This is How Canva.com Disrupted the Global Visual Design Industry

Canva started their journey eight years and nobody believed when they said “Design for everyone”. Based on Hacker News, they’ve been rejected by the VCs and investors. They were heavily criticized saying, ‘they are trying to create a replica of 1% of Adobe Photoshop Express and Adobe Illustrator features and never going to make it against the global giant Adobe’.

But, now according to the latest statistics, they have crossed almost 15 million users, 100 million designs created, $241.6 million funds been raised, and have become $1 billion worth undisputed industry leader, with 100+ employees.

 

What we can learn from the journey of Canva:

1. Rejection is always a redirection, definitely not a dead end. When someone says ‘No’, it’s based on their view and the current situation that you are going through. In this case, you should dig deeper to analyze the reasons for such rejections rather than being ignorant and moving to another place.

2. In our lifestyles, the way of doing things is absolutely different from each other. Canva was criticized on forums and news saying it’s a copycat, NOT a disruption. It’s always better NOT to waste your time arguing with people who can’t understand the difference between disruption and copycat. Move in silence, let them change their opinion based on your actions as Canva did.

3. VCs and Angels are not the owners of any bank. They invest based on people, ideas, traction, and market opportunities. According to the TechCrunch records, it took 16 months for Canva to raise their first seed investment as they proved their investors by showing some tractions. No matter your traction is positive or negative, every investor needs to know at least you tried yourself before you approached them.

4. If you look at Canva’s business model, it is very specific and the co-founder Melanie found a solution for a problem rather than blindly starting what she liked. Your idea should solve the problem of a very specific audience, in an intuitive way.

5. Pixabay and Pexels are the biggest two customer experience funnels of Canva. Canva perfectly understands the pain points of its customers and the above two image libraries are its biggest strength to keep its customers engaged and undistracted within the design dashboard. The lesson we can learn is, if consumer’s needs and wants are undefined, you should engage yourself to understand your customer’s needs and wants to update your product before they find an alternative. I believe, Entrepreneurship is not an education, it’s a lifestyle. People will reject, misunderstand, and even humiliate you. You will be broken without knowing, lose hope and there will be situations that nobody is able to support you.

But, trust me on this.

The people whom you misunderstood, will become your lifeline. Your driver will become your best mentor, your customer will turn into your loyal investor and your staff will become your best co-workers. Either your family will start to understand you or you will start to understand your family, friends, and your relatives deeply, like never before. Have none of those happened in your life yet? It’s time to evaluate yourself to know whether you are an Entrepreneur or not!

Rising Mental Health Issues & Suicides Amid COVID-19

The ongoing Coronavirus lockdown is inevitably having an impact on the mental health of people around us. Yesterday, One of good friend’s sister committed suicide. She felt lonely, depressed, stressed, and anxious because of the #lockdown that she pushed herself to take her own life.

Common reactions to COVID-19

What I was unfortunate to see is not limited only to Sri Lanka. Across all corners of the world, people are going through similar conditions, and to be honest, all of us have no prior experience with something like this. The only thing is some of us are better prepared to weather this situation and some of us are not. Now that lockdowns are extending, many of us are feeling a sense of loss, loss of hope, loneliness, and despair.

Increasing Mental Health Issues & Suicidal Thoughts Amid COVID-19

According to the data, 80 people killed themselves due to loneliness and fear of being tested positive for the virus. The suicides are followed by migrants dying in accidents on their way back home (51), deaths associated with withdrawal symptoms (45), and those related to starvation and financial distress (36). – Source – Economic Times
Not everyone needs financial support or a steady supply of essentials. For some of us, interactions between our friends, those small wins like buying ice cream from a street vendor, having that plain tea while going home after work, skipping that stone across the lake while we walk to the school are the things that keep us motivated and looking forward to more. For a long time now, we haven’t had that opportunity to do the small things that keep us motivated.

Take care of yourself and your community

More than any time before now is the time for all of us to come together and take care of each other. Imagine, what if we spend just 10-15 minutes to check with our friends and relatives with questions like:
1) Hey, how are you?
2) How’s it going?
3) Is everything okay?
2) Is there anything that I can do to help?
3) I am here to help. Is there anything you would like me to do?
We are NOT just here to generate leads and connections! but truly care about the world and our people. Trust me, your five-minute call could save someone’s life!

Let’s do this, TOGETHER!

LinkedIn SSI : Effective Hacks to Improve Your LinkedIn Social Selling Index Score

LinkedIn continues to grow its active users in 2020. If ever there is a right time for you to get serious about your LinkedIn, it’s now. So, today, I’d like to write about one of the most interesting social selling data metrics provided by the LinkedIn name called LinkedIn SSI score.

SSI is the abbreviation used for Social Selling Index. Have you ever heard about the term LinkedIn SSI score before? What are your opinions on LinkedIn SSI? Some folks call it a beneficial and valuable metric to measure your performance and execution on LinkedIn, while others call it a totally useless and a vanity metric. Well, let me stop confusing you guys with these rapid questions! If you guys have no idea about LinkedIn SSI, No Worries! Because today in this post, I’m gonna discuss all the key information about LinkedIn SSI, and how you can use them if you wish to do so. Keep reading and discover more!

What Does the LinkedIn Social Selling Index (SSI) Score Signify?

Back in October 2014, LinkedIn rolled out the new social selling measurement called LinkedIn’s SSI score. LinkedIn SSI is an algorithmic solution metric for sales and the significant measure of a company’s or individual’s adaptation to the four major pillars of social selling on LinkedIn, based on a measurement range of 0 to 100.

The index and ranking of LinkedIn SSI happen based on your organization’s or your individual activity around the four pillars of social selling. Performance in each of the four pillars is evaluated, and the collected score will become your LinkedIn’s Social Selling Index rank. 25 is the maximum score for each pillar and as per the LinkedIn statement, the LinkedIn SSI is a measurement of a person’s or organization’s social selling skills and execution on LinkedIn.

The more relevant and insightful activities you have around the four pillars of SSI, the higher you can score in your SSI score. Basically, the LinkedIn SSI score fosters exactly how organizations or individuals should engage and interact with their prospects on LinkedIn. The LinkedIn SSI score is created to help you gain visibility and awareness into your personal or your company’s activities on LinkedIn, help you to discover new opportunities and breakthroughs, and lets you benchmark your score against your fellow peers and competitors.

Here you can find your LinkedIn SSI Score

The Most Important Four Pillars of LinkedIn SSI

As I discussed earlier, The LinkedIn SSI score calculates you or your company’s performance and execution in four major areas and they’re known as the four pillars of LinkedIn SSI. The four pillars of SSI include:

1) Create a Professional Brand

2) Find the Right People

3) Engage with Insights

4) Build Strong Relationships

Let us have a brief look at these four pillars and their key metrics one by one.

1) Create a Professional Brand

Under this category, LinkedIn looks into the key factors such as have you set an altogether completed and professional-looking LinkedIn profile that includes a relevant cover photo? How many LinkedIn posts have you created on your own and Published? How many page views are you generating through your LinkedIn posts? How many connections and followers have you gained on LinkedIn so far? Then based on these measurements’ results, you will get your SSI score for Create a Professional Brand.

Tips to create a professional brand to boost your SSI Score

  • Complete Your Profile: You should complete your LinkedIn profile 100% in a way that strengthens your industry credibility and builds trust. While building your profile professionally, you also get to know what the LinkedIn profile building mistakes are to avoid.
  • Use Multimedia: Use rich multimedia content in your LinkedIn profile such as videos, images, and presentations to make it more attractive and relevant.
  • Get Endorsements: Aim to increase the endorsements and recommendations for your skills and expertise.
  • Create Long-Form Posts: Publish long-form posts with regular intervals to share your expert knowledge and skills.

2) Find the Right People

When it comes to your LinkedIn connections, the numbers count doesn’t matter, the actual value is in the meaningful connections with the right people. That’s why LinkedIn wants you to connect effectively with the prospects by finding their lead builder system and reaching out to them with relevant insights. To calculate your SSI score for this pillar, LinkedIn analyses the value and effectiveness of your LinkedIn connections and relationships, so, it’s really worth getting the right connections for your sales and your SSI score.

Tips to find the right people to boost your SSI score

  • Become Proactive: Make yourself actively visible in your prospect searches on LinkedIn or in Sales Navigator.
  • Connect with the Right People: As I said earlier when it comes to LinkedIn connections, the number doesn’t matter, the actual value is the meaningful connections you have. Therefore, use filter criteria like skills, role, or seniority to find the right potential prospect profiles.
  • Follow Up People: Check up and engage with the people who have viewed your LinkedIn profile.
  • Keep Track of Your Progress: Save the details and progress of your sales generation in Sales Navigator or Lead Builder.

3) Engage with Insights

Find and share valuable and beneficial information through your LinkedIn posts to cultivate new relationships or to maintain the existing relationships on LinkedIn. This particular pillar measures your engagements on LinkedIn, in terms of the number of likes, comments, and shares your LinkedIn posts are receiving. When you succeed to make effective engagement then you will gain more than a rise in your SSI score; it will contribute to creating lead relationships and building long-term credibility with your LinkedIn audiences as a whole.

Tips to engage with insights to boost your SSI

  • Everyday Engage: Take 10 minutes in your day to like and comment on relevant content on LinkedIn.
  • Share Content: Put yourself as an expert by sharing relevant content and industry-related news through your LinkedIn posts.
  • Reach Out People: Actively engage with your community by commenting on relevant status, updates, and discussions. Also, keep in mind your engagement should be problem-solving rather than selling.
  • Join Groups: Find out your industry niche groups on LinkedIn and actively engage in group discussions.
  • Use InMail: Send InMail messages to relevant people and make sure to reply to the responses you received on your LinkedIn posts to maintain the relationships.
  • Build Strong Connections: Connect and follow your prospects, current customers, and competitors to build your own community on LinkedIn.

4) Build Strong Relationships

This fourth pillar measures how successful you are at developing and growing your network on LinkedIn to not only reach direct prospects, but also those who can introduce you to your potential prospects. These relationships building should be based on trust and solving the pain points of your connections.

Tips to build strong trusted relationships to boost your SSI score

 

  • Expand Your Network: Use LinkedIn to connect internally with your colleagues, co-workers, and to connect with your prospects after introductions.
  • Connect with Decision Makers: In LinkedIn, the strength of your connections counts. Thus, it focuses on connecting with strong-status individuals and decision-makers.
  • Use InMail: Contact your prospects through your sincere and realistic InMail Messages and begin a relationship with them.
  • Ask for Connections: Don’t be afraid to ask for connections. Just ask your mutual connections to introduce you to your valuable prospects.
  • Avoid Overdo: Focus your efforts on connecting with relevant people rather than sending mass messages to everyone on LinkedIn.

LinkedIn calculates and defines your SSI score by measuring your performance and execution in each of the above four sections on LinkedIn and based on the results you will receive your SSI rank. LinkedIn recently tweaked its metrics to make the SSI score more relevant and predictive. While incorporating the new techniques LinkedIn has established itself as a podium for the users to socially sell. New features involve adding activities through your Sales Navigator to increase your SSI, adding metrics that evaluate quality as well as quantity of your performance, and linking publishing platform activities to make more effective SSI measures.

How Important and Valuable is Your LinkedIn SSI Score?

Lot of people often asked me like ” How to improve my LinkedIn SSI score? “. To be fair, I only use these data metrics to analyze my activities on LinkedIn, I don’t bother about it but not my clients and circle. LinkedIn says that the higher score the user gains on SSI, the more successful and effective that the person or firm is at accomplishing their respective goals on sales. For instance, they say that exceptionally active users on LinkedIn get 45% more sales opportunities for them, 51% of LinkedIn users are more likely to achieve their own sales quotas without many efforts and 80% of LinkedIn users have become more productive on their LinkedIn activities.

While the LinkedIn SSI score is not an assurance of improvement in your sales success, it does make a strong and valuable connection between your certain networking activities on LinkedIn, give rise to your sales opportunities and let you effectively reach out to your potential prospects. Having said that all, it’s still up to you to discover and use the tools that help you to grow your sales and business while keeping track of which activities are actually producing the results you’re desired to get.

What Benefits Can You Obtain from Your LinkedIn SSI Score?

From your LinkedIn SSI score ranking, you can easily measure and define how good you are doing in building your LinkedIn profile to attract the right kind of people to nurture your connections and network on LinkedIn while emerging and growing yourself as a thought leader in your chosen area of expertise. As you complete your professional-looking LinkedIn profile with the target audience in your mind and publish meaningful and insightful posts on LinkedIn, your professional brand score on LinkedIn SSI will begin to rise.

You can be taught how to find your better prospects in less amount of time by utilizing the benefit of LinkedIn’s profile search function, and you can easily find the right people to reach out to by using this functionality.

Publishing relevant and insightful content on LinkedIn can help you to establish yourself as a trusted source of insights. it’s also crucial to engage yourself through likes and comments with relevant insights from others as well. Likewise, you can get yourself to participate in relevant and meaningful discussions with those people in your network and industry and in the groups’ discussions that you are a member of.

Boost and build your network stronger by connecting and building trustful relationships with decision-makers. You can build a meaningful and more valuable network by efficiently connecting with your contacts. This kind of networking gives you greater influence in discovering your new prospects, as well as getting your foot in the door of your prospective clients.

How Do You Improve and Better Your LinkedIn SSI Score?

There are numerous things you can do to enhance your SSI score on LinkedIn, Like, completing your professional-looking LinkedIn profile with your target audience in mind, share your skills and expertise through your valuable posts and insights that showcase to others what value you can bring to the table and why you would be the right fit to offer the solutions for the professional needs in your niche market. With that said, here’re some of the effective ways to improve your LinkedIn SSI,

       1. Establishing and Building Your LinkedIn SSI

Once you calculate the results of your LinkedIn SSI score, you can easily see what areas of the four pillars you need to focus for more improvements. Once you get a groundline of where you’re standing in your SSI rank, then you know exactly in which areas you need to concentrate. You can track your SSI score regularly on a weekly basis to find out whether you are getting improvements or not and measure how good you are doing compared to your peers in the industry and network.

      2. Create Your Professional Persona on LinkedIn

You perhaps know what a buyer persona is, hence if you’re on LinkedIn, you may as well try to establish a persona that highly relates to your ideal colleagues, customers, clients, or employers. You can also try to look at your own profile from the perspective of those people: See would they really be drawn to your profile and would they be willing to engage with you? Does your profile look ready to send them a quick message? Also, pay attention to the completion rate for a fully established profile on LinkedIn to ensure you fill out your profile perfectly without any left out.

      3. Leverage the potential benefits of LinkedIn Tools

Take the full benefit of the free tools on LinkedIn to get to know how well you’ve built your profile on LinkedIn, use those tools to give and receive professional endorsements, recommendations, and congratulate connections. You can also share industry-specific content by using the tools like LinkedIn blogging, video tools, and SlideShare, all of these tools are extremely effective and efficient tools to utilize for building your credibility and authority on LinkedIn.

    4. Avoid Using Automate 

Apparently, we need to use automation tools to build and manage connections on LinkedIn via communications and interactions for the purpose of targeting our potential customers whether this is something we’re doing for another firm or for ourselves. But, when we’re too automated, we become less personal. So, avoid using automated tools or social bots for all your socializing purposes and try to write personalized messages to build specific connections. The very important point is here to be noted is being yourself in your interactions with people.

     5. Build High-Quality Connections

It doesn’t actually matter how many followers you have on LinkedIn, what matters more is the quality of your connections. Because the right people will be more delighted to lead you towards greater opportunities, whether this is engaging you as a potential worker or a skillful colleague.

A good rule of thumb is to follow here is to contact and connect with people that you feel you genuinely like to mingle with! It may seem so clear, but sometimes we get so caught up in what other people are doing that we automatically follow their footprints without our understanding. So, before sending a connection request, ask yourself whether you really want to connect with that person, or the specific connection adds any value for you.

LinkedIn groups are another great way to gauge not only to connect with the true professionals in your industry but with the people who are respectful and helpful about the network and community.

Is LinkedIn’s SSI Score Just a Metric of Vanity?

People address LinkedIn’s SSI score as an ultimate vanity metric use up in the social selling world. As some people like to wear their LinkedIn SSI score proudly as a sign of honor and attaining a score above 80 on LinkedIn SSI is actually thought of as a “Great Achievement.”

In my opinion, it’s totally up to you to decide whether you want to consider it as an ineffective vanity metric or want to use this SSI score to develop and grow your ongoing dedication to daily activities and interactions on LinkedIn.

What to Concentrate on and What not to Bother on Your LinkedIn SSI Score?

Some of my folks use to ask this question to me, “What should I concentrate on regarding the LinkedIn SSI score and what can I overlook?”

As you can see, all four pillars are interconnected in defining the overall score of LinkedIn SSI, so, it’s not possible that any of them can be ignored or overlooked when you’re resolute to build a respectable SSI score on LinkedIn. If you’re a bit serious about LinkedIn then at least you have to consider the first pillar – Creating your professional brand – as the foundation, even if you’re not that much concerned with the other three pillars. I’ve seen many LinkedIn users build their perfect professional-looking LinkedIn profile, establish their professional brand on LinkedIn and after that, they do very little, but still score well in their SSI. If you ask me, I’d say LinkedIn users who are really serious about their professional brand and connections on LinkedIn will sure, want to engage in all the four pillars of SSI to emerge themselves as thought leaders within their LinkedIn community.

Conclusion

As I mentioned at the starting of the blog, the usefulness of LinkedIn SSI continues to be a topic of debate, and our community seems pretty much evenly divided on this debate. Apart from all these debates around SSI, the question is actually for your own self: Where do your own thoughts stand? Is LinkedIn SSI a tool you use effectively or are you willing to use it? If you are using it currently, what are you going to do to boost your LinkedIn SSI score, and will it help you to improve and grow your social selling success with your current clients and prospects?

While you’re finding your answers to these above questions, if you get the feeling that your SSI score is lacking or you just want to use LinkedIn more effectively, I hope this article will help you to improve your use of LinkedIn by boosting your LinkedIn SSI score.

It’s time to hear from you! Let me know your thoughts on LinkedIn SSI in the comment box below!

Top 25 Important LinkedIn Groups Every Marketer & Decision Maker Should Join

With over 675 million+ users in 200 countries, LinkedIn is the world’s biggest social network for professionals. Whether want to grow business connections, stay up to date with the latest trends in the industries or learn best practices from the experts, LinkedIn is a one-stop-shop for marketers and decision-makers who are looking to advance their skills and career.

Creating a LinkedIn profile, connecting with the peers in your industry, and regularly posting about the professional happenings and updates in your industry is a great way to start using LinkedIn, but if you want to get the real benefits of LinkedIn then you need to participate in LinkedIn groups. By providing relevant and quality content to groups and taking part in thoughtful conversations, you’ll be able to build trust, integrity, credibility, and authority within the industry.

Discovering the best business and marketing related groups on LinkedIn is somehow a fool’s errand, but you may be amazed by what you find here! With that said, here are the top 25 LinkedIn groups to get you started.

LinkedIn Groups for Business

  1. Harvard Business Review

Harvard Business Review is one of the leading business groups on LinkedIn for smart management thinking. Harvard Business Review (HBR) offers professionals around the globe rigorous insights and best practices to lead themselves and their firms more efficiently and to make a positive impact.

The HBR  community including insightful discussions about passion, values, innovation, leadership, and management in the workplace and the HBR  publication itself comes out 10 times per year and focuses on topics like business strategy, operations, marketing, finance, management, and leadership. In HBR, you can often see some of the business’s top thinkers like Peter Drucker and Theodore Levitt. So, in short, HBR is a premier business community you should be a part of if you enjoy learning from thought leaders and want to go beyond visions exclusively focused on marketing.


  1. Entrepreneur Magazine

Entrepreneur Magazine is a group of 91,900+ members focused on the topics associated with entrepreneurs. The guys and gals who run the group also own the URL www.entrepreneur.com and do the publication of Entrepreneur Magazine which covers everything related to entrepreneurship.

At Entrepreneur Magazine group, you can leverage your professional network and Communications. By subscribing to their publication and request to join the group (members only), you can get your digital supply of “entrepreneurialism, small business management, and business opportunities.”


  1. On Startups – The Community for Entrepreneurs

On Startups is the largest entrepreneurial startup group on LinkedIn with 627,900+members. This hefty-sized LinkedIn group affords entrepreneurs who seek to learn from and find out significant thought leadership in their careers.

On Startups group is concentrated on topics like sales, operations, financing, and hiring. But of course, if you want to have a discussion about startups or small business-related topics, then they won’t turn you away.


  1. Business Development

Business Development is a LinkedIn group where you will find like-minded individuals in business development, business management, demand generation, marketing, sales, and inside sales operation fields that too primarily in tech companies.

In short, it’s a wonderful place to learn how to effectively turn your professional contacts into your customers. This professional business group has 338,900+members, therefore it’s a great place to improve your business opportunities and learn from other professional people to boost your business.


  1. Executive Suite

Executive Suite is a professional group with 353,300+ members which is operated by ExecuNet. Here you can find business leaders, recruiters, corporate hiring decision-makers, and coaches. The purpose of this private network for senior-level executives is to provide executive-level peer connections and reliable advice to help you create the transformative results you want to achieve in your work,  career, and life.

As a member, you will get the chance to attend free sessions of the much-admired online executive learning series, ExecuNet Master Class: https://www.execunet.com/webinar/ The weekly sessions are led by A-list CEOs, leadership pioneers, top B-school professors, wellness experts, and acclaimed executive career strategists and recruiters.


LinkedIn Groups for Marketing

  1. Digital Marketing

Digital Marketing is one of the most exciting and vibrant groups on LinkedIn for digital marketing professionals with 1,356,000+ members. As one of the largest groups, this community is chock-full of inspiration, motivation, captivating discussions, and detailed tips and best practices for the digital marketing landscape and include discussion topics like social media marketing, mobile marketing, search engine marketing, online PR, email marketing, online advertising, measurement, and web analytics and lot more.

In this group, you can also get updates to the latest whitepapers and industry reports which keep you updated on trends, innovation, and best practices in digital marketing. Digital Marketing also organizes exciting event programs of conferences, social and networking events to bring the digital marketing community together.


  1. Inbound Marketers – For Marketing Professionals

Inbound Marketers is created by HubSpot’s own Dharmesh Shah. Now the group has 148,000+ members and provides tips & tricks, techniques, templates, and tutorials for planning and executing successful inbound marketing strategies for your business.

It’s a community for those who are looking to reach their best customers online through techniques like inbound marketing, search engine optimization (SEO), and social media.


  1. Marketing I Social Media I Business I Digital Media l CMO I Life Coaching Marketing I Social Media I Business I Digital Media l CMO I Life Coaching

This group is the largest group on LinkedIn with almost 800,000 members and it’s intended for anyone interested in digital marketing, as it focuses on topics related to social media, search, email, mobile, web marketing, and general inbound marketing.

There are high chances to meet your fellow marketing friends and coworkers in this group.


  1. SOLUTIONators for Marketing, Sales, Social Media, Digital Advertising, Promotion, and PR Innovation

Do you want to talk about different strategies? Looking for some inspiration for your next marketing campaign? Then this group is for you! As this group is for networking with marketing, social media, public relations, promotions, sales & selling professionals, you can get to know these professionals’ innovations and strategies to optimize your own strategic plans.

Also, you can share your best practices, ideas, advice & solutions with others. Even you’ll receive invitations to participate in  webinars, workshops, conferences & events featuring “world-famous innovation experts & gurus.”


  1. B2B Technology Marketing Community

The B2B Technology Marketing Community is an extremely involved group on Linked for B2B tech marketing with 120,800+ members. This group is created for marketing professionals to get the hottest digital marketing news, facilitate networking, giving out ideas, best practices, and opportunities.

If you love Q&A sessions and enthusiastically join in group discussions, this one’s for you!


  1. B2B Marketing

If you’re a marketer who concentrates primarily on B2B, this is an exclusive group for you to join. Here you can gauge the views of other B2B marketers, seek advice from industry peers, and offer help to those who need it.

These group discussions cover most of the B2B topics like content marketing, customer experience, social media, lead generation, professional development, email, and much more. Also, you’ll learn all about the trials and tribulations related with the B2B sector and how you can go about winning your biggest challenges with marketing to these companies.


  1. Non-Profit Marketing

Non-Profit Marketing is the largest and most active nonprofit marketing group on LinkedIn with 97,000+ members. If you’re a nonprofit marketer, this community is the primary place to meet and network with other nonprofit marketers on the social podium as well as learn how to use Direct Marketing, Public Relations, Donor Relations, Fundraising, Grant Writing, Social Media, Digital Engagement, and inbound marketing successfully for your Non-Profit organization.


LinkedIn Groups for Sales

  1. Sales Best Practices

The Sales Best Practices group is for marketers who have an interest in sales. With 332,000+ members this group creates a platform for marketers to share their experiences and solutions that relates to Selling, marketing, and Best Practices.

The most common discussion topics in this group are Sales Development/Prospecting,  Marketing, Cold Calls, Productivity, Team management, Business Strategy, Sales Tools or Software (CRM), Closing Strategies, and Recruitment. It’s an optimal place to get a glimpse of what sales best practices really look like.


  1. Sales / Marketing VP Forum (CSO / CMO / Leadership / Executives / Management)

Sales / Marketing VP Forum (CSO / CMO / Leadership / Executives / Management) is an exclusive LinkedIn group for Sales & Marketing Executives. This group is a Peer2Peer discussions forum that uses a Q&A format.”

With 257,00+ members, this group actively discusses the topics related to sales and marketing executives. If you like to get inspired by super-smart thought leaders, this group is a prime one to join.


LinkedIn Groups for Finance

  1. Angel Investor

Getting funding, however, is more tough than you might think because there are a lot of people with ideas out there battling for it. So, Angel Investor group on LinkedIn is created with the goal to share deal flow (potential opportunities), feedback, due diligence work, and pool funds to make larger seed fund investments in high-growth business start-ups in trade for exchangeable debt or ownership equity.

They seek a 30x return over 5 years & an exit strategy. With 42,000+ members this group is a place to learn tips on getting financing.


  1. New Routes to Funding – ICOs, Crowdfunding and Beyond

This is the largest discussion group on LinkedIn that  Crowdsourcing the Entrepreneurs and Investors for innovation and deployment of their local Startups.

This is a great place for entrepreneurs trying to stay up to date on crowdfunding news and resources and for main street investors to put small sums of money in projects they love.


  1. Finance Plus: Private Equity, Venture Capital and M&A News

Finance Plus is a group for business finance and investment professionals, entrepreneurs, and managers of small and medium-sized businesses, listed companies, and financial service businesses like investment boutiques investment banks.

This group provides insights into the news from private equity, venture capital, and mergers & acquisitions. Therefore, being a part of this group is a great way to incorporate larger CFO perspectives into your business.


LinkedIn Groups for Social Media

  1. SocialMediopolis.com – ️ New Home of Social Media Marketing Group

Social Media Marketing is the largest and most active social media marketing group on LinkedIn. This group is large community-led and moderated by an excellent group of managers. The group has 20 sub-groups for specialist topics related to social media like Social Media Marketing and Non-Profits, and Social Media and Politics.

If you crave new insights on social media, this is the ideal group to join. As a member of this group, you will receive weekly messages in your inbox with great resources and webinars, in addition to the energetic discussion from the broad social media community.


  1. Social Media Today

Social Media Today is an active community of social media professionals and professionals in PR, marketing, advertising, or any other discipline where a thorough understanding of social networks is important.

This group is operated by Social Media Today and the team at Industry Dive. With 251,000+ members, this group is brimming with experienced professionals sharing best practices and tips on social media and social media management. From this community, you’ll also learn more insights and trends about social currency, brand advocacy, or the importance of social media.


LinkedIn Groups for SEO

  1. Search Engine Land

Search Engine Land is a must-in group for news and information about search engine marketing, SEO, PPC, and how search engines work. You’ll learn everything from penalty fixes to the latest and greatest best practices in SEO from this group.

By just speedily checking the most popular discussions in this group, you’ll get the instant fix you need to better your search strategies.


  1. Moz

Moz is a LinkedIn group to learn accurately about the best practices, struggles, and challenges top SEOs are facing. This group creates informative resources and produces better marketing feasible for everyone by providing marketing software, robust APIs for link data, and social influence. Also, presents the web’s most vibrant society of online marketers.

The main highlight of this group is the ability to post questions and get instant answers from marketing pros far and wide around the world.


  1. Marketing Group Digital SEO Search Social Mobile App Data Internet Media Brand CRM PR Jobs

This group is for Digital Marketing professionals who are looking to lead business success via the digital highway. Here you get expert knowledge and tips to targeted SEO, Social Mobile App Data, affiliates Internet Media, Brand PR, Internet Marketing & Digital Marketing.

It’s a platform for all professionals like Search Experts, Pros, Analysts, Internet Marketers, Website managers, business owners, recruiters, Hiring HR, service providers. Join this group on LinkedIn, if you’re interested in contributing or listening to some of the most contentious SEO optimization topics on the web.


LinkedIn Groups for Content

  1. Content Strategy

Content Strategy is a group for content creators to learn about enterprise content strategy and content operations which includes creating, publishing, and managing content. Here you can also learn about content related to marketing, technical, UX, and microcontent.

This group will get you planning more tactically about every blog post, webinar, or eBook you create, which could use when you’re trying to boost your lead generation.


  1. Professional Bloggers

Professional Bloggers group is one of the most popular blog-specific communities on LinkedIn. If you want to emphasize more on your content’s mission, vision, and general blog strategy join this community on LinkedIn and start discussing with like-minded marketers to pick up their tips and best practices to apply in your blog content.

Also, you can get their insights to promote and market your blog posts.


  1. Creative Design Pros – Designers Forum

Creative Design Pros is a LinkedIn group for professional designers from different backgrounds in graphic design, web design, fashion industrial design, advertising designs, illustration, animation, and interior design. Even Though this group is geared for professional designers, I recommend any inbound marketer to gets into this group for observation and learning.

This group is filled with experienced designers sharing their best graphic design tips and best practices. From this LinkedIn community, you’ll also learn more about the lifestyle and work of a designer and get ideas on how to build a good relationship with your design team.


Bonus: A LinkedIn Group for Inspiration

TEDspire – BLOGS about Inspiring TED Talks

This is a group for the people who enjoy TED Talks. The group shares blogs centers around “the thought-provoking TED Talks offered by TED.com.” But, this is not a debating group, rather a gathering of well-mannered people who wish to learn more about their world.

Marketers and decision-makers have a lot to do with being inspired and TED Talks is the perfect fit to seek inspiration.

Conclusion

Marketing and decision making is tough business. I know, trust me I do. It cannot be done alone. Without a network of valuable connections, we become our own resources. That is asking a lot from ourselves. Therefore, it is so important for marketers and decision-makers to have a group(s) of people to validate their strategies and decisions. So, here are the top-picked list of LinkedIn groups for marketers and decision-makers where you can learn the different aspects of business, marketing, finance, sales, management, leadership, decision making, and a lot more from the industry experts and use their valuable insights and best practices to enhance your marketing and decision making skills that can assist you to run your business successfully.

Feel free to share your comments below. Let me know other LinkedIn groups you’re aware of that marketers and decision-makers would find useful. Thanks for stopping by!

 

8 Productive Tips for Work from Home During Amid COVID-19

Since The COVID-19 coronavirus outbreak has officially reached the “Pandemic” stage. And we all pushed into a lockdown situation which is a difficult and complex time for us, as no one is used to this isolation. Also, because of these lockdowns, most companies around the globe have rolled out mandatory remote work for their employees. So, for most of us, this will be the first time to work from home and when we get into a work from home lifestyle, we all face unique challenges, not only because our personalities are different, but also due to our various kinds of lifestyles and the type of job we do. Still, many of the core challenges we face when we’re working from home are the same. Therefore, today I would like to share some common tips for leading a better and more productive work-from-home lifestyle. Keep on reading to know those simple and effective tips!

  1. Start Out Your Day with the Morning Routine

When you’re working in your office, the morning routine you follow can assist you to wake up early and make you feel ready to work by the time you reach your desk at the office. However, at home, the move from your bed to your computer can be much more annoying. So, it’s really important to have a morning routine as it’s the way to work from home productively. When you have a to-do list as soon as you wake up, it will help you to start your day energetically and can be the key to maintain productivity throughout your day. The morning routine before your work can be doing a morning workout or preparing a cup of hot coffee, whatever it is, having a morning routine before you start your work is really helpful for you to stay productive, while you’re working from home.

  1. Structure Your Schedule as You Would in the Office

When you’re working from home, you become your own personal manager. Without an in-person meeting schedule to get a break from your work, you can be quick to lose focus from your work or burn out yourself. So, establish a schedule that incorporates your work start and end time with the division of what you’ll do and when throughout the day. You can use an online calendar like Google Calendar to create your personal schedule and reminders that tell you when to end a task and begin on a new one. With the help of online calendars, it will become easy to create your schedule and manage your tasks.

  1. Make a Dedicated Workspace for Yourself

In this lockdown period, you’re going to work from home for certain days, so, it’s essential to find a dedicated and optimal workspace for yourself. Try to avoid cooping yourself up on the couch or in your bed because normally you use these places to relax, therefore it’s better to avoid these spots that remind you about your leisure time. Set a dedicated workspace somewhere with the essential things that let you work with concentration and give you a comfortable feeling.

  1. Schedule Rest Time and Breaks

Just like the way you take breaks in the office; you need rest time and breaks in-between your work-from-home schedule. Plan your breaks and make them a part of your day-to-day work schedule. if you are working full time from home then two 15 minutes breaks and an hour lunch break is ideal for you. These in-between breaks help you to recharge yourself and you can keep achieving your task goals effectively.

  1. Work at Your Most Productive Hours

No one runs through their work from morning to evening, your enthusiasm and motivation naturally die down as the day follows through. So, when you’re working from home, you need to find out your peak and low time to plan your schedule accordingly. Save your tougher tasks for your highly productive times and use slower times of the day to blow out the easier tasks. We call it “small acts of success” which help you to successfully achieve your everyday work goals.

  1. Use Technology to Stay Connected with Your Colleagues

Working from home might feel like you’re more focused on your work in the short term, but it can also make you feel cut off from your colleagues and the larger operation happening in the workplace that can make you feel disconnected, lonely, and isolated. So, it’s always good to use technology to stay connected with your colleagues, you can use the instant messaging app like flock or a videoconferencing tool like Zoom to check in with your colleagues and learn about the works in progress. This way you can keep a good working structure and relationship with your colleagues.

  1. Schedule a Closing Time for Your Work Each Day

You might be in this idea that when you are working from home you can keep a good work-life balance. But in reality, you can easily get so entrapped in your work, when you’re working in a relaxing atmosphere like home, that you totally miss the track of the time you’re spending. In-office when your coworkers packing up and leaving the office that reminds you to end your work. But in the home that’s not the case, so, you need to set an alarm or reminder to end your work each day, otherwise, you would burn out yourself without your knowledge. Also, this is the best way to maintain a work-life balance when you’re working from home.

  1. Keep a Positive Attitude ( IMPORTANT )

Last but not least, it’s very important to keep a positive mindset and attitude. Sure, it’s a difficult period for all of us to work from home, every one of us is facing different problems and challenges, but these are the challenges that define us as an individual. So, we need to take them with a positive mindset and keep moving onwards. Also, it’s important to maintain a positive attitude with your colleagues, as there are fewer face times and in-person interactions with your colleagues there are high chances for your colleagues to misinterpret your message in writing. So, always maintain a positive attitude, while you’re communicating with your colleagues virtually. Use the smile emoji as much as possible, trust me, friend, you’re going to need them more.

Conclusion

That’s all! So, I’ve put down eight simple and easy-to-apply tips for working from home. These are the common tips that I would like to share with you as an individual who is working from home for the first time due to the lockdowns. Even though we’re having different personalities, lifestyles, and working techniques, I hope these common tips will help you to optimize your work-from-home process. If you’re working from home, let me know your experience in the comments below! I would like to hear from you.

Entrepreneur Visa Program Across G20 Countries

An entrepreneur is a challenger, a starter, a driver, and an initiator. Somebody who creates something new may be a business, an initiative, or a company. He/she is the foundation (sometimes the end) of a business venture. The entrepreneur might not be the person behind the idea, but he/she is the one who actually initiates that idea into a reality.

Every entrepreneur knows the struggles of entrepreneurship and the difficulties of establishing a business. Mobility is one of the major issues faced by entrepreneurs, expanding a business in a foreign country and recruiting new talents abroad can be not only stressful but is often like the worst nightmare.

Therefore G20- The international forum for the central bank governors and governments from 19 countries and the European Union, offers “Entrepreneur Visa Program” for the G20 countries to motivate the entrepreneurs to grow their businesses by a collaborative effort among the G20 countries. The concept of the G20 “Entrepreneur Visa Program” is created on the similar ethics as the “Working Holiday Visa”.

Let’s have a look at the entrepreneur visa program across the G20 countries.

Australia

This visa permits entrepreneurs to own and manage a business in Australia; it also allows conducting business and investment activity or entrepreneurial activity in Australia. Australia offers visas in seven major categories: Business Innovation stream, Investor stream, Significant Investor stream, Business Innovation Extension stream, Significant Investor Extension stream, Premium Investor stream, and Entrepreneur stream.

Learn more about the Australian Business Innovation and Investment (Provisional) visa

Brazil

The Brazil investment visa lets a foreigner live and work in Brazil. The investment visa container can take along his or her family to Brazil he/she can come and go to Brazil as per his/her wishes. The visa owner will be preserved as an ordinary Brazilian citizen but excluding from political and voting rights.

Learn more about:  The Brazilian Economic Citizenship Program

Canada

Canada offers two types of visa programs for entrepreneurs: Start-up Visa Program and Self-Employed program. A Start-up visa allows Groundbreaking entrepreneurs to start a business and generating jobs in Canada, On the other hand, a Self-employed visa lets people immigrate to Canada permanently as self-employed people.

Learn more about :

  1. Start-up Visa Program
  2. Self-Employed Program

France

France offers three types of visa programs for entrepreneurs: French Tech Ticket program French Tech Visas for Founders and The residence permit “skills and talents”. French Tech Ticket program is a one-year program by the French government to entice ambitious individuals from all around the globe and help them begin their startup in France and if you are a startup founder you will be eligible to obtain the French Tech Visas for Founders. The residence permit “skills and talents” visa give  France residence card for a duration of 3 years renewable to the skillful talents which allow them to practice the profession of their choice within the context of the project they aim to develop.

Learn more about :

  1. French Tech Ticket program
  2. French Tech Visas for Founders
  3. The residence permit “skills and talents”

Germany

To get Self-employment Visa the person should have a recognized university degree and need to verify that he/she has a job in Germany that matches his/her qualification. To obtain this visa the person must earn at least 53,600 euros as yearly gross income. Experts in the arenas of IT mathematics, engineering, life sciences, and doctors may be eligible for an EU Blue Card if they earn the same amount as similar to German laborers, but not a lesser amount of  41,808 euros gross per year. EU Blue Card owners are eligible for a permanent citizenship permit after their 33 months stay in Germany.

Learn more about Germany Self-employment Visa Program

Italy

The Italia Startup Visa plan offers an efficient process for non-EU talents to initiate new startups in Italy. This visa will endorse a new entrepreneurial culture, inspiring better social mobility and introducing innovation into the Italian business ecosystem, and nurturing sustainable growth, employment, and technological development for young people.

Learn more about Italia Startup Visa Program

Japan

The Japan Investor Visa is for Candidates who will either invest in or take on a senior role in handling a business in Japan. This visa also allows the visa holders to sponsor a housekeeper or other personal help for themselves. Investor Visa can be used by those people who wish to “self-sponsor” a visa in Japan.

Learn more about:  Japan Investor Manager Visa Program

South Korea

This Startup visa is a scheme to help foreigners to begin start-up companies in Korea based on their academic properties. The OASIS Visa system embraces acquisition and training of intellectual property rights and helps for the whole start-up procedure from technological start-up visas to arrangement to the authentic commercialization of the endeavor.

Learn more about:  South Korea Overall Assistance for Start-up Immigration System (OASIS)

United Kingdom

The United Kingdom offers three types of visa programs for entrepreneurs: Entrepreneur visa, Exceptional Talent visa, and Graduate Entrepreneur visa. You can apply for an Entrepreneur visa If having access to at least £50,000 investment funds, you are suitable for an Exceptional Talent visa if you work in a qualifying field and have been endorsed as a recognized leader or an emerging leader and if you are a graduate who has been officially endorsed as having a genuine and credible business idea you can obtain a Graduate Entrepreneur visa.

Learn more about :

  1. Entrepreneur visa
  2. Exceptional Talent visa
  3. Graduate Entrepreneur visa

United States of America

This visa program is created to arouse the U.S. economy through job formation and money investment by foreign investors. All EB-5 visa holders need to capitalize on a new commercial business that will generate full-time works for at least 10 eligible ​ workers.​​

Learn more about United States of America EB-5 Visa Classification

South Africa

In South Africa an entrepreneur’s visa is stated as a business visa, it will permit entrepreneurs to launch a business in South Africa. To get this visa an entrepreneur should submit a business strategy that frameworks all the actions that the entrepreneur will be undertaking.

Learn more about:  South Africa Entrepreneurs Visa

Spain

Non-EU citizens who aim to grow an entrepreneurial activity or innovative business with special economic attention for Spain may apply for an entrepreneur visa or residence authorization. Applicants who are overseas must apply for a one-year residence visa and applicants who are lawfully in Spain, for example, who have a residence or an entrepreneur visa or stay permit must apply for a two-year residence visa.

Learn more about:  Spain Residence Programme. Entrepreneurs Law Visa

Hungary

This visa program offers entrepreneurs and investors to obtain business immigration in Hungary. The entrepreneur residency visa program of Hungary is the low-cost investment program in Europe necessitating the least possible investment beginning from €50,000. Just by initiating a new startup in Hungary, a person can get immigration to Hungary as a director or board member.

Learn more about the Hungarian entrepreneur residency program

Ireland

The Start-up Entrepreneur Programme is to let non-EEA Residents and their relations who obligate to a high potential startup business in Ireland can attain a secure citizenship position in Ireland. The Government of Irish established this visa program to inspire startups investment and citizenship in Ireland. This visa program offers relatable welfares to successful business experts.

Learn more about Start-up Entrepreneur Programme

Netherland

A Start-up visa gives determined entrepreneurs a year to start a new company in the Netherlands. One condition to obtain this visa is that the entrepreneurs are administered by reliable facilitators in the Netherlands. Start-ups obtain great help in the Netherlands to progress into effective enterprises. This is good for the entrepreneur and also for the economy of the country.

Learn more about Netherlands Startup visa

Denmark

Start-up Denmark visa is for capable entrepreneurs who want to initiate high-impact start-ups in Denmark. Acknowledged candidates get a work permit and residence for Denmark legal for two years and there is the possibility of extension. It permits the visa holders to build their business in a well-known entrepreneurial ecology reinforced by great community business growth initiatives and entrees to the European Single Market.

Learn more about Start-up Denmark Visa

Benefits for countries that support the entrepreneur visa program in their countries

  • Foreign entrepreneurs have a straight positive influence on the number of new businesses and jobs created in the Country·
  • It is an effective and quicker way to add migrants and make sure they contribute to the local economy as they have to pay taxes and have to study the business rules of a country.
  • Visa policies that target to entice startups and young entrepreneurs send a strong indication to the world that this country is inviting foreigners.
  • Entrepreneurs make the country more noticeable and eye-catching to rich investors and popular entrepreneurs.

Especially the entrepreneur Visa Program Countries invite entrepreneurs to begin businesses in their countries and generate it as easy for them as possible.  Will this visa program make it easier to perform business in the largest economies of the world? How is this visa program going to benefits the entrepreneurs?

I would like to hear from you, Let me know your opinions in the comments.

Tough Time is a Bad Situation? It’s an Opportunity.

You Only Grow When You Face Challenges, It’s an Opportunity

This is going to be a very short post, and it’s all about Leadership and its results! I have experienced tough times in business and my personal life! one of those times was in 2013 – 2014 when the company was almost closing down because of the distraction and Improper infrastructure deployment! As a founder, I completely accepted this as my greatest failure, and everything is my fault! But, I’ve seen this as a great opportunity to test myself where I can overcome this situation to make my company even better!

Tough Time? Hell NO! It’s a Learning Process to Test Ourself

I took charge of everything and brought the company back in better shape with twenty times better than the previous infrastructure, culture, and the employee’s benefits. Now the company is stable in its place. Kokul Krishnan was promoted to our CEO last year, and of course, we are doing amazing! The people, who were there with us and helped us in our tough times, are now relishing with good perks with an excellent work environment! 

Action and Great Examples

Employees are the backbone of the company, and you must do all it takes to keep them motivated, fill in their sick days, push them through obstacles and even be ready to work in their replacement if the time calls for it. Also, we need to put the right people in the leadership position to steer the business, even if they don’t perform well, we must take control of the situation and fix it

Failure is Good, Necessary and it’s Proof That you tried, Something.

I’d like to tell you that if a company is going through its hardship, then rather than leaving the company, we all should work for it as a team! Now we are very stable and pushing our-self from good to great! We’ll be there for sure. Of course, tough time don’t last when there is a team does it all with great passion. I’m so grateful for the members of our company, who have stayed with us even in our adversity.
Have you ever faced such a situation in your personal life or even in business? If your answer is yes then I’m not alone. I’d love to hear your story too! Please share your experience in the comment box below.

Never Stop. Push Yourself. Keep inspiring.


I Had The Most Un-adventurous Time Of My Life, Here’s why!

So, you are wondering what happened to this guy? Why has there is no single activity on social media for the past 8 days? Is he alive or dead because of his ridiculous (NOT reckless) car driving? Well, I’m alive and ready to drive with no destination. Yep! I’m gonna make you all jealous again by publishing selfies! So, get ready to unfollow or block me from your channels while you are stuck with the workload.

No more guesses!  Let me tell you what exactly happened in the last 8 days, which is one of the most expensive lessons and real-time experience that I gained it from a stranger! Cut the crap and tell me what that is? Kind of book? PDF or hardcopy? C’mon man…! it’s a massive DDoS (distributed denial of service attack) attack against one of our dedicated servers which are hosted under Hivelocity Networks!

Layer 4 ( Syn Flood) Attack

I noticed there was a huge spike in our server CPU, RAM, and the networks and the upstream provider confirmed it’s a Layer 4 SYN flood-based attack with a much higher amount of TCP connections. We started getting DDoS alert notifications from Splunk, and their report confirmed its TCP-based SYN Flood. After talking with Hivelocity, NOC engineers started deploying the DDoS mitigation through their upstream provider! I assume they were using Corero for such emergency DDoS mitigation activities!

Splunk: Report:

Time:01/18/2017 12:12 ESTnn Host: 162.216.4.78nn Impact: 251 Mbps / 403115 pps nn Attacks: Service Flood to http at 251 Mbps / 403115 ppsnn Sflow stats: Unblocked:75 EP:75 Total:288

Even, it was an unmanaged server, Hivelocity NOC engineers were really helpful to mitigate the situation for hardening the CSF and configuring custom rules within the firewall! However, it didn’t help me to stop the situation! Hivelocity Tech support asked me to contact the sales team or my account manager in order to obtain one of their DDoS mitigation packages!

I tried to contact Hivelocity sales via email, the Support center, and Livechat! But, unfortunately, they started up selling their hardware’s and service saying The RAM is full, HD is FULL upgrading is the right choice which is absolutely a pure lie, and it won’t help in this situation.

Then I send a mail to my Hivelocity Account Manager Lee Linton; It’s confirmed he opened my email several times, but he didn’t reply either assign this to any other manager to outreach! I’m a bit disappointed about the outcome, Then I contacted Hivelocity Livechat, and the account Manager Drew Adams helped me to select the right mitigation package in order to stabilize the situation and the mitigation officially started.

Layer 3 (Network Layer) Attack

Based on Hivelocity DDoS Filtering, I thought it was under control! But my assumption is wrong; we started getting attacks from ports, mail server IPs, WHM, etc.! After deep investigation, we found it’s a layer 3 based network layer attack and checking pcap file, Again there is a huge packet loss from the server main IP! Our Server management company helped in this stage for blocking IPs, uRPFing IP’s and hardening the source guard to limit IPs on unverified layers. It started from 256 Mbps and reached 512 Mbps

The server Management Company and Hivelocity NOC engineers worked very hard to mitigate the situation, and yes they did! It was under control from 01/18/2017 12:48 EST from 01/18/2017 14:24 EST.

At this stage, our newly appointed CTO Saruban. B started collaborating with the NOC and the server management company! Saruban is a kid and very new to this industry neither me, But he is very aggressive a fast learner and a positive thinker! So, we both started investigating the root causes for this issue and we ended up without any clue and then started learning about the OSI model, DDoS mitigation strategies to prevent it in the future.

Layer 7 (Web Application layer) Attack

People who know me are aware I’m an avid traveler and even I don’t know where I will be tomorrow, especially on weekends, I will be somewhere near to the beach or hiking mountains.

Okay, Fine! I thought it’s all done and started digging booking.com to find out the best weekend deal to chill with my family! That time Saruban B said, he isn’t able to access the web and mail servers! I told him it’s a simple IP block just restart the router or check VPN; he said he tried all these basic DNS flushing activities, but it didn’t help him.

Same time, I received a mail from our server management company saying; the server is getting a Level 7 Web Application Layer (WAF) attack! I just replied to them saying “you know how to mitigate it right? Please do the needful “because I need to plan my weekend adventure! I received the reply saying this is a kind of application layer level attack and the server is not responding!

This is something weird! I just tried to access the server via IPMI and it is not responding at all and even the DC isn’t able to find it! They did a hard reboot and the server back online after 7 minutes and then found there is a massive flood in consuming the CPU and the RAM.

The server management company said nothing they can do until we get a professional DDoS mitigation plan! Seriously? Oh, then my weekend plans? Yep, it’s ruined!

The situation is now getting heated! We started getting advice from the industry experts and as per their advice decided to move this data to another server with a proper mitigation plan and we did it!

The (Simple, Yet Powerful) Action Plan

We sent a Global email to all our hosting customers who are hosted on the Layer24 server about the current situation (Didn’t hide anything) and our action plan. We already have few servers from multiple providers like SingleHop, Softlayer, Rackspace and Limestonenetworks, and OVH. We started collecting quotes from them and selected one. Data migration had been started, but the server was responding 600 times slower! This means 1GB CPmove is taking 2 hours to move another Cpanel server! So, we decided to move based on the priority and used different types of migration strategies, and we made it. Collected quotes from major DDoS mitigation providers Like Incapsula, Arbor Networks, Cloudflare Enterprise and shortlisted one and negotiated with them about the features and protocols. Now, all our dedicated servers are under one of the world’s Top Rated DDoS protection company surveillance.

When there is a Layer 7,4 Attack in place; your firewall, load balancer, and the fancy routers will not help you! It doesn’t matter how techie you are or you are a doctorate in Cyber Security or ethical hacking! The only way to resolve this situation is to find out the best DDoS mitigation provider and let them handle the situation! If you choose the cheap one, you will get what you paid!

Privilegeserver Technologies isn’t a typical shared hosting, nor it’s not for anyone! I started this company because there is a need for my Digital marketing clients that’s “High performance” and optimize and manage their accounts by ourselves while they focus on growing their business. As per my business plan, this year I decided to focus on Extreme SEO business activities to avoid distractions.

Conclusion

Within the last 6 days, there is NO sleep, NO Trips, NO meetings at all! But all I learned is one of the most expensive and precious lessons, which I “CAN’T” afford or cannot learn from the universities! Yes, that’s a real-time experience! We didn’t give UP, We have mitigated the situation, maybe it will happen again, and the server may rarely go offline! But, I will find a way to mitigate the solution rather than giving up!!! Because I’m still alive and breathing!

Now It’s Your Turn, That’s all about our DDoS attack nightmare and mitigation strategies that we applied. And now I’d like to hear from you:

  1. Do you have any questions about this post or any better suggestions?
  2. Maybe you have a great tip that I didn’t emphasize here.
  3. Either way, let me know by leaving a comment below right now.

First Ever Techstars Startup Weekend in Sri Lanka Happening

Disclaimer: I am a part of the organizing committee for Startup Weekend Jaffna. Written below is my opinion about the event in its genuine and unbiased form. The view expressed in this post is purely based on a culmination of my experience of attending the event in another country and the experience of some of my colleagues and business associates as well.

Greetings and hello everyone. I know there is a lot of buzz happening in Sri Lanka about ‘some’ event called Startup Weekend Jaffna or #SWJ that will take place from the 24th to 27th of June in Jaffna. Many of you have been shooting me emails and voice messages to know more about the prospect of the event, Therefore, I decided to write up a quick blog to answer all your questions.

I plan to cover some of the topics of interest, like, What the event is about, what is the prospect of such an event and who should attend it, how we made it possible in Sri Lanka and some commonly asked doubts that most inquiries have.

What is Startup Weekend All About?

The essence of Startup Weekend is that people with an idea for a startup or individuals who want to collaborate with another startup(s) meet up under one roof over the weekend and work together to get something cooking.

Before I dwell further into this blog, I would like to mention just one thing about Startup Weekend that you should know. It doesn’t matter if you are a serial entrepreneur, a budding startup, or just an investor look for tie-ups. If you are motivated enough about your product, service, or vision, you will easily meld into the crowd at #SWJaffna next weekend.

How Did We Make it Happen in Sri Lanka?

 

Well, this one’s a long-long tale, and it’s impossible for me to write in full detail. However, I will ‘rewind-n-relive’ the most valuable minutes of this journey, some of which, have been truly inspiring and life-changing.

It was during last year when I was in Malaysia on a business tour that the idea of bringing Startup Weekend to Sri Lanka had struck me. I was attending the CAYE Asia Summit in Malaysia and on the last day the Summit was held at MAGIC Center (Malaysian Global Innovation and Creativity Center). Call it my luck, or destiny but Startup Weekend was also running parallel in the same building (JACKPOT).

As a startup Entrepreneur, I had always dreamt of attending such an event. Startup Weekend was a dream for me. I wanted to participate in the event after the summit ended and it was the second time I felt lucky that day when the #SWM organizing team let us attend the event as a guest from Startup Weekend MaGIC.  I just attended #SWM for an hour with one of my colleagues Puwaneswaran who also participated CAYE Asia Summit.

I made the best use of my time at the event by indulging in conversation with various Attendees, Malaysian Entrepreneurs, and Members of the Organizing Team. One of the lead organizers introduced me to Lalitha Wemel (Regional Manager, Startup Programs for South East Asia and Oceania). I expressed my desire to bring Startup Weekend to Sri Lanka to Mrs. Lalitha, and she gave me the reference of Anurag Maloo (Regional Manager for South & Central Asia).

When I connected with Anurag Maloo, he openly expressed his concern about the Sri Lankan scene. Within minutes of discussion, I came to know that many “Entrepreneurs” had asked him to get #SW to Sri Lanka, but he had not found anyone motivated enough to bring such a big event to the country. Anurag told me that most people merely inquired about the event, and when the time came to take action, they were nowhere to be found.

With such a pathetic and frustrating first experience, it was tough to convince him. However, I was hell-bent on explaining my vision. I wanted Startup Weekend to come to Sri Lanka. I shared my ideas with Anurag and explained to him why #SWSL would be a very good idea and how I could help him make it possible. Upon further discussion, his team interviewed me and verified my credentials, and gave me a green signal to get the planning started for the event.

Upon receiving the green signal from Anurag Maloo, I immediately summoned my most trusted business associates and friends to tell them about the event – Thavaruban Thangarajah, Chamara Peiris, and Robinson Prashanthan. They are not merely business associates or friends for me, they are people I can trust even with my eyes closed. With them in place, it was in a matter of few hours that I was able to form the highly motivated team that was eager to see the event of such great standing, take place in our proud Country.

Why Did We Decide Jaffna, Instead of all the Other Cities?

Upon receiving the green signal from Anurag Maloo, I immediately summoned my most trusted business associates and friends to tell them about the event. These were people I could trust even with my eyes closed. It was in a matter of few hours that I had formed a highly motivated team that was eager to see the event of such great standing, take place in our proud Country.

After countless hours of brainstorming, we defined Jaffna as the host city for the event, as it is a growing city and it’s rapidly recovering post-war. The reason we never considered Colombo is because already there are lots of Hackathons and Startup Events in this town every year. We did not want to make Startup Weekend a part of any other event and thus considered between Kandy and Jaffna.  Now, as Kandy is already marked by SLASSCOM for KandyITBPM, we decided to stick to Jaffna.

Who Should Attend Startup Weekend?

It doesn’t matter if you are looking to kick-start your entrepreneurial journey or co-found another company. And, it doesn’t even matter if you just have an idea. Since you will be sharing your idea with business evangelists from various industries like Technology, Education, Health, Disability, Automobile,s and more, you can rest assure that you will be receiving mission-critical feedback about the highs and lows of your master plan.

My Opinion About Startup Weekend

“The primary reason why most startups ‘CLOSEUP’ is because they fail to scrutinize the bigger picture of their business strategy. Most novice entrepreneurs are too busy looking at the upsides and advantages of their game plan, that they completely overlook or become blind to evident and irrecoverable business potholes. Startup Weekend is like a face-off with the mirror for everyone, rookie or seasoned professionals alike, as we all are learning.”

The idea of having to face your own internal junk scares everyone to death. There is lots of talent in Sri Lanka and lots of bright people who can shape the future of our country. But, most of them are too shy to come out of the closet.

People don’t like their ideas being dissected or analyzed. The fear of sharing their next best idea with everyone, or for that matter being made fun of because their idea is not that amusing, is too overwhelming than their desire to create a unique and evergreen product.

For anyone looking to start off their business, or be a part of one, my advice would be to head over to Startup Weekend Jaffna and pitch yourself in front of the crowd and face your demons. In the end, it won’t matter if you have created an ‘awesome product for an invisible problem.’ It is best to get yourself validated, call BS early and move on to the next idea.

As an Entrepreneur, it is entirely acceptable to make mistakes, but what is not acceptable is to continue doing what you are doing, even when you know you are wrong.” You should go for Startup Weekend and share your insights about, a vast and profitable market that may be lying untapped, a market in which you have identified a model customer, with a unique problem that has not yet been solved, and discuss your solution.

Meet people, go co-founder dating, discuss unique strategies, talk about your team. Let people know that you already have interested investors (if any). Try to explain a conceivable business model along with your customer research. You can also show off a prototype of your product and service and demonstrate some traction if you are already in business.

For people who are just looking to invest in other Startups and build their connections in the industry, Startup Weekend is a unique treat. One of the best parts about #SWJ is that the organizing committee is getting an incredible lineup of advisors and mentors from various industries like marketing, finance, health, technology, and more. It doesn’t matter if you don’t have a startup idea, you can still visit startup weekend to seek out, possible and lucrative business opportunities and entrepreneurs who want to collaborate with you to extend their idea into a thriving and ever-growing business model.

Startup or Not – You Should Attend #SWJaffna

The bottom line is, whether you are an investor or an entrepreneur a college graduate, or anything in between, the 54 Hours of #SWJ will be the most memorable and astonishing moments of your life, and by the end you will have “a lot” to take away from the event. It is an energizing and refreshing experience. If you want to register for the Startup Weekend that will happen from the 24th to the 26th of this month in Jaffna, you can visit the following link to book your tickets. Click Here.

Or, have you attended Startup Weekend in any other country? Don’t forget to share your experience about the event in the comments section below 🙂


Semantic Copywriting – Why It Needs Your Attention?

Semantic Copywriting is one of the best Latent semantic indexing, a conversion-driven copywriting strategy that is used by professional Copywriters and Ghostwriters. Many of the SEO professionals that relied heavily on selecting 5-10 specific keywords for a website and created all of their content revolving around those keywords are now facing difficulties, as their old strategy is not producing the same results as it used to, a few months back. The smarter SEO’s however, have already gone ahead and started changing their overall SEO strategy to ensure it adheres to the latest Google Algorithm.

Which of the Above Mentioned Points is Right?

Since both of the arguments seem legit at least to some extent, none of them are 100% true. You can’t deny the fact that SEO revolves around keywords, and keywords are and will always be an integral part of any SEO campaign. But focusing on a specific number of keywords (like we used to do in the past) will not work now. The strategy has to change and it should be much broader and diverse now, as they put it, Truth lies somewhere in the middle.

In recent times, Google`s Hummingbird algorithm update has started a new debate among SEO professionals that whether Keywords are still important or not? Google has taken something very valuable from us i.e. seeing complete keywords data in analytics. This actually means that whichever keywords you are targeting, you will have to guess how effective they actually are, as Google won’t give you a confirmed report. So what is the solution? Semantic Copywriting.

If you have been in SEO for the last 2-3 years, or have been following some top SEO forums, you would have come across the term LSI (Latent Semantic Indexing), which actually revolves around the importance of synonyms and related words in helping Google find out the relevant pages for any keyword. Hence it is critical to start creating content and copies that are not targeting a specific keyword(s), but they are revolving around a small set of closely related keywords, this is called Semantic Copywriting.

How to Improve Your Semantic Copywriting Strategy?

Semantics is all about Thesaurus. Google`s LSI system tries to find out the meaning and intent of a search query rather than the actual word being searched. So, the first thing to do in order to write a perfect Semantic Copy is to find a few similar or synonym keywords that you can use in your copy, and then use them gradually within the copy. This won’t be keyword stuffing, as all the keywords will be different, but it WILL serve our purpose of providing Google with optimized content revolving around our base keyword. This will result in better Google Rankings.

One another thing to mention here is, Search queries are now getting longer day by day. People now want to type in exactly what they are looking for in Google rather than typing a generic keyword. This exactly is the reason why “How To” articles tend to attract huge search engine traffic.

Long-Tail Keyword optimization is one of the best optimization strategies now, and ignoring it can hurt your online business severely both in terms of money and time. Hence, ensure that your copy/article use keywords that your users are most likely to type in Google, with their variations for better LSI optimization.

This is a very short post about the importance of Semantic copywriting and basic guidelines to improve your writing style! Have questions about this subject? Please use the comment box to raise your question.

× Hey, I'm here, Let's talk :)
Exit mobile version