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Seize These Big Opportunities for Smaller Brands to Make More Money

Smaller businesses/brands now have access to many of the best marketing communications minds to help them build and grow their brand.

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Smaller businesses/brands now have access to many of the best marketing communications minds to help them build and grow their brand.

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February 3, 2021 7 min read

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

As part of the management team of several creative agencies throughout my career, I can remember having conversations about whether we could afford to take on a small, low-paying client that wanted us to help them establish and effectively amplify their brand. Unfortunately, I don’t ever remember the answer being “yes.” We always had to politely decline because we had overhead costs and margins that simply made it unprofitable.

Let’s face it, big agencies need big dollars to do what they do. Their business model requires significant infrastructure to service their clients: office space, equipment, department heads, agency management, human resources, technology, benefits, etc. — even the occasional foosball table. These agencies haven’t been able to unchain themselves from these anchors that act like a game of Hungry Hippos gobbling up profit.

What this means is that many of the most experienced and talented strategic, creative, and executional marketing minds are quarantined inside these agencies, completely inaccessible to smaller brands and start-ups that can’t pay the price. Small brands are given the Heisman to the kind of marketing and creative thinking that can help them compete.

Luckily, this is changing, and this playing field between the rich and powerful, and the small and hopeful, is beginning to level.

That’s because the infrastructure that used to be the traditional agency’s strength, is now its Achilles heel — possibly becoming its toe tag.

That’s because those fixed costs aren’t going away. Yet agency clients, in their own attempt to reduce costs, especially in these times of COVID, are cutting their fees. Which means the only recourse for agencies is to trim the one expendable asset they have: talent.

Agencies are being forced to compromise

Talent is an agency’s most important asset. Without it, there is no product. David Ogilvy famously said, “An agency’s assets go down the elevator every night.” So trimming talent means compromising the product. And a compromised agency product means you’re likely to see even fewer assets going back up the elevator the next morning.

So in an effort to hold on to their relevance as an important resource for brands, while still trying to maintain profit margins, many agencies have decided to eliminate the higher-priced and more experienced talent in favor of younger, less experienced ones. It’s cheaper, for sure, but this inexperience is also less precise, slower, and needs more supervision. And, unfortunately for the future of agencies, it’s a ding to overall product quality.

There are new opportunities for smaller brands

But as they say, when one door closes, another one opens. And while it’s not a door that’s opening for agencies, it’s a great big door that’s opening for brands, especially smaller ones.

It used to be that when experienced people left an agency they became freelancers and simply made a u-turn and looped back to working for agencies. Agencies would hire back these people, now as freelancers, thereby getting their talent and experience while avoiding a lot of the ongoing costs of full-time employees.

But over time, as more experienced people were forced out of the agency system — or simply left of their own accord because they were fed up with the lack of progress adapting to the new world — this began to change. Suddenly, some of the most experienced talent decided to bypass the agencies that abandoned them and offer their talent and expertise directly to clients, thereby creating a whole new world of opportunity. A world that offered the very same excellence that was previously quarantined inside of traditional agencies, without the exorbitant cost, labored processes, and antiquated ways of working that made these agencies so tough to work with.

So what happened? Freelancers began forming collectives to work together when and if necessary. These collectives are a network of the same expert specialists you used to find, almost exclusively, bundled together inside a traditional agency. Now they’re each an independent contractor. So much like ordering off the à la carte menu at a restaurant, these collectives allow businesses to only use, and pay for, what they need. Without all the infrastructure they don’t.

Another piece of the puzzle that makes this collective model work is technology. Technology doesn’t only make it possible to work effectively from anywhere, it puts more tools at the collective’s fingertips. What used to require an outside vendor, or massive internal infrastructure, now simply needs a laptop. And individuals inside of a collective are taking advantage of this to offer brands access to marketing tools in a whole new way. All of which saves massive amounts of time and money, and can add massive amounts of content for brands.

Related: Reorienting: From the Individual to the Collective

Same talent, new options for using it

As this different model for delivering marketing communications and creativity grows, there are basically two variations on the theme. The first is a business that assembles a large collective, allowing brands to pick and choose from within a group — freelance talent can apply to join the business’s collective, get vetted, and then become part of a pool of available individuals. These businesses create specialty silos that are filled with talent with a particular expertise. Clients can work with an individual within a silo, or a team made up of talent from different silos that the business puts together based on the needs of the project.

Options like Working Not Working, Upwork, Been There Done That, Satellite Office, and Topcoder are excellent examples of this growing model.

The other variation is an individual who has developed working relationships with other individuals with different expertise. Clients can hire the individual and have access to his/her collective of talent and experience if and when needed. This model is a bit more intimate because it’s a smaller collective that uses relationships that have already worked together and know working styles well. In this case, vetting has occurred through on-the-job experience.

Options like great·er·est (full transparency, great·er·est is my business), Underhead (led by industry greats, Gary Goldsmith and Robert Reiser), and The Core Collective (led by other industry greats, John Doyle and Justin Bastien), are excellent examples of this version of the model.

Regardless of the approach, this collective model is made up of various specialists who are available if needed — writers, art directors, graphic designers, strategists, technologists, researchers, producers, musicians, video and film makers, etc. It’s an à la carte model of marketing and communications where brands only use and pay for what they need, without any of the overhead and inefficiency.

Related: Use Subcontractors to Build Your Business

Will the growth of this collective model replace the traditional agency? No, and it shouldn’t. There’s still an important place for creative agencies as they are today — if you can afford them. But this new à la carte model needs to be an option. Businesses of all shapes and size — especially smaller brands that have always been priced out of access to this kind of talent and experience — need to know they exist. This new option needs to grow as an alternative so that smaller brands, and even start-ups, can take advantage of world-class talent and experience.

These are exciting times. Not just for the ability to open creativity up to a broader array of businesses, but these collectives see value in, and are taking on, more kinds of marketing and communications projects. Projects that are too small for agencies. They are free to apply their creativity to more things.

Finally, talent and experience are taking precedent over structure again. And the benefits are boundless.

Related: No Time for Marketing? Hire a Freelancer.

Source: http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/entrepreneur/latest/~3/BibDbaRxux4/363380

Entrepreneur

How to give good feedback to your collaborators?

The feedback process must be close and continuous.

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The feedback process must be close and continuous.

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June 8, 2021 1 min read

This article was translated from our Spanish edition using AI technologies. Errors may exist due to this process.

This story originally appeared on Querido Dinero

Feedback is the analysis of a person from different perspectives to show what they do very well and accelerate their professional career, but also what they need to improve because it slows their growth.

The difference with the evaluation of results is that the feedback process must be close and continuous, and when implemented correctly it generates relationships of trust .

We tell you how to make it a natural practice in your company:

We tell you how to make it a natural practice in your company:

Source: http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/entrepreneur/latest/~3/ZMAaeXpe1Pg/373943

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3 Lies They Tell You in School That Hurt You in Business

If you hold on to everything you learned at school, you’ll fail in business. Here’s what you need to unlearn.

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If you hold on to everything you learned at school, you’ll fail in business. Here’s what you need to unlearn.

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June 3, 2021 4 min read

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

When I started out in property and business, there were many lessons that I had to unlearn. If your job is to learn a task and follow someone else’s process, then school is great preparation. School teaches you how to be a good employee, not a good entrepreneur. If you hold on to these ideas, they will prevent you from reaching your full potential as a business leader.

Don’t get me wrong, there are certainly things that you can learn in the traditional education system that can help you as a business owner, but there are other things that will certainly limit your mindset if you carry them into the world of entrepreneurship. It is important to weed out these limiting beliefs while retaining anything that is useful.

Here are three school-taught lessons that you absolutely must not carry with you if you plan to succeed in business.

Related: 5 Habits That Made Me a Millionaire by 25

1. Don’t copy

In school, you’re taught that copying is cheating. But in the business world, you don’t need to reinvent the wheel. As the world’s best-known personal-development coach Tony Robbins says, “If you want to be successful, find someone who has achieved the results you want and copy what they do and you’ll achieve the same results.”

Of course, that doesn’t mean taking other people’s copyright-protected work. It means copying business formulas that others have had success with, and once you’ve mastered them, putting your own spin on them. It means most things have been done a million times before, and you can learn from the mistakes of others. It means that while it takes many failures before success is reached, those failures don’t all need to be yours.

Find people who have been there before you and learn from them. This can be indirectly (by reading their books or learning about their businesses) or directly (via mentorship or training).

Related: 3 Ways to Make Passive Income With Other People’s Property

2. Learn everything before implementing

In school, you’re expected to learn everything about a subject before you go out into the real world and start making money doing it. In business, the opposite is true: You need to learn the ABC, then implement it, before you worry about the XYZ. Only once you’ve implemented something have you truly learned it.

Many people will procrastinate and make excuses for themselves by claiming they have to learn everything about a topic before they take any action. Businesses are complex, and you’ll never be able to learn it all. You won’t be able to understand it properly until you get started. Learn exactly what you need to know to begin, and then begin. Keep learning, reading, attending trainings and masterminds throughout your business life, and get better as you go.

3. Don’t make mistakes

In school, you’re penalized for making mistakes. In business, you sometimes learn more from your mistakes than your successes. As businessman and author of Rich Dad, Poor Dad, Robert Kiyosaki, said, “Successful people don’t fear failure but understand that it’s necessary to learn and grow from.”

Whenever things have gone wrong for me in business, there has always been a lesson. Once I learned the lesson, I was more successful than I was before. Even today, I never stop learning and growing.

Don’t let the fear hold you back. Take action and fix what doesn’t work along the way. Every challenge is an opportunity to learn and grow. See the opportunity, act on it and make your fortune.

Related: Cryptocurrency Millionaires Are Diversifying Into Property. You Should Be Too.

Here are three school-taught lessons that you absolutely must not carry with you if you plan to succeed in business.

Source: http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/entrepreneur/latest/~3/Gh4lrx4-V5E/373232

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Become a Lifelong Learner with Help From ‘Brilliant’

This interactive online learning platform takes an innovative approach to learning.

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This interactive online learning platform takes an innovative approach to learning.

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May 24, 2021 3 min read

Disclosure: Our goal is to feature products and services that we think you’ll find interesting and useful. If you purchase them, Entrepreneur may get a small share of the revenue from the sale from our commerce partners.

The world is constantly changing, and with the 24/7 bombardment of ads and information from the internet and media, it’s becoming harder than ever to think practically and positively about what’s happening in the world. Learning how to think is especially important for entrepreneurs as both macro and micro events impact how successful our businesses can be.

While lifelong learning is certainly a key to entrepreneurial success, it’s even more important to learn how to learn in an extremely busy, hectic world. That’s what makes organizations like Brilliant so valuable. Brilliant is an online learning platform that’s dedicated to active learning as an alternative to stressful learning.

In an active learning environment, you’re free to fail, you’re given context for real-world problems, and your motivation comes from natural curiosity. You’re learning because you’re genuinely interested in the subject matter and you understand how it applies directly to your life and work. Nobody can learn everything, but anyone can develop positive learning habits and goals.

Unlike other platforms that just offer lecture videos, Brilliant offers anyone from ages 10 to 110 the opportunity to explore a wide variety of subjects through fun and challenging interactive explorations. Covering science, math, and computer science topics, Brilliant makes learning something brand new or brushing up on something you once learned easy, engaging, and rewarding.

To date, Brilliant offers more than 60 learning tracks in:

  • Foundational math
  • Data science
  • Software development
  • High school math
  • Science
  • Engineering
  • Foundational logic
  • Statistics and finance

With award-winning teachers and professionals from MIT, Caltech, Microsoft, Google, and other leading institutions, Brilliant’s courses don’t just teach, but they also incorporate storytelling and offer unique problems to solve so you truly feel engaged with the subject matter. Through Brilliant’s learning paths, you’re free to set your own goals and if you fail, guess what? It’s okay. Feel free to push yourself too far so that you can come back tomorrow and make it a step further than you did before.

One of the great keys to success in entrepreneurship and in life is learning how to think like a lifelong learner. Brilliant makes it possible, which is why it’s earned rave reviews from the likes of the New York Times, NPR, and Business Insider.

If you feel you’re ready to expand your horizons and commit to developing quantitative, analytical, and reasoning intuition in math, science, and computer science, head on over to Brilliant today. The first 200 individuals to sign up get 20 percent off an annual subscription to Brilliant.

Source: http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/entrepreneur/latest/~3/SmN6JvxICPY/372530

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