Customer Onboarding Success Secret: Don’t Overwhelm Customers

I’ve said this before, but it is worth repeating; Customer Success is not limited to one part of the customer lifecycle, and Customer Success Management is not limited to simply helping the customer get up and running at first or to save them from churning later.

Rather, when a company has Customer Success as their operating model, they see every aspect of the customer lifecycle and every milestone of the customer journey as just as important as the rest.

In this article I tackle one of the biggest problems I see in Customer Onboarding. It’s a problem that isn’t caused by neglecting the customer in fact, it’s caused by the exact opposite: overwhelming the customer.

Let’s explore this, shall we?

Most of the time, you overwhelm our customers.

You overwhelm your new users, but it’s not because you’re being negative or doing anything wrong. In fact, you’re probably trying to help.

You’re probably saying, I want to give my customer freedom. I want to let them do anything. I want to give them everything because I want to over deliver, and none of that is coming from a place of being negative.

But it ends up being a negative experience for the customer because they’re overwhelmed.

They don’t know what to do.

They don’t know how to get started.

In such cases, you misunderstand where you exist in their world right from the beginning.

When you first have a relationship with the customer or first have a relationship with a particular user, you’re not necessarily the center of their universe yet, and you need to be honest about that.

You need to understand that; you need to be clear on that so that you can figure out how to become the center of their universe at some point.

But if you don’t understand that, and you just assume from the very beginning that you are everything to them, you’re probably not going to become anything to them.

That’s why I say the seeds of churn are planted early, and that happens sometimes in the sales process and sometimes in marketing, but most of the time, it happens in the onboarding process.

It’s easy to assume the seeds of churn are planted from neglect but to extend that analogy, you can also kill plants by overwatering or overfeeding.

So, you need to get really clear on what it’s going to take to get the customer to be successful.

That’s why I say, figure out what onboarded means. Draw that line in the sand. That’s your first success milestone.

Then, figure out what has to happen to get them there, and then, just operationalize that.

Your only job is to get them to do the next thing, then the next thing, then the next thing, so that they get to the point where they have what is called first value delivered or first value achieved, and the time it takes to get them there is the metric called time to first value.

Don’t overwhelm don’t over deliver. Just deliver.

Appropriate Experience is your new best friend.

The post Customer Onboarding Success Secret: Don’t Overwhelm Customers appeared first on Customer Success-driven Growth.

Fidelity portfolio manager: Look internationally for new investment ideas

The Bottom Line banner_video_02Business Insider

Bill Kennedy, a portfolio manager at Fidelity investments, spoke to Henry Blodget about how international markets may be the place to be after years of underperforming the US. This is due to better earnings clarity overseas, which improves the environment for stock pickers. He points out the low valuations for international stocks, relative to their US counterparts, and says it’s time for a shift. Kennedy highlights one of his top holdings, an Indian mortgage company, holding it up as an example of a stock that can give you broad exposure.

The 5 best new songs you can stream right now, from the likes of Led Zeppelin’s Robert Plant and Grizzly Bear

Led Zeppelin Robert PlantGetty Images

This week, Led Zeppelin’s Robert Plant and LCD Soundsystemboth released new singles, andGrizzly Bear put out one of the year’s best albums.

Grizzly Bear -“Aquarian”

Grizzly Bear’s Daniel Rossen sings ominously of “great disaster” amid atempestuous swirl of electric guitars on “Aquarian,” a highlight from the indie-rock band’s masterful new LP, “Painted Ruins.”

LCD Soundsystem -“tonite”

LCD Soundsystem singer James Murphy paces and rant-sings through a vocoder about the state of the music industry in the video for “tonite,” an ’80s-inspired synth anthem from the group’s upcoming album, “American Dream.”

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KMD – “True Lightyears” (feat. DOOM and Jay Electronica)

DOOM and Jay Electronica, hip hop’s two most notoriously reclusive geniuses, team on “True Lightyears,” an Adult Swim-released single from DOOM’s forthcomingalbum with his original rap group, KMD.

See the rest of the story at Business Insider

Twitch acquired video indexing platform ClipMine to power new discovery features

In an announcement about a set of new discovery tools, Amazon-owned video game streaming site Twitch also unveiled that it recently acquired Palo Alto-based video indexing platform ClipMine. The startup’s technology is now being put to use to translate visual information in videos like objects, text, logos and scenes into metadata that can help people more easily find Read More

Pinterest Pinstyle Report Gives Small Boutiques and Beauty Salons Trendy Post Ideas

2017 Pinstyle Report from Pinterest Gives Small Boutiques and Beauty Salons Plenty of Trendy Post Ideas

If you’re in the fashion or beauty industry, you know keeping on top of trends is what keeps customers coming through the door. But knowing what’s popular at any given moment can be difficult.

That’s where the2017 Pinstyle Reportmay be helpful. The report details the top searches on the site for these two specific industries.

Use Data to Reach Your Customers

Pinterest says its users are looking at the site to help build their personal style.So businesses offering products in the fashion or beauty market can use the report to figure out what most Pinterest users are looking for on the platform.

What’s more, savvy marketers can use the data to determine how best to present their products based on popular searches already going on.

For example, small businesses selling products like scarves and leggings might create posts on how to wear these products since this seems to be the context in which most Pinterest users at the moment are searching.

On the other hand, small businesses selling formal wear intended for weddings, concerts and other special events might wish to post content aimed at another set of users. These are potential customers already seeking information on what to wear to such occasions. And interest in these types of products on the platform is currently also quite high.

Finally, small business owners can simply use this information to get noticed on Pinterest. For example, you could use the information to create strong pin captions on highly popular topics to help you gain more exposure and drive sales.

Here’s a quick look at the main highlights of the study.

2017 Pinstyle Report

Top How-To Searches

In the how to wear category, top searches included:

  • Leggings
  • Boyfriend jeans
  • Distress jeans
  • Booties
  • Scarves
  • White
  • A maxi skirt
  • A bralette
  • High waisted denim
  • Overalls

In the what to wear category, top searches include:

  • To a wedding
  • To a concert
  • On a plane
  • To work
  • To an interview
  • On a date

In the how-to category, top searches were for these topics:

  • Curl your hair
  • Curl short hair
  • Contour your face
  • Style short hair
  • Clean makeup brushes
  • Curl hair with a flat iron
  • Cut bangs
  • Do eyebrows
  • Apply eyeshadow

Top style searches included:

  • Street
  • Bohemian
  • Hippie
  • Classic
  • Hijab
  • Grunge
  • French
  • Preppy
  • Casual

Top searches for dress outfits include:

  • Maxi
  • Shift
  • Midi
  • T-shirt
  • Slip

Pinners also looked for denim outfits by cut, color and style. Searches included:

Top cuts

  • Boyfriend
  • High waisted
  • Skinny
  • Mom
  • Flare

Top colors

  • Black
  • White

Top styles

  • Ripped
  • Jean jacket
  • Jean on jean
  • Denim dress

Top searches for outerwear include:

  • Leather jacket
  • Bomber jacket
  • Jean jacket (including oversized, blue, white and patches)
  • Green jacket
  • Camo jacket

Beauty Searches include

  • Short
  • Pixie
  • Bob

Top searches in hair colors

  • Ombre
  • Balayage
  • Blonde
  • Brown
  • Red
  • Black
  • Purple

Top searches in hairstyles

  • Braided
  • Curly

Top searches in nails

  • Matte
  • Black
  • White
  • Nude

Top searches on eyes

  • Smoky
  • Winged eyeliner
  • Eye makeup for eye color (blue, green, brown and hazel)
  • Hooded eye makeup
  • Gold eye makeup
  • Glitter eyeshadow

Top searches on lips

  • Matte
  • Red
  • Dark
  • Black
  • Brown
  • Nude
  • Purple

Pinterest Photo via Shutterstock

This article, “Pinterest Pinstyle Report Gives Small Boutiques and Beauty Salons Trendy Post Ideas” was first published on Small Business Trends

Facebook knew Snapchat was flailing even before Snap’s IPO

FILE PHOTO - A woman stands in front of the logo of Snap Inc. on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) while waiting for Snap Inc. to post their IPO, in New York City, New York, U.S. on March 2, 2017. REUTERS/Lucas Jackson/File Photo Thomson Reuters

User metrics are incredibly important for social media companies, since advertisers follow eyeballs. As such, slowing user growth was easily thefirst red flagthat investors noticed whenSnapfiled its S-1 Registration Statement with the SEC in February of this year ahead of its March IPO. As it turns out, larger rivalFacebookalready knew that user growth on Snapchat was quickly decelerating.

The Wall Street Journalreportsthat Facebook had an inside track due to its acquisition of Onavo a few years back, a small mobile-analytics company that reportedlyfetched $100 million to $200 million. Onavo had two main offerings: technology that helped optimize performance and battery life, as well as analytics that could help developers understand the marketplace. Facebook initially saidthe primary purpose for the acquisition was Onavo’s data compression technology, which could help with its efforts to bring internet connectivity to emerging markets.

snap seq user growth labels_largeThe Motley Fool

However, Onavo’s analytics gave Facebook an early preview as to how Snapchat was performing, even when it was still a private company. Specifically, Facebook knew that Snapchat didn’t add many users in Q4 2016.

Facebook knows what you’ve been doing (if you use Onavo Protect)

The Onavo Protect app that is available on iOS and Android is billed as a way for users to keep data secure and private by creating a virtual private network (VPN). This can be useful in protecting against malicious sites or phishing attempts.

The iOS App Store listing makes it clear: “To provide this layer of protection, Onavo establishes a secure connection used to direct all of your network communications through Onavo’s servers. As part of this process, Onavo receives and analyzes information about your mobile data and app use.” What’s less clear upfront is that “Onavo’s servers” really means “Facebook’s servers.”

The App Store doesn’t list how many times an app has been downloaded, but Google Play does: between 10 millionand 50 million Android users have downloaded Onavo Protect. Citing data from Sensor Tower, the app has been downloaded 24 million times (mostly Android), according totheJournal.

Snapchat is much more popular on iOS, and its Android app has been plaguedwith performance problems that have hurt its appeal on that platform, adversely affecting user growth. “The majority of our user engagement is on smartphones with iOS operating systems. As a result, although our products work with Android mobile devices, we have prioritized development of our products to operate with iOS operating systems rather than smartphones with Android operating systems,” Snap writesin SEC filings.

It’s this routing of traffic through Facebook’s servers that gave it insight into how Snapchat was faring. The dominant social network is able to analyze the traffic data to see what apps people use, which Facebook reportedly then uses in planning its product roadmap and considering what services to develop. While 24 million downloads of Onavo Protect certainly doesn’t cover the entire installed base, it’s quite statistically significant, so Facebook could derive some meaningful competitive insights.

Isn’t it ironic?

This report is one of a couple ironic (and somewhat shady) storylines recently. Facebook is reportedly interested indeveloping video chatting hardware, which might be able to monitor you at all times using artificial intelligence; Mark Zuckerberg tapes over his laptop’s webcam and microphone due to privacy concerns.

Now, Facebook appears to be using a data security and encryption app to glean insights into user behavior. It wouldn’t be a stretch to say that Onavo Protect is effectively a form of spyware (which some user reviews arguethat it is), even if users blindly agree to the terms and conditions.

NOW WATCH: Amazon has an oddly efficient way of storing stuff in its warehouses

30+ Free Instagram Tools to Help You Grow Your Following

More than 700 million people use Instagram and 400 million of those users check the app daily.

With such a large audience, and some incredibly business friendly updates such as Instagram Ads, Stories, and Business Tools, Instagram is becoming a must-have channel in many social media marketing strategies.

Sohow can you stand out from the crowd and grow your Instagram following?

We’ve previously shared proven tactics for growing your followingand easy ways to increase your organic reach. And this time, we would love to share a big list of free Instagram tools that’ll help you to grow your following.

Going beyond the usual photo editing tools, we’ll also be sharing tools for finding the best hashtags to use, running Instagram contests, displaying your Instagram posts on your website, and more.

Let’s dive right in.

30+ Free Instagram Tools to Help You Grow Your Following

30+ free Instagram tools to help you grow your following

It’s wonderful to think that there are so many free tools available to help you grow your Instagram following.

Here’s a round up of over 30 free Instagram tools that can help you with your Instagram marketing, everything from creating amazing Instagram posts and stories to finding the best hashtags, to planning your Instagram schedule, to analyzing your Instagram performance.

Note: Some of the tools mentioned below have limited features on their free plan and offer more features in their paid plans.

1. Photo Editor by Aviary

Photo Editor by Aviary is one of the most comprehensive and highly recommended photo editing apps.With the app, you can enhance a photo with a single tap, add effects and stickers, draw, add text, and more.

There are over one-thousand free photo effects, stickers, and frames in the app but more are available for purchase if you’d like to expand your library.

Photo Editor by Aviary is available on Android, iOS, and Windows, which means you can most likely use it regardless of which smartphone you’re using.

2. PicFlow


With PicFlow, you can easily create 15-second video slideshows for Instagram in three quick steps:

  1. Select your photos
  2. Select a music
  3. Set the timing of each photo by tapping

If you would like to make longer videos, remove the (tiny) watermark, or unlock more transitions between photos, you can purchase them from within the app for less than $3.

Pic Flow is available on Android and iOS.

3. Canva


Canva is one of our favorite free design tools for creating images for social media, blog posts, and more.

The team at Canva has created many amazing Instagram stories templatesthat you can customize. The templates come in the ideal dimensions so you can focus on the design and not worry about getting the aspect ratio and size right.

Just pick a template and change the text, images, and background to your liking.

(Canva has an iOS app for those who like to design on the go. Or you can use it to download your designs to your mobile phone directly.)

4. Adobe Spark

Adobe Spark

Adobe Spark is another free design tool that we love at Buffer.

Here’s a unique feature of Adobe Spark that I like: just by turning a dial in the editor, I can get different design recommendations for my caption.

You can learn more about how to create Instagram stories with Adobe Spark and get 10 free Instagram stories templates here.

5. StoriesAds


StoriesAds is an online tool for creating Instagram Stories ads (and good-looking vertical videos).

It provides several templates you can work with so that you don’t have to create a video from scratch. The intuitive video editor also prompts you about the things you have to change to customize the video.

As it is stated on the site that it is Free for a limited time, you might have to pay to use the tool in the future.

6 9. Other content creation tools

  1. InstaSize (Android, iOS, and Windows)
  2. PicPlayPost (Android,iOS, and Windows)
  3. Quick (Android and iOS)
  4. Studio Design (Android and iOS)

If you are interested in knowing more mobile apps for creating content, you might like our roundup of 26 apps to help you create epic content on your smartphone.

10. Buffer

Buffer for Instagram

Planning your Instagram posts in advance can help you save time and ensure that your profile is well-curated and consistent.

As you might know, Instagram doesn’t allow third-party tools to post directly to Instagram, unlike most other social media platforms. While Buffer can’t help you post on your behalf, we would love to help you plan and schedule posting reminders.

On the free plan, you can plan your Instagram marketing for one account. If you would like to connect multiple Instagram accounts or get the analytics, you could give Buffer for Business a go.


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Buffer for Instagram is Here: 8 Ways to Get Your Best Instagram Marketing Results with Buffer

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11. Display Purposes

Display Purposes

Display Purposes is a great tool for finding the best hashtags to use for your Instagram posts.

Simply type in a few hashtags related to your Instagram post and Display Purposes will generate a list of hashtags that are relevant and popular. It also filters out banned and spammy hashtags.

You can then manually select the hashtags you want to use or let Display Purposes pick what it thinks might be the best combination of hashtags.

12. Focalmark


Focalmarkis very similar to Display Purposes, except that the suggested hashtags are generated from a list of handpicked hashtags (and it’s a mobile app).

Focalmark is available on Android and iOS.

13. AutoHash


AutoHash uses its computer vision algorithms to recommend the best hashtags to use.

Select a photo in the app and AutoHash will analyze the objects in your photo and suggest relevant hashtags. If you have your GPS turned on, it will also suggest location-based hashtags.

AutoHash is currently available on Android only.

14. UNUM

UNUM wants to help you design your perfect Instagram gallery.

The visual planner in the app allows you to see how your gallery would look like after you post your next few photos. You can also edit your photos and videos, draft your caption and hashtags, and schedule your posts with the app.

In its free plan, you get 18 grids to plan your posts and 500 photo and video uploads per month, which I believe are sufficient for small-to-medium businesses. If you would like to have more planning grids and a higher upload limit, UNUM offers two paid subscription plans at $2.99 and $6.99 per month.

UNUM is available oniOS and Android(in beta currently).

15. Later


Later is a popular marketing platform for Instagram, which allows you to visually plan and schedule your Instagram posts.

Just like Buffer, at your scheduled times, Later will send you a notification via its mobile app, prompting you to post on Instagram.

On the free plan, you can schedule up to 30 photos per month, search and repostuser-generated content (UGC), and get basic analytics.

16 17. Other planning tools

  1. Hootsuite
  2. Sprout Social

18. Repost for Instagram

Repost for Instagram

Repost for Instagram lets you repost an Instagram post on your Instagram account with just a few taps while also giving credit to the post owner. It is available on Android and iOS.

Before you repost any photos or videos, rememberto get permission from the post owner and give her or him credit in your caption. This is required by Instagram’s Term of Useand is doing right by the amazing creators and businesses on Instagram.

To get permission for reposting the post, you can use any one of the following ways:

  • Send the post owner a direct message
  • Comment on the post
  • Connect via email

Some people do ask for a fee for using their photos since it’s part of their livelihood. Be sure to iron out such details before reposting any Instagram post.

If you are using the Buffer mobile app – Android or iOS, you can alsoeasily add a repost into your Buffer queue after you have gotten the permission to repost it.

19. ShortStack


We have found that hosting giveaway contests on Instagram is a great way to drive engagement and reach on Instagram.

ShortStack has a tool for organizing user-generated content (UGC) contests, where participants enter by posting a photo with your hashtag on Instagram. ShortStack will then collect and display the UGC, which can help you increase your brand.

On the free plan, you can host an unlimited number of contests and collect up to 100 entries. ShortStack also has paid plans if you want to collect more entries and get more advanced features.

20. Gleam


Gleam takes a slightly different approach to social media contests. It has an Instagram widget which you can add to your website and drive visitors to your Instagram account.

For example, you could require people to follow you on Instagram or view a particular Instagram post to participate in your contest.

On the free plan, you can host an unlimited number of contests, accept an unlimited number of entries, and select up to 10 winners. If you would like to get more features such as adding a feature image and customizing your widget, Gleam has two paid plans: Pro ($39 per month) and Business ($149 per month).

21. Feed Them Social

Feed Them Social

Feed Them Social is a WordPress plugin for displaying your social media feeds on your website. By having your Instagram feed on your website, you could encourage your visitors to check out and follow your Instagram account.

According to reviews of the plugin, it takes only a few clicks to set up the feed and the team provides excellent, timely support.

You can see a demo of our Instagram feed here.

22 24. Other WordPress plugins

  1. Instagram Feed
  2. AccessPress Instagram Feed
  3. Instagram Feed WD

25. Instagram Insights

Instagram Insights

Instagram Insights is the Instagram analytics for users with a business profile.

In there, you can see the performance of your Instagram posts and stories and get insights about your followers such as when they are active on Instagram.

If you would like to learn more about Instagram Insights, we went more in-depth into the metrics you can get and the things you could do with your Instagram analytics in our Instagram analytics guide.

26. Squarelovin


If you don’t have a business profile on Instagram, you could use an Instagram analytics tool like Squarelovin.

Squarelovin has a free Instagram insights tool that provides you with your engagement and growth metrics, shows your posting history, and suggests the best times to post.

27 30+. Other analytics tools

  1. Keyhole
  2. Union Metrics Instagram account checkup

For more Instagram analytics tools, check out our Instagram analytics guide where we share seven more free Instagram analytics tools.

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What’s your favorite free Instagram tool?

Growing an Instagram following is challenging. But with the right tools, it can become much easier to create quality content, engage your followers, and analyze your performance – which will help you grow your following.

What’s your favorite free Instagram tool that I’ve missed in this post? It’ll be great if you want to give it a shout out below and share what you like about it!


Image credit:Unsplash and the respective tools