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Feeding the Hungry, Despite National Crisis

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The year 2020 has emphasized one certainty: In times of crisis, entrepreneurs innovate, adapt and continue to give back. One example—among many—of philanthropy during the worldwide COVID-19 crisis comes from our EO Gujarat chapter.

Through their organization, Karma Foundation, members Chiranjiv Patel and Priyanshi Patel led a group of volunteers to feed the homeless and needy during the lockdown in India.

chiranjiv patelThis is just the latest example from many years the Karma Foundation has been making a difference in the community. We recently spoke with Chiranjiv Patel (pictured at left) to learn more. Patel is the managing director and vice chairman of P.C. Snehal Group, a construction company based in Ahmedabad, India. He is known for his leadership in business and charitable pursuits.

Tell us more about Karma Foundation.

Karma Foundation is primarily focused on community development across the entire socio-economic spectrum. Our focus includes education, health, livelihood, women development, youth development, literature and culture, and we aim to reach every sector of the society in order to make our efforts more transformational and impactful.

Jeevan Shrishti is one of our main programs. It acknowledges food as a basic necessity. We are working to ensure that nobody goes to sleep with an empty stomach by feeding poor children and the needy. We are also planning to launch kiosks across the city to provide food at negligible cost.

We make food at Sai temple satadhar one day a month and at Anjani Mata temple every day. We distribute food to street people and kids, and also to municipal school students.

Every week we encounter some of those tear-bringing moments, when Karma feeds 250 people who eat until the last bite of their plate. Some of us go to restaurants every week or maybe twice a week and waste food excessively. But here, they respect the food given on their plates and would not waste even a bite.

Since October 2015, we’ve fed approximately 50,000 people.

Other Karma initiatives include:

Sahara is a program that expresses our core value—support. Through Sahara, Karma extends resources to senior citizens, orphans and abandoned children and other NGOs of the state. I strongly believe that collaboration is the way to drive large scale community transformation.

• Another program is a true example of women empowerment. We believe in the right to cleanliness, or hygiene. Women inmates of Sabarmati Jail manufacture biodegradable and low-cost sanitary pads for underprivileged women and girls.

The Ahmedabad Book Club is dedicated to literary appreciation and reading, and was formed by EO member Priyanshi Patel. The club has 45,000-plus online members. It provides a platform for online literary discussions and conversations with authors.

The Science Club encourages adults and children to experience science in new and engaging ways.

There are so many other initiatives we’re working on. I would like to thank the whole Karma team, including volunteers and interns, who support and encourage the soul of the foundation. May we reach our future goals successfully.

Learn more about the Karma Foundation and donate here. 

How has your work changed since COVID-19 appeared?

COVID-19 closed the entire nation. Even in this hazardous situation, we tried to make 35,000 food packets every day for children and needy.

We would like to thank donors. We are able to run the same cycle every day, and this would not be possible without their donations. It would be just next to impossible. A big thank you to everybody, triggering infinite positivity.

What challenges did you face in delivering meals during the coronavirus shutdown?

We believe that if the spirit inside is bigger than anything else across you, you can win. So we did not consider these big challenges.

Yes, we wondered how in this complete lockdown, people who earn everyday wages to feed their families, how will they manage? For them, it would be like, “bhookh lagi hai, lekin kama ke kha nai sakte” (hungry but can’t eat). In this critical situation, we thought for 24 hours, how we will manage the things? how we will work? how we will all work together at the same place when social distancing is mandatory?

We called up my friend and the volunteers. All 70 volunteers and my friend arrived in the same hour. I would like to salute the volunteers and the core team because in three hours, they prepared 10,750 food packets.

karma foundation IndiaIt was very important to follow the requirements of COVID-19. Not only do these rules protect our volunteers and maintain cleanliness while we pack the food, but they also protect the people who are eating from the packets.

As we all know, the heat of Ahmedabad is extreme. We arranged fans with sanitizers, so that clean air can be maintained. As there was a national curfew, we needed permission for volunteers to travel. We worked with local police to ensure food reached the right people.

We were determined to put our mark on the city, trying to reach every individual who is suffering, despite the very high expenditure. It costs almost $2,000 to deliver 12,000 food packets every day.

How has EO supported your efforts?

The most important thing EO has taught us is the value of sharing experiences with your peers. EO also teaches us to lead by example.

I made sure that I was present at the camp every day during the 45 days we worked through COVID-19 restrictions—not only managing operations but also packaging food. In spite of having broken leg and plaster on my leg, my spirit did not subside. I was motivated not to miss a single day.

Also, EO chapter members and most of my forum members visited the camp regularly. In this way, EO has also played a prominent role to make this camp successful.

Read more ways the members of EO are making a difference during the COVID-19 global crisis.

The post Feeding the Hungry, Despite National Crisis appeared first on Octane Blog – The official blog of the Entrepreneurs' Organization.



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6 Ways To Incorporate SEO While Building A Business in 2020

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There’s no quick fix, or “one and done” solution when it comes to search engine optimization (SEO). You have to be prepared to play the long game to see the full advantages of SEO when developing a site — and it’s worth it to see your site rank highly on search engine result pages.

That said, there are some methods that will give you a quick boost. Shift more attention to the most significant ranking factors and tactics that will give your site the ability to rise to the top of the search results this year.

Choose a Responsive Design

User experience is a big deal these days. Google loves to serve its users the best results possible. If your website isn’t easy to use on a mobile device, you’re going to suffer a setback in ranking. Think about it, have you ever landed on a site where you had to zoom in to read the text and scroll side-to-side to read all of the content? This was most likely the desktop version of a website. It was made for larger screens and doesn’t reformat to fit on different screen sizes.

Responsive sites will resize images and reorganize the blocks of content according to the size of the screen. If you want to test whether a website is responsive, open up a web page on a desktop or laptop. From the full screen, shrink the window by clicking and dragging, and you’ll see the sidebars move, the navigation and header will take on new positions and the content and images will line up differently. 

Mobile search volume accounts for more than half of the total searches made online (see chart below). A responsive, mobile friendly site is no longer an option, but a necessity, when it comes to providing an enjoyable user experience.

Create Keyword Clusters

Making a list of keywords that your ideal audience would use to find the content you’re offering will also boost your SEO ranking. Plug each keyword into a keyword tool to generate additional ideas. Assess the best options for keywords to include in your content strategy by grouping them into pools based on search intent. You’ll notice that many of those keyword options will be subtopics large enough to write an entire blog post about, in which you can provide more detailed content optimized for a related keyword.

For example, if you own a home improvement business, a central page on your site would be kitchen renovation. And because there are so many choices to make when renovating a kitchen, you could then go into depth and create a new page for every option, from counter tops and backsplash tile to faucets and refrigerators. When you’re planning your content, structure the website to feature central pages that are optimized for the most central, competitive keywords and most important aspects of your business.

Publish articles on the related subtopics in full detail in order to provide as much information on those major keyword topics, to show your expertise in your field, and to demonstrate authority within the content of your site. Google looks for this as partial evidence of your status as an expert in your niche.

Google also loves when there is a distinct organizational structure. By linking the subtopic posts to your major product pages, you signal what pages are most important to your site by creating a keyword cluster.

Image source: https://webstyleguide.com/wsg3/3-information-architecture/3-site-structure.html

Optimize Your Content

On-page optimization enhances the likelihood of your page being ranked for your target keywords. Avoid keyword stuffing and place your keywords strategically. For instance, use your target keywords in the front end of your titles, and keep your titles under 60 characters or they will get cut off in the search display.

Place your keyword in your URL. The most effective URLs are those that are under 5 words and summarize the title or content on the page. Keywords should also be included in the meta description. Using your keyword in the beginning of the meta description will improve the click-through rate for users. As will placing your keyword within the first 100 words in the first paragraph of your content, and using keywords and keyword synonyms in the subtitles.

Use structured data markup whenever possible. If you can provide a rich snippet, you may get a boost in the position your site is displayed.

Make Your Pages Quick and Nimble

With a heavy emphasis on user experience, page speed can make a huge difference in how your site performs. If you’re an ecommerce site, it becomes extremely important because every second your page takes to load will cost your business money from lower conversions.

 graph-seo-png

 mPulse Mobile Case Study on Page Speed Vs Conversion Rates, Image source: https://digitalducats.com/page-speed/

Test your mobile page speed here. You can improve your site speed by reducing image file sizes, using plugins, and using a content delivery network to give your website additional page speed.

  • To reduce the size of your images use Kraken or Smush.
  • W3 Cache is one of the most popular WordPress plugins that increase page speed, but you can decide for yourself by choosing one from this list.
  • Choose a CDN (Content Delivery Network) to reduce your pages load time from a list of options here.

Get Other Sites to Link to You

Establishing credibility and authority is a necessity to be competitive in search results. Backlinks are a powerful way to prove that your content is credible and authoritative because essentially it is being endorsed by the websites that link to you. But stay away from paid links, or any link scheme used to manipulate ranking in an underhanded way. Unnatural linking will lead to penalties and should be avoided altogether.

One approved method of link building is to become a guest author. There are guest posting sites in every niche and having knowledge about your business is all you need to create an article that can be submitted to a site for publication. It may take a few weeks to get a response, and you may need a few submissions before receiving acceptance. Get into a routine for guest posting to build backlinks as fast as possible.

Ask People to Share Your Content

A social network is a priceless asset for expanding your audience and getting more traffic to your website. Build your network by being active on the social media site that has the most impact on your business.

Install social sharing icons on your site and include a call to action to get the most shares. A retweet study revealed that content with share icons received 4 times as many retweets with the phrase “Please RT”.

Conclusion

Although there is a lot to put together to achieve a first page result, it’s a long-term game plan. Start building your website with SEO in mind to give your site the best chance at the top positions in search results.

 



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Building a product too difficult to use: How signups didn’t translate to active users

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Andrew Kamphey has been involved in the creator industry for more than 15 years. During this time, he has started several projects related to creators and influencer marketing.

This is the story about one of those projects that didn't take off: Creator Growth Lab. We want to know what went wrong, what were the lessons learned, and how those learnings improved the way he tackles new ventures.

How did he come up with the idea to build Creator Growth Lab?🔙

He had a side hustle where he would grow people's Instagram accounts. He got his clients anywhere between 2,000 and 5,000 new followers every month. Three years ago, Instagram started announcing policies that he knew would make that method not last. This is a natural thing with growth hacking. First, it works really well. Then something changes and it does not work anymore.

Creator Growth Lab helped Instagram creators to grow by themselves. They could log each day their growth tactics and measure how many followers they gained and their hashtag performance. Every single day you could go to the Lab and see your growth. Then figure out which was the best one. Optimize it and grow more.

How did he build it?⚒️

He had a monthly income from his clients. Every dollar he made, he put into Creator Growth Lab because he wanted to go fast. He quit his job in December 2018. Gave himself a month to mock a prototype. After a month, he realized he couldn't build it fast enough. It was going to take him about a year to figure out how to build it and then three more months to actually build it. He took all the money he had from his agency, and he used it to pay off one designer and one programmer.

He found a designer in Bali. And then he found through a friend, a Vietnamese programmer. His friend became an ad hoc Product Manager and they became a four-person team. It was fast. Within 30 days of working remotely, everything worked exactly how he planned.

What were his key levers to start growing it?📈

Initially, he had a dozen users that were paying him to grow their accounts, who he thought would also use this Lab. They were paying him between $100-$200/month each. It got 50 new user signups in the first month and the next month another 50 user signups.

He used his newsletter to promote Creator Growth Lab to his existing audience and got a dozen signups from that.

He sent direct emails to creators he knew because he had worked in the influencer marketing industry for five years.

What were the biggest challenges he had to overcome?⚔️

Signups weren't a problem. He ended up getting 50 signups per month for four months in a row. The challenge was to get active users. It took a while to get to the aha moment. You needed to use it each day for a week or two weeks before getting the aha moment. That's painful. Users will never get that far.

How did he realize the project was not going in the right direction?📉

Three months after launch, either lucky or unlucky, Instagram cut the number of actions you could do. That killed most growth hacks, but the product still exists. He could keep working on it. But looking back the actual problem was people didn't use it. He made a bunch of videos to explain how to use it. It was very complicated. Users needed to first decide to do growth hacks and then try to optimize them with the app. Not many people know 50 growth hacks.

He had been doing a bunch of automations on his client accounts. All of their actions were literally taken down to zero for 30 days. Within one month, he went from 12 paying clients to none.

He didn't charge them for Creator Growth Lab, it was free to sign up. He would charge later once he figured out who was it for, big mistake.

He did have the idea of Pro Accounts. Initially, it was created for individual users. He talked to a model agency that had thousands of models that were going to pay for using it. Could have been $9,000 a month. Then another person, a growth hacker, wanted to use it to manage 100 accounts. Their clients also left because of the change in Instagram policies.

In the end, how much money did he lose?💰

In total, he paid around $5,000 and never made a penny. The silly thing is that it doesn’t feel like he necessarily lost the money. Because he had been self-funded, never went above his means. Only put money into it he was making through social media.

From all your takeaways he learned from this experience, what advice does he have for other entrepreneurs who want to get started or are just starting out?🗣️

🍂One of the most important things was that he talked to users, but he was not listening to them. He had so much hubris and very little humility because he had been successful at helping people grow for five years.

🍂He went into Creator Growth Lab thinking he knew everything. You don't know anything. Even if you think you know everything you don't.

🍂He spent a lot of time educating creators on why to use the product. Every successful creator will tell you that they grew by making good content. Creators want to create. He had no competitors. No one was trying to do this, that’s a warning sign. It ended up being not needed.

🍂You need to talk with users, not just tell them about your product. It opened his mind. When he gets on the phone with a user he's not teaching them how to use the product. He gets on the phone once or twice a week with his newsletter readers and asks them about what's going on in their life. Just chatting with them.

🍂Your solution might not pan out and doesn't mean your business doesn't work. It doesn't mean you're not successful. It means that solution didn't work out.

🍂Figure out who your tribe is. Find them. If you talk to people for enough time, keep trying different solutions, and keep asking for their problems, you'll figure out a solution. You always have something to learn.

What are your favorite startup resources for makers and entrepreneurs?📚

🍂The Dip by Seth Godin. Winners quit. This book tells you to stop what doesn't work for you. If you work the muscle of quitting you can get to what works faster.

🍂The Mom Test by Rob Fitzpatrick. When talking to users, he realized he didn't have to go to them with a solution. He went to them pretending he didn't know anything about their problem and listened to what they had to say.

If you enjoyed it perhaps like or retweet the thread on Twitter

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#1948 How to teach your kids to build their own businesses

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Joining me as somebody who I’ve been talking to via email for a while, and I’ve wanted to have on here and I’m so excited that he said yes to an interview.
So many entrepreneurs that I’ve interviewed had little businesses when they were kids. They’re usually so freaking proud of then that they can’t stop telling my producers about it. But so many of the stories ended with the business getting shut down by the school, by a teacher, or by the principal.
Well, today’s guest said, “What if we create a way to encourage kids to sell and create businesses? We’ll teach them how to do it and we give them everything that they need.”
Scott Donnell is the founder of MyFirstSale, which gives kids the life skills and confidence
to sell their products in a safe, friendly online environment.
For a special listener discount, you can go to MyFirstSale.com/Andrew or hapbee.com/Andrew to see more.

Scott Donnell is the founder of MyFirstSale and Hapbee, a wearable device that allows people to pick the feelings they want to express, like happiness, calm and sleepiness.

Mixergy listeners can get the following promos:
www.myfirstsale.com/andrew ($20 off Sign Up)
www.hapbee.com/andrew (Indiegogo discount)

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More interviews -> https://mixergy.com/moreint
Rate this interview -> https://mixergy.com/rateint



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