From Side-Gig to Success: Exploring the ‘Why’ Behind Starting Your Own Business

Starting your own business can be an enticing prospect for many individuals. The allure of independence, the freedom to pursue personal passions, and the ever-elusive work-life balance are just a few reasons people choose this path. 

Interestingly, some of the most successful businesses today, like Etsy, Facebook, Apple, Under Armour, and Yankee Candle, have humble beginnings as mere side gigs. Those small projects were initially meant to generate extra income while working regular nine-to-five jobs. However, fate had other plans, and these side ventures evolved into thriving enterprises that have left a significant impact on the world.

When it comes to starting a business, various motivations come into play, and these motivations can vary from one entrepreneur to another. Let’s delve into some of the driving forces that inspire individuals to take the leap into the entrepreneurial journey.

1. Passion and Purpose

One of the biggest motivators for starting a business is the burning passion for a particular idea, product, or service. When you’re genuinely passionate about something, it ceases to feel like “work” and becomes an exciting endeavour. Entrepreneurs who identify a purposeful mission behind their business are often driven by a desire to make a positive impact on society, leaving behind a meaningful legacy.

2. Independence and Autonomy

Breaking free from the confines of a traditional job and being the master of your destiny is liberating. Entrepreneurship offers a level of independence and autonomy that is rare in most corporate settings. Making decisions without seeking approval from higher-ups allows entrepreneurs to shape their businesses according to their vision and values.

3. Financial Freedom

The prospect of unlimited earning potential is undoubtedly an attractive aspect of starting a business. While financial success is not guaranteed, the possibility of building a profitable enterprise that generates substantial income can be a significant motivating factor. Entrepreneurship offers the potential for long-term wealth and financial security, which may be challenging to achieve through traditional employment.

4. Flexibility and Work-Life Balance

Entrepreneurs often seek a better work-life balance by starting their own businesses. Although running a startup can be demanding, entrepreneurs have the flexibility to set their own schedules and allocate time for family, hobbies, and personal pursuits. Achieving a healthy work-life balance is a crucial factor in reducing stress and ensuring overall well-being.

5. Innovating and Problem-Solving

Entrepreneurs are often driven by a desire to create something new, disrupt industries, or solve significant challenges facing society. The thrill of innovation and problem-solving can be a powerful motivator, especially for those who relish the opportunity to think outside the box and create solutions that positively impact people’s lives.

6. Personal Growth and Learning

Starting a business is an incredible journey of personal growth and continuous learning. Entrepreneurship presents numerous challenges and opportunities to develop new skills, enhance existing ones, and expand one’s horizons. The process of building and running a business can be transformative, shaping entrepreneurs into more resilient, adaptable, and self-aware individuals.

In conclusion, the decision to start a business is deeply personal, influenced by a myriad of motivations that resonate with each entrepreneur’s unique aspirations and goals. 

What motivated you to embark on the entrepreneurial journey?

Why An Employer Branding Strategy Is Important

What comes to mind when you think about your company’s brand? Maybe it’s the logo or the brand messaging, or perhaps you think about how the wider world sees your organisation.

Whilst these tend to be what springs to mind first, another element of a company’s branding is arguably as vital but often neglected. Employer branding is crucial to attracting and retaining talent for purpose-driven organisations. In our new world of work and ultra-competitive business world, it’s more important than ever.

In this post, we look at the benefits you can expect when you establish a strategy for employer branding and, crucially, how you achieve it.

Is Employer Branding For Me?

If you want to increase your job pool of qualified candidates, save money and improve how your company is perceived online, then yes!

For recruiting and talent acquisition, a positive employer brand is everything. In fact, you can actually save money on recruitment by having a strong employer brand strategy. 

Just think about a potential recruit logging onto your website to find genuine employees talking about how great it is to work at your company – it’s a smart way to entice those candidates without spending a penny on external advertising.

Creating Candidate Personas

You probably have buyer personas that help you create and target online content. Now, think about taking the same approach with candidates. Building candidate personas is a brilliant way of branding your company for potential recruits.

Consider demonstrating internal work culture with photos and videos generated by employees to genuinely showcase what it’s like to work at your company or compose blog posts on company events. Video testimonials are also a surefire way to give your employer brand a boost – current and former employees who’ve had a great experience working at your company can be your biggest advocates. 

These pieces of content can be seamlessly mixed in with your consumer-facing content through your social channels, and with a staggering 1 in 4 job seekers using social media as their primary tool for job searching and research, content like this can have a significant impact on the way future employees interpret your employer brand.

Don’t Neglect Career Sites

You have full control of your social channels and website, but your company is represented elsewhere on the internet too. Career sites like Glassdoor are go-to’s for potential recruits, so it’s important to pay attention to these websites.

As part of your employer branding strategy, you should dedicate time to address negative comments on these sites. Don’t deny issues from disgruntled former employees or get defensive – instead, address the issues and show how your company is working to improve and move on. You can never have total control over your employer brand, but you can help shape the narrative by being honest on sites like these.

CEO Branding

That’s right, it’s crucial that your CEO is factored into your branding strategy too. 

Think about some of the biggest companies in the world – Tesla, Microsoft, Meta – the CEOs of these firms are synonymous with their brands. Any news story about Tesla has Elon Musk’s face plastered all over it; ‘Meta’ and ‘Zuckerberg’ are connected in Perpetuum. 

The reputation of your CEO is closely tied to the reputation of the brand they lead. Research by Brand Finance found that particularly outspoken CEOs have the biggest influence on the way customers perceive their brands (and surprise, surprise – it’s not always in a positive way!)

CEO branding is not just for large corporations; in fact, it can be most effective in smaller start-ups and founder-run organisations. Demonstrating the founder’s expertise and putting them front and centre can help build trust among both consumers and investors.

Bringing out the best of the CEO without ensuing reputational liability is a very delicate balancing act and only works if the leader embodies and projects the core brand values. 

So, how do you harness this unique marketing tool? Here are 3 considerations when building your CEO brand:

  1. Define the CEO’s personal brand

Begin the process by defining the CEO’s executive personal brand. Work closely with the CEO for this piece of work. Consider their personality, strengths, vision, goals and just what sort of a CEO they are. 

  1. Look to the Future

Consumers want CEOs who are forward-thinking and able to anticipate their needs (sometimes before they even know what they want themselves.) Think about how Mark Zuckerberg articulates innovation at Meta – his ‘big picture’ thinking shows he welcomes change and growth and is undeterred by obstacles. He clearly expresses this long-term vision for the company (thinking in terms of decades, not quarters or years), stating the brands’ internal values in 2022 as – “move fast”, “build awesome things”, and “live in the future”. 

  1. Don’t be scared of failure

Once you incorporate your CEO into your employer branding strategy, you need to be prepared to embrace all that comes with that. Being seen is a huge part of CEO branding, so they need to be confident to get out there and show their face and be prepared that not everyone will like them all the time. 

When done well, CEOs are perhaps one of the most underrated marketing tools that you have at your disposal.

We hope you try out some of these employer branding tips. Not only will these techniques benefit employee retention and fuel talented applicants, but they can positively affect other aspects of your company as well.

5 Ways to Build a Truly Purpose-Driven Company Culture

Does your company have a purpose? Do you live and breathe that purpose? Do your employees?

A purpose-driven company is clear about its direction to leaders, stakeholders and customers, but it takes a little more for that purpose to be truly imbued into its culture. When done right, every single team member has a heartfelt sense of ownership for the purpose, employees feel respected, and everyone in the company is working in the same direction.

It’s no secret that companies are facing the toughest labour market in decades. Competition for top talent is fierce, and the ‘great resignation’ is still a pressing concern for many. Pair this with the fact that countless studies have shown Millennials and Gen Z are more likely to join a business if it demonstrates ethics that align with their own (in fact, nearly half of Gen Z will work for a purpose-driven company for a 20% lower salary) and it’s evidently never been more important to instil your company’s purpose into your culture.

To attract and retain the most socially-conscious generation, purpose must sit at the heart of your company culture. Read on for our top five tips on embedding your purpose and attracting top talent.

  1. Do the work, and talk about it 

Imbuing a sense of purpose into your culture is one thing – ensuring your employees know about it, and bringing them along for the journey is just as important. 

Drive your mission and values home with your internal communications – tell your team about your success and community endeavours to show your purpose in action. Establishing a positive culture that centres purpose and highlights the valuable output of your company’s work is key to employee retention. 

  1. Don’t neglect inclusivity and belonging 

Inclusion is a major driver of employee buy-in, particularly for younger workers. 

A strong and genuine DEI effort helps employees connect to your organisation and helps establish a purpose-driven culture. 

Working hard to offer your employees the resources they need to thrive is win-win for your business. Purpose and belonging go hand in hand, and providing a safe and welcoming context for your employees is a huge step towards establishing a culture that centres purpose.

  1. A purpose-driven workplace starts at the top

You can’t expect your employees to live your purpose if senior team members aren’t leading the way. 

Transparency is the key here – the leadership must share knowledge about their goals, mission, and progress with employees, so team members can see exactly how their work contributes to them.

Understanding the bigger picture is crucial when establishing a purpose-driven culture. It allows individual contributors to see how their work fits into the end goal; it also makes for a more confident and able workforce.
Knowing why things happen the way they do is an incredible motivator. Rather than blindly following leadership with no sense of the reasoning behind decisions, employees with a ‘whole-picture’ view have more agency to drive their work towards the main business objectives.

  1. Bring everyone together

Purpose-driven workplaces start with socialisation and collaboration. 

Creating a sense of belonging is crucial for motivating employees to embrace your company’s purpose. Make them feel safe, respected and supported. Leaders can achieve this through feedback and praise and by asking employees to offer their perspectives. This gives you a unique insight into their purpose and what drives them.

Collaboration has become a different beast throughout the past few years as the pandemic changed ways of working forever. The uptick in hybrid and remote working makes this even more important – try to assemble your employees together frequently and provide social contexts for them to come together and share their passions and purpose with their colleagues. 

  1. Adopt a whole-person approach

Seeing employees as a collective undistinguished mass of workers is the antithesis of a purpose-driven culture. Leaders must adopt a whole-person approach when it comes to their team. Your employees are dynamic, complex individuals, each with their own passions, strengths and needs – be sure to recognise this.

Motivate employees to follow what lights them up – getting them excited about your purpose will drive great productivity and improve employee happiness. 

The work to build a purpose-driven company culture begins today

We hope these tips help you foster a culture that will connect your employees to something above and beyond the fundamentals of their day-to-day roles and help them understand and embrace the higher purpose of your company.

How Developing a Purpose-Driven Employer Brand Helps Attract and Retain Top Talent

The last few years have seen a seismic shift in the behaviour and attitudes of the global workforce. Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you are likely all too familiar with the phrase ‘The Great Resignation’ (also known as the Big Quit and the Great Reshuffle.) The clickbait term has dominated the news the world over, but behind the headlines is a deeply concerning economic trend. The numbers are sobering:

  • 41% of employees are considering resigning from their jobs
  • UK job vacancies are at their highest since records began
  • One-third of workers report being unhappy at work

This major disruption was spurred on hugely by Covid-19 (during which record numbers of employees voluntarily quit their jobs) however, this crisis is not just short-term turbulence caused by the pandemic. The trend has been quietly bubbling away for the past decade, coming to a culmination as employees took stock of their priorities during the biggest health crisis in a century. On top of all this, and in spite of a looming recession, the trend shows no sign of slowing down.

The Times They Are A-changing

In the past, people could be tempted into roles by the promise of job security and decent pay. In today’s world, that just won’t cut it. Employees are seeking purpose. They want to feel invested in the work they do, and they want to know that their employer shares those values. 

Understanding the role of purpose and culture in today’s workplace is vital. As is recognising the needs of diverse employees and Gen Z recruits.

In order to find a remedy for the Great Resignation, it’s crucial that employers get to the root of why people are leaving and what needs to change to keep them. Now’s the time to go back to basics and build a strong employee offer that meets the needs of today’s workers. 

Putting the Employee First

With more open positions than there are workers to fill them, employees are truly in the driving seat, and they know their worth. In the most competitive talent marketplace in decades, a small salary bump is not going to cut it; employees want to:

  • Feel a sense of belonging
  • Have flexible working options
  • Feel valued
  • Have growth potential 

So, how do you go about putting these values at the heart of your employee offer and retaining the fantastic talent you have whilst attracting more great candidates to your company? 

It’s time for businesses to invest in developing purpose-driven employer brands. Here are five factors that can transform your current organisational culture into one that attracts new talent and motivates employees to stay.

  1. Purpose, purpose, purpose

Organisations with a well-defined purpose have a much better shot at attracting and retaining top talent. In fact, a recent Harvard Business Review study found that a staggering nine out of ten employees would take a pay cut for more meaningful work.

Employees are not only looking for purpose-driven companies, but they also want to know that their leaders live by those values too. Leaders who can embrace the company’s purpose and lead ethically are much more favoured by Millennials and Gen Z workers in particular. 

  1. Recognise greatness

McKinsey & Company’s research on the Great Resignation found that a majority (54%) of employees who quit their jobs felt that they were undervalued by their employers. 

Truly talented people aren’t highly motivated by money; feeling special is often more important to them. Treat your top talent like valued individuals, not like members of a group. 

Skilled workers know their worth. It’s key that employers do too.

  1. Flexibility remains critical

The pandemic made it clear that employees can be as productive (if not more so) in a work-from-home environment. 

Remote work has become normalised over the past two years and can be a real morale boost for workers. It’s a great option for businesses, too, as it significantly opens the talent pool, allowing employers to recruit from anywhere in the country or anywhere in the world!

Offering flexible hours is also an important perk for workers today. It’s a win for employees with families, who can plan around childcare and school pick-up times. It can also be a bonus for those commuting into cities from the ‘burbs –  avoiding a nasty commute during rush hour can be a huge contributor to workers’ wellbeing.

  1. Promote a culture of inclusion and belonging 

Adjusting hiring procedures with an eye toward diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) is a great first step toward greater workforce representation, however, it’s crucial that this work continues beyond the hiring stage.

Ensure DEI initiatives are embedded in your talent retention plans by promoting an employee experience that recognises the specific needs of all employees. For instance, some underrepresented groups (like working mothers) may be more inclined to stay working at an organisation if they offer flexible work arrangements. If you are not prioritising DEI, and the specific needs of underrepresented employees, then there will be an inevitable knock-on effect on staff retention.

  1. Practice what you preach

It’s all well and good taking a position on these retention and attraction efforts, but it’s crucial that your words and actions match the promises you make. Anything you say to attract new talent is meaningless if your internal environment and actions don’t support it.

We are experiencing a major shift in the workplace; it’s only right to consider your talent retention and attraction strategy with the same level of scale and ambition. Things are changing, and the businesses that don’t keep up will get left behind. 

Attract Top Talent with Your Organic LinkedIn Posts

Talent attraction goes beyond recruiting. It is about having a long-term employee retention strategy in place. And in the current age and time, staying relevant and true to your business goals is crucial. Here are some innovative talent attraction strategies that can help you attract and find your industry’s top talent to fill open job roles now and in the future and retain them for a long time.

Highlight your employer branding

Before applying for a job, employees tend to look for reputable companies that share the same mission as theirs. To leverage this, increasing your brand visibility is vital. No company can flourish without a strong employer brand. And to prosper, you need employees that identify with your values. Thus, focusing on employer branding is an effective talent acquisition strategy. Utilise your LinkedIn company page so potential candidates can assess their fit and align their goals with that of your company. Create a compelling employer brand that is representative of your company’s core values. A well-developed employer brand is a key to attracting top talent. This way, potential candidates can assess their fit and align their goals with that of your company.

Plan and write crisp job descriptions

A well-crafted job description can make you stand out as a company that values talent. Keeping this in mind, enticing job descriptions work well as a talent attraction strategy.

Job descriptions should have:

  • Your company culture
  • Job requirements
  • Pay scale
  • Company profile
  • Any benefits you may offer
  • Company’s website or blog

Build connections through social media recruiting

Social media recruiting is a talent acquisition strategy you should definitely not miss. Social media networks serve as great platforms to search for potential hires and be found by them. Information shared on social media tends to have a higher consumption rate. Share your company information on your LinkedIn company page and other social media networks in the form of short videos, infographics, or posts. Connect with candidates on social media and let them know what differentiates you from the others. Besides lowering your recruiting costs, social media recruitment gets in touch with a wider talent pool in a short period. This will help you build a strong online reputation and connect with the industry’s top talent around the globe. Social media recruitment also doubles up as a method to boost employer brand.

LinkedIn is by far the largest global professional network, with more than 770 million members in more than 200 countries and territories worldwide. Make sure you get the most of it to attract top talent.

Download our FREE guide to learn how to boost your organic reach on LinkedIn

Six Ways to Show the Human Side of your Brand on Social Media

The clue’s in the name – social media marketing should first and foremost be ‘social.’ 

People want to feel a connection to others with authentic content that feels inspiring, informative and crucially, human. In essence, they want to engage with other people, not brands. 

The key to seeing success on social media, therefore, is to put humans (your customers and your employees) at the heart of your marketing strategy. 

A purpose-driven business has a head start when it comes to creating more human-centric content. Your commitment to a bigger goal is a powerful USP that can supercharge your efforts and ensure you stand out from the crowd on social. 

Presenting the human side of your brand will simply amplify your mission whilst building trust and emotional connections with your audience. 

Sound good? Read on for our six top tips for developing a strategy focused on humanising your brand. 

Use Video 

We know you’ve heard it a million times – video marketing is the most important element of any social media strategy. That’s because it’s supremely powerful, and if you’re on a mission to humanise your business, then video is everything.

One of the most powerful ways to utilise video is by giving your followers behind-the-scenes content that paints a picture of your business and your people; a video walk-through, a personal introduction or a behind-the-scenes tour is a great way to do this. 

Remember, these don’t need to be slick, highly produced videos, most phone cameras can capture brilliant footage nowadays, and a more informal approach to production (so long as it’s not too scrappy) will help with your efforts to make your social presence more human. 

And who should be featured in these videos, you ask? Well, that leads us nicely to our next point… 

Shine the spotlight on your employees

What better way to show the human side of your company than to put some focus on the people behind your brand?

Think about it, would you be more likely to engage with a logo or a face on your own social media feed? 

Social media allows you to bring your employees’ voices to life and gives your customers the chance to put a face to a name. This is a powerful asset – most customers will react best when they are able to know who they’re speaking with. 

Showing the faces of your team allows customers to connect with your brand on a deeper level, giving them a good idea of whether or not your brand’s values line up with their own. 

Content could include photos at team events or get-togethers, or behind-the-scenes tours led by an employee. This is a great way to get your staff to contribute to your content – encourage them to get involved; their personality will shine through if they can bring their own ideas to the table, and it will help them feel more valued and engaged with your company as well.

Research shows that consumers are increasingly preferring to do business with actual humans than faceless companies, so now is the time to let your employees shine online!

Sell less (yes, really)

One of the most important things to remember when humanising your brand is to take your foot off the ‘sell, sell, sell’ pedal and ease into a more gentle gear that prioritises great content over winning business. 

It may be tempting to shout from the rooftops about how great your service is, but your content should not be a glorified sales pitch to your followers. Instead, focus on the foundations of your brand – trust, integrity, reliability – selling the values at the heart of your business should be what captivates your follower’s interest.

Keep it chatty

One of the most crucial ways you can humanise your brand is through the language you use. 

Using industry slang, formal sentences, and third person tense are all big no-no’s. Social media is about creating dialogue and building those all-important personal relationships, so keep things light and breezy, and don’t be afraid to write as you speak. 

Some good advice is to act like you’re talking to your neighbour, be informal (but polite) and crucially – be human. Remember, you are not a robot! 

Use follower content

We know it’s all well and good for us to spout on about what kind of content will humanise your brand, but creating that content can take a lot of time. 

We get it. 

So, here’s an idea for the time-strapped – share your follower’s content. You can’t get a better endorsement than an enthusiastic Twitter post from a happy customer or an Instagram story from your biggest client. It also works wonders for making you seem human by centring on real-life human experiences.

Embrace storytelling

Want to show the human side of your business? Then tell your story. 

Storytelling is such a buzzword right now, and brands are getting smarter about how it can work for them on social media. It’s also a fantastic way to humanise your social feeds and build emotional connections with your followers.

How did your company start? Perhaps your founder was in a dead-end job and needed more purpose in their life; perhaps it’s a family business that has been passed down through the generations. Every business is made up of humans, and therefore every business has a human story. 

Your job is to tell it. 

The Human Touch 

Approaching the job of humanising your online brand may seem daunting, but so long as you keep a people-centric focus, you’ll likely find the job of creating content becomes much easier. 

Just remember to keep humans front and centre, be it your customers, your employees or other advocates. 

You’ll find that creating relatable and consistent human-focused messaging will not only grow your business but will also boost engagement as well.

Good luck, and remember that human touch!

13 Ways to Boost Your Personal Brand on LinkedIn

We’re all familiar with branding our business, but what about branding ourselves?

The past 18 months have been a turning point for many business leaders. No longer interacting at trade fairs and conferences, CEOs suddenly had a laser-sharp focus on their personal brand – and how that was represented online.

Working on your personal brand is an excellent idea if your offline reputation took a hit due to the pandemic. It helps sell and market you and offers a human element to your business. LinkedIn is by far the best platform for establishing your brand, but with so many people brand building, how do you get it right without getting lost in the sea of content?

A good strategy is essential, so here are our top 13 tips to start brand-building.

Getting the Basics Right

To start thinking about your personal brand, begin with the basics. Once you nail these elements, you can go on to think about content and outreach, but it all starts here.

  1. Remember – LinkedIn is your Living CV

Your LinkedIn profile is not something you fill out one day and then walk away from. Instead, it’s a living, breathing record of your achievements and career successes. So the first thing to remember when trying to ace your personal brand is to keep your profile updated – whenever you make a career move, speak at a conference or publish an article.

  1. Optimise Your Profile for Search

Did you know you can optimise your LinkedIn page for SEO?

Understanding your relevant keywords is a crucial aspect of understanding your personal brand. Determine the keywords you want to be found for when potential clients of employers search LinkedIn and use them in your headline, summary, and job descriptions. All the work you do to optimise your profile will be lost if you don’t choose the right keywords, as no one will discover your profile.

  1. Sell Yourself

Just as you would when talking about your business, it’s essential to sell yourself in your description. Again, be specific – include facts and figures to demonstrate your accomplishments, but keep it concise and to the point.

  1. Choose the Right Profile Photo

As with any branding, images are key. When people are skimming through your profile, the first thing they will spot is your profile photo, so it’s essential that the picture represents your brand.

Ensure your photo includes a clear view of your face and shoulders and is clear, crisp, and well-lit. You should be dressed professionally, and remember, a smile goes a long way!

  1. Don’t Forget Your Cover Photo

LinkedIn cover photos are another opportunity for you to shape your personal brand, so be sure to take advantage of this feature. Consider including your company’s logo or an image that reflects your profession. We’ve seen some great examples of company pages that include a CTA in the banner to engage visitors further.

  1. Make Your Headline Count

LinkedIn profile headlines are limited to 120 characters, so you need to get creative to make this prime real estate as effective as possible. Your headline needs to grab the reader’s attention and make them want to stick around. Once you’ve chosen your headline, test it on a mobile device too to make sure it works across devices.

Think Content

Now we’ve got the basics sorted, let’s take a look at how content can help shape your brand on LinkedIn.

  1. Write Articles

To have a chance of standing out in the crowded field of LinkedIn, you need to be creating your rich content. We know you’ve heard this over and over – that’s because it’s one of the best ways to demonstrate your knowledge and expertise and develop your brand on LinkedIn.

Most companies are sitting on a goldmine of information and data that would be interesting to your customers and/or peers; creating content is just about getting that information out there.

Even if you have a blog on your website, publishing on LinkedIn has specific advantages. All your connections get notified whenever you publish on the network, and you can choose to feature these articles on your LinkedIn profile.

  1. Create Brilliant and Diverse Content

The thing that will differentiate you from everyone else on LinkedIn is providing exceptional content that people simply cannot resist. Try to ensure this content is a diverse mix that represents all sides of your personal brand – videos, infographics, free ebooks, and live webinars are all great ideas.

  1. Reshare your top-performing posts

Keep a close eye on what posts perform best, and repurpose or reuse that content. They resonated with your audience, so take your own lead and let them inspire other content, and reshare those super-successful posts to get more traction.

Your Network
  1. Leverage Industry Influencers

Influencers are crucial to your personal brand – establishing relationships with influencers in your industry by mentioning them in posts can help boost your visibility on LinkedIn and affirm your personal brand for other users.

  1. Participate in Groups

LinkedIn groups are a powerful resource, especially as you develop your personal brand. Groups allow you to meet and mingle with other professionals in your industry and offer the potential of powerful connections and working relationships down the line.

There’s one crucial part to being part of these groups: participation. Comment, share content, offer advice and start conversation threads – this kind of engagement will mean you reap a lot more of the benefits of groups than if you sit on the sidelines.

  1. Keep an Eye on Connections

A huge part of LinkedIn is making and maintaining connections. Accept all requests that come in, even if you don’t know the person. The more connections you have, the higher LinkedIn will rank you, and the more others will see your profile.

  1. Engage

Crucially, you must continue to engage with LinkedIn for it to be an up-to-date authority on you and your personal brand. So regularly post, share, engage and keep your profile up to date. The more present you are, the more benefits you will get from the network.

LinkedIn is one of the most critical networks for personal branding; it’s a powerhouse tool to have at your fingertips, so we hope these strategies help you to make the most of personal branding on LinkedIn.

The Top 3 Things Millennials Look For in a Job in 2022

Stressed and burned out, many have left their jobs in the past year. Employers wonder why their employees are willing to quit so quickly and what they can do to keep them from leaving.

We’ve decided to interview millennial friends and colleagues in different job positions and industries to tell us what is essential for them besides fair pay. There are 3 things that all of the interviewers agreed are of significant importance in a workplace, and they’re not afraid to quit if an employer doesn’t meet their needs.

  1. Healthy Environment

Everyone will agree that there is no ideal workplace, but working in a healthy, non-toxic environment where there isn’t constant pressure, criticism and manipulation are significant factors. One of the big red flags for the millennials is when the HR recruiter (or people in charge) says, “We are Family” – in most cases, these companies have toxic environments.

Companies should work on creating a positive and stimulating environment where there is healthy communication between manager-employee and colleagues. In such a friendly and exciting environment, people could share ideas much more easily and combat any problems encountered.

  1. Opportunity to Grow

Millennials value opportunities for growth more than any generation that has come before them. They are willing to take a job that starts on a lower level and with a lower payment, knowing that they could quickly grow and improve in this position. The motivation that comes from that possibility is a huge driving force. When employees feel like you care about their long-term growth, they’re more likely to stay with your organisation and tap into the opportunities you offer.

  1. Flexibility and Work-Life Balance

After two years of working from home, millennials are not ready to return to in-office 9-to-5. Remote and flexible working hours are some of the most significant factors when deciding to keep a job or move to another one. 

With the proven records of productivity improvements when working from home, flexibility at work isn’t just a nice add-on to a benefits package anymore or a positive aspect of workplace culture. In fact, flexibility and a work-life balance are essential for the success of both employees and companies. It’s happier workers who actually do the best work.

Final Thoughts

Millennials are trying to move forward in their careers and lives in a way they feel is most beneficial to their future. As an employer, you should work on creating a collaborative and healthy company culture that shows employees are appreciated and respected.

Allow employees to speak their minds, ensure you’re doing your part to help promote timely, constructive, and positive communication across the entire team and encourage employees to set boundaries and take their vacation time. And of course, pay your employees’ competitive compensation, evaluate and adjust salaries regularly. 

Get to Know the LinkedIn Algorithm

The goal of the LinkedIn algorithm is to deliver the most relevant content to each user’s newsfeed. LinkedIn wants to keep traffic on their website and stop irrelevant or low-quality content from showing on newsfeeds.

Looking at clicks, likes, comments, and shares, LinkedIn’s algorithm fills newsfeeds with content that seems most relevant to a user’s actions on the platform. Knowing this can help you create and share relevant and helpful content that will encourage more interactions.

So, you need to define your business goals for the platform and think about whom you are trying to reach on LinkedIn. For example, are you trying to raise brand awareness for your company or collect sales leads? Or maybe you want to increase your influence as a thought leader in your industry?

Create a LinkedIn content marketing strategy around what your target audience would find most valuable, and post content that will help you reach your company’s goals for being on the platform.

As LinkedIn wants to keep traffic on the platform itself, here are a few ways you can satisfy LinkedIn’s goal while also delivering the most relevant and valuable content to your followers:

  • Post-text-only updates that don’t include URLs that lead away from LinkedIn. If you really want to include a URL that directs users off of LinkedIn, try adding it as the first comment of your post.
  • Use LinkedIn native video instead of linking it to YouTube or another website.
  • Publish Articles on LinkedIn’s Blogging Platform, Pulse, instead of linking them to your website.

On LinkedIn, videos are vital

Videos are 5x more likely to start a conversation, plus they tend to convert better. Members spend almost 3 x more time watching videos than static content pieces. Because video is the most important medium on LinkedIn, make sure you use LinkedIn native video and upload videos directly to the platform instead of linking to YouTube or other websites. This will also satisfy LinkedIn’s goal to keep users on the platform. In addition, you can share your LinkedIn videos to other social media platforms to drive more traffic to your LinkedIn page. LinkedIn videos can be up to 10 minutes long. Use short and concise descriptions for the video so connections know what it is about and are encouraged to watch. Since videos are the most successful form of content on LinkedIn, be sure that the videos are lightweight since 57% of LinkedIn users access the app via mobile phone. Stay away from Flash because that won’t work on iPhones or iPads.

Some advanced video tips:

  • The optimal length of a video is about three minutes. It’s enough time to be valuable to viewers, but not so long that they lose interest.
  • Include an SRT file with your upload, which will add captions so that even your connections who can’t listen to the audio can still watch your video and know what’s going on.

When using an image, it is good to include statistics from time to time

LinkedIn is all about networking; if people want to share an image, they want to appear knowledgeable. If your image has statistics or quick facts on it, it is more likely to be shared across LinkedIn. Though people want to see statistics and quick infographic videos, remember that users want to know there are still people behind the company. Don’t be afraid to show company milestones or highlight your company leaders! People want to see the human side of your brand. But don’t talk about yourselves too much — find the balance between highlighting your company’s human side as well as sharing other relevant content for your target audience.

Publish Articles on LinkedIn’s Blogging Platform, Pulse

Similar to the intent of native LinkedIn video, LinkedIn’s Pulse platform aims to keep traffic on the site when its users are sharing long-form content with their connections. One way to start incorporating Pulse into your LinkedIn marketing strategy is by using your company’s existing blog posts and repurposing them as LinkedIn articles. Be sure to edit the content to best fit the interests of the LinkedIn audience you are targeting. Then, after publishing the article, share the link in a post using excerpts from your article to entice followers. You can do this right after publishing the article or later, following these steps:

  1.  Scroll below to the end of the article
  2.  Click on ‘Share’
  3.  Choose ‘Share in a post’

This keeps users on LinkedIn, gives you content to share on your business page and helps drive attention to your content. Other types of LinkedIn articles you could publish could include company announcements, new hires, or your company’s reaction to trending industry news.

Share Your LinkedIn Content at the Optimal Time and at the Optimal Consistency

Now you know what to post, but when is the best time to post it? Timing matters on LinkedIn, and a little research on your audience goes a long way when deciding when to post your content so that it can reach as many people as possible.

Apart from the purpose/goal of your posts and the topics that will be of the most value to your audience, your social media strategy should also include the optimal time the posts should be shared to reach the largest number of people. When trying to find the optimal time to post, you should consider your buyer personas, time zones your connections live in, and your industry as a whole.

Make sure you target the right people

Most B2B marketers close their eyes and shoot their shots. However, once you have refined your strategy, it will make refining your target audience a lot easier.

The Post Targeted updates feature is a great tool for audience targeting on LinkedIn. These updates help tailor content to the specific audiences you are targeting. The posts will only target the corresponding feeds. In order to use this feature, your page must have 300 followers.

Posting a targeted update is quite simple. First, you have to draft your updates on the Home tab of your super content admin view. Then click the dropdown menu to select the audience you want to target. Next, add the target audience’s criteria on the target audience setting page. Then click ‘Save’ to secure this template and post!

The estimated target follower audience is the number of potential people who will see the post. If your targeted posts aren’t reaching a broad enough audience, remove some targeting criteria to broaden your audience. Employees will not be notified when posting a targeted update.

LinkedIn is a great platform where you can grow, learn, and connect with customers and professionals from your industry.

As paid advertising is used more widely across social media and organic reach gets tossed to the side, we’ve put together a free guide to help you boost your organic reach on LinkedIn.

Instagram Organic Marketing Best Practices

Instagram is one of the fastest-growing social networks worldwide.

With so many options and variety in how to showcase your service or product, it is natural you may find it a little daunting.

With a good organic Instagram marketing strategy, you can increase brand awareness, gain new followers, grow engagement, support customer service with useful information, and make sales by highlighting a product or service.

So you must be wondering how you can achieve all this.

Creating a consistent style, planning content, and knowing when to post is key, but here we are presenting Instagram best practices for 2021, which may help your brand easily rise above the rest in 2022.

1. The first and the most important thing is to know your audience.

Instagram has over 1 billion users, making it an ideal platform for your brand to get the recognition it deserves.

So, who is your ideal customer?

Think about breaking down your audience into age, gender, location, and interests.

Once you’ve found who your target audience is, ask yourself what else they may be interested in. Then, make sure your content matches your audience’s interests.

To gain traffic, relevant audience, and brand recognition on Instagram, it’s important to set your main, and most importantly, realistic goals.

We all want thousands of followers, but let’s start with your first thousand and grow from there. The key to gaining a new audience lies in keeping consistent content that is attractive, starts a conversation, and makes your followers want to share it with others.

Keeping dedicated followers is equally as important as gaining new ones. Keeping content fresh, attractive, and tailored to the audience keeps the existing audience engaged, while like-minded people are attracted to join in the conversation.

2. Create a style guide

Instagram is a visual app, so when it comes to it, visuals are everything. Find your style and make it consistent. Ideally, you should stick to colour combinations and visual styles that fit your brand persona.

Having a consistent style keeps your grid neat and your brand recognisable when it pops up on someone’s feed.

3. Make sure you interact with your community.

An organic Instagram marketing strategy doesn’t just mean broadcasting to the world. It has to be interactive.

Interaction is what turns your Instagram profile into a community. Followers will pick up on the fact that you’re present, interested, and engaged.

Make sure you respond to comments and direct messages daily and comment or react to posts that tag your brand. You can also comment on posts relevant to your brand and industry.

Instagram is the perfect platform to create intriguing and captivating visual stories about your brand. So start creating visuals to tell engaging stories about your brand history, your customer stories, your employee experiences, or your brand impact.

High-quality content that encourages your audience to like, comment, or share, is always a win.

4. Get your community involved

Inviting your community to help share your brand’s story on their accounts is a great way to help reach new fans and customers. Start driving user-generated content by following these three strategies:

1.      Start a hashtag for your brand and encourage your followers to use it

2.      Celebrate your community by showcasing their content in your feed and stories

3.      Include a strong CTA

Think about what action you want your audience to take after seeing your post. For example, do you want them to like, comment, share your post in their stories? This can help you with creating the right copy for your post to make your community members engage with your content.

Building a solid relationship with your customer base is really important. You can also create special moments that your customers can be part of via Instagram feed, Stories, and more.

5. Measure performance and find the best time to post

Using Instagram’s insights, you can see how your audience engages with your content. The better you understand how and when your audience engages, the easier it is to know what to post.

Click on ‘View insights’ on the bottom left of any post. From here, you can see the number of likes, comments, shares, and more. Insights offer an in-depth look with reach and impressions.

Compare these insights on each of your posts to see what kind of content your audience is looking for. 

Once you identify the posts that resonate with your community most, take inspiration from those posts for future ones.

Take note of the time posted as well, since this can give you a good idea of when your audience is most active. Once you’re on the insights page, tap the ‘your audience’ section to gain insight into your followers and audience. This covers location, age, gender, and most active times. Under most active times, you can see when the best time to post on Instagram is. From what day of the week to what hour works best.

Timing posts to when the audience is most likely to be online increases the reach of your content.

6. Use a content calendar

Consistency is key, so the ability to pre-plan and schedule your posts ahead of time ensures that you can keep up. 

Using a content calendar will help you organise your content in one place and keep your style consistent. In addition, having your content and captions ready ahead of time saves you the trouble of scrambling for a new post. 

When planning content, think about how often you want new content on your page. You don’t have to post every day to be successful, but post often enough that people don’t forget about you. Make sure you’re not posting too often that people’s timelines are flooded with your posts. This could lead to an unfollow, or Instagram’s algorithm will simply lower your posts’ reach by not showing your posts in the newsfeed.

Planning your content can set you up for a whole month of consistent, on-brand, and engaging posts.

8. Use hashtags to boost content discovery

Hashtags are your best friends on Instagram. They help your content show up in the search results of said hashtags and in the Explore pages of people who’ve viewed or interacted with similar content. So hashtags on Instagram are a great way to boost content discovery and overall brand visibility.

Make the most of niche hashtags and industry-related hashtags that can help you reach the right audience. And don’t forget to share branded hashtags to encourage user-generated content.

9. Partner with influencers to reach new audiences

With the ability to reach hundreds of thousands of people through their posts, influencers can add fuel to your Instagram promotion efforts. Influencer marketing is another way to get your brand in front of new audiences, and the trust that audiences have in influencers’ recommendations can be a huge boost to your customer base.

When partnering with influencers, it’s crucial that you work with people whose audience base overlaps with yours. In other words, make sure you only partner with influencers who can reach your target audience.

10. Stay on top of Instagram changes and updates

The platform has added on to popular content options like Stories and IGTV to introduce features like Reels and Instagram Shopping. Moreover, it has even enhanced existing features to introduce trends such as augmented reality filters to Instagram Stories. Brands can even create custom AR filters to promote audience engagement and gain better visibility.

When it comes to Instagram stories, they allow for great engagement with your audience.

Use these best practices to make your brand stories a bit more creative:

– Use interactive features: Think about using the vote button, quiz button, and question/answer buttons. These interactive elements not only allow you to get to know your audience but this gives great insight into what your followers like. Lay these elements over brand photos or videos.

– Try the create feature: a great way to share new content without having to take photos or video. Use fun GIPHY’s, create lists, and other fun content that engages with your audience.

Think about what your audience may have in common with you and start a conversation. Great engagement can come from fun, interactive content.

– Highlight your most important stories: Instagram highlights showcase important information in a convenient spot. When users first find a new Instagram page, they usually head to their profile to see what they have to offer.

By adding important information such as weekly specials or special services, company achievements, or job postings, users can easily interact with the page and become quickly informed.

Another great novelty on Instagram is the Instagram Reels – quick, fun videos that allow a bit more personality over a traditional post or story.

If you are planning to use reels, make them unique by following these best practices:

– Add Text: The Instagram Reels subtitle feature gives an excellent opportunity to allow accessibility. Plus, more information that can’t always fit in your video can pop up in the form of text bubbles.

– Tag Products: Showcasing a product in your Reel. Tag so that once your audience can see how great it is, they can buy it immediately!

– Make it Entertaining: Like Instagram stories, Reels are a great opportunity to showcase your brand’s personality, whether it’s through fun videos of your products, behind the scenes with employees, or other creative trends.

– Use Fun Effects: Add music and voiceover to your reels to express your brand’s unique personality.

– Engage and Inform: The great thing about reels is that they become a permanent part of your feed. So, once you have created fun, informative reels, continue to share them to show off what your brand has to offer.

Finally, besides following the above-mentioned best practices, make sure you make the most of your Instagram bio.

With 150 characters or less and a profile photo, this leaves little space for large-scale information, so keep it simple and add your website or a featured link to get users exploring more about you.

Think of a quick, witty, and clear message to get your brand voice across. This is the place to let everyone know who you are, what you do, and what makes you stand out.

Don’t be afraid to change it up by announcing sales, news, or other features at an appropriate time.