Blogging

The DOs and DON'Ts of SEO

If you’re a business owner, specifically a small business owner, SEO is no doubt a priority in your company. In fact, 57 percent of B2B marketers stated that SEO generates more leads than any other marketing initiative.For anyone not familiar, search engine optimization is the process of growing your online visibility through organic search engine results. Aka increasing your digital footprint without having to pay for it. That said, it’s a complex discipline and can be hard to navigate. To help everyone get a little bit better of an understanding, we put together our own list of DOs and DON’Ts when it comes to SEO!

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DO: Generate Engaging Content.

Putting out blogs and videos that resonate with your audience is one of the simplest ways to improve SEO. As more people are drawn to your website, the more naturally it will rise in the search engine rankings. Though it’s worth noting that quality over quantity should always be at the forefront when it comes to content creation. Focus on creating well-researched articles with quotable content to substantiate your reputation, but also increase your chances of your content being referenced on another website, more commonly known as “back-linking.” Search engines will automatically interpret back-links as a vote of confidence, however, be weary of walking the fine line when it comes to links.


DON’T: Become Too Obsessed With Links.

While of course links are important, as we said above, a common mistake is including too many links. Including your source for a statistic or news story is one always good, but having every other line in your article include a link not only makes it hard to follow along, it also makes it look like spam. People on your site want to hear your unique take on a subject, they don’t need every sentence to be one click away from navigating them off your page. Also, make sure when you do include a link, it’s to a reputable source. Nothing will discredit you faster than using a link that leads to an irrelevant page.


DO: Focus on Keywords.

You want to increase your visibility, so find out the keywords people use when searching and implement them into titles and meta descriptions where you can. Google Ads even offers a Keyword Planner to assist you in choosing terms. In the body of text, stay on topic as much as possible so the search engines recognize what you’re talking about, getting off on an unrelated tangent could cause your article to decrease in searchability.

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DON’T: Try to Take Shortcuts.

Don’t fall prey to scams offering for you to buy back-links or participate in reciprocal link networks, not only is it a waste of money, but they can actually harm you. Search engines are smart and are learning to pick up on these loophole tactics and the consequences for trying to cheat the system are reflected in your decreased ranking. SEO takes time and patience, nothing is going to change overnight.


DO: Focus on Local.

If your company’s target audience is local, it only makes sense to keep that in mind when strategizing for SEO. 43 percent of Google search queries are local, as are 25 percent on Yahoo And Bing respectively. Be sure to add yourself to Google My Business, a service dedicated to helping business owners have more control over what is seen when searching for a specific entity. You can also add a location page to your website so search engines can more readily deliver apposite results.


DON’T: Forget About Analytics.

You can read every article in the world about SEO, but at the end of the day if you don’t know how it’s helping or hurting it is just useless. Regular audits through your site, social media accounts, and Google Analytics will help you understand which tactics are working for you and which are a waste of time. Optimization means staying on top of it, not just coming up with a plan and letting it play out regardless of the results.






EMB's Favorite Super Bowl Ads 2019

The game may not have been the most exciting, but the commercials are definitely something to talk about. Below, we’re highlighting some of our personal favorites from the night.

Bumble - #InHerCourt

This 60-second spot features world-famous Tennis champ Serena Williams encouraging women everywhere to stop waiting because the ball is in our court. Don’t wait for someone to give you the power, ladies, we already have it.

Stella Artois - Change Up The Usual

The ad for the beer company played on nostalgia by featuring the iconic heroine of the hit sitcom Sex And The City, Carrie Bradshaw, forgoing her trademark Cosmopolitan and instead ordering a Stella Artois. If it’s good enough for Carrie, it’s good enough for us.

Microsoft - We All Win

For it’s first Super Bowl ad in four years, Microsoft went for the heartstrings, and successfully tugged. The video introduces multiple children, all of whom suffer from some sort of physical disability, and shows how they too can play video games like anyone else thanks to Microsoft’s X-Box Adaptive Controller. PSA: grab your tissues before watching.

The Washington Post - Democracy Dies in Darkness

In a more serious tone, The Washington Post elected to run their first-ever TV spot, which was narrated by Tom Hanks and stressed the importance of journalism and the free press. It highlighted various reporters, including some of whom lost their lives while on the job. Decidedly unpolitical, this is a great reminder that journalists aren’t the bad guys, they’re just giving us the facts.

CBS All Access - The Twilight Zone

Whether you care about the ads or not, this one was sure to catch your attention. As the game seemingly returned from a commercial break, suddenly the screen cut to black and announced CBS was off the air. Moments later, it cuts to an empty football stadium and reveals it’s actually a teaser for the upcoming reboot of the anthology series The Twilight Zone hosted by Academy Award winner Jordan Peele.

Agree? Disagree? What were y’all’s favorites? Let us know!

An Introduction to Live Video Marketing: Part II

A few weeks ago, we published An Introduction to Live Video Marketing: Part I. Today, we’re going even more in-depth and discussing some more tips and tricks to keep in mind when entering the world of live video marketing. By the end of 2019, 80 percent of the world’s Internet traffic will be video. Furthermore, viewers spend 8x longer with live video compared to video-on-demand. So what is it that makes live video so appealing and what are people looking for when watching?

According to Dr. James McQuivey of Forrester Research, a one-minute video has the same value as 1.8 million words, a.k.a. the equivalent to 3,600 web pages. The fact is, most people prefer to watch rather than read something simply because it takes less energy. The human brain processes video and images faster than text-based content, meaning they’re able to absorb more information from a shorter video compared to a lengthy article. That said, there are many platforms from which you can choose to host your live video, and it’s important to understand on which of these your target audience spends the most time.

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Facebook Live

With Facebook being the mother of social media, it’s no surprise they were the first ones to integrate live video hosting. This, of course. makes them the leader in attracting the largest audiences, but Facebook also offers the unique option of choosing a particular audience. This allows the opportunity to create tailor-made videos for different groups; perhaps older generations will want a detailed breakdown of how to use a product, while millennials would prefer engaging in a Q&A. With FB Live, you can deliver both versions. Videos can last for up to four hours and FB gives detailed analytics reports on peak viewers, number of people reached, comments, shares, reactions, etc. FB also alerts your followers when you are going live and lets you leave the video up on your page indefinitely so it is available at any time, even after the streaming is over.


Instagram Live

Although it has only been around for about two years, Instagram Live is a major player when considering where to stream. Unlike Facebook where you use high-quality compatible cameras, IG may seem less professional because it is all done through your mobile device. And while video quality is incredibly important when streaming, the more casual feel can provide a more authentic and engaging experience for viewers. It’s ideal for impromptu Q&A’s, a quick behind-the-scenes look, or even just putting a face to your brand and humanizing yourself a bit more. Not to mention it’s more cost-effective because you’re not paying for that fancy camera equipment. The video does disappear after you conclude, but this also encourages people to be more alert as to when you’ll be going live so they don’t miss anything.

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Twitter Live

A.k.a. Periscope, a live-streaming app acquired by Twitter in 2015. Twitter is known for being the place to go when watching or attending an event so that you can live tweet or follow along with others by using a designated hashtag. When the opportunity presented itself, it only made sense that the company would implement a way to view these events in real time. The two platforms work seamlessly together, but are unique in that the video is available through two separate apps. Like Instagram, Periscope is limited to mobile only so it too is best used when talking about something spontaneous. The raw footage may seem less advantageous on paper, but it gives people the feeling of really being there as the imperfections are more relatable to real life.


Like anything else, each platform has its pros and cons; the only way to really know what’s best for you and your business is through trial-and-error. Test out your options and see how people respond. But hey, everyone usually posts to at least four different platforms a day, so why limit yourself with streaming?





Five Tips For a Great Content Calendar

A content calendar is non-negotiable for any digital marketing manager. They may be simple in theory, but in practice they can be hard to create, and even harder to stick to. Today, we wanted to take some time to talk about some tips and tricks to ensure your content calendar is helping you manage your both your content and time as efficiently as possible.

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Consolidate Your Content Into One Shared Calendar

A social media manager has one calendar, a copywriter is scheduling blogs on another, marketing managers keep track of events in yet another timeline, and so on. Not only is this messy, but it’s not conducive to effective communication within a team. Instead, try using a spreadsheet or calendar each team member has access to and can update as needed; this way, everyone is aware of what each other is working on without having to explain it. Change can be hard, but encouraging everyone to work on the sole calendar will not only help productivity, but it will also help with organization and teamwork.


Schedule Out Content in Advance

Additionally, using one shared calendar eliminates the risk of disseminating too much content at once and causing it to get lost in the shuffle. If you see that a blog post is going up on a Friday morning, you’d be better off scheduling an IG Live Q&A at a different time, this way, the two pieces aren’t competing for traffic. This also helps with consistency and establishing a routine. People like to know what’s coming, so let them know when they can expect a new post, blog, video, etc. so they’re on the lookout for it.


Establish a Content Marketing Strategy

Contrary to what some may believe, a content calendar is not the same thing as a content marketing strategy. The calendar is a visual representation that merely spells out your approach whereas the strategy itself is pinpointing how and to whom you want to market. Gather your marketing department and have a brainstorm session. Who is your target audience? What kind of content do they want to see? What platforms do they prefer? These are just a few of the questions an effective content marketing strategy will answer. This also helps to align the team and make sure everyone has the same goal and vision to put forward when generating new content. Perception is reality, and it’s essential to ensure your brand isn’t spouting out conflicting messages.

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Keep the Calendar Updated

Too often, marketers build out their calendar and then grow complacent and forget to make sure their practices are still up-to-date and innovative. As we have said so many times, digital marketing is continually evolving, thus so too should your strategy. Live video, blogging, video marketing, social media marketing, these are all factors that digital marketers barely had to think about even five years ago. And we can be sure that at this moment, new tools and technologies we aren’t even aware of yet are being developed, hence the need to stay mindful of capitalizing on new trends and building them into your existing content marketing strategy.


Be Flexible

You can spend hours brainstorming with your team and think you’ve come up with the most successful strategy of all time, but then come to find out it didn’t translate to your audience the way you expected it to. It happens; it’s the reason we see flops like the infamous Pepsi ad debacle. This is where flexibility comes in. Play damage control, talk about what went wrong and then make a new plan. In this same capacity, you should be amenable to adding in content when relevant. Keep an open dialogue and encourage team members to come forward when they have an idea they think will really resonate with the audience.

For help creating a robust content calendar and content marketing strategy, contact us today.





An Introduction to Live Video Marketing: Part I

Last week, we briefly touched on four digital trends to look out for in 2019. But one in particular stands out, so we felt like a full blog post was needed to discuss it.  

Live video. It’s a tactic that can intimidate many people. Hearing yourself on camera, worrying about your appearance, tripping over your words… it can be scary! But, it can also be an incredibly useful tool in driving sales and generating leads if done right. 70 percent of marketers say video produces more conversions than any other content, and 73 percent of B2B organizations report a positive ROI from video marketing. It’s no secret that people love watching videos, so why not use that love to benefit your business?

Video content marketing has been a strong contender in the industry for a few years now, but thanks to new features on Instagram, YouTube, Twitter and Facebook, live video has now become possible for everyone to capture. People spend three times longer watching video which is live compared to pre-recorded content. That said, I think we can all agree not all videos are created equal, which is why it’s important to come up with a strategy before just jumping into the live video game head first. Length, video quality, content, time of day--these are only a few of the factors to keep in mind when prepping for your first live stream.

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Timeliness

Timeliness comes in two ways. First, you want to avoid the video being unnecessarily long. Our attention spans aren’t as long as they used to be, so people will get bored quickly if you begin to drone on. Cut the cheesiness and keep it real, don’t waste time thinking about a script or you’ll risk coming across as too rehearsed or sounding canned, thus taking away the feeling of live video. Secondly, you’ll want to be aware of your video’s timeliness in regards to your target audience. If you’re looking to reach executives, avoid live streaming during the middle of the workday as most people will be too busy to watch. If you’re trying to target parents, you want to plan around when they’ll likely be putting the kids to bed, packing lunches, checking homework, etc. Your video campaigns are meant for these people, so do your best to stream at an appropriate time for them tune in.  


Production Quality

Overwhelmingly, people’s top priority when watching videos online is quality. 67 percent say video quality is the most crucial factor when watching a live stream, and 23 percent who have been presented with a poor quality video experience would hesitate to purchase from that brand. If you don’t hold your videos to a high standard, who’s to say you don’t do the same to your products or services. Perception is everything, and with the multitude of user-friendly platforms available from which to stream, viewers’ expectations are higher than ever. Plus, no one wants to share a bad video on their feed.

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Engaging Content

It may seem like this goes without saying, but many brands struggle to come up with content that audiences actually want to view in real time. The most significant benefit of live video is that it gives followers a sense of “being there.” The various tools allow for the audience to engage via likes, comments, questions, etc., so take advantage of that. Invite them to be a part of your event, interview, behind-the-scenes look, or whatever it is you’re streaming. Although earlier we stressed the importance of not seeming overly rehearsed, it is equally important not to appear as if you are just winging it. Part of your strategy needs to be having a clear and concise purpose to your video and making sure viewers understand that purpose right out of the gate. Keep titles short but attention-grabbing, don’t leave people wondering what they’re watching or they’ll feel like you’re wasting their time.

As stated by the title, this is merely an introduction to live video marketing. We’ve barely scratched the surface, so stay tuned for another installment where we’ll broach some tips to executing your first successful live stream.






Four Digital Marketing Trends to Look Out for in 2019

Technology: the ever-evolving arena we live in as digital marketers. Gone are the days when artificial intelligence and voice searches were confined to the sci-fi genre; instead they’ve become a daily part of our lives. 2019 will undoubtedly bring even more advanced trends in the digital landscape, and as marketers, it’s our job to stay on top of them.

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Live Videos

Instagram Live, Facebook Live, YouTube Live… Everywhere you turn, you now have the ability to engage with followers in real time, to allow them to feel as if they are “part of the moment.” Not only is it a quick, and inexpensive, way to connect with your audience, it also carries with it a sense of authenticity. Live streaming means unscripted dialogue, immediate interaction through likes and comments, and it literally gives a face to the brand, instantly making you that much more memorable. Specifically, live video is becoming more popular for giving followers a “behind the scenes” look at what you do, how your product is made, who you are, etc. Vimeo found that 82 percent of viewers would rather watch a live video than view a social media post from brands they follow.


Voice Searches

By 2020, it’s estimated that 50 percent of all searches will be conducted by voice, whether that be through a smart speaker, laptop or smartphone. While this may still feel like a relatively new trend, it can no longer be ignored. Unlike typed searches that tend to be short and concise, voice searches are conversational, meaning content needs to be more conversational as well. Think about keywords people use to speak rather than type and make sure your copy reads well out loud and not just on a page. As the popularity for AI devices like the Amazon Alexa and Google Home continues to grow, so will the need to sell ad space across the platform.

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Chatbots

These days it is not uncommon to click onto a website’s landing page and immediately be greeted by a pop-up chat box in a bottom corner of your screen offering to help guide you through the site or answer any of your questions. However, it’s likely not an actual person you would be interacting with, but a chatbot powered by artificial intelligence. Even so, though, this offers visitors a more personalized experience. If they were in a physical store there would be someone there to help them, so why should the online version be any different? Not to mention, chatbots are available 24/7. Even when you’re sleeping or taking time off, your customer is still having someone take care of them. They’re also equally popular across generations as both millennials and baby boomers are comfortable interacting with chatbots.


Influencers

Facebook had its privacy scandal and subsequent investigation, Twitter is bogged down by fake accounts, SnapChat is struggling to generate revenue, yet Instagram grows ever stronger. In 2018, Instagram hosted 93 percent of influencer campaigns making it the most popular marketing platform. A 2016 study by Google shows that 70 percent of teenage YouTube audiences are influenced more by YouTubers than traditional celebrities. Influencers have become famous by showing their expertise in a particular niche, e.g., fashion, travel, makeup, etc., and thus become trusted on those specific topics. Influencer marketing is also expected to grow even more competitive in 2019, so start forging those relationships now, before someone else does.













Year In Review: What a Difference a Year Makes

What a difference a year makes.

It’s quite amazing how simple those words are and yet how true they ring at the turn of each new year. Around this time last year, I was in the second month of my business, with was the result of a leap of faith, and had just written my first blog for this website on how passion led us here. Back then, I approached the coming new year that would soon dawn with mixed feelings of excitement and fear. On the one hand, I was elated and enthusiastic about the beginning of what would be a great adventure courtesy of my venture into entrepreneurship--the launch of Enrich My Brand, my very own creative and marketing agency. However, on the other hand, I was afraid, as most daring entrepreneurs are (whether they admit or not); I was fearful of the unknowns that lied ahead of me in the new year.

Although I would soon land on my feet so to speak thanks to a deal I made with my former employer--the company from which I resigned to undertake this new endeavor, the fantasy of peace of mind would soon give way to the reality of the struggle of entrepreneurship. Several months into launching my agency, I would experience the cold, hard truth that is the difficulty of gaining traction in the market, and the perennial uphill battle that is client acquisition. Before long, I found myself not owning a business, per se, but being owned by a business, spending countless hours hustling and bustling as a ‘solopreneur’ taking two steps forward and one step back, only ever making incremental progress.

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Was I frustrated? Yes. Defeated? Never. Around the half-way mark of my first year in business for myself, I did some introspection, and it dawned on me how exhausting it was getting a new company off the ground in earnest. One way or another, I was always working; I spent countless hours researching my industry--from competitive landscape to market potential to best practices and trends. I learned so much about my field thanks to blogs, guides, ebooks, social platforms, webinars, and podcasts. I had to do it all and burn the midnight oil as part of my routine workflow. I almost got burnt out in a relatively short time, and that’s when I realized that steering this company to success per my long-term vision was my career’s Goliath.

It was around that same time I had a bit of a eureka moment, recognizing that I couldn’t build a successful agency with insanity as my business plan. By that, I mean doing the same thing over and over again while expecting different results. No, something had to give, I had to make some significant changes. Per the Chinese proverb, “If you want to go fast, go alone, but if you want to go far, go together,” I decided to take on a partner. After looking outside my little, two-person agency at the time, I would finally find the perfect business partner within my organization. Enter Rachel Beaird. In many ways, that has made all the difference as we have been able to accomplish more together--whether it be acquiring new clients, managing client relationships, interviewing and hiring, and subsequently directing and developing our interns.

Nevertheless, two (or more) partners do not (necessarily) a good business make. During this past quarter, we have undergone more turbulence than we could have ever anticipated--financial setbacks, internal turmoil, loss of clients for various reasons, an intern quitting, to name a few. However, we haven’t let these challenges leave us dispirited as we approach year two for several reasons. For starters, I am a better leader today than I was this time last year because of all that I have endured. Also, I have the support of a competent, capable and loyal business partner to share the highs and lows of this journey. Moreover, the countless hours I spent earlier in the year honing my craft, being a student of my industry, have prepared me to navigate these challenges, while my faith has enabled me to do so without using that same boyish enthusiasm I had when I first set out on this venture.

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Today, Enrich My Brand is a better agency poised to grow and scale exponentially starting with the dawn of a new year. Having learned from adversity, from our mistakes and failures, we know ourselves better; we know our strengths and weaknesses, our opportunities and threats, we know our niche, our ideal customer, our core services, our brand identity and message, and how to tell our most compelling brand story. Furthermore, we are positioning ourselves to begin investing in arguably the most essential asset any business can hope to have--quality personnel who buy into the vision and have a vested interest in the company’s success.

As is the way of the world since time immemorial, one year will soon give way to another, and at the turn of this new year, each of us will have the opportunity to reset. Each of us will have the chance to redefine who we are, what we choose to do, and how we go about doing it. My hope for you is that wherever life takes you, you resolve to make progress from this year to the next, however incremental it might be. That you continue to evolve, so you don’t have to keep subjecting yourself to yet another cliche New Years Resolution year after year. I pray that in 2019, you resolve to identify your purpose by looking where your passion lies and turning that passion into your life work, perhaps even a business, if the burning desire for entrepreneurship is something that calls out to you in your dreams. Godspeed, my friends.


Cheers,

Kenny Fomunung
Founder & Chief Wordsmith















Top Five Blog Posts of 2018

And just like that, 2018 has come and gone! It may have only been EMB’s first year, but it certainly kept us busy. We took on new clients, created websites, forged relationships, posted more social media content than we can count, and of course, established our weekly blog. Today, we wanted to take a moment to reflect back on our five most popular blogs from 2018.

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BRANDING AT ITS FINEST—CULT BRAND: LULULEMON

Early on in the year, we began a series of case studies examining companies or advertisements with so-called “cult followings.” In other words, rands that had customer service or marketing campaigns so exemplary it earned them a fanatical base of loyal customers. Lululemon Athletica established themselves as an icon in the retail industry and earned them scores of lifelong customers, or as some of them call themselves, “Luluheads.” The Canadian luxury retailer has generated nearly $2 billion in revenue and only continues to rise in popularity. I suppose it’s thanks to the Luluheads that this was our most read article of the year!


THE VALUE OF INFLUENCER MARKETING

Influencer marketing, the trend sweeping the nation. As platforms like YouTube and Instagram continue to grow, as do the career opportunities associated with them. In today’s climate, young entrepreneurs are able to make a six-figure salary by building their own brand via a written or video blog that they promote on their various social media accounts. Just in the last few years, Instagram has introduced stories, galleries, IG Live, and most recently, IG TV, making these influencers that much more accessible to followers. Influencer marketing spend on Instagram is forecasted to reach $2.38 billion in 2019, up from an estimated $1.6 billion in 2018. If you’re not already taking advantage of the power social media influencers wield, it’s time to start.


WHAT WE CAN ALL LEARN FROM NIKE

With all of the controversy that can be stirred up just by saying Colin Kaepernick’s name, it’s no surprise this blog makes the list. In early September, Nike rocked the world by premiering a new ad campaign starring Colin Kaepernick. The quarterback gained media attention in 2016 when he elected to remain sitting during the national anthem sung before the NFL game as a form of protest to the racism and oppression across the country. This seemingly minor incident created a movement that still echoes today and made Kaepernick a controversial figure and political activist. Knowing this, Nike made a calculated risk in making him the face of a new ad, and while some responded with criticism, many people applauded the brand for creating a powerful statement. Whether or not you agree with Kaepernick’s beliefs, this advertisement was a significant talking point in 2018, and one that will not soon be forgotten.

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BRANDING AT ITS FINEST—CULT BRAND: YETI COOLERS

Yeti was what inspired us to begin our cult brand case study series, and we’re so glad to see our inaugural post was so popular. Through an incredible branding strategy, Yeti turned their brand into so much more than a line of coolers and drinkware, it became a lifestyle. If you use Yeti products, you’re an outdoorsman. The company was founded in 2006 and is already valued at more than $5 billion; those $400 coolers add up fast I guess! But when you shell out hundreds of dollars for a cooler, you’re not just getting a cooler, you’re getting an experience and an invitation to the Yeti community.


THE VALUE OF BLOGGING

It feels appropriate this makes the list as it supports the reason this list even exists. Companies that blog receive 97 percent more link to their site compared to those who don’t. In 2019, whether you’re a B2B or a B2C business, you simply cannot afford to ignore the blogging trend any longer. Not only is it a way to strengthen your relationship with the customer by building trust, but it’s also much more cost effective than the money put toward paid advertisements. Not to mention, not only do 615 million devices around the world use ad blockers, but 77 percent of Americans will leave sites that use ad block walls. Blogging, on the other hand, has a positive ROI, drives potential customers to your site, and best of all? Blogs don’t stop working, even when you do.


We have so much fun creating these blogs every week and we hope you enjoy them, and maybe learn something new. We can’t wait to see what new trends will emerge in 2019 and you can be sure we’ll be here to tell you about them!






Four Tools Every Content Marketer Should be Using

Content marketing has quickly become one of the most competitive arenas in the digital landscape, meaning it is essential to have a dedicated content marketing strategy in place. It may seem simple to streamline your content for the week, but the truth is it actually takes a lot of time and effort. Below, we’ve outlined some of our favorite tools that help us ensure our marketing strategy is consistent, original and compelling.

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HootSuite

Posting to social media is easy enough, but having to individually log on to each platform--Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram, Twitter, etc.--to share the same message is not only tedious but also time-consuming. Enter HootSuite. More than 16 million people employ the tool’s ability to either post instantly or schedule messages across more than 35 social networks from one dashboard. Additionally, HootSuite offers analytics reports to help you better understand what campaigns are most successful.

Grammarly

No matter how adept a writer you may be, no one is immune to the occasional grammatical error or misspelled word. Luckily, Grammarly is there to make sure you never look the fool. Not only does the tool catch simple grammar mistakes and spell check the document, but it also takes into account the context and makes suggestions where a better word could be used, lets you know if you’re overusing a word, and even checks squinting modifiers. Plus, you can install a Grammarly extension into your browser of choice so that you don’t even have to leave your window for editing. Grammar errors are a needless mistake that makes you or your business appear less credible, so why leave it up to chance? (Special thanks to Grammarly for editing all of EMB’s blog posts!)

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MailChimp

59 percent of B2B marketers say email is their most effective channel in terms of revenue generation, and MailChimp is an excellent aid in creating and disseminating original marketing campaigns. The tool offers templates for newsletters, ads, emails and more and allows you to automate the messages for different audiences. After a campaign is sent out, you can track open rates and click rates, and Google Analytics works in unison to demonstrate the amount of traffic and revenue generated. Users also have the ability to create different subscriber lists, and MailChimp automatically keeps track of who the most engaged subscribers are and lets you know which emails are bouncing back.


Coolors

Speaking of email campaigns, a bad color palette can completely ruin a message, no matter how strong. 90 percent of information transmitted to the brain is visual, meaning if someone can’t read your type or the colors are too harsh on the eyes, they’ve deleted the email before they even read what it was about. With the use of Coolors, you never have to worry about unsightly color combos again. The site is free to use and instantly generates aesthetically pleasing color palettes with the touch of a button. You can even upload the image to be featured in your email or social post, and Coolors can the exact colors in the picture and design a palette to complement it. Once completed, you can save or export the palette to be used as many times as you need.


Check out one of our older posts here for four more software tools we love!








Immigrant Hustle: 100 Success Stories from American Entrepreneurs Born Offshore — Kenneth Fomunung

This article originally appeared on Medium and was written by Amine Rahal.

What’s your name, company name, and title?

Kenneth Fomunung, Founder and CEO, Enrich My Brand.

Which country did you emigrate from?

Cameroon

What was the most difficult thing you faced when you arrived?

Well, I had culture shock coming from a small, third world country to the vast United States with its variety of at once integrated and segregated cultures. I had to adjust in many ways, none more initially challenging than being understood by my new peers in school due to a then heavy accent.

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Why did you choose to become an entrepreneur? (c.f. What triggered you?).

Two words: my parents. Both my parents but particularly my mother, have always had a knack for entrepreneurship — growing up, I would witness her pursue one venture after another even while maintaining gainful employment. I suppose you could say I inherited that same zeal for business. However, beyond that parental influence, I have come to believe in the pursuit of happiness as only time and financial freedom can deliver us, hence my decision to become a successful entrepreneur in my own right. Most importantly, I want to make more than just a living, I want to make a difference, and being an entrepreneur is one great way to accomplish that longstanding personal goal.

What was the most difficult thing you faced when you first started your business?

Where do I begin — uncertainty, fear, and insecurity, to name a few? I had no clients, no significant savings, no loan, no line of credit, and no investors. I would say that the most difficult thing I faced was the prospect of succumbing to my fears and giving up before I even started in earnest. I took a leap of faith and quit my job to start my business. My business plan would come the following day.

Why do you think you have been successful?

Beyond my faith, I would attribute my success to a high emotional quotient or intelligence and willingness to be a student of life so to speak. I am constantly learning to hone my craft, to polish my skills, and to grow personally and professionally. Oftentimes, people focus on Intelligence Quotient (IQ) and think that the smartest people undoubtedly succeed in business. But, as for me, it’s been my ability to network and build mutually beneficial relationships that have allowed me to get off to a fast start in business. I’ve been able to connect with people almost effortlessly and show them that I am genuine, will go to bat for them, will remain loyal during times of adversity, and go above and beyond to meet their needs. I believe it is for this reason my former employer agreed to become my first client.

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What advice do you have for newly arrived immigrants that want to pursue the path of entrepreneurship?

Identify your passion because your purpose in life is often found where your passion lies. Moreover, if you are passion-driven in business, you’ll love what you do, and you’ll be good at it too. I believe that in the United States — the veritable land of opportunity — if you do what you do well enough for long enough, you will be rewarded handsomely in due time, all things being equal.