Ok, so you’ve probably gotten used to working from home but now you need to get settled. In order to work most efficiently you need a room of your own away from the hustle and bustle of family life. It’s also much easier to achieve a good work/life balance if you can shut the door on the place where you run your business.
Try to identify an underused room where you’ll be able to focus. This doesn’t need to be a huge space, but comfortable enough for you to work in. Perhaps a spare bedroom or even the garage – with ventilation of course. Here is my dream list of things I want for my home office space.
1. I’m into 20th century modern art, so I want this abstract black and white piece to compliment the pink tones. It reminds me of Robert Motherwell.
2. This dalmation polka-dot wall decal has me swooning. I love a good black and white accent wall.
3. Who doesn’t love white pineapples to give us that tropical feel, even though we’re inside?
4. Must have: Super cute polka-dot coffee mug from Kate Spade to match my accent wall.
4. Then to monitor my water intake (gotta stay hydrated in these times) I have this cool water bottle!
5. Even through I’m all about digitizing my life, I couldn’t help but covet these pink “I’m very busy” folders from bando.
6. Don’t worry, the other side says, “Let’s Stay In.”
The reasons why you might be resisting building a website for your business: “I’m not tech savvy”, “they’re too expensive”, “I don’t have the time”, or the infamous “I have enough business and I don’t need one”. The reality is, you don’t need to be tech savvy, getting a professional website for your business can be cheap and easy, and to make it even simpler for you – not having a website is costing you time and money.
According to Hootsuite’s We Are Social 2019 report , released for in January of last year , 1.58 million of Jamaica’s 2.9 million population are active internet users. The median age online is 31 years of age, and they like to shop!
1.You Need to Be Discoverable in Search Engine Results
People don’t just browse the Internet to discover companies they want to do businesses with; more specifically, they visit search engines. Google is the number website for Jamaicans, and when they search with keywords, you want your business to be on the first page. 93% of online experiences start with a search engine. And nearly half of these searches are for local businesses.
So, you need to have a search-optimized company website that can rank well in search engine results. This will ensure consumers are able to find, and connect with, your business.
2. It Can Help You Build Credibility
The 21st century consumer is a skeptic; and they like to look at reviews and testimonials. Having a good website instantly boosts your credibility as a legitimate business.
First impressions matter and websites allow you to make a very strong impression with a well designed introduction for your business.
A website can help showcase your expertise and better position your business. A website can be your number one tool for standing out in a crowd!
3.Your Website Stays Open 24 Hours Per Day
Unlike your business, which most likely does not operate or communicate with customers after-hours, your website stays open 24 hours per day, 7 days per week. This means that even when your staff is not available to interact with people looking to do business with you, your website is accessible and able to provide helpful information, serve as a point of contact or even allow customers to make purchases or submit orders.
4.Your Competitors Probably Have One
Most small businesses don’t have their own website. Majority of small businesses DO have a presence online like social media, and it’s likely that your competitors have a website that is appealing to people in your area.
If you want to stay relevant and competitive within your field, it’s important that your business have a footprint online—it not only helps you stay competitive, but it also helps cement your role as a forward-thinking, tech-savvy business.
“If your business is not on the internet, then your business will be out of business.”
5. It’s not as hard, or as expensive, as you think
You don’t need to be tech savvy to get a website. I can create a custom site for a reasonable cost.
It can be very cost effective. Websites offer a better return on investment than any other form of advertising. If you’re planning to market your business, a website should be your first priority.
To summarize… You need a website, and it’s easier than ever to get one.
In the 21st century, every person including a person should have a site. I have packages avaialble at my company’s website, The StorytellerAgency.co and there is a massive opportunity to help grow your business.
If you’re going to do one thing today to help your business be more successful, it’s to make getting a website your top priority.
I’ve been working from home for at least 3 months now since I launched my agency, The Storyteller in January. As someone who is used to being at home most of the day, in all honesty the past few days have been difficult.
Being self-quarantined has forced me to enjoy myself more. Here are some things you need to keep on hand now you’re spending more time at home.
1. THE LABEL SNOB water bottle
During the Corona Pandemic, it makes sense to keep hydrated to boost your immune system. These super cute tumblers will save you some trips to the fridge.
Customize tumblers for every member of your family, so that no one has to fight over who gets to use the good cup! You can also keep hot or cold beverages.
2. HERBOO BOTANICALS face & body oil
If you’re practicing good hygiene but your hands are getting dry from all of the 20-second-hand-washing, use Herboo Botanicals mixed with some shea butter to help soothe your dry skin.
Herboo Face & Body oil is made with an amazing blend of coconut oil, jojoba oil and sage essential oil. This unique mixture also allows you to also remove makeup and reduce stretch marks. Use my code, “KESI” at checkout for a discount.
3. Those Creative People’s 2020 PLANNA
I know we’re used to using those productivity apps, but writing things down improves memory. Being able to fill in the dates yourself gives you the freedom to use your planna at any point in the year, without wasting pages.
A 2020 planner from TCPtings.com helps you stay organized. Use my promo code “LNL-KESI-5” at checkout to get a 10% discount. It also helps you track things like your fitness, water intake and even moods.
4. MICA candle
Burning candles helps to reduce anxiety and lower levels of depression or stress. Using the principles of aromatherapy, scented candles can create the ideal mood and ambience for your home.
Burn this soy candle to help calm your nerves, so you can focus. Soy is better for your health: Soy burns cleaner and produces as much as 90 percent less soot than paraffin, reducing the amount of indoor air pollution produced.
5.Live Juice Bar food delivery service
Plant-based foods are better for you and the environment, besides it comes with a green juice for breakfast and natural juice for lunch. You also get your food delivered two days in advance, so this also saves on delivery costs.
6. JahMah Live Stream
Keep motivated throughout the day with JahMah livestream and play the your favourite hits. They even have playlists based on your mood.
7. One Love Duvet Cover for Naptime
You might want to take nap time around 3 p.m-ish. Don’t worry, we gotchu!
What are your essentials now that you’re working from home?
Disclosure: Please note that some of the links above may be affiliate links, and at no additional cost to you, I earn a commission if you make a purchase. I recommend only products and companies I trust and the income goes to keeping the site up and running.
I knew this day would come as I’ve been preaching about Digital Transformation for the past few years now. Since 2002, during the dot.com era when everyone and their mama was making money from building websites, I’ve worked on quite a few.
Somehow that died down in the last decade. Perhaps because of the invention of social media, people feel its so much easier (and cheaper) to focus on building your following on instagram than building your email list and increasing website visitors.
In 2012, I helped a non-profit drive traffic to their website and increased donor loyalty by 25% in a matter of few months . As an international NGO, they heavily relied on funding to implement projects, so this factor was essential.
Now fast forward to 2020, the Corona virus has halted all major events and social gatherings including weddings, funerals and bank lines for at least two weeks, if not longer. How will small businesses, promoters and event planners survive this massive dent in their income?
Here are some things businesses can do to survive Corona Virus, otherwise known as COVID-19:
Create a website to build credibility. It’s necessary more than ever at this time. Not just for events but for anyone that sells goods and/or services. It allows people to see the services you have to offer as well as, in times of crisis like this, update your customers with the necessary information they need.
Add e-commerce so you can make money online:I wanted to help someone in another country promote their products but they didn’t have a website. How am I supposed to help them promote if they don’t have a way to receive online payments? This also helps you to widen your customer base which is critical in a time like this.
Digital Transformation will be the future of success: For those who are now forced to do remote work, take the time to set up the cloud so you can back up files, digitize your files and include project management systems to increase productivity. Help your staff get digital ready, purchase Google Play gift card for them to buy productivity apps.Then reward them with this.
Create Online challenges to keep people engaged: Show ways your company is helping to fight the Corona Virus by asking your followers to engage in a challenge. Currently, there is the popular #WashYourLyrics challenge but you can also ask people to show how they sanitize their phones or even homes. Or similarly to the #PlankChallenge, they can ask people to show how they are practicing social distancing at this time. Make it fun! It also help to keep you top-of-mind during this difficult time.
By Live Streaming events the show will go on: Have you ever watched a boxing match on pay-per-view? You can also live stream events through your website and ask people to pay to watch it. This is also a great time to set up Eventbrite and Paypal account so you can accept payments.
Brand Partnerships are key: If you’re a promoter, by now you should have your sponsors who you can rely on. If the events scheduled have been postponed or cancelled, they should have some funds in reserve. Ask them to sponsor the live streamed event and show value by mentioning the brand or subtly having it the background while the event is taking place. Encourage people to comment on the livestream and win prizes.
And lastly Care. What as a business are you doing to give back? It’s more than just showing people how to wash their hands. Leave the updates on the virus to the health authorities. How will you help people feed their families and stay healthy during this time? Social good and corporate social responsibility are important so much more now than ever before.
I’ve been working in advertising for over 15 years, and as someone who used “influencers” (there wasn’t a name for it at the time) to sell t-shirts online for 2 years, I understand the value of an influencer.
The community is small is in Jamaica, totaling about 20-30 major influencers made up of mostly comedians, lifestyle, beauty and public figure categories.
I was nominated as a People to Watch in 2019, by Kadia Francis, aka the Digital Jamaican who scoured the internet to find micro-influencers and bloggers who write mostly for the love of it and not necessarily the recognition. A micro-influencer tends to have less than 10,000 followers but usually has an intimate community. ( I listed using micro-influencers as one of the 2019 trends in social media. Read here)
We wanted to bring everyone together to bond and network. Most of the people had the same wish–to create content (whether that be in the form of writing, taking photos or making videos, etc), and being able to travel the world while doing so.
The bloggers paid for their transportation and lunch but received reposts and comments from the sponsors, edited photos from established photographers including Machel Witter, Peter Clarke and Darren George (contracted by our partners Ion Communications), to gather content on their behalf. We were even featured on CVM Sunrise. See the full interview below.
So the most burning questions from this experience have been, why call it Love Not Likes? In April 2019, Instagram put out that they were working on changing the platform to eliminate likes, you can read the Forbes article here.
Also, as I said earlier, many of these bloggers do it because they love what they do—sharing their go-to spots in Jamaica, or their beauty secrets, etc. However, they’ve never received corporate sponsorship or even gifted merchandise.
The list of the bloggers/micro-influencers/YouTubers who attended were:
Jhunelle Jureidini: a full-time travel blogger who finds most of the unknown places in Jamaica and highlights them.
Sue-Tanya McHorgh: a website developer and lifestyle blogger who also has an online clothing store.
Diedre McLeod: A travel blogger who teaches travelers how to travel the world on a budget.
Lucienne Antonio: A blogger who also can secure your next budget vacation.
Kemar Royal: a content creator/droner who lives for adventure
Ronnia Cherry, a creative with multiple interests, all surrounding creating a platform for Jamaican creatives. Learn more about her
Tashi Grant: A media maven who started her lifestyle/travel blog called The Hopper
Rachael Campbell: a travel vlogger who likes to party.
Jehmeil Shrouder: a YouTuber on a mission to be successful.
Ornella Green: A lifestyle/beauty blogger who aspires to travel the world.
So I wanted to make them feel special, i.e. find a way to show them and the world, that micro-influencers have value. Many influencers only big up a brand because they are getting paid, which sometimes loses its authenticity.
So let’s even get more pedantic, people think influencer is a dirty/bad word. What is an influencer, really?
An influencer is an individual who’s capable of affecting (i.e., influencing) people’s purchase decisions because of his/her knowledge or authority. What’s more, this individual has a following – usually on social media – in a specific niche, such as fashion, food, fitness, photography, and so on. YouTube marketing is also quite common.
According to influencer marketing research, many companies will hire brand ambassadors to promote their products. While the most visible brand ambassadors are celebrity influencers, micro-bloggers can often get in on the action, too – they increase a brand’s visibility more locally. Another sponsored content format consists of paid for articles and blogs, which appear as editorials in an online publication.
So now we have that out of the way, let’s talk about the alignment with the government’s growth strategy. Chris Dehring spoke at the Jamaica Diaspora Conference a couple of months ago and he talked about the importance of creating alternative job opportunities for young people.
The insights that came out of the trip was that most of them want to live a digital nomad lifestyle. It seems pretty simple, but when you live on an island, you tend to only think about Jamaica and even some think smaller–only Kingston and St. Andrew.
Our aim is to create a network and community with bloggers/micro-influencers who want to monetize. We’ve invited Lauren Dunn, otherwise known as Lauren O Lauren to give a masterclass at CoWork on Thursday, July 18th. Lauren has been working in Silicon Valley and has been able to grow her following and monetize for the last few years. Please call 876 881-7830 to purchase tickets.
We’re also building a community of bloggers, content creators, photographers who want to collaborate. Please follow @lovenotlikesja on Instagram or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
I want to make a better world for the generation that’s coming up, to promote love and peace, and even though I’m young, I feel that the Creator has blessed me with talent and wisdom to get the job done.”
These are the words of Mikayla Simpson, an 18-year-old artist known to many as “Koffee”. Through her music, Koffee has an unwavering mission to empower the youths of her generation as well as to preserve the roots and culture of Jamaica.
One thing that made everyone want to know Koffee was her hit single ‘Toast’. It blew up at the end of 2018 as it was as everyone’s Instagram caption, playing all over the radio and “breaking the internet.”
2.Full of Sauce Like Bake Bean
Fresh, breezy, a so me stay, clean
Gyal dem love mi foot inna mi straight jeans
Me full of sauce like baked beans
No underage, over 18
Cologne make your gyal a daydream
3.No Gyal Can See Mi and Cause Problem
In 2018, this was the third most popular IG caption in Jamaica. The line is from Shenseea’s song called Shenyeng anthem. A song dedicated to her 2 million followers and fans around the world.
4.Steam Fish and Okra Body
And IG caption made popular by none other than ZJ Sparks, aka Sparkiebaby.
Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you may have noticed the amount of PR blunders being committed in the news this past week. We as the public have been shocked, embarrassed and enraged by some of the statements made by United Airlines, Pepsi and Sean Spicer. Well if you ever get yourself in the pickle these folks have gotten themselves in, lets look at how we can fix them.
Let’s start with Pepsi. Having made a commercial meant to unify and make a bold statement about the current landscape of the US, Pepsi managed to alienate and offend its target audience. Interestingly enough, my 14 year old daughter found nothing wrong with the commercial but thats another story.
The use of protesters in a commercial centred around a young, white reality television star and model Kendall Jenner being mesmerised by a large group of ethnically diverse people marching down a street holding signs that said, “Join the Conversation”–is a testament to show how disjointed the Pepsi internal ad agency was. What could this young model possibly know about the Black Lives Movement and the Women’s March? Not to mention the pivotal moment when she chucks her blond wig at the seemingly subservient black woman waiting in the wings.
Needless to say, she made a bad choice. But the real issue here is Pepsi. What were they thinking? That a can of Pepsi could unite the police and protestors across many different platforms?
Things got worse when they made their statement,
“Pepsi was trying to project a global message of unity, peace and understanding. Clearly we missed the mark, and we apologise. We did not intend to make light of any serious issue. We are removing the content and halting any further rollout. We also apologise for putting Kendall Jenner in this position.”
Firstly, they should have apologised to their key audience: people who adore the brand. As a Pepsi drinker, I was offended that my name wasn’t called. Yet they made the effort to call Kendall Jenner’s name? She got paid anyway didn’t she? What does putting her name in the statement do? This was their way of attempting to save face for Kendall Jenner’s reputation.
Unless You’re Political, Stay out of it
The bottom line is, if you’re not a politically charged brand, stay out of politics. I would recommend them doing some market research to see where Pepsi is and stick with lighthearted, non-political statements from now on. Will it affect the brand too much? I doubt it. Pepsi is a corporate giant that can weather a storm such as this one. We will soon forget.
Let’s move on to United Airlines. What didn’t they do wrong? First of all randomly selecting a passenger and hauling them off an overbooked flight although legal (minus the assault) doesn’t mean its right. They could have offered an incentive. Although I read somewhere where they did offer the passengers $US900 to change flights.
The real issue here is how they handled it, the first statement they released,
“This is an upsetting event to all of us here at United. I apologise for having to re-accomodate these customers. Our team is moving with a sense of urgency to work with the authorities and conduct our own detailed review of what happened. We are also reaching out to this passenger to talk directly him to further address and resolve this situation.” – Oscar Munoz, CEO, United Airlines
Re-accomodate is the key word here. It implies that moving the customers is an inconvenience to United. They may not have known the details of what had happened but they didn’t address the issue head on which is the assault of the victim.
Admit You’re Wrong
They tried to redeem themselves by issuing another statement more fitting to the circumstances,
The truly horrific event that occurred on this flight has elicited many responses from all of us: outrage, anger, disappointment. I share all of those sentiments, and one above all: my deepest apologies for what happened. Like you, I continue to be disturbed by what happened on this flight and I deeply apologize to the customer forcibly removed and to all the customers aboard. No one should ever be mistreated this way.
I want you to know that we take full responsibility and we will work to make it right.
It’s never too late to do the right thing. I have committed to our customers and our employees that we are going to fix what’s broken so this never happens again. This will include a thorough review of crew movement, our policies for incentivizing volunteers in these situations, how we handle oversold situations and an examination of how we partner with airport authorities and local law enforcement. We’ll communicate the results of our review by April 30th.
I promise you we will do better.
This statement although more informal, really gives you a sense that they are admitting that there is a serious problem and that they are trying to fix it. Its good to face things head on. Although nearly $1bn of the company’s value was erased in trading on Tuesday, they will bounce back from this.
At last but not least Spicer. Spicer’s job as Press Secretary for the White House is to handle possible PR issues day in and day out but he himself could not avoid getting into trouble. On Tuesday, he made a statement that not even Hitler used chemical weapons in World War II.
Now, he was trying to make a comparison that Syrian President Bashar Assad is worse than Hitler because he used chemical warfare on his own people in the attack in Syria. But no one knows for sure that Assad was responsible for the attacks and lets not forget the Holocaust! Nazis may not have used the chemical warfare that Assad allegedly used but they definitely used cyanide-based Zyklon B and other types of poison to kill Jews in gas chambers at concentration camps.
Think Before you Speak
Spicer should going forward, should really be prepared before making any blank statements or comparisons about Hitler or anyone else. Seems he may need some media training himself. There really is no hope for him at this point and he might be quite possibly out of a job as his sole purpose is to handle difficult media situations with poise and ease.
With the immersion of cyber attacks wreaking havoc on the world, especially in the US lately, (The U.S. personnel chief just resigned after a data breach, causing personal information of employees and family members to be disclosed) are mobile wallets or the future of online banking truly safe?
Mobile Internet Usage Growing
I’m not a techie, but try to keep abreast of the varying technologies, particularly as it relates to Jamaica’s advancements. According to the Statistical Institute of Jamaica Population Census (published in 2011) and the World Economic Forum: The Global Competitiveness Report 2014-2015, 75.50% of Jamaica’s population have a mobile phone but have never used mobile internet. However, 14% of those people are accessing the internet using their mobile phone and this is increasing as more wi-fi hotspots become available and people are catching on to the convenience of it.
Once they start to come to depend on their mobile as we know many of us have, it may be safe to say that mobile wallet will be more convenient for most than even internet banking. With varying threats on our cyber security in Jamaica (a few weeks ago JIS and some other government agencies were hacked) how can we know for sure mobile wallet will be considered safe?
Right now the latest mobile wallet on the market is Connec, which allows you to pay for bills, send money to other people, even top up your phone! No bank account needed. However, with 8.4% of Jamaica’s population using internet banking, what motive would a Jamaican have to use the services of a mobile wallet?
Majority of Jamaicans still Trust Traditional Banking Methods over Internet Banking
As much as Jamaicans will say that they don’t trust that our banking services have the safety measures required to prevent hacking, and still prefer the old methodology of going to the bank and standing in the line to do their banking, some would argue, that’s really not a bad thing after all.
When we look at all the stuff brands are doing online to get attention above all the noise, we need to look at innovative ways to stand out in a crowd. However at the end of the day, it comes down to the ROI (Return On Investment).
As we look at the ROI of social media to dictate how a campaign is successful or not, we must also look at the KPIs (Key Performance Indicators) :
Is the campaign successful in terms of getting the traction it should?
Are we getting a “buzz”?
Are people sharing organically?
Are people talking about it online as well as offline?
Brand Loyalty & Sales Spike
Surely, the impact of a campaign is no longer in just how much likes it receives. We also need to look beyond, not just if it is resonating with the target but if there is an increase in brand loyalty and ultimately, sales.
Last Saturday, I had the pleasure of covering an event for the organization I work for. It was remarkably organized and all of Washington’s elite were in attendance.
Now you may ask if the event was so well attended, what would be the benefit of social media? The great thing about social media, particularly twitter is that allows a conversation between people who may or may not know each other or have the opportunity to talk to each other at an event.
Here’s the best way to promote your event on social media:
Pre event: Be sure to create an event page on Facebook and invite every member of the group. Ask the event planners and other stakeholders to invite guests as well. Facebook has a new feature in which you can actually add a link to the where the tickets are being sold.
Be sure to ask guests to check in on Four Square. Four Square is a tool in which when used correctly can create a great buzz around your event.
Use a hashtag: By creating a hashtag it helps people follow the story and contribute to conversation by commenting on the event. The event I worked on had a great conversation going on about issues affecting Africa and the world economy. Former Presidents, Prime ministers, ambassadors, even Grammy Award winners were in attendance.
Promote the use of social media. Ask the audience to engage and if possible publicize for people to see. People like to feel as if they their experience is interactive.
Post Event: Make sure to post pictures on social media with captions of attendees. The quicker you do this, the quicker the buzz around the event will continue. The people who did attend will be anxious to see the pictures of themselves and their friends, as well as the other attendees and the people who were not able to attend will want to see pictures of people who did.
Storify: Make sure you storify it and share it with your audience, this is just another way to keep people talking and perhaps read some of the comments they may have missed from the event.