Author Archives: Christopher Jan Benitez

About Christopher Jan Benitez

Christopher Jan Benitez is a professional freelance writer. He has helped small businesses achieve their goals by implementing a strong content strategy that emphasizes their unique selling points and promoting created content using effective online channels and methods, in particular, social media marketing and search engine optimization techniques.

5 Killer Instagram Marketing Tips to Promote Your Business

As a social platform, Instagram has a unique advantage over other social media channels. Instead of simply writing about an update on your life and sharing it with your network, users on Instagram can visually show their followers what’s happening with creative images and videos.

Initially used by individuals as an alternative to other popular social media platforms, Instagram has now become a viable channel for businesses to connect with potential leads and customers to promote their brand and their products.

Regardless of your niche, you can reap the benefits of a well-executed Instagram marketing strategy for your business. Below are some of the ways you can do this:

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18 Fun Things to Do With Cryptocurrency

18 Fun Things to Do With Cryptocurrency

Cryptocurrencies are all the rage these days.

If you’re socially active, you should know at least one person who wouldn’t stop talking about Bitcoin. And whether you like it or not, they’re not entirely to blame.

Thanks to Bitcoin’s expectations-shattering streak these past few months, people are jumping on the cryptocurrency bandwagon.

Plenty of them doesn’t even bother to understand how cryptocurrencies work and why they have value. But hey — as long as it makes them money, what’s there to ask, right?

Of course, cryptocurrencies also see their fair share of skepticism, especially from people who believe that they have absolutely no backing. However, most of these critics overlook the single factor that can impact something’s value: sentiment.

Put simply; a cryptocurrency will always have value as long as people want it. Some may consider it as an investment vehicle, while others are interested in the transactions they can make with it.

And, by golly, there are tons of amazing, amusing, and straight up weird things you can do with cryptocurrency nowadays. Here are 18 examples:

1. Purchase a Property – Real estate developers in places like Dubai and Miami now accept payments in Bitcoin.

2. Pay for Parking – A handful of malls, airports, and other public locations around the globe are also embracing BTC-based transactions.

3. Settle Your Parking Fines –  If you learned about point #2 a little too late, don’t worry — you can easily settle your NYC parking fines with Bitcoin.

4. Purchase Airline Tickets – Still related to point #2, you can also use services like CheapAir to book flights with cryptocurrency.

5. Get a College Degree – Not only are universities offering degrees in digital currencies, some of them even accept tuition fees made in Bitcoin.

6. Watch/Do Crazy Stunts – Eristica, a “FunTech” startup, now allows you to win cryptocurrency via challenges that must be recorded on video.

7. Eat at a Restaurant – As the name suggests, bitcoinrestaurants.net can help you look for dining spots that accept Bitcoin payments.

8. Buy Stocks – Cryptocurrency investments are so revolutionary, you can convert them into stocks in certain online brokerages.

9. Charge Your Electric Car – Thanks to cryptocurrency, blockchain-powered charging stations for electric cars are slowly making their way into more countries.

10. Buy a Car – If you don’t have an electric car to charge, you can now purchase one with cryptocurrency — just like what Mason Borda didfor a Tesla Model 3.

11. Rent an Uber Car – If you’d rather use Uber than purchase your car, you can pay for your ride with a cryptocurrency debit card.

12. Get a Bitcoin Debit Card – About the example above, you can get your Bitcoin debit card from companies like Shift.

13. Crowdsource Electricity – A lot of people aren’t aware of it yet, but in some places, you can transact electricity through “MicroGrids” using cryptocurrency.

14. Authenticate Sneakers – Sneaker manufacturer, Mache Customs, is the first to use blockchain technology to discourage knockoffs.

15. Participate in a Marketplace – If you’re already a Bitcoin users, there’s a good chance you already know about free marketplaces like OpenBazaar.

16. Buy Pizza – Pizza for Coins— enough said.

17. Vote – In recent years, entities like NASDAQ and the government of Moscow tested the feasibility of blockchains for elections — an endeavor that can kick off the “e-voting” industry.

18. Buy a Casket – If you need caskets (hopefully, for decorative purposes), then Crescent Tide in St. Paul, Minnesota is willing to sell you some for Bitcoins.

Conclusion

The more innovators attempt to leverage cryptocurrencies or the underlying blockchain technology; the more optimistic people become with Bitcoin. With the examples above, there’s more than enough reason to believe that it’ll stick around for a long while.

How to Leverage Social Media Marketing for Your Business

Exposing your business is the number one rule to achieve success. There are lots of ways to do that. You can advertise it on TV, on the radio, on a billboard, or perhaps in the local newspaper. These ways are all proven effective.

But we should also understand that the times have changed, especially with how our current society works. More people are now hooked to the internet. Social media has become a staple of our everyday lives. And our day won’t be complete without checking our Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram account.

So what does this bring us? Simple. Social media marketing is now the best way to speed up your business’ expansion. Research proves this as 70% of people online are social media users. And the figures are increasing.

There are currently 2.46 billion users, and this is expected to grow to 2.77 billion by 2019. With this, it’s easy to say that it’s the best place to market your business. Not only is it easy to market on, but it’s also the most affordable, and most efficient way to get your proverbial word out.

Bring real value to your market

Creating real value around your brand is very important. It’s because this is where your reputation relies on. And engaging in your social media campaign isn’t always about promoting. You also need to deliver educational and informative posts.

Things that will help motivate others to achieve are a good example to improve your brand’s reputation. Bring in inspirational posts that will enable your followers to see the good in you. It’s a give-and-take relationship you’ve got out there. This means that your followers should also get something from you. And not just you getting something from them.

Know your target audience

Know well your target audience and be clear on which demographic you’ll be targeting. It’s through this that you can plan which kinds of posts you’re going to publish. You’ll also know the way on how you’re going to interact with them. By doing this, you can attract the right people interested in your offerings.

Develop your strategy

It’s a golden rule for any goal to have a rock-solid plan. Create a strategy that will make the journey from Point A to Point B easier. It might either be by getting influencers and power users or writing a specific type of content. This is also where you need to know how often you’ll post or what time of the day you’re going to do it.

Use an omnichannel approach

Social media, like many digital marketing channels, shouldn’t be utilized as a standalone silo. Instead, a company’s social media channels should be used in conjunction with other digital marketing disciplines such as content marketing, SEM, and email marketing.

Integrating your social media and email marketing gives Fans a more streamlined experience as they engage with your brand. You can use your Facebook cover photo to incentivize fans to subscribe to your email list and receive special offers. Make the offers exclusive to your Facebook fans and not available anywhere else online.

Once they subscribe from Facebook, you can use email automation software, like Campaign Monitor, to automatically send them personalized emails over time. For example, you can send them a Welcome email specific to Fans who have subscribed from Facebook with a special offer just for them along with different content related to your products or services. Based on what they click on in that email you can dynamically send them future emails with content and offers that they’ve shown interest in.

Focus on quality over quantity

This is where businesses usually get lost in the social media whirlwind. Never sacrifice quality for the sake of quantity. See to it that your posts are filled with informative and exciting content. Back it up with facts and statistics if needed and always double check your grammar.

This rule also applies to audience interaction.

Make sure your comments and replies are meaningful. They shouldn’t appear as spammy or made for the sake of letting people see that “you care.” By doing these, you’re able to develop relationships with your followers that will do your business better than you’ve ever imagined.

Conclusion

Social media might seem to be an easy avenue to help your business succeed. But it’s more complicated than what you initially thought of. You need to have a consistent performance and undying passion for pulling these through. But with the help of these simple but effective tips, there’s no doubt you’re going to propel your business to greater heights. All the best of luck, mate.

The Best Free Online Tools to Help Startups Manage their Customers

Every business’s goal is to gain customers, maintain good relationships with them, and build brand loyalty. Still, these things are easier to say than do and is what companies face on a regular basis. This is where online tools and free management systems become the best buddies of business owners or sales staff.

With the vast need for keeping customers, several companies have created helpful business tools. These software systems let you record buyers’ information and purchase status. Some even have additional functions like chat features, checklists, and inventory spaces. All these other amazing features may come in a bundle or single package depending on budget, of course. Still, it’s a good reference to know the options that are money-wise.

So to give you a head start and save up on the research, here are some of the best and free work tools you can try out:

Hubspot CRM

This CRM software is rightful to be the first mention on this list. It is effortless to use and removes all the technical knowledge required from users. With its clean layout, you can quickly see who are the sales agents that won deals or not. You can also merge your emails and even create direct email templates to your list of customer contacts. If at one point you are already an expert with Hubspot, worry not for the software has added features. Explore all the different functions with this simple and reliable CRM tool.

JustReachOut.io

Being able to do PR for your own business is an efficient way of getting the message out there. But one of the things that can hinder this is the budgeting. Good thing JustReachOut.io is available around the corner. This tool leads you right to the writers, press people, online sites that you can reach out to for media presence, all without the hit on your buck. It even has a direct email platform where you can quickly draft that email for press and send it. Now that’s contacting press in a jiffy!

Zendesk

To keep a steady relationship with your customers, every concern must be adequately addressed. If you wish to set up a proper customer service platform, Zendesk is just around the corner. This customer management tool assists businesses to set up a ticketing system. It also has a customizable dashboard and tagging option that allows you to maximize your reports. Build up a better customer support with Zendesk’s helpful features.

SurveyMonkey

Most of the time you need to know what your customers are thinking. It is also important to gain their feedback for improvement. With SurveyMonkey, you will be able to build survey forms that can benefit your business. Create an online form quickly with its easy-to-use platform and get statistics for the feedback. Never miss out what the customer wants to say.

Moosend

Once you’ve started gaining customers and recording their contacts, it’s best to keep in touch once in a while. Send them marketing offers, ask them how did the product go. Communicate actively by using Moosend’s email marketing tool. Create impressive email templates, add your enticing offer, and let your customers click that action button. All these and more are yours to try with Moosend.

I now have the tools. What’s next?

Now we’ve already laid out the top five free business tools that every company can try out. The decision-making process might take some time though if you wish to try out all options. Still, this is the best way to make sure you end up with the right process tool. Just make sure once you have chosen, you remember to do the right things when using these systems. Some of these are the following:

  • Putting enough customer details for follow up on your CRM tool.
  • Recording the proper social media trackers with social software.
  • Adding proper email signatures to your email marketing campaigns.
  • Organizing the tasks and deals to ensure proper sales reports.
  • Check the report charts and give credit to the right employees.

Remember that the primary goal of having a software is to see how your customer relationships are growing. It’s best not to forget to also check on the growth of your business and what might be missing. With the right work tool, you can quickly see where you’re headed or what needs to be changed. This is even a better avenue for you to connect not just with customers, but with your team too. So get back on your seat now and start trying out the best tool for your needs. Who knows, you might just end up with the right software in the next minutes, right?

Amazon.com Online Shopping for Electronics Apparel Computers Books DVDs more

How to Build a Business Empire by Selling on Amazon

Amazon.com Online Shopping for Electronics Apparel Computers Books DVDs more

Are you thinking of selling something online but don’t know where to start?

Answer this first: if you go online shopping, what is the first site you type into the address bar?

If not the first, Amazon is probably one of the top ten sites you go into.

In fact, according to a survey conducted by PowerReviews, Amazon surpasses Google as the beginning of their shopping journey.

Amazon is now the biggest online retailer and has become one of the largest search engines as well. And if someone does search a product using Google, it’s likely that Amazon is still the number one result.

Now, if you’re looking to do some side hustle online selling could be perfect for you. One of your options is to create your e-commerce site. However, this could take you a few weeks to months to finally launch. Not to mention the amount of money you will have to shell out for the domain, hosting, themes, and other expenses regarding having a new website up.

While it’s impressive that you can have a website you can call your own, there are better ways to do this that’s not costly and easy to set up.

And that’s through selling on Amazon.

Still interested in pursuing this new path? If yes, here are the things you’ll need to kickstart your Amazon business.

Choose a selling plan

Amazon offers two plans: Individual and professional. The individual plan allows you to sell 40 items or less and charges only $0.99 per sale while the professional one will enable you to sell more than 40 items but costs $39.99 per month. Both can incur other selling fees as well.

If you’re new to this, it’s probably best to pick the individual plan at first and decide whether you’re ready to the next level.

Pick your product well

The type of product you’ll choose will determine if you will be successful in this venture.

First, search for a product you’re looking to sell.

Is someone already selling it?

If no one is selling it yet, do you think people will buy it?

There’s a ton of things you’ll have to think long and hard to come to a final decision.

Here’s a step-by-step guide to choosing the perfect items for your store.

Price it competitively

When pricing your items, you need to search for competitors who currently have your products on sale. Pricing is really up to you. However, there are risks involved.

If you want to price it higher than others, make sure you have an edge against them. But if you don’t have anything up your sleeves, try to price it slightly lower than your competitors.

Handle inventory and shipping

Since you are reselling items, you’ll need to have an inventory. It could be your room or an empty basement.

Fret not. If you don’t have space at home and wants to be in this business, make sure to check out Fulfillment by Amazon.

Final thoughts

Selling your very first item could be a truly memorable experience. This could get you going and inspire you to continue and finally expand. If you need more information on starting your Amazon journey, check out this guide from Shopify.

Scaling your brand could be a matter of finding the right niche and knowing how to market correctly. It will take time, but as long as you stick with it, you’ll soon achieve significant growth. Good luck on your new journey!