Where is the world headed?

We’ll see a dramatic shift of expertise toward the wisdom of the crowd.
We’ll trust diverse opinions over the individual expert. We see this already with easy access to synthesized knowledge. CrowdMed, Wonder, Kaggle, InnoCentive, Pass The Idea, and countless other digital-age crowdsourcing platforms democratize expertise in even the most sophisticated topic areas.

Artificial intelligence will help us make smart decisions.
Robots and intelligent devices will instantly interpret diverse information sources. A deep learning robot will be able to make all sorts of decisions:

  • Find patterns in medical data to help doctors make smart diagnoses
  • Pinpoint fashion trends by scanning what people are wearing at music festivals
  • Recommend city traffic patterns based on air quality and congestion
  • Help teachers customize instruction based on individual students’ learning paces
  • Learn what viewers don’t like about a TV ad that causes them to change the channel

Additionally, connected devices mean that AI can equip us with real-time recommendations incorporating remarkably personal measures and drawing on traditionally human variables (like emotion and desire). For example, AI will be able to intervene before we get a craving for unhealthy food or could help us craft a more persuasive sales pitch. AI is already mimicking us, as evident in Facebook’s AI chatbots, and beating us, as evident in Google’s Go champion. Its expansion will have profound consequences on our personal lives and business growth.Related reading

Traditional education will get more accessible through democratized platforms and more open expertise.
Udemy, Coursera and other massive online learning platforms expand knowledge’s reach. Open educational resources diminish the demand for costly textbooks and further democratize access. Dynamic learning modules adjust based on a student’s expanding skills, giving many the personal attention required to progress. The future will be created by many who are just now getting access to education.

Tried & Tested Methods To Build a Perfect Landing Page [Infographic] by Kristel

Want to build a perfect landing page for your next campaign? Follow the ultimate landing page building guide mentioned below. This guide comes in the form of an infographic and covers essential landing page factors that wíll help you build a visually pleasing landing page which is optimised for conversions. The landing page tips mentioned here are tried and tested methods. As such, go ahead and check them out and for future reference, download the infographic (for free) and keep it handy!

The Anatomy Of A Perfect Landing Page Infographic

The Anatomy Of A (Perfect) Landing Page [Infographic] by the team at LeadForest

Kristel is a Digital & Social enthusiast. She loves to write about latest trends in Social Media, SEO & Everything Digital.
You may my email kristel@leadforests.com to fetch the gravatar for the post.

Twitter Profile:https://twitter.com/Lead_forest

Facebook Profile: https://www.facebook.com/LeadForest/
Google+: https://plus.google.com/113510792003201969400

Protecting Yourself as a Freelancer

When you think about the majority of large organisations, they all invest a fair amount of energy in protecting their interests, for instance, most retailers will have a loss prevention strategy that reduces theft from consumers (and employees) whilst the majority of professional companies will have professional indemnity insurance to protect their interests in the event of a claim being made against them.

Freelancers, on the other hand, tend to have a more amateur paradigm when it comes to protecting themselves which is perfectly reasonable, yet they leave themselves wide open to the same risks many large companies do – such as the risk of a negligence lawsuit being filed for work they’ve undertaken which is not considered up to scratch.

The majority of freelancers tend to learn from their mistakes, in receipt of reasonably tough experiential lessons – yet as with most things in life, prevention is often better than cure, and therefore it pays to have some prophylactic measures in place to protect yourself as a freelancer.

 

  1. PROTECT YOUR COMPUTER

There are a number of risks you must protect your computer from, which is likely the engine room of your entire freelance set-up… risks such as virus attack, data loss, theft and accidental damage – all of which could render you unable to work and/or losing substantial digital assets you’ve poured sweat, blood and tears into creating, to just vanish.

The best antivirus software for windows 7, for instance, is in high dispute whereas protection for Mac computers tends to be a less debated topic on the basis they are known for being more resilient to viruses and the like.

When it comes to protecting your computer, one of the most sensible things you can do is insure it against all risks, yet this won’t usually result in the precious data being recovered, which is often what people value the most.

Therefore, it’s imperative you back-up regularly, and whilst everyone screams this from the rooftops, it’s interesting how many people have not backed up their computer for ages, and kick themselves if their device is taken.

With regard to damage, people always imagine it wouldn’t happen to them, as they are too careful – yet, accidents do happen and sometimes they aren’t even our fault.  It’s therefore important to rely on insurance and regular back-ups to protect your computer, rather than a misplaced faith that nothing can go wrong.

 

  1. PROTECT YOUR HEALTH

The most important aspect of your freelance organisation is not your marketing, your equipment, your service or product – it’s you.  As a freelancer you are at the heart of your organisation and therefore, looking after yourself is imperative to protecting your business.  

The challenge, unlike employment is that if you get sick, you aren’t usually able to make money as most freelancers are trading units of their time in return for money – meaning if they stop trading units of time, they stop receiving money.

Therefore, as a freelancer, it’s much more imperative you look after your health, as there is no safety net to fall back on unlike employment which tends to pay sick pay.

 

  1. PROTECT YOUR SERVICE WITH INSURANCE

You might not feel you need insurance, as a freelancer, yet if you are providing a product or service then it’s a good idea to look into relevant insurance such as public liability and professional indemnity protection.

 

You Can Turn That Festival Romance Into A Long-term Customer Relationship

With summer well underway, we are now officially into festival season. And, you know what that means? It’s time to take your company on the road.

Whether you’re attempting to grow a food brand or extend your fashion reach, festivals offer fantastic marketing opportunities. People travel from all over the country. And, if you manage to secure yourself a spot, you can reach out to them all in one neat place.

Of course, though the crowds are ready-made, it’s down to you to consider how to impress them. And, if you want to gain the full benefits, you’ll also need to think about how you can turn festival customers into loyal followers. Lucky for you, that’s precisely what we’ll be talking about here. So, read on to find out how to make sure that festival romance doesn’t end once you pack up and go home.

 

 

Offer competitive prices

When companies head to festivals, they often charge above the odds. And, undeniably, you can raise your prices a little. But, don’t get carried away. Raise your rates as much as you need without making them extortionate. That way, you’re sure to stick in people’s minds at a reasonable business. That alone could be enough to see those customers coming back down the line.


Give them a way to remember you

Make sure, too, to give festival customers a way to remember you. Business cards are a fantastic idea here. Include your website and twitter handle, then pop these in each customer’s bag. Equally, you could offer branded bags. It might even pay to get something fun, like a small company badge for each customer. That way, there’s a whole load less chance you’ll blend in with the other stalls in their memory.

Make sure you’re one of the last standing

Over the course of a long festival, many companies may start to struggle. Some will run out of stock while others will find stall generators give up the ghost. Slowly, those still operating will reduce. And, that’s when you can really make ripples. As well as showing you to be professional, this again ensures you stand out from the crowd. And, that can keep those customers remembering you for a while to come. So, develop a delivery system which ensures you never run out of stock. Take a spare generator to ensure you don’t lose power. You could even look out for a crane truck for sale which will allow you to tow broken equipment and hide the evidence from passersby. They’ll be left wondering how you’ve managed to stay afloat when so many others have fallen. And, you can reap the rewards of those soaring profits.

 

 

As you can see, anyone who says festival romances don’t last is wrong. All you need to do is put in a little effort, and make sure you’re thinking of the future from the very start. Then, that festival setting could soon become the backdrop for a long-term relationship you’ll both be happy with.  

 

Going Mobile: What Does It Take To Succeed?

Each year, billions of pounds are earned by mobile businesses, with the mobile food truck industry earning over one billion in revenue alone last year. That’s one successful industry. The most popular mobile businesses also include pet grooming, beauty parlors, events planners for parties, wedding and corporate events, builders, plumbers, and electricians. Mobile companies offer a flexible approach to entrepreneurship. They tend to have low startup costs and high success rates. So it’s no wonder they are so popular. Whether you are dreaming of launching a mobile beauty empire or a food truck to beat all others, these tips will point you in the direction of success.

 

Find a niche to fill

 

The chances are that you already have an idea for your mobile business which is great, but it’s vital that before you launch your dream business, you take the time to do your research. It’s vital to determine whether there’s a need for your business idea, as if there’s not, then it could be worth rethinking it. If you want to launch a healthy, wholesome Mexican food van but there’s already one that operates in your area, then it probably isn’t the best idea as that niche has already been filled. To make a living you need a client base, so it’s vital that you select a niche that is yet to be filled in your area. The more unique your business concept, the higher your chances of success.

 

Be selective about your transport

Let’s talk transport. For a mobile business, transport is key, which is why it’s so important to be selective about your transport type. What you need to think about is practicality as well as cost. On the one hand, purchasing a new van or truck means it will come with a warranty and will be in fantastic condition. However, the downside is the high price tag a new van comes with, as well as the cost of converting it. If you opt for a pre-loved van or truck that has already been converted into a food truck that has all the equipment in place, a beauty salon that comes equipped with all the most useful pieces of kit, or a builder’s van complete with racking and shelving from a company like Van Racking Solutions, this will save you money. For a mobile business, your transport is the main part of your venture, so it’s vital that you get it right and make the best transport choice.

 

Get your admin in order

 

Do not start your engine and launch your business until you have got your admin in order. Take the time to research what’s required for a mobile business by law, such as permits, licences, and specialist insurance. For instance, if you are selling food you need to meet certain health and hygiene standards. There are plenty of resources online for determining what licenses, permits, and insurance your business will require to operate legally, so take the time to find out what you need to run your business.

 

Perfect your marketing strategy

Just because your business is a mobile one, that doesn’t mean that marketing isn’t required. Just like with any venture, to make a success of your mobile business it’s vital to perfect your marketing strategy. Part of this is having your business name and contact details visible on your van, as well as on your menus, flyers, and business cards. Utilising social media is also crucial, especially when attending festivals and events to make attendees aware that you are in attendance – for this the event’s hashtag is a crucial tool.

There you have it, a guide to going mobile with your business and making a success of it. Sure, it will take time for your business to build up, like with any venture, but as long as you take note of the tips above, you can ensure that your mobile business is highly successful.

 

Reaching The Modern Buyer [VIDEOGRAPHIC]

The modern B2B buyer has changed — what can your organization do about it?

It seems every month a new report is out showing sales teams that use social correctly see better results in terms of client relationships, pipeline gain and revenue growth. We’ve compiled the latest from including Forrester, CEB, CSO Insights and many more into an easy-to-watch videographic. Some highlights:

  • 84% of B2B leaders use social in their purchasing decision
  • Those who use social see 54% deeper relationships with clients compared to non-social sellers (all other respondents of the study)
  • Those who use social see 27% better conversion rates than non-social sellers

Enjoy, and feel free to share.

Original Post “Sales For Life

Hiring Your First Employees: Guidlines To Success For Social Enterprises

So, you have started your social media business, and things are going well. Business is booming, and you have plenty of customers. The trouble is, you have no time to take on anymore and your business runs the risk of becoming stale.

The answer, of course, is to seek out some help, and hiring your first employees is one of the most obvious solutions. But before you do, it’s vital to understand that as soon as you bring on full-time staff, many different problems can arise.

Well, we’re going to explore some of those issues today. And, we’ll take a look at many of the other guidelines to make sure your social business hiring process is up to scratch.

job_interview__________one_of_the_really_neat_things_about_g___flickr

Do you need to hire full-time workers?

First of all, hiring employees is an expensive business. They will need space and systems to work in. You have to pay them, regardless of whether your business is making money in any given period. And, of course, the extra costs of insurance and security can weigh heavily. So, before hiring anyone, ask yourself if you could outsource instead. Doing this means you will only pay for the work you need, and there are no tax or National Insurance issues to contend with. Plus, you could consider using freelance workers as a trial period to see if you genuinely need more workers on board.

Are you prepared for the paperwork?

The second you take on full-time staff, you will find yourself swamped with paperwork. Contracts, sign-offs, training schedules and a lot more besides can all eat into your time. In fact, without proper organization, you might find that managing employees starts to take you away from your clients. And that can be bad news for your business. So, look into HR software, or consider hiring human resources professional to help out as your first recruit. It should take away a lot of the pain you will endure, otherwise.

chase_shares_tips_on_online_job_searching___thanks_to_www_ja___flickr

Are you hiring the right people?

Building a great team relies on having an impressive hiring process. And, again, this can take a lot of time out of your busy schedule. There are solutions, of course. Finding a recruitment agency or agent can help you reduce the amount of time you spend finding the right candidates. However, you will have to ensure that you are taking in the right people that fit with your social business. The right mix of personalities is essential for success. And, taking on people that you can trust to represent your brand just as you would is critical.

Employee retention

One of the biggest issues you will find when hiring great talent is that unless you are appealing to their needs, they will look elsewhere. Retention is vital if you want to keep your business performing consistently. It’s not a great look for your company if your clients have to start again with a new face every month or so. So, work on your business culture and invest in personal development for your staff. Think about giving them a benefits package, too. You might not be able to match your competitor’s wages, but you can provide staff with a better environment.

I hope these ideas help you find the right people at the right time for your social business. All the best!

Dematerialize Your Business, Work Better

Let’s take a trip down memory lane and just think about how much “stuff” businesses needed to operate in the past. They required filing cabinets, full of archived folders, documents and contracts. They needed big desktop computers, and mainframes to run their business systems. They needed expensive conference rooms and theatres to entertain clients. And they needed all of the paraphernalia that goes into constructing a modern office.

 

 

Then, around fifteen years ago, we were introduced to the idea of “natural capitalism.” This was a concept championed by some of the world’s leading technology companies. The idea was to have a capitalist system that could operate sustainably and protect the environment. Companies began work, looking for ways to reduce the physical footprint of businesses. Trailblazers wanted to find the means to deliver products that customers wanted. But they wanted to do so without the usual business resource overhead.

Of course, if they had succeeded there and then, then they would have made killer profits too to sweeten the deal. But dematerializing business is a tall order. If it was so easy, practically everybody would be doing it.

But then things changed around five years ago. All of a sudden we started hearing whisperings about a new technology, enigmatically named the cloud. The cloud was a sort of wonder platform – capable of being accessed from any location using any computer. At the time, people didn’t really know how it was all that different from the internet. But as soon as they saw how it could dematerialize business operations, it began making a lot more sense.

 

The Cloud And Dematerialization,

In the past companies lived and died on the back of their document processing abilities. Thousands of boutique firms, like estate agents, lawyers and accountants pushed paper until the cows came home. It was an expensive and environmentally costly exercise. There was first the energy and resources that it took to get the material to their offices. And then there was the additional cost of sending it back out again in its new form. It cost a lot of money and put up prices for consumers and businesses.

But the cloud sought to change all of that. With document management software businesses didn’t have to rely on traditional means to push paper. Instead, they could digitise their paperwork and get it sent from one location to another with zero resource cost.

Dematerialization Is Even Better Than Physical

It wasn’t just that dematerialization was the same, just cheaper. It was also better. Companies found that they could turn the cloud into a new usage platform, allowing them to collaborate on documents in real time. Cloud computing enables network working in a way that just hadn’t been possible before. People could work on documents without having to be physically present. And they could use automatic sorting tools that simply weren’t available when documents were filed by hand.

The changes that dematerialization has brought to the workplace are extreme. The only barrier to getting rid of offices entirely now appears to be a cultural one. How long before the corporate world figures this out, I wonder?