Creativity and entertainment walk hand-in-hand! With the internet connecting the world, people everywhere can now create, share, and showcase their ideas with the power of numerous online technology platforms. Video content platforms make for a big chunk of this internet industry. They are now part and parcel of our lives. But this domain is evolving dramatically.
With every flourishing technology comes the instincts to monetize it. And, middlemen pop-up reaping substantial profits. Same is the case with popular video content platforms. Recent changes in the Youtube’s monetization policy hit the video creators hard. This centralized action needs to be addressed. In this post, we will take a look at the autocracy and democracy paradigms of the video content tech-platforms. It is the ultimate face-off between Viewly, Vimeo, and Youtube!
The Autocratic paradigm!
Autocracy simply means that absolute power lies with a single person or an organization. A dictatorship if you may! And platforms like Youtube, Vimeo, Amazon Prime, etc. are central platforms with total control of the content lying with them. However, these popular video publishing platforms have entertained us for long. The creatives beg to differ. Why so? Here are the reasons;
Unjust monetary distributions: Video creators and content developers power this industry. But central platforms give them only a fraction of revenue in return. While creative professionals deliver the most value to such platforms, they are often struggling to make the money they deserve. And, their monetization is only limited to ad revenues, without any direct contribution or connection with the audience to support their work!
Costly content delivery: It is a herculean task to deliver video and creative content globally. The cost of this expensive operation is loaded on the shoulders of the content creators. High-performing content creators usually have to pay for hosting and storage of their content.
Unwanted ads: Autocratic video platforms worship ad networks. The reason is that they get revenue from them. This relationship creates a diminished user experience for people, often bombarding them with irrelevant and annoying ads. This becomes a challenge for the creatives as well as their audience with platform keeping the most of the revenue.
Solution? A democratic Blockchain video platform
Enter Viewly! A democratic video publishing platform at its core that is powered by the revolutionary Blockchain technology. Viewly has stepped up to address the fundamental challenges faced by the video content creators and the viewing audience. Viewly is a decentralized social video content platform that empowers the creatives to share their content with their audience freely. The users here can support the work of their favorite video creators with the micro-payments ecosystem. The control of the platform belongs to the users, and the currency used here for incentives is called ‘VIEW.’
Here is why Blockchain platforms like View.ly are the future of video content & entertainment;
Peer-to-peer content delivery: Viewly uses a Peer-to-peer content delivery network to connect video creators with their audience. Not only this reduces the cost of video content delivery, but also utilizes redundant (extra) resources of the users and incentivize them with VIEW tokens.
No ads: Since Viewly is a Blockchain platform, the users, and the content creators are directly connected. An absence of the middle-men means no ads are required to generate the revenue in such an ecosystem! It automatically translates into a win-win situation for both the viewers and the content developers.
Direct Support: With vote-based tipping, recurring payments from fans, and business endorsements, video content creators on Viewly get the real value for their talent! Unlike the unfavorable policies of platforms like Youtube, Vimeo, etc., Viewly’s revenue flows through a Blockchain mechanism. One can start earning right away even with a small audience. As a content creator, you make money as long as you add value to your audience.
How is Viewly’s ICO doing?
Well, View.ly has already achieved 66 percent (US$8m) of their ICO sales goal (US$12m) in VIEW token pre-sales at this point. While this post is being drafted, only 9 minutes are left for its Token sales to go live. It seems that the platform will reach its goal easily.
But how about its future?
Viewly incentivizes the users to pool their bandwidth and data storage resources to power the P2P content delivery network. Content creators get rewards and support from their audience. There are no annoying ads. The users are the decision makers. The preceding statements make one thing very clear. That democracy is a form of freedom cherished by all. A system where everyone wins for adding fair value to it is the choice of the masses. Blockchain technology has allowed us to embed this paradigm in the technological domains too.
This is a nascent point to figure out if Blockchain video publishing platforms like Viewly will surpass giants like Youtube, Vimeo, Metacafe, or Amazon Prime. But one thing is definite. The future of human technology lies in decentralizing them to deliver value to the masses. Democracy has always trumped Autocracy!
According to Urban Dictionary, a nocoiner is a person who doesn’t hold bitcoin. However, the meaning of term “nocoiner” has evolved in the past few months. Being a nocoiner is all about the sanctimonious attitude of those who don’t hold bitcoin towards those who have bought bitcoin. It means you are not necessarily a nocoiner if bitcoin doesn’t form a part of your investment portfolio.
Nocoiners are those who didn’t buy bitcoin at a low price (thinking it is a scam) and are now bitter about missing out the opportunity. Nocoiners are usually well-educated professionals like economists, investors, socialists, lawyers, etc. who play an essential role in spearheading discussions around new asset classes.
What makes nocoiners a nocoiner?
Nocoiners think that there is no use case of blockchain technology or bitcoin
They keep telling you that bitcoins have no underlying asset, so one day it will crash, and your entire investment will be equal to zero
Some of the nocoiners believe (or pretend to believe) that bitcoin is beneficial only for criminals, scammers, and terrorists due to its anonymity
They frequently remind you the outcome of dot-com bubble and tell you that blockchain technology will see a similar fate (but they won’t discuss how the internet has changed the economies)
To put it simply, nocoiners are full of what psychologists call “ressentiment.” La Wik defined ressentiment as “a reassignment of the pain that accompanies a sense of one’s own inferiority/failure onto an external scapegoat.”
My take on nocoiners
Nocoiners are similar to frustrated fringe elements (minus violence) who couldn’t find a partner but preach that teen or premarital sex is immoral. They are also like wannabe riches who couldn’t muster the courage to take risks or put themselves into the grind but claim (without any evidence) that all rich men have acquired wealth through unethical or illegal means. The critical lesson from the dot-com bubble was that we shouldn’t accept all technologists’ or tech commentators’ claims unchallenged. Instead, we should keep our eyes and mind open, think beyond the quarterly results of listed companies, look beyond media hype, and question our assumptions about how the economy and technology works. More importantly, learn to differentiate beautiful horses (like bitcoin or world wide web) from the flies buzzing around their rear end (like Mt. Gox, Pets.com, etc.).
In Marc Hochstein words, “you don’t have to hold or even like bitcoin. Just don’t be a nocoiner.”
SEO or Search Engine Optimization is a process of promoting your website so that it ranks higher on search engines such as Google, Bing or Yahoo. Since Google is the most widely used search engine, the prime objective of SEO is to rank your website on 1st page of a Google search for particular keywords. Simply put, SEO is a technique to ensure that websites are ranked amongst top 10 results on Google for particular keywords. The exercise is aimed at increasing the traffic to your website and creating awareness about your brand. It is a cost-effective and long term internet marketing technique which amplifies your revenue over a period of time.
How do we achieve best results through affordable SEO services?
We do a comprehensive SEO audit of your website to understand the current scenario. This is what a typical SEO audit looks like:
X Years Y Months
Meta tag optimization
Need to be optimized
Title has 82 characters but it should be up to 60 Characters
There are 15 keywords in this tag but it should be 5-6 specific and targeted keywords
Description tag limit is 160 characters, but it has 226 characters
Images are optimized
H1, H2, H3 Tag
only h4 tag Present on the website – Needs to be optimized
This Page has 0 backlinks from External domains and 0 from Internal.
Keyword planning is the most critical stage of any SEO strategy. It is imperative to devote adequate time and efforts to choose the best keywords for your website. This will help in achieving higher ranks on search engines like Google for relevant keywords. If done incorrectly, the end results of SEO can be disastrous even if your site ranks well on Google temporarily.
The Adwords Keyword planner, an extended feature provided by Google, assists in finalising the foremost keywords for your website. Keywords should be chosen bearing in mind factors such as sufficient search volume, business relevance which in turn helps in producing tangible business value in the long run.
Our keywords planning look comprises the following elements:
Avg. Monthly Searches (exact match only)
professional logo design
software development services
digital marketing agency
business card design
Creative logo design
online reputation management services
research paper writing
Online marketing company
corporate identity design
visiting card design
Internet Marketing Company
Internet marketing services
ux ui design
corporate brochure design
Digital marketing experts
On-page SEO plays a crucial role in the overall ranking process. Our On-page SEO services are aimed at ensuring your website appears to have good authority within the given industry. It also helps users identify your products and services quickly. This is, of course, done in strict compliance with the Google guidelines.
Our On-Page SEO services are an intrinsic mix of the following:
On-Page SEO Services
XML Site Map creation & Submission
Anchor text & Internal Link Structure
Image & Alt tag Optimization
Broken link fixing
Duplicate content fixing
H1, H2, H3 tag Optimization
Robots.txt file creation
Canonical Issue Testing
Google Analytics Configuration
Google Search Console Configuration
404 Error page
HTML/CSS/Java Script Code Analysis
Off-Page SEO :
This is ‘The Differentiator’ of our services in the SEO process and proves to be the most critical in ensuring long term benefits to our clients.
Through this part of the optimization process, Google is able to measure the relevance of your website in the respective industry, thereby, providing higher ranks in the results page.
SEO results need to be watched closely and frequently to measure output in terms of actual execution.
We do not resort to quick-fix SEO techniques which may result to higher ranking easily, as resorting to such unethical practices can lead to removal of the website from the search engine forever. Once removed, it is next to impossible to bring a website back on top of Google search results in the foreseeable future. This makes off-page optimization not only crucial but also a critical factor in the SEO process.
Our off-page SEO involves:
Search Engine Submission
Social Media Pages Creation and Promotion
Web 2.0 Creation and Submission
Forum and Blog Commenting
Guest Post Writing
Social Media Activities
A sound, long term white-hat technique may take up to three months or more to bring about the desired results but pays handsome dividends in the due course. Though tangible results take time surface, clients can measure the progress by the improved keyword rankings, on a weekly basis. We have achieved tremendous long term results by applying these techniques for our clients. Mentioned below is some of our work:
Duration: 6 months
Our client’s sites were constructed on WordPress/PHP/Codeignitor. We were given 20 high-competitive keywords for which we had to make the website appear on first page of Google. After an SEO campaign run for 4-6 months, we were able to achieve almost 45 keywords (including 20 agreed keywords) on 1st page of Google. Today, even after 3 years, the rankings have not been affected despite several web spam updates by Google. This is the kind of output every webmaster should look for while preparing a comprehensive long-term SEO strategy.
Recruitment companies face three critical challenges in acquiring new clients: intense competition, lack of differentiation in pricing and services, and a lack of exclusivity (the practice of having multiple vendors working for the same client). Most of the placement agencies’ owners depend on personal connections and references from the existing clients to generate leads. These methods may be useful in acquiring a few clients in the long term. However, it is time-consuming and highly unscalable.
The revenue or growth of the organization will be limited by the personal connection of its proprietors. Therefore, branding and innovative lead generation strategy are necessary to create more vendor empanelment opportunities. Fortunately, the internet has created endless possibilities for everyone including the HR and recruitment organizations. You can use various elements of digital marketing to generate high value leads for your recruitment business.
In this blog, we have covered five lead generation strategies and a 10-week action plan to generate more leads for your recruitment company. Some of these strategies deliver results in the long run while others produce instant results.
Five Lead Generation Strategies for a Recruitment Business
1. Offline Events
Attend offline events to expand your network. Integrate it with your email and social media strategies as discussed in the next section. The internet will play the role of an enabler or a catalyst in fructifying your offline plan. Don’t sell yourself or your services in the events. Talk to as many people as possible and build a personal rapport. Add them to LinkedIn, collect their email ids and start following them on Twitter. Initiate a conversation (online or offline) once in a while to engage with them without selling your services.
2. Email Marketing
HR heads (or more precisely Talent Acquisition heads) receive a lot of emails from recruiters and HR software solution providers on a daily basis. Sending a sales pitch to random HR professionals will not lead to meaningful results. In fact, it hampers the reputation of email senders. The last thing you will want is to be known as spammers in the close-knit HR community. Thus, you need to build an email strategy carefully to develop and expand personal relationships.
The biggest challenge in implementing a successful email marketing campaign is generating a list of relevant email ids. Attending offline events and connecting with more people on social media will give you a heads up on making an email list.
Posting relevant contents such as latest news, HR trends, interesting blogs, etc. will fetch more readers. Add an email subscription form on your website and integrate with an email marketing or lead generation software such as MailChimp or Optin Monster. Over time, you will build an excellent email list.
Create a separate list of candidates whom you have placed in your clients’ organizations. Stay in touch with both, the successful candidates as well as the clients.
Start sending a weekly or a monthly newsletter to your subscribers, social and personal connections. Don’t send more than four email newsletters in a month. Creating a system to send personalized birthday or festival greetings will particularly be helpful in nurturing the relationships. A recruitment business is all about building meaningful relationships, and email marketing serve precisely the same purpose.
3. LinkedIn and Twitter
As a recruiter, you know the value of LinkedIn more than anyone else. Be more innovative on LinkedIn to acquire clients. Make your LinkedIn experience more meaningful and productive.
You may add connections from the industries which you currently serve. Be location specific so that you can meet prospects to pitch for vendor empanelment. Many times, clients look for local vendors for close collaboration while hiring for critical positions. Thus, connect with HR Professionals or CXOs only from a particular location and industry for better results in fewer efforts.
Twitter may not be useful in generating leads. However, it is an excellent platform to engage with industry leaders and initiate meaningful conversations. If you can spend at least 10 minutes a day on Twitter, it will help you in building a meaningful rapport with talent acquisition heads from top companies.
4. Google Adwords
Very few recruitment firms use Google Adwords to promote their services. Their biggest fear is of getting irrelevant clicks from job seekers. Of course, it is tough to ensure that your ads will be clicked only by clients and not job seekers. However, in my experience, Google Adwords is an effective marketing tool to generate leads for placement consultancy organizations. You need to monitor your campaign, use negative keywords and optimize it on a regular basis to ensure that the ads get clicked by potential clients. You can also run Display Ads campaign on select publishers and websites which serves to HR professionals. Remember that if you want to use Google Adwords, then you need to spend significant time to monitor the campaigns. It is advised to hire Google certified Adwords expert to run the paid campaigns.
Use following techniques to generate better results:
Create industry and location specific campaigns
Focus on long tail keywords
Update the list of negative keywords on a regular basis
Write Ad copy that depicts that it is meant only for employers
Run Google Adwords campaign for at least 30 days to evaluate its effectiveness
5. Search Engine Optimization
SEO works in the long-term. You need to invest time, energy and money and patiently wait for six to twelve months to see the impact. However, the results of SEO are exceptional. You may get inquiries from international companies and reputed brand names (of course you must have the capability to meet the requirements). If you provide HR services such as RPO (Recruitment Process Outsourcing), Temp Staffing, Entry level hiring and bulk hiring solutions, then the SEO should be the most crucial element of your marketing strategy. It also helps you in getting more clients from startup and growing SMEs community.
Quick SEO tips to rank faster:
Each page of your site should have at least 1000 Words
Use LSI method to make content more user as well as SEO friendly
Never write generic content – If you are a startup, do write more about skills and experience of founders. But avoid writing generic stuff.
Work on long tail keywords which will be used by client to search for specific HR services
Industry and Location specific keywords
Write Guest Posts
Publish high-quality blogs on a regular basis
Implementing all five strategies at one point in time will be difficult for small recruitment firms and startups. Outsourcing all these activities to a qualified agency may also be an expensive proposition. Thus, prioritize your goals, set a budget (in terms of time and money), and work on any two strategies at a time which can fit into the budget. Remember that until you have a sound strategy in place, no amount of efforts will deliver an optimum result. Thus it is crucial to have a sound strategy and an action plan ready before you start promoting your business.
Generic Action Plan for Marketing or Promoting recruitment services
Digital marketing can become overwhelming and confusing if you don’t plan it properly and implement it step by step. A lot of business owners and marketers start with great enthusiasm but soon lose motivation after discovering the sea of tasks that need to be done to achieve even average results. Here is a generic Action Plan that will guide you to implement a digital marketing campaign successfully without creating a big hole in your pocket or putting you through the stress of managing time between your core business and digital marketing.
Week 1 – Create and Document a Strategy
Create and document a digital marketing strategy for your recruitment firm. No internet marketing efforts will ever be successful until it creates value for the target audience. So, build a plan around your users and not around your business. The strategy should include at least the following items:
The objective and goals of the campaign
Identification of a distinct target audience
Action plan with a predetermined timeline
Campaign optimization plan
Document your strategy 2-3 pages. You may also hire an internet marketing consultant or a writer to do this for you.
Week 2 – Selection of Keywords
Select keywords for which you want to optimize your website for search engines. This step is essential even if you don’t plan to do SEO in the future. So spend significant time on this activity and shortlist a list of a few relevant keywords.
Week 3 – On-site Checklist
Ensure that your site must have the following
Word count on every page (except “Contact Us” or similar pages) – at least 1000 Words
The website content should reflect your expertise. Don’t put generic content (you can check the relevance of content by replacing your company name with a random Name XYZ. By changing a company name if the information doesn’t become incorrect or irrelevant, the content is generic.
Optimize Title tags, meta description, and Image alt-tag optimization
Inclusion of Site Map on the website
Integration of Google Analytics, Webmaster tool and Social media sites with the website
“Contact Us” form is working correctly – Check where do you receive the data, when a user generates an inquiry
Integration of Newsletter Subscription form
A blog section is must on the site
Week 4 – Work on the budget for six months
Decide a budget for six months. Think how much money you are ready to spend over next six month even if you don’t get any results. (Setting the expectation is critical in deciding the budget. No marketing activity has ever guaranteed results. However, all skilled marketers know that every penny spent on marketing activities never goes waste). Plan your resources according to the budget.
I am dedicating one full week to this activity as the tasks which need to be executed in Week 1 & Week 2 may get extended in Week 3. Thus putting extra time here will keep your schedule intact.
Week 5 – Pick up two marketing activities and create a mini-plan for one week
In business, a lot of unexpected things happen within a short span of time. So, we can’t plan accurately for more than a few days. If you have just started with digital marketing, then it is advisable to prepare your schedule for a week and execute it properly. At the end of the week, you will get an idea of how much bandwidth and money you need to perform a task properly. I recommend that in the beginning you plan only those activities which can be implemented by spending 30 minutes a day. Keep in mind that you have many other things to do. So you can’t dedicate more than half an hour in one particular activity on a regular basis.
Recommendations – Start with LinkedIn and SEO if you are a beginner.
Week 6 – Adjust your targets for Week 5 and optimize your schedule
Based on the work done in the previous week, you need to adjust your target for this week. It must be achievable despite all the uncertainties and exigencies that may come up as a part of the business. Optimize your schedule to boost your productivity. Research for tools which can improve your efficiency.
Week 7 – Workforce Planning
By now, you will have a better understanding of the manhours required to do various tasks. At this point, you also need to make a decision about whether you want to hire a dedicated staff or outsource the work to a qualified digital marketing agency. Hiring a new employee can add to your fix expenses and management workload. Outsourcing is the best way to get more work done at a faster pace. However, you need to spend some time in selecting the right agency and communicating your vision to them appropriately. You may also need to make adjustments in the budget at this stage.
Week 8 – Check the Site’s Performance
Check site’s performance with Google Analytics and Search Console tools. Set a performance target for next four months. It will help you monitor the outcome. Remember that your clients go through a purchase journey before hiring a placement agency. You need to assist your potential leads at every stage of their purchase journey. Thus, you need to create relevant and fresh content (through blog section) to educate your customers and help them make informed decisions. Also, don’t expect the results in just a few weeks of work. It requires time and efforts to capture the attention of your target audience during the different stages of the purchase process.
Monitor the following metric to evaluate the digital marketing efforts (it is the bare minimum, the actual parameters depend on your business objectives):
No of email subscribers
Time spent by users on your site
Most visited pages
Week 9 – It is time to go aggressive
By now, you would have a fair understanding of time and efforts required to achieve a particular marketing goal. Now is the time to set outrageous goals and pursue them aggressively. Accelerate the efforts and make sure that quality is compromised in the pursuit of chase the quantity. 80% of the businesses give up on their digital marketing efforts by the time they reach this stage. So, now is the time when you strengthen your resolve to continue the digital marketing efforts.
Week 10 – Pursue Excellence
Rome was not built in a day. So don’t expect everything to be all right so soon. Monitor the performance, identify gaps and optimize your campaign to bridge these gaps. Don’t fear to be original and take risks. Take feedback from your employees, customers, and partners, and build further on what you already have. Remember that the Facebook and Google products have gone through numerous revisions to become what we see today. So, pursue excellence and improve your performance every day. Keep optimizing the resources and improving efficiency. Over time, it will help you achieve more in fewer efforts.
This basic framework will help your recruitment firm build a solid web presence. The results will entirely depend on the teams’ creativity and vision. The power of the internet is limited only by your imagination. So, be original, persistent, creative, and imaginative while pursuing your marketing goals, and you will accomplish outstanding results. Being in an intensely competitive and highly undifferentiated market, it may take some time before the audience starts noticing you. However, once they do, there is no looking back.
Did I miss something? Do you a better formula for digital marketing success for recruitment firms? Share it in the comments, and I will include the same in the blog when it is updated next time.
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Guest posting sites are useful for marketers, writers and bloggers to gain exposure and boost their SEO efforts. Guest blogging provides an opportunity to share your experiences and insights with a targeted audience. If you write unique and quality contents and share them on top blog submission sites, then you see a gradual increase in your referral traffic over time. You will also get quality DoFollow or NoFollow backlinks from the best blog sites which are extremely helpful in improving search engine ranking of your site. Selection of right guest posting sites is the first step towards achieving better marketing results.
How to Select the Best Guest Posting Sites
The most critical factor in choosing blog submission sites is their target audience. Create a list of blog sites that cater to a niche audience which is similar to your customers. Many experts suggest that you should choose sites based on their Page Rank (PR) and Domain Authority (DA). However, I firmly believe that a backlink from a low PR and DA site that generates relevant traffic is significantly better than those from high PR and DA sites which yield no or little traffic. Also, quality of content and user engagement are other critical factors that determine your success in guest posting.
Here is a list of guest posting sites where I have successfully posted blogs on behalf of our clients:
Note – We have a huge list of blog sites and it is hard to put them all in one go. Thus, I will keep adding sites in this list on a regular basis. Contact Us to get a list of 1000 blogs that accept guest posts.
Category – News, Media, Miscellaneous
DA – 98
Guideline – Send a Blog
Word Limit – 500 Words Our Sample Post – Promote B2B Niche Businesses
Difficulty Level – Extreme Send your post directly to the Editor for review. They may take 2-3 weeks to respond if the post gets approved.
Category – News, Media, Miscellaneous
DA – 93
Guideline – Guideline
Word Limit – 700 Words Our Sample Post – Email Marketing Tweaks
Difficulty Level – Extreme Apply Here! They select contributors based on their profiles.
Category – Marketing, Copywriting
DA – 86
Guideline – Propose Three Headlines
Word Limit – 800 Words Our Sample Post – Influencer Marketing
Difficulty Level – Hard If they like your headlines and approach, they make come up with a list of titles that you can choose from.
Category – Digital Marketing
DA – 83
Guideline – Guideline
Word Limit – 750 Words Our Sample Post – Advanced Facebook Marketing
Difficulty Level – Moderate Pitch Your Idea to the Editor first before sending the final content. You may get a few brownie points by praising SEMrush tool.
Category – Small Business, Marketing, Finance
DA – 82
Guideline – Guideline
Word Limit – 700 Words Our Sample Post – Increase Conversion Rates
Difficulty Level – Hard Send an email request to firstname.lastname@example.org. Include the following items – Your industry or field of expertise. Two or three topics, your website link,a sample of your writing.
Category – News, Media, Miscellaneous
DA – 74
Guideline – Pitch an Idea
Word Limit – 1000 Words Our Sample Post – Marketing Automation
Difficulty Level – Moderate Content must be epic. They usually respond in a week. However, your article might get published 4-8 weeks.
Category – Digital Marketing
DA – 81
Guideline – Contact
Word Limit – 700 Words Our Sample Post – Marketing Trends for Niche Businesses
Difficulty Level – Moderate Send your post directly to the Editor for review. They may take 2-3 weeks to respond if the post gets approved.
Category – News, Media, Miscellaneous
DA – 93
Guideline – Post Your Buzz
Word Limit – 1000 Words Our Sample Post – How Students Perform Better
Difficulty Level – Easy You can directly post your content. However, only quality content gets featured on the main site.
Category – WordPress
DA – 53
Guideline – Guideline
Word Limit – 500 Words Our Sample Post – Email Plugins
Difficulty Level – Easy To contribute, send your titles to email@example.com! Please include 2-3 sentences summarizing the topic you wish to write about.They will respond in a week. Your article may be published in 4-6 weeks.
Category – Startups
DA – 43
Guideline – Guideline
Word Limit – 500 Words Our Sample Post – Succeed in a Competetive Market
Difficulty Level – Easy If approved, your article will get published within two weeks of submission
Category – Miscellaneous
DA – 57
Guideline – Guideline
Word Limit – 1000 Words Our Sample Post – Things to do after Publishing a Guest Post
Difficulty Level – Moderate They respond in 3-4 weeks. Subject to approval, your blog may be published in after 3-4 weeks of submission
Category – Digital Marketing
DA – 52
Guideline – Guideline
Word Limit – 2500 Words Our Sample Post – Social Media Trends
Difficulty Level – Moderate Expect a response in 2-3 weeks. They now charge $10 for each submission to check spam.
Category – News, Media, Miscellaneous
DA – 33
Guideline – Guideline
Word Limit – 500 Words Our Sample Post – Life long Learning
Difficulty Level – Easy Subject to approval, the article may get published in 4-5 weeks
Category – News, Media, Miscellaneous
DA – 48
Guideline – Guideline
Word Limit – 700 Words Our Sample Post – G-Suite for Education
Difficulty Level – Easy Quick response. The article may get published within 2 weeks of submission
A digital marketing agency helps its clients develop marketing strategies and build campaigns to deliver tangible business results. Since every business is different, they require a unique approach to internet marketing. Although most of the agencies claim to provide customized services, not all of them possess the expertise or have the bandwidth to walk the talk. However, there are a lot of digital marketing firms which create a real difference to their clients’ businesses through a sound strategy and its flawless execution.
As a business owner, how will you choose the right agency which is the best fit for your organization?
Here are some tips which can help you spot the right company:
Bigger is not always better
The safest way to choose an agency is to select the industry leaders. However, the majority of businesses can’t afford their budget. Moreover, their style of working may not be compatible for small and medium size businesses. Ideally, you need to find the agencies which can become an integral part of your internal team.
Thus, your focus should be the “right fit” and not the big name. Hire a firm which has a flexible approach and ready to adopt your style of working.
Know your requirements
Define your objectives of hiring an online marketing company. The objectives could be to increasing traffic, generating more leads, improving search engine visibility, social media branding, etc. You may even require all of these. However, you need to prioritize the goals and define your immediate as well as long-term requirements.
Also, define the outcomes which must be delivered by the agency to justify the investments. If you don’t know your requirements, then it is good to state this clearly to the agencies and ask them to come up with a plan based on whatever you have in your mind.
How to find agencies
Searching on Google is the most obvious way to find out companies. You can also find a plenty of digital marketing firms on freelance marketplaces such as UpWork, Freelancer, Guru, PPH, etc. Since most of these platforms offer a rating system, you can easily find out the work history and track record for the digital marketing firms. However, you must follow a due diligence process before hiring freelancers or agencies on these platforms as the ratings can be easily manipulated. Also, a lot of entities on these platforms are one-man shops who outsource the task to local freelancers. Thus, many times you may get an inferior quality work despite choosing a high-rated freelancer or an agency. Follow the tips mentioned in this article to scrutinize the firms before hiring and don’t go just by their rating on the platform.
Shortlist two to three firms
Always shortlist two to three companies before making a final decision. Compare their quotes, activities and expected outcomes. Don’t make price the only criterion to compare two agencies. Cheap marketing services are usually quite expensive for the clients.
Ask everything that you have in mind. You can even ask a few questions related to your industry to check the company’s understanding of your business. Some of the must ask questions are:
Who will work on our projects? – Remember that the quality of work will be as good as the quality of people working on the project.
Do you outsource the work? If yes, then which part of the task is outsourced? – Avoid agencies which outsource the entire job. In fact, such companies work as brokers and hardly understand the nuances of building effective marketing campaigns.
How will you communicate with our internal team?
What all do you need to get started?
How much time will you take to deliver results?
Follow the Process of elimination
Use the answers to the abovementioned questions to eliminate the agencies which don’t fulfill the basic criteria such as budget, experience, deadline, etc. Some of the red flags to spot the bad apples are extremely low price, promising big results, giving unusual guarantees, not answering your questions directly, etc.
Make an agreement or contract
Once you finalize an agency, make a contract. It is important to define the terms and conditions, and activities that need to be done as a part of the campaign for achieving the expected outcomes. A written contract helps both the parties to set expectations and avoid surprises during the project. It also works as a reference document if a confusion arises in the future.
Choosing a vendor is not a straight line process. It requires serious deliberations among the stakeholders. While hiring an agency, do remember that you will work with the people and not with machines or software. Thus, use one rule of thumb – don’t work with agencies whose initial conversations didn’t make you comfortable. In other words, choose an organization only if you are comfortable dealing with people who work on your project and not just with the salesman or the agency owner. The effectiveness of the campaign will entirely depend on the quality and experience of people who work on the project and not on the name or size of the agency.
At SixPL, we have got some of our prized customers through email marketing. Thus, it forms an integral part of our marketing strategy. In past few years, I have used several email marketing platforms and keep trying new ones to find out alternatives that deliver a better return on investment. Recently, I stumbled upon an email marketing platform, Sendpulse. After checking its reviews online, I used it for one of my blogs.
Here is my take on this email marketing platform:
It is Cost Effective
SendPulse is an affordable email marketing platform. You can send up to 15000 emails and store up to 2500 email contacts for free. If you have 10,000 subscribers, you can send unlimited emails to them at $53, which is cheaper than the similar email marketing platforms like Mailchimp, Sendgrid, etc. Many businesses send occasional emails and like to pay on per message basis. For sending 100,000 email messages, you need to pay $212. I think this is on a slightly higher side if you compare it with similar products from Elastic email.
However, you shouldn’t compare two email marketing products solely by prices. Deliverability, features, and ease of design also play a crucial role in choosing a right email marketing platform for your business.
Easy Template Design
I found drag and drop editor of Sendpulse quite intuitive. It doesn’t require a high learning curve even for a beginner to create attractive HTML email templates. You will also find plenty of beautiful pre-designed templates which can be used directly without much editing. If you are a beginner, the preloaded templates should be sufficient to get started with ease. You can also design great responsive email templates in minutes.
Subscription Form Builder
This is a great and most desired addition in the SendPulse email marketing platform. With the flexible subscription form builder, you will never need an HTML coder or any other software/plugin to develop attractive responsive signup forms. In addition to Name and Email, you can also add additional fields such as Mobile, gender, etc. to personalize your emails. It will help you experiment with the design and placement of subscription forms to increase your conversion rates.
Today, no email marketing platform will be useful if it doesn’t have the automation features. Sendpulse has all the automation features which are needed for sending personalized email and improving conversion rates. You can send different emails based on your customers’ demography. You can also use the Scheduler to send the emails automatically based on certain rules. Use the power of email A/B testing to eliminate guess work and find out what works best for your business. Easy-to-understand and advanced reporting will be helpful in getting an actionable insight about your campaign performance.
For agencies and marketers, SendPulse offers a 100% White label product. It means that you can also use the platform to send emails on behalf of your clients without mentioning the name of SendPulse.
I find the platform attractive for beginners as well as for advanced email marketers. Do a need assessment for your organization and evaluate whether the features in SendPulse email marketing platform can meet your immediate needs. Get in touch with me for any query or help in integrating the platform with your existing CRM.
This quote by Jim Rohn epitomizes the importance of contribution of healthy lifestyle in our success.
No matter what you do or what you become, your body will always be with you. Thus, if you want to achieve anything in life, you must take care of your health. You simply need to do following two things to develop a healthy lifestyle:
Develop a healthy eating habit
Maintain some Physical activity on a regular basis
It will not take a lot of your time. However, consistent efforts will deliver incredible results.
Scaling a business requires achieving the economy of scale while selling the products or services to a large number of customers. To achieve economy of scale, the per unit cost of output must go down as the production increases. The output of consulting firms is intangible services that vary with each project. Thus, they can’t produce standard services at a large scale. The service production and the delivery are limited by the availability of time and the skilled manpower.
Thus, the revenue of a consulting firm is a function of time, competencies and number of its employees.
Revenue of a consulting business -> f(Time) + f(Expertise)
To scale the operation and grow revenue, a service company must follow these three rules:
Rule No. 1 – Provide one Niche Service
Master a skill set and provide one service that is significantly better than the competition. It serves three purposes:
Firstly, for exceptional services, most of the clients pay a premium price. With time, the average ticket size and the margin go up which results into increase in revenue and profits.
Secondly, big brands like to work with the best in the industry. If your services are better than that of the competition, you may get an opportunity to work with the big brands. An addition of one big brand in the portfolio can increase the revenue manifold.
Finally, managing the business growth becomes simple with one service. Hiring even one or two experts in the field can provide enough bandwidth to service many more clients. Whereas with multiple services, you need to hire many professionals to service just one customer.
Rule No 2 – Track Time Spent on each activity
“You can’t manage what you can’t measure” – Peter Drucker
The revenue of consulting firms is directly linked to the number of Manhours they put to deliver a project.
Tracking time helps in pricing the services, deciding the compensation of team members, making the right commitment to the clients, and preparing a roadmap for the future of the company.
Moreover, for a five members team, even 1% improvement in productivity per person per day is a huge gain without any pain at the end of the month.
Thus, tracking time and improving efficiency goes a long way in scaling the business operations of consulting firms and increasing their top and bottom lines.
Rule No 3 – Develop three Processes – Service Delivery, Client Acquisition, and Talent Development
Processes are the bedrock of growth of any service business. Irrespective of the number of team members, an ambitious firm must develop processes and adhere to them to conduct business activities. Over time, the processes can be innovated and improved to accommodate emerging scenarios and circumstances.
Develop following three set of processes:
Operational Processes to deliver exceptional services
Business Development and Marketing Processes to acquire bigger and better customers
Talent Development Processes to hire, train, manage and retain employees and partners
Once developed, all team members must adhere to the processes irrespective of the size of projects or urgency of deadlines.
Explore the options to automate or outsource a part of the processes and increase your focus on core competency and business growth. It makes business growth a simple and pleasant experience.
Businesses which sell products take advantage of all three rules by default for scaling their operations. The service providers, on the other hand, lose focus by adding multiple services in their offerings and then struggle to maintain and improve the quality of the services. They can accelerate their revenue growth by concentrating on their core competencies and innovating in the way they deliver services.
Anything that can be done online can be done on Fiverr.com. Professional business services such as logo design, content writing, translation services, videos editing and development, image editing, business plan development, online research, website development and testing, etc. are some of the most common things available on Fiverr.
And most of the services start at just $5.
I have purchased following items from Fiverr at just $5 each. I can’t get a better product from anywhere else at $5.
I have bought several other items at Fiverr and quite happy with overall service delivery.
Not all buyers are happy with the services. Many feel that it is a waste of time and money to buy things on Fiverr.
Some also argue that Fiverr services are like this:
It is true that “You get what you pay for.”
However, at the same cost, you can get a better quality of output than others, if you do things differently.
Fiverr is an excellent marketplace for creative and professional services. You can take maximum advantage of it if you know how to get things done especially through outsourcing.
Before, you go ahead and buy something on Fiverr, set your expectations right:
The quality of output depends on the clarity of your instructions and the seller you choose
What you get for $5 is worth more than the cost, provided you don’t compare it with a similar service from a renowned brand worth hundreds or thousands of dollars
If you know what you want, then you will get exactly that. If you don’t know what you want and expect the sellers at Fiverr to advise you, then you will never get what you need
If you don’t want to risk $5 to save $200, then you shouldn’t use the website
The truth is, smart business people and marketers save thousands of dollars by buying services on Fiverr. In fact, many professionals buy the same service from Fiverr at $5 and sell it to their clients at $100 or more.
Write down the instructions clearly. Leave no space for any doubt. Use references wherever applicable.
Don’t use words or phrases such as “I want best quality content” or “something that convinces users to take action.” These are subjective expressions which have no relevance for sellers. What is best for them may not be good for you and vice versa.
Before selecting a seller, read their requirements clearly. Do provide what all information they need to deliver your services.
Communicate with them clearly and provide accurate feedback in a professional manner if the output is significantly different from your expectations.
How to buy on Fiverr – Step by Step guide to buying on Fiverr
Search required services using Search box on the top or using top navigation menu
Open top five or ten sellers’ profile in the new tabs
Pay attention to reviews, comments, ratings, and service package description of each seller. Evaluate sellers on these parameters.
Shortlist the sellers who meet your requirement closely. Don’t get confused. Select the one who seems to be flexible and trustworthy. In case of any doubts, send a message to the shortlisted sellers and clarify your doubts. Select the final seller or freelancer whom you will hire – Before finalizing a vendor, you should send the project details to them and get their final quote to avoid any confusion during the delivery of services.
Proceed to Order if satisfied with their answers
Send the project details through message including all relevant attachments.
Within few hours of placing the order, you should receive a message from the seller. Communicate with them until your work gets delivered
Once the work is performed to your satisfaction, close the project and leave a rating for the seller. Do remember that if you are not satisfied with the services, then you may request a refund. Once your refund is processed, you will have the option to buy the services from other vendors. Thus, your money is safe.
Don’t buy SEO backlinks, website traffic or anything that seems fishy or impossible to achieve in real life. Buying such services can hamper your site’s reputation. In the past, many webmasters have complained that after buying traffic from Fiverr, their sites got penalized by Google. So beware of such services that offer some guaranteed results especially in the online marketing space.
A lot of sellers used to sell fake reviews like Amazon or Yelp Reviews on Fiverr. Recently Amazon has filed a lawsuit against hundreds of such vendors. Following are some of the fake items sold on Fiverr at fractions of the original cost:
Mobile App Installs (Android and iOS)
Facebook Page Likes and Twitter Followers
Software Keys (software that is available on the market at $150 per annum can be found at $5 on Fiverr).
While these items are fake, many times it works well for buyers to purchase them as they need cheap stuff irrespective of quality. For example, if a politician needs millions of Twitter followers, they can buy the same at Fiverr. To them or their supporters and media, quantity is more important than quality. Similarly, customers buy mobile app installs and reviews to boost their temporary online reputation.
Many a time, people also buy the null version of software on Fiverr at far cheaper rates than the cost of the original software. However, Fiverr can’t be blamed for such activities as it is a marketplace that facilitates buyers and sellers to do meaningful transactions. What you buy or sell may be your choice. However, over time the platform has taken a serious note of such vendors and trying to debar them from selling unlawful services.
Fiverr is a fantastic platform for buying professional services. I strongly recommend it to entrepreneurs and small businesses, who need to save every penny they can to run their activities smoothly at initial stages of their business formation. Until you need very high-quality services, you can trust Fiverr to get the basic work done at affordable price.