6 Tips to Find Influencers in Your Niche
Social conversations have a significant impact on what and how people choose to buy. 80% of consumers have purchased something based on the recommendations of an influencer.
However, most marketers say finding the right influencers for a campaign is difficult. Now that you are here, I will make it easy for you to find an ideal influencer in your niche. Let’s get started.
What Is Influencer Marketing?
Influencer marketing refers to partnering with people who have a robust social media presence to promote your product. Both you and the influencer benefit from this partnership. They get incentives (either monetary or non-monetary), and you get more sales.
Major brands like Nike and Gillette have been doing influencer marketing for decades now. Nike partnered with Michael Jordan in 1984 and generated millions in sales within the first year.
Benefits of Influencer Marketing
With more than 3.8 billion people using social media, influencer marketing helps cut through the noise by targeting specific audiences. Influencer marketing helps grow your business online.
Here are some more benefits of influencer marketing for businesses:
How to Find the Right Influencer in Your Niche?
Despite the many benefits of influencer marketing, it’s a waste in investment if you partner with the wrong one. Here are the six best ways to find the right influencer for your brand.
1- Search Through Industry-Related Hashtags
Hashtags are popular in social media, and almost every influencer uses them. Determine which social network is right for your business. Then, search for hashtags to find people who are actively using your industry-related hashtag.
Visit the social media platform of your choice and enter a hashtag in the search box. Check from the list of hashtags that appear as a suggestion to find the relevant ones.
Follow the best practices when finding influencers through hashtags.
2- Use Influencer Marketing Tools
Influencer marketing tools like Charitable can help you promote your brand, products, or services and grow your social audience. Charitable partners with top celebrities and influencers with millions of followers to ensure your message reaches a wide audience (the ones that you want to target).
The best part about Charitable is that with every campaign, they support a nonprofit cause. By partnering with Charitable, you will not only be able to build brand awareness and drive sales, but you will also contribute to making the world a better place.
3- Leverage Search Engines to Find Potential Influencers
You can find industry-specific influencers on search engines. Divide the list of influencers based on your needs to ensure they are the right choice for your brand.
For example, if you want to find social media influencers to promote your newly launched cosmetic product, search for “top beauty influencers on Instagram.” You will see a list of results.
When searching for influencers on search engines, follow these best practices to increase your chances of succeeding:
4- Look for Influencers Who Have Worked With Your Competitors
Discovering influencers who have worked with your competitors is a great way to find those who are likely to associate with you. This also gives an idea of who would be a good fit for your brand.
Another advantage of looking for influencers who have worked with your competitors is that you can analyze whether the collaboration was a success or not. Check the engagement rate. If enough people haven’t interacted with their post, it’s time to remove them from your list.
Avoid collaborating with influencers who are currently working with your rivals. It won’t look authentic if they promote both your and your competing products simultaneously.
5- Analyze the Quality of Engagement
Analyzing the influencer’s profile can help you determine whether they can help you achieve your campaign objectives. It also gives a lot of insights into their audience’s demographics.
6- Discover Popular Bloggers in Your Niche
Bloggers, too, are influencers. They might not have a robust social media presence, but they have a loyal following visiting their blog regularly.
Also, bloggers usually have a list of subscribers, and they send emails every time they publish new content.
By finding and partnering with popular bloggers in your niche, you can instantly widen your reach and acquire new customers.
To find bloggers in your niche, search “Your seed keyword +blog” in Feedspot. For example, if you want to promote an “SEO tool,” search for “SEO blog.” You will see a list of top 100 SEO blogs and influencers. Narrow down the list by analyzing who amongst them are an ideal fit for your business.
Influencer marketing helps reach a wider audience, boost brand awareness, and generate sales. However, finding the right influencer in your niche is not an easy task. You have to spend time and do some manual work to determine if an influencer can bring desired results. If you are short of time, use third-party influencer marketing tools to find the ideal celebrity for your brand. Happy Influencer Marketing!
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July 9, 2020 at 10:57AM
5 Smart ways affiliate websites can use social media to increase their website traffic
Affiliate marketing has grown in leaps and bounds over the past decade and has become one of the most useful and efficient customer acquisition tools for online retailers of all kinds. The ill fortunes of stores and brick and mortar companies over the last few pandemic-filled months has captured the attention of many.
As these physical stores face the onslaught of dwindling reserves of cash, online stores, and e-commerce, in general, have never been more important. And affiliate marketing has proven to be the key to continued growth and sustainability for any business that not only wants to survive but thrive as well.
The new push towards less conventional marketing strategies such as affiliate marketing pays off for businesses that do it right. That’s why social media and affiliate marketing are such a match made in heaven.
Marketing your affiliate links via social media is by far the fastest, cheapest, and most straightforward way to increase website traffic and thus revenue. Smart affiliate websites also rely on social media to build brands as well as establish a community and audience.
However, for social media to work for any affiliate website, quality content has to be shared, otherwise, you risk losing potential sales instead of attracting the web traffic that you so desperately need.
But first, what exactly is affiliate marketing?
The concept of affiliate marketing is one that’s simple to grasp. Generally, affiliate marketing allows business owners to sell their products from anywhere at any time- even when asleep. It is a tactic that is popularly used to drive sales as well as generate considerable online profits.
What’s so great about affiliate marketing is that it benefits both businesses and the affiliate marketers themselves, which probably helps to explain why it’s burgeoned in the last couple of years. Affiliates earn commissions every time they sell a company’s or person’s product.
The affiliate simply needs to find a product that he or she enjoys and then promotes it to earn a piece of the takings from every sale made. All sales and purchases are easily tracked through affiliate links from one website to the next.
Which social media platform works best for affiliate websites?
There is no one size fits all approach to using social media to drive website traffic. However, the beauty of social media is that it allows for testing and experimentation before settling for a particular platform. You can practically use any social media platform for driving traffic, as long as it meets your marketing objectives.
Before you select a particular platform, it is important to first consider your target audience. Which social sites do they frequent? Are you more likely to get your links seen on Facebook or Instagram? Which channels are your competitors using? Which platform will work best for the type of content you want to share, that is videos, photos, or blogs?
As an affiliate marketer, you must ensure that you set up your marketing with the most suitable social media platform from the very first day. Once you settle for a platform, you can then start to think of smart ways to increase your web traffic. To help you out, here are 5 smart tips that can help you generate the traffic and sales that you have been longing for:
Promote your content in niche-specific forums and groups
For instance, if you wanted to promote ping pong gear, you wouldn’t do it at good housekeeping. Pingpongetc.com, on the other hand, would be an excellent affiliate site in the sports gear market that can generate the kind of quality traffic that you need.
Ensure that you are delivering value with your content
The content that you are sharing on social media to drive web traffic needs to convert. As such, it must be superior above all else. This means that you must give your audience exactly what they need, otherwise, they will look elsewhere.
Great content should pique your target audience’s interest and draw them in time and time again. That’s how you build a loyal following and the surge of traffic that you need to succeed.
Include high-quality images where needed
If your links or products contain images, make sure that they are high-quality ones. The best performing content on social media contains images and videos. The use of high-quality images not only conveys to your followers and potential customers that you are legitimate, but they also have a high engagement rate, which is exactly what you need if you are trying to increase your web traffic.
Create shortened URLs for redirecting
Potential customers don’t want to deal with lengthy affiliate links and URLs because they are not appealing. That’s why it is so important for you to cloak your URLs to make them more enticing.
Research shows that shorter URLs are not only more clickable, but they are also more likely to get shared. The good news is that there are plenty of services that have made it easy to compress URLs such as Bit.ly and Owl.ly.
Promote enticing offers
If you want to increase your web traffic, then you should make promoting enticing offers a priority. People like a good deal and if yours is a great one, consumers and target customers will be naturally drawn to your website. This means that discount offers, sales, and giveaways should be promoted regularly
Affiliate marketing has been around for some time now and unlike traditional marketing tactics, this is one tactic that shows actual results. Add social media to the mix and what you have is marketing gold.
Distributing affiliate links through social media is an excellent way for businesses to boost engagement as well as increase visibility, which all work positively towards increasing overall website traffic.
The good news is that a boost in web traffic can be attained on almost all social media platforms. With these smart tips shared above, you shouldn’t have any issues utilizing your social media to drum up some much-needed business. Good luck!
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July 8, 2020 at 08:44PM
Understanding The Link Between Corporate Communication and Social Justice
“The recent killings of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, and countless others have prompted overdue conversations about race, social justice, and diversity and inclusion. While much of the national outrage is regarding policing practices, there is a growing conversation in the business community that companies have an important role in addressing racial injustice. It’s what feels different about this moment – the widespread recognition that everyone, not just government, needs to do better. While leaning into social justice issues is hard and uncomfortable, it will make your company a stronger and more inclusive organization.”
This quote from the blog post Corporate Communications and Social Justice – What You Must Know to Avoid Blunders from PhenomenalWriting.com is pointing out that businesses can and should become involved in social justice issues. It is something that Generations Y and Z expect, and older generations are starting to accept. The post goes on to point out three communication strategies to use when navigating the social justice landscape.
Commit to Change
“[A] statement of solidarity without real action or contradictory business practices is an empty and offensive gesture. Therefore, take a hard look at how your company plans to improve internally and externally and build a genuine message.”
“[I]f you don’t communicate that your organization is working on them, people will assume nothing is happening. This is the fastest way to undermine credibility and trust.”
Be Part of the Movement
“The attitudes of most Americans, especially many white Americans, on race, are changing, with more white people understanding the hardships that black people carry every day. … With this shift in public opinion, it is a poor strategy for companies to return to the status quo over the coming months.”
It is also important to keep in mind the guidelines for good business communication, in general. They still apply when communicating about social justice issues.
Keep it Succinct: It is critical for you to be clear, succinct and organized in all of your messages. To help with this, communicate everything as if you are limited to presenting only one slide on the topic. This rule forces you to filter your message down to only the key points, and succinctly organize that information. This self-constraint of “one slide thinking” will encourage you to practice sorting through complex information and boiling it down to the key concepts without the cluster of superfluous words.
Ask “Why is this important?”: Think before you speak. And, just before you speak, ask yourself, “Why is this important?” Craft your messages to focus on the two “I’s” – intent and impact – and de-emphasize the details that simply explain. Communicating intent will keep you from going off on a tangent, and focusing on impact will ensure you are directly addressing what is important to the listener, which is why you are communicating in the first place!
Remember to KISS (Keep It Simple, Stupid): Communication needs to be relatable. Don’t try to over-impress. Use simple language that sorts through the complex and creates common ground with your audience. Communicating is dynamic enough in itself, so don’t try to complicate it by using complex sentence structures and unnecessary words. Simplify your delivery and always use the KISS rule.
Think Bullet Points: It is important to always boil your message down to the critical few points – what are the barest bones you need to say what you need to say? Strive to be a person of few words while making every word count. To help do this, pretend you are writing bullet points in an email. This will help train your mind to summarize key concepts. Bullet point thinking forces you to sort through the complex details and get to the point, which will ultimately lead to better listener engagement.
Practice, Practice, Practice: Nonverbal, verbal, and written communications are all landmarks of being able to deliver an idea in an accurate, clear, and straightforward way. Each has its own nuances, but by subscribing to the above practices and using bullets, summarizing key details, and crafting more direct messages, your level of communication can drastically improve. And, of course, the more often you do it, the better you become at communicating clear and effective messages.
The PhenomenalWriting.com blog post sums it up well: “To avoid tone-deaf, meaningless, and racist gestures, your organization must shift its mindset and lean into race and social justice issues. The status quo has changed – tiptoeing and silence is no longer an option. Public opinion is changing, the U.S. consumer market is changing, and the world is changing – for the better. Your company should adopt these practices because it’s the right thing to do, and if you don’t, you’ll get left behind.”
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July 8, 2020 at 06:31PM
Facebook takes down network linked to Roger Stone, Proud Boys for ‘inauthentic behavior’
But it’s not everyday that one of those networks is run by President Donald Trump’s former associate, Roger Stone.
The most notable of the four is a network that was run out of the U.S. consisting of 54 Facebook accounts, 50 Facebook Pages, and 4 Instagram accounts. Facebook’s investigation linked this network to and his associates.
As part of the network takedown, Facebook also Roger Stone’s personal Instagram account. The eccentric right wing personality, who has a giant Richard Nixon tattoo on his back, would still grab from bizarre meme postings on the photo-sharing platform.
Inauthentic coordinated behavior is against Facebook’s policies. The company defines this as the use of fake accounts and engagement in order to mislead the platform’s users about who is behind a particular Facebook page, profile, account or group and to obfuscate what its purposes are.
According to Facebook, it began looking into the network in an effort to track the Proud Boys’ attempts to sneak back on to the platform. The network would post about Roger Stone’s Pages, websites, books, and media appearances as well as Wikileaks, the 2016 election, local Florida politics, and Stone’s own trial.
Facebook’s takedown comes at an interesting time for Roger Stone as he is set to begin a 40-month sentence in federal prison next week.
The longtime right wing campaign operative and self-proclaimed “dirty trickster” was found guilty on seven counts, ranging from lying to and obstructing Congress to witness tampering, last November.
In the lead up to the 2016 presidential election, Stone had attempted to contact in order to obtain hacked Democratic Party emails in an effort to help then-candidate Donald Trump. Prosecutors that Stone lied to Congress in order to protect Trump.
Along with the Stone-linked network, Facebook also took down a network of pages and profiles run out of Ukraine by an advertising agency as well as a network focusing on South American politics mainly run out of Ecuador and linked to a Canadian PR firm.
The fourth network that Facebook took down also had very interesting ties. This group of Pages, profiles and accounts focused on political issues in Brazil. Facebook’s investigation found that it had links to the offices of Brazilian President (and Trump ally) Jair Bolsonaro and his sons.
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July 8, 2020 at 04:58PM
How Hootsuite Integrates Our Paid and Organic Social Strategy
Organic and paid social—they’re the peanut butter and jelly of marketing. Together, they’re an unstoppable duo—a classic combination that can win over any crowd.
Unfortunately, these two worlds often work in silos as separate teams or even separate departments. At Hootsuite, we know our social success is directly tied to our integration of paid and organic efforts. I sat down with some experts at Hootsuite and they shared how our strategic efforts work together.
Bonus: Get the step-by-step social media strategy guide with pro tips on how to grow your social media presence.
Why unite organic and paid social strategies?
Simply put, you can’t afford not to—organic and paid need one another to be successful.
As Hootsuite’s social marketing specialist Brayden Cohen says, “In today’s social landscape, paid and organic need to create a complementary strategic approach—and the more harmonized these efforts are, the better your results will be.”
Organic is essential for building your brand and growing your community. However, because network algorithms are always changing, your organic posts won’t get the same play time that they used to—even if a top-performing post gets a ton of engagement from followers.
A paid social strategy expands your reach by exposing your content to more people. You can also target specific audiences based on demographics to boost the effectiveness of your prospecting and lead generation. However, you can’t run effective paid campaigns without a base audience base—and organic social is the day-to-day workhorse that builds that initial audience for you.
The more integrated you are, the more ROI you’ll see
When we surveyed over 3,100 marketers for our Social Media Trends 2020 report, we found that having an integrated customer engagement approach between social media and other digital and traditional channels leads to a higher level of confidence in social ROI.
From a customer experience perspective, this makes a lot of sense. Hootsuite’s principal business value consultant Mark Abrami notes that, “At first glance, it might seem more convenient for a business to separate paid and organic, but this is a mistake. From the customer’s perspective, this creates a very disjointed experience—and it shows in the overall success of both programs.”
How to better integrate your paid and organic social—tips from Hootsuite’s pros
Wondering how to make organic and paid programs work as a seamless part of your social strategy? Hootsuite experts share what you should prioritize when it comes to integrating your efforts.
Focus on your organic content calendar, then experiment
In the race to see bigger and better results from social, it can be easy to overlook the obvious: Regularly posting a diverse mix of quality organic content is absolutely essential for building a community and for your long-term growth efforts.
“Before you do anything on social,” Cohen says, “you need to get your organic content calendar down pat. It’s impossible to have an engaged, loyal following without one. You need a foundation before you can focus on building upwards.”
Your content calendar should be driven by a working social media strategy, which will help you define what to post, how often, and when.
Jumping into creating ads without a solid foundation will yield uneven results—that’s why it’s so important to use your organic content as a testing ground for your ads. “Once you’ve seen what resonates with your audience on the organic side, you can actually start working with data that will help define the paid side of your strategy,” says Cohen. “For example, with Hootsuite Promote, we can set up automatic triggers to promote organic content that is doing really well. This allows us to optimize our ad spend by investing our dollars into top-performing posts.”
Bonus: Get the step-by-step social media strategy guide with pro tips on how to grow your social media presence.Get the free guide right now!
Invest in employee advocacy as an area of organic testing
Employee advocacy is a growing area of opportunity that a lot of social teams aren’t capitalizing on. According to our Social Trends 2020 survey, only 30% of organizations run advocacy programs.
At Hootsuite, we know how important employee advocacy is to our organic and paid marketing strategies. Your employees have an incredible amount of social influence among their peers—and they’re trusted more than your brand. That’s why your employees play an essential role in the path to purchase. According to a study by Forrester, 81% of people who credit social media for a purchase decision cite seeing a friend’s post or actively seeking out advice from peers.
Our team at Hootsuite has found not only that social networks prioritize posts from peers, but also that these posts have a bigger impact. For example, just one piece of content shared through Amplify—our social advocacy tool—can garner over 150,000 people in reach from employees sharing it to their own social networks. It’s an effective way to reach more potential customers and test content before putting ad spend behind it.
“As we’ve seen over the years,” Cohen says, “an employee advocacy program helps brand building efforts, and in doing so creates more potential for revenue from the ad campaigns we run. It’s another area to test out what’s working and invest our ad dollars into content that has a proven track record.”
Integrate your social lead tracking across teams
Once you’ve invested in the long game of an efficiently managed organic content calendar, you can start thinking about how to extend your reach beyond your core loyal followers to reach new audiences. As Cohen says, “Reach and lead generation are where ads become essential.”
Automating manual tasks like tracking leads can build a bridge between you and other teams that are also focusing on lead generation, helping all teams save time and avoid doubling up on work.
“We use tools that allow us to connect to multiple platforms so we can automate workflows across teams and track leads from social,” says Cohen. For example, with Hootsuite Ads, which allows us to run our search and social ads together, we’ve also set up automatic targeting and synchronized all our Facebook leads between CRM accounts. Instead of manually uploading lead information from a CSV file, we can keep our audiences automatically connected.”
For big campaigns or other lead generation initiatives that exist outside of our business-as-usual efforts, we set aside an ad budget that will allow us to reach specific customer groups with highly targeted content. “This type of planning allows us to map out our ad budgets on a quarterly and yearly basis,” says Cohen. “All of our metrics for these ads roll up to broader business objectives—and complement the lead generation efforts of the other teams we work with.”
Analyze your organic and paid metrics together
It’s almost impossible to track return on investment if you don’t have a bird’s-eye view of all your organic and paid content. That’s how you get the full picture of how everything works together.
“There’s no way we could manage everything if we didn’t all work within one platform,” says Cohen. “It’s essential for tracking metrics and sharing our results with the business.”
Our ROI tool Hootsuite Impact acts as our central source of truth: “The dashboard lets us see how posts are performing in real time and make changes instantly. If something isn’t going well, we know right away and can switch up our strategy. We can also analyze data from organic and paid posts together or separately using Impact—which is super useful. This allows us to pull all our metrics for weekly, monthly, and quarterly reporting.”
Be selective about what you measure
Just because there’s a lot you can measure on social doesn’t mean you should measure everything. Attribution remains a complex challenge for social marketers. If you get buried in the flurry of what’s possible to measure rather than focusing on what you should measure, you’ll end up even further astray.
“It’s always surprising to me when I hear people at other organizations say that they’re spending all this ad money and don’t really know where it’s going,” says Abrami. “If you don’t know what you’re tracking, you won’t be effective. There are too many things you can measure. That’s why you have to clearly define your goals and metrics. Otherwise, you get lost looking at data that isn’t actually that relevant to what you need to know as a business.”
Focus on the metrics that are most useful to your team KPIs and work from there. “You have to be selective,” says Abrami. “That’s the secret to success. By being laser focused on what you need to measure and why, it’s easier to report on the success of the actual program.”
Integrate your organic and paid content with Hootsuite and LinkedIn to unlock your brand’s potential.
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July 8, 2020 at 02:08PM
How coronavirus is impacting education, social and digital emerge as essential learning resources
Did you know that due to the COVID-19 pandemic, one in six high school seniors who planned on attending full-time college in the fall are now rethinking that path?
It shouldn’t come as a surprise given COVID-19 is impacting almost everything that happens IRL. From conferences, to office life to education, the unknown prevents the majority of us from making major decisions over the next year.
Think about that.
A pandemic will impact how we teach and learn from this point forward. Harvard has already said their entire 2020-2021 school year will take place online — and there will be longterm implications, both positive and negative for such a major transition. Luckily, the rise of online and distance learning has existed for years, it’s just now expedited and an “only option” for everyone versus a personal choice.
This recent infographic from CollegeCliffs showcases what it’s like to be a college student during the time of coronavirus and it’s not easy.
It will be essential for college students to utilize social media and other digital communication technologies to enhance their learning. From participating in Twitter chats to beefing up Linkedin profiles to using technology to showcase their professional skills. There is an unlimited amount of potential available in the digital world. In fact, there’s a HUGE opportunity for digital internships to coincide with online learning so students can put their practice to work immediately.
Looking at the positives, social media can help students supplement their learning, provide access to in-the-field professionals and offer an opportunity to get some experience prior to graduating.
If you’re a professional willing to offer a digital internship, consider the important impact it could have on students over the next year as they transition to online learning amidst so many unknowns.
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July 8, 2020 at 01:00PM
How to Sell Your Business
You’ve decided to sell your business—now what?
Selling a business can feel overwhelming, especially if you’ve never been through this process before. Between the timing of the sale and the logistics, there are lots of factors to take into consideration before you proceed.
First, you need to understand that it’s perfectly OK to sell your business. Many small business owners struggle with this concept, especially if it’s a company they’ve built from scratch.
Entrepreneurs sell their businesses for a wide range of reasons. Whether you’re ready for retirement, feeling overworked, or just ready to move on to the next chapter of your life, selling your business can be extremely rewarding.
If you take the right approach, the profits can fund your next venture or give you the financial freedom you’ve always dreamed about.
As someone who has bought and sold multiple businesses throughout my career, I know what it takes to sell your business the right way. I’ve taken a complicated process and simplified it to just five easy steps.
Step #1: Determine Your Business Valuation
Most entrepreneurs think they have an idea about what their business is worth. But in many cases, the number in their minds is way off from its actual value.
So before you list the sale price too high or too low, it’s best to bring in a valuation expert. A third-party valuation will provide you with a realistic estimate of the company’s worth. For a fixed amount (usually a few thousand dollars), a qualified appraiser can determine the business’s worth with a detailed report and documentation.
The report can ultimately help bring credibility to your asking price if prospective buyers question the amount. At the very least, the valuation will give you a rough estimate of what you can expect.
If you don’t want to hire an appraiser, you could always try to figure out the value on your own. Generally speaking, there are three main ways to value a business—cost approach, market approach, or the intrinsic value approach.
The third method, also known as the discounted cash flow approach, is the easiest to do. Most companies are usually worth anywhere from three to six times the current cash flow.
With that said, there are lots of other factors to take into consideration here. Industry trends, business debt, assets, and similar companies for sale are just a few examples to consider.
Whether you estimate the value on your own or bring in a third-party appraiser, the valuation may not end up being the final sale price.
At the end of the day, the business is only worth what someone is willing to pay for it. If you’re unhappy with the valuation, it might not be time to sell your business quite yet.
Think of it like selling a home. Your real estate agent could tell you what the house is worth, but the property could sit on the market for months at that list price. You might have to put some money into the house to get the maximum value. The same analogy can be applied to selling your business.
Step #2: Get Your Financials in Order
Once you’ve determined the company’s value, it’s time to organize your financials. For some of you, this will be much easier than others.
Selling a business puts lots of eyes on your financial records. Prospective buyers, lawyers, accountants, third-party valuation firms, brokers, specialists, and other people will be combing through your statements. To ensure everything goes smoothly, your bookkeeping must be immaculate.
In most cases, you’ll need to provide at least the last three years of tax returns, as well as accurate financial statements (balance sheet, income statement, cash flow statement).
Any mistakes or disorganization in these records could be a red flag for potential buyers. Inconsistencies in your books could raise other questions, even if it was just an honest mistake.
Am I being misled? Are these numbers trying to cover something up? Can I believe everything else I’ve been told about the business? These are the types of thoughts that will go through the mind of a buyer if errors are found in your financials.
The vast majority of small businesses don’t have an accountant or a bookkeeper.
If you fall into that category, I strongly recommend hiring an accounting expert to clean up your books before you list the business for sale. This will make your life much easier down the road.
Step #3: Hire a Business Broker
There are basically two options to consider when selling a business—sell it on your own or use a broker.
You could potentially sell the company on your own if you’re selling to a family member or someone trustworthy in your life. This will help you save some money on brokerage fees.
But for the vast majority of circumstances, using a broker will be your best bet.
Will there be some extra fees associated with this method? Absolutely. But a broker can help you get the best possible price and sell your business faster than you could do on your own. Remember, brokers work on commission. So it’s in their best interest as well to sell the company for maximum value.
The broker will typically form their own valuation of the business. Compare this to estimate you got back in step #1. While the two numbers probably won’t be exact, they should be relatively close.
If there’s a drastic difference between the broker’s estimate and valuation given by the appraiser, you might want to get a third opinion to see which one is more accurate.
Your broker has lots of experience selling businesses, which is extremely valuable. Other common duties of a broker include:
Business Broker Options
Here are recommendations on best business brokers to sell your business:
So how much will this cost you? Pricing for a business broker usually depends on how much money your business makes.
The general rule of thumb is this; the higher your revenue, the lower the broker’s commission fee.
A business with up to $1 million in revenue will typically pay a 10-12% brokerage fee, whereas businesses with $25+ million typically pay in the 2.5-4.5% commission range. For companies in the middle, it’s common for brokers to use the Double Lehman commission model, as opposed to a flat percentage.
It’s important to understand the broker’s commission model from the beginning. So ask questions if you’re unsure. Some brokers might even charge you a retainer, but you can probably avoid that by offering a minimum commission amount.
Step #4: Find Pre-Qualified Buyers
There are two key words to this step; pre-qualified and buyers (plural).
You’ll definitely want to field multiple offers for several reasons. For starters, not every offer will be legitimate. Selling your business requires you to disclose sensitive information about your organization. This could be worth a fortune to your competitors.
It’s possible that a competitor, or someone acting on behalf of a competitor, could make an offer just to review your financials. So don’t hand over that information to just anyone.
Most business transactions are backed by a third-party loan from the SBA. In some cases, banks require sellers to provide some of the financing as well. So don’t get too excited over the first offer that comes in and assume the company will be sold.
On average, it takes six to eight months to sell a business.
In addition to the broker, you could always bring in a sales expert to help speed up this process and pre-qualify buyers.
Buyers can typically be segmented into three main categories:
The type of buyer making an offer plays a role in how long it takes to process the transaction. For example, an individual buyer will likely need an SBA-backed loan, which can take up to 90 days for approval, whereas a private equity group could finance the purchase on its own.
Don’t rush to accept an offer right away, either. You can always use one offer to leverage another, which will give you the maximum value for your business.
Step #5: Finalize Legal Documents and Contracts
Once you’ve found a qualified buyer and accepted an offer, it’s time to finalize the deal.
This is where things can get a little bit messy and confusing. So you’ll definitely want to have your lawyer handle the vast majority of this stage.
Some of the standard legal documents and contracts associated with a business sale include:
You could potentially draft a purchase agreement and contract on your own, but I would strongly advise against that. There’s a good chance that you’ll miss vital information, and you could be left vulnerable to unforeseen circumstances. These contracts can be upwards of 25-50+ pages long.
If your current lawyer is not an expert with contract law, they should be able to refer a colleague.
Once everything is in order, it’s just a matter of crossing the T’s, dotting the I’s, followed by lots of signatures and initials.
Tips and Best Practices For Selling Your Business
While the process of selling your business can be simplified to just the five steps listed above, there are certain things you need to do along the way.
Follow these tips and best practices to make sure the sale goes smoothly. This will also ensure you get the maximum value for your business.
Boost Your Sales
As I said before, selling your business takes time. You can’t expect to list it today and get an offer tomorrow.
I’ve seen so many business owners focus so much effort on selling their company, that they neglect the business itself while they’re still in charge. You must continue coming to work every day and put all of your efforts into increasing sales.
Strong sales will ultimately increase the valuation of your business and make it more appealing to buyers. On the flip side, a drop or plateau in sales could be a huge red flag for prospective owners.
That’s why it’s important for you to surround yourself with people who can help you through this process. Let your broker, lawyer, and accountant handle their respective responsibilities. This will give you more time to prioritize sales.
Develop an Exit Strategy
Every business owner needs to have an exit strategy. The best exit strategies are developed long before the decision to sell your business occurs.
So hopefully, this is something you’ve been planning for a while; a proper exit strategy takes time to develop. For those of you who don’t currently have an exit strategy, it’s not too late to create one. But with that said, this might not be the best time to sell your business.
The last thing you want is to be in a position where you feel forced to sell your company. In those circumstances, it’s unlikely that you’ll be able to sell for maximum value.
Things come up. So have a contingency plan in place for a wide range of possible exit strategies.
What will you do if a big box store opens nearby? How will you proceed if age or illness becomes a factor in your life? What if your children don’t want to take over the company? These are just a few examples of situations that could arise.
When the day comes that you decide to sell, you’ll already be prepared with an exit strategy.
Selling a business can be very emotional. This is especially true for family businesses, small businesses, or something that you’ve built on your own from scratch.
Most business owners have a great sense of pride for what they’ve accomplished. Blood, sweat, tears, and sleepless nights are all things that entrepreneurs have in common.
With that said, it’s crucial that you keep your emotions out of the deal. Getting emotional can cloud your thoughts and decisions.
Prospective buyers don’t care how many hours you’ve worked per week for the last decade. All they care about is the bottom line. If you think an offer is too low or unfair, you can always decline.
In some cases, a competitor might make a legitimate and fair offer, with the full intention of buying. Don’t let an old rivalry prevent the deal from going through.
Get Paid Up Front
Make sure the terms of your deal require an upfront payment. Some buyers might make you an enticing offer, but don’t have the funding to pay you now.
Getting paid over time might not sound like a big deal, but this arrangement could pose some challenges for you down the road. You could end up in a situation where you’re not getting paid to the terms that you agreed. If that happens, any legal recourse would just be an added expense to your side.
Furthermore, the new owner could run out of money to keep the business alive. If that happens, there may not be any money left for you if the company goes under.
Let’s say you have two serious offers on the table. One is for a higher amount but involves a ten year financing period. The second offer is less but pays you upfront. I’d strongly recommend the latter.
Ready to sell your business? Don’t overcomplicate things; the entire process can be broken down into just five simple steps.
With that said, selling a business takes time. Have realistic expectations in terms of the price and timeframe.
In some cases, you might ultimately decide to postpone the sale until you can increase revenues and get your financials organized. If your company is doing well and generating high profits, it’s much more appealing to potential buyers.
Use this guide as a reference to walk you through the process. Make sure to follow the tips and best practices that I’ve outlined above to get the maximum purchase value for your company.
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July 8, 2020 at 12:59PM
Twitter is building a 'subscription platform,' and paying for tweets might be a thing
"This site is free" is a common refrain on Twitter. Meant to be read in the tone of sarcastic disbelief, it's often brought out to highlight the absurdity of a situation that someone has, typically, stumbled ass-first into online — on full display for all Twitter users to witness in real time, free of charge.
However, if a job listing on Twitter's job board is any indication, that last part might be going the way of 140-character limits. According to the posting for a senior full-stack software engineer, the social media company is building a possibly paid subscription service.
What does this mean, exactly? We reached out to multiple people at Twitter with a host of questions, but received no immediate response. We can guess, however, and that it involves some form of paid — and possibly exclusive — subscription access to tweets.
"We are building a subscription platform, one that can be reused by other teams in the future," reads the job listing. "This is a first for Twitter! [The new team] Gryphon is a team of web engineers who are closely collaborating with the Payments team and the Twitter.com team."
The job posting itself doesn't provide a lot of clarity as to Twitter's eventual plans, but it makes clear that the team behind the subscription platform will work closely with the internal Payments team. That does suggest some possible directions Twitter might head.
Imagine a future where celebrities and influencers can charge for access to their tweets. Or, news outlets can share breaking stories or in-depth reporting with their subscribers before their non-paying Twitter followers. In many ways, this is something that people already do via Patreon.
It's no shock that Twitter wants in on that game — even if it means the site, in all its wonderful and stupid glory, ceases to be 100 percent free.
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July 8, 2020 at 10:56AM
How to Analyze Instagram Stories Ads
Do you know whether your Instagram Stories ads are working? Wondering which ad performance metrics to track and where to find the data? In this article, you’ll discover how to analyze Instagram Stories ads data so you can find out what’s working and what isn’t. To learn how to analyze Instagram Stories ads, read the […]
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July 8, 2020 at 05:04AM
Coronavirus Impact: Importance of Online Presence for Businesses
By now, regardless of where you are in the world, you and your business have likely been affected by the Coronavirus.
With stay-at-home orders and social distancing rules in place, it has been hard on many businesses to stay afloat, especially if they relied on face-to-face interactions.
This unprecedented and unusual circumstance is begging the question: “What’s next?”
Our answer: Use a marketing agency to help create an online presence!
With non-essential workers working from home, they are spending more time now online than before – anything to make time pass!
These families no longer have to spend hours of their day commuting to work or taking their kids to school. This is good news for you! Fewer hours commuting translates to more free time, which many people seem to be spending online. And with your customers online, your business should be online too!
What Is Online Presence?
In order to have an effective online presence, businesses need to make sure that all aspects of their company are properly represented. This means having a good image, logo, and content that represents the business and its goals. It also means engaging with your target audience through social media, blogging, search engine optimization, and online marketing.
While you might feel that focusing on building an online presence is not worth the trouble, continue reading this article as we delve deeper into the importance of having an online presence and how we can help make your transition easier!
1. Larger Audience
The main reason an online presence is important is that it opens your business’s doors to a much larger audience. Having an online presence opens your business to more than just your local town that you traditionally targeted; it can allow people from anywhere to come across your business, potentially allowing you to expand across county lines and country lines.
With the rise of the digital era combined with customer’s free time due to the effects of coronavirus, the chances your customer learns about your business through an online channel will be the norm.
So, you are going to want to increase your presence through the online channels available to you so you can reach a much wider audience!
2. Easier to Showcase Product and Services
The internet has made it easier than ever before to let the world know what you have to offer! With a few photos of your product and descriptions, your customer can see everything you have to offer!
Furthermore, your customers can view your product or services outside of business hours. The internet never sleeps, it can showcase your businesses all day long.
Customers no longer have to wait for 8-5 office or store hours to reach out to you. With your online presence, they can find out what they need at a time that is convenient for them. If they have questions, you can consider adding chat boxes to help them with specific questions.
3. More Effective Marketing
With an online presence, it will be much easier for you to effectively and creatively market your business. This can be done through a well-designed, informative website, social media posts, videos, etc.
Marketing online has been shown to be the most cost-effective strategy when it comes to the return you will get. In fact, building a social media presence is cheaper than any form of advertising available today! The ‘shareability’ of social media makes it even easier for you, as customers can easily spread the word about your business to their own friends and followers.
4. Positive Reviews
How often do you look at reviews before making a purchase on Amazon?
Well, customers of your business are looking for the same thing – reviews and/or testimonials! A credible business will have positive reviews.
It should go without saying that bad reviews can hurt a business. Since customers use reviews to make purchase decisions, it is crucial for you to prioritize your customer service and receiving positive reviews.
Future customers will be able to see your positive attitude even towards a negative review and will be more likely to consider you trustworthy.
This is especially crucial for businesses. A business that is not accessible online will not survive in this digital era!
In our current digital era, it is important for businesses to take search algorithms and social networks into account. This will allow potential customers to easily access your business online.
The post Coronavirus Impact: Importance of Online Presence for Businesses appeared first on Social Media Explorer.
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July 7, 2020 at 08:46PM