Thursday, 28 September 2017

Learning to Appreciate Criticism

Sharing a little incident from the Tennis courts

I used to get very defensive when I heard something unpleasant about me. I always took praise well but criticism with a pinch of salt. I disliked those who had nothing better to say than a comment that would infuriate me.



Recently, I have started to open up and take criticism in a different way altogether. When we are in the Tennis courts, there are many observers who often pass comments about the players, their technique or shots. Many times their comments are negative. Naturally, while I was playing, if someone made a bad comment about my shot, I would feel angry. 

Sunday, 17 September 2017

Cure Your Sore Throat Naturally!

Last year during smog season in Lahore, I got the worst throat issues ever. That's when I did my research on what herbal remedies are good for throat and started making my own herbal tea. It worked wonders. Recently on my holiday, my voice had changed into a man's. When I returned home, the first thing I did was make my tea and within a day, my voice returned miraculously. 


The following recipe for Herbal Tea works brilliantly as a sore-throat remedy. It helps flush out toxins from your body and boosts blood circulation. Its anti-inflammatory properties also helps kill bad bacteria. You will yourself feel the signs of throat problems diminishing the moment you start having this tea. Check for yourself. 


Ingredients
  • Ginger paste: 1/2- 1 teaspoon
  • Garlic paste: 1/2 teaspoon
  • Black Cardamom (bari ilaichi): 1-2
  • Honey: 1-2 table spoons
  • Cinnamon sticks: 1-2 pieces
  • Lemon juice: Half a lemon
  • Turmeric powder (Haldi): 1/2 teaspoon
  • Cloves (long): 3
  • Pepper corns: 3 
  • Fenugreek seeds: a sprinkle
  • Licorice (Mulethi stick): 2 pieces (1-2 inch each)
  • Ginseng paste (if available): 1/2 teaspoon

Method
In a covered pan put 4 glasses of water and add all ingredients. Let it boil once. Keep it on your kitchen and keep sipping a cup twice a day till your throat becomes alright. 

Note
At first you will need to develop taste for it. Initially i disliked its taste and used to force it down like a medicine as I knew it works wonders. Now I don't mind its taste at all. So stay patient. It really works better than any medicine. Stay blessed. Can't wait to hear about your recovery stories too. 

Thursday, 14 September 2017

Digital Marketing Overview for Professionals

In this post, we will be briefly touching upon different aspects of digital marketing: Website, Company Profile & Portfolio, Social Media Marketing, Blog, Email and Mobile Phone marketing. 

1. Website
A company website is the main reflection of a company and that is where a strong brand image builds. We must endeavor to make an excellent quality website with no mistakes/errors nor misrepresentation of facts. We must focus on making our website very attractive and as close to the truth as possible. We must keep the following in mind:
  • Theme consistency with company logo, slogan and brand image.
  • Concise home page with all useful links prominently displayed.
  • Update the website consistently especially whenever new events or news take place.
  • Pay special attention to users comments and feedback. Consider changing, adding and removing tabs whenever issues arise or where ever appropriate.


Social media pages are never enough for a professional business. You must have a good website in place. It doesn't cost much (I pay Rs. 2000 a year) but your reputation depends heavily on whether or not you have a website with a great user experience. 
  • Buy Domain (Wordpress.com/Blogspot.com  on your URL gives a very unprofessional image).
  • Work on layout (WordPress good option. It will save you lots of money too)
  • Connect your platforms. (Social Media links on website, Link to website on SM)
  • Search Engine Optimization (SEO) Learn about it on Google once your website is up 
2. Company Profile & Portfolio
It is very important for every company to have a well-structured and organized downloadable of profile. This should cover its company introduction, history, products and services portfolio, clients, time-line etc. This profile can be emailed to clients & prospects, downloaded from company website, or its hard-copy can be distributed to potential clients and on events. A company portfolio is a pdf file which is downloadable on company website. Here is a sample company profile of a top IT company. Small businesses should consider a professional flyer with all company/product details on it. Another example is as follows.



3. Social Media Strategy
You must define your social media strategy as there are too many platforms and you must choose them wisely. According to www.ebizmba.com, the world’s top five social media platforms in August 2016, as determined by number of unique monthly users are as under:
  1. Facebook – 1,100,000,000
  2. YouTube – 1,000,000,000
  3. Twitter – 310,000,000
  4. LinkedIn – 255,000,000
  5. Pinterest – 250,000,000
Following platforms in my opinion are definitely worth considering seriously for your company:
  • Facebook page
  • Instagram page 
  • InstaStories for daily updates so people can connect with you
  • Linkedin company page
  • Twitter page for status updates
  • YouTube channel
  • Whatsapp
  • Skype
Facebook page
Facebook has been the undisputed king of social media for over a decade now. Twitter threatened to take its place some years ago but it quickly took back its place on top. The reason is that it is a flexible medium and has fewer limitations.

  • Good quality profile picture
  • Great resolution cover photo that also describes who you are and what you do
  • Set target audience demographics and interests in settings
  • Graphic designing
Instagram page

Instagram has been a very popular social media application for the last 6 years or so. It provides instant photo and video editing tools and sharing facility to other social media apps like Facebook and Twitter. It is known for its dynamic and impactful images. Here are some tips for Instagram advertising:

  • Give a lot of attention to your Bio. In less words, define your business fully 
  • Give your website link in bio. Whenever you add a new post, make sure you give its address in bio and write 'Link in profile' with that post
  • Only good quality edited pictures are meant for Instagram. No place for blurry images


Increasing audience strategies

  • Follow accounts of your potential customers, so they follow you too
  • Message competitors and suggest collaboration ideas 
  • Leave meaningful comments on competitors posts to attract followers
  • Raise awareness
  • Focus on quality content
  • Giveaways
  • Free trips/gifts
  • Client testimonials
Follow benchmark pages on

  • Instagram
  • Facebook
  • Linkedin
4. Blog

Blog is the voice of a company. Blogs are becoming increasingly important these days. That’s how a company builds awareness on market trends, and gains insight on related industries.

  • Ideally a blog post should have between 500-700 words
  • Content Strategy
  • Marketing strategy
  • Editorial calendar
  • Use headings, bullet points, pictures
  • Less text
  • Visual stimulation

5. Email Marketing
Email marketing is mostly used for clients who are not yet ready to buy or those who have asked for our company links. Company profile/portfolio in PDF format is attached with emails and sent to leads. We need to invest some time and start preparing email templates which will be sent to different types of prospects.

6. Mobile Phone (SMS & Whatsapp Messages) Marketing 
Mobile marketing is when we make direct cold calls to our potential customers or send SMS, MMS to them. SMS reminders for upcoming events is a good idea. A day before big events, SMS is sent to participants as a reminder. It can also be used to inform them that an email has been sent to them and they may check it. A lot of businesses these days abuse this form of marketing. If a customer has not given his/her phone number then we shouldn't get their details from somewhere else and bombard them with SMS marketing messages. Only interested customers should be sent SMS/Whatsapp messages. 




Let me know if this post helped. All the best. 

Monday, 11 September 2017

A Better Me!

Every time I have stepped into America, I have been asked the same question 'So, you were born on 9-11?'. I just smile and nod. On my birthday, I think this is the best time to make a promise to myself to be a better person. That's the crux of life. This is what we were sent here for. This is the most important ingredient in a good relationship. If we are not good people, our relationships will eventually fail. 



I know I can lose the track and much more than often do things which I know I shouldn't be doing. But today, I promise to make a resolution to myself to be a better version of myself. I want to become a better human being, Muslim, citizen, wife, daughter, sister, neighbor, employee, Tennis player, cousin and friend. I want to be the best version of myself inside out in all my roles in life, now and forever. This day I promise myself the following:


Wednesday, 23 August 2017

100 Things to Make You Happy

Hello there. I hope you are doing awesome. I wanted to come up with a different post today. I never thought of doing a book review on my blog until I came across this astounding book by National Geographic. Almost year round, I have an eye out  for things I can buy and keep for my darling niece who visits Pakistan once every year. Recently, I went to Variety Books in Packages mall and found this masterpiece. I would definitely recommend this book to all parents. Its just fabulous and a must-have. 

In spite of my busy routine I kept this book in my gym bag, brought it to office and finished the whole book in half an hour just when I reached office the very next day. I have been so excited about it and I wanted to read it before I gift it to Anya so we can talk about it. She is such a book worm and I can tell she will fall for this one.