“Our Team of Consultants and vendors are the best of the best in the dynamic world of business and digital consulting. I have always surrounded myself with the best possible talent. I truly enjoy sharing this talent and working directly with companies who are looking for results based solutions”
-Jon Flatt

“Our Team of Consultants and vendors are the best of the best in the dynamic world of business and digital consulting. I have always surrounded myself with the best possible talent. I truly enjoy sharing this talent and working directly with companies who are looking for results based solutions”
-Jon Flatt

“Our Team of Consultants and vendors are the best of the best in the dynamic world of business and digital consulting. I have always surrounded myself with the best possible talent. I truly enjoy sharing this talent and working directly with companies who are looking for results based solutions”
-Jon Flatt

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March, 2017

Adapt your business storytelling to the digital age

In our first piece on storytelling, we talked about the human need to tell stories and about the two different kinds of business storytelling, we will now move on to discuss the implication of technology on how we tell stories.

Adapt your business storytelling to the digital age

Plato already argued that the wisdom of writing was superficial: no give and take of cross-examination and responses was possible.

If the reader questions a written proposition, there can be no response, no defense. Discussion, argument, and an oral deliberation are not easily side-stepped in face-to-face situations.

Implication of technology for information gathering

Although more and more video blogging and live streaming platforms like Periscope and Blab are emerging, the interaction still is fairly limited when compared to face-to-face storytelling.

This doesn’t mean we can forego the technological evolutions that we are experiencing and maybe crafting ourselves for the last couple of years.

Thanks to evolutions in the digital space, we are reaching a tipping point in the way we do business. For thousands of years, people within a company held the upper-hand because they had the most product knowledge. Word of mouth, while powerful, was nowhere near its strength today.

Today, buyers often know more than sellers. Before you get into features and benefits, the buyer has Googled you and your company.

Before you ask for the meeting, the buyer has seen an unflattering picture of you, read a blog post about your company’s customer service, and sent an email to a former customer.

What is the appropriate technology for storytelling?

What technology could we use to tell our story?

We could write a newsletter or refer to our website to communicate the vision and mission of our organization.

We could burst some PDF-reports to the sales reps with a couple of numbers about their region and clients. Or should we really go out there and talk to our audience?

In contrast to written texts, stories that are told well are a type of communication that is more specific and less ambiguous, because the speaker reinforces his or her specificity of meaning with a gesture, expression, intonation, and so on, and various self-correcting mechanisms of which fixed print are incapable.

Twitter and Facebook allow us to tell stories about ourselves and our companies, but a lot of nuances is lost in translation.

Several accounts were an ironic remark on social media leads to contrary reactions are reported the last couple of years.

For example, the senior director of corporate communications at IAC that was fired after a misinterpreted tweet. The same lack of nuance goes for static reports.

But what about flexible associative dashboards? They allow for business discovery and empower the end-user to search for business value in the data: how sales can be optimized or what the impact of a different customer segmentation would be.

They also allow the end-users to start telling their own stories about how the company is doing and what the next steps should be to do even better.

So now we can really start collaborating and decide in a networked way how to go forward.

What do you think? What trends for the digital age do you see and how would they impact on business storytelling online? Let us know in the comment section below.

For more business tips, check our entrepreneurship section and subscribe to our weekly newsletters.

The post Adapt your business storytelling to the digital age appeared first on AlphaGamma.

Want to have a massive success? Build your own network

I used to have my own show, Turnaround King on National Geographic.

While it’s great having a show on a network, I like to control what I put out and when I put it out, so I turned the tables by snubbing offers from traditional television and cable networks and choosing to create, fund and launch my own business network.

Want to have a massive success? Build your own network

I wanted to create a digital network to become like the Netflix of Business. We live in an age now of on-demand where people want to watch their choice of shows on their own schedule.

I was motivated by the success of on-demand channels like Hulu, so I created GrantCardoneTV to make business solution content available when people want it.

There are 7 billion people on the planet and I want to give them solutions that the traditional networks and cable, for whatever reasons, just will not offer.

They all copy one another, delivering the same bad news in the same bad way and it doesn’t help anyone improve their condition in life or in business.

GrantCardoneTV launched in September 2014 tapping into my popular YouTube channel and social media networks. I had originally called it “Whatever It Takes Network” but that was a mistake — you need your name out there at the front.

It was the late Joan Rivers who planted the seed in my mind to create a network when I shared with her my frustration with the traditional networks a few years ago. Ms. Rivers was interviewing me and my wife Elena for the show “How’d You Get So Rich” when Joan told me, “Grant, you have the talent and the resources. Do it yourself.”

alphagamma want to have a massive success build your own network entrepreneurship 001

When you take a frustrated successful entrepreneur that has a “whatever it takes” work ethic, you get change!

I started creating content for my new network.

In this world, content is king.

I came out of the gate with five new shows and an original reality series. I got together expert guests to air on my network, including authors, motivators, entrepreneurs, and financial experts covering topics like start-ups, finance, investing, real estate, network marketing, and branding.

I began live streaming on the network from my studio in Miami Beach. The Cardone Zone (career & finance), Young Hustlers (millennials), and The G&E Show (business & marriage) have been hit shows to this day.

Since I am always telling people to do whatever it takes and push beyond what’s comfortable, I knew I had to launch my own network because it was a leap into a new world for me. It was a little scary, but obscurity to me was even scarier.

There have been some growing pains, but GrantCardoneTV has grown into a hit network for entrepreneurs, business owners, go-getters, startups, sales organizations, and success-minded people that want to control where they get their news and their solutions.

I’m continually looking for talent to cover topics like advertising, branding, business, career, education, entrepreneurship, finance, investing, money, marriage, network marketing, real estate and more.

My biggest hit so far on the network has been the Ultimate Job Interview reality show I produced. I know it’s difficult for small businesses and entrepreneurs to find and hire great people. I interviewed over 800 people to work for my company when I moved to Miami and was only able to hire six and I was wrong on four of them. Rather than bitch about it, I created a TV show and auditioned people so that I could push people to the extreme to find out if they actually fit my culture.

You too can be a person that offers an alternative resource for ideas, strategies, and information for people. With the average person spending over four hours a day on television, radio, Facebook and YouTube, there is plenty of space for you to take a cut in that pie. Become an expert and celebrity in your space. The reason why almost nobody is doing it is because it takes a massive commitment and a lot of work to do it right.

You have to constantly do new shows and put up fresh content. You need to get others on board who want to produce content on your platform because of the value that you provide.

To really get your own network off the ground, you need three things:

1. Obsession

If you don’t have a passion and even an obsession for what you are pushing, don’t even start.

The obsessed know that if they aren’t all in on their venture, they will get rolled over by others who are. Go ask those who live in Silicon Valley how they feel about immersion, hundred-hour workweeks, and borrowing money from family and friends to get to market.

Talk to an artist or athlete, someone who is obsessed with and constantly improving their particular talent, and see them come alive talking about that thing they do. Are you obsessed with something? That’s the first step to starting your own network.

2. Hustle

Let’s face it, you can start a network, but you won’t be able to stick with it let alone grow it without a lot of hustle.

In addition to being obsessed, you must be driven, dedicated, all in, committed, and relentless. You can’t buy those things at the grocery store. Having a great network is not going to be easy. It takes effort.

3. Vision

You must have an idea of what kind of network you can have and what it will look like.

Your obsession should come with creativity. You need big ideas and a clear picture of what you want to bring people. Do you have a vision of being an authority on something and getting your message out there? What do you do better than anyone?

For me, I remember I realized it really bothered me that there were guys in the sales industry who were better recognized than me. It killed me that my name wasn’t up there with the sales greats like Brian Tracy, Tom Hopkins, Og Mandino, Napoleon Hill, and Zig Ziglar. Where was my name on that list? It made me angry that people were interested in their information and not reading mine only because they had not heard of me.

But that was my fault—I had not been obsessed with worldwide expansion.

This is something I did, and I think it can help you too.

Take a piece of paper. Draw your face in the center of it—that personalizes the exercise and reminds you who is at the center of all of these things. Then draw two columns, one labeled “professional life” and the other “personal life.” In each column write down what you have expertise in and what traits mark you. My chart looks like this:

alphagamma want to have a massive success build your own network entrepreneurship 002

Once you have this list, start breaking down the categories.

On the professional side, I began to think about what it meant to be a “sales genius.” I revolutionized the sales game when I was thirty years old and am still doing it today. Being a sales genius also meant I could talk about different topics within sales, including closing the sale, customer service, customer control, follow-up, cold-calling, running a telemarketing team, long sales cycles, retail sales, Internet sales, webinars, selling from the stage, real estate sales, insurance sales, and on and on.

Once I had this list, I came up with a short statement of who I am and why I dominate this particular area of expertise. My statement was “I am the Godfather of Sales. No one is better, no one is more current, no one is more effective or relevant than me. It might sound like I am bragging but it’s not bragging if it’s true. The biggest companies in the world trust me and my company to help them customize sales approaches and customer experience approaches to improve results.”

Next, I came up with the benefits I could offer others in each of these categories to further clarify my message to the world about what I can do for people. I know that I can teach anyone how to be great at sales and like it. I can take a good salesperson and make them great. I can take a great salesperson and make them a master.

Use the little exercise above to clarify what you are the best at and what you are an expert in. Now you have some direction for your network.

Are you ready for a massive success?

For more business tips, check our entrepreneurship section, and subscribe to our weekly newsletters.

The post Want to have a massive success? Build your own network appeared first on AlphaGamma.

How to Segment Email Lists for Better Campaigns

Time and again email has proved to be the most important weapon in the arsenal of a digital marketer. But gone are the days of “email blasts”. Now email marketing is mostly transactional in nature. Its success (or failure) depends entirely on how well you’ve segmented your audience, and which segment gets which email communication.

When you throw email automation into the mix, email list segmentation becomes even more important as email automation works entirely on nicely segmented email lists.

So let’s delve deeper into what email list segmentation is, and how it can help you send better email campaigns.


What is list segmentation?

In offline businesses, it can be a real mess to treat individual customers individually based on their interests and background. For example, if I run a restaurant and wish to provide a customized menu to each one of my customers, it would be a disaster. Firstly, I would not know instantly what that person might be looking for.  Secondly, it’s impossible to customize that many menu cards and ensure each customer gets the right one. But unlike human resources (with less memory than machines), e-mail marketing can do that efficiently with the help of list segmentation.

Personalization is the future of retail and that’s exactly what e-mail list segmentation aims to do. You split up your e-mail master list into a number of smaller lists of customers based on their preferences, buying habits, professional background, and their history with your business. You can decide the size of these lists and how many filters you wish to apply.

List segmentation is all about converting heterogeneous email lists into small chunks of homogeneous lists.


How does list segmentation help?

List segmentation provides individual experiences to your customers. As e-mails can be edited and customized for each (or a group) of your customers, you can decide what goes there for that specific e-mail segment. It works more effectively than other mass media where you have to choose for a ‘one size fits all’ solution which might not work for all your customers.

With segmentation, you can target customers following a specific trend and send them only relevant mails. As they know there’s something for them, they will open the mail and actually see its content rather than deleting them unread. If you do the segmentation wisely, you will see an increase in your email conversions and eventually sales. And that’s our ultimate goal behind any kind of marketing campaign.


How to use customer data to create effective lists?

Now you know that list segmentation works but its success depends entirely on the kind of customer data you have. To start with, remember that no customer information is ‘not useful’. As marketers, it’s our duty to make any kind of customer data work for us. People’s lives are increasingly being synced with the web now and that makes it much easier to extract data. And as long as you can align any given data with an e-mail address in your list, it works!

  • Collect data from different sources and use that information to create user profiles. You can take help from email marketing apps to gather information like the customers’ location and engagement with related activities.
  • Segment these profiles according to different criteria. For example, you can make a list of customers who are interested in cosmetics and others who are more into buying books. Further, you can filter what kind/brand/costs of cosmetics these customers use and what genre/length/writers the book lovers prefer. The more you filter, the more your e-mail works!

Every piece of data is important. Starting from the gender of the targeted customer to their favorite sports team. You can use this data to send them specific offers in future. For example, when you know about the favorite soccer teams of your customers, you can use it to promote related merchandise during important matches.


segment email lists

Understanding the actual process of list segmentation.


Collect and organize data

That’s the core of the whole process. Obviously, you can’t segment lists without data. To start with, know where you stand in terms of data and what kind of information you require to promote and sell your product. Before you start with the actual job of segmenting, decide what data is more relevant to your business and how you are going to organize the data you already have. Then you need to find ways to collect more data.


Create user profiles

Based on the data you collect, create personas for your customers. You should know to which walk of life your customer belongs to. You can segment your list on this basis. Knowing if you customer is a mother, a student, or a working mother, helps you form the right segments. These segments can be used to promote different categories of your products. For example, knowing your customer and an idea of what a day looks like in their life, helps you know what products they use. You can then promote these products in the mails you send them.


Decide on your segments

Now that you have all the data and e-mail lists, choose how you want to segment these lists and start with the marketing. Apart from the norms that everyone follows, you can also find your own unique ways to segment your e-mail list.


Curate your content

After deciding on the segments, you now know whom to target and for what products or offers. Create your content and design based on your segmented lists. Make sure the content is engaging and is offering something to the customer in terms of information or other benefits.


Use your e-mail marketing tool.

Employ any appropriate e-mail marketing tools’ segmentation feature, and you are all set to send your segmented mails. Also, you are now ready for increased open rates, click –through rates, and conversions.



E-mail segmentation undeniably makes e-mail campaigns more effective. Though it requires lot of work in the beginning, once you start organizing the data, the workflow becomes easier. The most definitive goal of e-mail segmentation is to target customers with the right products. Hence it is very important to follow the segmenting process systematically and efficiently.

Are you already segmenting your e-mail lists or planning to do so soon? Do you think there’s anything significant that we are missing out? We would love to know your views in the comments!

segment email lists

The post How to Segment Email Lists for Better Campaigns appeared first on GetResponse Blog – Online Marketing Tips.

7 Ways Small Business Can Catch Up Using Marketing Automation

Turning the tables on the big, established operators in your field can seem like an insurmountable task. But it needn’t be.

Marketing automation helps us to level the playing fields, giving our small business a fighting chance against the industry titans, and helping us to make up some serious ground. Here’s how…

Effortless resource coverage

For a small business to compete with the big hitters in the market, what are the options?

A: The small business attracts additional funding and spends millions developing its resources to reach the same level as its more established competitors.

B: The small business focuses on short term moves towards long term success, utilizing the resources it currently has in ever more effective ways.

Of course, the long-term goal might be to achieve option A, but in reality we can only work with what we have at our immediate disposal. In many cases, this means spreading our resources ever thinner as we aim to keep up with the industry leaders across an expanding array of channels.

With marketing automation, it need not be so difficult to achieve this. Instead of spreading ourselves too thinly, simply tap into the crafty marketer who exists within us all and take some of the pressure off with an automated system. With this in place, it becomes easier to make up the ground.


Streamlined cash flow

In the early days of business, reliable cash flow is vital. It is this flow of revenue which supports our strategies as we target growth, makes us a feel a little more confident about our business idea taking off, and gives us an additional element of security.

Automated processes can trim the fat from our lead nurturing strategies and clear the way for good, low level cash flow in the formative years of business. It helps us to optimize our conversion channels, reducing the time from first contact to full conversion.

When a business is established, spending more time nurturing prospects of potentially extremely high value is certainly worth the time and effort spent, but – particularly at the start – short term cash flow needs to be supported. The efficiency and simplification of processes provided by marketing automation make this possible.


Boosted capability

It is not only the speed and efficiency of our processes which can be augmented by good quality marketing automation; we will suddenly find ourselves far more capable as well.

This is because marketing automation makes a little go a long way. Perhaps you only have a small team of staff, limited capital to draw upon, a slim number of business contacts, and only one or two lead generation channels. Marketing automation helps you to get the very best out of these resources.

So what does this mean in real terms? It means that, those strategies you have been dreaming of rolling out, those targets you’ve fantasized about hitting, they aren’t so far away. In fact, your business if far more capable than you had initially considered.


catch up using marketing automation


Strategic knowledge

So, our scope has suddenly broadened; we have found that our business was better positioned to achieve great things than we had first thought, so what now? We need to plan our next strategic steps.

But, our business is still young, it is not yet established, it lacks the robustness and structural integrity to weather any serious financial storms. With this in mind, can we mitigate the risks in our future strategy?

Marketing automation gives us data, and from that data comes knowledge; both of our business and of the market we operate in. This knowledge is what we need to make sure that the strategic moves we make are the right ones. Small businesses can ill afford to make mistakes; marketing automation means they don’t have to.


Be everywhere, without the hassle

Omni-channel, omni-channel, omni-channel; this is the mantra of the moment, the marketing zeitgeist of 2016, but it is far more than just a buzzword. Customers are engaging with our businesses in so many different ways, often switching between multiple platforms during a single transaction. It is up to us meet them, wherever they are.

It is simple math; utilizing the same amount of resources across an increasing number of channels means less resources per channel and a dip in performance across each. But what if we add marketing automation to the equation?

By implementing marketing automation, businesses suddenly find themselves able to interact with and support leads and customers effortlessly across all channels. Much of what makes omni-channel such a drain on resources can be automated anyway, and it pays to take advantage of this.


Understand demand

So, we are meeting the needs of prospects and leads across different channels, we are making the right moves to take us forward in the future, we are supporting our efforts with cash flow, and we are managing our resources well. What else can we do?

To go even further, we must understand the demand for our products and services. What are our customers interested in? What can we provide for them in the future? How can we augment their total lifetime value?

Data derived from marketing automation platforms will give us the answer to these questions, helping us to get to grips with what the customer wants and how we can provide this to them. We can’t know what moves to make unless we have an insight into the psychology of our customers; gain this insight and make up yet more ground on the industry leaders.


Proactivity, not reactivity

We don’t need to let things happen to us, we need to be the influencers, the movers and shakers, the organizations disrupting the markets we operate in. This requires a proactive, not a reactive approach; this requires us to understand the market and to predict its future developments.

To do this we need data; data which is provided to us by marketing automation systems. Analyze trends, observe fluctuations and changes, examine the actions of more established model-companies, and apply all of this to business.

Over time, the result is a keen understanding; a distinct knowledge of market behaviors and how to influence them. The building blocks are all in place and growth will surely follow; those breathing the rarefied air at the top better watch out, because we are coming for them!

The post 7 Ways Small Business Can Catch Up Using Marketing Automation appeared first on GetResponse Blog – Online Marketing Tips.

The 14 Best Free Marketing Automation Resources for Beginners

You’ve recently made the decision to get started with marketing automation. Great! Now what? Software? (Well, yeah… may I suggest GetResponse for that?) But what else? Well, let’s think that through. Where do you need to start for marketing automation? And, what help is there for you at every major step of the journey? This post is for those of you who understand the benefits of marketing automation. It’s for those of you want to use it, but find the actual implementation a daunting. You’ll need some good, free marketing automation resources.



Without a doubt, you will need to plan for your marketing automation efforts. Taking the time to plan makes everything so much better. This isn’t getting management buy-in and commitment – which is vital! This should come before the planning steps I’m discussing. This planning is purely logistical.

Start on paper. Plan your first workflow on paper. Not your automation software, not even PowerPoint or mind mapping software. Why? This is a kind of brain dump. It does more than say what message to whom if they click a link. It helps you with your resources. This process will help you identify what content you already have, what you need to repurpose, and what you need to create from scratch. Which, in turn, identifies where you need more human resources. Not the HR department, but different projects from your co-workers, freelancers, and/or agency help. And, honestly, I find this easier to do with pencil and paper. If you change your mind about a piece of content or an action, you can erase and re-draw or re-write it. When you finish the first mind-map, you can start color coding to help with sort the different needs you’ve revealed. For me, at least, this takes away some of the “overwhelmed” feeling.


free marketing automation resources

Write out your ideal workflow as a planning step.


Content creation

What are the content creation needs you’ll commonly see?

  • Lead magnets
  • Campaign messaging (not only email copy, but also social media messaging, landing page copy, and even video scripts).

Fortunately, there are some amazing resources out there to help you through the beginner days. They’ll help when you’re completely up to your eyeballs in work and don’t know where to start.


Lead magnets

There are lots of terms for this piece of content: opt-in offer, content upgrade, sign-up incentive. And these can be tough to create, even when you know what topics your target audience finds valuable and wants. So here are some resources to help you:

These guides are all helpful for B2B companies. And, believe it or not, that’s a very broad group of people and businesses. You’d expect that a software company, for example, is B2B – or at least has a B2B component. But even bloggers can fit into this category, as strange as that may seem. A mommy blogger who she sells her products and services that teach aspiring bloggers how to blog? Yep, that’s B2B, too.

B2C retailers, in my opinion, have much more straight-forward lead magnets:

  • coupons
  • discounts and offers given only to subscribers
  • rewards program membership

Their content creation needs for such lead magnets are different. From a copy or messaging standpoint, I’d say they’re smaller. As in, fewer words. Things like coupon text, a welcome email series for the rewards program members. (A welcome email series for new subscribers is something any kind of business should create.) B2C retailers also have some ecommerce functional needs like:

  • making sure the check-out section accepts the correct codes,
  • tagging to ensure the contact is included in the relevant rewards program.


Campaign messaging

Writing email copy, headlines, subject lines, social media posts – that’s another challenge that never seems to end. And the noisier the online world gets, the better your writing must be to stand out. And, again, there are people and resources that can help you improve your writing so that you do stand out.

Writing is a skill you can never practice too much. There’s always a way to improve, or a new medium onto which you must learn to apply your writing skills.


Building your emails

Here, we’ll assume you’ve made the decision to use GetResponse for your marketing automation. Good choice.

So, the next question is how to create your emails. If you’re doing this yourself then you’ll want to start with our email creator, using our pre-designed templates. (By “yourself,” I mean working without someone to code the HTML for you.) Our email creator has plenty of editing options – we’ve tried to make it user-friendly. Now remember, some things to keep in mind as you work with the software to create your actual emails (linked to the resources):

If you do have someone to code your emails for you, or you know how to code it yourself, the same general principles above apply to you, too. Make sure that you’re following those best practices in the templates you code and import into GetResponse.


Creating your marketing automation workflows

Welcome to the hard-core marketing automation “get ‘er done” stage. The heaviest lifting is behind you. Now is the time to take that hand drawn workflow and make it come to life.

Fortunately, we have many, many resources to help you understand the depth and breadth of what you can build.

Once your workflows are set, you’ve nearly reached the finish line. The one last functional piece you need: testing. Does your workflow work the way it should? Are there broken links? Are the if/then conditions you’ve set up in your workflow triggering as you have intended? Does everything look right on various mobile devices and email clients? Whatever functional testing you do on a simple email campaign needs to be done on marketing automation, too. Assemble a team to help you make sure your workflow works. When you can say yes to the question of “Does your workflow work as you intended?” you are ready to go. You’ve crossed the finish line.


In conclusion

People aren’t born with the perfect marketing automation skill set. And every expert at marketing automation was a newbie at some point in his or her career. If you need extra help and guidance in building your skillset to get the job done, then by all means – use it. These helpful guides will be your little black book to starting marketing automation.

Did I miss any resources that you found helpful as you begin your marketing automation journey? Please share them in the comments below.



The post The 14 Best Free Marketing Automation Resources for Beginners appeared first on GetResponse Blog – Online Marketing Tips.

The Biggest Social Media Mistakes Businesses Make

There’s no doubt that social media is the most powerful tool of our time. It can be used to break news, sell to a target audience and communicate with customers.

Every company in the Western world uses social media to some extent, but there are some glaring examples of when social media is abused rather than used. Let’s take a look at some of the most spectacular social media mistakes that businesses make, and how you can avoid making them.


Relying on automation

There are plenty of tools out there that allow you to automate your social media activity. It’s less time-consuming to schedule your tweets or automate responses to customers, but sometimes it can go wrong. American Airlines proved this in 2013, when a social media agency worker noticed that they automatically thanked an annoyed customer who had tweeted a complaint:


social media mistakes


No consistent branding / off-brand content

Not branding your company’s social media profiles consistently can mean that your customers struggle to identify who you are on social media. There is something more dangerous than that though – sharing off-brand content. Audi are famous for their stunning luxury cars, but they confused their followers when they created the #PaidMyDues social media campaign. The campaign was designed to show the drivers behind the cars, but followers were disgruntled that Audi wasn’t posting pictures of cars – which was usually the reason that they were following them in the first place. When you’re thinking of a campaign, it’s good to come up with an unusual approach but you have to be careful not to alienate your followers in the process.


social media mistakes


Lack of interaction

The single most important thing that businesses need to do on social media is interact with their customers. Whether that’s helping them out with queries or just responding to mentions, you should never neglect any interaction. Yet, that’s exactly what CVS Pharmacy did when they protected the tweets of their @CVS_Cares account, meaning that only approved followers could interact with them, showing a lack of care towards their customers – especially ironic given the handle of the account.


social media mistakes


Access to everyone

As a business, you have to be careful who has access to your social media accounts. You should develop a social media strategy and have a team in charge of it, but then limit the access to just them. Opening it to everyone in the company can backfire, which British brand HMV found out in 2013 when they announced redundancies, only to find out that the whole process was being live tweeted using the hashtag #hmvXFactorFiring – amusingly, one tweet spoke of how the marketing director asked ‘how do I shut down Twitter?’.


social media mistakes


Bad hashtags

Hashtags on Twitter can be a great way to engage your customers and let them tell their stories about your brand. Yet, this only works from a PR perspective if the tweets are positive. There are two businesses we can look at for this – McDonalds found that their #McDStories hashtag backfired when customers began telling tales of bad food and bad service. Similarly, the NYPD tried to generate some positive publicity in the wake of countless police brutality stories in the media using the hashtag #MyNYPD – but the public were at the end of their tether, and instead shared negative photos from the recent press.


social media mistakes



It can be great for companies to stay on top of current events, but some of them take it too far with newsjacking. This means that companies jump on a news story and try to promote themselves. There are plenty of examples of this, but perhaps the most famous is clothing retailer Gap who jumped on the back of the Hurricane Sandy warning to tell their customers to stay inside and shop online. The brand quickly apologized and said that the tweet was only meant to remind their followers to stay inside, but it definitely rubbed people up the wrong way.


social media mistakes


Not checking hashtags

This is like newsjacking but it can be much more damaging. Using hashtags is an effective way to get your company’s name in the trending topics, but it can go wrong if you fail to check what the hashtag is about in the first instance. There are two shocking examples of this – DiGiorno Pizza, who used a domestic violence hashtag (#WhyIStayed) from which women were sharing powerful stories to sell pizza, and fashion brand Celeb Boutique who tweeted that #Aurora was trending because of one of their dresses, not because people had been brutally murdered at a midnight showing of The Dark Knight Rises in Colorado.


social media mistakes


social media mistakes


Not knowing your target audience

If you’re going to use social media, you have to know your target audience inside out, and use the social media platforms that relate to them the most. Small town businesses might benefit from Facebook, whereas larger companies may benefit from Twitter. An example of not knowing the target audience of a platform well can be taken from the PR company of the actor Woody Harrelson. They had the actor take part in an ‘Ask me Anything’ discussion on Reddit – as the name of the forum goes, people will ask anything, but the PR company saw it as a sole opportunity to promote Harrelson’s most recent film, Rampart. This was not taken well by Reddit users with many convinced it was just the PR team answering their questions and today, the forum is still considered the worst AMA ever.


social media mistakes


social media mistakes


Taking too long to reply to complaints

Many customers use social media as a forum for complaints, as they generally find that they get a faster response from the company. So, businesses should always respond to complaints as quickly as possible. Not like the airline British Airways, who famously took eight hours to reply to a complaint from an angry customer, making him angrier in the process. In the time that they took to respond, the customer paid to promote his tweet and it was seen by over 70,000 people.


social media mistakes


Being rude

How many times do you hear the saying the ‘customer is always right’? This is particularly true on social media, where the world is watching how you respond to complaints. A restaurant in Boston, Pigalle, really shot itself in the foot when it responded to a complaint about a Thanksgiving meal. Instead of apologizing profusely and offering a discount, Pigalle’s chef told the customer to ‘go f— yourself’ amongst other expletives.


social media mistakes


How to avoid making the same mistakes

Now that you understand the mistakes that businesses make, here’s how you can avoid them.

  • Pick a relevant platform for your target audience and stick to it.
  • Employ someone to manage your social media and respond to every interaction, good or bad.
  • Always be polite and remember that the world is watching.
  • Brand your social media effectively and don’t stray from it.
  • Use automation sparingly.

How you use social media can be the difference between a successful business and one that barely breaks even. How do you use social media for your business? Share your story in the comments below.


social media mistakes

The post The Biggest Social Media Mistakes Businesses Make appeared first on GetResponse Blog – Online Marketing Tips.

How to COPE Your Content for Guaranteed Conversion Rates

Have you thought about increasing your Content Conversion? Along with the content marketing boom, many useful strategies for driving traffic and brand awareness have been born. One of them is called the COPE strategy: “Create Once, Publish Everywhere.” From the main concept, we can tell that it’s something that can potentially influence any business’ productivity by giving it a new audience reach and a wider name brand awareness.

With COPE strategy, you are basically building digital assets, or content, and spreading them on every possible content channel. Content has many forms: articles, infographics, audiobooks, videos, live feeds, webinars, and some more others. If you understand the main target audience of your business, you’ll be able to leverage this content marketing strategy the best.

During today’s article, we’ll first look at COPE strategy’s benefits. Afterward, we’ll continue with a step-by-step process on creating this strategy for your business, and then we’ll follow with some useful tips and insights.


The benefits of COPE content marketing strategy.

Let’s better start off with some interesting statistics. 62% of nowadays content marketers believe that the improved content creation techniques that they have performed hold 85% of the credit for their content marketing success. If they say so, why wouldn’t we take it as a fact and start adapting?


1. Compensate for the existing gaps in your content marketing strategy.

Well, firstly, the moment you start creating and publishing quality content on more than two or three content channels, you’re making sure that at least one of the channels will bring the results that you expect. If your audience prefers videos over articles, you’ll know that you’ve touched a hot spot, and you’ll know where to focus next.

2. Reach potential audiences.

It’s obvious; the moment you publish more content on more content channels, the moment you’ll have more reach. Putting your content in front of new readers is your primary target, so “being everywhere,” on every social media channel, to be more exact, is the best way to proceed.


3. Improve brand awareness and audience’s respect.

 Ever heard of Gary Vaynerchuck? A self-made millionaire that now guides other people how to improve your company’s brand awareness, make better decisions and basically be everywhere. That guy is everywhere. If you start studying him a little bit, you’ll notice that there’s an inner instinct to respect the guy for the effort he’s putting to spread his content through so many content channels.

He’s using the COPE strategy but doesn’t call it that. His name is now extremely known, he holds marketing conferences, and he’s one of the biggest social media influencers around the web.


COPE content marketing strategy


5 Steps to creating your personalized COPE strategy.


This specific content marketing strategy is not that difficult. Of course, it has its little tweaks, but if you put up some time and effort, you’ll surely manage to perform it well and bring awesome results.

Some content ideas won’t make an impact, while some will. Some content channels will bring poor results, while some will make you rich and famous. Before even attempting to implement the COPE strategy, you need to remember one thing: COPE is all about testing and optimizing.

There’s quite a big chance to fail at the beginning. That shouldn’t stop you from keeping your head up and continuing the good work. Here’s how you should approach this content marketing strategy:


1. Find awesome content ideas.

Every great accomplishment begins with an idea. You should treat the brainstorming process with much care and interest. Some ideas will work wonders, while some will fail to make the impact that you want. Take some time and create a relatively big list of ideas (15-20). Write them down, sleep on them, and then choose the one that you believe it will perform the best. Also, make sure that your idea can fit all the formats of content that you want to repurpose.


2. Make sure that your content is highly relevant and valuable.

Joe Pulizzi, a successful content marketer, said that companies that aren’t willing to consistently deliver highly relevant and useful content may be better off not delivering it at all. That’s kind of true. With today’s competition, you’ll never be able to overstep them if you’re not giving your best.

Your content is your weapon. If you never sharpen it, it will fail to do its job. If you fail to include quality elements in your content, your content marketing strategy…well…it’ll fail miserably.


3. Hire editorial human resources and build a calendar.

If you’re planning to use the COPE strategy, it’s likely that you won’t be able to do it all by yourself. Of course, if you work 12-13 hours a day consistently, you could do it, but most people would rather outsource an editorial team to take care of the content that needs to be repurposed.

A professional writing service could be a great option. Create an editorial calendar and make sure that every team member is up to date with what’s happening and what needs to be done.


4. Personalize your content according to your biggest influencers.

It’s often advised to personalize your content according to certain criteria. One of that criteria is the possibility of reaching a social media influencer. These are people who have a huge base of active followers that are constantly looking at the content that they share. If they can share yours, you’ll be seen by hundreds and millions of people from all around the world. Therefore, your content can become viral, and your business name will be better known across the world.


5. Test ideas through analytics and optimize.

Test, test, test, and optimize. That’s the premise which most content marketers and other types of online marketers use whenever they deal with their business. If your COPE strategy fails when you first try it, it’s normal. What you’ll have to do is to pay close attention the analytics details and spot what you did wrong.

After you have noticed what needs to be tweaked, start optimizing your campaign and find best solutions that would help in further development. Never give up, because the only way to reach success comes if you keep trying!



Personally, I should say that the COPE strategy doesn’t fail to deliver the amazing content marketing performance benefits it promises. That, of course, will only happen if you manage to make that campaign of your successful. It really depends on the type of business that you’re conducting, the quality of content that you’re writing, and the content channels that you’re using.

Would you like to share your experience of using COPE-ing strategy? Do you use any other powerful methods?  Please share your thoughts in the comments below.


COPE content marketing

The post How to COPE Your Content for Guaranteed Conversion Rates appeared first on GetResponse Blog – Online Marketing Tips.

How organisational learning and behaviour can help you in your career

We are all superheroes in our own way. We have the features to try and change the world for the better in some way. But, where does this inspiration come from?

How organisational learning and behaviour can help you in your career

It comes from our family perhaps. Or from the faults we see in the world. Although we are exposed in other external ways it seems.

An associate and myself were indulging ourselves in another world, an inorganic one. In that different place, you can be whomever you wish. But as you progress challenges arose and you have to solve them.

We are exposed to the behavioural structures since we are born

These decisions we have to make could save the world by stopping deforestation or even saving races from genocide.

Getting to the meat of the material, we are exposed to these reinforcements as we grow from our physical friends and families, or even the media and entertainment we consume on a regular basis

What is learning?

Under the consumer behaviour curtain, the definition of learning is not simply attaining new knowledge. Instead, it is the changing a behaviour.

We go through experiences of structural learning in our lives, biting our tongue trying to talk while eating or even grabbing food when it is hot without oven mitts on.

These are examples of experiences we learn from and without the positive reinforcement within them. You will not attempt again in most cases.

Anyway, this learning affects us in our personal life, as well as in our professional career.

Positive reinforcement vs negative reinforcement

Positive reinforcement is such a vital role in our daily lives. It is the satisfaction of getting an incentive for completing a task, complex or simple. 

We are all workers and in some form receive compensation for the work we complete. The compensation (Paycheck) is the positive reinforcement in the equation of employer and employee relationship.

On the other end of the spectrum is negative reinforcement which should not be confused with punishment in any way.

Negative reinforcement is simply the removal of a negative or an unpleasant consequence

In most cases, we will go through learning and remove the negative consequence by changing our behaviour.

Negative reinforcement is not a punishment in any way. The only presence of unwanted consequence is the deciding factor if the behaviour will change from the individual.

Negative reinforcement vs. punishment

Punishment and negative reinforcement sound alike, right? Dead wrong, unfortunately. 

Like we read earlier, negative reinforcement is simply removing the negative consequence out of decisions.

On its side, punishment has severe negative repercussions like failing a class or getting a paper cut from being careless.

Negative reinforcement has no side effects of its usage. It simply deters or teaches the participant the downside of performing a bad behaviour.

In negative reinforcement they suffer the negative consequence until they perform good behaviour receiving the praise of positive reinforcement.

While there are no downsides to negative reinforcement, there can be downsides to punishment.

This is that being reprimanded does not feel too great and can cause hostile feeling between the victim and the chastiser.

Styles of learning

Vicarious modelling

Is one we often use. We gain the traits that our parents have as we grow and we tend to replicate them.

Beyond that, how about the celebrities we all know and love, they act a certain way and we reward them doing so: monkey sees monkey do.

Moreover, if you have been new to a job, then you have had a shadowing, an on-site day(s) following around another co-worker learning the ropes and do’s and dont’s for that organisation.

Operant conditioning

This is another style where behaviour(s) have their responding consequences, positive or negative,  and the likelihood of that behaviour to repeat itself increases or decreases.

This change in behaviour is what learning is, the alteration of a behaviour for better or for worse.

What is the use of this?

These methods help our families raising us, the employers who pay for our labour, or even the friends we surround ourselves with to provide us experiences of learning.

With learning comes the positive and negative reinforcement that provides the consequences to change how we respond to stimuli.

These tools serve the future to shape us into the individual’s our families and those around us want us to be.

What do you think about the article? How do you apply organizational learning to the  Let us know by leaving the comments below!

For more business and career tips, check our entrepreneurship section and subscribe to our weekly newsletters.

The post How organisational learning and behaviour can help you in your career appeared first on AlphaGamma.

11 strategies to start a successful business

Businesses are built dime a dozen, but organisations are seldom created.

If you want to be distinct and own a successful business, ensure that you and your brand stand out among other entrepreneurs.

11 strategies to start a successful business

Ask yourself these 3 questions:

  • Why are you so important? – Is it your brand? Or is it that your product or services deliver valuable solution to a real problem
  • What are you creating? – Jobs, opportunities, innovative strategies or tools to make life easier
  • Why are you here? – Is it because of lack of opportunities or because you believe you really belong here

Once you are clear about your answers, it’s time to gear up and ensure that you as an entrepreneur do not ignore these 11 strategies to create a successful business.

1. Ideas

Ideas are cheap because they are everywhere.

Unless you have a follow through plan to implement it, there is no value in it.

“Ideas are easy. Implementation is hard” – Guy Kawasaki

You need to make sure about these two core aspects when it comes to idea and entrepreneurship:

If you are not the first, be the best

Are you the first entrant in your field? If not, it does not really make much of a difference today.

Decades ago it was vital for a company to be the first entrant in its respective field to gain an advantage. Even though that is a great way to go, in today’s world, it’s not a deciding factor.

In fact, if you are a late entrant, today, you have the ability to use data, insights, and customer feedback about that field or business to your advantage.

Remember the case when Facebook entered the social media industry at a time when MySpace was the largest player. The rest is history.

Improve and give your end users a product or a service that they love. Offer something personalized, unique and of a real value.

2. Deadlines

Since you are your own boss, at times it might be difficult to maintain that discipline or have a rigid deadline. Ideas don’t mean anything unless they are rolled out as scheduled.

The world today is more competitive than ever.

Today anyone from any place across the globe can design a solution and ensure its reach and accessibility even with minimal connections and funding.


The world of digital has empowered the field of entrepreneurship with unlimited possibilities.

So the first thing you need to do is ensure that you not only meet the deadline but beat it every single time.

Don’t excuse yourself by saying you did what you could, rather ensure that you do what you must!

3. Empower digital

If you are an entrepreneur today and you are not making use of the digital tools, processes, strategies, etc. then you are seriously missing out on something extraordinary.

Digital tools such as digital marketing, social media, technology integrated marketing by using analytics, metrics, customer online behavior patterns, Augmented reality (AR), Virtual reality (VR), Big Data, website, blogs, chatbots, forums, Pay Per Click online advertising strategies, etc. would truly empower your start-up business with great control and tracking.

Have specific and realistic goals with a clear budget. Design a strategy focused on digital marketing.

Create a social media campaign with a strong content marketing plan that is tracked and measured. All that will help you with your successful business.

4. Knowledge resource for all

Integrate a knowledge resource center within your site or blog in a way that enables you to design, make and deliver solutions that are not suboptimal choices, rather a real value-add.

Imagine a website in the form of a microsite using an intranet within your organization that helps your employees learn and complement each other’s skill sets.

If you have a website, do not limit it to merely promoting your brand, marketing your services and or selling your products

It will help them connect with each other better, feel recognized, valuable, ensure continuous learning and most importantly deliver great value.

On similar lines, create a “free for all” or “exclusive / premium content resources” for end users for your customers and prospects.

This will educate them, help them, and build great trust to ensure they keep engaging with your brand.

5. Customers

Did you know that in the case of a startup, signing up with the ‘wrong type of customer’ has been one of the top 10 reasons across the globe and industries for a business to fail?


Before you get that signature on the dotted line, clearly understand your customers and their expectations.

Lay down what you can and cannot afford to offer as services for the price or budget that they have in their mind.

Remember, the most important asset for a startup entrepreneur today is not clients or money, but bandwidth. So, learning to say ‘NO’ is also an important skill.

6. Hustle


I recently met a CEO of a startup who never seemed to be in a hurry. He did not have that sense of urgency and his product line was suffering along with the morale of his employees.

When asked, he answered,

I am the CEO, I have people to work, I don’t need to get out there

This was very strange and downright ridiculous. In today’s world every, second matters. It could make or break your brand and business.

As CEO of a startup, if you are not ready to be out there every single day and hustle, then you are in the wrong field.

You don’t need to be great at networking, sales or technology, but you would for sure have some skill that you are exceptional at.

Especially if you believe you can run a startup in today’s fiercely competitive world. So get out there and start on it right away!

7. Become a successful business

When you see someone winning an award, accolade, recognition, etc. always remember that’s just a preview.

The real magic, the real hard work, efforts, struggles have happened behind the scenes way before the recognition and glitz.


It’s time to get to the basics of business.

If you want to have a successful business, be sure to put in the efforts especially when no one is looking, because that’s where the real magic is happening.

8. Internet

Internet access, cheaper technological devices, better and faster internet speed, and an easier way to buy and sell is rapidly becoming a routine even across the most remote areas around the globe.

So whether you are here to generate jobs, deliver learning experience to users for free, sell your products or services across the globe, be a part of the digital bandwagon for the right reasons using the right tools and at the right time.


The Internet is not limited to marketing and advertising. It’s a great place to connect and add value every single day.

It will enable you to build trust with end users, loyalty and eventually be a household name.

Embrace it for the right reasons. Remember, the learning curve never ends.

9. Simplify things

If you need an advertisement or a how-to-use website for the customer to understand your product, you’re doing something wrong. Especially talking about e-commerce.


Whatever you create today, try using it like an end user who is seeing the site for the very first time. Or, get someone new to use the site or test the product and take their honest feedback.

If it’s not simple enough, it’s not going to convince users to buy from you.

10. Discipline and work ethic

There might be people, professionals, entrepreneurs with more resources, talent, skills, money, network and connections, even better products than what you can offer, but always keep in mind, nothing beats discipline.

Be a yardstick of quality. Some people aren’t used to an environment where excellence is expected -Steve Jobs

If you have a work ethic that does not allow anyone to overwork you or outperform you, then nothing can keep you down. Discipline and work ethic beats luck and resources every single time.

11. Think

Did you know Henry Ford used to hire people whose job was only to ‘think’?

Think is the hardest work there is, which is probably the reason why so few engage in it -Henry Ford

Many times, entrepreneurs in their desperate need to be seen and heard get obsessed with tools and technology for the wrong reasons.

And in this process, they ignore the most valuable asset of all: intelligence, strategy, and thinking.

A well-thought and planned approach towards anything can and will always deliver better results. So ensure you invest in thinking too!

How do you find this article? Do you like these tips? What tips would you recommend? Share your thoughts and experiences in the comment section below.

For more sales tips, check our entrepreneurship section and subscribe to our weekly newsletters.

The post 11 strategies to start a successful business appeared first on AlphaGamma.

A Guide to Setting Up Google Analytics for WordPress

Google Analytics is a versatile reporting and tracking system that turns out valuable data regarding the performance of your website. Launched in 2005, it is an easily operable system, even for beginners. It also has many advanced features that can help with the creation of complex reports, track visitors’ movement paths through the site, and monitor conversions of goals you set at specific intervals. The service is free, although a premium option is also available for advanced users and corporations.


The benefits of Google Analytics

The data received through Google Analytics provides in-depth knowledge regarding the various performance aspects of your website. Through these reports, you can track the performing and non-performing areas also. You can track marketing campaigns, integrate Google Adsense and Adwords to see reports regarding revenues earnings site-wide. You can also track e-commerce dealings, campaigns and keywords to identify the best revenue sources.


Google Analytics account

The first step of using Google Analytics is to create an account on the Google Analytics website. You need to sign up with your existing Google account and start creating a new account there. Be sure to enter your account name, website name and URL address in the requisite fields. Then you need to select the “Data Sharing Settings” at the bottom of the displayed page. By default, all four types of data are selected. Click on “Get Tracking Id” to proceed to the next phase.

In this context, you may also configure the “User Management” tab in the Admin area. Here, you may set up accessibility options for different users of your website with regards to Google Analytics reports. There are four permissions available – ‘Edit’, ‘Collaborate’, “Manage Users” and “Read and Analyze”. In this page, you will also be able to view all the webpages where you have enabled in Google Analytics reporting.


Tracking code

Agree to Google’s “Terms of Service” page for continuing to the next page. You will get the tracking id here. It will start with the prefix ‘UA’. You need to copy this code and come back to your website. In your website’s Google Analytics Settings Tab, copy this code to the “Tracking Id” text box and click on “Save Settings”. This will link your website to the Google Analytics site and enable exchange and processing of data between them.


Adding Google Analytics to WordPress

After creating your WordPress website, the next step of setting up Google Analytics is to add the tracking id to your WordPress site’s pages. There are three ways of achieving this integration:

  1. Manually enter the JavaScript tracking id before the closing <head> tag of your webpage. Repeat this for every page of your website or you may track selective pages in this manner.
  2. In most regular WordPress themes, you may create a child theme and add the tracking id in the header.php file, in the same position as the manual entry (discussed above). More advanced and premium themes have a separate place of entering the tracking id in the Settings menu.
  3. Use a plugin for Google Analytics and configure the “Web Property” tab by putting the tracking id there.


a guide to setting up google analytics for wordpress


Google Analytics currently uses asynchronous loading to ensure the faster processing of webpages and not affecting page loading speeds. This mode ensures that the tracking code executes only after the entire page is loaded in the user’s system.

Now that Google Analytics has started functioning for your website, you need to wait for 12 to 24 hours, depending on your website’s traffic, for report generation.


Different reports in Google Analytics

The ‘reports’ area of Google Analytics provides access to the different aspects based on the data collected from your website. These reports are generated from the date of installation of Google Analytics only. There are several categories in the ‘reports’ section:



This section allows users to display any report from a large number of pre-made reports generated by Google Analytics. There are two sections – Blank Canvas and Starter Dashboard. You may create your own kind of reports in the Blank Canvas section. The starter dashboard is the area where you may preview the various reports available.



As the name suggests, this option allows creating links with the reports you use on a frequent basis. The menu displayed at the top of every Google Analytics report has this option where you may add a ‘shortcut’ of the same. From this menu, you may also email the report as an attachment or save it in different downloadable formats.


Intelligence events

This option allows you to track daily, weekly or monthly occurrences as per your choice. These trackable events include clicks, visits, page views, sales conversions, bounce rates and so on. This page allows the creation of alerts also, which may be applied in general to all traffic or upon specific criteria fulfillment. You may choose an alert parameter among a number of them provided, with the freedom to set up the value of the alert triggering. These alerts may also be received through email.


Real time

This section generates reports involving the visitors currently accessing the website. The default ‘Overview’ page shows the number of live visitors with graphs available for per second and minute views for the last half an hour. Most visited pages and referrals, top social traffic and content are also displayed in this section.



You will find over twelve different reports in this section. Audience reports include analysis on visitor demographics, location and the platform used for viewing your website. This section is important for determining the type of customers who are interested in your website.



This section provides information about the origins of the people visiting your website. The reports include data about referrals, channels, paid and organic search engine traffic, along with a comprehensive breakdown of social media traffic to your website.


a guide to setting up google analytics for wordpress



The behavior section lets you know the activities of the user upon their visit to your website. These include the user’s site searches, landing pages and exit pages. This provides valuable data about the user’s preferences in the website over a period of time.



This section offers valuable e-commerce reports regarding product and sales performance of the website. It can also track transaction speed and purchase time of the user. The conversion page may also be used for advanced reports like Goal Creation and Monitoring.

Thus, you can now install Google Analytics on your WordPress website, monitor its performance and formulate strategies and tactics for your website’s improvement with proper data analysis.

Your thoughts?

How has Google Analytics helped you improve your website? Did you use it to learn anything about your website that you didn’t expect? Share your thoughts in the comments.

a guide to setting up google analytics for wordpress

The post A Guide to Setting Up Google Analytics for WordPress appeared first on GetResponse Blog – Online Marketing Tips.

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