turnover or 20 Million Euros, whichever is higher (more about penalties in later sections).

The GDPR Law applies to ____?

There is a huge confusion about who the law applies to. There are few sources that talk about EU citizens and there are others who talk about EU residents.

The confusion arises as people with GDPR rights are referenced as “data subjects”. But who are these data subjects? 

Data subjects, who are they?

Does the GDPR apply to all EU citizens’ data?

Or does it only apply to people who reside in the EU? 

Data subject are defined as a natural person whose personal data is processed by a controller or processor. The controller or processor could be a business or an entity employed by the business that specifies the data processing funnel. 

The term “data subjects” doesn’t have a specific definition. In fact, it is a connotation. GDPR requires businesses to protect the privacy and personal information of EU citizens under any transactions that occur within EU member states. According to Cyber Counsel, any person present in the EU member states at a given point becomes a data subject. 

What are the kinds of data that is subject to scrutiny?

The GDPR considers any and all personal data concerning a natural person as a belonging of that person. The kind of data may include:

  • Digital Information
  • Biometric Data
  • Genetic Data
  • Encrypted Data
  • Personal Data

The rights of a data subject:

1. According to EU GDPR, you can either choose to be a data subject or not. What it means is that you can refuse to get your data processed and by doing so, you will be exercising your right to not be a data subject.
2. If you choose to be a data subject, you have the right to be informed about your data. You hold the rights to seek all information processing that involves your personal information.

3. You are also given full power and authority to change your personal data or withdraw your data at any given point. This is the main reason why businesses should provide checkbox options (discussed in the above section) to give the user more freedom and power to get their consent.

4. A data subject can also object processing of any/or all of his/her data if s/he thinks that the data being processed is inaccurate or incorrect.

5. A data subject can also object to or resist the transferring of their data from one service provider to another. In addition to this, as a data subject, you can also request to delete your data from the records. But this right may not be earned by the data subject if the data being processed is for legal purposes, public health purposes, research purposes etc.

In short, it applies to all EU residents irrespective of the location of the business, organization or their citizenship. And, breaching the rights of the data subjects attracts heavy penalties. 

What are the factors that determine a penalty?

1. Past Violations – If you have a history of violations, either from GDPR point of view or the previously active Data Protection Directive, this will be a factor that determines the penalty amount.
2. Cause – The violation could be intentional and for profitable purpose. Or it would have been the result of a negligible step. Either way, the decision-making body sets the penalty amount depending on the cause.
3. Type of information – It depends on the classification of information used. For example, a company might have used genetic or biometric data of a person(s) for business purposes. This may attract a higher penalty than information like employment details. Again, the penalty is set entirely within the EU laws’ discretion and boundaries.
4. Solutions and Measures – If you have taken steps to mitigate the damage caused to a person or group of people directly affected by your business, this will also become a deciding factor.
5. Preventive measures – The EU has had a transition period of 2 years before coming to effect and full enforcement in May 2018. If your company has taken measures to stay compliant with the GDPR laws and yet, an infringement has occurred, this will be a point to highlight before the penalty is set.
6. Intention – If the data damage was intentional, this could be a trigger for a penalty.
7. Co-operation and Relations – If the business has been obliging to co-operate with the supervisory authority to repair the damage and possibly reverse the violation, this acts as a positive which may reduce the penalty.
8. Reporting – If the violation was proactively reported by the violating body itself or it was brought to notice by a secondary source.

Please note that none of the above factors guarantee a specified penalty because the determination of fine is completely within the EU laws’ discretion.

For more information, refer to the core principles that lead to the GDPR Law enforcement here

Appointing a Data Protection Officer (DPO)

The data being processed in your business may have to undergo monitoring. If you need help in organizing your business to comply with GDPR, the EU body advises to seek expert consultation.

Each of the EU Member States may nominate one or more independent public authorities to help monitor the data laws’ compliance.

According to GDPR, Data Protection Officers should be appointed if your business operates at the following levels:

1. Organizations that act as public authorities

2. Companies that deal with large-scale data aggregation and monitoring

3. Companies that deal with large-scale processing of crucial personal information

5 Myths about GDPR

1. US companies are heavily affected – All companies (not just US companies) with EU customers should comply with the law.

2. Small business owners need not worry about GDPR – A business small or big: if it handles user data, it should be GDPR compliant.

3. User consent is not mandatory if the user is choosing to enter their personal information during subscription – Explicit consent from the user in the form of a checkbox is mandatory from May 25, 2018.

4. If you are not doing business inside the EU, you shouldn’t be concerned – If you are a business dealing with EU citizen’s data, irrespective of the citizens’ location, GDPR applies.

5. User data is only the data provided by users – Any data collected, generated, modified, morphed or acquired in the form of cookies, user behavior is still user data.

Conclusion

If you are a business with a website that collects personal information of data subjects, you are now obliged to implement legally compliant ways to acquire user information. For example, if you have a pop-up or subscription form on your website, the only way to ensure you are getting the consent of the user is by:

  • Implementing the double opt-in method that pools in only interested members with consent.
  • Giving the user the options to choose to regulate his/her data.
  • Giving the user the option to unsubscribe.
  • Ensuring all the third party services you use are GDPR compliant.
  • Keeping your data acquiring procedures in check.
  • Communicating your privacy policies in a transparent manner.
  • Designating a Data Protection Officer or educating and train your business to avoid the data breach.
  • Ensuring regular data audits and accessibility.
  • Minimizing the data you hold and process.

Disclaimer: The information above is solely for reference and informational purposes. It does not stand as legal advice. Please seek legal counsel for any further advice.

Roshni Shaikh

Roshni helps entrepreneurs to communicate with their audience in a voice that connects and conveys. She helps you spread your message through words that inspire, educate and emote. Her mission is to bring clarity to your content so that you build authority as a business. While she is not writing for the web, she is reading her favorite books on Kindle or playing Chess. She also loves traveling and speaking at networking events. You can find more of her work at https://contentprimer.com/

5 Free Organic Traffic Sources to Scale Your Business Rapidly

5 Free Organic Traffic Sources to Scale Your Business Rapidly

5 Free Organic Traffic Sources to Scale Your Business Rapidly

Abhik Shome

Founder and Editor-in-chief
The Starting Idea

Having warm traffic coming to your site is what content marketing dreams are made up of. A lot of marketers evangelize paid ads as the fastest way to grow an online business.

This is true as paid ads done right are highly effective. But not every one of us has the budget to support a continuous ongoing campaign through Facebook Ads and Google AdWords to generate leads. Thankfully, the current state of online media offers a host of sources which can help generate a ton of traffic and scale our businesses rapidly.

Here are 5 free organic traffic sources you can use to grow your online business extremely fast and in the process become an influencer in each of these channels.

Simply go to Quora and search for the keywords related to your niche. For example, if your niche is online marketing, just type the term on Quora’s search function.

You will be presented with a multitude of questions related to your keyword. Go to each question and answer them. Try to provide the maximum value you can without holding back.

Remember the more value you provide upfront, more the reader will be incentivized to read further on what you have to say.

After doing this, add links to your blog which further expand or give a more detailed answer to the question.

Again, put only appropriate links which add further value to your answer.

If you do these two things correctly, you will get a ton of hot traffic on your site, keen to get the value you are providing.

Have a lead capture form in place to attract this audience and turn them into leads for your business.

It’s no secret by now that LinkedIn pushes content out more heavily than Facebook.

The reason is simple – they are hungry, for great content. Mastering your LinkedIn game right now will result in a lot of traffic coming your way.

This is because whenever a person in your network will like the post, it will be displayed to his or her connections, thus creating a viral effect.

Entrepreneurs who are taking advantage of it are getting an average 5k to 10k views on their posts.

Make use of it before it gets saturated. Take a part of your blog post and publish it on LinkedIn.

Put a Call-To-Action in the end, saying “Click to continue reading” which will direct readers to your website. It can result in massive vetted traffic.

Reddit is the place to be for finding internet gold. It is divided into sections called Subreddits, with each Subreddit dedicated to a particular niche.

So, simply go to Reddit and search for your niche, then join the Subreddits dedicated to that niche.

Now if not being spammy holds true for all the sources here, it is 10 TIMES more applicable when it comes to Reddit.

Redditors are notoriously famous for having zero tolerance for spam and promotional posts.

To avoid getting shadow banned, give as much value as you can. Share other people’s content apart from your own, do not hold back when sharing yours and where necessary provide the links for further reading.

A perfect way to do this is by getting some karma points (around 50+) before posting anything remotely promotional.

Karma happens organically when you constantly give value to discussions in the Reddit community.

This way the community knows you are an active user who adds value and not a salesman who dumps content and leaves.

4. Medium

The easiest way to ensure that your content will be read is through Medium.

It has a well-established audience base. You can leverage your content there to get more views from relevant audiences by using its tag features which are great for SEO purposes.

Also, all major publications are active on medium, so you have a higher chance of connecting with them.

To further add the benefits, your followers on Medium are notified every time you publish a post. You can also connect your existing Twitter and Facebook account to boost your following from the first day itself.

A great way to get traffic to your site is by putting 2/3rd of your post on Medium and adding a Call-To-Action at the end of it to lure the warm traffic to your blog.

FB groups are a great organic way to get to your target audience and get known in your niche circles fast.

Like it or not, FB is the most used social media channel and that is where people hang out the most.

Use the FB group search function and type in the keywords related to your industry.

Vet the groups you want to join by seeing if they ask entry questions before they allow you to join. This is a great way to tell if the group is spam protected and has active members or not.

After being allowed to join, read the group rules carefully and start engaging with other people’s posts by commenting and adding value to the discussion.

The idea is to get seen as a group regular so that the community adopts you as one of their own.

After doing this for a week or two, start posting valuable content in the group BUT please DO NOT post links in the group.

Due to the FB algorithm changes, most self-respecting groups have a strict no link policy to avoid spam and affiliate links. Respect it and simply post valuable content.

How will this benefit you in getting website traffic you ask?

Well, if you keep posting valuable content, interested people will visit your profile to see who you are. Here is where the magic will happen.

Make sure you have your website link and a short description of it on your bio and if possible in your cover photo.

More often than not, the visitors will click through to your site and be led to the funnel where you can capture them through a sign-up form.

Yes, the funnel is a little longer compared to the other sources listed here, but it is a great opportunity to get leads in your industry from where they are most active at – Zuckerberg’s lair.

An all conclusive pro-tip

Here is a little secret technique which you can use to ensure you get a viral boost in all the sources I mentioned.

Simply establish a telegram group of fellow content marketers in your niche, and every time new content goes out from you on any of these channels, ask them to engage with it through likes, comments, etc.

Doing this will tell the platform algorithm that the content you posted is driving instant engagement and hence will be pushed more.

Abhik Shome

Abhik helps entrepreneurs shorten their path to online growth with conversion marketing. He is a leading conversion marketing expert and online marketing thought leader. As CEO of Brand Bridge Solutions, an online marketing agency, Abhik’s content has been featured in mainstream media outlets like Inc Magazine, Business Insider, Inc ASEAN, YourStory, and Influencive among others. Abhik is the Founder of The Starting Idea, a business growth magazine focused on giving fast-paced actionable marketing strategies to the modern day entrepreneur. He is also the founder of Product Know, an exclusive library of business software and resources. He has recently authored the book The Growth Toolbox covering 210+ tools to grow every aspect of a modern day business. Get it for FREE here.

Everything You Need to Know About Cryptocurrency – Start Here

Everything You Need to Know About Cryptocurrency – Start Here

Everything You Need to Know About Cryptocurrency – Start Here

Shadab Khan
Guest Contributor

The buzz around the future of money is hard to miss these days. Sensational stories of how a teenager or a college drop-out have become millionaires overnight have been making news quite often… tempting people to start investing in digital money or what are more technically known as cryptocurrencies.

But the gurus of investing adhere to one rule: invest in what you understand.

Here is then a quick rundown on cryptocurrencies.

What is cryptocurrency?

Firstly, cryptocurrency is not just Bitcoin. It’s actually the other way round.

Bitcoin is the first, the most popular and the cryptocurrency with the highest market capitalization.

Then there are others like EtherLitecoinDogecoinMoneroDashand around 900 more.

Next, what exactly is cryptocurrency and how is it different from liquid money?

Cryptocurrencies are decentralized – they are not controlled by any one person or entity.

Cryptocurrencies are not printed, they are digital currency and are held in digital format.

Usually, they are mined by people or entities called miners.

Miners use computers to perform mathematical computations to put the transactions into a database and get rewarded with units of the cryptocurrency.

For example, Bitcoin miners get 25 BTC (Bitcoin) for each block of transactions they put to the database.

Miners compete with each other to win the block reward.

Cryptocurrency transactions need to be confirmed by the network of miners before the ownership of the tokens pass on to the receiver.

Should you invest in cryptocurrencies?

Recently, several cryptocurrencies experienced a massive increase in market share.

Ether, which facilitates companies, organizations, service providers, in general, anybody who has enough technical knowledge to conduct Initial Coin Offerings (ICOs), has grown massively and at one point surpassed Bitcoin in terms of market share. ICOs are much like IPOs, in that the company raises money through them.

But instead of giving you the company’s shares, it provides Ether-based tokens.

These can either be traded on the exchanges (once the exchanges feature them) or exchanged for some service that the company provides.

Also, most ICOs are pre-product – companies raise funds to develop their products, update products, pay salaries, etc.

ICOs have become the main mode of crowd-funding these days and have attracted the attention of a lot of people.

But there are dangers that investors should be aware of:

  • Cryptocurrency prices are highly volatile. Many currency holders have made fortunes, but they didn’t do so overnight – nor is it possible to do so.
  • Cryptocurrencies are not regulated by many countries – the threat of future regulation always looms over them affecting the price. China recently banned ICOs as an illegal fundraising method and the Bitcoin price took a dip from around $5000 to $4000. Following this, Russia’s central bank, The Bank of Russia, issued a warning on cryptocurrencies and ICOs. We can expect more such regulations and bans in the future.
  • Cryptocurrencies may be forked or split into two or more. Bitcoin recently split into Bitcoin (BTC) and Bitcoin Cash (BCH). After an attack on one of the Ethereum-based projects, Ether was split into Ethereum and Ethereum Classic networks. A split may lead to a depreciation in value of one of the resultants and appreciation of the other – investors have to choose wisely which network they want to support.
  • Hackers are always on the lookout for vulnerabilities that they can exploit to steal coins. Mt. Gox exchange hack is one of the biggest hacking scandals where hackers stole $460 Million and forced the exchange into filing for bankruptcy.
Tread with caution:
  • Cryptocurrencies involve a steep learning curve during the initial stages of investments. You need to be tech savvy to be able to set up your wallets and handle your addresses properly and securely. Addresses are like your unique account number where you receive coins. There are multiple types of addresses.
  • Also, there are various types of wallets like online web wallets (accessible through browsers or mobile apps), desktop wallets (connected directly to the network) and hardware wallets (since cryptocurrencies are nothing but 1s and 0s you can store them in hardware wallets that are off any network and are more secure because of that).
  • The most popular rule for investing in cryptocurrencies is: only invest what you can afford to lose.
  • Keep in mind that investments in cryptocurrencies may take a long time to give a good ROI. Don’t get overawed by news reports of people becoming millionaires – for every cryptocurrency millionaire, there are countless others who have lost majority or all of their investments in this highly volatile world.
  • Stay away from websites and the so-called investment platforms that claim to be providing a high ROI in a short span. Such platforms are called High Yield Investment Programs and are scams or ponzi schemes. No legit investment platform will double your investments in 10 days!

Cryptocurrencies are no doubt the future of currencies. But read, learn, exercise caution and then dive in.

References:

Shadab Khan

Shadab is a computer engineer by education and interested in all things tech. When not reading about technologies and startups he likes to spend time listening to music and playing guitar.

4 Ways How Startups Can Improve Internal Communication

4 Ways How Startups Can Improve Internal Communication

4 Ways How Startups Can Improve Internal Communication

Olga Mykhoparkina

Guest Contributor

Congratulations! Your startup is successful and expanding quickly. You might be excited about your growing business (and you should be!) but a new challenge awaits you soon.

While beginning a successful startup is half the battle, managing internal communication can become as large of a challenge as getting your business off the ground.

Proper internal communication is crucial to the continued growth of a prosperous startup; when you are able to make sure that all your employees are on the same page and devoted to the same mission, your customers will notice.

Here are the top four ways how your growing startup can improve internal communication.

Onboard Effectively

One of the largest barriers startups face in their internal communication is the onboarding of new employees to the company’s mission.

Working in a new environment can be stressful and intimidating, especially within a small startup culture.

Your business can alleviate this stress by introducing new employees to his or her coworkers, and by clearly defining the roles of each member of the team.

This will allow new employees to direct questions and concerns to the proper team members.

Meetings are Out.

Online Communication is In.

The successful startups are 7x more likely to use online communication tools instead of traditional face-to-face meetings than failing startups do.

New online communication tools provide superior inter-departmental support because they require less time than organizing a traditional meeting, plus the added benefit of having all information readily accessible at all times.

For example, business messenger Chanty provides unlimited messaging history to its users, eliminating the need for note-taking at meetings.

Additional apps like Slack and eXo also remove the need for meetings by allowing all team members to communicate instantly.

Encourage your team to skip the meetings and move internal communications online, and be sure to create department-specific channels to make relevant information immediately available.

Crush Cultural Barriers

Cultural differences can cause huge breakdowns in communication – this is especially true if all members of your team do not share the same level of language they use to communicate.

Providing the tools for employees to improve the language they use at work is an excellent and effective way to improve internal communication, as well as communication with customers and clients.

For native speakers, training employees to speak clearly and use simple words when communicating with those still learning can also help to break down cultural barriers and improve the speaking skills of both parties.

Your startup can also take steps to create diverse and multicultural teams, improving not only internal communication but also cultural understanding and team synergy.

Actively Encourage Feedback

Your employees have the most intimate knowledge of your business practices and how to improve them.

Feedback from your team members should be treated as valuable and encouraged from all departments.

Your startup can improve internal communication by directly asking employees to submit anonymous feedback multiple times throughout the year; anonymity encourages team members to be more honest and removes the fear of being reprimanded for critical comments.

Ask team members what they think the startup is doing right as well as about areas that are in need of improvement.

Then, make sure your team leaders follow up on issues!

Treat negative feedback as seriously as you would a complaint from a customer, and in the case of multiple recurring issues, consider restructuring certain parts of your startup.

If employees feel as if their opinions are being heard and considered, they will be more open and communicative and your startup will be successful.

Running a startup is difficult – it can be even more difficult if all your team members aren’t on the same page.

Uncontrolled growth has resulted in the death of countless startups unable to handle the pressure of hiring a larger team.

However, by taking steps to improve internal communication, your startup can move steadily towards bigger and better goals while retaining your most valuable employees.

4 Top Takeaways

Here are the top takeaways for helping to improve your internal communication:

1. Properly introduce all employees to one another when onboarding.

2. Replace meetings with online tools like SlackeXo or Chanty and see your productivity soar.

3. Create diverse teams in order to encourage cultural understanding.

4. Take all employee feedback seriously, and encourage management to do the same.

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Happy directing!

Olga Mykhoparkina

Olga is the Chief Marketing Officer at Chanty – a simple AI powered business messenger and a single notification center. This powerful and free Slack alternative is aimed to increase team productivity and improve communication at work. Having a 9-year experience in digital marketing field, Olga is responsible for Chanty’s online presence strategy, managing an amazing team of 5 marketing experts and getting things done to change the way teams communicate and collaborate. Follow Olga on Twitter or feel free to connect on LinkedIn.

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