Link building has become one of the most important digital marketing strategies utilized by marketers worldwide. Recent studies indicate that 65% of the digital marketers globally state that link building is the hardest part of Search Engine Optimization. As complicated and overwhelming as it may sound, when done right, it can boost your website traffic, improve your search engine rankings, and provide several other powerful benefits to your business. Specifically we will be identifying 8 link building benefits for your business for 2022.


 

So, what is link building?

Link building can be best explained as the process of placing your website’s backlinks on external authoritative websites. According to experts, Google considers the practice of placing backlinks as recommendations for your website. These back links helps boost the performance of businesses in search engine results. When other websites with relevant content and high domain authority link back to your site, they let Google or other search engines know your site is a trusted authority on a particular subject. Trust is just one of the many important factors to search engines, along with things like expertise and authority.

 

Types of Backlinks

Backlinks can be classified into two categories

  1. The “Do-Follow Links” help SEO scores and improve search rankings and site metrics.
  2. The “No Follow Links” help direct traffic to your website but do not help with SEO scores or the website metrics.

 

Benefits of implementing link building strategies in your business’s digital marketing plan

So now that you understand the basics of link building let’s look at the key 8 link building benefits that will provide you with enough motivation to start implementing these link-building strategies in your business’s digital marketing plan.

 

  1. Improved traffic for your website

In today’s digital era, businesses tend to rely heavily on generating more and more website traffic to generate sales. One great benefit of building backlinks for your business website is that other websites can link back to your website and increase the chances of getting more clicks from their users. Not only this but using backlinks can also boost your business’s domain authority, trust and expertise. As a result, Google considers your website to be more authoritative, trustworthy, and expert, thus increasing your website ranking in Google’s search engine and ultimately generating more traffic for it.

 

  1. Helps in climbing the search rankings

When websites deemed relevant and credible link back to your website, it provides useful context for Google and other search engines to use when ranking sites. So, if an authority plumbing site links back to your hardware store website, it signifies your authority on a relevant subject. The more authoritative and relevant the linking site is, the more it can lead to better search rankings for your site. 

 

  1. Improves website visibility by higher website metrics

Another yet increasingly important benefit of building backlinks is that it helps in improving website metrics like Domain Authority, Domain Rating, Page Ranking, and even Alexa Ranking. By doing so, back linking helps enhance the visibility and exposure of your website. As a result, the higher your metrics, the better will be the health of your website.

 

  1. Your business’s credibility and reputation matter!

Using backlinks helps increase credibility in front of search engines and users as well. If a user finds your backlink in one of the authoritative and credible sites, they are bound to regard your brand or product to be of the same standing. Thus using trusted websites to backlink to yours goes a long way toward promoting the credibility and reputation of your website. You get as many links as possible, but it also shows why links from high-ranking and trusted sites are more important and beneficial than sites with less credibility. 

 

  1. Greater Visibility and Exposure

Although many marketing agencies are concerned only with link building from the perspective of an increase in search ranking, doing so can also help create credible lead generation. So even if you wish to expand or reach out to a new audience in a different geographical location, building quality backlinks will certainly help you reach a new audience and market. As a result, your business benefits by expanding beyond its current geographic territory.

 

  1. Increased Sales and Revenue Generation

Did you know that more than 3.96 billion social media users worldwide, with an average adult spending almost 95 minutes a day on social platforms like Instagram, YouTube, or even something as simple as reading a blog? When we perform any of these actions, we often see links to other authoritative websites encouraging us to click on them and see what they offer.

 

This practice is usually referred to as influencer marketing. It also serves as an effective link-building approach, increasing sales growth and generating revenue for your business. Influencer marketing allows more and more users to visit your website and pay for your products and services, thus garnering more revenue-generating opportunities.

 

  1. Sustained Referral Traffic

Over time, when you have successfully created a permanent backlink on an authority website, you will be receiving a steady pool of website traffic from them regularly. Generating leads through link building is undoubtedly far more beneficial than any other traditional means of advertising and marketing. Not only this, but unlike any billboard on the street or a time-bound advertisement campaign on television, building quality backlinks can ensure that your website sees traffic from external publishers.

 

  1. Developing Quality Content for Readers

One of the most important benefits from our list of 8 link building benefits for 2022 is perhaps that your audience (or, in this case, the readers) will always be able to enjoy the high-quality content. This content is informative and educational, helping in solving user problems and adding value to consumers. Additionally, since many brands tend to shy away from direct link building, they often focus on developing indirect content, focusing on issues and information that lead to subtle link placements.

 

The bottom line:

Link building is undoubtedly one of the most important digital marketing strategies today. From improving your organic search engine rankings to helping with the search engine ranking of your website and even generating targeted referral traffic to boost sales using these 8 link building benefits as part of your digital marketing strategy is the way to go forward. However, when doing so, one must always stick to adopting White Hat Link Building strategies and steer clear from and avoid activities like manipulations, buying and selling links, private blog networks, and even link directories. 8 Link Building Benefits of 2022.

The clothing industry is on the verge of a massive transformation, and so are the clothing trends. Summer 2022 is here, and we need to talk about something important, the clothing options for men. There’s been a major shift when it comes to men’s clothing options, and a glimpse of it can be seen at your nearest clothing stores. The summer has called for never-seen-before clothing options for men that are not only comfortable but trendy as well.

The boom of custom clothing has provided a green signal to custom clothing manufacturers to get started with different experiments. Today, you can see many clothing brands using various printing methods for different types of clothing only to set themselves apart. The truth is that people have also accepted the newer trends and have been willing to opt for new clothing options.

Today, we will talk about the transformation that we have seen in the clothing industry regarding men’s clothing. The summer is around the corner, and people are keen to know what they need to have in their summer-centric wardrobe. This post will dive into casual and formal summer clothing trends for men options for men that they can wear throughout the summer season.

Following are the five top summer clothing trends for men to look forward to in summer 2022.

Denim Shorts

Denim has made a huge impact on the modern clothing spectrum due to the popularity of different pairs of jeans. But, there’s a lot more to it except the jeans. Denim shorts have become a go-to option for men in recent years. The use of lightweight fabrics by different clothing brands has made them a massive hit. One thing that makes them a perfect choice for 2022 is the customization options.

Today, there are brands that have managed to offer different ways of personalization for denim shorts. You can get them printed with different printing techniques and customize them just the way you like them. By investing in denim shorts, you can only look good but can make a major style statement. 5 Top Summer Clothing Trends for Men.

Customized T-shirts

T-shirts have been the best clothing choice for summers for many reasons. It looks like T-shirts will continue to take the lead as customized T-shirts have become a major attraction for the masses. The clothing manufacturers have provided various design enhancements to T-shirts through courtesy customized T-shirts. The best thing about it is that people can bring their own designs and get T-shirts manufactured according to their needs. It’s likely that 2022 will see more clothing manufacturers offering different options for men to choose their perfect outfit of the day.

If you are bored of wearing plain T-shirts, you can always opt for vibrant design options that are offered by different clothing brands. You can add a unique flavor to your T-shirts by getting in touch with a printing service that can replicate your design requirements.

 

Athleisure

It might sound a bit weird, but athleisure has turned out to be a major attraction for men in recent years. It has grown to be more than a workout option making it to the list of popular summer apparel options. The clothing manufacturers have started to incorporate unique custom designs in their offerings to appeal to a wider consumer base. If you are looking for something that you can wear as a daily outfit and for the gym, then investing in one of these is a great idea. It would not only make your wardrobe diverse but will open a door of new possibilities for you.

Polos

Polos have been a style statement for the summer season. They have evolved over the years, becoming a safe option for people who don’t brainstorm clothing options. Summer 2022 calls for a blend of colors that can make your wardrobe diverse and vibrant. Polos can be a perfect option if you are planning for a vacation and just want to toss different clothes in your suitcase. In short, there is a no-brainer and can go perfectly with any type of bottoms.

Chinos

We live in a world where denim is the first choice for all kinds of bottoms, developing an unsaid monopoly. The thing is about to change as chinos have become a go-to option for men who like to wear something stylish yet soft. The cotton chinos have taken the clothing market by storm in recent years. The use of softer fabric by different clothing brands has pushed people to consider them. If you have to pick three chinos for your summer wardrobe, then colors like beige, grey, and brown can make your summer look better you can imagine. There are many clothing brands that have come up with affordable chinos, making them a budget-friendly choice for formal and casual use.

5 Top Summer Clothing Trends for Men.

Article submitted by:

Amelia Sebastian
Affix Apparel

My Name is Amelia I am a Content Marketing Manager at Affix Apparel. I am Originally from California USA, I have completed my graduation from Pepperdine University majoring in marketing. I have been working as a content marketing manager at Affix Apparel for the past 4 years. Affix Apparel is a Clothing manufacturer (B2B) based in USA and UK and also serves around the globe.

Team building is an essential component of the growth of your business culture. Studies indicate that roughly 75% of employers rate teamwork collaboration as “very important”. Whether you are a company that just formed a new team or if you have been working together for years, team building activities are a great way to foster a sense of camaraderie and teamwork.


Why engage in team-building activities?

As an entrepreneur, team building activities may not always be at the top of your list of priorities, but doing so offers synergy, cohesiveness, and many other perks that your business can reap. Some of these include:

  • Motivating employees
  • Increased communication
  • Boosting productivity
  • Positive reinforcement
  • Improved collaboration
  • Higher job satisfaction
  • Encouraging creativity

The core idea behind team building activities is to empower individuals to contribute toward a common goal. In fact, the very success of a business depends on the ability of its employees to understand each other’s strengths and weaknesses and work together as a team, all while delivering quality work. 

 

Top team building activities for your employees

One of the key reasons why simple games and activities end up bringing drastic changes in a workplace is their ability to help employees step out of their comfort zone. Simple yet engaging activities provide a platform for team members to break the ice in an un-intimidating manner and take their teamwork to a whole new level.

So if you are looking for some new and exciting ways to team-build, you have come to the right place. Below are a few fun and creative top team building activities that will bring your employees together and allow them to bond in no time.

 

  1. A little trivia goes a long way.

There’s nothing better than hosting a little friendly trivia day or night to get your employees out of their shells when it comes to top team building activities. Surely, this may sound a little old school and perhaps even dull to some, but it certainly does the trick if you are trying to team-build. Hosting trivia as part of top team building activities is an inexpensive alternative, especially for businesses on a tight budget. Plus, it is not limited to your office building only. There are plenty of options on where you can hold a trivia event. 

Not only this, but if you are trying to bring your employees together, trivia can also act as a great ice breaker, especially for new hires who don’t already know one another or those who work remotely. Not to mention, it is a great way to learn a few fun facts. While you are at it, consider offering some incentive for the winning team. This may be free lunch or even gift cards; You’ll be amazed how it works wonders in encouraging more and more employees to participate.

 

  1. Letting loose with potlucks

Potlucks are another great team-building activity that definitely sounds like a recipe for success. After all, who would want to pass up on food and fellowship? So if you’re going to have something a little more informal yet guaranteed to bring your employees together, consider having a potluck lunch at your workplace. From being a monthly, quarterly, or even a themed potluck on holidays, the options are endless, and your employees will have a ball bringing in food and sharing it with co-workers over small talk.

If you are in the mood to get a little more creative, try planning a “get to know everyone” potluck where all your employees bring in their favorite dish. The more fun and interactive the potluck is, the better the chances of team building and bringing your employees together to boost productivity. So let your employees show off their cooking skills and spend some time getting to know one another over some good home-cooked food.

 

  1. Coming together for the community

While focusing on your business and constantly engaging in ways to become more successful is important, setting aside a little time for a good cause is definitely worth the while. So why not get your employees involved in doing good deeds and giving it back to the community?

Try sitting with your employees and decide what cause you want to help out with. When it comes to serving your community, the options are endless. Divide your employees into teams and get them to volunteer at an animal shelter or serve meals to the homeless or even deliver meals together to the elderly. This way, your team isn’t just coming together to work on a task but also feeling fulfilled by doing something good for the community. It’s a win-win situation for everyone.

 

  1. Showing off your team’s sportsman spirit

As entrepreneurs, we all love showing off how our employees worked together as teams and surpassed the targeted goals for the month or even the year. Why not show off your squad at a sporting event to showcase your team spirit and work on team building. Doing so not only helps your employees break the regular work cycle but also bond together as well as improves job satisfaction.

So check out which games are happening in your area and take your team out to a ballgame. Add a little flair to your team by engaging them to work together and paint their own T-shirts that everyone can wear to the game. Take plenty of group photos and post them on social media with witty captions to get even more exposure. Posting team events on social media help you engage with customers and allows you to spotlight how amazing your team is.

 

The bottom line:

Remember! The most successful and memorable top team building activities are the ones that don’t feel like just another day at work. Simply spending time together sharing an unforgettable experience or working towards a common goal allows bonding to happen more organically and far more effectively.

Since the start of the pandemic Zoom has become an even more integral part of the day to day lives for working professionals. Weekly meetings, team huddles, one on ones, presentations, trainings, and any other virtual events can lead to employees battling “Zoom fatigue” if constantly having to meet virtually is a large part of their job.

Here at Let’s CEO have also felt the effects of Zoom fatigue which gave us the idea to publish this post. Below is our attempt to come up with the best possible tips for combating Zoom fatigue so that you can turn your next Zoom meeting into a more effective and engaging experience for everyone.


Related: 7 Steps to a More Successful Zoom Sales Meeting


1. Cutback on Unnecessary Meetings

One of the first and most obvious ways to reduce Zoom fatigue is by cutting down the amount of time you spend on virtual meetings. If you can eliminate meetings by other means of communication, you may find some level of your fatigue alleviated.

2. Reduce Meeting Length

On top of reducing the amount of unnecessary meetings on your calendar you can also reduce the length of meetings that are necessary. By creating meeting agendas and making meetings more efficient you can help everyone by decreasing Zoom fatigue.

3. Change the Format or Structure of the Meeting

Rather than just going down the list on your agenda try and mix things up a little bit. If you have a normal structure that you follow try rearranging it one in a while. Maybe give someone else the meeting agenda and let them try their hand at leading a meeting. This not only eliminates Zoom fatigue but also helps build leadership skills among your employees.

4. Host a Special Guest

Another way to lighten things up includes bringing on a special guest. This could be an expert from your industry, or someone related to a project that you are working on. It could even be someone entirely unrelated that you bring on in order to get your participants more engaged.

5. Create Fun Meeting Themes

A good tip to keep employees and participants engaged and reduced Zoom fatigue is to transform your Zoom meetings into fun and engaging experiences. Create custom themes that participants can use as a background for different meetings. Implement games and activities to keep participants involved and morale high.

6. Promote Participant Interaction

Turn the meeting into more of a back-and-forth round table type discussion. Employees want their voices to be heard. By asking participants to provide feedback or asking them questions you help turn the meeting into more of forum where everyone is engaged.

7. Make Meetings More Engaging

Part of what creates Zoom fatigue isn’t just staring at a screen all day. Some of this can actually be attributed to a lack of interesting or engaging content. During your virtual meeting it is a good idea to prepare and present interesting and engaging content that will excite your participants.

8. Add a Q&A Session

This is something that should always be after every meeting and yet you’d be surprised at how many people overlook this simple step. By having a Q&A session at the end of each meeting you are helping to ensure that your participants fully understand the different topics that were covered.

9. Incorporate Real World Activities

Finally, one great way to eliminated Zoom fatigue is by incorporating real world activities. By adding real world elements to your meeting you help alleviate the virtual elements. One good example of this could be an activity that revolves around March Madness like having everyone create and participate in a bracket challenge and then incorporating aspects of that into your meeting.


Up Next: A Modern Approach to Sales Enablement

 

The world has gone through a massive transformation, and artificial intelligence has become the talk of the town. The use of artificial intelligence has revolutionized different sectors, and the clothing industry is one of them. Every clothing sector, from manufacturing to embroidery designing, has been affected by the countless perks of artificial intelligence.

With the use of virtual and augmented reality, the embroidery industry has been turned into something nobody had to imagine before. The prime of this is the use of state-of-the-art machines and automated means for the large-scale production of custom embroidery patches. It’s only due to AI that clothing manufacturers are able to work on 3D designs that were thought to be science fiction in the past.

When it comes to the custom embroidery industry, AI is responsible for tasks like production, order handling, designing, and workflow-related requirements. An embroidery business can become efficient if it uses the means provided by artificial intelligence to enhance the production scale and quality of its products.

 This blog will discuss the benefits of AI that can drastically impact the custom embroidery industry.

 

Automation Embroidery

Automation is a modern marvel that can take the embroidery industry to new heights. The hand-made embroidery often leaves minor details unchecked that can affect the quality of the final product. The automated embroidery services can analyze the minor errors and rectify them according to the requirements to provide high-quality embroidery results. The use of automation can be a perfect choice for facilities that are involved in large-scale production. Automated embroidery also provides clothing manufacturers to be carefree about the overall quality of their products.

 

Maintenance

The embroidery machines that are powered by artificial intelligence have sensors that can do maintenance periodically. The use of AI-powered tools can save maintenance costs and minimize the reliance on manpower. The key benefit that comes with it is that embroidery facilities would no longer need to hire technicians to look after the embroidery machines.

 

Production

Custom embroidery services can expand their production scale by integrating a hybrid (AI + Manpower) model in their production. It would take the scale of manufacturing to new heights providing a minimum margin for error. The handling of large-scale orders and complex designs can be handled by AI-powered solutions that can be integrated into the production facility. A clothing manufacturer can program the required design and sizing details into the system, and the final result would be according to their needs. The use of AI becomes essential if the customized patches are needed to be manufactured in different sizes and shapes for a single order. If you own an embroidery service, you can scale up the total production by using modern AI-powered tools for your embroidery business.

 

Designing Tools

Design plays a pivotal role in the manufacturing of custom embroidery patches. The use of artificial intelligence can enable designers to use state-of-the-art designing techniques that can make the designs even better. The embroidery companies can also use AI to make complete the unfinished designs using the specialized tools that are included in different designing tools. The AI-based solutions can be used to train new designers to align with the modern needs of customized embroidery, providing an embroidery company with surplus design resources.

 

Color Correction

Colors matter the most when it comes to customization of different types of embroidery patches. The reliance on state-of-the-art Ai solutions can help embroidery services to get the colors right every time. The companies can also use AI-based tools to rectify the color-related issues and create new color templates to be used with different designs.

 

Customization

Automation and AI would open new doors for customizations for the custom embroidery industry. The AI solutions can be utilized by companies to implement complex customizations that align with the demands of various customers. The use of artificial intelligence can also help embroidery companies to integrate designing tools into their website. It would help the customers to create their own custom embroidery designs without using any complex design apparatus.

 

Conclusion

Artificial intelligence will continue to assist us in the different sectors, including custom embroidery. The perks that AI offers in terms of embroidery can help clothing brands to design their products according to their vision. It should be noted that AI is still in the developing stages, and the true potential of this technology is yet to be discovered. It’s no wonder that more embroidery services are investing in augmented reality and AI to take their businesses to a new level. Now is the time to start thinking about AI integration in your business model if you are an owner of an embroidery service. It has the potential to take your business in a new direction providing you a clear edge over the competitors.

Article submitted by:

Amelia Sebastian
Affix Apparel

Did you know that 85% of the Fortune 500 companies that outshined everyone else in the US during the 1950s are long gone and forgotten?

This is primarily due to their failure to evolve with the changing landscape, adapt and innovate for the future. Even if they were great at marketing their services and products, it was useless if they couldn’t understand and solve their customers’ needs.

 

In today’s digital era, technologies from GPS systems to social media and even artificial intelligence have completely changed how businesses used to operate twenty years ago, making it almost unrecognizable. As if dealing with such turbulent times wasn’t enough, doing everything that needs to be done just to keep your business afloat has no doubt become challenging and overwhelming. As if this wasn’t sufficient, acquiring new clients to expand your business and boost your revenue is another battle altogether. 

 

However, just like with everything else, how we market our business and products must also change in order to stand tall in such competitive times. Today, to win more clients, businesses need to reach out and acquire assistance from professionalswho understand and are equipped with targeting, specific, and personalized marketing campaigns while executing them with an intimate understanding of your audience.

 

Calling in the experts!

Are you engaged in the service industry as a plumbing company or an HVAC? Has your business begun its digital transformation, and are you equipped to track and measure your digital footprint? If not, it’s only a matter of time before your marketing campaign starts to crash and burn.

So before anything else, the first thing you must do is subscribe to business software as a service (SaaS) like Social Pilot. Having a business management SaaS by your corner, you can put all the tools in place to scale your business with ease as well as integrate with various platforms where you want to communicate with your audience.

 

Leveraging the power of social media

Today, knowing how to leverage social media properly and expand your brand reach on all social platforms is a massive advantage to any business. Irrespective of your size, stature, or nature of business, it is imperative that you know your target audience and plan and execute an integrated social media marketing campaign that directly speaks to them. You must also be able to measure the results of this activity so that you can keep tweaking it till you get the desired results. Learning from past experiences and experimenting till you get it right is one way to go about it!

If done correctly, engaging in social media marketing can boost your business by:

  • Increasing awareness, recognition amongst customers, and even promoting brand loyalty due to its massive reach
  • Improve the overall customer experience by using the social media accounts as customer portals
  • Increased rate of conversion since building trust and engaging with prospective clients is far easier on social media alongside selling your products and services.
  • Growth in website traffic by encouraging your social media users to click on booking an appointment or a free trialor even a demo

 

Underestimating the power of search engine optimization (SEO)

One of the biggest mistakes businesses make when trying to make the digital transition all by themselves without any help from the experts in building a website and expecting to bring home the sales. Today, social media is no less than an ocean where you can’t just expect people to find you without any effort from your end. To do this, professional teams work day and night on optimizing your website (SEO) so that your customers can find you online. No doubt, search engine optimization is one of the foundations of a digital marketing campaign. Just remember! Search engine optimizing your website is an art that cannot be accomplished overnight; the results can take a while to be seen.


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Invest in the art of curated content

Content curation is another great feature offering promising results and helps boost your marketing campaign. When done correctly, customers start to see you as the leader in the industry, and as a result, they are more likely to purchase your products and services. Not only this, but B2B businesses can even use their curated content on social platforms like Instagram and Facebook to earn new followers and showcase themselves with viral-worthy posts.

To get the best results, try placing your curated content alongside your created content while mapping them on the content calendar. This allows you to enjoy an overview of the distribution ratio of both contents. Not only this, but it also helps to track whether you have focused enough on your central theme or not.

 

Underestimating the power of search engine optimization (SEO)

One of the biggest mistakes businesses make when trying to make the digital transition all by themselves without any help from the experts in building a website and expecting to bring home the sales. Today, social media is no less than an ocean where you can’t just expect people to find you without any effort from your end. To do this, professional teams work day and night on optimizing your website (SEO) so that your customers can find you online. No doubt, search engine optimization is one of the foundations of a digital marketing campaign. Just remember! Search engine optimizing your website is an art that cannot be accomplished overnight; the results can take a while to be seen.

 

 

Invest in the art of curated content

Content curation is another great feature offering promising results and helps boost your marketing campaign. When done correctly, customers start to see you as the leader in the industry, and as a result, they are more likely to purchase your products and services. Not only this, but B2B businesses can even use their curated content on social platforms like Instagram and Facebook to earn new followers and showcase themselves with viral-worthy posts.

To get the best results, try placing your curated content alongside your created content while mapping them on the content calendar. This allows you to enjoy an overview of the distribution ratio of both contents. Not only this, but it also helps to track whether you have focused enough on your central theme or not.

The bottom line

Nonetheless, the digital revolution is all around us regardless of whether we like it! From choosing a nice cozy restaurant to dine in to finding the best locksmith in the area or even comparing health insurance. The first place we start to look is online! To gain cut through in any market, your business needs to subscribe to result-oriented business software as a service (SaaS). These can help you develop a strong marketing strategy – so why not invest in the digital space where your customers spend most of their time and find the right marketing campaign to win more clients.

 

Remember! There is no one-size-fits-all marketing strategy. Every marketing plan is as different while being unique. So invest the time in getting to know and understand your customers. Experiment and be creative while communicating with your audience and learning what works to drive conversions and sales. By adapting and innovating, you assure success into the future!

 

The importance of having a well versed Sales Development Rep / Business Development Rep has never been more clear than now.

In 2021 having a representative to head your sales and business development out reach is vital to your company’s success. Without a proper outreach strategy you will struggle to bring in new business and new accounts. This is where having a knowledgeable and skilled Sales Development Rep / Business Development Rep comes into play.

These are the 10 Skills Every Sales Development Rep / Business Development Rep (SDR/BDR) Needs in 2021.

In this article we’ll take a a look at some these most important aspects of sales & business development and how you can implement these within your outreach teams.

There are many factors that can determine the success of a company’s outreach strategy. Having a knowledgeable and skilled Sales Development Rep / Business Development Rep makes that success easier to obtain.

I hope this article can serve as a guide to help you get started with the 10 Skills Every Sales Development Rep / Business Development Rep (SDR/BDR) Needs in 2021

With a good foundation to start off of you can build off of this list and grow and expand your company’s current outreach strategy.

This is a list of the top 10 Skills Every Sales Development Rep / Business Development Rep (SDR/BDR) Needs in 2021. I came up with this list on the fly in less than 5 minutes. If you feel that I have missed something go ahead and leave some feedback in the comments below.

1. market research

As companies become more and more competitive the skillset of a sales development representative/business development representative must expand from basic outreach to being able to develop a comprehensive sales strategy from the ground up.

The first place you, as a Sales Development Rep / Business Development Rep should start, is with market research.

Being the on the frontlines of your company’s outreach strategy it has never been more important to know your target market in depth by gathering information about your target buyers’ needs and preferences.

As a Sales Development Rep / Business Development Rep having an edge in market research puts you ahead of the competition. It is a very important component of business strategy and a major factor in maintaining competitiveness.

Knowing your audience means knowing how to better personalize and segment your outreach strategy. This is a big advantage over your average Sales Development Rep / Business Development Rep who is most likely doing only basic outreach functions totally overlooking the importance of performing proper market research first.

This will allow you to better build out your outreach strategies through multiple channels and multiple touchpoints. You will put yourself in a position to target more qualified leads and in turn raise your conversion rate. This not only increases your bottom line but saves you time as well.

2. prospecting & Data Scraping

One the first functions that one must be well versed in when building out a sales campaign from scratch is prospecting and data scraping.

Rather you use a CRM or a spreadsheet finding prospects that fit your product or service as well as their direct contact information is the most important starting point for any outreach campaign.

Think of prospecting and data scraping as the foundation of your house. Without a strong foundation you can’t build a big luxurious house. The same goes for your sales outreach campaigns.

You must first do your due diligence in prospecting. What good is a list of prospects if the contact information is incorrect or your prospects don’t match what you are trying to deliver.

The objective of sales prospecting is so that you, as a Sales Development Rep / Business Development Rep, have correct and updated information when performing your initial outreach. You want to be able to get in touch with a decision maker as quickly as possible and prospecting correctly makes that part of the process so much easier.

3. lead generation & Appointment Setting

Now we get to the outreach itself which all starts with generating leads. Rather you are setting appointments for a sales closer to closed down and convert or you are  handing off a hot lead to an account manager it all starts with lead generation and appointment setting.

There are multiple ways to go about this and there many different approaches and strategies one can take when performing lead generation. Here is an article in which I take much deeper dive into the ins and outs of lead generation. You can read it here.

There many different channels and touchpoints you can and should use when trying to generate leads for your purposes.

These can channels can range from your typical cold calling to emailing or social media and much more.

The main idea here is that you are taking a prospect who has either no knowledge or limited knowledge of your product and/or service and creating awareness and building some interest.

You want to be able to move these leads down your pipeline and into the hands of your sales closers or account managers. An informed lead with some general interest is much easier for your sales team to close and convert than a totally cold lead that has never been approached from anyone from your company. This is why appointment setting is so vital.

Again, this is the initial step of actually performing your outreach and it is highly recommended that you utilize more than one channel.

Now each strategy will ultimately be determined by your product and your target market so keep that in mind. You want to be where your potential customers are.

4. calling skills

This should be on the first skills that a Sales Development Rep / Business Development Rep learns. Personally, I and many other successful sales executives, have built our careers off of cold calling.

The thing that makes calling, specifically cold calling, much easier as a Sales Development Rep / Business Development Rep is that you yourself are not trying to close a sale on your first call. You are just trying to get your lead to agree to take a meeting with your closer.

Typically these calls are short and are use to create awareness, build interest, ask questions, and determine that the lead is a good fit for your product or service.

You shouldn’t read a script as it can make you sound robotic and inauthentic. However, when first starting out you should have some kind of guide or call outline until you are able to get the flow of the call down.

I highly recommend watching some Grant Cardone or Jordan Belfort videos as the provide some great insights and tips on how to perform a great cold call and on how to set appointments that stick.

If you have the extra money to spend I would say Cardone University or Jordan Belfort’s Straight Line System are well worth the investment. Those course can greatly enhance your ability on the phones and the stronger your ability the more confident you will feel.

I would also suggest getting some kind of phone system and not dialing off of your personal phone for a couple reasons. One, you can get a local line if you are reaching out to companies not in your geographical area which is often the case. Two, you are probably not going to want leads and potential customers blowing up your personal cellphone.

5. email outreach

This a skill that anyone who wants to be a successful SDR/BDR needs to learn and master. Pairing great calling ability with knowledge on email outreach will make you that much more effective as a SDR/BDR.

There are multiple ways to go about email outreach. There is the cold email blast, opt-ins, and email follow ups.

However you choose to implement your email outreach you should know how to craft an eye-popping headline, attention grabbing content, and a CTA that gets your leads to take action.

Email outreach can also provide a great jumping off point for your calls too. For example you can lead into your call with “Hi (Lead’s Name), this is Lance from XYZ company. I actually sent over an email a few days ago, just checking to see if you had a chance to check it out and wanted to get your thoughts on it.” It is also a great way to follow up an initial call.

In any event email outreach is a very important skill that any SDR/BDR needs in 2021 in order to stay competitive. For more information on this I’ve written an in depth post about email marketing which can be found here.

Also if setting up a CRM specifically for email automation and segmentation I highly recommend you checkout the following:

There are others such as MailChimp and ConstantContact. However, in my experience the 3 listed above provide the best value for email outreach purposes.

6. linkedin expertise

I mentioned social media above and for a more in depth look at performing outreach across different social media platforms you can read a comprehensive article I put together here.

Now that article is geared more towards marketing for bloggers but there are a lot of principles and strategies that can be incorporated into your outreach strategy.

The main social media channel you need to get to know as a SDR/BDR is LinkedIn and Sales Navigator. This is another great channel for finding your target audience and sending personalized segmented messages.

I have incorporated LinkedIn and specifically Sales Navigator into many outreach strategies in the past with great success. Sometimes you will find this is one of the best ways to get in touch with decision makers depending on who your target audience is.

Sales Navigator has a few different monthly subscription plans geared towards individuals and teams but is well worth the investment.

There are also several training courses provided on Sales Navigator so even if you aren’t too knowledgeable in LinkedIn and Sales Navigator you can be within a few hours.

Being an expert in LinkedIn is just another way to give yourself a big advantage as a SDR/BDR. It is an important channel that should be implemented in your outreach strategies.

7. crm certifications

Knowing the ins and outs of different CRMs as a SDR/BDR is imperative. Although you could potential start with a spreadsheet through Google or Excel, at some point you need to learn how to operate a CRM.

So, what is a CRM? A CRM is a technology for managing all your company’s relationships and interactions with customers and potential customers. A couple of the most known CRMs being Salesforce, mostly geared towards large enterprises and HubSpot which mostly geared towards startups and smaller sized businesses.

Outside of the major CRMs there are options to choose to from. Some of these being multipurpose CRMs for storing contacts, logging calls, and creating email segments and some are built for a more specific purpose like email marketing.

When it comes to email marketing our favorites include:

Whichever route you choose to go with when it comes to CRMs there is no debate that this technology is a must have  for any modern outreach strategy. The good news is it is every easy to get the training and information you need for free online.

A couple of great examples of some free CRM courses include HubSpot Academy and Salesforce Trailhead. It is a good idea to spend some time learning the ins and outs the 2 biggest CRMs out there right now and a certification or two doesn’t hurt.

8. closing ability

Although your main focus as a SDR/BDR may be to generate leads and set appointments for your sales team the ability to close sales on your own just adds that much more value to your skillset as a SDR/BDR.

In my experience if you are a SDR/BDR but also possess the ability to close this leads to bigger opportunities, raises, higher commissions, and bonuses. Being able to execute a sales campaign from the very start all the way through the close makes you a very valuable asset to many companies.

This helps increase your bottom line and your value while at the same time allowing your client or employer to cut down on operating costs by allowing one person to take on more of the overall sales strategy.

If you are well educated on your product then selling shouldn’t be too difficult for you.

A this point it is assumed that you’ve already done the hard legwork like cold calling, generating interest, and setting appointments. Why would you not want to profit off of that by executing the most glamorous part of the process by asking for the sale?

If you want to learn how to be an excellent closer rather its over the phone or in person I highly recommend two of my favorite salespeople Grant Cardone and Jordan Belfort. Grant Cardone has Cardone University while Jordan Belfort has his Straight Line system. In my  opinion both are incredibly effective.

9. lead nurturing

Lead nurturing is the process of developing and reinforcing relationships with buyers at every stage of the sales funnel.

A successful lead nurturing program focuses marketing and communication efforts on listening to the needs of prospects and providing the information and answers they need to build trust, increase brand awareness, and maintain a connection until prospects are ready to make a purchase. That’s why it’s crucial to nurture relationships with buyers through a strategic lead scoring system.

Additionally, lengthening sales funnels fosters independence within prospects, creating a greater need for well-crafted lead nurturing programs.

Marketing automation platforms like CRMs can allow marketing teams to develop flexible, adaptive communications at scale by forming a lead nurturing strategy.

In doing this, you create a pathway through which you not only create relationships with potential customers, but also maintain those relationships while the prospect moves through the buyer’s journey at their own pace.

10. great customer service

Finally, the last aspect of a great SDR/BDR that can separate you from your competition is delivering great customer service and a great overall customer experience.

Being able to build and execute a comprehensive sales strategy from the ground up while being able to close adds incredible value to your skillset. Providing exceptional customer service gives you even more of an edge.

Although this skill may usually be more closely associated with account managers and less so with SDR/BDR roles the ability to do this makes you an even more valuable asset.

Providing exceptional customer service doesn’t mean only providing customer service up to the point of the sale. It also means following up with your customers and ensuring that everything is running smoothly with your product or service.

Having all these skills and putting it all together will make you stand out above your competition when it comes being a great Sales Development Rep / Business Development Rep.

You may not use all of these different skillsets for a single campaign but the ability to do so makes you stand out and gives you the ability to perform multiple functions for your client/employer.

 

10 Skills Every Sales Development Rep / Business Development Rep (SDR/BDR) Needs in 2021

– Lance Ulin

Let’s CEO

There are many things I wish I had known before I began my freelancing career.

However I couldn’t fit every single thing in one post so I’ve narrowed it down  the top 10 most important.

These are the 10 things I wish I knew before I started freelancing.

In this article we’ll take a a look at some these most important aspects of freelancing and how you can prepare for a freelancing career.

There are many factors that can determine the success of freelancer in today’s freelance market. We’ll take a look the most important factors here.

I hope this article can serve as a guide to help you get started with the 10 things that I wish I knew before I started freelancing and enable you to build off of this list.

With a good foundation to start off of you can build off of this list and grow and expand into the world of freelancing.

This is a list of the top 10 things I wish I knew before I started freelancing. I came up with this list on the fly in less than 5 minutes. I’ve you feel that I have missed something go ahead and leave some feedback in the comments below.

1. you are not an employee

A big misconception that inexperienced freelancers have when first starting out is that they are looking for a job from a client. This is not the case. You are essentially a business owner offering your services to customers or clients. So, you should carry yourself as such.

At the same time never allow a client to treat you as an employee. Make this clear and set expectations with your client before you accept the clients offer.

You’ll often hear “if you do well maybe we’ll even offer you a full time position”. This is where you need to remind the client you are not interested in that and that you are running your own freelancing business and have no desire to take on a full-time position with the client.

If the client doesn’t like this or seems irritated by this it may be best to decline the clients project and look for something else. The last thing you want to do is enter an engagement with a client that is going to treat you as an employee.

After all, that is one the reasons you left the 9-5 grind. You want to be your own boss. Your clients are your peers not your employers.

Check out my article on dealing with difficult clients in-case you do happen to fall into this trap here.

2. craft an incredible cover letter

When bidding on projects it is so vital to write an attention grabbing cover letter that outlines what you bring to the table.

You should also talk about previous projects that you have taken that turned out successfully. If you have not taken on a project as a freelancer then talk about your prior work experience. Be sure to touch on what separate you from other freelancers for this particular project.

You would be very surprised at how much a great cover letter matters even more so than your degree or years of experience in your particular field. You could have no degree and maybe only a year or two of experience in your field, but if you have an exceptional cover letter you’ll greatly increase your chances of winning the contract.

By doing this you’ll find that at times you’ll be winning contracts over people who have far more education and experience most likely because those candidates are writing sub-par cover letters.

3. always have more than 1 client

This is one that I really wish I knew before I started. It would have saved me so many headaches and saved from a few financial hardships.

You have to understand that because this is not a employee-employer relationship clients can leave the engagement at anytime for any reason. This is why I always say you should be willing to work up to 60 hours/week as a freelancer.

You never want to allow only one client to take all of your time. Doing so will set you up for a very difficult situation in the future if that particular client decides to end the engagement for whatever reason. If that happens then you suddenly finally yourself with 0 clients and no income at all from your freelancing business.

Having more than 1 client will help to mitigate this. Never give a client more than 40 hours as this goes back to what I said up being willing up to 60 as a freelancer.

This is because if a client does request a full time engagement (40hrs)  then you will at least have 1 or 2 more clients that you can fall back on while you try to fill the void if your full time client decides to leave for whatever reason.

 

4. the first contract is most difficult

I’ve always said that obtaining your first client is the most difficult and frustrating part of starting your freelance career. It is something that ALL successful freelancers have gone through this to get where they are today.

As a professional freelancer you must have a high level of resiliency and persistence in order to be successful. Like sales, obtaining new clients is numbers game. You have to keep at it. Keep bidding on contracts. Bid on as many as you possible can. Take as many interviews as you can.

If you don’t have a contract yet then fill up your schedule with as many interviews as you can. Don’t assume that just because an interview went well and the client says they like you and want to move forward with you that it will actually happen. Clients can be incredibly flaky so assume nothing until an offer is in front of you and you have accepted it.

Until then keep interviewing!

You can read my article on how I started out and became a successful freelancer here.

5. bid on as many contracts as you can

As I touched on above, getting that first contract is a numbers game. It can potentially take anywhere from 50 to 100 proposals before you get an interview or even more depending on your niche.

This is why being resilient and persistent is so important.

This part of the process, the beginning, is where so many freelancers get frustrated and fail which leads them inevitably giving up and returning to the workforce. Rome wasn’t built in a day and your not about to be raking in six figures in that time frame either.

If you’re not willing to deal with the frustrating and hard parts of starting out as a freelancer then something like this just isn’t for you. You may find that you are just more comfortable as an employee. This isn’t for everyone.

Here is a great video by former bodybuilder Rich Piana (RIP) on “doing whatever it takes”.

The video is geared more towards bodybuilding but can be applied to any area of life.

6. continuously interview

As I said it can take many bids to finally receive that first interview. Do NOT stop there. You should continue bidding on as many projects as you can so that you can continue to add more and more interviews to your schedule.

It is a numbers game so the more interviews you can setup for yourself the more likely you will land that first contract. However, do not stop there. Continue interviewing. You need more than client so even after you get your first contract KEEP INTERVIEWING.

If you are a poor interviewer than this is something you must practice and get better at. Being able to interview well is so crucial to being a successful freelancer.

When I first started out it took me several interviews to finally land my first contract. These days my interview skills have improved tremendously and it typically only takes me between 1 and 3 interviews to land a new client.

They secret is there is no secret. You have to do it and fail a few times in order to learn and get better.

Practice, Practice, PRACTICE.

7. don’t get low-balled

It is important the clients respect your pay rate as a freelancer. So many clients will offer up all types of excuses as to why they don’t want to pay as much as they should. Do not fall into this trap.

However, in the beginning of your career don’t set your rate sky high or you’ll have a difficult time winning over any new clients. When first starting out you have to realize that if you have no social proof on your profile meaning that you have not completed any projects yet you many need to start out with a lower rate listed on your profile.

Although, if you’ve listed what you feel is a reasonable rate based on similar researching similar freelancers in your niche with similar experience and client asks you to substantially lower your rate then tell them to keep it moving. At that time you should figuratively walk away from the negotiating table.

On the other hand if let’s say for example that your listed rate is $25/hr and you haven’t many or any clients yet and a client offers you something like $20/hr or maybe $18/hr +  performance incentives it many not be a bad idea to oblige if the client otherwise seems like a good fit.

So, don’t get low-balled but be reasonable and be willing to negotiate.

On a side note be weary of clients that offer you a low hourly rate with promise of high commission payouts. Ask to see the commission structure first and it if it looks suitable ask that client include the exact commission structure in the actual contract itself.

Here is great tool called AndCo for setting up your own contracts if you do not wish to use contracts provided by the various freelancing platforms.

8. recognize client red flags

As you begin taking on more and more clients throughout your freelance career you’ll run into great clients and not so great clients. You can help protect yourself from taking on bad clients by recognizing the warning signs early on.

So, what are some of these red flags to be wear of?

The first most obvious sign is if the client has bad rating on their profile or a review site. If other freelancers have only had bad experiences with this client then AVOID.

Some other not as obvious signs to watch out for can be found in the clients behavior from the time they request an interview to the time the make the initial offer.

A good client will always request an interview of some kind. They want to know if their money is going to go to good use or not. Be weary of clients that send an offer and ask you start without first setting up some kind of initial consultation with you.

Avoid clients that seem like they may try to treat you as an employee rather than a professional freelancer. This is a client based relationship not an employee employer based relationship.

Watch out for clients that set no expectations for their project or provide very little insight on how and when they want the project delivered. This is just asking for a fight later on.

Lastly, the kind of client that I absolutely despise is a client that feels the need to micromanage. A client like this has absolutely no respect for you. Checking in every now and then is acceptable. Asking for weekly reports can happen sometimes happen too and that is fine. What isn’t fine is if you find your client constantly checking in on you throughout the day. This is a huge red flag and this kind of client needs to be avoided at all costs. Not only is it unprofessional and incredibly annoying but you could possibly be setting your self up to be abused and mistreated further down the line.

Check out my article on dealing with difficult clients here.

9. great customer service

Maybe more important even than delivering results is providing great customer service. Always be supportive and understanding of your client. Do not settle for doing the bare minimum. You should go above and beyond for every client.

Even in instances where you may be struggling to complete a task reach out to the client and see if you can come up with a solution together. If worst comes to worst you should always try to give the client the impression that you area freelancer with integrity.

If you find yourself unable to complete a certain task for any reason you should immediately reach out to your client. Do your best to fulfill their needs and perhaps suggest that your skill set isn’t enough to complete the task at hand.

If this does happen you must do as much as possible to soften the blow for the client. Remember they are spending their hard earned money on you to complete a project.

The best thing to do if comes to this is gracefully suggest ending the contract and/or recommending another freelancer or agency that can do what the client needs.Until then offer to support the client until they are able to find a replacement.

Note: I said support the client not continue to work for client. Continuing to provide work that you can’t do or providing free work is neither productive for you or the client.

10. happy client = great review

Rather you successfully complete a project or find yourself needing to hand it off to someone else you should ALWAYS do whatever you can to keep your client as happy as possible.

Even in instances where you do not successfully complete a project but the client still likes you and is still happy with the work the you put forth in most cases you can expect at minimum a good review if not a great one.

This will heavily impact your ability to win more contracts in the future. Lots of good reviews will lead to clients reaching out to you and asking you for help on their project through project invitations. Poor reviews will make it very difficult for you to win more clients in the future.

So whatever you do always, always, always try to keep your client happy!

 

10 Things I wish I Knew Before I Started Freelancing

Lance Ulin

www.letsceo.com

Social Media Marketing for Bloggers. How do it right and drive results!

In this article we’ll explore how you can drive consistent traffic using multiple social media channels and touch points.

Social media is a powerful digital marketing tool for your blog. With now billions of users and multiple ways to market your content, good social media strategies are a must for any blogger in any niche in 2021.

When it comes to social media marketing for bloggers depending on your niche you may find some social media platforms more useful than others.

Considering that my niche is built around entrepreneurs with a focus on freelancing these are the most useful platforms that I have used to build my blog traffic listed in order.

Again, blogs are unique so different platforms may work better depending on your target audience.

facebook

Let’s start with Facebook. Facebook has the largest network out all major social media sites with a whopping 2.85 billion users. With a user base of this size this should be your starting point when starting out with any new blog.

As you start off trying to find who your target audience is Facebook is a good place to start and experiment with different types of marketing and outreach.

Outside of your individual profile you have the option of creating a business page. Start by completely filling out your business page profile fully and accurately. Use a logo that represents your brand and a good header to match.

Now that you have your business page how can you increase your brand awareness and drive traffic to your blog?

The first obvious options are sharing your content to your news feed or asking friends to share your content. However you have to expand your audience outside of just your Facebook friends. Let’s take a look at a a few ways you can do this.

Niche Groups

One of the best ways to network, gain exposure, and drive traffic to your blog on Facebook is by joining niche groups.

These are groups with like minded individuals that share and discuss information related to the group topic. You can and should join groups that are specifically geared towards social media marketing for bloggers.

Keep in mind that most quality Facebook groups do not allow you spam your blog. Instead you should engage in discussion and share useful relevant information that provides value to the group members. By doing this you will have plenty of opportunities to inject articles from your blog while not coming across as a spammer.

However, there are plenty of groups that are built for you to spam your blog links and view other blogs in exchange for a view of your blog. This can be a useful way to drive traffic to your blog in the beginning. The only downfall is the quality of traffic isn’t going to be great and as you move forward building your blog QUALITY traffic will be an absolute must.

Advertising

Facebook Ads are another way of driving traffic to your Facebook page, posts, and blog. The great thing about Facebook Ads is that you can target your specific audience so that only the Facebook users who match your criteria will see your add. This will make your add budget much more efficient.

I would suggest in the beginning you should focus on building your brand and gaining exposure. You can run an effective ad campaign on Facebook with as little as $5/day.

It is good when starting out to experiment with your ads a little to bit too see what works and what doesn’t. You want to keep your cost per engagement relatively low based on your goals. The higher the cost per engagement the less effective our adds are and the less efficient your ad spending becomes.

Hashtags

Using hashtags is a good way to drive organic traffic to your Facebook page. Hashtags on Facebook are far less effective than hashtags on other platforms like Twitter and Instagram.

However, the good thing is that the organic traffic you drive using hashtags is typically of high quality consisting of users that are interested in your content. 

You should be sure to use relevant hashtags in all of your posts. Look to see what hashtags are trending and see if you can implement any of those hashtags into your post.

Influencers

What are influencers? Oxford defines Influencers as people with the ability to influence potential buyers of a product or service by promoting or recommending the items on social media.

Influencers are typically able to do this due to the high number of followers they have. Contacting an influencer and having them share your page or post can generate a large amount of quality traffic. However, influencers can sometimes be expensive so plan accordingly.

 

 

Linkedin

Niche Groups

Similarly to Facebook joining niche groups on LinkedIn are a great way to attract more followers. Like Facebook there are many groups that fit different niches. However, some types of blogs will do better here than others.

Blogs geared towards anything having to with business can generate some great quality traffic this way. At the same time it may be more difficult for a non-business blog to gain as much traction on LinkedIn.

Advertising

Again, similarly to Facebook, targeted advertising can be used to build your brand and serves as a great way to generate more traffic to your page or site. You’ll have to play around with different budgets and different keywords to find what works for you.

Just like with Facebook your ads will be shown to your target audience and you will get your results based off of your budget. There is no one-size fits all here, you just have continue to experiment until you find what works for your brand.

Hashtags

Unlike Facebook, hashtags on LinkedIn are far more useful for attracting your audience. One of the main differences between hashtags on LinkedIn and other social media platforms is that the hashtags used here are more specific and used to drive more defined audience to your page.

You should use relevant hashtags on all your posts. Hashtags are one the main ways I was able grow my LinkedIn page organically. The traffic will be of higher quality because the people that view your posts or page from searching for hashtags more than likely have a legitimate interest in the topics you are covering.

Influencers

Just like any other social media platform LinkedIn has it’s influencers too and it operates the same way. Seek out a page with a high number of followers within your niche and send messages inquiring about influencer services.

As with any social media site this another great way to drive traffic to your site. This method can potentially bring a high number of followers within your niche. The downside? Depending on the influencer prices can be quite high and it is something you’ll have to plan to add into your marketing budget.

pinterest

Pinterest is a social media site that probably not many people think of when they think of ways to drive traffic to your site. However, if used correctly Pinterest can be a very powerful marketing tool.

Create Boards

The first thing that you’ll do after signing up and creating an account on Pinterest is to register a business account. From here you’ll begin posting what are called “boards”. Boards are how you’ll categorize your posts or pins. Create board for the different topics that your site touches on. However, don’t create to many boards at first as you don’t want to spread yourself too thin.

Add Pins

Pins, as mentioned above, are your actual posts that will be added to whatever board you choose. Be sure to correctly categorize your pins. Just like most other social media platforms Pinterest also uses hashtags in the same way. Use relevant hashtags on your pins to drive reach users that may be interested in your content.

Engage With Other Users

One important thing that you should do on Pinterest in order to build your brand on the Pinterest is engage with your followers and other users with similar interests. This is a must in order to sustain your following on the platform.

Advertising

Like other social media platforms Pinterest offers digital advertising also and it operates similarly to the other platforms mentioned above. Ill be honest, this isn’t something I’ve messed around with much as most of my traffic on Pinterest is organic.

instagram

Hashtags

I know that we have mentioned hashtags several times throughout this article. When it comes to Instagram however hashtags are much more important and have more value than arguably any platform we’ve covered. Hashtags are the number one way that users find your posts. So, using hashtags is a must.

Influencers

Influencers can be found on Instagram too and they operate the same way. In my opinion Instagram is by far the best option for influencer marketing and it is actually something that Instagram is well known for. If I were looking at platforms for influencers I would definitely start with Instagram.

Engage with Audience

As with all other platforms it is always important to engage with your followers.

Advertising

Instagram offers similar advertising as covered on the other platforms.

 

 

Twitter

Hashtags

When it comes to hashtags Twitter’s only rival here is maybe Instagram. Twitter has always been and continues to be the king of hashtags. Hashtags should always be used on Twitter. Not doing so will cause your post to be seen by far less people. So, using hashtags is an absolute must on every tweet.

Influencers

Covered several times above. One main ways that influencers help promote brands is through use of retweets. A retweet is when a someone re-shares your content on their feed allowing your content to be seen by all of their followers.

Trending Topics

One way to gain more attention on Twitter is build tweets around trending topics. You can see what is trending on Twitter under the trending sub-header on the homepage and search page.

Tweet Often

Of course your content should always be of decent quality. That said Twitter is more useful if you post multiple times per day. That doesn’t mean you have to spend all day creating content for your twitter account. It just means you should be posting and sharing throughout the day.

It doesn’t even have to be your content. You can share other content or link to curated content. Just be sure you’re not taking credit for someone else’s work. As long as you are providing value to your followers throughout the day you are doing it right.

Other Platforms

Tumblr

Tumblr acts as a mini-blogging site where you can share posts and interact with other users. I have not found much use for Tumblr yet but maybe it can do something for you.

YouTube

I put YouTube on the bottom here as there are a lot of ways that you can incorporate videos into your marketing strategy. However this isn’t something you’ll probably be doing for a while unless your blog is built around a podcast. This is a a channel I would wait on using until you have more experience running your blog and you are sure of the direction you want to go in.

I wouldn’t recommend YouTube as a go to in social media marketing for bloggers. Unless you are somehow incorporating into your niche.

Final Note

When deciding on the best platforms for your blog I wouldn’t recommend trying to market on all of these channels all at once if you are doing this by yourself. If you do you could spread yourself to thin and/or overwhelm yourself. Set up a presence on all of the platforms listed here by focus on just a couple to drive daily traffic.

 

Social Media Marketing for Bloggers

Lance Ulin

www.letsceo.com

The 3 Rules of Dealing With a Difficult Client as a Freelancer.

DIFFICULT! There are many issues that may arise when conducting business with a client as a freelancer but what makes a client difficult?

Maybe it is not being on the same page or sharing the same vision up to, maybe its a money dispute, or maybe something much worse like abusiveness or malicious behavior.

Unfortunately with most of today’s freelancing platforms showing a huge amount of bias and favoritism towards clients these kind of issues are becoming all too common.

If you are a freelancer chances are you will deal with a difficult client at some point.

How do you go about dealing with clients like these? Clients that you can not please not matter what, clients that try to demean you, or plain malicious behavior.

What is the correct course of action when dealing with a difficult client as a freelancer?

Rule 1: Stay professional

Maintain Your Reputation

When future prospective clients take a look at your previous history and reviews what will they see? Will they professionalism exemplified and maybe an example of 1 or 2 difficult clients OR will they see you sinking to the same level as those difficult clients?

It is important to maintain your professional image at all costs no matter what the client says or does. Always take the high road. From an outside perspective you will typically come across as the more rational and professional person in the scenario.

Allow the Client to Dig His Own Grave

Give the client a shovel so that he can burry himself. What do we mean by this? Again, it is all about taking the high road and maintaining a high level of professionalism.

Leave your emotions at the door and allow the client to do and say things that destroy his own professional image.

For example lets say a client leaves you a malicious review attacking you, your character, and your ability publicly. A lot of people’s first reaction will be to get combative or defensive.

Do NOT do this.

Instead, acknowledge the clients concerns, apologize for client feeling the way he does, offer an apology for any short comings that occurred within the project, offer a solution, wish the client well, and offer your services should the client need anything else in the future.

This will do 2 things. 1st, it will probably catch the client off guard as he probably expects you to be defensive. 2nd, this will show future clients that it was most likely the client that was the issue  and not the freelancer.

Never Work for Free

This is an easy one. You should never work for free unless of course it is a part of some kind of promotion that you are offering. If a client asks for free work your answer is always “NO”.

If you are using a platform be sure to contact support as this is typical of violation of terms and services for all major freelancing platforms. Flag the client profile and report.

Only Offer a Refund If the Situation Calls for It

If you’ve been freelancing for a while you’ve undoubtedly ran into this scenario before. You’ve put in hours of work completed the job but the client still isn’t satisfied.

You can and should offer to continue to work on the project until it is up to standard.

You should NOT offer a refund or oblige a client’s refund request.

So when do you give a refund? There mainly 2 scenarios that come to mind.

  1. When you legitimately made a mistake and it cost your client time and money
  2. When you don’t perform part or all of the projected duties but still get paid for it

Offer an Explanation to New Clients Only If Asked

New clients may not even ask about situations with a tough client or two. However, if they do go ahead and explain the situation fully and honestly.

As long as you are following the 1st rule the client should still see you in a good light if he is interested in hiring you.

It may also be a good idea to leave an explanation in your response to the review in question for future clients. Leave your response and then at the bottom you could write something like “Attention Prospective Clients” then offer a short concise explanation.

Rule 2: Offer a solution

Don’t Be Difficult Yourself

I know this article is all about dealing with difficult clients but you yourself shouldn’t be either. There are some things as a freelancer you just don’t do. You don’t work for free or offer a refund unless your dealing with those scenarios outlined above.

BUT

Another thing you don’t do is avoid or deny simple requests from your client. You want to try to be as supportive of the clients project as you possibly can while still operating your business.

Offer to Work With the Client on a Reasonable Solution

If the client is upset or unsatisfied try to come up with a solution.

Consult the client and get a feel for the why exactly the client isn’t happy. Offer to fix the issues if possible. If this issue is something outside your professional scope offer to refer the client to someone who can resolve the issue.

Stick to Your Principles

Let’s go over those again:

  • be professional at all times
  • maintain your reputation
  • don’t come across as defensive or combative
  • acknowledge the clients concerns
  • offer solutions within reason
  • do NOT work for free
  • offer a refund only under specific circumstances
  • offer an honest explanation if new client brings up situation

As long as you stick to the outline above you should be able to deal with difficult clients, keep your money, and earn new clients without issue.

Offer a Small or Partial Refund

Ok, I am going to be a bit of a hypocrite here. I know that I’ve been stating over and over again DO not offer a refund.

However, there is a time when you can do this only if you absolutely have to. If it is some kind of review that is just going destroy you perhaps from a long term client and it will destroy your chances of earning new clients then it might be time to play “lets make a deal”.

At that point you’ll have to weigh the risks of going this route.

Go Your Separate Ways

If all else fails sometimes it is just best to end the engagement.

When going this route it is important to use some tact.

Again, acknowledge the clients concerns and offer an apology.

Refer someone else to the client and wish the client much success on his project. Sometimes it is better to just get out of the project as soon as you can if you realize you’re dealing a difficult client and in my opinion the best way to soften the blow to the client is to offload the client to someone else who is maybe willing to take on the project.

Rule 3: Use a mediator

Sometimes when dealing with difficult clients a scenario comes up where you just can’t reach a solution with a client. In this case it is a good idea to use a mediator of some kind. By doing this you are bringing in someone with an outside perspective that help bridge the gap between you and your client.

We will explore some mediator options below.

Platform Support

If you are using a freelancing platform you can reach out to the support team to mediate. They’ll get involved with your dispute and they will try to help reach a solution.

However, keep in mind that platform support will typically heavily favor the client. So, as a freelancer this isn’t always the best move.

Arbitrator

So, if you don’t know what an arbitrator is it is an independent person or body officially appointed to settle a dispute. Freelancing platforms can refer you to independent arbitrators if they can not resolve your situation or you can reach out to one on your own.

However, keep in mind the fees for arbitration can sometimes be costly.

Get a 3rd Party Perspective

Outside of arbitrators there are plenty of 3rd parties you can through to help you settle a dispute with a client.

If you go this route be sure to check out the trustworthiness of your 3rd party source.

Know Your Rights

Arm yourself with knowledge. Know your rights as a freelance as defined by law.

If you use a platform make sure you read up on the platfrom’s rules and policies.

You should be using some kind of time tracker in order to defend yourself in these disputes.

Contact a Lawyer

If everything else has failed but the client is still seeking to take money from you or if the client is trying to defame you then a lawyer maybe your only route. The odds are you won’t have a case but you never know. This should only be used as a last resort.

a final note

The vast majority of clients you run into on platform or off-platform are usually good people just looking for help in building their projects.

It is not common to run into the clients we discussed on this post.

However, if you do run into a bad client hopefully this post will serve as guide on how to go about handling the situation so that you are still in good standing with future prospective clients.

Stick to The 3 Rules of Dealing With a Difficult Client as a Freelancer and you will successfully handle any freelance dispute that comes your way.

The 3 Rules of Dealing With a Difficult Client as a Freelancer.

– Lance Ulin

www.letsceo.com