5 Unexpected Sources For Generating Leads

Gone are the days of daunting cold calling. Forget the days where you’ve already been rejected before you even had a chance to say hello. Here are the unexpected sources of leads and clients you can actually make use of.

The surprising thing is you’ve probably spent or been spending some time utilizing these platforms and resources, but have never realized its potential to generate leads for your business.

Discussion Forums such as Reddit

Engage with your like-minded people through online forums and you’ll be impressed with how it can actually get you legitimate referrals or recommendations. You can also fake it by posing as someone who needs help.

Go over the comments and you should be able to fish a handful of recommendations from those people who share same the passion and niche with you.

Engage in LIVE Discussions

There are online groups and pages which every now and then would host discussions on topics which may benefit you both as a member and a group administrator.

Podcasts, Masterclasses and More

This can come in a form of a Podcast, a LIVE Facebook show or Instagram video. Generate enough audience and it should gather a few inquiries about your expertise.

Going live gets rid of the anonymity and cements one’s credibility versus just receiving a cold-email or direct message through other channels.

Guest in a Blog

Similar to engaging in LIVE discussions online, discuss your field of expertise in a blog which will surely target your ideal audience. This covers the downsides of LIVE discussions as they are rarely documented unless meticulously watched over and over again.

Blogs would leave a sort of blue-print of what you’ve shared and often becomes an easy reference to those who may inquire about what you can offer. This will also open an avenue for possible referrals through word-of-mouth.

Publish an Article

Similar to guesting in a blog, however this one is published through your direct page or business platform, it can be a Social Media page of your business or through LinkedIn, or lastly at your own website.

This works hand in hand with guesting in blogs as you could serve as back links for each other which is good for SEO. Having enough published works could help attest and showcase your expertise in your chosen service or craft. This would also get rid of the cloud of doubt of being a self-proclaimed expert.

Put Your Business out There
Social Media platforms are no longer limited for personal use. These platforms have provided unlimited access to the world and exposure of one’s endeavors and businesses.

Business Pages

Facebook has allowed business pages so as not to blur the lines between one’s personal and professional life. Make use of these platform by engaging and expanding your audience reach. As in most case it is a numbers game, increase your numbers to increase your chance of closing a deal.

Join Online Groups

Similar to discussion online forums this one however makes it easier to specifically target an audience which exactly matches or if not close to one’s niche. One man’s weakness may be another’s strengths. Fellow members often run to these groups to ask for help, often times to pass on clients since they overbooked.

This is a perfect opportunity to be close to those who have established themselves and be working with them or for them. This is a fool-proof method of getting you close or if not helping you in hunting meat for your business.

How is management changing in corporations and SMEs in 2018 compared

The year 2018 represent innovative and bold moves for corporations and SMEs. As compared to a decade ago, corporations and SMEs are embracing social learning as a way of developing their employee’s talent and keeping them connected outside their offices. Social learning encompasses peer social interaction. Social learning has brought engagement, self-direction and autonomy. Corporations and SMEs are using the social learning tool that support coaching and monitoring which leverage on the internal expertise organically. A decade ago, companies and SMEs used to offer online courses which lacked engagement isolated the learner and the learner felt lonely.

As compared to a decade ago, 2018 has seen the change in the way marketing has been done for many years. Corporations and SMEs are using live streaming videos to engage with the customers. Through love streaming videos, corporations and SMEs launch their products run business to business webinars, stream product reviews. Today, marketing managers are embracing live streams as part of their business strategy for marketing products. A decade ago corporations and SMEs used generic and interpersonal marketing. Interpersonal marketing is limited to geography; it is more expensive and takes more time.

Today, corporations and SMEs are embracing block chain technology to manage their documents and transactions. Block chain technology has improved efficiency, traceability, transparency and security of the organization documents and transactions. Through block chain technology, manufacturers and designers are able to accommodate through –life management of their products which makes more effective.A decade ago, corporations and SMEs used title searches and documents authentication which disrupted their businesses.

As compares to a decade ago, 2018 companies are embracing live interactions over the social media with the communities. Facebook interactions have proven to be very effective to many companies. Live interactions have increased brand loyalty. Social media interactions are proofing to improve relationship between the company and the consumers. Live social media interactions have enabled corporations and SMEs reach consumers across a wide geographical area. A decade ago, corporations and SMEs used traditional means of interacting with customers like road shows which proofed to be expensive and reached a small geographical scope.

In the year 2018, corporations and SMEs are embracing artificial intelligence (AI) to process large amount of data to perform redundant and more reputable tasks. Where organizations are using (AI), machines run independently with little human intervention. There is machine learning, deep learning where the machines learn chains together for rich learning. Companies and SMEs are using Google map to obtain real time data from the consumer’s mobile phones. GPs insights are being adopted by companies for shortening the schedule for the companies in the telecommunication industry. The municipalities are today AI to quickly respond to emergencies. A decade ago all these tasks were performed by humans. The use of (AI) by corporations and SMEs has eliminated the need for a big workforce which has saved the organization cost and time. In the year 2018 we expect to see (AI) being adopted by many corporations and SMEs across the globe.

LinkedIn: Is it Beneficial for Anyone and What Does Its Future Hold?

May be your counselor recommended it upon graduation. Or maybe you joined in out of sheer herd mentality. Chances are that you have an account on LinkedIn. The real question is has an account on LinkedIn really benefitted you or will do so in the future.

LinkedIn for Individuals

LinkedIn is a business-oriented social media platform with the aim of connecting businesses and professionals world-wide. It is implicitly understood that LinkedIn is a great way for connecting with professionals, keeping up-to date on industry information and news, conducting company research and most importantly for job hunting. According to a recent online poll conducted by The Guardian, 58% of the readers voted that they use LinkedIn as part of their job hunt. Thus, LinkedIn is clearly delivering value to job seekers, whether directly or indirectly.

With 260 million active users (as of January 2018 according to Statista.com), LinkedIn ranks 14th among other social media giants barely beating Snapchat with 5 million more users. When compared with Facebook’s 2.16 billion active users one might be misled into thinking that LinkedIn is not doing as well. It is understandable that LinkedIn would have a smaller user base than Facebook as it is targeted purely at professionals and its average user is 35 or more years old.

LinkedIn for Recruiters

There is one industry that has definitely been revolutionized by LinkedIn: Recruitment. A recent survey showed that 87% of recruiters use LinkedIn as a hiring tool. Recruiters spend most of their time on LinkedIn, either looking for candidates or checking the credentials of candidates who have applied for various jobs.

For many recruiters, LinkedIn is the first screening step. Candidates with endorsements and a polished profile automatically distinguish themselves. According to Laura Lashbrook Colby, Division Director of staffing agency Beacon Hill Associates, candidates who have applied for recruiting or sales/marketing types immediately create a bad impression if they either have no profile or a limited one.

LinkedIn for Businesses

LinkedIn’s huge user base not only means more chances for individuals to be head-hunted, it also means that businesses can make sure of this platform to connect with other businesses as well. Statistics show that over 57 percent companies have a LinkedIn company page. This means greater chance of business growth through customer engagement and community growth.

While LinkedIn might not be the platform individuals are excited to log on to, it certainly has penetrated certain industries. This has hugely impacted B2B communication. Businesses can promote their business by participating in groups, by establishing connections, driving traffic to your website and more.

94 percent of B2B marketers use LinkedIn for content distribution because LinkedIn allows you to identify your best audience using A/B testing and for audience expansion. With 7 out of 10 people holding LinkedIn’s content in high esteem, businesses can take advantage of this trust to promote their products and services.

LinkedIn: What does the future looks like?

LinkedIn has big plans for the future. By far LinkedIn’s major issue had been engagement and it is taking steps to ensure improve it. Moreover, LinkedIn is going to be integrating a lot of video into its platform. From Video Connection Invites to Video Profile, LinkedIn users will be able to use this medium to make a much better impression than before. Moreover, this will also protect people from spam invites.

The 10 Best Underrated Series You Should Watch

Winter has come and with the upcoming cold weather, there will be more time for indoor activities as well as watching series that you missed during the summer.

If you’ve already watched all the episodes of Game of Thrones, The Big Bang Theory, and The Walking Dead, don’t bother – here are the 10 best Underrated Series, you can start watching now.

#10 Happy endings

Following the example of one of the most popular TV shows, Friends, the sit-comedy Happy Endings shows the beginning of an adult life of six friends from Chicago and highlights why no matter what life throws at you, with the help of the dearest friends, you will be able to go through it.

#9 Young Sheldon

Fans of The Big Bang Theory will definitely be interested in the series, that shows the life of one particular character of the previous show – yes, ladies and gentlemen, the series presenting the childhood years of the genius, socially awkward and funny Sheldon is here and it certainly will make you laugh after a long day of work.

#8 The Great British Bake Off

Even if the first episode of the show debuted in 2010, you should really take some time to watch this delicious… umm.. sorry, interesting real tv series, organized around the passion for sweets and baking. In the show participate ten British amateur bakers, who compete with each other in order to win the acknowledgment of the judges and become broadly known as great bakers.

#7 Star Trek: Discovery

Lovers of Star Trek series have finally received another scientific-fictional series, that shows the beginning of USS Discovery discovering outer space.

The particularity of the show is that the main character is a woman, Sonequa Martin-Green (also seen in the popular TV Series The Walking Dead).

The show still features some main characteristics of Star Trek, where completing a mission is the main goal, but at the same time taking a more modern approach with unvailing bit by bit the bigger picture and story plot behind it.

#6 Taboo

A masculine, full of testosterone series, that will amaze those ready for some action and interested in the world before the all-present technology.
The show is happening in early 1814 on the territory of England, where the main character, Hardy, goes to war. The character is well-played by Tom Hardy, who mixes tension with humor, sometimes even at his own expense.

#5 The Sinner

The series that came out the past summer, will definitely leave you tense and interested in watching all the episodes at once, just to know the ending.
With Jessica Biel starring as the main character, the series starts with the crime she commits, as she stabs an apparently innocent man to death, in front of her husband and child.
A mix of retrospection to Cora’s dark past while investigating her motive, make the viewer interested in what will happen next.

#4 Big Mouth

If you’re more into cartoons than series and are searching for the perfect cartoonish, yet humorous show, look no further!
Don’t be fooled by the story, that presents five friends going through all the troubles of puberty.
The main character is presented through the voice of Nick Kroll and his comedy inserts, therefore it is not made so much for children, as it is for adults.

#3 Glow

Taking us back to 1980, Glow is a series that will catch your attention with hilarious performances and funny, 80’s style outfits. Alison Brie has taken the main role in this series that represents women wrestling – a “man’s” sport with girl drama.
We’re on it! And it’s great if you don’t have much time, because each episode takes only 30 minutes.

#2 Imposters

Another one of the newest, underrated series, that mixes crime with comedy. The plot of Imposters could easily refer to a real-life situation, as it shows a young, intelligent and beautiful woman, that takes advantage of men and women by marrying them and leaving them without a single penny.

After three of her previous victims connect in order to catch her, the series gets more and more interesting.

#1 Big Little Lies

It is a mix of Pretty Little Liars and Desperate Housewives and at the same time far from both.
Featuring some of the best female actresses, Nicole Kidman, Reese Witherspoon and Shailene Woodley, the series starts with showing the unflawed life of three successful mothers.
But the story quickly gets an unexpected turn, as they become involved in a murder.

These were just some of the underrated series, you can watch this winter.
Now all you need is some hot chocolate and popcorn, and you’re ready to go!

Who is the next Nextflix?

Netflix. This is the name that became synonymous with online movie rentals and award-winning productions. Pretty much everyone you talk to these days has a Netflix account and loves all the amazing offerings they have on display.

Netflix was founded in 1997 as a video sales business but quickly turned to a rental only company. It pretty much grabbed the entire market in the US by the advent of the Blu-Ray, helping the demise of such conglomerates as Blockbuster. Ten years later they decided to enter the streaming business as well (lucky for them) and thus they managed to remain on the top, even when sales of VHS, DVD and Blu-Ray dropped off a cliff or stagnated. Today Netflix has over 100 million subscribers, of which half are in the US alone. But in the last couple of years, Netflix grabbed the attention of various companies and not as potential clients. Major movie studios (like the Hollywood Big Six), cinema chains and TV stations are starting to become nervous, as Netflix exerts more and more influence on the way people perceive movie consumption and the way distribution is handled.

Since 2011 they focused mostly on their streaming services and ever since then they noticed that creating exclusives shows and full-length movies only attract more viewers. The TV show model was shaken by the effect Netflix had on them. First, they decided to get rid of the 30 to 60 minutes formula altogether, as people can watch what they want when they want. Then they threw away the pilot episode driven approach as well. They simply decided that a well thought out series can do well on its own, there is no need to test the waters. This was a bold statement for content creators of the industry, as they were willing to invest millions into a full season, without first getting the numbers given by a pilot release. The fact that Netflix has no advertisement on its platform (people need to pay a monthly fee for the service) puts most TV stations in a bad light, whom historically relied on ad revenue to be able to create the content they need.

But this newly gained viewing freedom also had another effect on viewers, one that was not expected. Viewers quickly turned into binge watchers. They pretty much sit down these days and watch a full season from start to end. Obviously, this is only possible with a Netflix-styled model, as this is almost impossible via a classic TV approach, without a lot of hassle (DVR is luckily a thing of the past).

But what about the movie industry? Why are they affected? Well, Netflix started airing not only original shows, but movies as well. Beasts of No Nation (released in 2015) was regarded as an excellent movie and the way Netflix distributed it, was loathed by studios and cinema chains. You see Netflix has the tendency to have a limited release in cinemas and if possible to have a day and date release on Netflix as well. This is a model that does not work for anyone else except Netflix. To add insult to injury, they also started to become a serious contender for major awards, such as winning the best short documentary at the Academy Awards, for their hit The White Helmets.

All in all, it became obvious, that Netflix currently has an ever-growing influence on the movie and TV industry. The disruption that it causes is visible in every corner and it affects everyone from big movie studio CEO-s to small cinema chains. And considering just how bold and cash-enabled the company recently became, chances are that this will only continue for the time being.

Busting the Myth that SEO is Dead in 2017

There has been an ongoing conversation as to whether SEO still works, with a good number of people terming it a dead approach. Well, Search Engine Optimization is still of importance to companies and brands seeking effective approaches that increases their product’s visibility.

We’re all aware of thousands of companies that offer similar products. It’s thus imperative for firms to take effective measures to ensure their products stand out from the rest. It is at this juncture that SEO comes into play.

Search Engine Optimization is basically a technique used by companies and brands to not only optimize their websites but also their social media platforms in a bid to rank high at the search results. These practices include; keyword optimization, link building, web design and much more.

The big question is SEO worth it? The answer is simple: yes! Algorithm changes rewards quality content, leading some people to believe that SEO doesn’t matter. We all agree that high-quality content is important for building customers’ confidence and trust, but one thing we need to understand is that it’s the same SEO that helps researchers to find published content.
This article is going to guide you as to why Search Engine Optimization is still relevant in 2017:

Content Visibility is Dependent on SEO

As noted earlier, content visibility primarily depends on SEO. Your precious time and effort could go into waste if you’re busy creating content that will eventually fail in search engines. SEO ensures that your high-quality content gets the visibility it deserves.

Internet Browsing is Primarily via Search Engines

People search information on the internet via search engines. This is the primary method of finding information. It is thus important for your product and services to be ranked high in the results. According to Google, the leading search engine, over 40,000 search queries are processed every second. So how can one connect with potential customers that search for information on various products and services? Well, through SEO

The Role of Keywords

Different search engines have different ways of processing keywords. Gone are the days when keyword stuffing was the norm, it now comes with penalties. Keywords are still of relevance as long as one knows how to use them properly.
The following are some of the tips one may use to come up with keywords that will create more traffic;

• Use long-tail keywords
• Integrate keywords naturally
• Use keyword tools

Having discussed all this, the bigger picture here is where the industry is heading. A solid SEO plan is very important to a company focusing to remain relevant within the ever growing competitive market. Search Engine Optimization helps in meeting customers’ needs through searching of relevant information available on the internet.

Companies should continue striving online by publishing meaningful content that can be of importance to their client’s needs. The approaches to SEO are rapidly changing – and this can prove to be quite hard in keeping up with the emerging trends and updates. However, there is one guarantee: search engines will continue rewarding quality content thus bringing SEO technique into the picture. Search Engine Optimization undoubtedly has a bright future ahead.

Will Major Hacks Lead to Internet Policing or Are Cyber security Measures enough?

Increased threat of cybercrime over recent years has lead to an increase in cyber policing with an imminent threat of complete clamp down on peoples internet freedom in some jurisdiction.

Never before in the human history has the information been shared so freely and thanks to advances in communication technology society has converted on the internet to share both ideas and some many other things. All this is however at the risk of being backtracked as cyber policing grows to try and arrest the menace of cyber crime.

Internet security is increasingly getting more personal and is not just a worry for governments, businesses and law enforcers. The man on the street is under attack and authorizes are taking upon themselves to cushion them from these malice through cyber policing.

But how much cyber policing is too much? Do we really need all this checks and balances or are we sacrificing our internet privacy on a pedestal of cyber security?

There are already efforts by international governing bodies like the United Nations and the International Telecommunications Union to encourage governments across the world to institute laws and regulations concerning internet use in their jurisdiction.

In the UK such powers by police to access everybody’s search history without needing to get a warrant from the court are now known legislated on the “Snooper’s Charter”. It provides sweeping legal grounds for law enforcers to check on what sites anyone is looking at and who they are communicating with, essentially stripping every single British person of their internet privacy.

While the internet seems broken in this error of Presidents tweeting like 16-year-olds, there is still need to protect the privacy of individuals on the internet and over policing would not be the best way to do this.

Furthermore, not all governments have the best interest of the people at hand. A good example is authoritarian states in Africa and the Middle East that would use such laws and powers in the guise of checking cyber security to clampdown on any dissident or opposition. And this is already happening in countries like Ethiopia and Turkey. “It’s a fine rope walk trying to balance between just enough cyber security and needing policing, we need to constantly be on the look out for that threshold, because internet policing would fundamentally shift the way the internet has been run for well over two decades, and people won’t happily roll over” – said Peter of Secure Links

By allowing internet policing to be a norm we are in essence allowing state sponsored hacking on their citizen legally. That might be good in ensuring safety of the masses, but not very good in allowing the spirit by which the internet was developed; to enable free and easy flow of information and liberate people from the confines of state imposed borders.

The world’s cyber security industry is expected to grow by at least 10 percent every year and reach $200 billion by 2021, according to research firm Markets and Markets. Probably this is the main reason government want to keep an check on it and increase their tax revenues while at the same time snooping on peoples affairs.

For them (governments) this is a double edged sword, but for the people this is a step back from the progress made in terms of communication and freedom of doing what they want on the internet without being monitors and over policed.

While the risks are there for less unsolicited checks from the internet police, a world without cyber policing is much better than having snoopers checking your search history every single day.

Conclusively we can do everything within out power to protect ourselves with an online presence yet, as it goes with everything else, people and technologies evolve and the measures currently available will not protect us forever, even in their updated formats. It is inevitable, then, that internet policing will come about and, given recent hacking events across the globe, most probably will be invoked in the not too distant future.

Are Gaming Companies Releasing Under Developed Games?

It is very, very true that video games are one of the best ways to relax yourselves. They provide more relief from stress than most other devices. Though it is true that playing games for long hours can harm or strain your eyes, but a little of it is actually quite beneficial. Other than that, it would also help you clear your thoughts and in the process, it can help you concentrate harder on your work when you eventually do get back to it. Most games are really attractive and they have a nice storyline that you would really love. You would totally get addicted to the modern games once you play them.

Irresponsibility on the part of the gaming companies

Though games have become hugely popular today, there are obviously some issues that you cannot overlook. Apart from being critical about the game content, there is something more grave that goes unnoticed most of the times. Most of the popular gaming companies have released half finished products over the years and get away with it. They also keep on using the same engines as previous years. Though this seems perfectly fine, only up to the time that they bring some huge twist in the content and modify the flaws in the previous models. But that is not what is happening. What are the reasons of such atrocities when game lovers spend huge money on them? There is also the pay to play model that is really bothering.

Let us look at the reasons why this is the case. Why aren’t game companies paying proper attention?

The Affluent Gamers – Most of the gamers like to squander money by trying out the new games that are launched. And that is why most companies know that they will earn back the money they have invested with huge profits. That is why even unfinished games also get a lot of income and publicity which should not have been so. The customers should be more careful before buying games and not accept products until they have been properly reviewed. This will stop the impetuous attitude of the gaming companies who bring such unfinished and sloppy products to the market.
Tough Deadlines – There is also the theory that the publishers give tough deadlines and schedules that are really difficult for the developers to keep. There are lots aspects of a game to be developed, including graphics, sounds and various other factors. There is also the storyline and creativity that has to be portrayed. If the developers do not get enough time, it is not possible to launch a product with its full capabilities and this is so in most of the cases.

Ridiculous Marketing Ideas – The games are launched just before holiday seasons to boost sales. This is another reason why there is a huge sale of the games even if they are not well developed. Also, this causes the publishers to schedule the making of the game accordingly.

All these factors are really affecting the making of the games. And this is happening mainly because of the stupidity and carelessness of the general public and buyers. If they are more patient and buy the game only after they have been properly reviewed by an expert, the atrocity of these companies will be kept in check.