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Creating a Strong Brand: Insights from an Indian Yoga Guru

Creating a Strong Brand: Insights from an Indian Yoga Guru

What separates the brands you love from the rest? It’s a personality that you want to buy from, which is why you shouldn’t ever keep your brand all business.  In this blog, we’ll look at how small businesses can create a strong brand with heart, and why it matters. But first, I want to preface the blog with my own experience of a brand.  Brand lessons from the east I live on the Gold Coast, but have travelled to India several times.  Every time I visit India, I see the Indian guru Baba Ramdev plastered on every billboard and shop selling everything from flour to shampoo. Baba Ramdev has a mass following in India that began in yoga, and evolved into an all-encompassing consumer brand. He looks every inch the guru – wears the classic orange robe, has the long hair, is pictured in yoga poses and everything he touches turns to sales. To bolster his credentials, his brand sponsors everything from Indian news to sports events.  I found it funny at first; of course a yoga guru is the face of rice in India. Every poster of the smiling yogi next to hair care looked contrived to me. ‘Do Indians really fall for this?’ I asked. Then, faster than I realised, I started caving in to the image. It started one day when I went to buy oats. When several options were placed in front of me, I instantly picked Baba Ramdev’s brand. Who else could I trust for breakfast?  Even as a foreigner outside of Baba Ramdev’s market, where 90% of the brand message is lost in...
5 Business Tasks to Automate in (Almost) Minutes

5 Business Tasks to Automate in (Almost) Minutes

We’ve all experienced the feeling of being pulled in every direction and accomplishing what feels like zero. Being stuck in that place isn’t just uncreative and uninspiring, it’s purely reactive and incessantly exhausting. If you’re switching tasks faster than switching off the light at night, it’s time to clean up your schedule and start compartmentalising. One way to get out of this frustrating place is by dropping the tasks that aren’t crucial and prioritising the rest. Maybe it’s stepping away from a partnership that isn’t serving your core market. Or taking the focus off PR while you put essential building blocks in place (like a strategy around engaging followers). The second is outsourcing and automating so you can focus on creating the exceptional brand you set out to create. Consider tasks that repeatedly take up the most time, then figure out if you can outsource or automate them. In a saturated market, every moment spent on tasks that aren’t serving your niche or developing your brand is revenue lost. From batch tasks to de-cluttering your inbox, these automation tips can free up time – and focus! Categorise and batch tasks It takes less than two minutes to lose sight of a task when you have a million things on your plate, and a lot longer to reclaim focus when you switch from job to job. The premise of batching tasks is blocking out time for things where you need similar focus – whether it’s blog writing, strategy or design. Batch work lets you turn off distractions, create flow and complete tasks faster. Tame your inbox Don’t sweat time crafting...
Should your business be ‘capturing leads’?

Should your business be ‘capturing leads’?

If you’re a service based business, you need to generate leads. But if you have no means of lead capture on your website, or for other lead generating activities, you’re probably allowing many prospective clients to slip away. Perhaps you’ve come across the term ‘lead capture’ while reading up on content marketing, but aren’t quite sure what sort of difference it would make to your business, or how you would implement it. Let’s take a look at what lead capture is, what the benefits are, and what’s involved in doing it. What is lead capture? Lead capture is the practice of inviting website visitors to register their details in order to receive content and/or further communication from you. In the simplest form, lead capture is that ‘subscribe to our newsletter’ or ‘subscribe for updates’ option you see on many sites. However, unless your content writers are turning out  highly unique material and you have droves of people signing up, this doesn’t go far enough. One reason this isn’t sufficient for most service businesses, is that not all their prospective clients have precisely the same interests, challenges, pain points and buying motivations. Unless you’re able to segment your database into buyer types, and deliver the most relevant content to each, results with a newsletter subscription alone are likely to be mediocre. Another issue is in the timing. When someone subscribes to your blog or newsletter, that action doesn’t indicate what they’re interested in right now, or how you might help them. However, if they download an eBook related to a specific challenge, it’s a different story. What you have then is often...
8 Free Digital Marketing Courses

8 Free Digital Marketing Courses

Calling all business owners who are tired of banging their heads against brick walls due to average digital marketing results and lacklustre lead generation. Sound like you? As every business owner knows, sometimes, if you want something done right, you have to do it yourself…at least until you find (or can afford) an exceptionally competent person or a content marketing agency to take it over. For many businesses, budgets simply don’t allow for outsourcing everything to a digital marketing professional or a content agency. There might be no choice but to dabble in some DIY content marketing strategies. The problem is, when we do attempt our own SEO or Pay Per Click (PPC) tweaking, we often don’t know enough to get the results we’d like. And as they say, a little knowledge can be dangerous! If you’ve been experimenting with your own digital marketing like a nutty cyber professor, and your results have been… well…blah…it might be time to think bigger. Free courses in digital marketing Here’s a list of 8 free digital courses and resources available to amplify your DIY marketing prowess. All of these digital marketing training options can be completed online in your own time. Take your time and investigate them all, or click the link on the list below to jump to the course of most interest. SEO training with Moz Adwords & Digital Marketing training by Google WordStream PPC University Inbound Marketing – HubSpot training Open Universities Australia – Online Advertising GFC Learn Free – Social Media Marketing Canva Tutorials – create fabulous images Wistia Video Tutorials SEO Training by Moz (facilitated by Udemy) Had...
5 Inexpensive Visual Tools For Design-Challenged Businesses

5 Inexpensive Visual Tools For Design-Challenged Businesses

Professional looking visuals to illustrate content are a no-brainer when it comes to standing out from the crowd. But the problem with great design is that it’s traditionally come at a hefty price. Now, thanks to improving technology, there are plenty of online design tools. You can create professional visuals inexpensively or free, from infographics to cartoons and video – and often with only a few minutes work! DIY visual tools for businesses and individuals have really taken off in the last year or two, not only because they’re affordable, but because most are very easy to use. Graphic design skills not required – if you can point a mouse and click, you’re good to go! Here are five of our favourite (inexpensive) design tools. 1. Venngage   Infographics are huge at the moment and they’re a fantastic way to present complicated information in an easy to understand, visually appealing format. An infographic can help you grow your social media shares, boost your website visitors and give you a content asset you can use time and time again. Venngage is a handy platform that lets you create infographics on just about any topic you like, for minimal or no cost. How it works Venngage is about as easy as it gets. Sign up for an account and choose your template from the hundreds on offer. Next, input the information you want to display to generate your infographic. Customise with images and icons, and add any extra charts and text needed. Adapt the fonts and colours to match your branding or personal preference, and you’re ready to publish. The Venngage...
10 Free Marketing Tools Small Business Owners Can Use

10 Free Marketing Tools Small Business Owners Can Use

There’s now a plethora of online tools out there that can make running your business and your content marketing and promotion efforts so much easier. Best of all, many of these offer free versions, or free trials on their paid options. They can be very handy for businesses without the budget to outsource to a content marketing agency. In pre-internet days, content marketing was often an expensive exercise, involving printed brochures and catalogues, direct selling, or TV, radio and print advertising. It was also largely hard to measure, which meant it could be very hit-and-miss. American department store pioneer John Wanamaker, who is credited with printing the first copyright store advertisement in 1874, is famously quoted as saying that half of his advertising spend was wasted, but he wasn’t sure which half! Some of the tools we’ve singled out not only make content marketing easier and cheaper, but infinitely more measurable, so you can avoid wasting time, money and effort on content strategies that aren’t working. Read on to find out more about 10 free tools you should consider using in your business. GoSpaces – free e-commerce website building Shopify’s GoSpaces app enables fledgling e-commerce businesses to build an online store for free. Once you join up, you are provided with a generic website template which you can alter to suit your business by adding your own content, images, and products. The platform also comes with multilingual (up to 20 languages) and multi-currency support, and a shopping cart support service. It is free to set up and use until you reach sales of $50 per month, after which there...