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Wednesday, 7 August 2019

6 Steps to Becoming an Influencer in Your Industry


The way purchasing decisions are being made has changed since the age of social media and Influencer Marketing has skyrocketed since it first made its mark. The behavior of today's customers have shifted from sales presentations to collective recommendations from honest and credible people who have had an experience with the product.

"These qualities represent more of a trust in peers as compared with industry experts. And today, these are being transpired by influencers on social media."


Now with technology being easily accessible by every modern consumer, the landscape for sales and marketing is evolving.

Influencer marketing is important, however being an influencer in your own field is pure gold. Do not confuse being an influencer to being a celebrity. Influencers are not celebrities, they represent a group of ordinary people who have earned a loyal following because of either their expertise and/or transparency. While celebrities actively endorse products or services, influencers share valuable information with their followers.

The shorter strategy would be to advertise through influencers, however being your own social media influencer has great upside potential for you.

In this post, we will explore the necessary steps for you to become a social media influencer.

What are the steps you should take to become an influencer on social media in your industry?


Step 1: Find your niche


First, decide on a specific niche where you want to be known. This can be challenging as there are many topics that can be covered, but it is important to only focus on a specific niche. Normally, what sets different influencers apart is the tendency for an influencer to be known on a particular niche within the industry that they are truly passionate about.

To narrow down your topic of influence you can ask yourself what are the challenges your ideal reader faces and how you can help by sharing more on the topic to help solve and address this.

Step 2: Break the status quo


Commonly most people reason based on what happened in the past, what was successfully done, or what something no one else is doing. The evidence for this is everywhere. All you have to do is take notice of any particular industry, they are doing nearly the same thing, talking about the same topics, and even using similar formats when it comes to publishing and promoting their content.

Alternatively, you could break the status quo by following Elon Musk's thinking process instead. This forcefully makes you disregard the status quo, the main objective of doing this. As mentioned you want to set yourself apart from other celebrities and especially influencers in your niche.

Stand out with new and fresh information for your target audience.

Step 3: Choose your channel


Social media comes in different forms and delivery. For example, YouTube allows you to share video, Instagram is a great place to share photos, LinkedIn keeps you connected professionally, and more.

Although every channel has varying statistics on performance, (click-through-rates, reach, engagement, etc.) having the best statistically performing social channel may not be right for your target audience.

Your ideal audience may spend most of their time researching through blogs (learn how you can start online with web hosting here), learning about latest trends and events through Instagram, and following a walkthrough on YouTube. Knowing where your ideal audience is in the stages of their consumer behavior will help you position your valuable information.

Step 4: Develop your content strategy


As you know influencers may not be celebrities, and what sets them apart is their intent to share valuable information with their followers.

There are many effective suggestions on content strategy, however what we've found is giving a balance of informative and personal content is effective in developing a successful content strategy.

Here is a great read on how to become a great content creator.

Step 5: Distribute your content


Your content is only as good as how many people it has helped. If you are not getting people to see it and engage with it, it is not exactly useful.

It's just as critical to know how to distribute your content, as developing great content. Here's a great way to learn how you can make your social sharing explode.

Post snippets of your content on Instagram, YouTube, Facebook, etc. and customise your message depending on the social media channel you are interacting with.

A great place to share this is through LinkedIn as you continue to be a thought leader.

Step 6: Be consistent


This doesn't just apply to when your followers leave a question or comment on your posts, take the time to acknowledge and respond to them.

A major factor on most platforms is consistency. Quality does matter but you need to ensure that you deliver quality on a consistent basis. If you don't online platforms will assume your low engagement is a sign of a lack of relevance.

What are you doing to be an influencer in your industry?



Wednesday, 17 July 2019

6 Steps To Transform Your Sales Organization to be Best-in-Class


Best-in-class sales organizations use a consultative sales process. A sales process is consultative when the stages and actions align with the customer’s buying experience and customer relationship.

A typical consultative sales process is made up of 6 steps. Each stage maps out winning behaviors and strategies.

In this article we will discover the key 6 Steps of the consultative sales process.


Each stage should define the objective, best practice activities, tools, models, and customer actions that signal readiness to advance to the next stage (for example, the customer agrees to a meeting in stage one or provides access to the executive buyer in stage two).

"Hidden tip: Make sure there is a list of coaching questions related to each stage."


Step 1: Target + Qualify


The customer becomes aware of a business problem. Alternatively, the salesperson creates a pre-stage one opportunity by introducing an idea or challenge that is not yet on a customer’s agenda, or raises the visibility of an issue the customer has underestimated.

Step 2: Explore + Assess


Customers assess how much of a priority the issue is, determine their options, and develop decision criteria and decision process. Salespeople can help their prospects by sending them how-to blog posts, offering to run a consultative call, and sending them relevant content resources.

Step 3: Develop Solution


Customers research, compare solutions, narrow down choices, and refine decision criteria. The salesperson must differentiate, focus on business outcomes, and prove value.

Step 4: Present + Follow up


Knowledgeable customers make their selection and negotiate. Skilled salespeople will have already involved procurement prior to this stage. You should already know what steps need to be taken for your prospect's organization to buy a new product or service. That knowledge is crucial for presenting a solution with a realistic timeline.

Step 5: Negotiate + Close


Customers make the purchase. Salespeople support implementation and follow-up. When a close is imminent, it's more important than ever to make sure your prospect feels supported.

Step 6: Implement


Customers are in an evaluation mode. In the post-purchase stage, customers implement, measure outcomes, and evaluate performance against the sales promise. They decide on the future of the relationship. Salespeople must discuss results, prove value, and build on the rapport they previously created.

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Deliver 1st class value to your customers.


Discover how we maintain a unique position in our industry that only focus its resources and technical expertises in making the complex internet and messaging platforms are unified, managed, and monitored by a team of 24/7 messaging specialists.

EVERWORKS™ Solutions have successfully assisted, implemented and provided excellent service to prominent clients such as Ministry of Health, Ministry of Information, Communication and Culture, Radio Televisyen Malaysia (RTM), Media Prima Berhad (included TV3, 8TV, HotFM and FlyFM), OSK Berhad, CIMB Bank, AMBank, Hong Leong Bank Berhad, Institute Jantung Negara (IJN), PriceWaterhouse Coopers Malaysia, LIMKOKWING University, GAC Shipping, KLIA Express, AP Land Berhad, City & Guilds, Noritsu and many others.

Learn more

What have you done to transform your sales organization to be best-in-class?

Wednesday, 10 July 2019

5 Easy Tactics to Solve the 502 Bad Gateway Error


There are 5 common and effective solutions for analyzing and fixing most of the causes of 502 Bad Gateway Errors. The tactics discussed below provide general fixes for 502 Bad Gateway Errors.

To guide you through the hassle of fixing the dreaded 502 Bad Gateway Error, let's go over what it is, the common causes and best ways to solve it.

What is a 502 Bad Gateway Error?


A 502 Bad Gateway Error is a general indicator that there's something wrong with a website's server communication. Since it's just a generic error, it doesn't actually tell you the website's exact issue. When this happens, your website will serve an error web page to your site's visitors.

We'll cover below the 5 common and effective solutions for analyzing and fixing most of the causes of 502 Bad Gateway Errors.


1. Clear your browser cache


Sometimes server connectivity issues are resolved relatively quickly. Before you dive deep into what's causing the problem, take steps to insure that this is actually a major error and not just a blip.

Wait a minute or two. Then reload the page. If the page loads with no error, this might've been a temporary connection problem.

If the page is still giving you an error, clear your browser cache and then try refreshing it once more.

2. Look for connectivity issues


Most websites live on multiple servers or third-party hosting providers. If your server is down for maintenance or any other reason, your website could serve visitors a 502 Bad Gateway Error page.

The only way to troubleshoot this issue is to wait for your server to finish maintenance or fix the problem causing the error.

If you don't want to contact your hosting service, one quick way to make this determination could involve running a ping test to see if messages are reaching your IP. If that doesn't work, move on to investigating the error.

3. Contact your hosting provider


If you can't figure out the problem on your own, or if you think your host company is the culprit, give them a call. They may be able to look deeper into what's going on and shed some light on the situation.

If the issue is on their end, they might be able to easily fix it. If the problem is something related to your website specifically, they might also be able to walk you through the solution.

4. Check your DNS changes


If you've recently changed host servers or moved your website to a different IP address, it'll make changes to your website's DNS server. This could cause your website to serve its visitors a 502 Bad Gateway Error page.

Your website won't run until these DNS changes take full effect, which commonly can take up to a few hours.

5. Go through your server logs


Server logs will provide details about your server's health and status. Sift through them to uncover and respond to any alarming information.

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Cut through the technical requirements of managing your website


Discover how we maintain a unique position in our industry that only focus its resources and technical expertises in making the complex internet and messaging platforms are unified, managed, and monitored by a team of 24/7 messaging specialists.

EVERWORKS™ Solutions have successfully assisted, implemented and provided excellent service to prominent clients such as Ministry of Health, Ministry of Information, Communication and Culture, Radio Televisyen Malaysia (RTM), Media Prima Berhad (included TV3, 8TV, HotFM and FlyFM), OSK Berhad, CIMB Bank, AMBank, Hong Leong Bank Berhad, Institute Jantung Negara (IJN), PriceWaterhouse Coopers Malaysia, LIMKOKWING University, GAC Shipping, KLIA Express, AP Land Berhad, City & Guilds, Noritsu and many others.

Learn more

What's the most common issue to your 502 Bad Gateway Error?

Wednesday, 3 July 2019

5 Ideas to Help Deliver Better Customer Service in Malaysia


AI is replacing processing jobs and is a bleak future for those who are not embracing technology in their business. However, there is a key differentiation that can be implemented in business which is, through customer service. Customer service is a key differentiating factor for any business as it is essentially the act of helping customers, both reactively and proactively.

In this article, we'll be discussing about 10 things to implement to blow your customer service out of the park.


The customer service team ensures a customer's needs is fulfilled. The key here is not just to must troubleshoot support calls, answer customer inquiries, and perform a variety of tasks to keep customers engaged and satisfied, but also to ensure that these tasks are carried out with a personal touch.

For small business owners this can be overwhelming. With all of these functions performing at once, it can be difficult to stay in touch with everything your customer service team does.

This can be worrying to, because Customer Service is a vital component to your company's success. It represents your front facing "first impression" to the world.

There is a key challenge: it's difficult to outline everything you should be doing for your customers. However if solved, could unearth a hidden gem that could make your business explode.


To help small businesses, we cover below the 10 things you could implement for your customer service team to ensure that you are delivering the best possible service.

1. Build a customer success program


To capitalize on customer success, you need an organized program. Customer success programs identify customer goals and develop roadmaps to help customers achieve them. It's more likely for a customer to return your business when they succeed with your product or service.

2. Build customer loyalty programs


It costs five to 25 times more to acquire a new customer. Do more to retain your existing customers it's cheaper.

One way to do this is through customer loyalty programs. It's known that customer loyalty programs improve customer retention and increase referrals.

This is common and popular practice because your loyal customers usually spend the most at your business, and already represent the group of people that have already converted.

Getting them to convert again would cause less friction compared to someone who has just started the customer journey with your business. Here's a great read on 10 excellent innovative customer loyalty programs for your inspiration.

3. Collect customer feedback


Do not underestimate the power of collecting customer feedback. Collecting customer feedback is an important step in helping customers.

After all, it's hard to assist people if you don't know what their problems are. And, if you make changes based solely on the business's perspective, you can end up frustrating your customers and increasing your churn rate. Instead, look for timely opportunities to obtain customer feedback, and apply that information to your decision-making going forward.

4. Incorporate live chat


Live chat is a powerful tool that should be added to every customer service team's arsenal. Live chat is a hybrid, allowing reps to efficiently handle a higher case volume. Link customers directly to your knowledge base for quicker solutions.

This creates a better customer experience and reduces the wait stress for customers. Consider this option with caution, as high volume businesses need manpower to carry this out successfully.

5. Add a knowledge base to your website


A knowledge base is used to educate customers on your products and services. It contains support and service articles outlining steps to solve common customer roadblocks. A common way how most companies are approaching their customer service is to provide their customers with an instant location to solve their problems quickly by themselves.

This is especially useful when customers have an inquiry. Customers have the ability to search through the knowledge base to find a solution to their problem. This saves them time and in turn helps to ease the burden for your customer support team. Your customer support team would be focused on solving more complex problems, or to attend to customers which require more attention.

---

Discover how we maintain a unique position in our industry that only focus its resources and technical expertises in making the complex internet and messaging platforms are unified, managed, and monitored by a team of 24/7 messaging specialists.

EVERWORKS™ Solutions have successfully assisted, implemented and provided excellent service to prominent clients such as Ministry of Health, Ministry of Information, Communication and Culture, Radio Televisyen Malaysia (RTM), Media Prima Berhad (included TV3, 8TV, HotFM and FlyFM), OSK Berhad, CIMB Bank, AMBank, Hong Leong Bank Berhad, Institute Jantung Negara (IJN), PriceWaterhouse Coopers Malaysia, LIMKOKWING University, GAC Shipping, KLIA Express, AP Land Berhad, City & Guilds, Noritsu and many others.

Learn more

What's your business currently doing to ensure the best service is being delivered to your customers?

Wednesday, 26 June 2019

8 Common Mistakes Your Boss Expects You To Know About SEO


Imagine today you have instant access to tools on SEO that would put you in good stead with your boss. How much would you pay for it?

Well.. today you pay nothing for it.

In this article I am going to show you what are the 8 common mistakes that will help you dominate your SEO game.

To start all you need is an open mind, and the will to implement these changes. These tips are not technical, and can be followed through by anyone (even the layman).

What is SEO? SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization, which is the practice of increasing the quality and frequency of organic visits from a search engine.

It goes without saying that SEO is extremely important for any successful inbound lead generation campaign, and it is only logical that it should be approached with some best practices put in place.

SEO changes, and the history of the world's largest search engine Google speaks for itself. There are various factors which affect your website to be found through search.

This article works as a consolidated source which we have experimented on and find useful. 

1. Duplication


A common occurrence is when there is carbon copy content on your website in more than 1 page. It is having the content of about being duplicated in the corporate profile.

Having 2 of the same content on different domain extensions confuses the search engine. This means, the likelihood of your website being recommended on the 1st page on any search engine difficult.

2. Conflicting URLs


Clean up your links. Clean your URLs to show uniformity and structure, because a search engine will struggle to decipher the order of content on your website.

For example, avoid this:


  • https://www.everworks.com/dedicated-server/
  • https://www.everworks.com/Dedicated-Server/


For the more advanced you can read more about follow links from WordStream

3. Make your website mobile friendly


It has been widely covered that Google will rank websites which are mobile friendly higher compared to websites which aren't mobile friendly.

Google has a great tool here to test how mobile friendly your website is.

4. Sacrificing speed for looks


Speed is important and is a ranking factor on Google. Do not discount on hidden areas of your website which may contribute to your lack of speed. Less visitors, means that your website's speed affects your bottom line.

Here's a quick way for you to instantly improve your SEO.

5. Keyword stuffing


Do not stuff for keywords. Google has explicitly stated that this may affect your ranking on it's webpages.

According to Google, it's the act of loading a webpage with keywords or numbers in an attempt to manipulate a site's ranking in Google search results.

6. Buying links


There is a strong sentiment within the society about paid link-building, and it's strongly advised that this isn't recommended.

Link-building is a great way to build a strong SEO. Pay attention to the quality of back-links. Rubbish links greatly affects the reputation of your website.

For further reading, we recommend an article from Moz, which covers a great article here about why link-building is important.

7. Forgetting the 'Alt' tag


Although there isn't an emphasis on ALT tags, there is a great opportunity for your photos to appear on search.

This is an alternative source of visitors to your website could be the image search on a search engine.

For example, DSC_001142.jpg compared to "Panasonic-Microwave-Below-Market-Price.jpg".

8. No emphasis on content building


Here's a fantastic resource on all of Google's ranking factors here.

Don't forget, search engines have an objective to deliver relevant, up-to-date, and quality content to people who search.

Conclusion


Commit to a SEO strategy and have faith to do the right things. Over time, optimizing for SEO would do more good for your website than bad.

Although, you are optimising for your SEO, don't forget your readers. Make it an easy experience for them with the right spacing, text separation, font size, etc.

Secret tip: Remember to fix any broken pages (404 pages) with a 301 redirect. You'll thank us later.

What's stopping you from committing to a SEO improvement campaign?

Wednesday, 19 June 2019

The Unconventional Guide to Web Hosting


Guess how many people surf the Internet everyday?

Any ideas?

Google alone has 63,000 searches per second. That means 630,000 searches would have already been done, while you were reading these words.

Why should this matter to you? The increasing demand for the Internet - 4.39 billion users - creates opportunities on the web and in tandem the need to deliver these web solutions.

And, in all likelihood, you know web hosting helps you to deliver these web solutions. You are reading this guide to learn which option is best suited for you.

For those who are new, to deliver web solutions, web hosting is required. Simply, your web hosting acts as a storage place for your website, web application, and anything you need to deliver through the web.

There is a lot of confusion when it comes to web hosting because of the options available in the market.

In this guide, you will learn where web hosting differs, how to work around a fixed budget, and ultimately which web hosting option is best suited for you.

Below we will be digging deep into web hosting and to deal with the complexities to follow, systematically. Feel free to skim through to sections which interests you most.

Overview


Before choosing a web hosting option, you first need to know the 6 common options for web hosting you will commonly come across:

Shared hosting Web hosting you share with other users.
Virtual private server hosting (VPS hosting) Private web hosting, where you share the infrastructure with other users.
Dedicated server hosting Exclusive web hosting rented by you.
Cloud hosting Flexible web hosting allowing you to scale when required.
Managed hosting Web hosting which provides technical services such as hardware and software setup and configuration, maintenance, hardware replacement, technical support, patching, updating and monitoring.
Colocation hosting Space you can rent to fully manage your web hosting (hardware, software and services).

To systematically identify which option suits you best, we recommend a framework that you can use to analyze, prepare for, and narrow down almost any situation you may encounter.

To better understand our framework, we've simplified it into 3-steps.


Step 1: Distinguish your needs
Step 2: Narrow down your options (through elimination)
Step 3: Discover your true goal

Step 1: Distinguish your needs


To start, consider the following. What are your core needs?

An analysis of your needs is crucial, because it allows you to define what is the lowest acceptable service you would accept and your highest best option.

Consider the following questions you should be critically assessing:



  1. Is your business relatively new?
  2. Do you depend on the web solely / partially to carry out its business model?
  3. How much speed do you need? How can you determine the amount?
  4. How much space do you need? Will you need to push this in the near future?
  5. Would you require technical assistance?


Depending on how you assess the above questions, you can frame a needs profile that will form a sheet for you to compare which options to narrow to.

A great read on determining how much speed you need is covered by Jonathan at WhoIsHostingThis.

In summary, estimate the average page site using Pingdom's Load Time test, multiply this value by the average number of visitors, and multiply the result of this with the average number of page views per visitor.

Space largely depends on the nature of business you plan to carry out on the web. Hosting Manual has a great guide on space required here.

Step 2: Narrow down your options


Industry jargon:


  • Space = Amount of # GB HDD
  • Speed = Amount of # Mbps (also known as bandwidth)


Shared hosting► Great for new entrants to the worldwide web.
► If your business is relatively new, and only partially depends on the web to carry out your business model.
► There is not much need for space and speed can be at a minimal because of small number of page views.
Virtual private server hosting (VPS hosting)► The environment for this mimics a Dedicated Server, but shares the features of a Shared Hosting.
► What this means is, the Web Hosting is divided into virtual partitions, however, you still share the physical server with other users.
► Great, if you have been in business for some time and actively using but need more control.
► If you require technical assistance.
► Budget limits or just not willing to pay for the high price of a Dedicated Server Hosting.
Dedicated server hosting► For you if your business is very matured on the web.
► You expect / continue to see an increase in page views.
► You don't need technical assistance.
► Require full control.
► Enhanced security.
Cloud hosting► Great for you if you expect your business to scale in space and speed requirements in a short period of time.
► Pay only for what you need (some providers have a base package you can start from).
► You can scale without having to build and maintain your own computing infrastructure.
Managed hosting► Most web hosting options will likely be managed.
► You should always opt for this if you require technical services such as, hardware setup, software installations, maintenance, hardware replacements, technical support and more.
Colocation hosting► When you need a large amounts of speed at a lower cost.
► The major disadvantage is you will be left to your own devices (your web hosting is not managed).

Conclusion


The choice of which web hosting option relies on your current situation. This post has provided to you the required framework to choosing a suitable web host.

Where web hosting differs is, in the amount storage space, the level of control, requirements for technical assistance, speed, and reliability.

In the end, which web hosting option did you choose?

Wednesday, 12 June 2019

The Hidden Secret to Generating Leads for Beginners


Sales is often generalised as a single activity.

However, to fully understand sales and it's role to your business you must realise that sales isn't a single activity. It is a collection of steps your customer has to take before becoming a paying customer for your business.

This collection of steps is made easy to understand and explained through a Sales Process.


Before you begin with any stage of the Sales Process, I encourage you to find out your sales forecast in 2 steps here.

I've compiled below hidden secrets I wish I knew before I started my own business. It's because I only realised after 3 years, that a consistent flow of leads ensures that business is sustainable and continues to grow.

Below I will cover Stage 1 of the Sales Process.

Hidden Secrets for Beginners to Unlock the Leads Waterfall


Secret 1: Identify Your Target Audience - Learn Who Are Your Potential Customers.


‘Make a Customer, Not a Sale.’ ― Katherine Barchetti. When you rush to make a sale, you forget the person in front of you.

Listen and understand to the needs of your customers. Target your customers, and build your product with the best message to suit their needs.

Great reads and additional resources:





Secret 2: Choose a Promotional Method


After Step 1, you would have understood the preferences of your potential customer. You will need to ensure the benefits of your products are made known to your customers.

A great guide to create your detailed customer avatar here.

Secret 3: Use Social Media as Your Primary Tool


To start, I recommend advertising on Social Media, because you would save a great amount of advertising cost. A great guide I find useful is a LinkedIn marketing plan example covered by Suzanne here (although this is specifically for a financial advisor, I believe it would work for any other profession)

Secret 4: Don't Overlook Email


An alternative for customers which are not tech savvy, consider sending an email instead




Lead generation is a continuous process however, with an efficient system in place your business is primed for sustainable future growth.

So are you going to take action to experiment the 4 secrets above?

Friday, 7 June 2019

The Easiest Formula for Forecasting Sales (Just 2 Steps)


If you want to sell well or to pitch for funding, you need to forecast your sales well.

It can be especially challenging for any startup or small business owner. This was especially frustrating for me too, because there was no reference which was readily or easily accessible.

Step 1


To start, I learned that to find out what is the sales potential of any business I had to understand which key factors affected how customers purchase from my business.

Do the customers of my business need to visit my store to purchase from my business or can they purchase through the Internet?

These factors are segmented into 2 categories.


  1. Sales Limited by Geography = Customers needing to visit my store to purchase from my business.
  2. Sales Not Limited by Geography = Customers are able to purchase through the Internet.

These 2 categories helped to organise a complex problem to become an easily understood 1st step.

Step 2


Lastly, identify customers which would be a good fit for the business and multiply that number by the average value each customer would contribute to the business.

This helps you to form your total Market Size. This tells you the potential sales your business is able to earn.

How does Step 1 help with Step 2? The 2 categories mentioned earlier in Step 1, helps you to identify customers which would be a good fit for the business.

For example,


  • You own a cafe located within the city center. 
  • You know that your customers need to visit the Cafe to purchase from the business. Therefore, the Cafe's sales is limited by Geography.
  • You learned that there are 2 office blocks which are within walking distance to your cafe. Within each of these office blocks there are 20 floors which has 1,000 employees.
  • If each customer of the Cafe on average spends RM15 each for lunch, this means the total Market Size for the Cafe is RM600,000 per month (RM15 each for lunch x 1,000 employees x 2 office blocks x 20 business-days).

Conclusion


When estimating your own Market Size, consider reflecting your business against Market Size. This will help you to know how much you are currently contributing to the customers around you.

Following the previous example, if your Cafe makes RM30,000 per month this means your Cafe owns 5% of the market (RM30,000 / RM600,000). This to you means, you can focus your efforts knowing which activities are likely to increase your Market Size.

Additional resources:


How to estimate, number of employees in an office building? 


  • A great way to make an estimate of how many people are within the surrounding buildings of your business is by searching about a building's capacity and current tenancy from popular websites such as iPropertyPropwall, and Propsocial. For 1 employee on average the space allocated is 250sqft. Here's a great article here about space allocation for employees.
  • Be sure to reserve 25% of your total office space as open areas for walking and other furnitures.

For example, if on average an office is 3,000sqft - you can safely estimate 9 employees (3,000 sqft x 75% active area after open areas for walking and other furnitures / 250sqft per employee).

How to estimate, number of people in an apartment or home?


  • There may be homes surrounding your business too. If you come across advertisements for homes of 800sqft or 1,000sqft, these usually house a family of 4 people.

Focus your efforts to increase your Market Size. Do this through SMS and Email (learn more here), which are cost effective tools to help you reach more customers in your Market.

Separately, learn how a sandwich store employs a tactic to leverage on SMS as a way to promote their business.

Wednesday, 29 May 2019

Case Study: Restaurant Continues to Engage with Customers Resulting in More Repeat Sales


Customers come and go, and it is hard to keep in touch and continually engage with them. There's a lot going on in their lives.

Social is a big pull for business owners because of the reach it gives and potential it promises. However, there is a constant need to develop content to keep current.

A more direct solution to this would be to employ 2 tried and tested marketing tools to keep customers engaged.

SMS and Email.

SMS and Email has many benefits as they are both affordable tools where business and customers can choose to interact directly with each other.

Both being synonymous and come together like bread and butter.

The sales journey for a potential customer is much longer compared with customers that have already positively interacted with your business.

Ideally, you are providing the customer with an option to maintain the positive relationship they have had with your business.

Examples of engagement include options for customers to consider when choosing their preferred choice to be notified of any offers or promotions your business can offer them.

Restaurant uses this to their advantage by capturing customer's information quickly through a text message.

The benefit is to reduce any challenges customers may face to opt-in. SMS helps to make the process quicker compared to the need to physically write down on a paper form or have them go to a website to fill out a subscription.


All the customer has to do is submit a text message containing a keyword and email to a short-code and the server would respond to their email indicating subscription has already been confirmed! 

This reduces the barrier with customers who are not technologically savvy. Everything can be done straight from their mobile phone with a  simple text message.

What efforts are you making to capitalize on repeat sales?

Wednesday, 22 May 2019

3 SEO Secrets To Make You Become An Organic Powerhouse


SEO is everything to being discovered through search. What is the secret behind the search behemoth?

This continues to be elusive to most businesses embarking on their content development journey. Inbound lead generation seems to be a myth.

It can be demoralizing when your traffic sources start continues to be in a decline, that so much so it is in a plateau that never seems to go past zero.

Rather than hitting the eject button, we decided to scour the Internet for a solution and to find the culprit.

What we discovered is that our editorial strategy of brainstorming topics and relying on our intuition did not work.

We decided to pivot and focus our energies on the channel organic search. 


Here in this post we will share with you our 3 SEO secrets we've employed in our updated strategy as we deliver more relevant content to our readers.

Below is a brief outline of the 3 SEO Secrets:


  1. People First, Search Engines Last
  2. Link-Build
  3. Compress Images


1. People First, Search Engines Last


Although the algorithm does dictate the result of search, you must remember that search engines reward for the best content on the internet, not for the best algorithm.

The 1st step we took is to understand the intent behind the keyword we want to target.

To do this we analyze a keyword's search engine's result and determine the problems that the users were trying to solve.

After which, we tried to find the best solutions to find the best steps to solving it. Finally we create engaging copy with clear, concise, and compelling copy.

We try to highlight findings, data, and include images that keep our readers stimulated for more.

2. Link-Build


Crucial to improving your domain authority, it is imperative for you to earn high-quality inbound links from websites and pages with high authority scores.

The main method we are currently using to earn high-quality links is by networking with other websites that have a higher domain score.

We are making every effort to also make sure our content is relevant to the referring website's content.

3. Compress Images


A basic rule for optimizing for search engines that often gets overlooked is compressing of your image files.

This may seem rudimentary and not a top priority but file size affects your website's load speed, which is 1 of 10 most important ranking factors for Google.

A great place to start on optimizing your page for Google is the guide prepared by them: Search Engine Optimization (SEO) Starter Guide.

In a previous article we've covered a hidden trick to quickly and easily to enhance your SEO in Malaysia - this is a no brainer and can be done within 1 day.

Conclusion


These are the 3 secrets that we are currently devising as our SEO strategy, and continues to break records for us.

It's entirely possible that they could be outdated quick as SEO keeps changing and improving for the benefit of the users using the search engines.

How fast are you employing these new tactics?

Wednesday, 17 April 2019

4 Free Ways to Promote Your New Content


Placing greater efforts on crafting a killer header and writing great content would be worthless, if you do not promote the content that you create.

It's similar to planning for a Friday night party, but not inviting anyone to the party. If you take the time to promote and build excitement, you might attract people who are interested in attending.

This is the same with your content and gives you the best chance of success.

Here's a big tip. Don't promote your content to everyone. It's like inviting your mom to a guy's night out. You should target each of your content that you create to a specific buyer persona.

Hubspot has a great guide on how you can easily and step-by-step identify your buyer persona. Start this first before you begin to promote your content.

Below you will find the 4 free ways we use to promote our content. 


1. Promote Consistently on Social


At every possible time, we promote our content through our social channels to keep each post fresh. Make sure you include an image, link and a hashtag.

2. Notify Current Audiences through Email


Email is often overlooked as a source for inbound leads. We've covered interesting points on Email Signatures and what to avoid here.

Another great read is some neat tricks for email you can implement here.

One other use for your content through email is to approach new prospects by providing them with valuable information, and establish authority to assist with your sales efforts.

3. Recycle Content


Old content can be repurposed, with a new header, improved more in-depth content to make it more helpful for new readers.

It can cover more resources and provide better value to the readers.

4. Repurpose Content Into New Formats


A great trick to increase your content's reach you can repurpose your content into other formats, such as a slideshare deck, Pinterest post, or podcast.

Are there any other free ways you currently use to promote your new content?

Wednesday, 10 April 2019

Cheat Sheet on Which Website Changes to Prioritise


There are generally two ways websites change, either big or small.

There is the revolutionary change requiring a periodic 4 to 5 year redesign and there are the little evolutionary changes that happen in between the revolutionary change that are the enhancements, and support handling.

Some changes to websites are simple content changes, while others are serious maintenance normally requiring new features and integration.

There are millions of things you can do with a website and each of them has a cost and benefit:

  1. The time/effort/costs needed to make changes varies in time. It can be finished quickly or can take months of planning, programming and testing.
  2. The results of the websites changes also vary wildly while some have a huge impact on marketing outcomes while others have none at all.

Adding a new title tag or modifying it, adding a new section or dropping a video has a return (benefit) on investment (time and cost).

Together they can be plotted on a chart showing the relationship between benefits with time and costs.

Time and Money: The costs of website updates


Websites are magic, it allows anyone to interact with your business globally. However, it still does need time, and money or both.

If you have an in-house marketing team, with a solid content management system (CMS), then changes to texts and images don't incur additional expenses. These are basically free website enhancements to the company.

Big design and programming changes normally mean calling your web developer.

Here is a quick overview of possible website enhancements and whether marketing time or there is a required investment into design or development incurred:


Relationship between traffic, conversions and website changes: the benefits

Before making any changes to your current website you should ask this question.

What is the outcome you expect to achieve out of this change? Is it to enhance your brand, gain better conversions or you are responding to feedback you have received from your users?

Each and every investment into your website should align with a goal.

These business goals lead to website needs, where commerce sites are usually higher sales transactions or information sites are for lead generation through better traffic and a higher conversion rate.

That's how essentially websites make money.

Here are some main goals of websites that people use as a benchmark:

  1. Increase conversion rates: Maximize the percentage of visitors who visit the site to take action through the website that align with the visitors' perspective and psychology.
  2. Increase traffic: Grow brand awareness and top line traffic levels through better alignment between website, search, social, email and paid marketing activities.
  3. Easier management: make the website more efficient marketing tool with more flexible templates and tools so no update takes longer than expected and the ability to integrate actively with other systems when practical.
  4. Website uptime: Ensure that the website is up during critical times when customers meet most often. Find out more about great hosting here.
  5. Internal politics: Keep people happy, especially highly-opinionated people, and people with power. Some website changes don't have any practical marketing purpose.

Beware of opinions! When an opinion is stated look for evidence to support or refute that opinion. You could probably find it in Analytics which is a great tool for making better decisions about website updates.

Below are some examples of website changes that align with goals mentioned above and we see how the benefits matchup according to our experience:


There are a few updates to your website that could potentially hurt the marketing results (yes this is true and can happen to you too!) and here are some common examples:

  1. Adding a design element that pulls the visitors attention from the call-to-action.
  2. Building an expensive feature that isn't rarely used.
  3. Updating the title tag of a page that already ranks high for a valuable phrase.

Set priorities


Things by now should be clear.

Look at every possible change to your website in context of costs and benefits and you should be well on your way to determine objectively what business goals need to be solved and what changes potentially have a negative impact on the site or could potentially hurt marketing results.

Create a worksheet with some of the points above that is simple. The most important aspect of this exercise is to have a clear statement of purpose. The risks of action without outcomes without a clear direction can be bad.

Not sure? Test.


There is no certain answer to every method. You can still be clear about the goals and look carefully at the costs that might be incurred.

If costs are marginal then try quickly and measure the impact of the change over a fixed time to compare with other changes that occur on the site.

If costs are high, weigh the risk and proceed with the test or you can choose to prioritize the lower cost updates, only making the bigger changes after you've exhausted the smaller, simpler updates.

When Updates Reach Limits


Eventually you will hit the point where updates have reached their limit and it is possibly a time for a redesign.

An updated website has a lifespan of around 3 to 5 years depending on the business and the industry, and updates might not be keeping in line with market trends.

This should be a clear indication to stop making updates and proceed with plans for a new redesign.

What do you prioritise for website changes?

Wednesday, 3 April 2019

4 Tips to Boost Your Marketing Campaign with SMS


There is an ongoing buzz on Social, PPC Ads, and Digital Marketing that often a tried and tested method get's drowned out.

Give a guess what is the most used data service in the world?

According to Nielsen, it's SMS. Marketing through SMS is not surprisingly different from any other campaign.

This is often confused with other data and metrics but SMS sends short transcripts of information in a straightforward, direct, and quick way.

Black Friday data shows, SMS is still relevant to marketing efforts and should not be overlooked. For example, it's a great way for customers to opt-in to receive latest information on deals and upcoming holiday products.

Below we will provide you with the tools you need to hit a home-run with your SMS Marketing.

Marketing (the Secret Bonus)


To understand the role of SMS in marketing, you must first understand what marketing is and how it contributes to your business.

Essentially marketing is how you plan to tell someone more about your product. Whether your product is great, or how it can improve their lives.

The added bonus if your marketing is done right: Selling becomes easy for you because your customers would have already been familiar with your products, the advantages and how it can help them.

For example, you have a product which helps households save 90% of their electricity. This is a fantastic product, however, because your marketing was not done right not many people know of your product.

It was a product that did not live up to its potential, not because of poor quality but because of poor reach.

1. Speak 'English'


As with everything marketing, more often than not, businesses get caught up in industry jargon.

For example, in the tech industry it could be RAM, HDD, and others. Instead it could have been the speed your computer responds to your instruction, and how many photos, files, and music you can store.

70% of targeted customers don't know in-depth information. This doesn't mean you should disregard technical information all together, rather consider catering your campaigns to specific customer groups.

Targeting your customers is known to deliver great results. Convey a message with the intent of speaking to your customer on a personal basis

2. Don't just write


Although writing may seem to be a daunting task, you do not need to be an expert writer to convey your message.

Your writing can be done just to convey the information that the reader is looking for. For example, it could be just factual data, or it can be a communicative piece where the reader and writer both have a relationship together. 

Keep in mind, that to have an engaging conversation is more valuable, as compared to giving a notice.

3. SMS Marketing Inspiration


4. Targeting Customers


As mentioned, in the 3rd tip, convey the right message to the right person. You need to put together a simplified process to understand the size and attractiveness of the target market.

Key areas to identify include: 



  1. Your ability to service, and 
  2. Compete within your chosen target market.


2 ways you can properly evaluate the market potential (sales opportunity) is through identifying your market size and what is your current market share.


When you have identified this you can then plan marketing activities to carry out your promotion efforts.

How to launch a SMS Marketing Campaign?


How to start? Would you have someone sit down holding a phone and slowly sending messages out to your clients?

Send SMS like the pros and have an automated service at a reasonable price


Learn ways you can send SMS to your customers based on geographical area with EVERWORKS.

Conclusion


To successfully deliver a marketing campaign you have various tools at your disposal, and SMS is one tool to consider. It is cheap, always delivers, and direct.

Would you consider using SMS as an additional tool for your marketing campaign?

Wednesday, 27 March 2019

Industry Secrets Revealed: Mobile Originated vs Mobile Terminated


MO and MT are frequent terms that you may come across when dealing with EVERWORKS SMS Delivery Gateway. These two jargon terms sound complicated when they really are not! MO standards for Mobile Originated are messages 'originating' from the user's mobile phone. Where as Mobile Terminated which means messages get terminated on the phone. 

MO and MT are frequent terms used by mobile marketing and sms service providers to identify the different requirements and function of each point of action. Think of it simply as a flow chart where there is a point of inquiry and there is a final response.

Firstly, MO simply means user-initiated response from his/her own mobile phone. They usually send in a text word(s) which form the keyword so that the system can identify and respond to the inquiry. This keyword is only just a command instruction partnered with a short-code to help the server respond with to display the information requested for. 

For example: "mobile" is the keyword sent to the short-code "33886" would query a response from the server to sent information relevant to both the "mobile" keyword and short-code "33886".

Secondly, MT simply means the point where after receiving instruction from the MO will display the relevant information for the inquirer.

The command received from the MO's earlier keyword and short-code would generate a response from the server, which would be terminated on the user's mobile phone (terminated messages does not imply messages that stop an action, but instead it means the final point of destination the message is intended to reach). 

For example: after a user has sent an MO containing both the keyword "mobile" and the short-code "333-888" the server would respond to send "sms delivery gateway services special offer 40% discount for bulk orders over RM xx", representing the MT displayed on the user's mobile phone.

With a 140% mobile phone penetration rate in Malaysia there is ever growing opportunity to reach new customers, existing customers, or respond interactively with field employees and more (Source: eCommerce Milo).

Multiple uses of mobile marketing can be employed to generate a user response and initiate pre-sales and post-sales customer service and provide a response to a potential customer demand. 

Wednesday, 20 March 2019

You're Missing Out on This Trick Where Customers Are 82.4% More Likely to Shop


A recent survey done by Technology Advice show results to the power and results of consumer loyalty programs.

Respondents said that they would be 82.4% "more likely" to shop at stores that offered loyalty programs, compared to 17.6% of respondents who are "less likely" to do so.

Businesses that ignore this may in turn forfeit on this consumer demographic. 

Although card-based loyalty programs are the tried-and-true marketing tactic that have been around for years, there has been a sudden shift in industry indicating a transformation to meet the digital age and rise of smartphones.

Malaysia has seen a strong 140% mobile phone penetration rate and this gives opportunity to further distribute a cost-effective multi-channel marketing program through SMS Delivery

The survey further adds that based on the responses that were collected and analyzed consumers are not only open to, but welcoming of such efforts. While consumers remain uncertain of fully-digital reward programs (decidedly against social rewards), but there is a widespread desire for both smartphone apps and exclusive incentives.

How to take advantage of SMS Delivery to monetize on this opportunity?


Exclusive incentive as mentioned above is one of many innovative measures that your business could undertake to further provide incentives to consumers to participate actively with a responsive business that makes effort to provide to loyal customers rewards.

Take advantage of exclusive access to VIP Status instant notification feature


Consumers desire VIP status perks more so than social-based-rewards.

This can be very encouraging for businesses which have already installed loyalty programs based around rewards and perks. There is an incentive to save money overall, but they show strong preference for VIP-style incentives, and given the data according to Technology Advice businesses should consider a "tiered" or level-based system.

Are you looking to add an SMS Delivery option for your business? Feel free to visit EVERWORKS SMS Delivery for more options.

For more information about the survey referenced above please visit here.

Wednesday, 13 March 2019

Don't Lose Customers With This Secret Method From Uber


Problem


Uber has generated a lot of media attention of late and it seems to be a growing trend to have almost everyone using the Uber mobile app to move around the city. In some cities like Seattle you can order lunch from within the Uber app.

This was all good until the company realized that there was a big problem for its ever popular feature UberEATS as there is a large group of people that ordered food from outside of the app and with every meal that isn't being on the app represents lost opportunity for the company. 

Solution to the problem


The solution... SMS Marketing! Uber sends text messages to users that have opted-in not only to remind them that the app is on their mobile device, but to also let them know what is on the menu for the day. The SMS Marketing campaign started when Uber prompted its users to subscribe via text message.

Character limitation isn't the end of the world


Although it is widely known that an SMS message, which is limited to 160 characters of text (including hyperlinks) gives the sender a limitation to what can be sent. This problem can be solved by sending messages through MMS marketing by including an image as part of the message sent.

Alternative to Uber: Peach Case Study


The likelihood of implementing an application that has steep initial cost requirements can be a major stumbling block for the majority of small and medium firms in Malaysia, but there is a way to overcome this. 

For example: Peach (a restaurant also in Seattle) uses MMS, but unlike UberEATS where you click through to open the app and place your order, Peach allows you to simply reply "YES" (a MO Keyword) via text message to place your oder. Included in the message is a link that shows more information about the dish prompting the user to proceed to the mobile web to find out more.

Conclusion 


It is increasingly common for mobile apps to use text message marketing to increase app downloads, especially when there is a 92% conversion rate, it is rare to see text message marketing used to keep users engaged outside of the app. This could be a "break the status quo" innovation in exploring different communication channels that would best serve your businesses consumer demographic needs. 

Start your Mobile Marketing campaign now with EVERWORKS SMS services.

Tuesday, 5 March 2019

The Ultimate Explosive Guide for Small Business Marketing in Malaysia



This is big news for you as a small business owner in Malaysia. The Internet is the number 1 place customers turn to before making any purchase.

This is important to digest, regardless whether you're in the process of launching a new startup in Malaysia or have an existing business thinking of venturing online, having a strong online presence is important.

There is a collective understanding and awareness that brand development and digital marketing is important. However, measurability of ROI is always the major hurdle that most small business owners in Malaysia struggle to get past.

The most common and frequently asked question that's raised amongst the business owners in Malaysia we meet is; Is there a way for business owners to track ROI?

Just to get this done and dusted from the very beginning. As long as your small business does not appear on the 1st page of search, 90% of searchers won't find you. And to ensure that your efforts online do not go to waste, there's some groundwork that needs to be done (including the dreaded topic of SEO and keyword research).

Local businesses, need to constantly monitor that they have their information always up-to-date and readily available when potential clients were to search for them. For example, new phone numbers, store operating hours, new locations, etc.


Below we'll help you cover the basics, and intricate details to guide you in getting started on Marketing on the Internet, to benefit from visitors searching for products and services online.

Questions this article will answer are:


  1. How can I make a website, with no coding experience and with little budget?
  2. Is there a reason why my website isn't appearing on Google?
  3. What is blogging and why does it matter?
  4. Why do I need social accounts?
  5. How do I get more traffic to my website?

Let's start ...


The core of small business marketing in Malaysia


3, 2, 1 ... Your business has been established. You've filled up the necessary paperworks and understand that the most important things you'll need to begin leveraging your marketing online is by acquiring new customers from organic search.

Also, compiled below are some great suggestions of FREE apps for your startup / small business ~


1. How can I make a website (with no coding experience and with little budget)?


A website now is equivalent to your shopfront. And any good first impression your small business can make is valuable.

Your website shows who you are, what you offer, where you are, and how a potential customer can get in touch with you.

The Internet has matured where services now cater for the DIY business owner (helps when you have a small budget). 

Popular suggestions from us:
  1. Website: Shopify.comwix.comsquarespace.com
  2. Website hosting: EverworksShinjuruExabytes
  3. Payment gateways: iPay88MOLPay

Most of these options come with pre-made website design templates for your website that you can either purchase or use for free.

For business owners with a small budget, opt for freelancers or agencies willing to bundle a package for you. Speak with a sales rep from Everworks to learn more about options available to you.

If time / computer technology do not work in your favor, consider using a freelancer or a small marketing agency which specializes in web design.

You can find freelancers here at Upwork / Freelancer

2. Is there a reason why my website isn't appearing on Google?


If you already have a business, try searching for yourself (product / services you offer).

One quick reason that can be commonly solved could be due to your hosting solution. Find out how choosing the best web host instantly improves your SEO here.

However, there are a lot of factors that affect your ranking on Google. Essentially, Google tries to find the best content to present to a person searching for a particular piece of information. 

For example, If I am looking for the best place to host a birthday party in KL, Google would want to present me with results of locations in KL that are available for me to host a birthday party.

And the most important factor is SEO. What is SEO? SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization. It's a technique to help your website rank better on Google making your website more visible to people who are looking to solve a particular question they have in mind. 

Simply, it is a method of structuring your website / blog posts to be in the best shape for appearing on the first page of search results.

The best way to take advantage of SEO is through your blog content. Content on your blog doesn't just help to inform and educate your buyers, but also it helps Google to match search words with relevant words in your blog post.

3. What is blogging and why does it matter?


As discussed above, blogging helps your website to appear on Google. Most importantly on the first page. Getting ranked No 1 is the ultimate goal.

Frequency and quality of content which appear to solve a searcher's queries is imperative. and a great way to do this through your blog.

To start a blog, you can use inexpensive options, and just to list a few suggestions: 

Once you start writing blog posts for your small business, you can add a call-to-action on your posts to encourage visitors to interact with your business.

A great way to capture new leads is by encouraging them to subscribe to newsletter updates through email. Learn more about how email is everyone's number 1 tool here (44x ROI for every $1 spent, this is a hidden secret that all small business owners should take advantage of). 

Great suggestions to email tools include: 

4. Why do I need social accounts?


Social is powerful. It helps you to increase traffic, improve your search rankings, and empowers your customers to engage / interact with you.

For your small business in Malaysia ensuring that you maintain current information online, only helps to encourage discoverability for your business.

Important social accounts your small business in Malaysia that can be claimed (for free): 

5. How do I get more traffic to my website?


Using the tools above to introduce your business, the advantages your product / service provides and retaining interest in your business if the need isn't present to purchase at this moment.

Step 1: Build content which provide value above and beyond to your potential customers.
Step 2: Share that value through social
Step 3: Retain interest through your email, because 72% of adults prefer communicating through email. Email converts, and here's a great resource on how to get started on your email marketing strategy
Step 4: Convert on your website

Persist in your discovery online to be discovered.


The road sounds long, but any steps you make will surely have an impact on your small business. Don't expect instant results, but demand consistent achievements. Blogging will take a few months to start sending you traffic, but paid social accounts can have immediate effects.

Congratulations on starting / updating your small business in Malaysia! Let us know if our tools above have helped you.