Do I really need a Website? – Part 1

Do I really need a Website? – Part 1

website

/wɛbsʌɪt/

noun

a set of related web pages located under a single domain name.

 

A question which haunts any small businesses is “Do I really need a website?”.

In simple words possible, Yes! You do!

The reason is also extremely simple. In one word, No, two words to be precise.

Digital Footprint! It may sound preposterous. It really isn’t. The whole idea of anything ranging from posting a personal photograph to updating your current location on social media is all about Digital footprint.

Having a website helps a business greatly. Here’s how:

 

Visibility:

It is a beacon where customers can queue in front of your door. It not only provides you with visibility but also sales and a way for you to advertise your expertise. A clean, beautiful website with necessary content surely puts you ahead in the game.

Credibility:

Small businesses face problems with credibility. A customer is always aware of this fact and before placing for service or product, he/she will have a look at your website. And what would they think if you had no/mediocre website? You guessed it right. They walk right past you. This has a huge impact on sales.

Engagement and Retention:

Customers are always on the lookout for engaging content. Blogs are a way to achieve that. Websites with blogs are always appreciated. Blogging is also a way of increasing traffic to your website and it is one of the most sought-after marketing tools.

According to Hubspot, 53% of marketers use blogging as a top inbound marketing priority. Another statistic to blow your mind away, according to Hostingfacts, There are now 3.74 billion Internet users in the world as of March 2017.

So, in short, your business is available to this huge number. With proper plans and marketing strategy, you can tap into the plethora of prospects.

Why:

The question now really is “Why don’t I own a website?”. Think about it, in this time and age, where there is tons of competition, getting ahead is what counts. Smaller things in a business which were not a priority, makes a huge difference now. Companies are finding out ways to entice customers. Websites are one way to create a buzz and remember “First Impression is Key”.

Creating Lasting Impressions

Creating Lasting Impressions

Lasting Impressions:

Have you heard of the Von Restorff effect?
The Von Restorff effect also called the ‘isolation effect’, states that an item that “stands out like a sore thumb” is more likely to be remembered than others. In other words, we remember people, places and things that are outstandingly different.

 

 

Named after Hedwig von Restorff, a bias in favour of remembering the unusual.

For instance, the most famous structure in Italy is the Leaning Tower of Pisa, known worldwide for its unintended tilt to one side. An inadequate foundation on the ground which was too soft on one side to support the weight of the structure caused the tilt. Just imagine, it’s remembered because it’s built badly!

Imagine shopping in your neighborhood superstore, 2000 brands are trying to get your attention, so how will you buy the 20 that you need, and not end up with a lot more? To be easily remembered, or to stay on top of one’s mind, a lasting impression helps. With products it is called branding; the same rule applies to people as well. People, like brands, need to be distinct, and that is where ‘Personal Branding’ comes into play.

 

Successful Brands stand for something, Tally for accounts, XEROX for photocopying and Bisleri for mineral water. Likewise, for people to be considered a brand, it is essential to have a point of view, some people will be against you, but there will be someone supporting your point of view.

Let’s talk about leaders; we can never imagine Mahatma Gandhi in a suit, Usha Uthap without her gorgeous silk sarees and large Bindi or Dr. Kiran Bedi with long hair!
Each one of them communicates a message or a principle. Gandhi stood for ‘non-violence.’ Read more about Gandhi here: Gandhi – The Master PR Practitioner.
Popular Indian director Farhan Akhtar described Usha Uthup as ‘A Rockstar in a sari’, she stands out as a Pop and Indipop singer with her unique traditionally draped sari, fresh flowers in her hair & a bold, big Bindi. She is an ambassador for traditional Indian values.
Dr. Kiran Bedi for her no-nonsense attitude and for bringing in a positive relationship between police and people.

 

Brands get built over long periods of time; it takes conscious and consistent effort.  To begin with, one can focus on identifying which aspects of

  1. his or her traits to showcase, and then go about being uniquely showcased.
  2. A couple of aspects to keep in mind to be established as a brand:
  3. Be Knowledgeable – Be a Subject Matter Expert
  4. Have a Personality – Be well dressed and carry yourself with panache
  5. Seek Publicity – Speak in industry forums, write about the subject and become a guide to your industry.

Building a brand that is “YOU” takes perseverance!

 

Design is more than just a Software Tool

Design is more than just a Software Tool

design-software-negative-space-creativity
There are three responses to a piece of design – Yes, No, and WOW! Wow is the one to aim for. – Milton Glaser

To instil the WOW in your audience, you need a great combination of concept, content and design. Easier said than done, right?
This blog addresses how to get the WOW emotion from your audience through design.

Does a software tool have anything to do with creating an extraordinary design?

design-software-I-Love-NY

Most of us are familiar with the “I heart New York” logo, Milton Glaser came up with that in the back of a taxi on his way to a meeting in the year 1977.

Hardware tools used: Pen and Paper
Software tool used: None.

This logo earns the New York state close to $30 million each year.
Did he use any exquisite software tool? No.

It is a common misconception among many that, to design, you need to have a good software in place. This was not the case a couple of decade’s back when designs were manually done with pen, paper and sketch boards.

To design is to envision, it is to see something that doesn’t yet exist.
To design is to give your ideas and thoughts, physical form.

If you’re new to designing and you feel that not knowing a particular software is holding you back from what you want to achieve, this article is for you. It is also for designers who feel they can’t reach their pinnacle because of lack of knowledge of a particular software.

“I am a great believer in the primacy of drawing as a means of engaging the world & understanding what you’re looking at.”   – Milton Glaser

The design you make is a medium through which you communicate your ideas. Designing with a pen and an artboard has its own perks. To design it with a pen is to give it physical form. Work done manually always lasts longer in your memory.

Listed below are the general requirements for designing:

 

  • Ideasdesign-software-Ideas

    Ideas are the mysterious spur in our minds about a particular subject. Each one has his own ideas and that is why we are so unique. Having an idea is the first step towards good design. Ideas are the fundamental blocks of design.

  • Strategydesign-software-write

    Strategize how you want to achieve your design, a design is a combination of ideas. Haphazard execution of ideas would lead to a mess.

  • Visiondesign-software-tunnel

    Designing is like walking in a dark tunnel until you find the light at the end of that tunnel. Then you go back and get other people to also see that light.

    Roughly picturize how you want your final design to look. When you start you have no idea what your final design will look like, but you must have rough a picture in your head. To envision is to create a path to that light source at the end of the tunnel.

  • Memorabilitydesign-software-nike-swoosh

    To create a good design is to make it rememberable and distinct. Simpler is better. The first impression should be a lasting impression.

  • Intricacy

    design-software-von-restorff-effect

    The details of your design are very important. The smallest details have the largest impact on the big picture. Scrutinise to the minutest detail.

  • Patience

    Patience is a requirement for all designers. Some days are tough, where your ideas seem abysmal. Take a walk, free your mind by engaging with people.Talking helps in exchange of ideas, also giving rise to fresh ones.

Designing software’s are means by which you create your design. It is the workplace for your design and is a means to an end.

 

 

Who is a Thought Leader? What is Thought Leadership Marketing?

Who is a Thought Leader? What is Thought Leadership Marketing?

You might have come across the term Thought Leader in big events, the media, newspapers or websites. But Who is a Thought Leader? What does he do? You’ve probably heard people saying Bill Gates is a Thought Leader or Steve Jobs is a Thought Leader. Does that mean you have to build a multi-billion dollar organisation to become one?
Well, not exactly. Although, that is one way to go about it.

Who is a Thought Leader? What does a Thought Leader Do?

A Thought Leader is a reliable, informed Opinion Leader and a go-to person in his/her field of expertise or domain. He/She is a trusted source of information and guidance, who moves and inspires people with innovative ideas, turns ideas into reality. He/She works, not just for the benefit of his organisation, but for the betterment of the domain and the entire eco-system. They address and solve some of the biggest problems faced by the eco-system.

Thought Leaders can be an individual, a group or an organisation.

Are You a Thought Leader?

Well, it’s a simple checklist.

  1. Are you making a difference to the community/ecosystem?
  2. Do you have revolutionary/break-through ideas?
  3. Do startups, business owners, media or people at large, seek your guidance/consultation in a particular field?
  4. Are you called upon to solve large problems?
  5. Do you inspire people/organisations to make a difference to the community/ecosystem?

If you have a few of these checked, chances are, you’re a Thought Leader.

What is Thought Leadership Marketing?

Thought Leadership Marketing is the craft of positioning yourself or your organization as a constant source of guidance, innovation, and compelling, reliable content, thereby attaining the status of a Thought Leader.

How to Become a Thought Leader?

A word of caution, this does not happen overnight. It is a long, persistent effort. But the journey is always rewarding for you and the organisation. One sure way is through Thought Leadership Marketing. Your company can be viewed in the same way by creating content that resonates with your customers and members of your industry.

One sure way is through Thought Leadership Marketing. There are 5 aspects to it.

  • Great Branding – How you position yourself/your organisation is paramount
  • Content Marketing – forms the base of all the other activities
  • Public Relations – Because a media person is vouching for your idea
  • Social Media – A potent one-to-many platform
  • Events – An effective method of connecting with people and gaining trust and credibility
  • Great Branding (Personal or Company)-

    How you position your organisation is everything. It addresses your brand’s mission, it’s goals, it’s domain, it’s target audience and it’s USP. This is the first thing that needs to be done as it sets hygiene in place and it becomes the foundation for all the other activities. People need to know who they are dealing with and what they believe in.

  • Content Marketing-

    They say ‘Content is King’. I know, I know. It’s cliched. But it never gets old because it’s true. Your content drivers all your other activities. What people seek from you is information, consistently. There’s not getting around that. It is one of the most effective ways to convey your value proposition, your contributions, and your mission.

  • Public Relations-

    People underestimate the value of public relations. It is Earned Media and it demands reverence. A journalist’s credibility is on the line when they write something, and they have a huge expectation from the publication and their readers to give them credible, compelling information. Getting covered in the right publication could be one of the most valuable additions in your Thought Leadership Marketing Campaign.

  • Social Media-

    Social Media is an affordable platform to reach a vast majority of your target audience (depending on your domain). It is probably the easiest way to get your message across the masses. It goes without saying that the social media posts need to be interesting. Quora, Reddit, and some other forums go a long way in establishing your value. (We advise a word of caution when using social media because you are accountable for what you say.)

  • Events-

    Nothing beats meeting your peers, followers face to face. It establishes a connect unlike any other. Finding a speaking slot at relevant events and delivering a meaningful, relevant speech can be extremely effective in certifying your domain expertise. When you deliver one good speech, people tend to invite you for more speaking slots.

But remember, with great power comes great responsibility. It is a thought leaders duty to work towards the betterment of the domain and the eco-system.

If you found this blog useful, we would love to have a conversation with you and hear about it. If I have missed out something, please feel free to write it in the comments section.

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