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Author: Will Chatham

Will Chatham is the Security Assessment Engineer for Arbor Networks. Since Netscape 2.0, he has worked in a wide array of environments including non-profit, corporate, small business, and government. He started as a web developer, moved into Linux system administration, and ultimately found his place as a security professional. Having most recently conquered the OSCP certification, Will continues to hack his way into various things in an effort to make them more secure.

How to Become an Influencer: 14 Simple Tips

Are you looking to become an influencer? There are many ways that you can do this. From starting your own blog to getting involved in forums, there are plenty of options for anyone who wants to get their name out there. Follow these 14 steps, and soon enough, bloggers all around will know who you are.

Photo by Ivan Samkov from Pexels

Goal Setting

Write down your goals and figure out where you want to be. If blogging is what you enjoy doing, make a blog and start posting on it. 

Align With Your Vision

Make sure that everything on your page aligns with the same vision. This will help people know exactly who they are looking at when scrolling through their feed.

Power Of Hashtags 

Use hashtags in relevant posts so more people can find them easily online. This works really well for Instagram influencers.

Collaborate 

When starting up a new site of any kind, reach out to other influencers that work within the same category as you do. You never know if someone might have an idea or tip that could benefit both parties involved. Follow up with other influencers to see if you can collaborate on projects together.

Quality Check

Remember quality over quantity. Getting less than stellar results because of spamming doesn’t help anyone in the long run.

Ask Your Fans 

Don’t be afraid to ask for a retweet or share. If you have something worth sharing, people will not mind doing it.

Where To Start

When starting out with influencer marketing, Facebook ads are usually one of the easiest ways to do this process. Although many social media platforms can work well when trying to expand your brand online.

What’s Your Niche?

One thing many influencers do is find a niche and focus on it rather than expanding too much into other areas. This helps their page stay focused while still being able to reach all types of audiences within different groups.

Consistency 

Remember, consistency is key when building up an audience online over time. Nobody wants sporadic posts from accounts they follow because it makes everything seem unorganized and unprofessional.

Offline Networking 

If you can, try to network offline as well. There is no harm in getting out there and meeting people.

Stay Active 

Stay active when it comes to your accounts online. If you want something done right, do it yourself. This way, nothing gets missed along the way.

Helping Hands

Ask for help if needed. Never be afraid of asking for advice or assistance from others in order to get better at what you love doing on a daily basis.

Leave Comments

Make sure to ask bloggers all around what they think about your blog post content by leaving comments below each section. This will show that visitors genuinely mean something when they come across it online too. 

Right Equipment And Software

Make sure you have the right equipment before you start on your influencer journey. This includes a strong internet line, camera, microphone, and even the best HDMI extender. Depending on what stream you are thinking of broadcasting your thoughts and ideas, you will have to get the best software to fit your needs. Bloggers will look for the best grammar check programs and podcasters for the best audio and video editing programs.

Photo by Plann from Pexels

The life of an influencer is fun but also cut-throat. So stay level-headed and grow a thick skin. Some comments might not always put a smile on your face, but you will love the journey ahead in the long run. 

Keep in mind that influencers are actually made fun of a lot because they cast a holier-than-thou, self-entitled attitude and they usually deserve being ridiculed. Don’t be one of those jerks if you are going to go down this path.

Is Your Business Going to Fail? Find out Here

Why do a lot of small companies fail? Most small businesses fail in their first five years. It doesn’t matter whether you are a seasoned professional or whether you are just starting out because statistics like this can be scary to say the least. If you want to make sure that your company is not one of them, then this guide will help you.

You’re Not Planning Enough

The reason why a lot of brand-new companies fail is because they do not plan enough. What sounds like a good idea, may not fare well in reality. This doesn’t mean that you need to ignore your passion, but it does mean that you need to do some more research and planning. A business plan essentially forces you to define your unique value proposition. You need to know what differentiates you from your competition and you also need to know if there is anything that you can do to try and understand your customer base. If you can do this well, then you may be able to avoid business failure.

Source: Pexels (CC0 License)

Failure to Understand Consumer Behavior

We live in a very connected age. They say that the customer is always right, and this is now more true than ever. Today, consumers expect all brick and mortar companies to accept credit cards, and even Apple Pay. Even if you have a tiny operation, this is still expected of you. If you are not able to deliver this, then you may find that your customers have something bad to say about you. If you want to avoid this, then you need to try and monitor feedback. You also need to encourage and then engage in conversations with your customers. If you can do this, then you will soon find that you can come out on top.

Not Using Social Media

Every social media platform out there, including Instagram, Pinterest and even Tiktok are all great tools for you to be using. They also give you the chance to listen to your customers as well. Push notifications are great as they alert you when your business is being talked about. This will help you to engage with your customers far more than you realize and it will also help you to improve your customer service dramatically. If you are not using social media, then you may find that your business growth comes to an abrupt halt.

Reviews

Yelp is one of the go-to destinations when people want to find out about local businesses. If you go on there yourself, you will soon be able to find out what people are saying about you, and you can also find out if there is a specific problem that they have with your company. Everything is Googled in this day and age, and your reviews will probably be the first thing that your customers notice.  If you know that you have a lot of bad reviews about your company, then it is a good idea for you to try and hire Guaranteed Removals so that you can get them wiped.

4 Ways You Didn’t Know To Make Your Business Secure

Security is a massive concern for many business owners. For this reason, it’s not surprising that there are so many misconceptions about how to keep your company safe. So, this post will give you four steps that you can take today to create an environment where security is always top of mind. Whether you’re just starting or have been in business for years, these tips will help put your worries at ease!

Use a Safe Network Provider

One of the best ways to ensure that your business is secure and not easily hacked into by cyber-criminals is to use secure network software. The best you should use is TNSR pfSense, a high-performing software.  This will ensure that you have an encrypted connection between each device on the network, which means that it would be much more difficult for someone trying to steal information from the workstations or servers. 

A safe network provider will also help you comply with laws and regulations to ensure that your business is operating in the best possible way.

Always Issues NDAs for All Projects

NDAs refer to Non-Disclosure Agreements. These are contracts that protect your business by keeping all of the information you’ve shared with another party confidential and vice versa. 

There’s no better way to build trust than knowing both parties will hold up their ends of the confidentiality agreement.

Issuing  NDAs for new projects is a must.

It’s best to build NDAs into your standard contracts, too. That way, both parties will have cover at all times, and you don’t have to worry about creating them from scratch each time you strike up a new business relationship.

This will save you not only time but money in the long run as well! 

Invest in Business Insurance

One of the most important things you can do to protect your business is make sure it has an insurance cover. There are several types of coverage that could be valuable for protecting your business, including equipment breakdown and property damage. No matter what kind of small business you run, insure yourself against everything from natural disasters like fires or floods to malicious data breaches. 

In addition, consider business interruption coverage as well. Even if your office isn’t physically damaged, the combination of lost income and restoration costs can be devastating for any small business owner who didn’t plan. 

Be sure to look into policies from more than one carrier so you know what’s available in terms of protections and coverage limits. 

Plan on How To Mitigate Risks

Your business is always facing risks. However, you can take steps to mitigate the risk of data breaches by planning on how your organization will recover from an attack or breach. This includes analyzing security measures and protocols currently in place and what needs doing if they fail. 

Also, use modern means to store and transfer data, so you reduce the risk of losing data or sharing it with the wrong parties.

You also need a backup plan for worst-case scenarios, such as losing customer information or having hackers successfully plant malware onto servers. With these plans in place, you won’t have to scramble when disaster strikes and will know exactly who should do what to get back up and running again.

Conclusion

In conclusion,  there are many ways you can make your business secure. You just have to take the time and effort to do so.

8 Strategies That Successful E-Commerce Start-Ups Swear By

How can you win in the e-commerce space? It’s a question that many budding entrepreneurs find themselves asking every year. It’s so crowded, and yet there’s so much opportunity.

In this post, we provide some answers. If you’re struggling to make it work in the sector, check out this advice. It could be the best thing you read all day. 

Build Better Supplier Relationships

Many new e-commerce entrepreneurs treat suppliers as they would any other service: badly. 

But that’s not a good approach. Unlike a regular store or consumer brand, you’re totally reliant on your suppliers. If they don’t deliver, you don’t get paid. 

Building better supplier relationships is one of the best ways to make your startup stand out from the competition. If you can work with a supplier as if they are part of your business, you can often dramatically improve the outcomes at your business. You’ll find that people are able to communicate with each other better, lead times become shorter and you never find yourself in a position where you’re out of stock. 

Keep Your Site Updated

In 2021, an e-commerce strategy focused on tech is the best route available. You want to use technology to drive your business forward in ways that your competitors aren’t. 

Start by developing your website. Implement innovative user experience options, such as one-click purchases and recommended products. Also, begin accepting alternative currencies, such as bitcoin and Ethereum. Explore every avenue to improve customer services. 

Focus On Niche Products

Don’t try to stock everything. Instead, focus on niche markets. Make customers believe that they can get things from you that they can’t get anywhere else. 

Many successful e-commerce companies follow this strategy. They look at the market as it is right now and ask whether they could improve a niche. They then focus on that area, finding ways to provide customers with better value, encouraging them to avoid shopping with big brands, such as Amazon. 

Add A Mobile App

Don’t neglect to add a mobile app. Most consumers don’t use mobile browsers to access e-commerce websites. Instead they download apps so that they can shop natively. 

Apps can improve the customer experience tremendously. Having a mobile app streamlines purchasing and makes it easier for you to curate the customer experience. It also gets rid of annoying browser bloat which can make the experience of your site less enjoyable. 

Publicize Product Reviews And Ratings

Users who arrive at your store want to know whether their purchases will be any good. They are much less likely to buy if there is no social proof from other users. That’s why brands like Amazon put so much effort into making reviews and rating public. They help sell products. 

Reviews’ biggest impact is on conversion rates. Some estimates suggest that simply adding trusted reviews to the product screen increases the conversion rate between three and four times. 

Add Videos

In the past, e-commerce sites were just big platforms where companies would post links to products in their warehouse with some accompanying pictures. There is nothing wrong with that approach, but everyone is doing it. Thus, if you want to stand out, you have to try something different

A good way to do this is to add videos to all your product pages. These allow you to convey more information than you could in simple product descriptions. They are also great from a user-engagement perspective. Many times, customers prefer to watch a sales rep using a product instead of reading a simple description about it. 

Make Your Site More Responsive

Today’s consumers want responsive e-commerce sites more than anything else. If they find your site slow, they will quickly move over to a competitor. 

But how do you make your site more responsive? It turns out that there are several ways of doing it. 

Perhaps the best way is to follow Google’s AMP program. This is a set of tools that adjusts multiple aspects of your site, making it respond faster. You can also do things like increase server bandwidth or change your web host. 

Allow Users To Save Their Carts

Users aren’t always able to finish their purchases in a single session. That’s why many e-commerce brands now offer them the ability to save their carts. This feature allows customers to return to their carts if something interrupts them. It is a great strategy for boosting conversions. 

In summary, winning in the e-commerce game is tricky. But with the right approach it is possible. The rules of the game are changing, and companies need to keep up. 

Why A Start Up Should Outsource

Considering that startups are highly competitive, any startup should focus on its core operations without distractions. Funds and staff, however, are limited during the initial stages of a business. It can limit a company’s growth potential. It is difficult for many startup entrepreneurs to juggle all the aspects of their business because they tend to wear far too many hats. 

Outsourcing Is A Good Choice, But Why? 

It might surprise you to learn that 90 percent of new businesses fail, 46 percent of which are due to a lack of funds. Maintaining your budget is essential when you are starting a business. It wouldn’t make sense to invest in something that won’t return a nice sum of money, but outsourcing has the potential to earn you a handsome return. Using outsourcing can reduce your costs by 60 percent. Furthermore, you will gain a higher level of productivity and skills. 

What Should A Startup Outsource?

The sooner you start thinking about outsourcing, the better prepared you will be to figure out where your company can benefit from it. To be successful in your endeavor, you need to look for any skills you may lack and be strategic in your approach. It is very important to acknowledge and work on your weaknesses. 

Three frequently outsourced areas include the following if you wish to take a look at them: 

  • Duties related to administration
  • Services related to IT
  • Wages and salaries

Admin

When you outsource administrative duties, you can pass on the responsibility of taking notes and responding to e-mails to our outsourced workers. It is also possible to outsource functions such as arranging meetings and determining employees’ working hours. If you do this, you will be able to take care of pressing matters, enabling you to focus on other matters. 

IT Services

It is essential for any startup to get online as soon as possible and be seen by as many people as possible. Because technologies are constantly changing, using an IT Support Company can go a long way. By using an IT service you may be able to increase the productivity of your employees, make sure that data is safe, decrease technology expenses, and have peace of mind knowing that all your digital requirements are handled by professionals without the need to recruit or train an in-house IT specialist. 

Payroll Services

Payroll management is a crucial function that needs to be outsourced to a professional company in order for you to be protected. In addition to providing you with expert knowledge, it also provides you with expert service to ensure that there is the accuracy necessary to prevent any legal troubles and that your employees are paid accordingly. If you’re not sure what you’re doing with your payroll, then it can get a bit messy. Outsourcing can be helpful when it comes to limiting costly mistakes. 

The key to success for startup owners is to realize and overcome weaknesses that threaten to sabotage their success in a competitive market. If your organization has any skillset gaps, outsourcing can be a great way to cover them. It is determined by your individual business needs, as I have said previously. A start-up can outsource nearly every part of its operations. Have you chosen to outsource any areas? Please share some experiences in the comments. 

5 Ways To Reduce Your Carbon Footprint as a Business

Reducing your carbon footprint is a great way to be eco-friendly and give back to the environment. Of course, we all must do our part, but it can be hard to know where to start. Luckily, there are plenty of ways you can reduce your business’ carbon footprint while making sure you’re still operating at maximum efficiency!

What is Your Carbon Footprint?

A carbon footprint refers to the amount of greenhouse gas emissions a business releases into the atmosphere. Your company may be releasing more CO² than you think! The first step in reducing your carbon footprint is understanding its size and then taking steps to reduce those amounts. You might find that this task was more complex than expected because you had too many choices: if so, choose one strategy for now and come back later with another idea. Keep working on writing long-form content until all tasks are complete!

The Three R’s: Reuse, Reduce and Recycle 

We often think of recycling as the only way to reduce our carbon footprint, but other ways are:

  • Reuse items whenever possible; if you can’t reuse an item, try reducing its use or disposing of it in a more eco-friendly manner than just throwing it away.
  • When you need new supplies for your company, choose products with minimal packaging and recyclable materials when possible.
  • Never buy something disposable!

If every person on Earth stopped purchasing single-use plastic bottles, we would stop using all oil from fossil fuels by 2050. So start making changes today and see how big your difference can be!

Implement Renewable Energy 

The good news about renewable energy sources is that they release little to no emissions into the atmosphere. The bad news? They can be more expensive than traditional forms of power, and it may take a long time for them to pay off in terms of cost savings. If you’re sure your company will stay in your current location for at least five years, then it might make sense to go ahead with this option; but if not, try one of the other recommendations on this list first.

Fuel Cell

A fuel cell is a device that converts hydrogen and oxygen into electricity. It’s more expensive than solar power, but it doesn’t emit any harmful chemicals or greenhouse gases as part of the process – just water vapor! The only downside is that you need to purchase your fuel cells for this option. However, saving money on energy bills will be worth the initial investment in five years or less for most businesses.

Solar Energy 

One way to reduce emissions is by adopting sustainable forms of renewable energy sources like solar power; because they take advantage of natural resources rather than releasing CO² from fossil fuels. This can help offset some costs associated with traditional electric use while reducing carbon dioxide emission levels at the same time.

Invest in Appropriate Waste Disposal 

One of the easiest ways to reduce your business’s carbon footprint is investing in a waste disposal system that doesn’t emit any harmful chemicals or greenhouse gases. Make sure you choose a company that recycles as much as possible and don’t be afraid to ask about how they dispose of their trash. The goal is to reduce emissions, and by following the Electronics Recycling Guide, you might just play a vital role in doing so. 

The best option is one that recycles as much as possible – but if this isn’t feasible for your business yet, then it’s better to recycle what you can in-house before disposing of anything else. Invest in Reusable Containers: Food containers aren’t just cluttering up our space; they also contain toxins that seep out from Styrofoam and plastic products over time. If you want to make a real dent in your company’s carbon footprint, invest in reusable containers made from glass or metal that will last for years and can be washed with everyday soap and water when they have food residue on them. Regardless of what you choose, remember: if it’s not recyclable, don’t buy it!

If you’re not careful when selecting a waste disposal company, they might create more pollution than your company would on its own. For example, sending organic trash to landfills can release harmful methane emissions and other chemicals into the atmosphere while polluting groundwater supplies used for drinking water or irrigation purposes.

Implement Greener Commutes 

If you’re lucky enough to have a remote work-from-home setup, then congratulations: your carbon footprint is probably close to zero. For everyone else who needs to commute into the office every day, try these tips for greener commutes and see how big of an impact they can make!

Carpooling

Companies are reducing their environmental impact by up to 25% by implementing a carpool program, which means two or more people share one vehicle daily. Not only does this reduce emissions from cars idling in heavy traffic while waiting for passengers, but it also makes sense financially because not many people want to own both gasoline and parking spaces at home. The downside? You might need to make some new friends.

Biking or Walking

Another option for your company is a bike-to-work program. If possible, offer incentives and discounts for people who arrive at the office by bicycle and those who walk in regularly. While this takes more time than driving (or even public transit), it also requires less energy! And there are plenty of perks that come from investing in bikes like these: they’re cheap to buy and maintain; you have an increased chance of meeting interesting people on the way into work, and you’ll be staying healthy too – which will pay off in terms of cost savings! Stick with biking during warmer months, though, because not many commuters want to start their day with frostbite.

Partner Up With Green Companies 

It’s always better to work with other people who are on the same page as you regarding sustainable living. Partnering up with one or more companies in your industry can be an excellent way for everyone involved to reduce their carbon footprint at no extra cost: whether that means exchanging items like business cards, new food and beverages, papers and supplies; or even swapping office space, so there’s less commuting time required.

If possible, try partnering up with someone from outside of your company – this might sound counterintuitive but could make sense if they have expertise in areas where your team needs help! For example, let’s say you need an expert on Google Analytics? That person would save you hours every day by managing your website data and bring new insights into the company that you might not have been aware of otherwise.

Educate Employees on Renewable Energy 

If you’re not already familiar with this topic, now’s the time to get educated! It’s vital for all of your employees – including front-line managers and executives – to understand why investing in renewable sources is so crucial. It also might be necessary for them to learn how it works: many different energy sources fall under this category. Each one has its unique pros and cons, but if you want more information on what they entail, here’s an overview.

Companies are constantly looking for ways to reduce their carbon footprint – and with organizations like the World Wildlife Fund, they have plenty of resources at their fingertips. From implementing greener commutes to partnering up with other environmentally-conscious companies, these tips can help your company make a big difference in the fight against climate change without much investment on your part!