In the last few blogs, I was talking about the responsibilities that you have as an entrepreneur. However, entrepreneurs solely cannot run a company. There are many factors that drive the business ahead. Of course, as a leader, you must know what are those attributes that help you go further with your goals. *Goals! Remember your goals for the company are not only yours, they belong to your employees as well* Identify those attributes and their roles, know where they fit in and their potentials. Hire people for their passion and commitment first, experience second and credentials third. There’s no shortage of CVs out there, but find those who have the same interest as yours. Ask them the right questions: What do you love the most about your chosen career? What course interested you in school? What’s your motivation? What do you expect from your career? Have an idea of what your potential employee believes in! As you choose the right employees, meet them, sit with them to discuss what is going well and what isn’t. It’s important to note your success, but it’s as important to analyze your weakness and losses at the same time. It takes a rich workplace culture to identify when things go around well and resolve the issues. Communication does not just mean talking, but also equally stress upon listening. A fertile culture grows around people who listen to what happens beyond the walls. What is trending in the market? What developments are going on, which can or cannot affect us? What does the target audience prefer? *Employees are a part of the same audience* Traditional workplace fashion is just so mainstream and monotonous. Take a step ahead of the changing world and be the change you expect.
I think most people I know suffer from this fatal flaw — ‘Lack of Planning.’ The most valuable thing we have today is time, now more than ever! We want to watch shows on our own time, we want to reply back to texts at our own time so much so that we now get annoyed when another human being calls us up because the conversation they want to have is not at our time. Think of the 5 minutes of extra sleep in the morning, isn’t it the best?! So do you really think you are making the most of your time? I make a very sincere effort to do so, I am writing this on a flight after having an 18 hour day. I also want to be clear that when I say make the most of your time I don’t mean in terms of work! For all the traffic jams you get stuck in or the time you spend traveling, all the procrastination we do through every single day even with the smallest tasks; think of all the phone calls to loved ones, audiobooks or actual books, people that could have been met with just a little bit of planning and effort. As far as your entrepreneurs are concerned I am sure that you feel you have no time for absolutely anything while trying to do everything. Here are a few tips that can make a small difference: 1. To-Do Lists I swear by these and I make them and keep them updated regularly! I used to write these but have now moved to a digital one to be able to allocate specific times to be able to complete these tasks. It’s a simple concept; you can’t get everything done without knowing what everything includes. 2. Delegate There’s a difference in being involved and informed. As a leader and a passionate one it feels crucial to be a part of every small thing, but trust your team, identify the reliable managers and give them a chance; the responsibility will make them feel appreciated and give you a chance to do more. 3. Minimize This is a difficult one! Is it really possible to allow only a specific amount of time and then try to get it done in an even shorter amount of time? Well, I think so! For Example, I now go into con calls with a fixed list of points to discuss, mail them to the others an hour before the call and try to ensure everyone stays on track. 5 minutes saved on 10 calls is almost an hour added to the day. Try it, it might a take a while to get a hold of but this is the real key to productivity. Hope you found these tips helpful and if you have any more do please share them in the comments below. P.S. — My current goal is to get 30 hours of work done in a 24 hour day!
In our last blog, I explained why it can be dangerous to fall in love with ideas and lose focus on execution. So considering that what should a startup be focusing on? Here are the three things that can make or break a startup: 1. Structure It is very important to understand that a business has a legal side and having the right paperwork goes a long way. Also, think of structure in terms of the people that become a part of your business and what core functions will they be executing. Managing people is a core part of a successful startup because your team can be your biggest asset but also remember they come with a fixed cost that will be a major chunk of your burn. Remember, as an entrepreneur you can’t do everything on your own! 2. Profitability There are a lot of startups that focus on the adoption of their services and products versus profitability. Keep your eyes on the prize. While investors are ok with startups bleeding for a few years in order to become a mass accepted service/product, this usually motivates people to lose sight of the cost of customer acquisition and then most things go downhill from there. Any resource whether time, energy or money is spent must have a measurable and acceptable return on investment! 3. Scalability No one wants to invest in or run a company that can’t grow beyond its first ten customers. There must be constant innovation and growth because that is an undefined goal of every startup. It’s crucial to keep an eye on the competition, changes in technology and ensuring your concept is future proof. Someone bought 500 horses a day before the car was invented!
With Online Reputation prevailing way before social media existence, it’s importance has risen with the passing time. Previously, information was sought through Google with not many other transparent sources as that of curated content from various private websites. With the advent of the digital age and social media gaining it’s deserved significance, individuals realized how easy had it become to hold and voice their opinions online. It was then learned how important had it become to have a good online reputation. In today’s time, no product or service is bought before looking it up and scrolling through the reviews it has received. Every item, be it an immensely expensive one or averagely priced, each goes through a series of reviews from YouTubers and Influencers before forming public opinion. The foremost reason for building a positive online reputation is the purchasing decision that it drives. With a statistic of 80% people purchasing a product after reading a review online and 70% purchasing on recommendations by friends, decisions have been altered by the addition of social commerce on applications to drive people to make a purchase. 84% of marketers believe that marketing efforts must be primarily focused on building an online reputation and trust us it’s number one for making a sales-worthy impression. It is a common belief of some that advertisements work better to drive the people’s interest and generate sales. But as the statistics prove, a small 14% of the audience happen to trust advertisements whilst 78% trust recommendations that they read online or from their peers. Apart from reviews per se, an influencer visiting a place and seen having a good time on social media persists as a part of online reputation. With more and more people following the discovery trend where they end up trying something new, be it products, services or restaurants, online reputation acts as a crucial turning point for brands. Hence, having positivity dripping from all you have to offer to your audience is a must as it determines a brand’s success scales.
In today’s competitive world, there’s one thing that each one of us seeks, Growth! FYA has always looked at growth from a very “NOW” perspective. Living in the digital world, we soon noticed that technology is changing too fast and so is our growing dependency on it. The trends come in and fade away at a pace so quick that publishers, businesses and agencies are all failing to keep up with it. Always looking at growth from a single aspect, we came to realize the importance of an in-house website department as the mobile revolution took place in 2012. It was easy to figure that with the revolution, most brands and businesses would want to have their websites revamped that can be accessed through their phones which were available in the market in various screen sizes. Achieving much growth with the newly formed website department that functioned organically, the scenario changed and then came the trend of paid advertisements. With constant changes and to survive the upcoming trends of E-commerce websites, News and Media websites, mobile applications etc we created a team of developers. There was a huge amount of time that was utilized just for collecting data since the past 2 years and we realized the massive disconnect between our offline and online audience. We predicted that the analytic aspect of the business is going to be huge and we decided to make plans of expanding the development team on a very serious level to serve businesses looking out for a digital transformation. We came across the business who don’t just need social media strategies but they wish to get into it all whether it’s building software, back-end, the analytics, reach or influencers. Understanding their needs and the demand for a system that can help them look after HR, Inventory, Accounts, Marketing, POS, CRM and Lead Management systems etc , we created one called PULSE. To attract more agencies and businesses, we agreed on charging a one-time fee with the liberty of choosing the module of their choice and paying for only that particular one. We strived to get past the barriers that existed due to the age-old systems where the analysis was difficult to get, their inaccessibility on the phones etc. We intend to grow our software and make it a system that can seamlessly help businesses to carry out their functions. Another thing we wish to focus on in this year is to create a very strong content team. When it comes to content, we are trying to create a team that can provide the best user experience as customers instead of an agency. We are looking at creating content that feels real, live and is first-hand so as to interest the audience! These are the growth plans we see for ourselves in the coming months of 2017!
Marketing itself is a very open term has made people have various opinions. With various aspects involved within the term such as ATL, BTL, digital engagement etc, everyone’s perspective about the same differs from the other. With time, the ideologies and ways to work in the market has changed. There are the old-school agencies that tend to focus most of their efforts in branding activities like brand awareness, plans to design memorable logos to boost brand recall value etc as it is believed to have larger importance in terms of creativity and earning. The new-age thinking has very subtly blended in the marketing activities recently that believes in generating creative ideas to get in touch and engage with the audience. It has been extremely crucial to balance the two where branding, as well as direct customer relationship, needs to be focused on. With the constant clash between the branding and digital agencies that follow varied ideologies, here is our simple opinion on Marketing, “It doesn’t make sense if it doesn’t add value”. A strategy of 5 years to create an impeccable brand recall is not something that we believe in. If creating a brand recall with a single-digit number on a personal, one-on-one level is achieved, it talks a lot because word of mouth in today’s time is what works the best. It is important to create an action that talks about your brand, make people use your brand and talk about it themselves to generate an audience organically. This is the simple logic we believe in, “Every action that a brand takes, has to help them gain something in return. There has to be an ROI on it and if it doesn’t, that’s a massive waste of time and money.”
Can you have fun, working hard to meet the deadlines? Well, you certainly can. That’s the only way we, at FYA Group, know anyway. We don’t only work for the sake of working, we work because it’s fun. We don’t work with seriousness; we work with dedication. I can go on and on but sum it up, 1. Casual Environment At FYA, we have an open work environment, literally. We don’t shove our heads in desktops and get caged in cubicles. We sit around the big tables, listening to music aloud while working, let it be the latest Sia single or a classic Bollywood hit. It keeps the freshness and creativity alive. 2. Team Morale There is always at least one screen surrounded by a group of heads, trying to brainstorm out problems. We work as a team and have fun as a team, which amplify our strength and make up for the weaknesses. No matter what, there is always someone ready to lend a helping hand. 3. Learning Opportunities An open place is the best place, to learn new things and sharpen your skills. We are a start-up and we get to learn new things every time we try our hands on something new. That’s one of the best things about working in a young company, where learning is weighed just as important as getting things done. 4. Recognition for Hard work What makes us work hard is the assurance that our efforts will not go unnoticed, they will be recognized and rewarded. We have three distinct awards to reward team members, who go out of their way and do more than asked. We have monthly awards of the Creative star of the month, No-Stopping star of the month, and Achiever of the month. 5. Love for the work All the other powers in the world can’t make you work well if you don’t love what you do, It’s the most crucial element for success. Fortunately, that’s not a problem at FYA. We love what we do. And we work with all our hearts. When you love what you do you get a satisfaction that can’t be bought, it’s priceless si-font.
The only thing that a startup usually focuses on its survival. Many founders struggle and thus fail to find the time to define the culture they aspire to follow! You set one for yourself or not, a culture exists at all times. Culture drives the value of the business but if non-defined, creates negation in the smooth working environment. So why allow an uncontrolled negative culture to take over the attitudes of the employees when you can set a rightly motivated one? Make sure the culture you are trying to define is a winning one with these pointers! 1. Decide upon the core values Every company needs some core values, values that make the company what it is. So decide it earlier, when a startup is still in its infancy, as to what kind of company you want to become. Do you want to become like IBM or Google, and what values will help you get there. Understand those values then communicate and incorporate them. And uphold those values in everything you do, from the interaction with your client to enjoying a coffee break. 2. Find the purpose No, I am not talking about the ‘make a loads of money’ or ‘create the greatest product’ I am talking about the ultimate purpose of why you are doing, what you are doing. So if you are a digital marketing company, your purpose can be of helping people and businesses to expand their ventures through digital tools. Communicate the purpose with every employee, employees are far happier and satisfied with their jobs when they are working at a purpose-driven company. 3. Keep it in check Culture is not something that you work on once and then forget about it. It’s an always ongoing process that requires a lot of patience and persistence. You will need to keep it in check all the time. One bad apple can have a significant bad influence if you let it. Especially when you are hiring, hire for value fit. Make sure that the person you are hiring is capable of keeping up with the culture that you have spent a lot of time and energy building. 4. Be a little loose, but not sloppy Okay, so it’s a startup and it should look and feel like one, you don’t need to go all corporate. But loose doesn’t mean sloppy. A little fun never harms anybody, as long as the work gets done. Startups work out best when there are lesser formal processes without compromising accountability. Thanks for reading.
Many companies earlier questioned the need for a digital media team. With the growing importance, the rising necessity is now being recognized. Social media has the ability to unlock doors to new audiences and give a truly unique way to engage with those talking about a brand. But how does one create a perfect team? The first thing to be understood when creating a digital team is to know what you are trying to sell. Are you a brand that is focused on selling your product, your creativity, your content, your concept or are you a company that sells itself as a whole. You also need to determine what is your position, who is your target market, what message do you want to spread and how you want it to reach them. Once you have planned and outlined these aspects, it’s time to start building your own team. The general mistake, when creating a digital team, is to narrow your focus on the skills of the people you hire. A golden rule to a digital dream team is: “Focus on your Employee as a Person and Not as a Resume”. It’s more important to understand what an employee is truly capable of instead of simply looking at what he brings to the table at this point. Social Media, by itself, evolves faster than we can blink our eyes. When spearheading such a mission, to have someone who is purely keyed in on his own specific skill would act detrimental to the performance of the entire team. It is essential to have an employee who is not only dynamic in nature but also motivates himself to learn more and to explore more. An employee keeps building his skills over time, but an efficient employee builds his skill and keeps absorbing and moulding new skills every day. The entire work of a Digital Team can be categorized into three main channels: 1. Liaison Client Service is one of the most challenging functions that any employee can undertake. Not only is he required to get a clear idea about the client’s vision, but it is also important to reassure the client and have a proper chain of communication. 2. Content The content writer focuses on delivering the vision of the client in the most concise, clear and correct way possible. He is burdened with the task of ensuring that there is no miscommunication of any sort to ensure that no false or incorrect or distorted information reaches the targeted audience. 3. Design The designer is the creative brain behind the entire show. He is required to be dynamic in the sense that he should understand the fine balance between being subtle and being loud. For example, if an ad jingle is too loud and in the entire pomp the true message of the product is lost, it becomes a useless expenditure for the company and for the client. In the same way, some ads require subtle designing and some require attractive designing. Therefore, a designer should be able to toggle between various aesthetics and should be able to perceive the response for all types of audiences. If you manage to employ the right people or have already reached that stage, you need to focus on your role in the agency or the company. There are two major things that you need to focus on. The first is your strategy for growth and detailing it out in terms of milestones. Basically, you are creating the path that you want to follow to reach your aim. The second thing that you need to work on is your ad spends. Ad spends is a huge part of any media marketing and therefore it cannot be ignored. This would also include some kind of budgeting and adjusting of available finances to ensure that the goals are achieved without straining the resources of the company. Lastly, it is very important to create and promote the right kind of work culture. It is not necessary to adhere to set specific norms, but it is essential that a general outline is defined. The thing about work culture is that it will grow whether or not you want it. So it is better if you create and mould it the way you want so you get the results that you desire. It is in an atmosphere that promotes an exchange of creativity, where ideas can be freely discussed and innovation knows no boundaries, that you will find your “Perfect Digital Team”.
With an overwhelming spiral of uncontrolled promotional techniques, brands have been forced to come up with different ways to spread a word about themselves. Influencer Marketing is something that doesn’t fail to force its impact in the market. The people who have the knowledge and power to sway the sentiments of the audience have now been the “go-to” advisors of all times. Combating the problems generated by the escalating costs, it’s crucial to know what, and to be specific, WHO works for your brand. Finding the right influencer is now supposed to be at the crux of all activities in today’s time. What makes and breaks the brand is the one who influences the choices of the stakeholders. Influencers are those who help spread the word about your brand and here are 5 ways in which it’s done! 1. Voice of Your Brand Humanizing your brand goes way beyond owning and functioning social media accounts. Influencers showcase your product on a normal, day-to-day context rather than a shiny, unreachable concept that looks good. They make your products more approachable and accessible. 2. Go-To Advisors Choosing to engage with a brand is a decision that one makes only when a recommendation from someone is in place. Influencers, being the “information kiosks”, recommend the quality brands and products to choose as they are the ones looked up by all. Having the advisors talking about you is a great start to spreading your word. 3. Expand Reach What one can always possibly notice is the amount of fan-following each influencer has on social media and otherwise. With a huge audience trailing every thought and every word that an influencer has to say, they are bound to help spread your name to a new and larger market. 4. High Engagement Brands are always heard about but what matters is whether they succeed in engaging with the audience. People tend to not purchase the brand despite knowing about it. Influencers have the ability to prompt them to engage with what the brand has to offer through their incredible skill and knowledge! 5. Help Solve Brand’s Shortcomings Not all brands have been able to create and maintain a positive image of themselves in the market. Combating a problem as such takes a lot of time and creative efforts. Influencer marketing is a quick and effective way to alter the negative notions in the minds of the people. There are a million ways in which your brand’s audience can be broadened but it’s crucial to make sure that people are talking about your time and again. Developing an impeccable influencer marketing strategy is the call of the hour to get the word about your brand spread as farthest as possible.