Business Entrepreneur

How Do Brands Track The ROI of Influencer Marketing? by @Shane_Barker

Influencer marketing has taken the marketing world by storm. Last year, brands dedicated 80% of their marketing budgets to it, and they plan to increase the percentage going forward.

Clearly, influencer marketing has become the go-to strategy for most smart marketers. 

However, 78% of marketers admitted in a Linqia survey that, despite their growing faith in influencers, measuring influencer marketing ROI remains their top challenge. 

Sound familiar?

If you too find it hard to justify your influencer marketing spend to management, this post is for you. I’m going to explain the step-by-step process of tracking influencer marketing ROI.

Let’s get started.

Influencer Marketing ROI: A 5-Step Process to Measure It 

While the success of your influencer marketing campaigns is not completely in your hands, the evaluation of its ROI is. And, believe me, measuring influencer marketing ROI is not as hard as it sounds. All you need are some tools and some process knowledge. To make your task easier, I’ve explained both below:

Step 1: Set Your Campaign Goals

To get the ball rolling, determine the goals and objectives of your influencer marketing campaigns. They will govern all aspects of your campaigns, including your influencer selection, strategies, budget, and resources.

If you are new to influencer marketing or to goal setting, you can get inspiration from the common goals of experienced marketers below:

ROI of Influencer Marketing

Image via Statista

As you can see, influencer marketing is most effective when used to boost brand awareness and reach new audiences. However, it has also become a powerful brand advocacy tool since it fosters customer loyalty in a big way.

Want a pro tip?

To get the most out of your campaigns, focus on one or two goals at a time. If you are too ambitious, you may end up confusing your influencers about how they should proceed. This will take a toll on your campaign performance and ROI.

Step 2: Define Campaign KPIs 

In step 1, you defined broad goals for your campaign. Next, you need to go granular and define your goal as measurable KPIs and metrics. 

Your metrics should be:

  • Follow attainable benchmarks. If you try to achieve unrealistic benchmarks, your campaigns are bound to fail. 
  • Be time-bound: Set a realistic timeline for goal achievement. For example, if your goal is to improve brand awareness, you should track your impressions, clicks, and brand mentions for four weeks after the campaign’s launch. 

If you’re unclear about the metrics to track, take a cue from the marketers surveyed by Linqia. According to 90% of the respondents, engagement is the best metric to track, followed by clicks (59%), impressions (54%), and conversions (54%).

Step 3: Determine Metrics for Individual Influencers

To get the best return on your investment, you need to track the performance of each influencer working on your campaign. This way, you can identify your best-performing influencers and focus your efforts on them.

To this end, set goals for individual influencers. They should be aligned with your overall campaign goals. 

For instance, if your main objective is to drive website traffic, you should be clear about how much minimum traffic each influencer will contribute within a set timeframe. After you onboard a new influencer, check your traffic for spikes and dips. This way, you can assess the influencer’s efficacy.

Step 4: Choose the Right Influencer Marketing Platform

Instead of manually tracking your campaign and influencer ROI, opt for automated tools like NeoReach and Grin. Using powerful analytics, these influencer marketing tools can compare the performance of different influencers and generate reports for narrow timeframes. This leaves you with ample free time for more cognitive tasks like strategy planning.

Platforms like NeoReach can calculate your ROI in real-time. Plus, it can provide you with data such as cost-per-impression and cost-per-engagement. You can also drill down into the ROI of each influencer-generated post to refine your content strategy.

ROI of Influencer Marketing

Image via NeoReach

Grin, on the other hand, offers an exhaustive list of KPIs to monitor, such as conversions, revenue, video views, earned media value, and impressions. It breaks down your overall campaign ROI based on the same KPIs so that you get a panoramic view of how your campaigns fared.

Image via Grin

Step 5: Measure Your Influencer Marketing ROI

To measure each influencer’s performance, you can use:

  • Custom URLs: You can create unique URLs for your influencers and track the traffic generated by their social media content and blog posts. In the URLs, you can append parameters that you want to track.
  • Unique discount coupon codes: If direct sales are your main goal, you can create custom discount codes for your influencers to share with their fans and followers. This is also useful if you pay influencers an affiliate commission.

It’s advisable to have a dry run of campaigns using a sample set of influencers. All through your campaign, keep an eye on each influencer’s returns. You will get a fairly good idea about which influencers to retain and which to replace. 

Go Ahead, Track Your Influencer Marketing ROI

If you’ve jumped on the influencer marketing bandwagon, there’s no reason to slow down. With the ROI-assessment strategy outlined above, you can put a number on your returns and secure buy-in from your management for future campaigns.

Do you face any other challenges while working with influencers? Feel free to share them in the comments below. I’ll be glad to provide advice, hacks, and tools to help you out.


Business Crypto_Currency

Diem Stablecoin Prepares for Liftoff With Fireblocks Custody Partnership

Crypto custodian Fireblocks and payments platform First Digital Assets Group are providing connectivity and support to Diem, the global stablecoin and payments system formerly known as Libra.

Fireblocks and First are providing the digital plumbing to allow financial service providers such as banks, exchanges, payment service providers (PSPs) and eWallets to plug into Diem on day one, the companies said.

Facebook launched Libra back in 2019 and almost immediately became embroiled in a whirlwind of regulatory blowback and governmental outrage. The project’s ambitious goal to create a private global stablecoin backed by a basket of currencies, threatened to unseat the high echelons of sovereign monetary policy. 

Now, the rebranded Diem plans to emerge around the end of this quarter, with a modest minimum viable project based around a U.S. dollar stablecoin.

It will be integrated, via Fireblocks and First, with Diem Association members like Spotify, Farfetch, Lyft, Uber, and Shopify. (It’s notable that former Libra Association members PayPal, Mastercard and Visa are busy pursuing their own plans with public cryptocurrencies.)

The streamlined project has bent to the will of regulators and operates on a strict permissioned basis with a specific onboarding process to become a Diem virtual asset service provider, or VASP.

“What Fireblocks and First have built allows merchants and payment service providers to use the Diem stablecoin as a payment method in a way that’s really integrated,” Michael Shaulov, CEO of Fireblocks, said in an interview. “It’s more or less seamless, like how they would accept Visa, Mastercard, or any other form of payment.”

The Diem payments system also allows things like refunds, and the stablecoin can be easily changed back into fiat to pay merchants or salaries and so on, Shaulov said. Looking further down the road, the network also includes a sophisticated smart contract language called Move, Shaulov added, which could be used in areas like permissioned decentralized finance (DeFi.) 

Shaulov believes Diem will still be one of the fundamental projects bringing crypto into the mainstream, despite taking a while to get off the ground and garnering criticism because of its narrowed-down launch product.

“Think about the impact PayPal is having on Bitcoin by bringing it to 350 million users,” Shaulov said. “Facebook has 2.5 billion users. And they know how to get user experience right. They know how to make things simple, how to engage users.”


Business Entrepreneur

How is Your Business Culture? by @XLConsultingGro

So how is your business culture? This has been a chaotic year.  It has been so hard to juggle life and work.  Many businesses have most of their workforce working from home.    It’s probably time to evaluate how your team is doing and how you can support them.   Did you know most people leave a company because of the business culture, not the pay?  This also extends to contract workers who you might have hired for a specific task such as updating your website, increasing your social media presence or writing blogs for you.

So it might be time to think about how to support your team and build a better business culture.

How do you take the temperature of your business culture?  Here are some questions to ask yourself about your organization

  1.  Do I set impossible deadlines for my team?
  2.  Am I clear about what I need from team members?
  3.  Is what I’m asking the team to accomplish within their scope or way out of their comfort zone?
  4.  Do I expect my team to be “on call” well into the night, just because I’ve thought of something I want to run by them?
  5. When I set up online meetings do I consider the timing for team members who have families?
  6. Am I a good listener when team members have ideas, suggestions or roadblocks?
  7. Am I organized with a clear direction for the team?
  8. Is having fun team building events on my “to do” list to help keep the team engaged.  Games nights, pizza night where you send your team a pizza to their home, hire entertainment for a virtual party over zoom.
  9. Have empathy for team members who cannot work 9-5 but might have to adjust their work time to fit their family needs.
  10. Do I value the effort my team is putting in under these trying circumstances?

How is Your Business Culture?

Hear from an expert on how to create a thriving organizational culture.

We recently interviewed business culture expert, Kerry Wekelo, MBA on our podcast. She is the Chief Operating Officer at Actualize Consulting, a financial services firm. Her book and program, Culture Infusion: 9 Principles for Creating and Maintaining a Thriving Organizational Culture and latest book Gratitude Infusion, are the impetus behind Actualize Consulting being named Top Company Culture by Entrepreneur Magazine, Top Workplace by The Washington Post, and Great Place to Work-Certified


Business Entrepreneur

Are You An Inclusive Leader? Here are Three Questions Every CEO Should Ask Themselves by @Colleen_Batch

When I first tried to create an inclusive company, I thought I was doing everything right. After all, I opened up the office, got rid of the cubicles, and carved out time in morning meetings for group yoga and deep breathing. Wasn’t that all I needed to do? 

I thought that if I built it, they would come. But, I soon found out that inclusivity isn’t anything like Field of Dreams. 

Don’t get me wrong. I had vital policies in place, and on the outside looking in, my company appeared to be inclusive. But, when I surveyed my team, I realized that inclusion had more to do with community than my corporation’s mission statement. 

Now, I love talking to people and getting to know them, but I prefer to get things done when it comes to business. The need for community never ranked high on my radar. And if I’m being honest, I like to keep most dialogue centered around projects and deadlines. 

But, it my team’s need for inclusion wasn’t about my need for comfort.

I was the leader. It was my responsibility to step out and step into their shoes.

I didn’t have a choice. But I did have a supportive team. They didn’t care that I wasn’t perfect. They were just glad that I was attempting to develop a better workplace.

So, are you ready to start your journey towards becoming more inclusive? If you are, then grab your journal and honestly answer these three questions. Don’t worry if you’re not where you want to be. The point of this article is to give you a starting point, not a guilt-trip.

You’ve got this.

So, without further adieu, on your mark, get set, GO! 

Is Your Idea of Inclusivity A Marketing Campaign?   

There’s nothing wrong with creating inclusive branding, but it shouldn’t be the only form of inclusivity. If the only pop of color is on your website, you need to address that and figure out why you’ve fostered a monocultural workplace. 

Your company won’t progress forward if you keep exaggerating with photoshop. 

If you’re willing to face the facts and be honest about where you are then you’ll be able to get where you want to go. It’s not about having it all together now. It’s about figuring out what needs to change to bring you to your future goals. 

Inclusion is an ongoing process. You need to pivot and learn as you go. This requires you to survey your team, take courses, and even hire a coach to walk you through the process.

Do You View Inclusivity As A Fleeting Trend? 

How would you feel if someone treated you like your personhood was a trend? Yet this happens to so many people daily. 

Inclusivity is not about SEO. It’s not about making your company look good. In fact, if your only concern is appearances, then you might want to rethink your inclusivity plan. Inclusivity is about your employees, not your image. 

Your LGBTQIA+ employees are not going to tolerate working for a company that sees them as a hashtag. They deserve better. And you can do a lot better for them. 

Do You View Inclusivity As Optional? 

Inclusivity is not just your responsibility. It’s the responsibility of your entire team. 

One of the most significant things that you can do for your business is to create a sense of corporate engagement and participation. This doesn’t happen through micromanagement. 

If you try to lead this on your own, you won’t create an inclusive company––you’ll create a safe space that only occurs when you’re present. 

As the saying goes, When the cat’s away, the mice will play.

When developing an inclusive community for all of your employees, everyone should be under the same standards. Put your perspectives into policies. And make it easy for your business to operate holistically with the same mindset. 

When everyone is informed, everyone can be apart of the implementation. Invite your whole company to walk with you and lead the change in their departments. Inclusive companies work together. They work as one and figure out how to create safe spaces for all. 

So, are you ready to create an inclusive company this year? You might need to relearn some things before starting this journey. But if you’re willing to shift your mindset, understand what not to do, and set new standards, you will develop a workplace that is an inclusive environment for your whole company. 

Remember, inclusion is not a hashtag, a trend, or an option. It’s a life––a life that should be valued and supported in the workplace. 


Business Entrepreneur

How to Run a Remote Team as a Soloprenuer by @errinweisman

by Errin Weisman

When I finally launched my coaching business, I felt powerful. I was leaving the stress of private practice to become a solopreneur (solo entrepreneur). That meant me, Dr. Errin Frickin’ Weisman, doing my own thing. No more hospital administration, no more EMRs, just be kicking butt and taking names.

I went full throttle helping other physicians beat burnout. And I loved it. But here’s the thing. The “solo” part of solopreneur comes with a capital S if you’re not careful.

I did my own marketing, copywriting, graphics and community management. I was the boss, sure, but I was also the secretary, the salesperson and the accountant. Soon I realized that if I continued this way, it would leave me just as burnout as full-time medicine. I needed help. Quick. So I got to work building a team to help support me.

They are the grease on my wheels and I would be stuck without them. My team is completely remote and I get to find talented people all over the globe. Believe me, it’s the best.

1. Find the right team

There needs to be value alignment between yourself and every single one of your contractors. It doesn’t matter if the person is a super skilled rockstar… who worked at Google… and whether Beyonce wants to work with them. If your values don’t align, you won’t enjoy working with them.

So how do you figure out who to hire? Well, let me tell ya, it’s a little like dating. You don’t have to marry yourself to the person the first month. Test it out, go on a few “dates” (ie small projects) and see if you vibe. Also, you don’t need to go on Fiverr or Upwork (the Tinder of the freelance world). Instead, ask your friends to set you up with people who they think might be a good fit.

2. Master communication

When you never see your team in person, communication becomes your lifeline. It’s not possible to pop into someone’s office and clarify an email. We have to coordinate our schedules with technology to talk to each other and get work done.

This includes meetings (yup, they’re still important in remote work). This is the time where you get valuable information about what’s going on so that you can keep your business on track. It’s a space for everyone to align with the vision.

3. Organization is your friend

Monday and Asana are my project management BFFs! I tried Trello but it wasn’t intuitive. I used email but info would get lost in the chain. Slack? Oh boy, that’s money! Communicating with everyone on my team is easy and everyone stays up to speed. Slack is our own little office space, all virtual where we get shit done and also have a little fun.

Hiring the right team and having communication platforms that work for me means I don’t have to worry about micromanaging my team. Micromanagement is the quickest way to burnout. But if you set things up right, you can trust your team to do the work!

4. Ask for Feedback

I’m straight-forward with my team and expect them to be like that with me. Give me open, honest conversations that get to the core of what we are doing. Just because we are working does not mean we stop learning. I am always ready and willing to have candid conversations where we discuss what’s going on.

But I am nobody’s push over. It’s like baseball: “three strikes and you are out!”

To be on my team I need to know if you’re either in it or not. We’re building an empire out here!

5. Set the right expectations

The key to being a good boss lady? Setting expectations. If you are working with me then you are amazing and I want you to know your worth! I see it as a fire. It’s my job to notice what you are doing that is amazing as a flame and kindle it until it so that it grows.

It is also my job as the leader to be honest when we aren’t hitting the goals like we need to. If I see an unwanted flame up ahead, then I need to put it out before it gets out of control.

You Still Want a Remote Team?

It took a lot of work, and more than a few hard lessons until I found my best practices for managing a remote team.

Start SMALL. I have had my business for six years and it took me that long to build a team of six people. I recommend you find what is zapping all of your energy and make a list of those things. Hire one person who can tackle it. Depending on what you need, it could be a VA, copywriter, social media manager, or a PR/branding consultant.

Once you have your team, keep communication constant, be transparent, and show up as the badass boss you are so that you can lead your remote team with confidence.

Errin Weisman, DO is a life coach, podcaster & all around badass doctor mom in southwestern Indiana. Besides being sassy, she enjoys getting mud on her shoes, teaching her children to catch tadpoles and reading a great fantasy novel. Hear her on the Doctor Me First podcast or hang with her on instagram for laughs and encouragement.


Business Entrepreneur

DON’T Make These Mistakes When Starting A Business


by Kendra Martin

There are likely a million different lists on how to be successful in starting a business. Most of them in my experience are either too long or they are outdated. I am a millennial female entrepreneur – I don’t have the patience for lengthy documents and I think that most of what worked for a company that was created twenty years ago is antiquated (sorry, but it’s true). The biggest mistakes I made in starting my own company this year were not any of the things I could have read on one of those lists. In fact, they were random but specific, timebound yet timeless (at least for this generation of entrepreneurs). They were big mistakes that cost me a lot of time and money to correct.

So here it is, for all you nuevo go-getters out there, a short and not-so-sweet list of my six biggest mistakes. Please don’t make them.

  1. Solve a real problem – Lots of people have lots of great ideas. A new technology, a contraption that saves you time cleaning your house, etc. One of the fundamental check-the-boxes you need to do before you invest in your great idea is to make sure you are solving a real problem that NEEDS to be solved. Ensure the problem that needs solving is intuitive, so that when people hear about your great idea they will intuitively agree that they need help solving that problem, because it is in fact a problem for them.
  2. Don’t take “the bro deal” – As you share with people that you’re an entrepreneur and tell them about your business, people will want to help. They will offer you discounted pricing, AKA “the bro deal”, which will be extremely tempting when you’re bootstrapping your way into launching your company. Every dollar counts, and a bro deal from someone you know will sound like a great idea. P.S.A: Select your help with extreme caution before committing to a vendor. More often than not, if a product or service is more expensive it’s because the quality is better, and in most cases that is worth the extra cost. Don’t penny pinch and cut quality corners, because it could come back to bite you in the butt. I made the mistake of hiring a photographer that I knew through mutual friends, and it was a disaster. I was quoted one price from my friend, then a different price from the photographer, then an even higher price from the photographer at the last minute before the photoshoot. I agree to pay, begrudgingly, and was thoroughly disappointed with his work from start to finish. The truth of the matter was that I didn’t really know this guy, I just trusted my friend when she said “he’s an amazing photographer”, and I paid the price.
  3. Pay attention to compliance – This part is not fun, in fact it’s an excruciating part of the job, but it is essential to your success. When I say compliance, I am referring to laws, which could be anything from collecting the proper amount of sales tax all the way to annual greenhouse gas emissions. The last thing you want is for your production to be interrupted or a huge unplanned expenditure due to an oversight in the realm of compliance. Get it right the first time.
  4. Do your research BEFORE you choose a website platform provider – I’m embarrassed to admit this, but I totally screwed the pooch on picking SquareSpace. I spent weeks developing my e-commerce website on SquareSpace and then just as I was about to launch my business, I realized that SquareSpace has a major flaw if you are selling products. It doesn’t auto calculate the local tax rates for the state(s) where you are required to collect sales tax. For me that was California, which meant that in order to collect sales tax properly, I would have had to enter over 2500 lines of unique sales tax rates for all the zip codes in California. This was so demoralizing to discover just as I was getting ready to launch my website. I am currently in the process of switching over to Shopify, and basically had to start from scratch and build an entire new website.
  5. Lessen your assumptions to the lowest common denominator – this is going to sound harsh, and maybe it is harsh, but don’t assume ANYTHING about your customers. For example, if you are providing instructions for a product, do not assume they are going to understand what you provide. Reality Check: We live in the generation of A.D.D. and most people are distracted by at least ten other things at the same time as they are reading your instructions. Keep all written text extremely straightforward and simple. Think of everything you write as if you were writing the “[insert product here] For Dummies”. There is nothing more frustrating for a customer than to attempt to read your instructions and not be able to understand them. It will make them feel defeated, and that’s the absolute last thing you want your customers to feel. Use guinea pigs (ideally) but at a minimum use research to validate all assumptions before making decisions you can’t reverse.
  6. If you have to choose, focus on Profit over Revenue – OK, of course both are important, but it frequently happens that huge companies go out of business because they make the mistake of driving revenue over profit. Think of it this way: if my company makes $1M per year in revenue but it cost me $950K to get that revenue, then is that really a lucrative business? The answer is probably not, because the chances are that $50K of profit is already spoken for, in the form of expansion cost (e.g. buying new equipment, investing in R&D, etc.). Focus on building out impressive margins from the get-go. This will be HUGE for you in the following years of your business, because typically through economies of scale and efficiency your productivity and margins will expand as you grow. If you bake in a solid margin from the beginning, then all that additional margin is icing on the cake that makes your company very attractive to investors and gives you the ability to pay yourself.

Kendra Martin is the CEO & Founder of Craft Lab Co., a company that offers Creative Wellness Experiences designed to stimulate the five human senses of see, touch, taste, smell, and hear. Her Candle Making Experience has received rave reviews from customers, and right now if you order 3 kits you get the 4th free! It’s the perfect gift for the Holidays.


Business Entrepreneur

Launching a Business During Covid-19 by @XLConsultingGro

Starting on the road to entrepreneurship and launching a business during Covid-19 means you have to develop great communication skills and find a way to launch quickly.  So how do you accelerate your launch?

Start with “WHY” you are Launching Your Business During Covid-19

It’s important to have a passion and for your purpose in starting your business.  Without this passion or “why”, then you are going to be miserable.  Yes, because entrepreneurship is hard, hard work and your passion has to carry you through the first few months when you are CEO of everything!  If you can find a team of collaborators who share your passion, then you are off to a great start.

Test Your Concept

There are quick ways to test using social media to gauge whether there is a market for your idea.  Facebook and Instagram are easy ways to get launched.  Put up a Facebook and Instagram business page and before you spend a ton of money on advertising, see what response you get from these platforms.

High school kids have been very creative in launching fabulous businesses while taking classes from home.  Perhaps this sock and t-shirt idea from two students in Canada will spur some ideas.

You can also put your items in the buy and sell marketplaces on Facebook for additional exposure, without paying for advertising.

Shop Local

During this last year, supporting local businesses has been more important than ever.   Since 70% of businesses are small/medium size entrepreneurs, they are the very backbone of any economy.  So for this reason, launching a business during Covid-19 you are doing it at a time when people are hypersensitive to shop from small business.  Take advantage of this by telling your launch story.

An Interview with Leigh Mitchell

We recently sat down with Brand Strategist, Leigh Mitchell, to discuss the strategy for launching a business during Covid-19.

In this fabulous podcast you will learn:

  • Know your skills and strengths and impact on the world
  • Business setup from sole proprietorship to an incorporated company
  • Getting over your fear and launching even if not everything is perfect!
  • Find a mentor

Click here for the link to the podcast.