What Improv Comedy Taught Me About Business

Is anyone into comedy shows?

I’ve been attending Improv classes to learn how to be more expressive (no joke!), and found that it has taught me some valuable lessons in life.

Especially in business, navigating the dynamic environment can be tricky and challenging. But through practising the next obvious step, being flexible and taking action, you can start moving forward towards success.

Improv

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6 Things I Learnt about Content Strategy – ‘Art of Money’ by GE Capital

 

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On face level, ‘Art of Money’ is a blog that covers lifestyle topics around travel and living. Dig in deeper and you will find that its actually an ingenious idea to promote a credit card service. Here were some lessons that I learnt.

1. Decision Making Journey

Its important to understand the decision making journey that your audience goes through prior to making a decision if they would purchase your product.

In this case of ‘Art of Money’, the primary decision stage seemed to be at ‘which credit card’ to choose. However, GE Capital would have to compete with major finance institutes like NAB if they engaged customers at that stage.

Therefore they decided to beat the competition by appealing to customers at a much earlier stage. The main strategy was to focus on trigger events that would result in credit card financing needed. For example writing articles that cover moving overseas, shifting house or embarking on an education stint.
2. Outbrain Strategy

Rather than only relying on your owned audience, you could showcase your content on a popular website to direct traffic to yours.

This starts by knowing who your target audience are, understand who the target audience on your prospective partner’s website are, and if this would be a fit.

From there, you can use partnerships to growth hack the size of your audience.
3. Link Content to Sales

One of the biggest objections of adopting content marketing is being able to link efforts back towards business ROI. Unlike the old-school advertising route of ‘Buy ME!’, one needs to provide useful content that educates the audience and build trust.

So how does this convert to sales?

One method is to place sales pages links within the content and context of the blog. For example, you might place this sentence at the end of an article “Keen to learn more about how to finance your education? Perhaps you might want to check out this offer [LINK].”

Another method is to use re-targeting through Facebook or Adwords. Prospects get pre-qualified when consuming specific content. Following this, you can target them with advertising across other digital mediums.

4. Strong Launch

When launching a new blog, it is important to build up momentum by pumping out more content at the start. For example if a campaign comprises of 60 blog posts, you should publish 30 blog posts at the launch and then periodically release the other 30 posts.

This demonstrates to viewers that you have more to offer on your site and they should keep coming back to your site for more content.

5. Coverage Types

There are 4 methods of segmenting your content strategy. (1) Audience: Which persona do they belong to? (2) Vertical: What type of topics are they interested in? What are their triggers to use your product? (3) Product: How can your product benefit the reader in the story scenario? (4) Which phase of the purchase cycle is your customers in?

6. Multiple Facet Process

Content marketing requires a multiple step process. It ranges from understanding the taxonomy and keywords used, to designing the content layout, to promoting to owned and paid reach, and measuring the analytics.

4 Steps To Building Relationships On Social Media With Content

It is commonly known that you should start a LinkedIn or Twitter account for professional networking.

But are you doing it right? Most people start a profile but leave it static afterwards. They get overwhelmed by the tsunami of tweets and discussion, confused on what to do next. Hence missing the opportunity to build relationships that would propel their career or business further.

Here are some examples of great benefits from building up relationships through your social media networks:

(1) If you seeking for better career opportunities, it is handy to know that 80% of jobs come through referrals and word of mouth. This implies that the convention resume and interview route means that you are competing with the bulk of candidates for 20% of the jobs.

(2) If you are aiming to create partnerships, it is also handy to know that sales people typically contacts a prospect 8-14 times before closing a sale. This implies that people are unwilling to buy based on first impressions, but require familiarity and trust to warm up.

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A Dive Into Uber’s Business Growth Strategy

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Imagine the last time you had taxi ride. Was it pleasant, neutral or unpleasant?

Currently operating in 35 cities, Uber has been rocking the transport space. It describes its mobile app as being able to “connect you to a driver with a tap of a button”.

You push a button, and in as little as 5 minutes, a black car, taxi or peer-to-peer driven car arrives to transport you from point A to B. Simple.

The typical sentiment towards taxi has been slightly negative due to safety and trust concerns. Examples include dishonest cab driver that might take detours away from the destination and drunk passengers who refuse to pay.

Uber beats this status quo by providing a consistently great service. Drivers often greet passengers with a bottle of water, and are incentivised through Uber’s ranking system.

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How To Determine Target Niche For Your Personal Brand

Have you watched Alice In Wonderland yet? There is a scene where the main character Alice was lost and seeking directions. In her desperation, she sought the advice of the Cat.

As famously quoted, the Cat replied ‘If you don’t know where you are going, any road will get you there.

Profoundly said. Indeed similar principles apply to personal branding too. If you are unsure of the niche audience you are targeting, how are you supposed to construct a powerful brand?

To assist you in your journey, here are some questions you should answer while identifying your target niche.

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How to Identify Relevant Facebook Pages

Identifying Facebook pages relevant to the page that you are managing is important for the following reasons:

(1) You learn what content works and what doesn’t. This helps you in finding popular content formats that boost fan engagement rates. For example, you might want to post more infographics is a similar page is getting huge engagements from their infographic posts.

(2) By identifying pages that your audience is currently following, you can increase your following by targeting fans of a similar page with ‘Like’ ads. For example, an outdoor equipment company might want to target Tough Mudder fans due to their affinity for ruggedness and the outdoors.

Here are two methods of locating relevant pages (1) Facebook Social Graph via Search Bar (2) Facebook Audience Insights.

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Social Media Strategy: Three Objectives That Matters

When drafting out a social media strategy, what metrics should you focus on? Likes, shares or something else?

Recently, a friend who started on a social media internship asked me what metrics he should align his strategy with. That got me reflecting on the transformation in my understanding of social media since I started.

There has been heavy emphasis about the vanity aspects of social media. That image that got a thousand likes on Facebook, or 50 retweets on Twitter. While these are all positive signals, they are merely the symptoms of a good social media presence.

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How Meditation Makes You A Better Contributor In Your Work #mindfulinmay 

@itsbinteo being mindful in may

Is meditation only for zen monks and new age hipsters? Not really. Regardless of your background, practising meditation can make you a better contributor in the work you do.

My exploration into meditation was an unexpected one. In 2009, I was enlisted into the military as part of compulsory National Service in Singapore. As I stayed in the army barracks during weekdays, there was plenty of free time to practise meditation in the evenings.

My first attempts at meditation can be described as horrendous. I could barely sit properly for seven minutes. With a tsunami of thoughts flooding my mind, I found the initial experience mentally tormenting. Encountering flashbacks of the day’s events and past memories made me unsettled and vulnerable.

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Valentine’s Day Special: Love Your Customers Through Shared Experience #LoveWeek

 

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Since its Valentine’s Day, I thought I would talk about ‘LOVE’. Nope, not that kind of love. But love for the customer through shared experience. With markets becoming hyper competitive, it is increasingly critical that businesses find innovative ways to connect or fade out in the noisy environment.

Just a quick recall, I covered the campaign on train safety called “Dumb Ways to Die” last year. Through my observation, one of the elements that led to its viral success was because of the “Inspire-Educate” combination.

That meant that the bulk of the commercial was designed to entertain the audience, in order to capture attention. In that example, this referred to the dancing cartoon characters. The campaign message was delivered at the end for a few seconds – “Be Safe Around Trains”.

On a larger scheme, this method works because consumers are constantly getting bombarded by a multitude of advertising messages. Therefore they had gotten very skilled at screening out content. This leaves the main purpose of them accessing their digital devices for communication (e.g. social media) and information/entertainment (e.g. buzzfeed, 9gag, mashable).

With the competition for attention getting more fierce, how does one thrive with such conditions? Perhaps one way is to BE the experience itself .

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