Category: How to guides

How early stage startups can survive winter

All of this talk of high burn rates and tens of millions of dollars being spent at loss-making startups sounds more like the rumbling of a far off war than something early stage European startups should worry about. And yet European startups will soon have to worry about the arrival of winter. CB Insights, sounding skittish introducing its quarterly VC funding report (Q3 2014), said: “Let’s ease up on the bubble talk shall we?” Their report shows two stark signs winter really is coming: in the first nine months of 2014 there has been $33.75 billion in VC funding (59% ... Read more

How to manage a to-do list for your business

Knowing how to keep yourself concentrated and accomplish everything that you planned is not rocket science. All it involves is the art of making a to-do list. Bloomberg Businessweek says, “Hours are wasted transferring information, second guessing what to do next and worrying about what might be forgotten”. With an array of dispersed sticky notes and notepads, it is hard to keep track of tasks. Alongside all this, the constant barrage of emails and keeping numerous planners and calendars further complicate your task. Related: 4 ways to increase productivity at work Due to all these reasons, you need to have ... Read more

How to accelerate recovery time for busy entrepreneurs

Do you know the difference between how you pay attention to your downtime and how successful people do? “Over the last decade, I’ve coached and trained 20,000+ people in 12 countries, and all top CEOs and entrepreneurs have their tricks to maintain consistently high performance. Related: Definition of an Entrepreneur Many of my clients have started their own companies… but only a few are still entrepreneurs. Of the few entrepreneurs left, a handful is very successful. Most entrepreneurs quit for the same reason: they burn out. They burn out financially, emotionally, physically or intellectually. Entrepreneurship is a very intense experience ... Read more

How to work with trade associations

I am a big fan of Google Plus – I will blog about it at some point, but this post started with a question in a startup group I saw a while ago. The entrepreneur in question asked, “does anyone have any experience working with a particular trade association, and if so would they recommended it to this start-up to join or not?” Being a caring and sharing social citizen, I replied to the post and called the poster with the following: “Good question and as per usual, it depends on your company, it depends on the price, it depends on what’s on ... Read more

How to become a champion

If you want to be a Champion, you should know that you can’t walk alone. Learn from champions like David Brooks, Mark Brown, and Darren LaCroix who have each won a World Championship of Public Speaking. What do these World Champions have in common? They all owe their successes to the mentors who coached them. “Without seeking help from any teachers, I found myself a finalist in the 1994 World Championships. That August, I gave all I had to give. When the contest was finally over, I had not won a trophy. I was disappointed. But my seven-year-old son, Joel, was devastated. ‘Son, it’s ... Read more

How to pitch an article – comment articles and op-eds

When you pitch a comment article, it helps if it links with an ongoing news story. True, some comment articles can put topics on the news agenda, rather than follow them. But that occurs less frequently. You will need to a find an appropriate “slot” in the publication, where experts who are not on the publication’s payroll contribute. There is no point in pitching an article to The Economist. They do not have guest columnists. But The Times has a daily column, often written by an outsider, called Thunderer. Related: Public relations firms in the UK A quick note about ... Read more

How to find a mentor

If you want to find a mentor, you want to know how many you have to contact before you find the right one. In this post, you will read about how one of my mentors gave me my first executive coaching client at 21, and you will find a series of questions and actions to take in the real world. Take the time to write down the answers (paper, Evernote, etc.) and do the tasks you are given because both will take you a step closer to finding the mentors you are looking for. When I went to Poland to ... Read more

How to tweet and hashtag your way to social media success

“Hashtags are old fashioned”. You may have read such a sentence in an article online, or heard it during a conversation with a fellow social media manager. Maybe you have even discussed hashtags with a non-marketing friend who, tired of seeing them everywhere (even on television) decided that they were no longer “trendy” but uncool and outdated. And yet, last summer, Facebook decided to implement a “hashtag” functionality- a move that many criticised and whose success is still quite relative, but which seems to highlight a trend: hashtags are not dead yet! Related: Amazing images for your blog, websites or ... Read more

How to get social without compromising your brand

You’ve placed your brand at the heart of your business. It informs customers of your values and what your services promise. It’s right at the centre of your marketing materials and tone of voice. But is it on your mind when you Tweet? If it’s not, it should be! Social media is the ideal platform from which you can continually play out and reinforce your brand, but get it wrong, and you put your customers’ faith on the line. In short, your social media campaigns need to engage your customers, but not at the expense of your brand, something to be ... Read more

A beginner’s guide to content testing – multivariate & A/B testing

The internet has provided huge opportunities for businesses by lowering the barriers to entry and allowing companies to market their products and services to a wider audience. This has also resulted in increased competition. As a result, businesses are constantly looking for ways to improve the performance of their websites to achieve greater success. As site owners attempt to increase website traffic and improve conversion rates, content testing has become a popular tactic and one that has proved to be very successful. Related: Creating a great website What is content testing? Content testing is a way to optimise the performance ... Read more

How to deal with a social media crisis & scale to meet demand

The importance of dealing with a crisis People who are in the know will tell you that dealing with a social media crisis is not a matter of if but when. Any organisation can find themselves tripped up either through their own design or others’. On some days, that might not be noticed. On another day the conditions are such that the issue goes viral. Welcome to the world of “faster than real-time” crisis management. Given the inevitability of this happening and the fact it cannot be anticipated, extensive planning and rehearsal are needed. Dealing with the consequences If you ... Read more

How to recruit, train and manage social customer service teams

This topic can draw fierce debate and sometimes becomes a proxy fight between “old” and “new” ways. Some argue it is just a matter of finding people who are strong text based communicators. While others argue the whole nine yards around needing a “bean bag” culture and people that “get” social. It is, therefore, important to have developed your own carefully considered point of view based on understanding these different perspectives and underlying issues. Related: Hiring your first employee Consequences Assuming you chose to see some degree of difference between the cultures of mainstream and Social Customer Service, it follows ... Read more