New Beginnings. How to make friends in a new city.

Whether you are moving or just going for an extending holiday, being in a new city can be exciting and full of wonderful possibilities. However, if you are leaving behind a close group of friends, it can also be a bit daunting.

The idea of making friends in a new city can seem overwhelming. Where do you even start? Well, here are seven tips to help you get started.

Making Friends in a New City: Getting Started.

As you start to explore your surroundings, talk to local shop owners. They tend to have the inside scoop on what is going on in the neighborhood. So, whether it is a block party bbq or a cool slam poetry night, they will be the ones with details for you.

Try Meetup:

Meetup, if you haven't heard of it, is a website and app which helps you find classes and events in your area you are interested in. So, if you love sports, use it to find amateur leagues or get-togethers to watch your favorite team play.

Bookstores:

Bookstores can be a treasure trove of events and clubs aimed at getting like-minded people together. So, check out their website or bulletin board for upcoming meetings or book clubs you might be interested in.

As an added bonus, book clubs come with a built-in conversation starter.

Take a Class:

Remember how easy it was to make friends when you were in high school and college? Well, why not head back to school to meet some new friends?

Whether it is a cooking class or an art jamming class you can learn a new skill or brush up on one you already have and meet some cool like-minded people at the same time.

Break Some Bread:

On top of being something our body needs, eating can be a great way to bond with people. There is something relaxing and comforting about eating with people which helps build friendships.

If you are a bit of a foodie or just want to explore the local cuisine, let apps like EatWith help you to connect with other diners.

Get in Touch with Your Spiritual Side.

On top of religious services, many places of worship tend to have weekly social gatherings for any number of things. While this may not be for everyone, it can be a great way for some to connect with others. So, find a local congregation of your faith and get involved.

Give back:

Volunteering can be a great way to build meaningful relationships while improving your new community. It is another one of those activities which comes with a built-in conversation starter.

So, whether it is feeding the homeless, planting trees, building houses with Habitat for Humanity, or tutoring kids on weekends, giving your time to worthwhile causes can help you build lasting and meaningful relationships.

Final Thoughts:

These are just some ideas on how you can go about making friends in a new city.

If you are looking for more ideas on where to go to meet new folks, be sure to bookmark our page for the latest in travel tips and city insights.

Facebook 101: How to create a page for your small business.

Facebook 101: How to Create a Facebook Page for Your Business:

When it comes to Social Media Marketing, Facebook still reigns supreme. With over 2 billion active users and 65 million businesses using the platform every month, there is no denying the importance of creating and maintaining a page for your small business. Decked out with special features, including targeting metrics and other ways to reach potential customers, having a business page is a great way to market your company. Unfortunately, figuring out how to set up a Facebook account for your business isn’t as straight forward as one would think. Here is a handy tutorial on how to start a Facebook page for your small business.

Before You Start:

Before sitting down and working on your business’s page, you are going to need to have a personal Facebook page, if you don’t have one already. This may seem a bit odd, don’t worry. The two pages are completely separate. You are only using your personal account to access the pages feature. None of your personal information will be shared on your professional page. All of the interaction you have with fans of your business will be as your business. So, there is no need to worry about your privacy or safety.

Now that you are all set with your personal page, it is time to get started creating your business page.

This is also the time to choose who, if anyone, else is going to have an admin role on the page. Clearly, if you are a small one-person operation, this won’t be something you need to think about. However, if you are a larger start-up or scale-up, having more people as admins means more people to stay on top of things and engage with people as your page grows.

Getting Started:

There are two ways to access the pages area. One is through your personal page and the other, which is far easier, is through facebook.com/business. This is the one we are going to use for the sake of simplicity.

Once you are on the Facebook business main page, you will see two options: business or brand and community or public figure. Be sure you chose the business or brand option.

After clicking on the get started button, you will be asked to choose your page’s name and business category. Using your actual business name is of course ideal. However, sometimes there are companies from other parts of the world with the same name. So, maybe consider adding your location like bobsbakerywitchita or chaptersbookstoreie to ensure you get the name you want.

Once you have chosen a name for your page, it is time to choose a category for your company. Start by typing in what sort of business you run. An autofill menu will pop down allowing you to make a choice from a number of selections of industries related to your business. For example, if you type in “bakery” everything from bakery to cupcake shop to chocolate shop will pop up, meaning you will have the option to let people know exactly what sort of bakery you own.

The final step in the getting started process is entering your address and phone number. If you are a strictly online business, don’t worry. There is the option to not show your physical address. It will only show which city your business is located in.

Profile and Cover Photos:

Now that you have the who, where, and what all sorted, it is time to pick a photo. This will make it easier for people not just to find you, but to also know you are the business they are looking for. It should either be of your storefront if you are a brick and mortar small business, or your logo.

Once you have your profile photo uploaded, you should pick out a cover photo. According to Facebook, pages with a cover photo tend to perform better than those without. Just like your profile photo, your cover photo should reflect your business. Just make sure the photo you chose is high def and professional.

Filling in the Blanks:

Now that your photos and bare basics are up, it is time to fill in the rest. On the left side of your admin page, you will find links to various extras which will help people get to know more about you and your company. While videos and photos will come in time, the most important section to focus on at first is the about section.

This is where you can add your website, about us, directions on how to find you (if you have a physical location), and a ton of more useful information. It even has a place for you to put up your menu if you are a restaurant. Remember, the more information you give, the more like people are to be engaged with your page and business. So, fill out every section which is relevant for your business, because the more informative your page is, the more views it is going to get.

Quick note, when creating your “about” text for Facebook, keep it as tonally close to the “about us” section on your website as possible. The last thing you want is for there to be a disconnect between the two texts. Your Facebook about us doesn’t have to be as long or as in-depth as the one on your website, but they should match.

Adding an Action Button:

Facebook’s action button can be a great way to get potential customers to reach out or learn more. Just click the button on the bottom right of your cover photo and choose from everything to messaging you on Facebook to downloading your app, if you have one.

Having a call to action button up front and easy to find can help encourage people to follow up and drive up click-through rates. It also helps to focus customers attention where you want it to go. Always a big plus.

Creating Your First Post and Getting Followers:

Now that your page has all the information ready and your call to action button, it is time to publish your first post.

The first post is important for a number of reasons. It helps you test the waters. It can help get early fans of your page to get engaged and be responsive. But, most importantly, lets people know your business is now on Facebook. So, you are going to want to create a post that gets people interested and interacting with the content.

There are a number of ways you can help people get involved with your first post. You can have a competition post between two items or ideas, using like or share to see who the winner will be. Or create a poll about several different items or products you offer.

Or you can use impactful or cute images to get noticed. By featuring a product that is visually interesting is a great way to get people talking about your Facebook page. Or why not add a cute animal?

When it comes to getting followers, make sure you add the Facebook button on your webpage with a call to action for people to like you. Also, don’t be afraid to share with your friends, while creating an add. Ads can be a great way to use marketing practices to get your new page in front of the right eyes.

Thanks to Facebook marketing targets, you can create ads that can be as wide or as narrow as you want. You can include age, location, gender, and interests related to your business in the targeting framework. This helps weed out people who wouldn’t be interested, allowing you the potential for higher ROIs.

While it may seem overwhelming at first, creating a Facebook page for your business is easy to do. Plus, in this age of social media and online engagement, not having one can be a huge mistake when it comes to marketing your small business.

If you need more hints at how to start a successful blog or how to use social media marketing to your advantage, check out http://blogging.org. We pride ourselves in making sure all of the information on our page is the latest and most up to date, ensuring you stay ahead of the curve.

Fintech Writing Sample

Becoming A Digital-First Bank:
How To Transform Your Digital Presence.

If the last few years have proven anything, it’s that fintech is here to stay. With the rise of online financial services and paperless transactions, the need for digital-first banking has become increasingly apparent.

This whitepaper aims to helps you identify how to transform your bank into a digital-first enterprise, including reworking your business model, working culture, and the technology which drives all of it.

Smart Bundling and Service Add-Ons

During the early days of the fintech boom, some of the savvier starts-ups made a conscious decision to pick and choose which financial services they would focus on, such as lending or investment advice, rather than trying to tackle it all. This came to be known as unbundling, as it represented the move away from the all in one bundle model traditional banking institutions had been using for years. This meant larger, more established commercial institutions were no longer leading the market in terms of expertise about the products they offered. Instead, big banks began to find themselves susceptible to the cherry-picking tactics of these new, hyper-focused, up and coming digital-first companies.

Since then, there have been numerous examples of banks joining with specialist fintech providers to enhance the services they offer to consumers. In some cases, this “re-bundling” allows banks to move beyond the traditional, narrow banking domain to a variety of useful financial add-ons, like investment, insurance (and even parking) in an attempt to help customers simplify their daily routines. This shift from simple banking features to add-ons has been a wildly successful business strategy for Chinese tech giants like Alipay and WeChat. WeChat, which started as a social messaging network, added a payments capability as a means to streamline users’ life. It is now one of the world’s most powerful payment brands.

Similarly, some major fintech brands, such as Revolut, have started adding traditional core banking services to their specialized areas of focus. Marcus, Goldman Sachs’ fintech subsidiary, is another example of a harmonious blend of fintech borrowing traditional banking services to offer consumers the best of both worlds.

From a bank’s point-of-view, this partnership of smart bundling traditional banking services with useful add-ons supplied by fintech startups allows them to continue being the customers’ primary financial institution by offering better product features. This approach means they are far more likely to attract and retain customers, thus keeping a strong profit portfolio. Interestingly some fintech start-ups which were initially envisioned as direct-to-consumer brands to compete with banks, such as TransferWise, have begun to recognize the need to partner with larger banks as a way to reach out to their more established customer base.

Digital-First Banking for Digital Savvy Customers:

We believe the digitalization of banking will create a future where key financial services are provided by Digital Hubs.

Digital Hubs are platforms with which people would interact in a manner similar to Siri, Alexa or Google Assistant. It is the consumer’s gateway to their financial life. Data can be collected over time to predict the consumer's situation and financial interactions. This means their needs will be anticipated and, where permission has been given, acted on.

How to become Digital-First:

Two or three years ago, new digital technologies and how their application could reshape banking services were primarily a topic of discussions at conferences, experiments at the Innovation Labs of bigger banks, and think pieces in financial blogs and news outlets. Now, they are necessary for larger banks who wish to stay competitive within the financial world.

It’s clear these new and innovative technological advances are increasingly being adopted by digital leaders to gain market advantage in order to stay relevant. The market transformation towards being digital-first is well underway.

The actions necessary to become a Digital-First Bank fall into 2 categories:

  • Strategy & Propositions: defining future business models to drive customer value.
  • Delivery & Operations: developing organizational capabilities to deliver new propositions with speed, agility, and efficiency.

The Staying Power of Digital First Banking

One thing is certain: current business models are quickly becoming irrelevant, as their cost-income ratios are too high and velocity of change too low. Which is why, as introduced in this report, business models need to be transformed to incorporate and even changed to put digital banking solutions front and center. For example, neobanks and challenger banks that adopt a digital-first business model where the entire organization is fully digitized. This approach to bringing new products and services to the market in a digital, rather than paper, format is taking the financial world by storm. Existing banks which are able to properly adopt a digital-first business model and adopted agile practice, including focusing on niche markets on top of standard banking packages, are able to move forward and continue to grow in a lucrative way. Whereas, banks which refuse to adapt to this new digital-first approach to banking run the risk of becoming obsolete or, in the best-case scenario, merely a service platform for other, more modern financial institutions profit from

A blog on why smaller PR firms ROCK!

There is something appealing about using big names in marketing and public relations firms, and rightfully so. They have spent years working hard to earn that reputation and renown. Running the gauntlet can be daunting and difficult, but thankfully there were companies willing to give them a chance. Here are four great reasons why you should do the same and hire a small PR company.

Who You Meet Is Who You Get:
When you hire one of the bigger companies you often meet with higher-ups only to have your account passed to one of the junior account managers. This isn't possible with smaller firms. The person who pitches you is also the person who is in charge of your account. They are the one who hears your initial desires and continues to work with you the entire time, even when your PR needs change and grow. You build a strong working relationship with them and in turn, they have a better understanding of you and your company from the very beginning.

They Still Have Something To Prove:
Smaller PR firms can't simply rest on their laurels. They don't have any. Every new client gets 110% of their efforts because their success is directly linked to your success. Every bit of great press for you is just as important for them. It is their calling card, the proof they can get the job done. On top of that, smaller PR firms will work harder to make sure you get exactly what you want, often coming up with new and inventive ways to create buzz about your business.

More Bang For Your Buck:
This reason is closely tied to the one above. Smaller PR firms tend to be far more reasonably priced than their larger counterparts. Since they don't have the reputation or overhead to warrant higher fees and retainers, smaller firms are a much more cost friendly way to raise brand awareness for your company. Every cent in business counts and nobody understands that more than small businesses. So, it makes sense to go for a PR firm who is in the same boat as you and knows how to work within your budget.

Accountability, Accountability, Accountability:
Even the most careful and astute PR guru makes a mistake every so often. Maybe the bold new idea they had didn't go over well. Maybe the social media campaign got off to a rocky start. Who knows? However, if the guru is a one-person show, or maybe one of three, it is a lot easier to fix what went wrong. Bigger firms often have a protocol for dealing with mishaps which can include going through higher-ups. Doesn't just dealing with the problem sound easier?

What it all boils down to is that both large and small firms have special perks to offer clients. However, taking a chance on a smaller PR firm can offer you big returns and a great professional relationship with someone who is just as invested in you as you are with them.

Leadership Blurbs

How City Governments Lead the Way In Corporate Sustainability

As anyone who reads Forbes or Entrepreneur knows, businesses have been looking for ways to create far more sustainable business practices. Companies from small local mom and pop stores to fortune 500 corporations are increasingly focused on how to decrease their carbon footprint and become more eco-friendly. Interestingly, many of these global companies are looking to local governments on how to create lasting change to their impact on the environment and ways to reduce waste. 

This is the opening paragraph for a piece for the Den Haag Gemeente on ways local government demonstrate leadership in the quest to create greener business practices.

Do Creative, Eco-friendly Gifts Create More Loyalty From Employees?

Along with healthy bonuses, vacation days, and healthy work/life balances, employers are finding little extras around the holidays and birthdays nurture the bond between upper management and those working under them. Even though gift cards or coffee/candles are pretty standard, it turns out bosses who take a little extra time to search out gifts which embrace the philosophy of the company and are built to last, while being eco-friendly, help to make employees feel more appreciated and when people feel appreciated, they are more loyal and work harder.

This is the closing paragraph for a B2B marketing email for a bio-cotton clothing company, which specialized in fun and witty t-shirts but also offered other eco-friendly gifts.  

Press Release Sample

For Immediate Release
Name of Press Contact: Gillian Bradford

Amsterdam, Netherlands

TomTom Makes Strides In Reliable Autonomous Vehicles.

Since launching its first personalized satellite navigation device in 2004, TomTom has continually been making strides in how people get from point A to point B. This year is no different. With two new developments in autonomous driving being announced at the Paris Car show, TomTom is one step closer to making comfortable, safe, electric self-driving cars a reality.

The first product to be launched is TomTom’s Autostream. This new and ingenious map building service allows cars to create an up to date horizon by being connected to TomTom’s cloud. By partnering with Baidu and Zenuity, TomTom has engineered a high definition map for autonomous cars, while not overloading the device on data, thus making sure you can go wherever the road takes you all while having access to the latest information on roadwork and updated routes.

“Our early investment in the TomTom advanced map-making platform means that we can continue to deliver revolutionary innovations like TomTom AutoStream. With TomTom AutoStream we can significantly simplify and shorten the development time for our customers, accelerating the future of driving.” Willem Strijbosch, TomTom’s Head of Autonomous Driving,

TomTom’s MotionQ, a new and predictive way to ensure the comfort of passengers in self-driving cars, is the second big announcement to come from the SatNav company. No one should have to worry about motion sickness or safety when it comes to self-driving vehicles. So, TomTom has built an overlay on the display which allows passengers to see the car’s movements, from turns to acceleration, before they happen, helping passengers to feel safe and secure.  This exciting new technology will be available in partnership with Rinspeed Snap, a robo-taxi concept vehicle that will be on display at The Paris Car Show.

What makes both of these products possible is a collaboration with Qualcomm. By combining TomTom’s state of the art HD mapping system with Qualcomm’s camera technology and GPS data, both companies can make sure their newest technology has every advantage as they move closer to realizing self-driving cars.

Everyone should be able to get where they are going as safely and comfortably as possible. This is why the minds at TomTom continually strive to make reliable, self-driving technology a reality.

Bolt Mobility Writing Samples

Blog Post:

Sometimes Less Really Is More.

In today’s busy world, there seems to be a never-ending array of choices. From coffee flavors to styles of jeans and everything in between, we seem to spend more time making choices about our purchases than actually enjoying them. So even after you go ahead with environmentally responsible decision to leave your petrol burning scooter and embrace the future with a Bolt Mobility electric, app scooter, you are faced with so many different color combinations, it can still feel a little overwhelming.

So, to help streamline your decision-making process, we have decided to narrow the paint choices from 10 to 5. Choosing from the most popular colors for vehicles, we offer something for everyone, whether your tastes lean more toward classic colors or maybe you want something a little bolder. Plus, there are a variety of alloy, rims, and seats for you to mix and match, allowing you to find your signature combo. With fewer alternatives, it will be easier for you to go from customizing your scooter’s look to zipping around town on it.

Facebook Blurb:
Henry Ford famously said, “A customer can have it painted any color he wants so long as it is black”.  Thankfully, we offer you a few more options. In fact, you can read about our new color choices here:

Press Release First Paragraph:

Fewer Choices Means More Opportunities to Enjoy This Electric Scooter.

Bolt Mobility is making a bold move and reducing its color options from 10 to 5. After being called “The Tesla of the Scooter Industry”, they wanted to make it easier for customers to customize their product. The hope is by limiting the number of color combinations, clients can design and order products faster. This will give them more opportunities to enjoy the freedom of owning an electric, app scooter.