Which Social Media Platform Should Your Small Business Start On?

Starting a small business is not an easy task, and so many fail within the first year. Many factors contribute to its failure, but the largest one is due to the lack of presence the business has in the community and on a larger scale. Fortunately, there are many social media sites a business owner can advertise on, thus generating a bigger interest in their business from consumers across the board. Below is a closer look at the various social media platforms available to business owners and the ways they can be used to benefit the business.

Social Media

Social media is a very cost-effective method of promoting one’s business because many people in the United States have an account. 81% of the population have one profile, and over half of that number have two or more social media accounts. Appiloque, a Singapore-based social media marketing agency, is among the many other platforms that drive customers to various businesses around the world. Take a closer look at the most popular social media sites business owners are using to promote their business and products.

Facebook

Facebook is the most popular social media site for businesses around the world. With over two billion users daily, Facebook is the most widely used social media platform among many age groups. Facebook will increase brand awareness, lead generation, website traffic, and online conversions. When used properly, the platform will make a notable difference in a business and the goals they have set for themselves.

Why Choose Facebook

Facebook is free to many users, and owners often have a separate page for their business. There, they can generate a following, as well as posting their products, service, hours of operation, or any other valuable information pertinent to the business. Aside from that, the business owner has the option to buy advertising so they can reach their target audience on Facebook so that they can target by age, gender, employment, purchasing behaviours, interests, relationship status, and so much more. This gives the business owner the power to put their content on news feeds of a targeted audience that is already scrolling through their news feed daily.

Instagram

Instagram is a great social media platform to promote your business because it is free (aside from buying ad space), has over 500 million daily users, and serves as a visual platform to include only photos and videos.  This works to the business owner’s advantage because people remember more of what they see as opposed to what they hear or read.

Pinterest

Pinterest is another great site to promote a business. This is especially true if the business is geared more towards women because 81% of Pinterest users are women. Weddings, food recipes, lifestyle, how-to articles, and so much more are some of the top searches found on Pinterest daily, and if your business falls within those areas, then you should be using the social media platform daily to promote your business. You can also use paid ads to increase your posts and track online conversations regarding your Pinterest ads.

Social media is a great tool for any business owner because of the number of daily users worldwide. In today’s world, having a social media account (or a few) is a must, and business owners need to conform to this to survive and increase their business presence and sales.

How Can You Take Your Music Career To The Next Step?

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When you’re in your bedroom, writing and recording songs, it can often feel as though you’re doing it for no one but yourself. Sure, you might show things to the people in your life, but the idea of your music being heard by thousands of people all around the world can feel so distant as to be almost impossible.

And, for a long time, that was the case. For a long time, if you didn’t have someone like a record label distributing your music then no one was ever going to be able to hear it. However, all of that has changed, thanks to one thing: the internet. The internet has created an environment in which it really never has been easier for you to not only spread your music to as wide an audience as possible, but also to actually make some money from it. With that in mind, here are some ways that using the internet can improve your music career.

 

Streaming

If there’s one thing that’s changed the face of the music industry more than just about anything over the last ten years, it’s streaming. If iTunes killed the physical CD, then services like Spotify killed the iTunes store. Being able to get your music on Spotify can seem like a serious challenge, but it’s not as difficult as you might think.

Not only that, but it can help you reach an incredibly wide audience that you might have never come into contact with. Additionally, plenty of other streaming services like Soundcloud and Bandcamp means that you’re able to put your music in as many places as possible, maximizing the size of the audience that you’re getting.

 

Social Media

If there’s one thing that has always been difficult for a lot of aspiring bands and artists, it’s getting the word out about their music. And sure, a lot of the old school methods are still great. Putting up flyers, talking to local record shops about stocking your music, and playing gigs are never going to stop being crucial parts of self-promotion. However, the internet has offered us something entirely new that you need to take advantage of. That is, of course, social media.

Sites like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram allow you to connect directly with your audience and offer a more personal connection than you might ever have been able to achieve before. After all, Twitter gives musicians and their fans a chance to actually talk to each other in a way that has never previously been possible. A band with a strong social media presence is always going to be more successful than one without it. Not only that, but it gives you the chance to record and put out things outside of studio recordings.

Check out this list of the top 10 portable recorders for live music. That way you can record live performances and put them out on social media. Offering your fans and followers a consistent amount of high-quality content is a great way to keep them interested.

 

Of course, just like anything else, the internet is a tool that you need to be able to use. If the music that you’re creating isn’t up to scratch then it won’t matter how well you spread it around or promote it. Make sure that you don’t try to rely on things like the internet to make your career a success rather than actually putting in the work. Quality always comes first. 

The Top Micro Greens You Can Grow Now

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If you are trying to eat healthy for the summer, there are likely a few things you have already tried and some better habits you plan to implement into your life. 

For a project which is fun as well as giving you some amazing nutrients for the body, growing microgreens can be a good answer. You can learn more about microgreens and what they are at Microgreensfarmer.com. Here, we are going to look at the best ones for you to grow this summer for a healthy diet. 

 

Chives

Chives are one of the most popular choices when it comes to microgreens because they are so simple to grow and will grow within a short span of time. In order to grow chives, use seeds or cut the top inch off an existing plant. 

 

Broccoli

Many people don’t think of micro-broccoli or other Cruciferous vegetables, but it is a super simple choice and one which is full of vitamin C and A.

 

Radish

If you love a bit of spice in your life and you want something which grows quickly, radish is your answer. Radish is very easy to grow (and quickly!), which makes it the ideal choice for those of you starting out. 

 

Sunflower

Sunflower seeds are a popular health food snack, but did you know that the plant can be great too? You can grow sunflower seeds easily, and they’re high in zinc and vitamin E, making them the ideal snack. 

 

Mizuna

This is a popular choice for microgreen growing and is mild tasting, so it’s ideal for many different salad mixes and meals.

 

Beetroot

Beetroot is a vibrant red and purple vegetable and the stems of this plant can be a great way to garnish any dish with a flourish. Beetroot stems are full of flavor and nutrients, making it ideal for many dishes.

 

Kale

Kale is one of the ultimate superfoods, and the baby version is no different. This leaf is full of vitamin C, which is essential for the immune system as well as the skin. 

 

Basil

If you want a microgreen which is packed with flavour and tastes amazing on pasta dishes, basil is the ideal choice. Basil is full of herbs flavour and will spice up any dish you decide to make this year. 

 

Chia

We’ve all heard of Chia seeds, which are used for many meals, but have you ever considered growing chia into plants and eating those? Well, chia seeds are full of protein and fiber and are one of the best microgreens you can buy. 

 

Garden Cress

A project you likely remember as a kid in school was to grow cress on the window sill and hope for the best. Well, garden cress is a great option as a healthy microgreen and it is a handy ingredient to add to most salads, sandwiches and even to garnish soups. It takes no time at all to grow and is the ideal choice for a beginner.

Getting Translated? Here’s What You Need to Know

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As a writer, you’re a wordsmith. A connoisseur of words. At least, in your own native tongue. But what do you do when your words need to be carefully traded for those of another language? Unless you’re lucky enough to be multilingual, you’ll need a translator.

Whether you’re a business writer breaking out into new international markets, or an author looking to sell more books, you might be thinking about translation services. But hiring a translator isn’t always as straightforward as you might imagine. Here’s what you need to know.

 

Do you really need translation services?

If you need your words in another language, you might think the answer is automatically: “yes!” But actually, there’s a difference in translation versus interpretation. These two terms are often confused by people seeking professional translation services. What’s the difference?

Interpretation usually relates to spoken content and is essentially paraphrasing. Because the didactic use of language differs so wildly between languages, an interpreter will condense the meaning into the most culturally appropriate form. The overall message remains the same, but word for word exchange is altered to reflect the language being used. If you require language services for business meetings or events relating to your writing, interpretation services are what you’re most likely looking for.

Translation, on the other hand, is perfect for the written word. Translation provides an accurate and functional means of communication between two languages. It’s a highly technical undertaking that relies on experts to not only translate the content of your document but also change the formatting so it follows the rules and conventions of the target language. Translation is ideal for highly professional or legal documents, where it’s imperative that the exact meaning of the content remains intact. It’s also what you’ll need for written content like articles and works of fiction.

 

What you need to consider before hiring a translator

Before you hire a translator, you’ll need to know what your target language is. If your client is in a certain country, this element is taken out of your hands, as you’ll need translation services for that specific language.

If you are a self-published author on Kindle, for instance, you might want to do some market research to see where your book could have a chance of success outside of your own language. Bear in mind that translation into rare languages might cost you more (and be more challenging to source) than translation into a language that is more widely spoken.

 

Finding a professional service

When you’ve settled on a target language, find a translation service that is an expert within that language. Usually, a translator is a native-level speaker of the language that the work is being translated into. Therefore, you can be sure that your work will not sound unnatural and stilted. When translated by an expert translator and native-speaker, it should flow naturally just as if it had been originally written in that language. So if a translation service offers more than one language, it’s worth checking that the individual translator will be a native in that language.

Reading testimonials and online reviews can give you a great insight into whether this service will offer the kind of value for money you need. Quality translation services, whether they be freelancers or entire companies, should have lots of experience under their belt. They might be able to provide references or examples of previous work.

When getting a quote, the translator should tell you what the fee structures are. You can also ask what the policies are for things like revisions, should you need them. Let them know at this stage if you are likely to have ongoing translation needs; for example, for a series of blog posts, as you might be able to make a deal on pricing for longer-term work.

 

Look for expertise

More than just being an expert in the given language, your potential translator might also be an expert in your particular field. Whether it’s technical writing, marketing materials, or a full work of fiction, you should be able to find a service that has experience in this area. After all, each type of writing has its own unique conventions and expectations. You’ll want to make sure the translator understands what these are and how to navigate them professionally, just like you have done in your native language.

You’ll also want to make sure that the service looks professional. Translation services are often professionally accredited, with a membership to the relevant membership body in that country. If this is not displayed prominently on the website, it might be worth asking to see a copy. This can help to assure you that the company is serious and that they care about maintaining top quality industry standards.

 

Other logistics to consider

Finally, make sure you know where the translator is based, especially if they are freelance and their location is not immediately obvious on the website. This is important because the translation process might require a lot of back and forth communication. If their office hours are in the middle of the night where you are, it might be better to find someone in a more similar time zone to save a lot of drawn-out communication via email.

If you have a style guide that you follow, be sure to send it over to your translator. If not, it might be helpful to detail the tone of voice, formatting and any other stylistic elements that are important to you. The more you are able to communicate what you hope to get out of the translation services, the more likely you are to be impressed by the results. Providing this information upfront can save assumptions and minor mistakes that then lead to revisions, causing delays.

Getting your work translated can be a big undertaking, but by choosing professional translation services that are experts in their field, you can save yourself a lot of trouble and be very pleased with the result.

How to Streamline Your Writing Process Using Technology

(Note: This is a guest post by Eric Gordon.)

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While people still herald paperback books and handwritten letters as wonderful traditions worth preserving, technological advances have made the writing process much more streamlined so production is faster than ever before.

Technology cannot generate content for you, however. Your writing projects need to be your own brainchild, but technology has a way of streamlining the process from conception all the way through to publication.

The right tools can help you with brainstorming and organization, and make the writing itself so much more seamless. These innovations have a way of sparking creativity and allowing writers to think outside of the box.

The Writing Process in the Digital Age

In the Digital Age, content is the backbone of marketing and sales. Businesses are constantly writing and creating new content. This includes business plans, blog posts, infographics, video scripts, magazine articles … the list goes on forever.

All that content conveys different messages, depending on the intended demographics and overall purpose, but there’s one thing it has in common: the writing process is typically the same.

While there is no overall consensus on how many steps the writing process has, with some saying four while others going as much as six or seven, experienced writers often combine some steps in the preliminary section. Overall, the most common process that’s used is:

  1. In the pre-writing section, writers start with idea conception. This is where choosing your topic, brainstorming, and the gathering of ideas takes place.

  2. The next step is organization. This is where ideas are put into an outline or a mind map. While you may not know the exact flow of thought at the beginning, you can see what ideas predicate others.

  3. The actual writing process is what follows. Individuals have unique approaches to the way they tackle this step.

    1. Some people believe the most effective way is to write one paragraph at a time. You write the first paragraph, then you go back and edit it. Then you write your next paragraph. You continue the process until you reach the end of the piece.

    2. Others prefer the all-or-nothing method. This is where they put their stream of consciousness onto a piece of paper and they write from start to finish without stopping. Most people fall into an in-between category where there’s editing done as they go, but mostly they write first and revise later.

  4. Last, there is the revision and editing step. This is where you go into your paper and add in sources, change grammar or sentence structure, and do final proofreading.

For each of these steps, there are various tools on the market that enhance the processes, make them more streamlined, help you research faster, or spellcheck automatically. Here are four great tech solutions that can help you write better content:

1. Mind Maps

Mind maps are brainstorming techniques and tools which help writers to conceptualize their ideas. They are used to join themes and topics, which normally wouldn’t be thought to be related. By seeing them on a mind map, you can think of new creative ways to link them together.

A good mind map tool is an app called Coggle. Coggle allows you to create colorful diagrams, which connect a variety of ideas, resources, and topics to encourage creativity in the initial stages of writing. It takes a bit to master mind mapping, but once you do, you’ll find new ideas for articles faster than ever.

2. Style Checkers

Style checkers, like the Hemingway app or Pro Writing Aid, are useful for the editing phase. While spell checkers and thesaurus apps are excellent for finding grammatical issues and helping writers choose more descriptive words, style checkers help writers determine the grade level at which they are writing. The choice of which one would be better for you is entirely up to you and your preferences.

This allows you to know if you’re too casual in writing, too formal, overly technical, or using too much jargon. This information helps you reach your targeted demographic. When marketing to seniors, for example, your language will differ greatly as opposed to writing about academic software for graduate students.

3. Cloud Sharing

Cloud computing has revolutionized the way content is produced, too. Instead of relying on onsite software, you can do everything from your browser with solutions like Google Docs or Office 365. Most are already familiar with Office 365 that comes with cloud apps (Word, Excel, and others) and their own storage solution: OneDrive. This allows you to have your entire writing project backed up online and accessible at any time.

Now, the beauty of cloud sharing is that you can share your drafts with collaborators. If you’re collaborating on a project, you can invite others and work on it simultaneously. This makes the editing and revision process much simpler since you have multiple pairs of eyes looking at a document within a short period of time. This means that not only will you have spellcheckers looking over your document, but will also have fellow proofreaders who will catch errors and think of other ideas to improve the content.

4. Speech to Text

Speech to text is actually how this article was written. Some people are verbal processors, while others do better by typing or handwriting their drafts. Whatever form of writing works for you, speech to text is an incredibly helpful tool for creating content in 2019.

By using speech to text tools for your drafting, not only do you really flesh out your ideas, but you have better chances of sounding more natural in your writing style. This will make your blog posts and scripts more relatable.

Technology has improved the writing process by making it more streamlined and given us great ways to explore new ideas with systems like mind maps. Collaboration is easier than ever now, thanks to cloud solutions.

 

Eric Gordon is an independent business development and marketing specialist for SMEs. He loves sharing his insights and experience to assist business owners in growing their revenues. You can find Eric on Twitter @ericdavidgordon