The psychology of color in marketing and branding

Color not only has a crucial role to play in creating your brand identity, it can directly influence people's purchasing decisions. According to research, up to 90% of snap judgments made about products can be based on color alone. Although personal preferences, cultural differences and other factors influence how people react to different colors, there are general associations that can help you determine which colors effectively communicate your brand personality and how consumers perceive your...

How to achieve product-market fit

You know you have product/market fit when customers don't just want a solution to their problem—they want your solution. And they consider your product or service a "must have." Startups need to achieve a high degree of product/market fit or die trying. And most of them will die trying as they run out of cash before they're able to gain enough traction. Here, Hayley Leibson shares a six-step process to product development that "will lead to more efficient use of resources and a high degree of co...

5 copy-and-paste calls to action you can (and should) use in your emails

  Clarity is the key to effective communication and keeping it simple and to the point is crucial when you're communicating by email. Being direct and specific doesn't mean you have to sacrifice courtesy or come across as pushy however. Stating your request clearly and concisely makes it easier for people to respond and using polite language helps you get your point across without sounding rude. Emails are often "so politely vague, they end up being completely unclear," writes Kat Boog...

11 essential business metrics every entrepreneur should know

Entrepreneurs may excel at launching new ventures, yet they often struggle when it comes to taking their business to the next level. To grow your business you first need to collect and analyse the relevant data—the business metrics. And once you've identified the metrics that matter the most to your business, you need to monitor them consistently and take action to improve the results. To help you get started, Marina Pilipenko shares here the most common business metrics that are cruci...

How to boost your startup fundraising strategy with crowdfunding

Startup fundraising is notoriously difficult and despite the months of time and effort they put into preparing for each gruelling round of investor pitches, very few startups secure venture capital investment. In recent years however, equity crowdfunding has emerged as a viable alternative. Unlike rewards-based crowdfunding, which offers people an incentive in exchange for their pledge, equity crowdfunding allows startups to raise funds by asking for relatively small amounts of money from a larg...

How to use the OKR Google goal setting process to grow your business

Committing to ambitious goals helps you reach peak performance. If you consistently reach 100 per cent of your goals, they're too easy. Instead, you need to set challenging goals and stretch yourself to reach them. The OKR framework helps you establish your top priorities, create focus and make sure your efforts are consistently aligned with your most important goals. "Good OKRs can turn a sleepy company into a growth machine and can turn an entrepreneur into a person that crushes goal afte...

One easy way to have more influence

Communication is a core leadership function and to be highly effective in a leadership role you need exceptional communication skills. Yet in seeking to improve their speaking and writing skills, leaders often overlook another essential communication skill—listening. Leading with influence means being able to have a positive and lasting impact on others. And when it comes to creating an impact that inspires, motivates and persuades others, your listening skills outrank your verbal...

How to build a smart yet simple social media marketing plan [template]

While it may be tempting to post your content anywhere and everywhere to maximize its potential reach, this 'spray and pray' approach, with little regard for audience targeting, is ineffective and can even be counterproductive. Each social media channel has its own "rules, opportunities, audiences, and value propositions" and you need to know what, when and where to post so you can distribute your content more effectively, says content strategy consultant Jodi Harris. Here, she shares ...

10 ways women entrepreneurs can outwit “mansplaining” investors

The chances of your startup getting funding from venture capitalists are already very low—and they're even lower if you're a woman. In the male-dominated world of venture capital, gender stereotyping and bias create additional obstacles for women. Not only do female founders land fewer deals, they also get smaller amounts compared with their male counterparts. As a female CEO and investor who helps businesses scale and raise funds, Alexandra Stanton shares here some of the advice she gives femal...

5 tiny tweaks to your daily routine that will double your energy and productivity

Productivity isn't about getting more things done each day; it's about working consistently to get all the important things done each day. There are many tips and tools for organizing and prioritizing daily tasks that can boost your productivity in the short-term. To maximise your productivity for the long-term however, you need to create sustainable habits that improve your energy and keep you focused on your goals. Here, Julian Hayes II shares five changes you can make to your daily routine to...

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