Life will always find a way to knock you down at various times, but it’s how you respond to these things that matter the most. You need to always be willing to get back up again, no matter how many times you get knocked down or what life throws your way. We’re not saying that it’s going to be easy, but that doesn’t mean it’s impossible. In this article, we’re going to be taking a look at some of the things that you may need to do when life has knocked you down, so keep reading if you want to find out more.
Sort Out Insurance
The first thing that we’re going to look at is getting insurance. Now, you may need home insurance, car insurance, contents insurance and a number of other policies. The best thing that you can do is look around online until you find a company who can offer you the insurance cover you need at a price you can afford. Now, keep in mind that if you are a higher risk, the premium is going to cost you a lot more than it normally would, and you need to be prepared for this. It’s for this reason that you might need to think about only getting the insurance that you 100% need right now. For example, if you need car insurance but you are struggling to get cover, you might want to consider one sure insurance or another company like this.
Another thing that you may need to do is save some money. It’s often the case that life comes along when you least expect it and then takes everything that you’ve got. All your savings have to go on something, and you’re back to square one. It’s super disheartening when this happens, we know, but we’ve all been there, and if you haven’t, you probably will get there at some point. The only thing that you can do is pick yourself back up and start building up your savings once again. Make sure that you’re employing all of those money-saving tips and tricks you’ve got, and live within your means rather than wracking up a debt.
Find A New Job
Or, it might be the case that you have recently lost your job. This is never a pleasant experience for anyone, but there’s nothing that you can do about it now. The only thing that’s left is to move on and find something else. It’s not always easy, and it might be the case that you have to take something temporary while you look for something permanent, but you’ve got to be willing to do this. Employers are more likely to hire you if they see that you are hard-working, and if you’re working a job you don’t particularly like to ensure that you’ve got a means of income, this is going to speak volumes to your potential employer.
A blog is a great way to generate revenue from advertising and product placements, as well as an effective way for companies to increase engagement and secure high SEO rankings. However, if users aren’t returning to your blog more than once, you won’t reap these rewards. To increase your online success, take a look at the top reasons that stop users from coming back to your blog:
There’s no new content
If you don’t update your blog with fresh, new content regularly, there’s simply no reason for users to return. A high bounce rate may signify that users are checking your blog and immediately going elsewhere when they realize nothing new has been posted. If you want to ensure users keep coming back to your blog, you need to give them a reason to return, so be sure to upload new content on a regular basis.
It takes too long to load
Page loading speeds have a major impact on user experience and SEO rankings, so it’s vital to optimize them. From switching your web hosting provider to using a different content management system, there are various ways to keep page loading times to a minimum. Remember – page loading speeds should be low on all devices, so be sure your site performs optimally on a range of devices and operating systems.
It doesn’t work on mobile devices
If your blog doesn’t load properly or doesn’t look visually appealing on mobile devices, then you’re going to miss out on website traffic. The majority of web users now rely on mobile devices, which is why Google introduced mobile-first indexing. While it’s important to ensure that your blog is functional on desktops and laptops, mobile functionality should be your top priority.
The content is repetitive
If you’re churning out the same content week after week, users don’t have a reason to keep returning. Being innovative and creating original content that excites, informs, or entertains is vital. Creating a content schedule is one of the most effective ways to ensure your posts are varied, particularly if you tend to cover similar topics.
Posts take too long to read
If your blog only features long-form content, then it might be time to change things up a little bit. While longer posts do have their advantages, users don’t always have time to read an in-depth article. By combining shorter posts with alternative formats, like video, images, and infographics, you can ensure that users are able to enjoy a variety of posts every time they visit your site.
Increase the Popularity of Your Blog
If you want to boost your business or generate income via a blog, it’s vital to cultivate a loyal following. By producing unique and original content, you’ve got the basis of a great blog. However, it’s vital to promote your content via social media, PPC ads, and SEO if you want to increase your reach. By doing so, you can engage your target audience, monetize your content, and give people a reason to keep people coming back for more.
Social Media Marketing can be a real headache for plenty of people just starting out and while one guide you read will tell to do something one way, you can guarantee another guide will tell you the complete opposite! But the good people over at The Guerrilla Agency have 'the' guide for you!
How do you know you've reached a turning point in your life? How can you recognise that maybe you need a change? Entrepreneur Europe has 5 signs for you...
Getting older shouldn’t be something to be frightened of. With older age comes the possibility of having more time for yourself, a greater appreciation for your family, and opportunities to explore new challenges and adventures! To make sure you’re as prepared as you can be, check out these tips:
1. Prioritize your health
Getting old can be a seriously joyous thing, but enjoying your life to the max is easier if you’re healthy. So, taking regular exercise (you can even do it from home thanks to online courses and programs) and eating well is all part of the package. After all, you want to make sure you’re in tip-top condition while you’re off exploring, don’t you?
2. Be organized
Ensuring all your documents and plans are in a safe place is one of the kindest things you can do. This means that no matter the scenario, a trusted person or loved one will have all the paperwork they need. This will take a load off your mind, and you can move on to enjoying more exciting things!
3. Pick up new hobbies
Your latter years are a great time to spend time on new hobbies and skills. Exercise your brain and indulge passion projects that you’ve always considered. Have you always wanted to try fishing? Is salsa your thing? Do you think you might want to speak French? There are so many online and offline courses out there to choose from. And if that’s not your thing, then it’s time to get out there and try it on your own.
4. Upgrade your home
Making a couple of sensible changes to your home can make all the difference to your comfort in the years to come. That doesn’t mean moving straight into a bungalow or installing a stairlift, but it does mean making a few adjustments. Consider including a few pieces of handcrafted pieces, like Crown Furniture, to create an environment that’s safe, chic, and easy to use.
5. Mindfulness matters
Keeping your brain supple is key, but so is keeping your mental health strong. Practicing mindfulness can be a great way to live in the moment and help relieve any stress. It also has the benefits of lowering blood pressure, improving sleep, and generally improving all-round health. To get started, you can choose from a number of apps and courses. Hopefully, you will enjoy the benefits of decreased stress and anxiety and improved focus.
6. Try yoga
It’s true that falls pose a danger to older adults, so to mitigate the risk, try picking up yoga. It helps strengthen core muscles and works on balance and flexibility. Not to mention, it’s a very calming and healthy activity. Adding yoga into your routine is a great way to keep yourself fit and healthy, well into older adulthood.
Hopefully, this article has given you some tips and tricks that will help you ‘age well’ and enjoy your later years.
When you’re running a blog for your brand, the number one priority should be producing good quality content that has value to the readers, and also helps to contribute to your goals, whether it’s growing recognition or generating sales. But what about when you’ve successfully done that and notice a post taking off, outperforming both your expectations and your other posts? Should you simply let it enjoy the spotlight or is there some way you can capitalize on it?
Make sure it leads to something good
If you haven’t already connected your successful post to something that translates to value for your business, now is the time. You can use it to increase blog traffic by following up on it if that’s your aim. However, for many businesses, their mind is going to be on conversion first and foremost. An edit after it has taken off, just slipping in a call to action towards the end might be all that it takes.
Grow from it
First of all, find out whether or not your content is evergreen. This means it’s not likely to lose value or purpose over time, rather than being particularly pertinent in a moment in time. It doesn’t always work, but you can work with content writers who can find new ways to iterate on that content over time, adjusting it to suit different business periods or topics, for instance.
Convert it into even more engaging content
Aside from making your content evergreen, you can also look into translating it into forms of media that tend to be even more successful. If a text post version does well, just imagine how well it might work as an infographic or, better yet, a video. Turning a good post into a video isn’t simply as easy as reading it out over imagery, but working with a professional video production agency can help. The better you translate it from one form to the other, the more likely it is to keep the momentum going.
Build a personal brand off of it
Not only does the brand of the blog, website, or business benefit from a really great and insightful post. It can help position you, the writer, as a person of authority, as well. If your post goes viral due to the insight it offers, then you can seek out other media opportunities, such as guest posting on respectable publications or attending talks.
Adopt elements of that post in others
If a post does well, it’s often not only because the topic hit the nail on the head for the audience. There’s a good chance it was written and formatted in a particularly engaging manner, as well. To that end, try to find what was great about your post and take elements to incorporate in other posts. You can even try different combinations of stylistic, language, and formatting choices, keeping an eye on your analytics to see if it results in a bump in engagements.
A post that gets a lot of reads, generates conversations, or even goes viral is an opportunity just waiting to be taken.
Are you thinking of becoming a blogger? If you are, then there are a few things that you need to know to be able to do this. Some people have no idea how they should go about starting a blog or what they can do, but we’re here to give you the information that you need. So, if you want to know more about this topic, then keep reading down below.
Something You’re Passionate About
If you’re deciding to go with something that is based on passion, you’ve got to think about what you’re passionate about. What do you love enough to dedicate an entire blog to it? When you’ve answered this question, you can start writing content. Some blogs have a number of topics on them, and there’s nothing wrong with this as it provides that little bit of everything. However, some people are searching for a more specific type of blog that caters to a certain audience. If you can manage to insert yourself in one of these places, then this is going to be great for you.
You will be able to build up a following of people who are interested in what you have to say, and you’re filling a gap. Never know how it might end up, you could end up getting paid for your blog depending on how successful it is.
Something You Have Extensive Knowledge Of
Or, you might want to write about something that you have extensive knowledge of. The good thing about this is that you are providing something useful to those who are searching for a specific type of content. We bet that some industries or even certain areas of industries don’t have a lot written about them, but you could be the exception. For example, if someone needed to know about pneumatic systems, then you could recommend Tameson pneumatic cylinders or whatever you think is best for the individual problem. You will give them a specialized account of why you’re saying what you’re saying while giving them the advice that they are looking for.
You never know when your area of expertise can come in handy, and you don’t want to miss out on the opportunity to share your knowledge if you want to.
How To Set Up Your Blog
You’re also going to need to know how to set up your blog. This is going to include ensuring that you find a domain to host your site, then setting up the background theme, how you want the layout to be and so on. It’s not just going to be a case of bang, and then you’re done, it’s going to take some time. You are going to want people to be drawn to your blog, and if it looks generic, then that’s not going to happen.
We hope that you have found this article helpful, and now understand some of the things that you need to know if you want to be a blogger. Good luck, and have a lot of fun!
Increasing traffic on your blog is one of those eternal aims that never goes away. But how can you make it happen? Well, luckily for you, it’s not rocket science. And with a little hard work and time, you’ll be able to get your blog traffic numbers to where you want them to be. Find out about how to do that and which steps you can take by reading on now and finding out what you need to know.
The first thing you can do is start writing a little more. When you’re blogging, consistency really matters a lot. If you aren’t keeping your blog consistent and regularly updated, you’re going to face problems, so try to write more and keep that content flowing. It’s something that you’ll need to plan out and it often helps bloggers to create a schedule as well.
Publicize Your Content More Effectively on Social Media
It’s important that you publicize your content and get it out there via social media. This is essential because if you already have a base of interested people following your social media accounts, this could be your number 1 source of blog traffic if you use those platforms effectively. Just make sure you’re using the right social media platforms for the audience you want to reach.
Nail Down Your Niche
If you have a niche approach, you’ll be able to foster a more loyal community of readers, which is the way it should be. If you haven’t yet managed to nail down a niche, that’s something you should definitely work on. A scattershot approach is never going to work out the way you want it to, so it really does pay off to focus on one niche and then stick to it.
Understand SEO Better
SEO is one of the things that matters most when it comes to reaching people. Understanding all of the key SEO metrics and knowing how search engines work will make a big difference when it comes to reaching target customers. If it’s something that you’ve struggled with and failed to get to grips with, put in the effort now because it really will provide you with long-term gains.
Allow and Encourage Social Sharing
As well as sharing your own content on your social media profiles, you also need to encourage other people to share your content as well. Social sharing is made possible by adding sharing buttons to the pages of your website, making it possible for people to share content with the click of a button is really helpful. It could make a big difference to the reach of your content.
When it comes to the health and success of your blog, there are few more important factors or more relevant indicators than blog traffic. The ideas above will help you to get more people heading to your blog and taking an interest in what you have to say. And your blog will grow in success from there.
The advantages of starting a freelance enterprise are appealing - you can set your own hours, find your own clients, work as much or a little as you like, well, sometimes! But with 54 million Americans now self-employed in the freelance industry, it’s safe to say there’s never been a better time to get involved. Indeed there is an abundance of opportunity out there today: something for everyone. If you're a photographer you could get into content photography - selling you photos to stock photo websites. Writers have the obvious route into blogging and content creation but loads of other opportunities also exist. And if you’re handy with digital tools like the Adobe suite then you’ll be just right for a brand looking to update its logo or website. Read on to find out how to launch your freelance enterprise.
Define Your Goal
Every successful entrepreneur will agree that one of the best routes to success is to define your goal. You need to know what you are doing and why you are doing it. This will not only give you clarity of purpose it will also be your measure of success. Be honest with yourself in this respect, do you want to freelance to earn some extra money on the side? To give up your day job and work entirely for yourself? Or do you have bigger ambitions: such as earning a million dollars? These big picture goals will be your guild through the lifetime of your enterprise. That is unless you fully achieve your big idea and then need to redefine your goals. After you have your big idea you can start thinking about the smaller first steps required to getting there.
Find A Profitable Niche
The digital world today offers a vast array of possibilities when it comes to finding a profitable niche. Even if your market is saturated such as writing, photography, or graphic design, there are still ways to market yourself in innovative ways to stand out and compete on more than just price. The low and no alcohol industry has done just that taking a huge slice of the market in the top countries for Beer Consumption. But the reality is there will always be someone in your industry with lower overheads than you who is able to be more competitive. Actually, consumers today look more at what a freelancer can offer than how much they’re going to cost. The best advice is to analyse what specifically you can offer - are you content writer for digital trends, an environmental photographer, or an indie graphic designer. Identify the qualities that make you stand out in your field and concentrate on both developing those and marketing yourself in the narrowest possible way.
Finally pitching yourself is all important! Whether it is to a client or an agency, you need to sell your skills as something a client needs to solve a pressing issue in their industry. By the time you reach this stage of your project you should have skills you can offer and a portfolio to direct clients to. Make a strong pitch through email on the website of your target client. Sell your strengths and anticipate any answers that might come up. Use a visually appealing layout for your pitch, be engaging, and don’t give up.
If you can think about it, there's probably a blog about it out there. That's how popular blogging has become over the years. But like every other thing, it had quite humble beginnings. Blogging, as a whole, was first introduced in the 90s and gained popularity in the 2000s with many people using it as a way to journal online. Today, blogging has gone from being a mere hobby to a solid line of business, with new blogs springing up every minute.
Nevertheless, the common mistake new bloggers make is to focus on the design, themes, and obsessing over visitor views. While all these are important, they are distractions from what matters, and what truly makes a blog grow. Here are four things every blogger who is aspiring to succeed should know.
1. Have a Purpose
A blog can be anything you want it to be, and the options are endless. However, not having a clear purpose will leave you less motivated when things get tough. To get the gears running, questions like, “Why are you starting a blog?” “What do you want your blog to be associated with?” and, “Who are your target audience?” will help you find a purpose and niche. The good thing about having a clear purpose is that it serves as a source of motivation and helps you stay on track.
2. Patience and Consistency are Key
It is said that Rome was not built in one day, so best believe that the success of your blog won't materialize overnight. You will have to be patient through the process and focus on providing quality content consistently. Consistency here means creating a schedule for your posts and committing to it, no matter what.
More so, impatience will have you obsessing over your blog’s views, which will eventually make you give up or fall into the trap of creating trendy content that lacks substance. You see, it's not all about putting out clickbait pieces and trashy stories. You need to find ways to add value to your readers' lives, so if you keep putting out low quality work, your readers will migrate.
3. Do Not Be Tight Fisted
The notion that blogging is free is what leads many new bloggers to their doom. While there are blogging platforms out there that offer you the option of blogging for free, it's not the right fit if you actually want to run a successful blog one day.
The same way a pharmacist needs to invest in a pharmacy freezer, you must be ready to invest in your blog. If you want to make money blogging, you will need a customized domain and unique website design, because it points to professionalism.
4. Engage With Your Readers
Just because you have gained some popularity blogging, that does not mean you should ignore your readers. Ignoring readers is a common mistake many bloggers make once they hit their peak. You have to try to stay grounded and remember that your readers made you. So, respond to their comments, it doesn't have to be all of them, a handful here and there shows that you care.
In addition to this, engaging readers through your social media platforms is a great idea, especially if you do not post frequently. For instance, if you post once a week, you can use the other days of the week to engage with your readers on social media through quotes, pictures, or even memes. This keeps your blog and brand fresh on their minds.
Lockdown has affected many businesses, completely changing forward work programmes and many of the things you had planned over the coming months. Businesses have had to adapt, with many now operating remotely to survive during this tough time.
While face to face engagement and sales might be off the cards for now, there is a lot you can do to promote your business online and generate some interest now and in the future. Don’t sit there idle waiting for something to happen, work on building better content to connect with more people.
Here are four ways to improve your digital content in lockdown:
1. Finally start planning ahead
There are always good intentions when it comes to social media scheduling. But for small businesses especially, it can be difficult to keep up. With lockdown restricting some business activities, however, you’ve got the perfect opportunity to create a social media schedule and get ahead with your content. From evergreen content that can take you to the end of the year to planning a variety of campaigns, use the time to get your social media schedule in order.
2. Use animated videos if you can’t film
Filming videos is difficult right now, especially if your content typically features other people, locations, etc. While you can film pieces to camera at home, it’s worth experimenting with other types of video content to help you engage with your followers. There are animated explainer video production companies that can help you create some amazing content that can boost your brand and generate interest in your business. Animated explainers are a good investment as they have longevity, making some excellent cornerstone content for your business.
3. Host virtual events
Events are great for connecting with clients and customers. When you’re launching a new product or service, or you want to thank them, an event can be an effective way of boosting your engagement. But just because you can’t host a physical event right now, doesn’t mean you can’t host a virtual one. From panel talks to demonstrations and performances, you’ve got a great opportunity to do something interesting online. Virtual events need a lot of promotion, but it’ll be worth it to help you get the most from this new way of connecting.
4. Promote uplifting content
It’s a difficult time right now, with people everywhere struggling to adjust to this way of living, and feeling uncertain about the future too. While businesses are trying new ways of reaching out, you could also use your platforms to do some good too. From raising money to sharing content designed to inspire, motivate and entertain, there’s a lot you could be doing to help improve the mood of the nation. Consider using your social media in a positive way now, using your position to help others.
While the coronavirus pandemic has proved problematic for many elements of businesses, there are opportunities for growth and change too. They say innovation is the seed of success, and this is something that can be true for your business. Begin with your digital content to help boost your business during this difficult time.
If you’re feeling overwhelmed by Covid-19 you’re certainly not alone. Most people are feeling a little anxious, and concerned over what it may bring. Restrictions have been put into place right across the globe and many people face a period of isolation at some point. This comes with a lot of concerns including lack of essentials, no access to medication, the feeling a=of being trapped, and getting bored.
Many people are talking out about their concerns, but not many are thinking of ways they can fill their time with useful and productive tasks. Once you’ve completed any working from requirements, you are likely to have a little more free time than usual, but what can you do with it?
Some of the thing you could do include:
Updating Your Resume
This is a task that often gets left behind until you are searching for a new job. It’s understandable though, as most will not think they need to update until such as time. However, updating your resume as you learn a new skill is a great practice to be in. Whether you suddenly lose your job from something like Covid-19 or see an opportunity that’s too good to miss, you’re going to want your resume to be as up to date as possible so you can act fast.
Learn A New Skill
If you ave found that you now have more time on your hands, learning a new skill is a great reason to use some of it. Whether you fancy learning a new hobby like sewing, painting, or baking or you want to learn a professional qualification, this could be a great time to start. It will not only improve your skill set but it will also help you keep focused and motivated.
There is usually at least one long-term project that you haven’t got around to. Maybe you’ve been thinking of starting a blog, decorating the bedroom or landscaping the garden. If you find yourself with some free time during a lockdown (where you are still able to leave the house for limited reasons) then it could give you the opportunity to be productive and get one of these ticked off. For example, if you’ve been meaning to move some stuff from your home or garden think about using Sydney Ute Van Hire to finally get it taken to the dump yard, charity shop or recycling centre.
Reassess Or Create A Budget
Most people will live the wing it mode when it comes to money. However, if Covid-19 has taught us anything, it’s that a budget can help us through a tough time. You may be more concerned about money now more than ever, meaning a budget could really help to minimise this stress. If you know exactly where you stand you will be able to start planning for the future and make it through Covid-19 in a possibly better financial situation.
Staying at home for long periods of time can be challenging. Remember to wipe everything down regularly, wash your hands, and try to use the time to complete something productive.
Blogs have become hugely popular over the last few years, and there’s been a steady increase of those who’ve actually made a full-time career off the back of it. Regardless of whether you consider it a business or not, there are ways to help improve your blog through the use of social media.
Make Use Of Hashtags & Trends
Consider the social media platforms and how they perform on a day to day basis. You have Twitter that tends to have a trending element, and that might be a way of getting your blog promoted. And there are platforms like Instagram, that might use hashtags in order to promote content. It’s good to know first what each social media platform does, how to be popular on said platform, and what you might find useful to use for your blog. Once you’ve done that, you then want to work on using the elements that can make you popular on the platform. Whether they be hashtags or trending topics that you could piggyback off of, it’s good to learn the ropes where you can, and you’ll eventually get better at it.
Promote Other Bloggers
There are lots of other bloggers out there, and a good way to help promote your own blog is by helping to promote other bloggers. Look for those bloggers who have similar audiences to you and find ways to help build your blogger audience by advertising other bloggers. It could simply be featuring them on your Instagram story or mentioning them in a tweet. All bloggers have to start from the bottom and working their way up the chain of popularity can often be a case of them working with other bloggers and getting a leg up where needed.
Interact With Your Followers
Your followers are definitely important when it comes to growing your blog, and you, therefore, want to try and interact with them as often as possible. The more you engage with them, the more they’re likely going to engage with your content and your blog content too. Social media again can be a very good example of how to get more personal with your followers and by connecting your social media handles to your website and vice versa, you’re helping to boost your following across all channels.
Feature On Other People’s Blogs
As mentioned above, being friendly with other bloggers can be helpful. There are other ways to collaborate with bloggers in order to boost your following and improve your blog’s reputation, and that’s through guest posts. Guest posts can be a way of you providing content to another blogger, and in return, there’s a link in that post to your website. Not only does that look good for the search engines when it comes to your site, but it also sends their traffic over to yours.
Improving your blog on social media is definitely something you want to take advantage of when you have the chance. Use social media as a tool for helping bring more traffic and attention to your blog.
Developing a new product is the cornerstone of any successful business, especially startups. You need to create something that meets the needs of consumers while also turning over a healthy profit for you.
Getting to that point, however, can be a challenge. Building a product isn’t just a matter of getting out there and doing the work - it requires time and patience to get right.
The failure rate for new products and services is notoriously high. In some quarters, it is north of 90 percent, meaning that that majority of new products on the market fail.
So what’s the key here? How can you nail your product development cycle and deliver something that will generate substantial profits?
Start By Satisfying A Need
New products don’t just emerge out of the ether - they come from the fact that they solve problems that consumers have. We already have a highly sophisticated economy, churning out millions of different goods each year for these needs. So there is a lot of knowledge already about what customers want. The market is already excellent at determining their needs and satisfying them.
Any new product, therefore, needs to fit into this context. It must understand how the market is currently failing consumers and how the new product can compete. And it needs to improve on whatever is already out there in some way.
The most successful products, therefore, aren’t always something entirely novel. Instead, they find a way to improve on an existing formula while preserving their competitive advantage.
Find Out How Much The Opportunity Is Worth
You might have an excellent idea for a niche product, but if the market for it is small, you might not make a return on your original investment.
Ideally, you want to figure out which market segments are most likely to consume whatever you build. Then you need to determine whether you will generate sufficient revenue for it to be worth your time.
User research platform, Userzoom, says that companies should try to understand the needs of users before building a new product or service and then validate prototypes. This approach helps to reduce risks and ensure that there is a feasible market out, therefore, for the products when you finally decide to scale.
Working out the size of the opportunity is, therefore, vital. You might have a product that a particular niche wants, but if there are too few people, you’ll ultimately wind up out of pocket.
Figure Out How You Will Develop The Product
The best way to work out how to develop a product is to look at how the market operates already. Look at the methods that companies already use to ship new goods and services to their customers and actually make it happen. Ask yourself the following questions:
Test Your Prototype In As Many Ways As You Can
Prototypes are an essential stage in producing a successful product. They are the point where you find out whether you will be able to deliver something the market will accept or not.
Companies tend, however, to look at their products through rose-tinted glasses. They see them as to how they want to see them, rather than how actual customers will.
Regular people are the harshest critics of what you sell. If there’s a slight weakness or flaw, they’ll find it and let you know in online reviews. Prototyping, therefore, is your opportunity to wipe out as many of these concerns as possible.
Be brutal with your product. Test it to its limits. If you find a flaw, plot a course of action to fix it. Ask yourself whether the product is robust enough, fast enough, or sufficiently flexible.
Be honest with yourself about whether it offers customers enough features, or if there are too many.
Also, question whether you can deliver it to the market on time. Many companies work to strict time constraints. There is a window of opportunity that they must exploit if they want their enterprise to thrive. If they miss it, then the profit opportunity will vanish.
A prototype, therefore, could have all the bells and whistles imaginable. Still, if it is going to take years to bring to scale, then it is not fulfilling the needs of the business. Long development cycles are often what kills new companies. The chance for the product to shine passes.
Figure Out How To Position The Product
Once you’ve designed the product and studied your market thoroughly, the next step is to position it ready for launch. Companies need to have a good sense of where their product fits alongside the other options available in the marketplace.
Positioning the product is essential and usually requires some pretty savvy marketing. For instance, is your product designed for a premium audience? Or are you looking to target people on a budget?
Does your product offer superior technology than its competitors? Or does it do the same thing, but at a lower price?
Finally, how will you use your brand image to sell the product? Will you use a value-driven approach where you talk about the broader benefits of your product? Or will you tap into different customer philosophies?
Remember, your advertising doesn’t have to focus on product features. Instead, you can simply focus on how your company makes people feel. Coca-Cola, for instance, doesn’t talk about the high sugar content of its drinks. Instead, it just associates its brand with having a good time.
For years, sports companies have marketed their products to the choir - the skinny people most likely to wear them to the gym. Their advertising was flush with slim, toned people, jogging for miles, water bottle in hand, looking like they could conquer mountains.
But, of course, that’s a long way from the real world. While Nike and the others sell to fit people, they also sell to a whole raft of other individuals who would like to get active but have a long way to go. Yet, until recently, they ignored that sizable constituency.
That, however, is changing. Sports clothes companies can no longer ignore the fact that the vast bulk of their customers are on the heavier side. And they can’t resist the cultural shift in the direction of being more inclusive and making everyone feel as if they can enjoy exercise. The marketing would have you believe that we were still in the 1950s when practically everyone was slim and toned. That world no longer exists.
So what’s changed? Well, recently, Nike opened a store in London called NikeTown. As well as all the usual marketing material, the store featured large female mannequins, deliberately designed to show what the company’s products look like on bigger women. And we’re not just talking about slightly bigger either. These mannequins are at least triple the size of the regular variety and depict realistic excess fat distribution.
Part of the push in this direction comes from the fact that Nike wants to be seen as supporting the current increase in female sports popularity. Women’s football has taken off in recent years, as has the idea that women should be at the gym with men, toning their bodies and increasing their strength.
Nike, of course, isn’t the first company to take this tack. We’ve seen other brands, such as Old Navy and Debenhams, take a similar approach, placing plus-size mannequins alongside the regular variety. But this is a big turnaround for a brand that has traditionally associated itself with the body beautiful.
How this change will impact health and female participation in sport remains to be seen. Currently, its popularity is on the rise, but whether Nike is upstream or downstream from that isn’t clear. What is obvious, though, is that the clothing industry is going to have to change. Customers no longer want to feel as if they have to fit into a particular mold. They want brands to represent them and provide them with just as many opportunities to buy clothes as their slim counterparts.
Retail can’t afford to miss this opportunity. The high street is shrinking, and we’re seeing more clothing companies shift online. COVID-19 will probably accelerate that process even faster. Stores, therefore, need to take whatever steps they can to appeal to their entire customer base. They might have aesthetic preferences for slimmer people, but the reality is that most buyers are either overweight or obese. Only a small fraction of the population can identify with super-toned models wearing skin-tight clothing.
With the world very much upside down at the moment, finding a good news story isn't that easy. But Thom Foodery shared a video of a game he created for his son during the Covid-19 lockdown which left his son's reaction as the best part! The Mirror has the story..
You can post as much inspirational and motivational stuff as you can but sometimes, taking a look into what the real world looks like for someone that dedicates their day to being the best they can will have a bigger impact. Mark Wahlberg revealed his daily routine back in December 2018, this followed after Wahlberg was named the highest paid Hollywood actor in 2017. BBC News had the story back then..
While your blunt friends might come across as a little embarrassing from time to time, overall they’re probably the best friends you have. They come in handy for a number of reasons and are almost always there when you need them, aren’t they? Awareness Act has a great feature to tell you more!
Funny enough, apart from the Fortnite blog before this, I have been blogging via the podcast so the page has become a bit redundant but when we talk about new year new you and all that usual eye rolling jazz, it didn't really fit with inspiring stories, a health check or the careers advice, what if the changes you want to bring have nothing to do with your career?
I've read plenty about the best way to make new year resolutions if you want to at all but the other question is why do you need to wait until the new year to make the change, why not last Thursday or Monday afternoon? But anyway, all that aside, here is a link from Forbes about why making less change in your life will actually bring you more in return. Have a read and let me know what your new resolutions are and lets see if you can keep to them! Good luck!
If you’re a parent, chances are you’ve heard about Fortnite, been nagged about ‘Battle Passes’ and they haven’t stopped talking about the thing!
The free multiplayer has been available since July 2017 on both Windows and MAC as well as Xbox One, Playstation 4 and more recently the Nintendo Switch. The more popular ‘Battle Royale’ version puts 100 different players onto a big island in a solo mode, duo or a squad of 4 to battle it out for survival until there is one winner!
The bright colourful cartoon-like graphics have prevented a blood-fest that some shooters have given us over the years and this helps attract the younger gamer although its rated for mild violence.
With over 40 million downloads of this game, its safe to safe that the creator, Epic Games are onto a huge winner and although the game is free to download, it’s the in-game purchases that have let the creators have a holiday or two in the sun!
Like anything, the hype will begin to drop and recently with the arrival of ‘Apex Legends’, another free multiplayer battle royale adventure, the numbers may have taken a dip with the Fortnite servers. As anything ages, the constant new content is key to keeping the fan base coming back, Grand Theft Auto 5 is an example that is in another league. The game will be 6 years old later this year, but is still one of the most played online games across all formats.
So why are we still talking about games here? As mentioned before, Fortnite possibly had a dip in active players and gave an incentive to all its players within the challenges that are set week by week/ by season. ‘Complete 13 of the Overtime challenges to win a free Season 8 Battle Pass’, it’s a sure winner to have any of those Fortnite players that may have disappeared for a bit to come back and play/ make in-game purchases. How much is this worth then? The Battle Pass itself costs 1,000 V-Bucks (the in game currency) which is around £7.99, but the money that can be made by the other in game purchases that can be made is insane! An outfit (or skin as the kids call them) can cost 1,500 V-Bucks which when you work out is around £12 in real money terms, different gliders can be bought as well different harvesting tools (which you start with), none of these things do anything different, just different designs! Again, the latter two would be worth around £4 each! Its reported that Fortnite made over £1.8bn in 2018 alone, you don’t need me to explain why its so important to keep players coming back!
Getting back to the subject, my growing-up-too-fast little girl, Kacey, wanted to complete the challenges to win a free Battle Pass and aside from not using the V-Bucks already on her account, I saw this as something that could be done.. and why not!
As a disclaimer here, I’ve tried playing Fortnite and can not get into it at all, I’ll stick to Grand Theft Auto but I do understand how it works and much rather just watch someone hacking down trees with a pickaxe!
So how did we manage to smash the challenges and end up doing 15 or so instead? Well, the answer is simple and it was ‘focus’. “Where focus goes, energy flows!”
In a rare moment where an almost near teenager (how did she get to this age so quick?) actually listened to some gaming advice, there was a bit of a change in her approach to playing each game. Instead of trying to do part of a challenge like search a treasure chest in one place and then play until that character was killed, I helped install the mindset that each game played was to do one or two challenges and quit the game and start a new one.
Slowly, after a few hours of jumping out of the flying party bus and hacking away at trees, we had 12 challenges completed and hallelujah we unlocked the next season’s battle pass!
Probably the most rewarding part for me was that after the few hours on that Friday night and Saturday morning, the focus that was spent on looking at what the challenges were, what had to be done to complete them and then finally the happiness and fulfilment that Kacey had on her face was well worth the time. It was rewarding to see that despite the time it took, the plan was stuck to, the idea that you can start a game, do part of a challenge and then just quit that game to help her cause was something I hadn’t really seen before in her approach with anything. By the end of that weekend, there were 15 challenges completed, more than what was needed but again, take an approach, run with it and smash it!
The message is focus and this is something that you do every single day with so many different things without even thinking about it. If you have a project at work, you focus on it and the project moves along. The cupboards at home are empty so you focus on that and go shopping, if you didn’t, what would you eat, you can’t have a takeaway every night can you!? Even when you need to brush your teeth before bed, if you do of course, you still need to focus some of your time and energy to be able to do it. Whatever it is you want to do, plan what you want, how you will do it, stick to your plan unless it fails a little and change it to suit the mission and you’ll be surprised at how far you will get!
Its a statement that is said so many times and its normally as a result of a tragedy of losing someone.
Robbie Savage, ex-footballer now pundit wrote this week in his weekly blog for the Mirror newspaper just how the event of a heart attack for his fellow pundit, Glenn Hoddle has made him look at his own life in a different light...
You can read his blog here...
First of all, Happy New Year!
Okay, now we have the usual new year’s greetings out the way, you can even play a game and see how many times you've heard it!
So it’s the whole ‘new year, new you’ philosophy coming from many people, the time for change in their lives, weight loss, go to the gym more, new job, more time with family, the list goes on!
How about some stats that the Huffington Post came up with in December 2016 in the build-up for 2017. On average, 8% of people that do have New Year’s Resolutions will follow through with them, but what about the other 92%?
Most people that quit the resolutions will ditch the ideas around three weeks later after starting which strangely enough works alongside the twenty one day average it normally takes for something to become a part of your daily routine!
There will be plenty of guides to how to make your resolution work and it really is down to your will power and just how much you want to make it happen.
If you want to lose weight, slowly cut down on the amount you eat, if you just cut it all out straight away, you could go into a meltdown and your body will be craving all sorts!
If you want to exercise more, start slowly, go for a run for a few minutes and every few days, run a little bit longer!
You will more than likely know the above two, but get yourself started and see how far you can get!
The final thought on the whole New Year's Resolutions, you really could start anytime, don't leave it until the 1st January to get going!
So I took an unplanned week away from Instagram and then just social media in general, but it wasn't by choice!
One day I noticed a couple of my Insta posts weren't getting much love with the interaction, likes, comments etc and while I don't get hundreds of likes for a post, I do get more than a few over a whole day.
After working out that my posts were appearing and even the hashtags appeared with their search, I sent Instagram a message which obviously they didn't reply too.
A day later, the problem is still there so I started looking online for an answer and it didn't take me long to find out what it probably was.
Ladies & gentleman, boys & girls, I present to you, 'Shadow Banning'. It's a great title isn't it?
Now for those you who haven't heard of it, Shadow Banning, Shadow Banned, or one of the other many different titles is best described as when Instagram still let's you post but blocks you from new followers.
The new algorithms that started in 2016 within Instagram saw peoples interaction sliced in half! Instagram acknowledged there was a 'hashtag glitch' or was it to cover up the fact they are flushing out the constant spammers?
If you are banned, you can still post but only your followers can see you're posting meaning any hashtag you may have used is actually useless!
If the interaction is down, you could ask a few people who don't follow you to see if they can see your posts within a hashtag you've used, if they can't, its a good sign you're banned!
So how do you fix it? There is no clear way, people have tried different things and some people have been banned for a few days, others a few weeks.
I was banned for a week and tried different things, switching from a business account to a personal account, unlinking Facebook, taking out hashtags from recent posts, not posting for a day or two and constant 'Report a problem' within the Instagram app.
Whichever of those things that worked, if you do get banned, just try them all!
What has this taught us today then class? Well, if you have a problem, look to find out as much as possible about it to help solve it, the people's experiences you will read about, they were all like you once upon a time.
Share your experience with others, you will probably help someone somewhere!
Bonjour & good day!
Millions of people travel across London on the Underground everyday, miles below the surface of the world, it's probably the best reason it's described as the 'rat race', no offence intended.. I'm one of them!
While I play my role as one of the many sardines in the tin can they call a London Underground tube, you have few options to how you spend your time before your view becomes someone's big rucksack in your face!
Music or a podcast keeping you occupied, standing with your eyes closed (definitely a morning thing), no room to try and read that free newspaper you picked up or a favourite of mine is attempting to breath again with the whiff of body odour creeping up your nose (yes even at 5.30am!)
Sometimes it occurs to me that every single person on this tube has a 'story', everyone has got some sort of life experience, some happiness, some sadness and heartbreak to name just a few.
Imagine the experiences you could learn about from talking to just one of these people, not just squashed together on the tube but in world we live in!
A chance friendship started one afternoon on a tube platform at Euston London tube, waiting for the the tube to High Barnet.
A woman in her 60's at a guess was dressed in ripped jeans and leather jacket (really fit well with the Camden Town scene) with dyed pink hair (yes I was very jealous!)
This woman was offered a seat by a young girl as we waited for the tube, they started having a chat and ended up sitting with each other.
As I was close by, their conversation was in ear-shot, before you think it, I wasn't being nosey, I'm going to call it 'learning!'
This lady used to work in the theatre and loved It, the performance, the drama and the excitement the whole atmosphere were the things that drove her to that love.
The two chatted for 20 minutes or so before the young girl got off and it left me thinking, what does it take to drive people to what they really want to do? Is it the love, the money or just fullfilment?
What do 'you' really want to do? Are you happy still working in retail, behind that desk everyday? Are you stressed because your job makes you hate waking up everyday?
There is a strong chance you could relate to some of those questions, I was one of those people after almost 18 years in retail, yes 18 years clearing up after people, watching countless child tantrums in different toy shops, but it had to all change so I started to change that. My story will appear at some point but right now this is about you!
So what do 'you' want to do then? What would you like to do with your life instead of the same old job that you currently hate and wish you'd never have to go back to?
The world out there is a big place and there is something especially for you but you need to work what you want to do!
I left retail and the 4.30am wake ups and instantly gained 10 hours of my life back a week, if you didn't count the 4 weeks for holidays) that's 520 hours a year gained! By not working in retail, working until 10.30pm at night, working weekends (the list of reasons goes on) I've been able to launch 'Learn Develop Live', you wouldn't be reading this had i still been in retail!
I could go on but how about instead, you think about yourself and what you want to change for the better, you're worth it and you deserve it!
There is a lot of rejection around the world and the natural human instinct is to take it to heart, beat yourself up about it and for most, just give up.
So let's put a bit of a spin on rejection and why it can often be the better outcome than getting the result you want first time, yes as crazy as that sounds, it also makes a lot of sense!
I'm no love doctor and can't help you with ways of the heart, but I can help put your mind straight when it comes to sorting your head out with the world of rejection. We've all been gone through all different levels of the rejection world, but let's use it for the positive vibes for a change and see just what it did to some people you may have heard of...
Walt Disney was fired from the Kansas City Star in 1919 because he editor said Walt 'lacked imagination and had no good ideas', that was Walt Disney!
Lady Gaga was fired from her first major record label after just 3 months!
Michael Jordan was cut by his high school basketball team!
Elvis Presley was told by a concert hall manager that he should go back to driving trucks instead of singing!
If Howard Schultz gave up after being turned down by banks 242 times, there would be no Starbucks!
Albert Einstein was unable to speak until he was 4, read until he was 7 and expelled from school!
Steven Spielberg was rejected from the University of Southern California School of Theater, Film & Television three times!
J.K Rowling had her first Harry Potter book rejected 12 times by publishers!
Each one of those people were hit by rejection, but they carried on, they tried again and again. If you've been hit by rejection lately, take a step back, a quick break and start again, you could well be the next big thing!
Author - Chris
Author, Editor, Creator of Learn Develop Live