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How to Create Emotional Connections When Writing and Speaking About Your Business

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How to Create Emotional Connections

Here’s a startling fact: Most of the purchase decisions we make are emotional ones.

Yes, the rationale of cost, price and convenience plays a role. But our minds are really rather bad at making cold calculations when looking to purchase.

Instead, we tend to make buying decisions based on how we feel about brands, or how they make us feel. Studies show that positive emotions toward a brand have far greater influence on consumer loyalty than trust and other judgments, which are based on a brand’s attributes.

What does that mean for entrepreneurs? Or for marketers, and brand storytellers? It means that every time you communicate as a brand, or on behalf of a brand, you should try to build an emotional connection as well as a factual one.

And this emotional connection can be split into two distinct elements:

  1. a) How do customers feel about a brand?

Do they associate the brand with luxury and attainment, e.g. Mercedes-Benz, or with social responsibility, e.g. the Red Crescent, or with convenience, e.g. Uber?

  1. b) How do brands make a customer feel about themselves?

This is a bit different from the view above. Yes, Mercedes is a luxury brand. But does buying a Mercedes make a customer feel good about themselves – make them feel that they’ve achieved something? Uber might be all about convenience, but as recent #deleteUber hashtag shows, consumers are willing to give up convenience if they don’t feel good about using a service.

Now, admittedly, simplicity and highlighting brand benefits is key to getting your messages across. But increasingly, emotional connections are important too.

So here are the two things you must do to build the right emotional brand connections:

1. Actually stand for something

 It’s a lot easier to get people emotionally involved if the brand actually stands for something.

Here’s something you should pay attention to – from Forbes:

Millennials prefer to do business with corporations and brands with pro-social messages, sustainable manufacturing methods and ethical business standards.”

There have been quite a few reports suggesting that younger generations aren’t as keen on the pursuit of material goods as those preceding them. And when they do purchase, they want it to mean something.

Small wonder then that brands like Starbucks have worked hard to align themselves with conscientiousness and good works.

Of course, you can overdo this. Not every brand needs to strike a blow for marriage equality, or for transgender rights. In fact, every single brand trying to attach themselves to a nebulous higher purpose can have an adverse effect – where brands are seen as opportunistic. As Kate Richardson writes:

“All the hoo-ha about authenticity, the hype around social media, as well as the fashionable discourse around purpose…have created a false sense of the importance that (most) brands play in our lives. This misguided belief has given rise to the idea that even the most innocuous of products need to create important meaning in our lives…”

So do it – but don’t overdo it. If you’re a purveyor of coffee, you can start by creating a sustainable supply chain. If you’re a sports apparel manufacturer, you can rid your supply chain of child labor. Do what’s relevant, and people will notice.

2. Walk the talk

Emotional connections require trust. And that is built when you practice what you preach. You say you’re honest and trustworthy? Back that up by customer service that is responsive and looks after customers. If you’re an e-commerce platform that promises convenience, make sure that customers aren’t angrily calling in about misplaced orders.

Look, big lifestyle brands can get away by triggering emotions and aspirations. Coca Cola has long told stories about happiness. Emirates Airlines, meanwhile, is saying “Hello Tomorrow” – giving people less to worry about, and asking them to be optimistic about the future.

But most SMEs and startups can’t get by just by jazzing up their content. Their words and slogans can’t be empty. They need to be backed up to hilt by action and customer service – at every single touchpoint.

I’ve been creating words for brands for over a decade. And I can tell you that while words matter, it’s brand actions that translate into emotional connections. So here’s the bottom line: Make your actions match your words. And stand for something. It’ll make your copywriter’s job easier too.

AUTHOR BIO

Apart from being an award-winning copywriter and content consultant, Hisham Wyne is an internationally recognised MC, presenter, speaker and broadcaster who helps the world’s best-known brands create memorable occasions. During his time in the Middle East, Hisham has collaborated extensively with blue-chip companies including Twitter, Microsoft, LinkedIn, Harley-Davidson and Aston Martin, and helped government concerns such as the Dubai Internet City, in5 and the Dubai Design District. Follow him on Twitter and LinkedIn.

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Aussie Author Pens a Get Rich Slow Guide

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Whilst being a multi-millionaire entrepreneur is the dream, financial author David Allen believes that anyone can become a millionaire without the challenges of starting a business empire.  But the catch is that it will take at least 10 years of aggressive investing and living below your means.  

David has released a new book this week, titled “How To Buy Your Happiness” where he outlines strategies on how to achieve FIRE Sooner (Financial Independence Retire Early).

David states that efficiency is the magic word.  As an example, so many investors focus on passive cash flow, but this is a horribly inefficient way to become rich.  If you are earning a passive income whilst you are still employed, you will have 1/3 of your gains taxed away.  However, if you invested in growth assets, such as shares that don’t pay dividends, you will not have to pay tax until you are financially free, and then your gains will be taxed at a lower rate as the gains will not be added to a large salary income.  

Furthermore, many companies pay large dividends to attract investors, but this is always at the expense of future growth for the company.  They may be a good investment for a few years, but you will find that after 5 years, the stock will not have grown compared to its competition.  

His book is very strategy intensive, with 10 rules for investing, along with a 101 class for all the asset classes to choose from.

David was frustrated with other books that stated that investors should all be in a single asset class.  In reality, there is no one size fits all portfolio, as the correct allocation depends on your age, profession, skills, and psychology.  He is also a firm believer that you should not be invested solely into a single investment class.   He outlines the pros and cons of each investment medium so the readers can decide on the most appropriate investment allocations for themselves.   

His book can be purchased in paper, kindle, or audio format on Amazon.

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The Most Effective Ways To Protect Your Small Business From Cyber Attacks

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cyber security concerns

Cyber-attacks have proven to be a big threat to all owners of small businesses. Small businesses have had to fall victim to these attacks in recent times as a result of their admittance of the fact that they could be attacked as well. Yes, any business irrespective of the business scale or size remains a potential target of cyberattacks. 

What would be the result of a launched cyber attack on your business? Would the attack fall through or unsuccessful? Once you are unable to proffer the right and affirming answers to these questions, it is then certain that your small business is at the risk of cyberattacks. 

You need to pay huge attention to your business’s cybersecurity. Cybersecurity is everyone’s concern and not only for the top organizations or businesses. Cyber attacks keep having disastrous implications on both large and small businesses. Specifically, it has been found that about 60 percent of small businesses or ventures are forced to go out of business within six months of being faced with a cyber attack.

The only way out of this is for you to take the appropriate steps that will ensure that your business stays in the safe zone. Ignoring these would mean that your business may have to suffer for your negligence. Not only that, customers who have trusted you with their confidential data may hold you responsible in case there is a breach of vital customer profile. This further undermines the need for you to stay conscious of cybersecurity.

Effective Ways To Protect Small Businesses From Cyber Attacks

You have learned how deadly cyber-attacks could be on your business. Moe certainly, you need to know how to go about tightening and strengthening your cyber attacks against attacks.

1. Secure Your Wi-Fi network

Your business’ Wi-Fi device comes with a default password. To protect your business from being infiltrated via Wi-Fi, ensure that you change the password and also to encrypt the Wi-Fi network. An example of Wi-Fi encryption that is easy to use is the Wi-Fi Protected Access II (WPA2) Code. By doing this, only your employees and other authorized clients should be given access to the Wi-Fi.

2. Set up a firewall and antivirus system

Malware and viruses aim at deducing information from your website without your knowledge. A firewall then serves as a digital shield that protects your business from malware, phishing and other forms of cyberattacks. 

Viruses could either be sent to your system through hardware or software. Ensure that you regularly install antivirus software that removes any form of virus, and that also notifies you when there is a breach of your firewall defense system.

3. Enhance your email Security

You should ensure that all your employees see to it not to open suspicious email attachments or links. Only verified and trusted emails should be viewed on your business’ systems. Also, while sending personal data to clients, ensure that you encrypt such mails with passcodes to prevent unauthorized access.

4. Use Smart Passwords

Dora breaches happen often when you use passwords that are too weak or easy to guess. To prevent this, make use of smart and strong passwords with both alphabetical and numeric characters.

5. Educate your employees about the importance of cybersecurity.

Cybersecurity must remain at the forefront of your business and it must be imbibed into all your employees. With these essential and effective safety approaches, your business can be said to be protected from potential cyber-attacks. 

Remember that your website’s protection and safety has to be done regularly so that all vital business records, customer’s profile, and financial transactions will not fall into the wrong hands. Be cyber-security conscious.

Author’s Bio: Lori Wade is a content writer for DealRoom who is interested in a wide range of spheres from business to entrepreneurship and new technologies. If you are interested in M&A or virtual data room industry, you can find her on Twitter & LinkedIn. Read and take over Lori’s useful insights!

Featured image by Soumil Kumar from Pexels

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Should an Entrepreneur Get an Advanced Degree?

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advanced degree

You’re an entrepreneur. Do you need an advanced degree?

Whether it be for external credibility or for internal confidence, an MBA, master’s degree, or PhD can be a great asset to an entrepreneur. That said, it takes a significant investment of time and money to get one. Is it worth it? Is there a positive ROI? This ultimately must be answered by you. However, if you’re wrestling with the question, here are some thoughts that might help.

Technical Degrees

There are advanced degrees in many fields including the hard sciences, business, and liberal arts. You may be thinking of adding a graduate degree on top of a similar undergraduate degree or moving in a different direction. Ultimately as an entrepreneur the return on investment must be positive.

One of the first things to consider is the type of business involved. An entrepreneur dealing in highly technical products or services might be well served with an advanced degree. 
For example, if you have created a new medical device based upon complicated engineering or physics concepts, then having an advanced degree can lend you credibility when dealing with customers who most likely have advanced degrees themselves. 
In the pharmaceutical industry, most new ideas are generated from those who have advanced degrees and access to university labs, so advanced degrees can be helpful here.

Business Degrees

An MBA can benefit entrepreneurs on two fronts. If you are looking for technical information in areas like marketing or finance, then something like an MBA (or an MS in a specific discipline) could be helpful.

However, most business schools do not offer deep coursework for entrepreneurs, as many academics think that entrepreneurship is very difficult to teach. The traditional disciplines are covered, but out of the box thinking needed by an entrepreneur is typically not a strength of most advanced business degree programs. To put it simply, a business degree can train you in the skill you’ll need to implement your idea, but it won’t turn you into the type of person who has the idea in the first place. 

Certificate Programs

Certificate programs can be a better approach for many entrepreneurs as you can take classes in just what you need. A number of schools have begun to unbundle their degree programs and allow people to take two to five courses in a specific discipline. This way you get much of the technical information without the courses that don’t interest you.

Soft Skills

The other major thing that can come out of an advanced degree has to do with completing the process. Many people find confidence in making it through something difficult as well as skills like project management, writing, presentation skills, etc. There are many things that can be done with the skills acquired while getting an advanced academic degree. These tangential benefits can accrue to those who complete advanced degrees in any field.

The Costs of a Degree

However, many people argue that taking any time away from developing your business is a waste of time. You should channel all of your energy into developing and growing your business. In the long run this investment will payoff more than time away working on a degree.

The cost of a degree in dollars must be considered as well. Money spent on school may take away from investment in your growing business. This argument has some merit, and starting and growing a business takes focus, drive and dedication. Pursuing an advanced degree may bring conflicts. For example, you may have a big presentation for a potential client and a large school project due during a similar timeframe. Competing demands for your attention may generate less than optimal results in both areas.

Summary

In the end, the decision to get an advanced degree as an entrepreneur is not an easy one. There are many factors to consider including internal rewards and costs. Ultimately the decision is yours. Whatever you decide, do it with conviction and dedication and you will win.

About the Author

Steve Tippins, PhD has been a professor and entrepreneur in various forms for 30 years. His true passion lies in helping people achieve their goals, which he does as a Career Coach at BeyondPhDCoaching.com.

Photos by Muhammad Rizwan Austin Distel on Unsplash

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