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How to Get Digital Marketing Clients in Nigeria

It is hardly a surprise that the art of creating and maintaining a successful business is no child’s play. Running a business especially in a not so good economy can be a daunting task such that a good number of individuals do not dare to take the risk of leaving their current job and creating their own businesses.

Truly, the main purpose of any “business” is to make profits. However, profit is not achievable when the business lacks significant patronage. Therefore, it is safe to say that the main goal of any business is to have a good number of loyal customers. In other words, businesses are paid and financed by clients/customers.

The acquisition and perpetual increase of client base require a lot of work, without which the business may not see the light of the day. Every business that wants to thrive in its industry has to be intentional about getting as many clients as possible.

Getting clients may not be easy, as a matter of fact, there will be more turndowns than good deals. Nevertheless, doing nothing is the same as lighting up the business literally. Perhaps you are starting out as a digital marketing freelancer and you need to get yourself clients that need your skills or you are already in business but wouldn’t mind getting more deals for your digital marketing business, you are reading the right article.

You will get to understand how to narrow your focus to ensure you are not spreading yourself too thin and eventually end up not achieving commendable goals. Also, you will learn about different ways you can reach out to prospects and turn them to customers.

As a digital marking agency, it is important that you are clear on what kind of digital agency you are. Some of the factors that determine the nature of an ad agency are:

  • Your target client
  • Your services
  • Your media

Your target client

A digital marketing agency that is purposeful about its growth will identify its clients. This ranges from fortune 500 companies, small businesses, B2B companies or B2C companies to a specific industry or random firms of the same strength. doing this will surely go a long way to determine the strategies you employ to market your service(s) to your clients.

Having figured out your target client, you should be able to build a list of specific businesses or individuals that you can sell your service to. The different ways to reach out to them and market your service will be discussed later in this article.

Your services

This is equally important. Digital marketing is a broad industry that houses many elements and niches, cutting a niche for your business will also help you to be laser-focused on your target customers.

As a digital agency, the services you could render include digital strategy, media buying, social media management, PR, planning and executing campaigns, content marketing, SEO and lots more.

Being able to figure out the services you render will also help you sell the solution you provide better when you pitch to clients.

Your media

This pertains to the platforms which you leverage to help your clients grow their businesses. Without this, you will find it difficult to explain how you want to help your clients. Well, you may manage to explain yourself but not in a way that vibes confidence and your prospect will not be convinced.

This is one of the reasons for many No than Yes. As a digital marketer, your medium should include social, SERPs, display, mobile and more.

Now that you have been able to figure out what your business has to offer as well as to whom it intends to offer the services, you should now have a better understanding of how you can explain your offer to your prospects. This is because majorly, they care about what they will benefit by integrating digital strategies to their marketing efforts.

How to get digital marketing clients in Nigeria

1. Create a website

how to get digital marketing clients in nigeria

This goes without saying, what is a digital marketer without an online presence? How then are you supposed to convince your prospects that you can get them influential presence online?

A website may not directly go to events and talk about your business to people but it surely is a way to certify your authenticity.

Make sure every prospect that lands on your website want to schedule a meeting with you in order to discuss how you can do what is on your website for them. This might be a big deal for a freelancer.

However, owning and actively managing a website has never been cost-ineffective. In the meantime, you could work on promoting your presence on social media platforms.

2. Social media Ads

Although, self-explanatory, however, this goes beyond running ads on social media platforms, targeting your audience. This also involves using AdWords and retargeting.

The main objective here is to make your brand known to people who find it relevant and are interested.

A prudent way to go about this is optimizing your content to ensure any relevant prospect that sees it will want to know more about the offer. Got the gist?

3. Local events

If you are intentional about growing your client base, you will factor networking in your strategy. Your website and other pages you own on the website will surely do their work non-stop. However, meeting face-to-face with prospects at events will also add to your lead generation effort.

You never can tell, the people you meet may not currently need your service but may have people who do.

Recommendations and words of mouth go a long way in supporting marketing efforts. So, make research on local events that gathers your target audience under a roof and you can offer to give a short speech that would be beneficial to the audience or you could take the one on one route.

4. Create an effective inbound strategy

In this age, clients and customers alike are really not interested in the flashy features of your product or service, people are more interested in relevant, timely and valuable information. Either about your product or your industry.

Inbound strategy is basically about delivering solutions and opportunities that have a positive impact on people and your business.

One of the many ways you can do this is blogging. Through blogging, you will be able to highlight your targeted audience’s pain points and provide solutions based on your expertise, thereby, making you a thought leader in your industry and of course creating a natural likeness and sustainable loyalty among your target audience such that when they need your service, you will be top of mind.

Another way is Guest blogging. A fact you need to come in terms with is that no matter the traffic you have on your site, there will always be more of them on other blogs in the same industry as yours. A way to reach out to your target audience on other websites in your industry is guest blogging.

This way, you will be able to build quality backlinks to your website and also reach prospects who wouldn’t know about your business otherwise.

5. Delight your existing customers

Although part of inbound marketing, it is as well worth treating separately. Regardless of your effort of bringing in new clients, if you are not really adding value to their lives and businesses, they all will eventually leave.

According to studies, it is more expensive to acquire a new client than to retain an existing one. In this case, delighting your customers will not just get them retained but will also make them your business evangelists. Different ways you can leverage delighted clients are:

  • Get them to recommend
  • Share their testimonies

Get them to recommend

This will be a natural occurrence, maybe not to businesses in the same industry as theirs but you are bound to get recommended when your existing clients are delighted. You can also officially request that they refer their friends who may need your service if they don’t naturally do that.

Share their testimonies

This is an important and effective aspect of having happy clients, research has it that about 70 % of conversion are results of online reviews. This shows how important clients’ reviews can be in converting leads to clients.

You should also leverage your delighted customers’ testimonies by sharing on your website and across your social media pages. naturally, people believe what they hear about a business from a third party.

Conclusion

As no business can survive without the active support of its client base. The ability to acquire and retain clients, therefore, is required for any business to be successful. Highlighted above are 5 effective ways to generate leads and convert them to loyal clients. A quick recap of the points we touched.

  • Create a website
  • Social media Ads
  • Local events
  • Create an effective inbound strategy
  • Delight your existing customers

To maintain a continual influx of clients to fuel your business growth, you should integrate these tips into your marketing strategy. We trust you find this helpful. For further questions or opinions, kindly drop in the comment section.

What is Digital Marketing | SEO | PPC | Email marketing

Digital marketing…

Simply put, it is the art of creating awareness, garnering engagement and increasing patronage for a product or service, using any form of technology. That’s it.

The idea is to create awareness and market your product or service to your prospect, lead, and customer in the right manner, at the right time and through the right channel. Hence meeting your audience where they hang out.

The benefits inherent in digital marketing are so pivotal that no business in this age and time would want to pass on such opportunity. This is because, it is the only effective way that businesses and organizations – regardless of the industry – can market to today’s audience/customer. Here’s proof of that.

According to studies, an average person keeps his mobile device at arm’s length for 22 hours a day. There is absolutely no human activity that is void of the presence of digital, no matter how minimal.

Think about it…

  • As captivating as football matches, people now tweet their thoughts in real-time just as they watch a live football match.
  • People in relationships now have to plan to do away with their gadgets just so they have quality human time.
  • Most people now prefer to use the E-version of their religious book at the place of worship
  • People now travel for hours almost saying nothing with the person sitting beside them in the vehicle but they are engrossed, scrolling their page on social media platforms or chatting with a friend online.
  • People can hardly watch an episode of a drama before checking if they have a new message on WhatsApp or Facebook messenger.

That is the reality of this age. As a business, trying to get the attention of your customers on your own terms would mean swimming against the tide, your best bet is to meet them where they spend their time – Digital/online advertisement.

“What is worth doing is worth doing well

If you will integrate digital strategies into your marketing effort, it is pertinent that you do it right and to do that, you need to grasp how all the elements of digital marketing work together to provide optimal results in any digital campaign.

In this article, we will be touching 6 elements of digital marketing that will significantly transform the level of growth of your business.

The core elements of digital marketing are:

  • SEM – increasing your business visibility on search engine result pages through unpaid (SEO) and paid (PPC) means.
    • SEO – search engine optimization: optimizing your website/content to rank on the first page so that people find you when they come searching for what you sell or do.
    • PPC – pay per click: Paying for your business to be shown to people when they come searching for what you sell or do
  • Email marketing: Fostering a mutually beneficial relationship with your customers by sharing valuable contents via email
  • Social media marketing: Simply building an online community for your business
  • Content marketing: sharing contents that help solve customers’ problems, making you top of mind

Truth be told, digital marketing in its entirety can be overwhelming; a fact every beginner can relate to.

Perhaps you’ve studied the elements of digital marketing in the past but it all seems scattered and you don’t know how to bring it all together to grow your business.

Congratulations! you are reading just the right article. After this read, you will have a clear understanding of how all elements can work together to make your business a success.

Question! Do you have a website? If yes, awesome! If no, you might want to pay more attention here. A website is a must for any business that wants to go digital… scratch that. It is a must for every business that wants to reach its customers.

We discussed earlier on how customers are now online all the time. Additionally, in digital marketing, location is not a barrier. The reach it provides is just limitless. Now back to the issues at hand.

Think of a website as owning a piece of the internet; your online office where visitors can learn more about your business and also knowing how you can help them solve their problems. Without the presence of a website, your digital efforts across all platforms will not provide reasonable results.

In this digital age, when a business doesn’t have a website, it automatically translates to being unintentional about business success. A website serves as a front desk officer, marketer, sales officer and customer service agent at the same time. Additionally, it works 24/7 and for 365 days.

This means your customers can have access to you any time of the day in the comfort of their homes. You need to own a website that works tirelessly to grow your business in your absence. You can enroll for training to learn how to build your website on your own or outsource it to web design and development experts.

That being said, the goal is not to have a website because other businesses are doing the same. You want to be seen when people go online to look around for what you sell or what service you provide. This is where SEO comes in.

1. SEO

what is digital marketing-SEO-PPC-Email marketing-social media marketing-content marketing

Search engine optimization – according to Wikipedia – is the process of increasing the quality and quantity of website traffic by increasing the visibility of a website or webpage in a search engine’s unpaid result. Now let’s break that down a bit.

It entails the processes you indulge in order to appear on the first page of search engines when people come searching for what you offer.

According to studies, 90% of internet users don’t go past the first page of search engines, which brings about the joke – “the best place to hide a dead body is the second page of google.” This is reasonable since most people would rather rephrase their search query than go beyond the first page of google.

This is why every business and site owner put so much effort into ranking on the first page of google which consequentially increases the traffic of prospects that visit their websites. Mind you, the main goal is not just to drive crazy traffic to your site, but to get relevant prospects that will eventually convert and become a customer. Now how do you do that?

The first thing you need to understand is that although the concept says “search engine optimization” which directly translates to obeying the rules of SERPs, you need to also consider the searchers. This is because Google’s mission is to provide the best answer available to searchers when they use their search engine.

To do this, they have artificial intelligence Googlebot that crawls websites to discover contents that are likely to provide the best answer to the searcher. So, as regards optimizing your website for search engines, the things you need to checklist include:

  • Site architecture

Site architecture simply means the grand layout of your website. How pages link to one another and how easy is transitioning from page-to-page. The rule of thumb is, it shouldn’t take more than three (3) clicks to get to a page from another.

When your website has a good site architecture, it will be easy for Googlebot to crawl and report based on how neatly the pages are linked. This also gives search engines a better understanding of your website.

You can simply consult web design professionals or create a sitemap by installing Google XML Sitemap on WordPress.

  • Content’s quantity

In the quest to supply the best answer possible, Google believes that the lengthy the content, the more detailed and useful it is. However, this doesn’t give the liberty to duplicate contents or force the length. Depending on the niche, the average length of a post that will be on the first page of Google is between 1500 – 2000 words.

No matter what you do, ensure you balance quality with quantity. A quantity but irrelevant article will eventually be penalized by Google which may be a bit difficult to rank again. For a long-lasting first page position and influx of traffic, maintain quality at all cost.

  • Mobile responsiveness

Know this, most of your customers (prospective & existing) access the internet with their mobile phones. When they visit a site and it’s not mobile-friendly, they return to the search page and click on a competitor’s website.

That’s just the reality of mobile against desktop. Most people use desktop only when they want to accomplish a work-related task and that is usually not a time to surf the internet for personal reasons. Among the different things that lead to an increase in bounce rate on a website, website responsiveness is one thing you don’t want to overlook. You can check your website’s mobile responsiveness using this Google tool.

  • Optimized images

The benefits of adding images to your content are too much to pass, it’s simply a legal cheat for effective SEO practice. One of the ways it helps your SEO game is that it helps Googlebot to have a better understanding of what your article contains.

However, when not optimized, it can be a disadvantage by leading to slow-loading pages and storage consumption. The things you should consider when using images include:

  • File size

When the file is too big, it might lead to slow loading which can increase your website’s bounce rate. It also takes up your storage and can as well tell on users’ data. You can use JPEGmini or Compressor to reduce file size while maintaining the quality.

  • Correlation with content

It goes without saying that you should use images that resonate with what your content is saying. You want to use an image that will provide more explanation of what you are talking about or at the least, provide the visual idea of the content rather an image that will leave users confused. Also, avoid low quality and offensive images.

  • File name and Alt text

To help the search engine understand the content of the picture, it is pertinent that you put a description that does justice to the content of the image. This will also help your images rank on image inclined search engines.

Read the ultimate guide to image optimization on WordPress

  • Title and meta descriptions

As the name implies, title tag – also known as H1 – is simply the title of your content, it tells both the search engine and the users what is to expect in the content. H1 and its subsequent (H2,H3,H4…) also improve users’ readability which is a credit to users’ experience as well as a boost to SEO practice.

The meta description is a 160-character text shown on SERPs. Its purpose is to provide a summary, creating problem awareness and what users will benefit from consuming the content within. While writing your meta description, ensure it doesn’t exceed the given space.

  • Relevant keyword

There is no way around SEO without adept knowledge of keyword. A keyword is more like a street name with many houses owning numbers accordingly, just that in the case of SEO, there is a possibility of change of house number, depending on how valuable the house is.

Before starting anything about your SEO strategy, it is pertinent you do keyword research. After which you pick the ones you want to rank for, based on difficulty, competition, and intent.

After selecting your keywords, you can quickly check for articles that rank on the first page, check what they are doing and do much better than them. Stuffing your content with keyword is not a way to go, simply add it in your URL, title tag and meta description.

To optimize for searchers, you have to look into:

  • Speed

In this age where people have millions of information at their fingertips, there is no patience anymore to wait for a website that takes forever to load – this leads to an increase in bounce rate. While some people will leave immediately to come back later when they have more time.

Well, they just may forget completely. This is a problem retargeting helps solves anyway. Nevertheless, you should find out and avoid things that can make page loading slow like an unoptimized image and others.

  • Secured connection

This happens to be the easiest thing you can do to boost SEO ranking. Regardless of the quality or relevance of your content, without SSL certificate, the bounce rate on your website will know no bound. This is because people tend to leave immediately, they notice they’re browsing an unsecured website.

It’s more like they’re deliberately exposing themselves to cyber-attack and no article or information is worth that. The smartest thing you can do in your SEO game is to get your site secured. It automatically builds trust with users.

  • Users experience

This covers how well users are able to interact with your website, you want to provide users with a “wow” experience each time they interact with your website. It involves speed, mobile responsiveness and site architecture. When users find it easy to navigate your website, they definitely will stay longer and consume more content. You may even get shares and comments.

  • Quality/valuable content

For you to be recognized by Google, you have to present yourself as loyal to their mission which is to provide searchers with the best answers. By sharing valuable and helpful content consistently, you will get returning users, reduced bounce rate, bookmarks, shares, and more.

When people find your content helpful, they are bound to come back again or go forward to share their information with you. When Google notices that people like visiting your site, you automatically get pushed up.

2. PPC

Pay per click is another advertising method on the heels of search engine marketing. Just like SEO, PPC is done to increase the visibility of your business when prospects or searchers come searching, using words related to your business.

The main factor that differentiates PPC from SEO is that PPC – like the first letter in the acronym implies – involves paying to get on the first page of SERPs when searchers search for your selected keywords.

There have always been lots of discussions as to which of the two methods is better or more profitable. Well, there is no straight answer to that. That is because each method has its advantages and disadvantages.

SEO is completely free. Also, it ensures perpetual traffic and is suitable for a long-term goal. However, it takes a while before applaudable results are achieved.

PPC, on the other hand, is suitable for businesses that need instant results like a school running a campaign between two school sessions or a gift shop running a campaign during festive seasons.

Also, the traffic generated from a campaign boosts SEO’s organic ranking. However, it requires investments in terms of money. Nevertheless, it promises high returns on investment.

Word stream did a good job on the basics of PPC marketing.

3. Email marketing

Email marketing is simply the process of sending timely electronic mails to subscribers. By subscribers, we mean people have deliberately given their contact information. In this digital age, people won’t ordinarily give their information except they trust the recipient and are actually interested in what he’s offering.

What this means is when you send out an email campaign, you are reaching people who have shown interest in your business and have developed an affinity such that they shared their information with you. Hardly a surprise that email marketing – second to search marketing – has the highest ROI.

However, the success rate of email marketing campaigns strongly depends on how well it is run. Thankfully, email marketing tools such as MailChimp provides insight on subscribers which allows for an informed decision that leads to the increased success rate in subsequent campaigns.

Businesses now leverage this medium to do a lot of things seamlessly, ranging from awareness, sales, retargeting, notifications, customer services, and relationship management. Different factors that are responsible for email marketing success include:

  • Strategic timing

Depending on your target audience, you might want to study and know the best time to send an email to your subscribers. For example, an audience of the working-class may not have the time to open emails that are not work-related during working hours. While some would plan to check later, other activities could make them forget easily. Weekends or after work hours work fine with such category of people

  • Subject line

47% of email subscribers decide to open an email just because of the subject line. It is, therefore, safe to say an email campaign with a weak subject line may not do well. It is pertinent that you optimize your subject line for maximum open rate.

  • Valuable content

A business that is purposeful would not send an email to prank its subscribers, that would be an Ad suicide. Ensure that the content of your email campaign is valuable. Entertaining and informative content will make your business top of mind, thereby guaranteeing the success of subsequent campaigns.

  • Audience list segmentation

It is important your email campaign is as personalized as possible. Creating different lists according to audience or acquisition time is important as you wouldn’t want to send a welcome email twice to the same subscriber. Segregating audiences according to interests and pain points will also increase the email campaign success rate.

4. Social media marketing

Social media marketing is the use of social media platforms to promote a business that includes the management of a marketing campaign, setting of scope and the establishment of a business’s social media culture and tone. Simply put, it is any marketing activity that happens on social media platforms.

Meeting your customers where they hang out is one of the benefits of digital marketing. Studies show that 24 million Nigerians are active social media users. This provides a wider market for businesses to reach their prospects and customers. The positive effects of social media marketing on business growth cannot be overemphasized. Among others, the beneficial reasons why your business should be on social media include:

  • Brand awareness

The perfect digital marketing element to create brand awareness is social media. With 2.2 billion users worldwide, Facebook remains the social media platform with the widest reach. 3.5 billion people are active social media users globally. With these established facts, you will agree that no other medium is better for brand awareness.

  • Insights on competitors

Social media provides a platform where strategies and activities are openly shared. You can leverage this opportunity to analyze your competitors, learn what they are doing which you can improve on in order to stand out. Mind you, this shouldn’t turn you into a copycat. The idea is to give you insights on what works and what doesn’t. after your analysis, you will be able to make decisions from an informed position.

  • Mutual beneficial relationship with customers

Social media platforms allow for things like comment, share, and like. These engagement variants help customers or prospects to share their views or opinion as to your content or business generally.

This also allows for a mutually beneficial relationship as customers are no longer talked to but interacted with. This makes prospects and customers feel on board with the service or product being provided to them.

  • Increased affinity and patronage

With the constant share of valuable contents which your followers can relate to and also find useful, they’ll develop a natural likeness for your business, perceiving you as an expert and a thought leader in the industry, thereby making you top of mind when they need a solution to the kind of problem your business solves.

In order to win your social media strategy and be successful in your campaigns, you should ensure these principles are factored in your strategy.

  • Target audience

Social media, second to none, provides the widest audience reach – true. However, you can’t possibly make the whole of the internet your audience, that is not feasible. You have to create your target audience, the exact kind of people whose problems you want to solve.

This will also help you with how you design your content. With a target audience, you will be able to focus on personalizing for relevance and your followers will be able to relate to your content.

  • Relevant platform

Every social media platform is awesome. However, you should understand that the platform you will use is determined by your kind of target audience. There is no point

  • Valuable content

In order to be seen as an expert in your industry, you need to share problem-solving content with your audience. Also, find a way to balance business promotion with entertainment and informative content. This way, your followers won’t feel as though they are just numbers you are trying to market to.

  • Consistency

As regards the number of times you post per day or weekly, there is a need for you to understand when is best to share content with your audience. With the help of insight tools that come with each social media platform, such information will be available after a few tests.

5. Content marketing

Content marketing as defined by Wikipedia is a form of marketing focused on creating, publishing, and distributing content for a targeted audience online. Better explained, content marketing is one important arm that is present in other arms of digital marketing which entails the creation and shares of timely, valuable, relevant and consistent content for the purpose of creating awareness, attracting, converting and retaining a clearly defined targeted audience.

With valuable information more accessible than ever, people now determine the way businesses interact with them. Rather than making efforts to sell your products to customers, you will do well if you appear as an expert who shares tips and helps them solve the problems they are facing.

Sharing valuable content related to your industry will make your target audience perceive you as a thought leader and develop a natural likeness for your brand such that they automatically believe that you deliver the best quality in the market or just complete loyalty for your brand for the solutions you provide through your content marketing. Check out Neil Patel’s step by step guide on content marketing

Ultimately, content marketing attracts prospects and transform prospects into perpetual customers by creating and sharing free valuable content which helps the company to create sustainable brand loyalty by creating relevant and helpful information to customers. Thereby, creating a willingness to patronize the business in the future.  This strategy avoids direct sales but thrives on building trust and rapport with the targeted audience.

Conclusion

There you have it. An overview of digital marketing and its elements. By now, you should have knowledge of the elements that are relevant for your business and how you can capitalize on each of the elements to grow your business.

For a more practical approach to digital marketing strategies that work you should enroll for intensive digital marketing training. A quick recap of the elements discussed.

  • SEO
  • PPC
  • Email marketing
  • Social media marketing
  • Content marketing

You can integrate these strategies simultaneously or choose to first tackle the ones that are proven to work in your industry. Feel free to drop your questions and opinions in the comment section.

9 Solid Reasons Digital Marketing is a Must for your Business Growth

Business owners – regardless of the industry, whether service or product – are driven by two major factors which are: the quest to provide the ultimate solution to a clearly defined problem and secondly to make reasonable returns in the process to ensure the continuity and expansion of the business.

To accomplish these two things, organizations need to create awareness and affinity and also attempt to drive significant engagement and patronage for their business. This is because a business without a continuous flow of patronage/customers is as good as dead.

Most organizations, in order to grow their businesses to a renowned and successful enterprise of their dream, they invest in the usual means of advertising – traditional advertising. They can choose to run a market activation campaign or buy airtime in local media stations.

This type of advertising often brings home some engagement and returns. Nevertheless, it is often too expensive for startups and may not drive significant returns that commensurate with the investment.

However, with the advent of digital advertising, businesses – irrespective of their size or industry – are provided with great benefits that are bound to transform any business that capitalizes on them.

This article seeks to establish the benefits of digital marketing for your business growth.

9 Reasons Digital Marketing is a must for your Business growth  

1. Meeting your customers on their own terms

The fast-paced advancement in technology has made information accessible, more than ever. People now sit in the comfort of their homes to do almost anything and know as much as they desire as long as they have access to the internet.

Based on this fact, people prefer to learn information comfortably, a business that refuses to capitalize on the opportunities provided by the internet by making its information available to people whenever they go searching for it will not have a voice in its industry.

Even after learning about your product from a friend or colleague, they would still make personal research on your business to confirm what they’ve learned. It would be an advertising suicide if they search online about your business and they are unable to find helpful contents that will satisfy their curiosity.

2. Cost-effectiveness/ROI

As a business owner who is intentional about business growth, you would ensure that every dime is accounted for. Digital marketing with the help of analytics provides relevant information on your marketing efforts; the ones that worked and the ones that did not work.

With this insight, you can make an informed decision to capitalize on the efforts that bring higher returns and optimize the other one to generate the desired result. This is one thing traditional advertising cannot provide. Most times, marketing efforts are made with no means to measure the results.

3. Allows timely and insightful feedback

Social media, an important element of digital marketing allows the effective flow of information between the business and its customers. Customers (prospective/existing) get to express their feelings about your product which may be good or bad.

From this feedback, you can gain insights on how your business is perceived by your customers, what they want as well as how they want you to advertise to them.

4. Fosters promotion of brand identity

Once your business is up and running, the next thing is to create awareness. Digital marketing provides a wider coverage of audiences which allows you to create a brand’s recognition to as many people as possible.

It also allows for remarketing which ensures consistency such that people who see your brand don’t forget about it soon.

You can leverage on digital marketing to promote your brand by sharing consistent content across all social media platforms as well as working on your SEO and running Ads to ensure your business is seen whenever anyone goes looking online.

5. Ensures you meet your customers where they hang out and spend

According to studies, 50% of Nigeria’s population, which amounts to 98.39 million people are internet users, this has a significant increase from what it was a year ago.

This proves that more people are becoming part of the online audience every day.

Also, 24 million people are active social media users. This provides a reasonable amount of audience which any form of business can market to, compared to the much-limited coverage traditional advertising provides.

6. Certifies the authenticity and transparency of your business

Naturally, an average person would believe the word of mouth from existing customers than they would believe any form of advertisement from the business. Most people just see advertisements as business marketing to them just to make sales.

However, social proof from a number of customers about the authenticity and reliability of your product or service goes a long way in converting visitors to customers.

Digital marketing provides the chance of capitalizing on reviews from satisfied customers to create a new customer base. Good reviews from people with real accounts on social media platforms automatically convert with no effort on your side. Take advantage of it.

7. Streamlined efforts

Integrating digital strategies into your marketing efforts ensures that you invest your resources into channels that work. Digital marketing enables you to focus your marketing efforts on your target audience.

By having a clear understanding of who your customers are, you will be aware of information such as what they like, their goals, what drives them and most importantly, how and when they want to be marketed to.

Rather than the one fits all approach of traditional marketing; you get to focus on the approach that works and keep optimizing it to get the best result possible result for your business.

8. Provides you a leveled ground in your industry

In traditional advertising, bigger organizations in a particular industry often make the biggest impression in the market by pushing as many funds as possible into their marketing efforts.

The efforts of small businesses with limited financial capacity often seem like a voice in a chorus.

Digital marketing levels the field between large and small businesses by allowing small businesses to compete significantly without facing bankruptcy. With more targeted efforts that digital marketing provides, small businesses get to optimize every penny to the fullest, thereby bringing returns that would have required a bigger advertising budget.

9. Makes you accessible to your customers

In this age and time, people go online to ask questions about anything. You sure want to be there when they go searching about what you do. Having a presence online will allow people to know about your business without leaving their rooms.

A website provides online presence which ensures your customers reach you any time of the day, even when your business is closed.

It also ensures that your prospective and existing customers get to transact with your business without your presence. It does the work of a salesperson and a customer service agent 24/7. You sure want to get such a system for your business.

Conclusion

In this age, customers are used to accessing information right in the comfort of their homes. As a business that wants to market to today’s customers, you have to include digital strategies in your marketing efforts. without an online presence, a business barely exists. we’ve highlighted 9 benefits digital marketing can provide for your business. A quick recap.

  • Meeting your customers on their own terms
  • Cost-effectiveness/ROI
  • Allows timely and insightful feedback
  • Fosters promotion of brand identity
  • Ensures you meet customers where they hang out and spend
  • Certifies the authenticity and transparency of your business
  • Streamlined efforts
  • provides you a leveled ground in your industry
  • Makes you accessible to your customers

These and many more are benefits your business is bound to enjoy when you invest in digital marketing strategies to grow your business.

We hope you find this helpful. Kindly drop your thoughts or questions in the comment section.

 

Web Design Business: 5 Important Things To Know Before Starting

Every day, more businesses take their first step in owning a part of the internet – building a website. With the daily increasing number of businesses going digital, it is still outnumbered by businesses who operate brick and mortar but do not have a presence online.

This is enough point to prove that the world doesn’t have enough web design businesses yet. As a person with web design skills, you may want to start getting clients for yourself as a side hustle or become a full-blown business owner. If you fall into any of these categories, this article is just the right thing for you to read.

Although, the idea of starting and maintaining a typical business may seem difficult at first. However, the benefits often measure up to the efforts put in.

For many businesses that now realize that the more effective way of reaching potential and existing customers is the internet, position yourself as the problem solver who builds their website for them.

Here are 5 important things you need to know before starting a successful web design business.

1. Create a personal/portfolio website

This should make sense straight away. You must have heard of a syrup vendor who coughs as he markets his products in a commercial vehicle right? That says it all.

How would you expect anyone to trust you with building their website for them if you don’t have one? It goes beyond giving the impression that you can build a website.

The first thing anyone will judge you with is the standard of your website. It is also a means of showcasing your previous projects, client’s testimonials, press reviews as well as your unique selling propositions.

You don’t need to talk directly to prospective clients all the time. Having a website will sell for you even in your absence.

2. Defining your market

This is as important as the first because, truthfully, the only way a business will grow is with the frequent inflow of customers. In the case of web design, it goes beyond having customers, it also covers making customers your advocate in the market.

Other things that you can do is having an in-depth understanding of your target market, their pain points, reasons for owning a website, what value a website would bring to their businesses as well as the possible advantages it will give them over their competitors that are not capitalizing on.

Having this knowledge will make prospective clients perceive your expertise and this will also put you on top of their minds as regard web design.

3. Determine your charging rates

For a new business, getting clients to pay the standard industry fee can be a difficult task. More often, the marketing strategy used by new entries into a market is discounted prices.

They attract customers and over time, they are able to increase their profits. Acquired customers won’t live because change sometimes might just be too expensive plus may not worth it. Besides, there are other ways to retain customers than giving a discounted price.

You may want to consider charging based on the project to be executed and not the per hour. The reason being that most workers turn to freelancers or start their own business because they want a more flexible work nature. Charging based on projects will allow you to work at your own pace which often encourages creativity.

4. Branding

In a world characterized by competition, you want a distinctive name, image, color and voice that people can easily trace to you. In this time and age, branding is the only way people know that you are intentional about what you are doing.

It has its way of implying business authenticity and perpetuity. Talking about your website, social media pages, business cards, etc. you need consistency in passing across your brand message to your clients.

The costly mistake you can make in business, especially in the digital world is being inconsistent. Build for yourself a good business brand as well as a personal brand because it’s not about what you know but what people know that you know.

This will go a long way to become a top of mind among your target audience. In no time, you won’t need to personally pitch to clients as other elements of your business such as branded items and words of mouth will work around the clock for you.

5. Promote

For most businesses, the primary essence for online presence and management is to create awareness. With your website up and running, market defined, pricing strategy determined and brand identity ascertained, you are ready to take on the world. You already have more than what an average web design expert has.

You can start with creating an online presence for small businesses you know; these businesses will serve as your portfolio which you can upload on your website and showcase to clients when you go for a pitch. You can also expect these businesses to refer other businesses to you.

Social media is also a proven way to promote your business. It’s basically the art of taking your business to where your prospective clients hang out. You can join a design community to learn from other professionals as well as leverage the comment section to share your educated views on the topic and make yourself known.

It is also good for personal branding which is also a way to give prospective clients the impression that you know what you are doing.

Blogging which is a way of sharing relevant and valuable knowledge based on your expertise will also go a long way in making you a thought leader in your industry.

When people visit your site and they are able to find answers to what boggles their mind, they don’t need you to pitch to them before reaching out to you because you are already seen as an expert.

You can make research on the types of topics that trend in your industry or just use your creativity and assume the place of customers by thinking of what questions they would like to be answered. In no time, Google will notice your site provides answers to question and the reward will be increased suggestions to search engine users.

Conclusion

With all the steps listed above followed, you will be able to create a successful web design business with a solid foundation.

Taking all steps at once may be overwhelming. A gradual approach will ensure you are not stressed out and enable a strong and distinct web design business.

Top 5 ways To Write a Compelling Email Subject Line

Any form of content requires a catchy subject line that will entice subscribers to open the content and read the detailed body. The significance of headlines to any form of writing cannot be overemphasized.

According to optinmonster, 47% of emails are opened only because of the subject line. This proves that subject lines are a major influence on the number of open rates. It is then safe to say an unsuccessful email marketing campaign can be traced to the quality of the headline used.

In this age of strict competition among brands in the same industry, businesses are always improving on how to communicate with their audience, leveraging on digital marketing efforts which include email marketing. An average email subscriber is overwhelmed daily by hundreds of email marketing in his inbox.

All he does is read through the subject lines to see which of the messages will be of the utmost value to him before he clicks and reads the content.

This is why you need to understand the scope behind an award-winning newsletter subject title. The quality of your subject line can make or mar the outcome of your email marketing campaign.

In this article, we have compiled 5 factors that guarantee a compelling newsletter subject line which will definitely improve your email marketing open rate.

1. Make Your Subject Line Simple, Smart and Specific

The idea of sending out a mail is to communicate important information and making a grand impression in the minds of your subscribers. The last thing you want is to use words that subscribers can’t understand at a glance.

They are overwhelmed with emails and other activities they need to cover before the end of the day. Having to check the dictionary to understand your mail is not what they would want to add to their daily task.

Sincerely, some will open the mail just so they can scroll to the bottom part and unsubscribe because they don’t want what will make their day more difficult.

Also, ensure your subject is smart such that it is able to pass meaningful information regardless of the type of device used.

Most subscribers will probably read with mobile devices so you need to make your subject simple, short and smart so that part of it doesn’t get cut off.

A good newsletter title should be meaningful at first sight. This encourages subscribers to open it. Another factor you should consider is specificity. You should avoid ambiguity as much as you can. Avoid using general words.

For example, instead of using a title like “why you should use X product” you can go for a more specific title like “5 ways X product will transform your look”. Ensure subscribers’ thoughts don’t run wild after reading your title.

2. Offer concise and relevant content

Regardless of the quality of your subject line, what is also important is what you have in the body or content of the newsletter. This is because a great title will only get subscribers to open your mail once, but valuable content will make them avid readers such that they will long for your next email.

With the fierce competition for attention among businesses, people don’t want to do much reading before getting the needed information.

They want quick answers from experts that they can read, learn and digest in a few minutes while being entertained. Creating valuable and reader-friendly content will support the effort of the headline and in the long run. You’ll be known for valuable content thank a weak title can be pardoned or even go unnoticed.

3. Checklist/number format

People are more interested in well-organized information than a comprehensive white paper.

For example, “website design explained” and “9 complete steps to design a world-class website”. Which of the 2 titles would you prefer reading? The latter of course!

There is a lot of things subjects with numbers communicate, they portray confidence, expertise, arrangement as well as concision.

Most subscribers will be prompted to open the mail just as soon as they see it because it doesn’t look like it will take much of their time. Quick tip formats attract more readers than a long paragraph.

However, when an email subject looks like a report, even people who are interested will think of reading it when they have much time on their hands. The reality is, they will eventually forget about it.

4. Stimulate curiosity

An effective way to compel subscribers to open and read your emails is to leverage on their curiosity. By nature, the average human is curious.

We just can’t help it when we have no idea about something. Starting your titles with words like “revealed, exposed, or solved” is a great way to leverage on human curiosity.

Even if it is a topic they’ve heard about in the past, the curious nature will prick them to open so they can learn something new about the topic.

Mind you, you should not use this when you really don’t have a new thing to offer. That may just tarnish your image and they will think you’re just a sham.

5. Personalize for relevance

With the help of email marketing tools such as MailChimp, you can broadcast and at the same time communicate with each subscriber as though the mail was specially sent. Awesome right?

Imagine sending a newsletter to hundreds of subscribers and each of them sees their name on the subject of the mail. They definitely would want to know what a whole business wants to tell them exclusively.

The concept of “Hey Isaac” always works better compared to “Dear subscriber”. Get the gist, right? Read on.

You should also make sure to structure the content in a conversational manner. Studies have proven that people prefer to read a conversational write up than the one that lectures them. Just like you can chat with a friend for 5 hours but feel drowsy in a 1-hour lecture

Attempt to write as though you are having a conversation by using “You”. this will make subscribers feel relevant and of course, they will be aware of the fact that they matter to you and that they are not just another number in your email list.

Conclusion

You don’t want your efforts of writing valuable content to help your subscribers go to waste just because they judge the book by its cover.

They can’t be blamed anyway. The competition for attention is really tough and you just have to up your game.

Ensure you take time to write awesome subject lines for them and they will surely open your newsletters to read what you have to offer. Remember, the body of the email has to match the subject or else, the open rate will reduce no matter how catchy the subject is.

If you have any questions or comments, kindly leave a comment below.

How To Successfully Start a Side Hustle With Your Digital Skills

Having a digital skill is one of the smartest ways… scratch that. It is the smartest way to invest in yourself. A lot of benefits come with being able to work in one or more offices in the digital industry.

Although, the most important benefit is subjective. For some people, it is the fact that digital is not going anywhere, it can only get bigger and better. For others, it could be that it pays well, or that it requires little capital to start.

People will always have different views when it comes to the benefits, and the list is endless. Nevertheless, the digital industry has a unique feature in which no other industry can ever emulate – flexibility.

As an individual with digital skills, you can choose to work in a company, establish your own company or signup on a free platform and become a freelancer.

Digital skills keep increasing in value because almost every business wants to include digital strategy in their marketing efforts. Consider yourself fortunate that you possess a digital skill, and if you are not on the train yet, enroll for a Digital skill training now! It will be the wisest decision you’ve ever made.

The industry is so broad, just anyone can fit in. Depending on your likes, prior experiences, and personality, you can choose:

Having learned one or more of these skills, the ideal “next phase” is to start getting ROI as soon as possible right? Sadly though, some people still find it difficult to get a good-paying job or get clients to patronize them.

Many people just don’t know how to get their first client. Ideally, no one will want to outsource a job to you just because you claim to know-how. They will want to see projects you have worked on to at least see what you are capable of doing. Most companies request previous work experience as part of recruitment requirements.

Whether you are planning to learn a digital skill this year, you have a skill already but you are finding it difficult to get reasonable patronage or you are employed but wouldn’t mind using your skill to generate another source of income, this article will teach you how to get your first client and build yourself an outstanding portfolio.

1. Promote your skill

The most important thing after learning a skill is to create the awareness that you have added more value to yourself, and there is no better way to do that than to inform your friends and family.

More often than not, your first few clients are people you know. Everyone has someone who runs a local business. Irrespective of the niche, digital can always make it better. Nothing beats that.

You may have to first render your services on the basis of sharing returns from ROI generated by your digital strategy. You need not worry about transparency because if there’s only one thing that’s true about digital investments, it will be that every effort is traceable. When they see that it works, they will become return customers and as well introduce other people to you.

This will work for just any digital skill. For a graphic designer, you can start by creating awesome birthday designs for your friends or relative. Be sure to credit yourself in the design and share it with them as a present. They will share it across their social media pages, their friends whom you do not know will download the image and share on their pages/status too.

You know where this is going right? You can’t fathom the amount of impression one graphic design work get. In no time, some people will trace the image back to you and voila! You are in business already. You also should not underestimate the power of networking.

Reach out to people who have been in the profession longer than you to gain insight and be open to other opportunities. Most professionals get more works than they can handle and are always willing to share tasks with one another, but they can’t share with you if they don’t know you. Awesome right? There’s more.

2. Plan and execute fake projects

We interviewed a UI/UX professional in one of our articles, and we asked: “how long did it take you to learn this skill”? He responded by saying “I’m still learning”. He’s been doing it for 5 years! What does that mean? Completing a training session doesn’t make you an expert.

You have to practice, practice and practice. For designers, your way of building a good portfolio for yourself after acquiring the skill is to work on self-assigned projects. You need to stretch your creativity and keep doing it till it becomes a lifestyle.

In the digital industry, you only learn by doing i.e. reading a whole lot of blog posts, watching online tutorials and registering for courses online won’t make you perfect. It explains why it’s called digital “skill” and not digital “knowledge”.

3. Create and promote your brand

There are probably tens or hundreds of individuals who have the same skill as you in your local geography. You need to make yourself distinctly identifiable among the competition.

Think about it, when someone wants to recommend your service to someone, you don’t want them saying “some guy”. You get the ide right? You need a distinctive name, look, voice, and feel that will be easily associated with your service – Branding.

According to studies, you are not supposed to use the name you answer. C’mon! be creative, isn’t that what digital is all about? Of course. Think of a photographer whose brand’s name is – Imagenation. wouldn’t you want to patronize him; it gives the impression that he’s an expert.

No pressure! You can as well use your nickname or just be creative about the name you answer and you have for yourself an awesome brand identity.

The power of social media, nothing compares to it. With social media, a firm of 5 staffs can compete with a firm of 100 staffs in the same industry. Don’t be surprised if the former leads the online market. Common ground! That’s one of the awesome benefits of online marketing.

Everything that has been said before now will not make much sense without your brand’s presence on social media. Talking about promoting your skills, designing fake projects, creating a brand identity and other things mentioned, they all can be optimized only by sharing your portfolio online for people to see.

Instagram is known to have the highest engagement, not sidelining other platforms. You should ensure people see your amazing works such that when they have a problem you can solve; you will just be a DM or call away.

Conclusion

Nothing beats having multiple sources of income, it is the fastest and surest route to financial freedom.

What use is an in-demand skill if you are unable to optimize its value for economic value. Plus, you will be helping businesses and people succeed as well as make their lives easier.

Follow the guides provided in this article and be sure to not only make more money but also be known as a thought leader in your niche.

If you have any questions, kindly leave a comment below.

5 Important Things to Know Before Starting a Blog

In this age and time, it is no longer news that blogging is one of the ways you can earn a living and live the life you have always dreamt of just by having a laptop, basic computer skills and access to the internet.

You are probably thinking of a blogger who is crushing it big time, right? Do you ever wonder how they are doing it? Well, it all boils down to the foundation, which begs the question – what are the important things to know before starting a blog?

Whether you are an individual looking to express yourself and share your passion with people or you own a business and your intent is to leverage on blogging to provide solutions to your target audience, the benefits that come with blogging are immeasurable.

With all the benefits, influence and exposure that comes with blogging, there are still lots of bloggers who are actually struggling to get affinity and stable traffic for their articles. Wonder why? Read this article and know the rituals of every successful blogger.

For an individual (blogger)

An individual who has a flair for writing or just a person who likes to share experiences and knowledge may decide to blog just about anything. Ranging from:

  • lifestyle,
  • food,
  • music,
  • technology,
  • fashion,
  • business entertainment and many more.

You can blog just about anything!

However, it is important that you choose a field you are familiar with. More on this later. Also, understand that blogging allows you to connect and network with people of similar passion. So it’s best to blog in a field you are passionate about.

For a business

The advent of online advertising has changed the rules and nature of competition among businesses. With a website and a strong digital marketing strategy, you can compete with the giants in your industry, irrespective of the size of your local office.

Now more than ever, customers no longer want to the sold to. Also, they have many alternatives they can choose to buy from. This has prompted businesses to attempt solving people’s problems by sharing their knowledge based on their expertise.

Almost every business with a website has a blog page. They leverage content to provide solutions to prospective customers as well as existing ones. One of such brands that have done this successfully is HubSpot.

A customer is not a customer until he has the chance to leave you and he chooses not to.

Research also proves that it is 25 times more expensive to acquire a new customer than to retain an existing one. Hence the need to remain the thought leader in your industry.

If you plan to kickstart your blogging career, there are things you need to know and also put into consideration to be at the top of your game. So here are 5 important things to know before starting a blog. See you on the other side.

5 Important Things to Know Before Starting a Blog

1. Write as though you are having a conversation

If you ever want to be able to hold your readers down while they read your articles, you need to understand how to write in a conversational manner. Have you ever wondered why you sleep inside lecture rooms?

Do you remember you would have to strike a conversation with the person sitting beside you in the lecture hall to stay awake through the lecture? This is because as humans, we enjoy conversation more than we enjoy the lecture. Probably because we get to respond or add our views in the process.

Attempt to use the words “you” while writing your article. It makes readers feel the article is personalized. Also, ensure your articles are constructed to interact with readers and not at them. This also makes it feel like they’re in the conversation rather than being lectured.

2. Consistency is key

Earlier in this article, you read about blogging in a field you are familiar with. One of the mistakes most bloggers make is choosing to blog on ideas they don’t know much about just because it’s the trend.

Well, it’s not so much of a bad decision until they run out of ideas and are unable to post consistently or they just start posting on some other topics which make their audience wonder why the purpose of the blog has changed. Trust me, you don’t want your readers confused.

Writing on ideas you are comfortable about allows you to be consistent with your posts and also gives you the chance to express yourself. You don’t want to write because you have to, you want to write because you enjoy and have a passion for it.

That is the only way you can be consistent, either by delivering frequent quality articles or maintaining the idea that made people fall in love with your articles in the first place.

3. Write to engage

In blogging, quality is key. No matter what you do, no matter how you do it. Always ensure you are adding value to people who will take out time to read your articles, if not for anything, at least to be fair.

People should not feel they’ve wasted their time or they’ve not learned anything new after reading your article or visiting your blog. It will be difficult to get them to become return visitors.

Also, when people learn something by reading your blog posts, they will be prompted to drop a comment, either to seek more clarification, affirm what you have written about or just commend your work. This will guarantee that they will come back when next they get notified of your new article.

Traffic is good and all, but if those people are really not gaining anything from your posts, you’ll definitely lose them. And for businesses, the only way you can convert a lead is to provide value in the content you have provided otherwise, the potential customer will feel you are not the best in the industry and will turn to your competitors.

But if they get value by reading your post, they will not just patronize your business but also introduce it to their friends. Trust me, you want the effort of word of mouth behind your business.

4. Social media is your adrenaline

So you start a blog to share your experience, your knowledge or help people solve problems based on your expertise in a particular field. For all these to happen, you need people to read your blog.

You need to ensure that the things you are pushing out actually get to the people who need them. Truth be told, no one will be encouraged to keep writing and posting just for the articles to be stored on the net and not read by people who need them.

When you put in due diligence to rank your blog for keywords related to your niche, you will soon start getting traffic from search engines especially Google. But let’s be realistic, that will take a while. Yes, a while depending on how competitive the keywords are. But not to be afraid, there is the power of social media.

Think about it. When scrolling feeds on Instagram and you just stumble on a graphic with some texts or quotes on it, you pause for a while to read what’s on it right? That’s the idea. People tend to pay more attention to the text on images than in the caption. If you ever want them to read your caption at all, make a great graphic.

Before you start getting tons of traffic from search engines, you must leverage on social media like Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, LinkedIn, and others to create awareness for your blog or notify your existing audience of a new article.

Cull a sentence or two from your new post, put it in a striking image and start sharing across social media platforms. You’ll soon be surprised by the number of traffic it will generate for your site.

This is because people will want to know more from where the little came from. Human beings can be curious you know. It is however important that you work on building your audience of real people on social media.

5. Be detailed as much as you can

The reason why you set out to blog in the first place is to share relevant information with people right? As the saying goes, “what is worth doing at all is worth doing well”.

To get blogging right,

  • Ensure your articles are detailed as much as possible.
  • Avoid long paragraphs.
  • Write like you are having a conversation so that your readers will read like they are having a conversation.
  • Make use of white spaces. Plenty of it.

This way, it will be a win-win situation. Your readers get more value by reading your detailed article about a topic and your blog gets more authority in your industry.

Google’s main purpose is to provide a solution to people’s problems. Quality solutions to ensure they don’t have to come back to research on the same topic.

The reason why a lengthy article will gain more authority with search engines is that Google expects it to be well-detailed. Articles between 1500 to 2000 words tend to perform well.

Mind you, stuffing up your post with irrelevant content just so it can be lengthy may get you penalized by Google.

We are pretty sure you don’t want that for your blog. Attempt to always provide the best and detailed answers for anyone who interacts with your article and you will soon be getting shares as though you paid for it. Well, you did pay for it.

Conclusion

There you have it all listed above, 5 important things to know before starting a blog.

As a recap, they are:

  • Write as though you are starting a blog.
  • Consistency is key.
  • Write to engage.
  • Social media is your adrenaline.
  • Lastly, be very detailed.

The key to successful blogging is that whatever you do, add value and be consistent about it. It’s not rocket science!

If you have any questions, kindly leave a comment below.

7 Important Tips for Successful Networking

No man is an island of knowledge.

You have probably heard this saying more than a thousand times. It could be defined to mean a whole lot of things depending on the occasion.

However, the fact still remains that we humans are built to depend on another for one reason or the other. In our daily living, it would be hard to get by one day without having to get help from someone or render a help, either to earn a living or in good faith.

Irrespective of the path you choose to thread in your career, you really will not do so well if you are not engaged in strong, relevant and active networking. The benefits inherent in networking cannot be overstated. According to studies, most job opportunities are filled by recommendations from other people.

Beyond job opportunities, networking has the great potential to help you in your career development as you can easily reach out and consult someone else in the industry to collectively work on a project that seems difficult.

Sadly, many people go about networking the wrong way. People often forget that networking is an ongoing process and most times, it requires you giving without expecting anything in return – building quality influence.

While some people only see the need to build a relationship in their industry when they want to switch jobs or get recommended for promotion or a contract, others just don’t know how to go about it.

This could be as a result of shyness or maybe they think of networking as being pushy or overbearing. The truth is, to be successful at what you do, you have to be confrontational every once in a while.

Whatever category you find yourself, here are 7 tips that will help you network easily and successfully.

1. Don’t overthink it! Just do it!

Some people are natural perfectionists and they can think of an idea or action in their head for hours or days before they feel it’s mature enough to realize. While it’s not a bad idea to take that route, you just might not be ready until it’s too late.

Imagine being in a networking event and there is this person you would love to converse with but you are there thinking of the different ways it could play out.

By the time you are satisfied with the words you are constructing in your head; you just may have been in your room already and the opportunity to introduce yourself to that person is gone. Always remember this – when you see someone you should network with, don’t overthink it! Just do it!

Another point is that you should not dwell too much on the things you said or did wrong at the event. This may increase your fear about networking or how bad you are about it. Instead, try to think of how you can improve on yourself and more importantly, the positive outcomes of networking which are limitless.

2. Be the ice breaker

Wondering what this means? Read on.

Studies show that a great number of people don’t enjoy interacting with strangers. Often times, people tend to engage in some other activities like chatting, playing games on their phone or reading a book at a networking event. The honest truth is that they are just shy.

Being the ice breaker entails you approaching and initiating a conversation with someone or a group of people. The goal is to help them out of their shells as well as help you create the network you need. To those kinds of people, you will be top of mind when anything relating to you comes up.

3. Identify and leverage common grounds

One of the most common problems people face when networking is the ability to ask the right questions and keep the conversation flowing.

Here is one effective way to go about it: You need to understand that conversations flow well when people have things in common. For example, two people who work similar jobs and are both married can flow from conversing about how they balance work and family.

Regardless of the topic, the idea is that the parties involved should be able to relate and voice their views on the topics discussed. Also, you will do well in this aspect if you do your homework on the persons that will be attending an event so as to prepare topics that you can play around with.

In situations where you can’t figure what to actually base your conversation on, you can always use the “what brings you here” theory.

This will prompt the person to give you a few information about themselves from which you can quickly generate topics from or you can just leverage on one of the answers by asking to know more about it and before you know it, you are having a connection already.

Networking is really about having a conversation and knowing more about the other party to build a mutually beneficial relationship.

4. Highlight and share your accomplishment

For some people, this may be difficult to practice as they are afraid it could be perceived as them showing off. Understand that at networking events or any event at all, people, just like you, are looking to meet other people with influence and a significant level of accomplishment.

Sharing your accomplishments will not only impress the person you are sharing it with but also prompt him to introduce you to some of his colleagues or friends. Remember that networking is not just about knowing people who can contribute to the advancement of your career, it’s also about how you can do the same to them.

Believe it or not, every other person came for the same reason that brought you to the event. So, when you share your accomplishments, it will make others think of how your ideas and styles can positively affect their lives and soon enough, you will be dishing out cards.

One important thing to note is that you shouldn’t brag about your accomplishments. This will definitely put people off and the whole purpose of networking will be defeated.

5. Be punctual at events

This is especially for those who find it difficult to fit in when they walk into a room filled with strangers. Perhaps, it’s due to the belief that it’s inappropriate to interrupt an ongoing conversation.

The only way around this is to be early at events, this way you will be there when the crowd comes and you’ll be part of any conversation at the event.

When people arrive, it’s just polite you exchange some sort of greetings and more often, they want to be updated on things that may have happened before they arrived, you are in the best position to provide the answer and you can from there introduce yourself and the rest is grand networking.

Do you get the gist?

6. Avoid excessive self-consciousness

To get better at networking you need to deal with the habit of being overly conscious of your appearance, manner or how you are perceived by other people. People who are fond of this habit are generally shy and introverted.

Think about it. In a room full of people, why on earth will anyone be bothered about what you look like, how you are dressed or how you sound funny. If there’s anyone like that in the event, then don’t you think they are the ones with the problem?

Whenever you have a networking event to attend, dress up nicely and go with an open mind of meeting amazing people just like yourself and have fun.

Networking doesn’t have to be all formal. It’s just a gathering of like-minded people, getting to know one another to develop a healthy work/career relationship.

Another side to this is that you should avoid comparing yourself with anyone at all costs. Just believe what you have is unique and of high value to anyone.

7. Network every time and everywhere!

Practice! Practice!! Practice!!!

When all is said, the “done” aspect should follow. You need to get out there and start building connections that will advance or even change the course of your career for the best.

A decision you can make now which will keep paying you and make things work throughout your lifetime is to start building your network of influence.

You should not wait until when you need to change your job before you start networking. The truth is, people will really get that you’re trying to use them and you will even find it difficult to ask a favor of someone you’ve not been in touch with over a long period of time.

It will be easier if you treat networking as a lifestyle. This way you will be able to prompt into action whenever it’s necessary.

Conclusion

There you have it. We shared 7 important tips for successful networking.

As a recap,

  • Don’t overthink it! Just do it!
  • Don’t wait for people to talk to you first. Be the ice breaker!
  • Identify and leverage on common grounds
  • Highlight and share your accomplishments
  • Be punctual at events
  • Avoid excessive self-consciousness
  • Network every time and everywhere

The quality and quantity of the people that surround you have a great impact on how well and how far you will go in your career. Influential relationships don’t naturally evolve, you need to put in the work to be linked with people that matter within and outside your industry and the best time is now.

If you think some other tips that were not included in this article or you have a question, kindly leave a comment below.

Top 5 Freelance Platforms to Start a Side Hustle

The digital world is an industry that allows for full-time work and at the same time, a side hustle. This is because of its flexibility. For most digital skills, all you need to execute a project is your laptop, electricity, and access to the internet.

This allows you to work anywhere at any time. According to studies, individuals with digital skills have the chance to manage a fulltime job as well as a freelance profile conveniently.

Depending on individual preference, some people choose to freelance as a side hustle or while others become full-time freelancers.

Perhaps, you are bored of your constant schedule of waking up very early to resume work and you are not able to tend to some personal activities when the need arises, or you need an additional source of income. With digital skills, any work/life balance is attainable.

A misconception about freelancing is that you are able to avoid work stress when you are a full-time freelancer. Well, this is not exactly true. However, you can schedule your projects anyhow you like, unlike a full-time job where you have to be in the office almost every day.

Another fact about freelancing is that for you to be a successful freelancer, you have to be intentional about personal branding because it is not about what you know, but what people know you know.

Here are 5 platforms that use your digital skills to start a side hustle.

1. Fiverr

freelance platform

Fiverr currently is the largest freelance platform with over 50 million transactions made. The platform offers a global market to skill sets such as digital marketing, content writing and translation, graphics and designs and more.

Fiverr ensures professionals (sellers) get their pay after completing a project by collecting money from the employer (buyer) upfront and delivers to the seller of skill after the work is done.

Most startup companies that do not have the financial strength to shoulder full agency’s charges often leverage on freelance platforms to get their job done. This is a good opportunity you can leverage on as a start to build your portfolio and stretch your creativity as well as get paid for it.

2. Upwork

 

freelance platform

Upwork is more of a freelance platform for highly skilled professionals. The platform currently connects experts with over 15 million businesses across the globe.

With their vision of connecting businesses with great talent to work without limits, Upwork prides in having over 12 million registered freelancers. Upwork pricing model is designed to encourage higher-value and longer-time projects.

This means as a freelancer, you can expect recurring projects from a client you’ve worked for, instead of always looking for clients to work for.

3. Asuqu

freelance platform

Asuqu is a Nigerian platform for SMEs and startups. It allows for the connection of creatives and potential customers in Africa. It aims to remove the traditional barriers to innovation, empowerment, and entrepreneurship.

4. Dirlance

 

dirlance

Dirlance is a freelance enabling community where professionals in Nigeria gets connected to businesses that require their skill sets.

The platform hosts professionals with skill sets such as SEO, web developers, creative writing, editing and proofreading, social media marketing and many more.

5. Justfrom5k

freelance platform

Justfrom5k is basically a freelance platform where anyone can find basic errands as well as professional projects, bid for it, complete the task satisfactorily and get paid.

Conclusion

There you have it. We just shared 5 foreign and Nigerian freelance platforms where you can work as a freelancer, expand your digital skills and make money. As a recap, they are:

  • Fiverr
  • Upwork
  • Asuqu
  • Dirlance
  • Justfrom5k

If you have any other freelance skills you’d like us to add, kindly leave a comment below.

If you are yet to acquire digital skills, then hurry now to CKDIGITAL Academy to register and learn UI/UX Design, WordPress Web Design, Front-End Development, and Digital Marketing.

5 Important Factors To Consider Before KickStarting Your UI/UX Design Career

The vast and ever-growing digital industry comprises of a whole lot of disciplines which over the years have been a great source of employment opportunities to millennials. One of these disciplines –  without which the digital ecosystem will be incomplete – is UI/UX design.

Have you ever wondered why it’s always UI/UX and never written separately? Do you have a flair for design but do not know how to venture into UI/UX?

If Yes, then this article is for you. You will learn the concept behind UI/UX and the things to know before you kickstart a career in UI/UX design.

Every techpreneur or business owner is after one purpose and one purpose only; To provide or at least be perceived to provide the best possible solution to their customers whenever and however they choose to interact with their product or business at any point in time.

With more businesses including the digital strategy in their marketing effort, it is pertinent to ensure that their images online offer a great experience that will not only convert a visitor to a buyer but also make him a continuous buyer and business advocate. This exactly is where UI/UX comes in.

UI/UX is simply an acronym for User Interface and User Experience respectively. Both are elements directed into providing the best experience to users at every contact and interaction.

UI – User Interface is mainly about the design, look and feel of an idea while

UX – User Experience which is more of an architectural process, covers the feelings and thoughts of users when they use their product.

A familiar way to put it is the diverse processes involved in building a house. Starting with the architect who designs the wireframe of how many doors, windows, and rooms as well as how they are all linked together. It would be abnormal for him to link the garage to the kitchen.

He thinks of the necessities in the garage, like a carved-out corner where car parts can be kept. Or how a restroom for first-time visitors should be accessible from the sitting room.

He makes life easier for prospective occupants such that they have their desired privacy as well as live comfortably. Think about the idea of a restroom in each bedroom. Awesome right? That is the work of the UX designer. I trust the picture is getting clearer. Read on.

As for the UI. Once the work of the architect is done, the finished document is passed to the engineer who will contract the best professionals to bring that awesome idea to reality. They start by laying foundations, decking, and roofing as directed by the plan provided by the architect.

Eventually, it gets to the painter who gives the building befitting colors. The importance of color and external designs cannot be overemphasized because it tells the first-timer about the quality of work and expertise put into building the house. Got the picture?

Now let’s get into the nitty-gritty of the things you should know before kickstarting a career in UI/UX design. This article is a product of thoughts gathered from several UI/UX design professionals who shared their experiences over the years.

The following factors were gathered from their contributions.

1. Personal conviction

Most often, the most important point tops the list. And yes, this is very important when choosing any career. self-determination will go a long way to continuously motivate you along the way. without it, you may be easily distracted from whatever goal you set for yourself.

Most of the UI/UX professionals we interviewed affirmed that they have gotten so good at what they do because they were able to induce it into their lifestyle. In other words, their passion for the art has helped them to remain at the top of their game.

Tenacity is one of the important soft skills you need in order to have a stand in the digital world, think of the guys that invented most of the gadgets which make life easier today. Without tenacity and persistence, we would not know about them and life – as we know it – may not have been as easier.

2. Creativity

Design is not inborn. No one inherits the ability to design genetically. A designer needs applications and tools without which he will not be able to make anything.

These applications and tools are taught which means anyone can learn their functions and become a designer. Most times, what differentiates a great designer from a good one is the way they approach and solve problems – creativity.

One way to examine yourself is trying to tell a good design from bad ones in terms of color, shape, size, and arrangement. According to studies, having an eye for good designs is an advantage as you will be able to correct yourself after every work before the presentation.

This should not discourage you as you are bound to have a better understanding by the time you start designing. This is because added to your knowledge, you will have a better position to think creatively as regards UI/UX.

3. Collaboration

ui/ux design

Whether you choose to work in a company or you prefer to be a freelance designer, you need to be able to communicate and work collectively with people.

Working in a company will require you to work with people from other departments to work on projects together and your ability to understand people and view things from their perspectives will help you thrive as a UI/UX designer.

As a freelancer, you will need to interact with your clients as well as network with other professionals to get exposed to more opportunities and be aware of updates in the process.

4. Expect criticism

For you to grow as a UI/UX designer, you must be open to feedback; good or bad. You must also be willing and able to adjust accordingly.

One of the UI/UX experts we interviewed informed that almost all of his first set of designs had negative feedbacks from clients and employers but his passion and tenacity kept him going and now, he can go a year without having to modify any project.

The key point is that you should leverage feedbacks to develop yourself and get better at your designs. Eventually, what you think will not fly with the client will surprisingly blow them away. This is a usual experience for most UI/UX designers.

5. Learning is an ongoing process

One of the expert’s answers to our questions got us amazed. We asked “how long it took to learn UI/UX” and he replied by saying “I’m still learning it”. This particular guy has been a designer for about 5 years and counting and he is still learning? interesting!

He went further by saying that as far as UI/UX is concerned, there is no such thing as I’ve learned it all because you learn by doing. He added that, to date, he still finds time to replicate some designs he feels are awesome as well as design fake projects just for the sake of practice.

He added that Working on fake projects is actually a way for a beginner to start since no one would want to give a contract to someone without a portfolio.

Conclusion

UI/UX design is one of the most promising careers you can pursue in the digital world and with all the views and experiences of experts shared above, we believe you are no longer in the dark as to what to expect when you choose UI/UX design as a career.

However, you need to start for you to get ahead and the best time to start is now!

You can enroll for our UI/UX Design training today to kickstart your career with unlimited opportunities.

 

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