6 Ways To Use Social Media To Increase Sales For Your Business

As of today, 49% of the world’s population uses social media. A Statista study states the number of social media users is projected to increase to almost 3.43 billion in 2023. Facebook, YouTube and WhatsApp are currently the three most popular social media networks.

With social media slowly getting more integrated into our daily lives, it isn’t surprising to see that an average of three hours is spent on social networks and messaging channels! Buffer reports 73% of marketers believe social media marketing has been “very effective” or “somewhat effective” for their companies.

And why not? It helps businesses enhance their audience engagement and boost organic visibility. But more importantly, it leads to an increase in sales if done right. Therefore, if your company has not fully explored this marketing function, now is the time to do so.

Here are six ways in which social media boosts sales:

1. Social media ads

While you might be wary of investing in paid advertisements, you can significantly boost your conversions with them. Facebook and Instagram sponsored ads allow you a lot of flexibility to set the audience sizes and demographics of your choice, which organic content does not always do.

You can also customize factors like the length of the ad and the kinds of visuals they flash. Moreover, if you link your ads directly to the product or service pages on your website, you are more likely to convert a potential customer’s impulse to buy into a final purchase.

The downside of these ads is the expense involved, but if you have the budget, they can be worth it.

2. Influencer marketing

Influencer marketing is rapidly replacing celebrity endorsement to engage with new audiences of up to millions. Having an active social media presence allows you to reach out to influencers and collaborate with them to create fresh content for their followers.

The best influencers are selective about which brands they work with, so be sure to have a substantial following and a creative content schedule before reaching out to them. You should also reach a mutual agreement about compensation.

For instance, if you are a small business and cannot afford to pay money, you should give them complimentary products and substantial discounts. This way, you get to build a trustworthy relationship with them that can translate into a long-term association.

3. Indirect advertising

For smaller businesses, buying ad space on Facebook and Instagram may not always be affordable. Instead, you can practise indirect advertising by uploading a series of promotional posts around a product or service that you are launching or a sale that you are hosting.

You can use the post to point the target customer towards the website, where the offering is up for sale. While this may not yield immediate results, it helps promote your business and creates a positive sentiment in your potential customers’ minds.

And the more effectively you promote your offerings, the likelier they will be to actually visit your website and click the Checkout button, sign up for a Free Trial, or request for a free consultation – depending upon your business.

4. Ecommerce special: shopping on social media

Often, buyers don’t want to download a separate retail app to buy your products. That is where enabling the shopping option on social media works. Instagram recently released its ‘Shop’ feature wherein your potential customers can tap on your product photo to see its price and get a direct link to purchase it.

This allows them to buy something they like straight away and also allows you as a business to capitalize on impulse buying – something that may not work if consumers first see a product on Instagram and then have to go to the website or download an app to buy.

5. Boosted brand personality

Your business is the combination of the colours, fonts, graphics and messages that your customers know you for and recognizes you by. Your brand personality is what shines through in the content you put out, including social media.

Are you friendly and relatable to the buyers looking at your content? Are you responsive to their questions, comments and complaints? In particular, responsiveness is a major factor that buyers use to judge a company’s social media profile.

Therefore, it is vital to maintain a brand personality on social media that your customers and leads can relate to, including making changes and taking feedback, wherever required. That way, your brand sticks in the minds of even those who are not buying anything from you yet.

6. Staying top-of-mind for the customer

In today’s brutally competitive market, the one rule that holds true for every business is “out of sight, out of mind.” No matter how excellent your product is, if your potential customers don’t remember your brand, they won’t buy from you.

That is where social media plays a huge role. By consistently sharing useful and/or entertaining content that promotes your brand and speaks to what your potential customers want, they are likelier to hit the ‘Follow’ button.

And the more of your content they see on their feed, the likelier they are to remember your name and your products when it is time to buy.

Over to you

Regardless of whether you are a multinational corporation or a start-up, social media is an element of marketing that you simply cannot ignore. Almost every person on the planet is present on at least one social media platform.

To build a connection with your potential customer, you need to have a presence where they are present. The stronger your connect, the likelier you are to make a sale.

However, it is essential to remember that your social media strategy, including copy and designs, should be tailored to your business’s size, prospective audience, and growth plans. Need help with that? I have got you covered!


5 Mobile Apps That Can Help You De-Stress At Work

Whether you are an established entrepreneur, a mid-career professional, or a young executive – operating in any industry – stress is an inevitable part of your life. A 2018 APA study stated workplace stress to be more rampant than ever among millennials.

Working from home was often seen as the holy grail of work-life balance and stress relief, and then COVID-19 happened, and it changed work as we knew it forever. Now, you might have adapted to remote working beautifully; but the fact that travel is still restricted and one has to think twice before stepping outside can be depressing indeed!

Backaches, insomnia, irritability and restlessness are just some of the side effects that all professionals have felt at some in time while working from home. And let’s not forget loneliness! It can make one feel less productive and unmotivated, as per Buffer.

Sadly, the Coronavirus outbreak is pushing everyone into an extreme kind of working from home. Therefore, whenever your schedule gets a bit hectic, resort to these five apps to de-stress, unwind, and get your mojo back:

1. Calm

Calm is a mobile app that helps you unwind after work and combat stress by helping you meditate. It has a free introductory programme, “7 Days of Calm“, that lets you experience 10-minute guided sessions on the basics of mindfulness meditation daily for seven days.

The full course catalogue, for which you need a paid subscription, features guided and unguided courses that range from 3 minutes to 30 minutes in length and cover a variety of topics such as sleep aid, loving-kindness, self-esteem and calming anxiety.

Moreover, you can customize the background scenes and nature sounds on the app, and set daily reminders for meditation. The web-based Calm programme lets you access user communities on social media. My personal favourite is their blog on mindfulness

Calm’s monthly subscription starts at $12.99/month.

2. Headspace

Headspace introduces the basics of meditation with its 10-day introductory programme “Take 10 Free Trial”, which, as the name suggests, offers a 10-minute session every day along with six video infographics to illustrate meditation concepts.

The full library, for which you will need to take a paid subscription, offers around 365 meditation sessions in both one-off courses and themed session packs on different topics such as relationships, mindfulness, and health.

The app also features a Headspace tour, programmable reminders, user support and daily messages that come as “mindful moments.”

Furthermore, the web-based version of Headspace offers access to its blog “The Orange Dot” and online communities to connect with other users. Its buddy programme, available only on iOS and Android devices, enables you to invite your friends to sign up and track each other’s meditation progress, just like in a fitness app.

Then, there is also kid-friendly content in the session catalogue for children to learn the fundamentals of meditation and practice a relaxed kind of focus with you. The sessions have been customized for three age groups: 5 and under, 6-8 and 9-12.

Headspace’s annual subscription starts at $69.99/month.

3. Sleep Cycle

This is a useful app that tracks your sleep patterns and helps you wake up during your light sleep phases. Sleep Cycle uses sound analysis to track the different sleep states your body goes through, from light sleep to REM sleep.

The app uses a wake-up phase that ends at the alarm time you specify. During this phase, it will wake you up when your sleep is at its lightest. You will need to place your smartphone close to your head so that the app can pick up your sounds and movements.

When the app rings, you can put it on snooze simply by double-tapping. Additionally, the app features an “Intelligent Snooze” mode that gently brings you from the state of being asleep to being completely awake using shorter and shorter snooze durations throughout your wake-up phase. The app, moreover, is free for use on Android, iPhone, and Huawei.

4. Day One

Since it first came out in March 2011, Day One has topped multiple lists as the best journaling app, winning App of the Year, Apple Editors’ Choice and Apple Design Award. It is compatible with Mac and iOS and lets you write quick journal entries in a simple, minimalistic user interface.

You can use templates to format your journal entries more efficiently, add metadata about the weather outside and the music you are currently playing. Besides, upload photos and social media links, tag your entries with hashtags and password-protect your journal.

You can also customize the settings to give you multiple reminders throughout the day based on how often you would like to update your journal. Another unique feature is “On This Day,” which allows you to see your journal entries for the same day in previous years.

Day One is free to use for two weeks, but premium features such as real-time sync, cloud backup, and audio recording can be availed on a subscription basis for $34.99 per year.

5. The Mindfulness App

This is another top-notch meditation app that everyone will find useful. The Mindfulness App includes a five-day guided meditation course to introduce you to mindfulness, along with several 3 to 30 minute-long guided or silent from which you can select one that best fits into your busy lifestyle.

There are over 250 meditation classes for you to choose from on the app – each covering different topics such as stress relief, mindfulness at work, relationships, kids and sleep.

The Mindfulness App offers personalized meditation recommendations, customizable background sounds, and statistics for you to keep track of in your meditation journal.

Plus, you can download your favourite meditation courses, listen to them offline, and set “mindfulness” reminders for the whole day. Using the app is free for two weeks, and you can purchase the premium version and gain access to specialized meditation challenges to target specific symptoms such as stress or sleep quality for $9.99 per month or $59.99 per month.

Summing it up

I understand when you say your work gives you a sense of fulfillment and hence don’t mind pulling in long working hours. I am too. I love what I do, but I am also aware that stress takes a toll on my physical and mental well-being, which is not worth risking in the long run. Plus, the pandemic is temporary – it is essential to stay positive and hopeful.

Next time you feel overwhelmed working from home, pick one out of these apps and give it a fair try. Work hard but not at the cost of your health.

7 Best B2B Demand Generation Ideas For Your Business

In the world of B2B marketing, leads are everything. Having a pipeline of solid leads enables a business to see the value of success in each stage of the sales funnel, forecast possible revenues, and foster relationships with potential clients that have a higher chance of converting.

If you are currently struggling to generate leads for your business, you must know even the smallest of marketing strategies can do wonders for you. Here are some of the lesser-known but highly impactful tactics that you can use to generate demand for your B2B company:

1. Produce and promote case studies

Case studies are among the most compelling content marketing tools a B2B company can use to showcase how their clients benefitted from their services. In a 2019 Ascend2 report, 60% of marketers ranked them as the most effective type of content.

The reason being case studies add credibility to your business and help you move your target audience further down the funnel towards becoming sales qualified leads.

The key here is to focus on the typical case study format that goes along the “challenge, solution, results” path. But be creative about how you present it so that it tells a story and not bombard your readers with facts and numbers.

Be flexible about the length too. Some case studies can be shared in 200 words, and some need 2000 words – it all depends on the client’s story you want to share.

Compare the case studies from Lead Genius and IBM. Both pieces of content follow the same structure, tell a story, but their word length varies.

Another smart tip is to call your case studies’ success stories,’ After all, your clients have benefitted from working with you and improved. That sounds like success to me!

2. Use power words in your CTA button copy across the website

Button copy can make a world of difference to how many people sign up for your emails or become paying subscribers. Use words that invite your website visitors to take action.

An excellent way to start is by asking the question, “I want…,” and then filling the blank with what you want your customer to sign up for or download. What you fill in the blank, goes onto your CTA button.

Other popular power words for your button copy to create a sense of urgency are “Get,” “Start,” “Now,” and “Free.”

Example: Anyone visiting Buffer will have no problem getting started with its free trial. The brand lists three important things up-front – 1) credit card requirements, 2) 14-day free trial, and 3) flexible cancellation.


From a design perspective, it is best to make your button easy to spot and easy to click.

3. Avoid the word ‘spam’

The majority of sign-up forms include a disclaimer about the customers not being spammed. While this might seem like a necessary disclaimer, it may have the opposite effect on the reader.

A study conducted by Content Verve showed that the word ‘spam’ on the opt-in form led to an 18% reduction in conversions, simply because the word alone reminded people of spam and dissuaded them from signing up. Instead, just say that you will protect their privacy.

4. Conduct tons of market research

Do your homework before writing your marketing copy so that you know the kinds of content, language and tone that your customers are most likely to respond to. An easy way to do this is to look at online reviews of other products or services in your market space.

What are the things that customers say they like? What do they not like? You can also visit your successful competitors’ websites and see what copy they are using for their most popular products.

Draw up a list of the most commonly used words and phrases and do some A/B testing with them on your ads and website copy. The more you speak your customers’ language, the stronger your connections will be.

5. Design an equally good testimonial formula

Testimonials are crucial to building your company’s reputation. They are an indicator of trust, and customers will almost always look at testimonials when considering your product. It is essential to have a reliable testimonial formula that avoids generic comments like “great product” or “keep it up.”

According to Derek Halpern, the “perfect testimonials formula” clearly outlines the challenge your customer faced, describes how your product was a solution to the problem and truthfully shares the results.

To get testimonials like this, reach out to your most satisfied customers and ask them for a brief interview to understand their experience. Publish these on your website, and you will be winning more leads in no time.

6. Use emotional marketing

One common misconception about B2B marketing is that buyers only use logic when they make a purchase decision. In fact, research shows that personal value has twice as much impact as business value when buying.

One reason is that B2B buyers have much more at stake than B2C buyers – there are several decision-makers, and the business could suffer if the product fails. If the buyer is deeply convinced about the product, therefore, they are likelier to buy.

By assessing exactly how your customer feels about your product and using the emotional copy to tap into those feelings, you can create a much more reliable connection that will increase conversions.

7. Build a lead-generation offer that they cannot refuse

It is not just about providing your potential customers with good content. Your lead generation offer needs to be so compelling that they cannot resist clicking on it.

For example, your blog post needs to provide them with content so valuable that they are willing to hop on a call with you to discuss their requirements.

Similarly, if your lead magnet is an eBook, its landing page needs to hook them instantly so that your potential customers would be willing to download it.

Example: Drip, an eCommerce marketing automation tool, keeps it simple when it comes to its landing page copy, but gives a proper explanation regarding why one must download their resource.


Some content ideas include solving a common problem, offering a solution that matches the stage of the sales cycle your buyer is at and giving them downloadable assets. Be sure to test your content formats and write on topics with clear expertise and experience.

Summing it up

B2B lead generation can be very fruitful for your business, provided you approach it with consistency. Keep experimenting with different ideas. It all comes down to how well you know your target audience and how they interact with your business.

Of course, content is at the fulcrum of it all, so it is best to get an expert on board who can overlook all your copy-related requirements. Check out my B2B lead generation copywriting page to understand how I can help your business.

Until then, why don’t you tell me about any demand generation tactics you have previously applied for your business?


7 Awesome Branded April Fools’ Day Pranks

While marketers are expected to focus on genuineness and honesty in their campaigns all year round, April Fools’ Day allows them to dedicate an entire day to prank their target audience. The challenge is to come up with a campaign that is funny and believable without upsetting or offending customers. While some campaigns fail to hit the mark, others excel on every count.

Here are some of the most amusing April Fools’ Day pranks played by major brands:

1. Mark for H&M 

In 2016, clothing brand H&M announced a new line in collaboration with Mark Zuckerberg called #MarkForHM. The collection, featuring seven plain grey T-shirts and a pair of basic jeans, was inspired by Mark’s comment on how he didn’t want to have to think about what to wear in the morning.


The collaboration, a prank, was heavily covered by business magazines and regarded as one of the best April Fools’ jokes of the year.

Here’s why it worked: Mark Zuckerberg’s remark about how small decisions, like what to wear, take up mental time triggered a prank campaign that Forbes dubbed the “hottest collection for Silicon Valley bros.”

The website featured H&M’s typical design style and even a Lookbook page, showing Mark Zuckerberg accomplishing different things while wearing the same grey T-shirt and jeans.

2. Ixigo Glass

This was perhaps one of the most successful April Fools’ pranks played by an Indian company. Travel brand Ixigo announced the launch of its Ixigo Glass in 2017, a move into the burgeoning wearables space.

The ad featured glasses that would instantly tell the wearer which of the cabs they were seeing was the cheapest and what the prices were of air tickets in the airplanes flying overhead.

Here’s why it worked: The campaign successfully played into the Indian mindset of always wanting to get the best bargain for the money. It also mocked at the Google Glass launch a few years ago, which had not performed as well as expected.

3. Shuber X

This campaign was a 2014 collaboration between Uber and shoe brand Toms. The campaign advertised a new car, Shuber X, a foot-based transportation option for customers. In reality, it was a fake cardboard car powered by walking. Check out the video below:

Here’s why it worked: The campaign showcased to consumers that both Toms and Uber had a good sense of humor and could crack a joke about themselves. It also added a mention about the charitable work that Toms does, thus making it an ad that promoted a humanitarian message as well.

4. Honda’s HR-V Selfie Edition cars

Honda decided to cash on to the selfie mania among teenagers and young working professionals with its 2016 prank announcing the launch of Selfie Edition cars.

The ad featured a car that supposedly had ten selfie cameras to take selfies at best possible angles. The vehicle also included a website with glimpses at the joke car’s features. Watch this hilarious video from Hondo:

Here’s why it worked: The ad was not only funny but also they managed to sneak in some marketing by adding links to their actual HR-V cars on the joke website.

It also mentioned that the selfie cameras would only work when the car was parked, which smartly hinted that drivers ought not to take selfies while driving.

5. Morning Brew: Fynance Fest

The Morning Brew newsletter decided to poke fun at the failed Fyre Festival campaign with its 2019 prank that announced a fake Fynance Fest, a conference targeting elite millennial business leaders.

The newsletter promised a “VIP experience” to be held in August that year, with the top speakers and performers to be announced in May.


Here’s why it worked: The prank was a perfect spoof of the Fyre Festival campaign, which promised to be an elite musical experience in the Bahamas but failed miserably due to poor planning.

Morning Brew made it realistic by designing a convincing landing page. But they made it clear that it was a prank by promising customers on the sign-up page that their email addresses would not be shared with “Ja Rule” – a not-so-subtle reference to American rapper Ja Rule who was famously roped in to perform at Fyre Festival but declined.

6. The Daily Carnage: Monthly Invoice

Marketing agency Carney decided to prank its customer base in 2019 by sending them a fake email invoice for $49.99 for a subscription to their newsletter, The Daily Carnage, which has always been free.

Subtext at the bottom of the email revealed that it was a prank. But those who clicked on the link in the invoice were taken to a landing page that explained the joke and featured the iconic Rick-Roll.

Here’s why it worked: The prank was convincing because the invoice was designed to look highly realistic. However, the subtext in which the prank is disclosed was easy to miss because of the light font, which risked recipients believing the prank and unsubscribing to the newsletter. But then it was worth it.

7. Starbucks – New drink sizes

Starbucks is known for its self-aware approach to marketing, and its content has consistently managed to generate widespread interest and frenzied social media conversations. Misspelled name on a Starbucks cup, anyone?

The idea behind their 2010 April Fools’ prank was to poke fun at their cup names and oversized cups (Trenta), both of which have often come in for ridicule. Accordingly, their website announced the launch of two new sizes – the 2-ounce Micra and the 128-ounce Plenta, which means 

Starbucks even suggested many usage options for the Plenta, such as popcorn receptacle, perennial planter, rain hat, or lampshade. The Micra, on the other hand, could be used as a convenient milk dish for kittens, a paper clip holder, or a soft boiled egg cup.

Here’s why it worked: The idea claimed to be based on extensive consumer research from MyStarbucksIdea.com. It also included amusing alternative uses for the cup sizes, including an egg-holder for the Micra and a lampshade for the Plenta.

Bloggers compared the Plenta to a KFC family bucket, and the April Fool’s Day prank generated enormous popularity online.

Hang on

Before you bounce off my website, please do tell me about your favorite April Fool’s Day prank. It could be something you orchestrated yourself or a story you heard from or read somewhere else. Oh, and if you are looking for help in marketing your business on social media, get in touch with me.

The Ultimate Guide To Writing A Professional Bio

So, you sat down to write your online bio, pumped to finally reveal to the world your professional self and achievements, and nothing happens. All of the words and phrases you had been stockpiling for months in your head suddenly disappear.

Instead, you waste four precious hours, staring at a blank Word Doc before surrendering to the fact that crafting a bio perhaps, is not worth your time.

Finding an authentic way to describe your professional background and showcasing yourself as a credible, accomplished, and likable expert in the industry takes a lot of work.

However, what most people often forget is that a bio isn’t just about listing professional achievements. It is a conversation starter, a way of making a digital introduction. Also, your bio, no matter how articulate and insightful, doesn’t need to appeal to everyone.

In my first ECM article, I share four effective steps for writing a professional bio and everything else you should know around it. Check it out here.

Why Delivering Live-Chat Support to Customers Is a Must for Your Business

Customers of today are spoiled for choice. One unfortunate experience with a company, and they won’t take much time to switch to a competitor.

It doesn’t matter which industry your business is in or how fast it’s scaling up. If you don’t focus on customer service from the start, you will bleed revenue.

Here are a few statistics highlighting the importance of customer service:

— 73% of customers say excellent customer service influences their brand loyalties.

95% of customers discuss their bad experiences with others; and, as we know, word of mouth travels fast.

89% of businesses will compete majorly on customer experience in the future.

Social Media Channels Are Great, but Live Chat Stands Out

Customers who get their queries or complaints resolved from businesses via social media spend 20-40% more on those businesses. However, 62% of customers are more likely to repurchase from a company that offers live-chat support.

That’s right: 62%.

In the last couple of years, live-chat has emerged as a powerful platform for resolving customer issues. A 2010 Forrester study found that customers say having their questions answered by a live person on chat, in the middle of a purchase, is one of the most important features offered by any website. That remains unchanged even after a decade.

Let’s take a look at how delivering live-chat support to customers makes all the difference in my first article for MarketingProfs.

HAPPY NEW YEAR! (+ 5 Tasks On My To-Do List)

I hope that the holiday season went smoothly for you and that you had some wonderful, happy times with your loved ones. We spent New Year’s Eve peacefully at home, welcoming not just a new year but a new decade with immense gratitude.

2019 was a fantastic year for me. I signed up new clients, expanded my industry knowledge, grew my networking circle, and of course, kick-started a new venture that I am incredibly enthusiastic about!

As always, the time flew by, and now I’m back at work. I have decided to dedicate 2020 to working hard for a better life, a more fulfilling life. Today, I am happy, healthy, and entirely at peace. I have a fantastic partner, a close-knit family, and a career that I am incredibly proud of!

More importantly, I have a clearer vision for my future. There is so much I want to do in the coming days. I am 100% sure that this year is my very best year, and all that I wish for is going to come true. I can feel it! ☺️🌼

And with that thought, let me share five things I want to accomplish in 2020:

1. Get published in major global publications

Last year, I got the opportunity to write for several niche platforms like MarketingProfs, SmallBizDaily, e27.co, eLearning Industry, B2Community.com, Marketing & Growth Hacking, The Writing Cooperative, and many more!

This year, I want to take it up a notch. And I have already started working on a plan of action and story ideas for that. I can’t wait for my efforts to bear fruit. *fingers crossed*

2. Keep growing

I attended my first marketing event (ad:tech LDN) in 2019, and I had a blast! After attending over 14 workshops (phew!) on marketing technology, influencer marketing, online branding, and email marketing in two days, I realized there is so much to learn as a marketer.

The year 2020 goes to attending more such events, gaining knowledge, and meeting interesting people. Any recommendations? Besides, I plan to get several HubSpot and Google certifications before the year ends. Online learning is an essential aspect of my upskilling program.

3. Learn French

Ever since I watched Amélie, starring Audrey Tatou, I have had a desire to learn French. For now, I can only manage to say a handful of words such as Bonjour (Hello), Merci (Thank you), Pardon (Excuse me/Sorry), S’il Vous plait (Please), and Au revoir (Goodbye).

But I want to learn more! The sound of French is beautiful to listen to. The phrases flow so smoothly from one word to the next. But the pronunciation is very tough. This year, I’d like to learn the basics of the language. I have signed up on Babbel.com for my lessons.

4. Focus on physical well-being

I spent a considerable part of 2019 in working on my mental health and improving my sleeping pattern. This year is all about getting back in shape and eating healthy.

5. Practice gratitude on an everyday basis

I started practicing The Secret in 2018, and I can’t believe how quickly my life changed for the better – both personally and professionally. I love how we can visualize and manifest whatever we desire. How can I not be grateful every day of my life? Bring it on, 2020! 😊

So, how do you wish to spend the New Year, and what do you plan to achieve? Tell me all about them! Whatever your goals are, I wish you a happy, healthy and productive new year, and I hope that all your dreams come true.

Make Your Social Media Strategy Successful In 7 Ways This Year

You will hear many people often say: social media is a passing fad. Sure – the idea of taking a temporary break from social media platforms, commonly referred to as a “social media detox,” has become mighty popular. But social media is still paramount to business growth.

You see – every brand needs a custom social media strategy based on its current online standing, business goals, and resources available to them.

Therefore, to leverage social media in your favor, it is necessary to have core building blocks in place to ensure your business gets the most out of its online initiatives.

In my Women On Business article, I review seven ways to make your social media strategy successful in the New Year.

5 Ways To Give Back To Your Customers This Holiday Season

The festive cheer is upon us, and I am sure the majority of us are looking to spend quality time with loved ones and indulge in creamy eggnog and food! However, the festival is so much more than singing carols and decking the halls. It is also about “giving and receiving.”

As a small business owner, you know better than anyone else how valuable your customers are to your continued success. And irrespective of sector, Christmas is responsible for a substantial portion of your business’ total sales.

That’s why, take the opportunity to not only sell to your customers but also “give back” to them, this Christmas season. Here are five simple but effective ways to win your customers’ loyalty for the year to come:

1. Sponsor an event

A great way to connect with customers is to sponsor an event in your community, be it a local marathon or a children’s fete. That not only supports your community’s social life but also helps you boost your brand’s visibility.

You can also set up a stall at the event where customers can come and interact with you, learn about your product and get discount coupons or free samples. That is an excellent alternative to the usual business-oriented events, as customers get to see that you take a genuine interest in community life.

2. Collaborate with other small businesses

Another useful way to boost your business’ visibility is by collaborating with other small businesses to sponsor an event or campaign. This exposes your brand to their audience and their brand to yours.

The important thing here is to choose a brand whose products and services complement yours rather than competing with them. By doing this, you get a chance to tap into more diversified markets and understand the consumption patterns of your customers better.

3. Donate to a cause

Research from Cone Communications shows that 92% of customers want to buy from businesses that support a cause. Therefore, this holiday season, you can give back to the community by donating a percentage of your profits to an NGO or charitable cause that you genuinely believe in.

You can share the news about what you are doing by sending out an exclusive holiday email to your customers or talking about it on social media. Use the right tone in your writing so that you connect with your customers emotionally and show them that you truly believe in supporting the cause.

4. Host a contest

Nothing amps up the festive mood among your customers like a giveaway in which one or more of them stand to win prizes. Host a festive-themed concert that is open to both your online and offline customers and offer attractive gifts to the winners.

To boost participation, you can also offer small vouchers or samples to everyone who takes part. Create a buzz about the contest on social media, encourage your employees to send out regular content to promote the contest and announce the winners with fanfare.

You can also host a series of contests to increase the chances of winning and to keep up a sustained flow of participation.

5. Host a get-together

One of the best ways to encourage festive cheer among your employees and customers alike is to host a get-together for them. This allows your customers a behind-the-scenes look at how your business functions, thus allowing them to feel like insiders.

Create a buzz about the event in the weeks leading up to it by sending out invites and sharing “sneak peek” content about it on social media. Host the event at a venue that allows plenty of scope for mingling.

You can serve snacks and mocktails at the event, have live music playing and organize some fun contests for everyone to participate in. Be sure to have goodie bags ready for all your customers to take away at the end of the event so that they can have a memento of the pleasant evening you hosted for them.


The Christmas time signals “buy, buy, buy.” Therefore, while the internet and local shops are saturated with deals to attract customers aggressively, there’s no better time for your business to stand out and “give back” to the community. So, do it now!

Lastly, I hope you have a little relaxation and reflection time set aside this holiday season. Everyone entrepreneur deserves to take a pause and breathe. So do you. Happy holidays!

Implement These Holiday Content Strategies This Christmas

For consumers, Christmas is about giving and receiving gifts, singing carols, indulging in eggnog and festive goods, and simply enjoying the lights and the lovely weather. For businesses, however, Christmas means “business.”

As you read this, your prospective customers are searching for the best deals, gift guides or content centered around the holiday season. That means now is the best time for you to turn them into leads and sales.

In an article I wrote for B2Community, I discuss six holiday content strategies that your business can implement now:

1. Stock up on seasonal photos

Nothing adds a touch of festive cheer quite like a picture of a Christmas tree or snowmen. Be sure to stock up on plenty of holiday-themed images for your website and your social media posts. Implement colour themes centred around red and green and use your original photos wherever time and budget permit.

You could also hire a graphic designer to create some customized logos, fonts, banners and designs for you to use across your holiday content.

Tip: Shutterstock, Depositphotos, Canva, Unsplash and FreePik have an impressive photo library on the holiday season. Be sure to check them all out!


Read the complete article here.

35 Ways To Be Super Productive When You Work From Home

I love working from home. I follow office hours set by me. I don’t have to commute to work for two to three hours every day. I can complete more tasks because there are no random meetings or phone calls, breaking my concentration. I even take critical work with me when I go on vacation – although I highly advise against that.

To be able to work remotely is a blessing for somebody like me, who is an introvert and prefers having a productive routine day after day. And I couldn’t be more thankful for that. All I need is a reliable internet connection, and I am ready to start my day. However, remote work is not all rainbows and butterflies.

Some days, there are a million different things that vie for my attention – Twitter, kitchen cleaning, dirty laundry, family members or friends who I haven’t spoken in a while, unfinished travel itineraries (yeah, I love making plans), emailing prospective clients, boring editing work that I have been putting off since long and oh, did I mention Facebook?

The list is endless.

So, how do I manage to get all the work done productively and efficiently – 90% of the time? Find out:

1. I have a fixed working space. It is nothing fancy, but it does get me in the work mode pretty quickly and allows me to think peacefully. Writing and quietness go hand-in-hand.

2. I have set office hours – kind of. And I stick to those timings. My work schedule revolves around my best creative times.

3. I don’t start work before noon. And so I don’t pick up calls or respond to emails and Slack messages before that, and I don’t feel guilty about it. I prefer to give my mornings to managing the house and spending time with my family. What’s the point of working from home when you can’t do that?

4. I get dressed, wear something comfortable before I open my laptop. At times, I even apply a bright shade of lipstick.

5. I somehow work better when I know the house is cleaned. I also have a fixation with clean beds.

6. I always make sure the internet connection is recharged, so that it doesn’t give me any trouble when I am in the middle of meeting a deadline!

7. I take small breaks between work and utilize them for making tea, cooking dinner, or calling up a friend!

8. I am very organized and always have everything scheduled on my Trello. (Seriously, I love Trello.) That helps me reduce the time spent on meeting a deadline or following up with people.

9. I have a love-and-hate relationship with emails. I love writing emails, but I don’t respond to emails immediately. I shut down my Gmail when I am writing. Seriously, no one’s going to come and bite me if I don’t reply promptly.

10. I sleep well. I think that’s one of the reasons why I can do many things simultaneously. I am a ball of energy most of the time. Of course, there are days when I want to have chocolate cake and watch The Mindy Project. I do that guilt-free, and it feels great!

11. I share every big or small victory of mine with my family. I love their reactions, and that’s such a mood-booster for me! I also reward myself by doing a bit of online shopping. 😉 That gives me another reason to work harder.

12. Ad-hoc tasks are workflow bugs. It took me a while, but I have learned to say “no” – not to the job but to meeting tight deadlines. If a client is okay with a delivery date that suits both of us, I am more than happy to accommodate that work.

13. I set daily, weekly, and monthly goals for myself. The exercise gives me an idea about my workload and helps me focus better.

14. I have started delegating some of my non-writing work to other people so that I have more space for creative thinking or writing. When you have help, take it.

15. I designate specific days for certain kinds of work, and I work in batches. It helps me to work more efficiently.

16. I always know what tasks I am to pick up first. Time saved, right?

17. I never have twenty windows opened when I am researching an article. I don’t have random bookmarks or lengthy reading lists. I know some people who have some hundred tabs opened on their desktop. That’s not me. I am all about reducing web clutter.

18. I maximize my browser window when I am writing. That helps not to bother too much about finishing an article within a specific timeframe. What’s funny is I end up writing faster!

19. I hardly browse through Instagram over weekdays. I think it is a waste of time. Seriously, stay away from it. I am not scared to miss out on things. #JOMO

20. I make use of many social media management tools like Buffer and AgoraPulse to schedule posts for my clients. When I am done, I am done. I don’t need to look into it unless required.

21. I have a few friends from the same industry, and we get on monthly calls to discuss our goals, challenges, and victories. That helps us in putting things in perspective and approaching our work with more focus. I think everybody should try this out.

22. I allow specific timelines for taking on personal tasks during a workday. If I miss that window, I miss it.

23. I plan crucial deadlines a couple of days in advance of actual client deadlines. So when I sit to work on those tasks, I am less stressed.

24. I pick up the most complicated article first to write every day. If I can finish that on time, I can sail through the entire day.

25. But sometimes, I finish simpler tasks to build a flow. Whenever I do that, I am charged to take on the difficult articles head-on.

26. I am a unitasker. I take one thing at a time. People, who say with pride they are multitaskers, are stupid. No, I am not the one who calls them stupid. This study does.

27. I say NO to having a phone call with people I know are only going to waste my time and suck my energy. Jeez! If it’s that important, write me an email. 😉

28. Like every other writer, even I suffer from Writer’s Block from time to time. But the worst part is I can’t afford to stop working for even a day since I am still building my business. So whenever that happens, I usually watch something on YouTube, put on an OST I love or eat good food to put myself in a sunny spot and enter the work mode. Food. Always. Helps.

29. Sometimes I put on ambient music to pay more attention while I am my writing or researching.

30. All the essential work apps that I use are synced with my phone. That helps me look up and update on critical projects when I am not in front of my laptop.

31. I have started taking trainings, attending events, reading case studies – anything that helps me grow as a professional. It is a relatively recent development, but I have realized that by doing such things, I feel empowered to do more and better.

32. I don’t take the weekends off, which is horrible. But I feel if I work on a Sunday, the start of my week is less crazy. Even if I sit to work for an hour or two, it helps!

33. When work is getting too hectic, I take a break – head to a weekend getaway, meet family in another city or unwind at home with a bottle of wine.

34. Sometimes, I only make notes on paper when I am too tired. I don’t use my laptop to write. That triggers a different kind of creative thinking.

35. Over time I have realized that comparing myself with others has never done anything good. It made me more self-conscious about my career choices and reduced my inclination towards doing the job that was in my hands. These days, my mantra is to focus on my journey solely. Trust me – I am already doing a better job. 🙂

Find what works for you.

I am sure a few of you won’t agree with how I work. But guess what? It works for me, and that’s good enough. The key to being super productive when working from home is to find something that works for you. It may take you some time to find the most efficient way to do that, but it will happen.

I am continually optimizing my schedule, and the results are better each time. So, how do you work from home?

Rising Tide published the article here; although it is slightly different. What do you think? 🙂

Dealing With Negative Employees? Here’s What To Do.

A typical work environment doesn’t always bring out the best in people. An angry boss, spiteful colleagues, stubborn subordinates—these characters create the everyday drama at work. The thought of it is pretty exhausting but it’s a reality for most people, especially managers.

Destructive employee behavior, intentional or otherwise, can leave anyone reeling or demotivated. That person may criticize you or your work, disrespect you, or simply disrupt the overall workplace.

In such cases, how can you avoid feeling completely deterred? What’s the best way to deal with such a negative person? Take notes from the following:

1. Listening is the Key

Sometimes, you’ll get so irritated with that negative employee that you won’t be able to focus on the real problem, so try lending an ear to that person. The best way to get to the core of the issue is to have a sit-down discussion with the employee about what the problem is. Talking may not always solve the problem, but it would can set things into better perspective and throw light on the way to move forward.

Head to Women On Business to learn three more ways.