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CRYPTOCURRENCIES FOR BUSINESS: THE RISKS AND BENEFITS

If you’re a business owner and are looking for ways to improve your bottom line, maybe you’ll want to think about accepting cryptocurrencies as a form of payment from your clients and customers. Cryptocurrencies are getting recognized more and more as a legal form of payment, and are something that should definitely be considered if you want to stay up-to-date with new technology and new forms of payment that have the potential to increase your bottom line profits.

So what are the benefits of using cryptocurrencies in your business?

  1. LOWER TRANSACTION FEES

One of the reasons why cryptocurrencies are becoming increasingly popular with businesses is that cryptocurrencies have lower transaction fees. Unlike credit card and debit card payments which would usually charge about 3-5% for each purchase, cryptocurrencies offer lower fees that reach maximum of about 1% of the purchase price.

  1. NO CHARGE BACK FEES

Because all sales done with cryptocurrencies are final, as cryptocurrencies act basically as cash, there are zero chargebacks. Chargeback rates under 1% are typical, but even rates this low can significantly increase your rates when dealing with credit card companies. Accepting cryptocurrencies means one less thing to worry about.

  1. NEW CUSTOMERS

Due to the quick development of new technology, more and more people are using digital or mobile wallets, and since paying through those services is quicker, easier, and safer, people are increasingly gravitating to this new forms of payment. By accepting cryptocurrencies, you’ll be attracting more new-generation customers that are slowly taking over the market.

  1. TIGHTER SECURITY

Using a credit card to purchase something is the preferred method of payment for many people because you don’t have to bother with the amount of cash you have in your wallet. However, every time we purchase something, we’re revealing personal information that can be hacked by cyber thieves. With cryptocurrencies, there is no customer information to steal which makes both you, a business owner, and your customers less susceptible to fraud.

  1. MARKET YOUR BUSINESS ACROSS THE WORLD

Many businesses limit themselves to their native country because the costs of doing business in multiple currencies is restrictive. However, cryptocurrencies do not know these barriers because cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin, Dash, Ethereum, and LiteCoin offer fast transaction and are easily converted into the local money.

Obviously, there are many benefits to using cryptocurrencies in your business, but there is also one major risk if you decide to accept this form of payment. Cryptocurrencies have a tendency to have volatile price fluctuation. In other words, the price of various currencies (such as Bitcoin or LiteCoin) can change significantly from one day to another. However, potential losses can be prevented by using various programs or apps that will calculate the price of the coin at the time you accepted the payment and convert it into your local currency right away, depositing it into your local business bank account. So basically, even this volatility doesn’t have to present a problem if you approach working with cryptocurrencies with the right means and knowledge.

How to Make Instagram Stories like A Pro

Catching glimpses of someone’s life is very much possible nowadays. And it does not matter whether you are friends or not. Not even the distance between you matters! As long as you follow that person on Instagram or they follow you, then you can see these glimpses of their life.

They are famously referred to as Instagram stories.

But what are Instagram stories, in detail, and how can you make yours like a pro? Well, wonder no more because we have got your back.

Meaning of Instagram Stories  

These are stories, in form of pictures and videos that one can share on their Instagram account for their followers to see. As long as you follow someone, you are able to see the glimpses of their lives that they share. These stories only last for a day and are just a few seconds long.

How to Make Your Story Like A Pro

It all lies in the editing and the quality of the pictures or videos you want to share. For starters, you can share a picture or video that is already in your gallery or you can take one through the Apps’ camera. The Live option allows you to broadcast live. Normal option is for capturing normal pictures and videos if you hold down the capture button.

 

With the Superzoom option, you can record a video and even zoom up-close with sound effects. Boomerang option allows you to capture 3-seconds long looping GIFs while Stop Motion option puts together different still images into one video. To film a video in reverse, the Rewind Lens will work.

 

On the upper-right corner, there is a smiling sticker icon. Use this to get stickers that can jazz up your pictures and videos. You can change the position and size of the stickers. Do not forget to customize it with Hashtags, location, selfie stickers, and poll. The pen icon allows you to add texts and even symbols in various colors and font sizes. A background color can also be added, giving you an option to pick one that resonates with your story.

 

Keep your Instagram stories posts captivating and engaging for your followers with the above effects. Do not shy away from exploring all these options because they are the secret to great Instagram stories.    

 

MARKETING TIPS FOR RESTAURANT OWNERS

The competition among restaurants is pretty tough, and you’ll need to work hard if you want to be successful. Any restaurant has the possibility to succeed, but few restaurant owners truly know what they need to do to make their business successful. Here are 10 marketing ideas that will help you improve your business and get attention from more and more customers!

  1. GET A MARKETING BUDGET

There are certain things you will need to spend your money on to make your business stand out in the world of marketing. These are: branding, website, social media, advertising, content, and events. So have these in mind when calculating your budget.

  1. DETERMINE YOUR STRATEGY

Every business needs a marketing strategy, and restaurants are no exception. In marketing your restaurant, you will acquaint yourself with your competition, your target customer, brand-building techniques and advertising opportunities.

  1. DETERMINE YOUR TARGET CLIENTS

Every restaurant attracts a certain group of people, depending on their offer, interior, drink list, etc. Before starting with your marketing plan, you need to get to know your target customers. Research things such as the needs of your customers, their motivation for eating out, etc.

  1. GET YOUR SOCIAL MEDIA RUNNING AND UPDATED

Social media marketing strategies are definitely a force in today’s world. The restaurants with a strong social presence usually fare better than those that focus only on more traditional marketing strategies. So make sure you create a Facebook page, a Twitter, and an Instagram account, and keep up with activity happening on your social sites. If you are on a restraint budget, you can always get help from automated account manager that will help with your engagement and grow your following.

  1. FOCUS ON THE VISUAL

Make sure all your websites and social media sites are professionally designed and appealing to the eye. But you’ll also want to pay the same amount of attention to the interior of your restaurant, the design of your menus, etc. Humans are visual creatures and are wired to respond to your visual marketing.

  1. FOCUS ON WHAT MAKES YOU DIFFERENT

Developing your restaurant’s brand identity is extremely important in its marketing. Your aim is to build a distinctive identity around your target customers. Think about what makes you different (maybe you offer something that other restaurants in your vicinity don’t), and use that to your advantage.

  1. RUN PROMOTIONAL/HAPPY HOUR OFFERS

Providing promotional offers and happy hours, as well as coupons and discounts for your restaurant, is a sure way to bring new customers running. You can also try advertising your discounts through Living Social or Groupon, and get a ton of exposure in the process.

  1. GET YOUR PLACE LISTED EVERYWHERE

Make sure your restaurant is featured on all major websites people use for searching new restaurants and their menus. These include Citysearch, CitySquares, DexKnows, Facebook, Google My Business, Foursquare, MapQuest, TripAdvisor, Zomato, and other.

  1. GET YOUR WEBSITE SEO OPTIMIZED

Because you want your website to be visible in search engine results, hire someone who will build a search engine-friendly website for you.

  1. GET REVIEWS

Ask your employees to help share your pictures, write reviews, share news, etc. Set up a page on which customers can write their own reviews and help you attract more new guests.

 

WHY MARIJUANA-RELATED BUSINESSES NEED TO INVEST IN MARKETING IN 2018

Effective marketing and advertising are indispensable to the success of any new business, and if you’re starting a marijuana-related business, investing in your marketing this year is a particularly smart idea.

1 WEED IS NOW LEGAL IN CALIFORNIA

The nation’s most populous state, California, finally legalized marijuana this year, after two decades of waiting after the state first allowed marijuana for medical use. Weed is now legal for adults 21 and older, and individuals are allowed to grow up to six plants and possess one ounce of the drug tops. People are thrilled with the new recreational marijuana laws and if you’re one of the entrepreneurs thinking about starting a marijuana-related business (or have already started with one), you have to be aware that by just a little bit of marketing you can attract a lot of new customers that are already out there, keeping their eyes out for new offers.  

 

  1. THE NUMBER OF DISPENSARIES IS INCREASING

Dispensaries are, due to the fact that the possibility of running a pot business has only recently become an opportunity, still pretty scarce, but they are increasing with each passing day, so this is your time to strike – set the foundations of your business and be one of the first good ones. Because the legal pot business is still in development, you have numerous options when it comes to your marketing. All you need is a budget, a little bit of time, and a little bit of creativity.

 

  1. NOT MANY BUSINESSES INVEST IN THEIR MARKETING

Because marijuana is still illegal at the federal level, laws regulating marijuana marketing can get tricky, which is one of the reasons why businesses shy away from investing in their marketing. Another issue is that marijuana users are still pretty stigmatized in the modern society (although the fact is there are many of them). But don’t let this stop you. Rather, consider it your advantage. Not many businesses do it, leaving a greater portion of the new customers to you. Take a more sophisticated approach to your marketing and be among the first ones who will reshape the public’s perception of marijuana and marijuana users.

  1. SPEND LESS ON ADS BECAUSE OF THE LACK OF COMPETITION

Because you will be among the first marijuana-related businesses, you won’t have to spend as much on ads and marketing because you won’t have to try as hard as some of the future businesses to establish your place in the industry. This is exactly why it’s important to start investing in your marketing now and create a brand for yourself when the competition is still rather meek.  

 

  1. ORGANIC SEO

When it comes to marketing your business, Internet marketing is a must. So be aggressive with organic search engine optimization methods. Organic SEO refers to the methods used to obtain a high ranking on a search engine results in unpaid, algorithm-driven results. These methods include boosting keywords, writing high-quality content, backlinking, etc. By using these methods, you can help spread the word about your business – organic SEO will make your site grow as a living organism, and it will adapt over time to your readers’ desires and needs, making it more attractive to new readers/future customers.

CREATE A WEBSITE: TO DO LIST OF WHAT YOU NEED

If you’re starting a business and are planning on creating a website that will help you promote it, there are a few things you should know. First off, in order to create a good website, you should understand what you want. That means you should know who your online customers will be, what they are interested in, and what they will expect from your website. Second, you should be aware that this process will take some time and money, and in order to make it really good, you should never cut corners. Third, be aware that your site will need constant attention and maintenance, and in order for it to be really successful, you will need a team of web designers. And last but not least, you get what you pay for – so you’ll want to treat your web team as professionals and pay them accordingly.

Now, after you have all of this in place, you can start thinking about the actual website. Below are a few guidelines that will help you do that.

To start a website, you need 9 of these things:

  1. Domain Name

It’s a first thing you will need. It’s your digital address that customers will use to get connected to your website. Prices will vary depending on the provider. Choose the one which will work best for you.

  1. Business Email Address

To build trust and gain credibility on the Internet, having a business email address is definitely among the most important things. When people see businesses using free email accounts for their business website, it makes them question their trustworthiness.

  1. Website Building Software

Depending on your skills level and what features you wish to have on your website, there is a variety of website builder software available on the Internet. Some of the more popular web builders include WordPress, Weebly, Squarespace, and Wix.

  1. Website Hosting

A host is the storage unit where your website content is kept online. The type of hosting depends on the number of your visitors. The price of hosting will change accordingly.

  1. Website Template Design

A website template is a pre-made website design that will allow you to have a website that will look professional without you having to hire a website designer. If you’re starting your first website, this is an easier, quicker and more economical way to create your website design.

  1. Logo Design

Having a logo is a great way for you to create a brand for your website. You can either hire a graphic designer or use a logo generator and create your logo in a minute.

  1. High-Quality Images for Website

If you want your website to look professional, avoid using images of low quality or those you find on Google Images. You need unique and high-quality graphics.

  1. Image Editors

If you can’t afford to hire a good graphic designer, an image editor will be very useful – so you can crop, rotate or resize your images in a blink of an eye.

  1. Google Analytics

If you’re serious about your website and want to grow the number of your visitors, you need Google Analytics. It’s a tool that will help you understand how visitors are interacting with your website and what they visit the most. The data will help you understand what you need to fix in order to gain more popularity.

We can also do it for you =)

 

WHY A MARKETING STRATEGY CAN FAIL AND HOW TO AVOID IT?

Marketing strategy is an important part of the marketing planning process, and because its main goal is to increase sales and achieve a sustainable competitive advantage, you want to do it right. A well-crafted strategic plan can help you identify the best opportunities, the tools your company can effectively use to fight competition, save your company’s time and money, serve as a foundation for your communication campaigns, and create consumer preference for the brand.

However, creating a successful marketing strategy can be a real challenge, especially for new entrepreneurs, as it can fail for many reasons. We have made a list of the things you will want to avoid if you want your marketing strategy to succeed.

  1. BAD MARKET RESEARCH

Often times we make errors while interpreting customer feedback or data from surveys and focus groups. It’s our tendency to interpret the data in a way that coincides with what we believe the results should be. The main mistake in market research is not looking for other ways of viewing the data. So while doing market research, make sure you look for alternate ways of interpreting the information and consult your team or company when you analyze the data. Some of them might notice a flaw that you missed, and save you a lot of money and time in the long run.

  1. BAD COMPETITOR ANALYSIS

While coming up with a marketing strategy, it’s important to do an assessment of the strengths and weaknesses of your current and potential competitors. This analysis will provide you with both an offensive and defensive strategic context to identify opportunities and strengths. So what you want to do first is find out who your competitors are. Then, gather information about them that you need for your analysis. After you’ve gathered all the important information, study it and ask yourself how you are going to compete with your competition and pay attention to what they are doing wrong. If you don’t do your competitor analysis smartly, you will end up with goods or services that won’t really sell, as there might already exist something better in the market.

  1. USING ONLY ONE MARKETING CHANNEL

People have a tendency while working on their marketing strategy, to focus only on one marketing channel for many reasons. Sometimes it seems impractical to manage all channels, and you’ll definitely need to prioritize resources on the channels which will give the best returns. But don’t let this turn into putting everything into one channel that seems the most prospective. Social media marketing may seem as the easiest channel through which to reach large audiences, but don’t forget there’s also display advertising, email marketing, and affiliate marketing, all of which can help you attract customers.  

So in a nutshell, if you don’t want your marketing strategy to fail, make sure you do your research, pay attention to what your competitors are doing, and cover and target all marketing aspects – pay special attention to SEO, social media marketing, content creation, and other popular means through which you can market your goods or services digitally.

WHAT TO CHOOSE FOR YOUR E-COMMERCE BETWEEN WORDPRESS, SQUARESPACE, AND SHOPIFY?

Creating a website for your e-commerce nowadays is much easier than it used to be. You no longer have to make your site from the scratch, because there are quite a few website builders available on the market today that will have laid the foundations for you. In this article, we will present you with the three that are, in our opinion, the best ones out there. It’s on you, however, to try them out, and see which one works best for you.

WORDPRESS

Speaking of popularity, WordPress is by far the most popular one, which is the main reason why you’d want to use it for your e-commerce. However, it’s the hardest website builder to learn out of these three. But, when you do learn how to use it, you will realize that your possibilities and options are numerous. The cost of using WordPress is rather minimal, though it will increase as more traffic comes your way.  

SQUARESPACE

Squarespace is not the most popular right now, but that’s only because it’s the newest of the three so it hasn’t taken off just yet – but it’s slowly gaining popularity. Squarespace, unlike WordPress and Shopify, offers no app store. This was actually done intentionally because the company wanted to give you all features you need in the backend. However, as you might gather, this can limit your flexibility and the ability to expand. As for the fee, Squarespace is a little bit more expensive, but it comes with great tools and amazing themes for all businesses.

SHOPIFY

Shopify is the best solution for those who’re looking to make an online shop and need pre-made e-commerce tools. The backend is very friendly and you’ll easily get the most basic elements of the shop configured. The builder will walk you through adding and importing products, customizing the design of the site and setting up your domain. If you’re a beginner, you have nothing to fear about with Shopify. Even if you need a feature that isn’t included with Shopify, you can choose from many third party plugins that integrate with the website builder. Maybe it is somewhat expensive, but considering the features you get, it’s worth it.

IN ALL…

All these website builders are pretty great, but in order to find out which one works best for your business, first, you need to define your needs and goals. Since all of them have different user markets, make sure you know which one is yours before you jump into setting your new site up.

So, in a nutshell: If it’s important for you that your e-commerce page has an awesome template, Squarespace is the one for you. What’s great about it is that its backend is really simple to understand if you’re a web-design beginner. If you’re an intermediate user who wants to have many different tools and customization options at your hand, go for WordPress. Its main benefit is definitely the plugin library. However, if you want to make a great online shop, fast and quick, Shopify is the site to go.

WHAT DOES IT TAKE TO BECOME A SUCCESSFUL ENTREPRENEUR?

Succeeding as an entrepreneur is a lot of work, and before you start working on your business, you will have to work on yourself. There are certain traits that will set the successful entrepreneurs apart, so before jumping into the world of entrepreneurship, take some time to build a strong foundation.

First and foremost, work on developing a firmer and more active mindset with a stronger sense of self – because as an entrepreneur, you will be the one who will decide how and in which direction your business will grow. You’ll have to be on your toes all the time.

And while this dynamic environment can bring more challenges and stress, it can also bring greater fulfillment. But, do you want a comfortable and secure job, or do you want to build something bigger?

BE READY TO TAKE RISKS

One of the most important things you will learn as an entrepreneur is that taking risks is one of the essential parts of entrepreneurial life. In order to achieve something big, you have to be ready to do something big in return. Take Elon Musk for example. After selling PayPal for $165 million dollars, he took almost his entire fortune and invested it in SpaceX and Tesla. These two projects could have failed and left him penniless – but this move made him richer than he was before. So, be ready to invest, but of course, calculate your investments well.

DON’T HESITATE TO DO THE HARD JOBS AND DON’T FEAR FAILURE

If you want to be successful, be ready to roll up your sleeves and do the job others are not willing to do. Make others notice you. You’ll never turn heads if you just sit there and wait for the success to come to you. You have to try, even if it means you’re going to fail sometime. Besides, you know how they say: The faster you fail, the more things you’re able to try.

BE PASSIONATE ABOUT WHAT YOU DO, BUT BE FLEXIBLE

We all know that doing something without motivation can easily in disaster. So if you’re aiming for success, make sure you have chosen an idea that you’re absolutely committed to. Passion is everything in entrepreneurship. Let your idea become your mission.

However, sometimes, no matter how brilliant the idea is, in reality, it just isn’t effective. Therefore, be prepared to adapt to changes and challenges to make your business and your idea more feasible.

BELIEVE IN YOURSELF

Self-confidence is one of the most crucial entrepreneurial traits. You can’t think your idea is good – you have to know it’s good. You have to exude confidence about what you’re offering in order to convince the customers your idea is worth their time and money.

Of course, being self-confident doesn’t mean you have to rely only on yourself – accepting you can’t do everything on your own is another step to becoming a great entrepreneur – but you do have to realize that you are the only one who can make your idea a reality.

At the French Keys we know what it takes to be an entrepreneur, and know how stressful it can be. We help entrepreneurs in different steps of their project, from consulting to launching your project. Contact us for more info. Contact us for more info.

WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT THE NEW INSTAGRAM UPDATE

Instagram has recently announced a new update and with it rolled out a couple of new features. Unlike similar apps, which release updates only from time to time, Instagram has managed to keep its updates often, and it’s obvious it’s not planning to slow down. The substantial amounts of new features that have been coming out for the last few months show that Instagram is trying hard to increase its value and be of better use to all of its users, businesses included.   

SELFIE FILTERS

This feature will be very familiar to fans of another popular social networking app, Snapchat. Instagram now supports a set of eight filters which add live special effects to your pics. This initial set includes three different kinds of crowns: a gold crown, butterfly crown, and ice crown; live animal features (including a cute koala filter, as well as a bunny filter and giant purple feathers of a peacock); nerd glasses; and a makeup filter. Filters are activated by opening the camera and choosing a new face icon at the bottom right of the screen. Unlike some of Snapchat’s filters, these new Instagram filters are less aggressive and only subtly augment your face, which makes them feel more artsy and mature.

SHOPPABLE INSTAGRAM

Very recently, Instagram has rolled out this new feature to various beauty, jewelry, and apparel brands. It functions very much like tagging a photo, only in this case, you’re tagging it with your product information. These posts feature a new “Shoppable” icon in the bottom corner of the picture, which is meant to prompt the users to “Tap to See Products”. After they’ve clicked on the tag, users will be able to see basic price and name information. By tapping that information bubble, they’ll be taken to another, more detailed description, with a “Shop Now” button. This will, further on, take them to the brand’s site, where they can make their purchase. So thanks to Shoppable Instagram, users can now make purchases from within the app more easily – although, as mentioned above, this option is, for now, available to only certain brands.

SHADOWBAN

This feature is the least interesting to Instagram users (or should we say, not interesting at all) because it makes your posts not appear in the hashtag feed. So how do you know Shadowban is in action? Simple, when you notice your hashtags are being ‘un-discoverable’. You can still use them, but they will only show up in feeds of your current follower. This can be an issue because not as many people will be able to see your posts, so your likes and comments can seriously diminish in number. Now, is it your fault you got Shadowbanned? Below are the reasons which might cause this problem, so if you want to avoid Shadowban, make sure none of these are true for you.

  1.   Using bots and buying followers
  2.   Using the same hashtags over and over again
  3.   Sudden follow and unfollow sprees
  4.   ‘Broken Hashtags’

Instagram is very well aware of the issues Shadowban is causing and is prompting users to focus on creating quality content. Here is an article on how to fix it if you are a victim of shadowban

Comment on this article if you have any questions!

How to Choose the Right Social Media Influencer

Choosing the right social media influencer has become increasingly important in marketing nowadays. Modern customers have become more demanding and pride themselves in being able to easily see through the traditional ways of advertising. As soon as they suspect you’re trying to sell them something, they won’t even stay on the site, let alone click on your ad and check out what you have to offer.

            So how can social media influencers help you? Who even are they? The social media influencers are bloggers and other active members of social media, who use the Internet as a means of communicating and exchanging experiences with others. They talk. They share, and they give ideas. The questions you want to ask yourself is who the right person for sharing your idea is and how well they can do this. This article will give you six guidelines which will help you find the answers to these questions.

 

            #1. Check if the influencer’s content relates to the message you want to put across.  

Research is an important part of choosing your future influencer. Read their blog, read their social network account, really learn what they’re writing about and what their true attitude is. Decide if they’re the person who will convincingly share your message. See into what kind of audience they attract, and decide whether this is the kind of audience you want to be selling your goods or services to.

 

            #2. Check how active the influencer’s audience is.

Do they read this blog often? Do they discuss about what they read? Do they leave comments? These are all indicators of their interest. The more interested the audience is on the topic, the more likely they will spread the information you want to be spread.

 

            #3. Don’t look for an influencer with a huge reach, but one for good engagement

Just because this person gets a lot of visits each day doesn’t mean any of these visitors will be attracted to what you’re offering. The person you need to look for is the one who is respected in their target market, a person with a particular interest. Also, these lesser-known influencers might be more interested in working with you, because, who knows, you might be the one who will push them towards greater success.  Do not only focus on the number of followers but on the engagement rates, fake followers are so easy to buy but engagement isn’t. The trick is to make sure your influencer have at least 10% engagement compared to their number of followers. For example, if an influencer at 10k Followers, his picture should have 1000 likes+comment combined (900 likes and 100 comments for example)

 

            #4. Don’t overdo the sponsored content.

As it’s been said earlier, today’s audience doesn’t like to have something explicitly shoved down their throats when it comes to marketing. They will more likely read personal stories which mention the authentic use of a product or service because this they can relate to easier than the ads which tell them to buy something just because.

 

            #5. Respect the influencer’s creativity and their judgment.

Give your future influencer certain space in developing your campaign. If they are successful in attracting a certain kind of audience, they obviously know what they’re doing. Don’t interfere too much. Give them basic guidelines and explain the message you want them to put across for you. Show them you trust them. You can only profit from the respect you show them.