Pop Quiz, Monday with Aisha Hillary-Morgan

So much to love. I love working with such a wonderful variety of businesses and passionate, intelligent and driven people.

Aisha Hillary-Morgan

The Pop Quiz, Monday is a fun little exam that we love to give to savvy business owners. The examination is not a surprise after all since the interviewee already knew about the questions in advance. However, we can always pretend and have fun with the scenario of a young entrepreneur sitting in class nervously biting on their pencil. They are ready to take a pop quiz on a chapter that they were supposed to read the night before. Instead, they played Metroid all night on their SNES (Oops, this was me in high school). The real purpose of the pop quiz is that this is a fun way to introduce business tips from real-world experiences that you can not learn in a classroom. We want to thank our entrepreneur for being a good sport and volunteering their time to answer a few questions to help our community grow from their knowledge.

I want to introduce you to our guest today who will be taking our Pop Quiz Monday.

Can you please tell everyone your name?
Aisha Hillary-Morgan

Aisha Hillary-Morgan
Photo credit: Aisha Hillary-Morgan

What is your job role?
Founder, Strategist & Storyteller

Tell us about your company?
Digital and Agile consulting is a small consulting group providing digital and agile strategies to start-ups, to help navigate today’s rapidly changing landscape with confidence and ease. We work with businesses that have a clear vision to challenge the way things are done and disrupt current business models. We help business with passion grow with purpose.

What do you love most about your job?
So much to love. I love working with such a wonderful variety of businesses and passionate, intelligent and driven people. I work across industries in fintech, the sharing economy, digital marketplaces, crypto, fitness, and fashion. The people I work with inspire my team and me.

Helping businesses fulfill their dreams is also so rewarding. When you work across so many different industries and look at the business from a practical point of view, you can help and make a difference. Often founders have an emotional drive that does not always lead you to the best decision.

Also, I also love being my own boss. Being able to make decisions quickly, be there for my clients whenever they need me and be able to be creative all day. Being able to choose the people I believe in and want to work with is so fulfilling.

What motivates you to get up every day and go to work?
Changing the way we live and work and making the world a better place little by little. I have no delusions of grandeur; however, I do know that I can help the businesses I work with and ultimately the people who use the product.

Also, (sometimes) not knowing what my day will hold. I am not a lover of monotony.

How do your co-workers inspire you?
I love how everyone is so incredibly different and has different talents. It is so important to surround yourself with smarter people than yourself or at least can do certain things better than you. I also really enjoy having people as a soundboard to bounce ideas off or challenge. Collaboration is always the best way to ensure an idea is fully reaslised.

How do you have fun at work (team building, pranks, etc..)?
I have a small team and often meet with my clients just around meetings, but it is so important to spend quality time and know the person behind the business. What makes them tick and how to get the best out of them. The occasional lunch outing and banter that is separate from work is important. A good tea break and gossip never go astray either. It’s important not be serious all the time, and I find that a flexible workplace environment encourages creativity, productivity, and a good tummy giggle.

What are some of the challenges of your job?
We are a small team, so we need to manage lots of things at the same time. Jack of all trades.

In addition to that, I can work unconventional hours, as I need to be ready for when my clients need me and when you are working for a startup, you might have a media opportunity, a new product that needs launching ASAP or partnership that needs to be negotiated, immediately. Even you need to be a sounding board for a founder who has a niggling concern. However, I am lucky as I love what I do so that doesn’t necessarily bother me.
I think the biggest challenge is saying “no” to prospective clients I’ve really wanted to work with but have too many commitments at that point in time. Saying “yes” to everything once I expand is something I am really looking forward to.

What are some lessons learned from a past project that you can share with us?
Here are five tips to help you become a leader, not a laggard.

  1. Get the basics right

Stalk your customer – I say this a lot however it is fundamental to your success. You must understand your customers’ buying journey and exceed expectations. Tailor the online experience to complement your other channels and customer interactions.

Have a realistic budget – Customer attraction and retention are crucial for small businesses. Have you set aside a budget for marketing? As a guideline, 5% of revenues is recommended for existing businesses and approximately10% for start-ups. ROI (return-on-investment) should always be key when measuring your marketing efforts. Smart investments will ensure you are well positioned to attract consumers now and in the future.

Why should people connect with you? – People connect with people. Why have you created your product? What problem are you trying to solve? How can you add value? Only then, can you make rich, engaging content that will drive people to your site and keep them coming back.

Tip 1: Get your fundamentals clear before you build your digital profile to maximise success.

  1. Make your website work for you

Contact and capture – ensure your contact details are visible and consistent throughout your site and on business listings. Capture data where possible to enable you to continue to the conversation.

Experience is everything – design an appealing, easy-to-use interface that will be a pleasure to use.

Content is king – update content on a consistent basis to stay relevant to your customer and in a search.

Analytics – Know where your visitors are coming from, their journey on your website and where they are bouncing. Improve the experience through navigation tweaks and relevant content. Use results reporting to inform your strategy.

Tip 2: Customers are unforgiving so make each engagement work, starting with your website.

  1. Think mobile-first

The rise of the multi-channel shopper is directly linked to the growth of the smartphone and tablet. Armed with these tools in hand, shoppers can easily review, research and shop on the go, 24/7. However, the vast majority of small business owners, 9 out of 10, are not optimised.

Mobile audit – what devices are your customers coming to your website from? What are they looking at? Understand your mobile user.

Mobile-specific – Make an easier and slimmed down version of your website, relevant for mobile. Clear call to action messaging including click to call, maps and purchase is essential.

Short and concise messaging- will improve the experience and rank more favourably with Google.

Tip 3: Have a mobile-first approach, because your customers do.

  1. Improve your quality score with Google

As many people have the first-page syndrome, your site won’t even get a look-in if it is not on the first page of Google search.

Keywords & SEO smarts – use defining and searchable keywords on the front and backend when creating content. Incorporate keywords used when searching for products and services. Incorporates keywords into anchor text in page URL links and adds keyword-specific titles, descriptions, and tags to videos posted on your website.

Google extensions – make sure you are using them all where relevant.

Boost your analytics game – know your stats. Understand where your users are coming from and make the path to purchase easy and relevant.

Tip 4: Be all over your SEO and optimise Google Adworks. If not, your competitor will be.

  1. Get social

Your consumers are social so build an engaging social media presence.

Social channels much work for your business and your customers – what is the most relevant platform to have a one-on-one conversation with your consumers?

The consistency imperative – consumers expect businesses to update their social media channels several times a week with relevant information. Create an editorial calendar to stay connected.

Respond promptly – set up a process for monitoring your business’ social channels and ensure you don’t miss opportunities.

Share – your social presence wherever you can and on all your established collateral. Provide incentive to follow or engage with your business.

Tip 5: Stay relevant, get social and don’t miss out on a one-on-one conversation with your customer.

For over 15 years I have helped businesses connect with their customers, grow revenue channels and create operational efficiencies through digital. Mobile and emerging technologies provide small businesses with immense opportunities. Get on board the rocket ship.

What advice would you give to someone who is starting out in your industry?

  1. You will fail, love it.
    If something doesn’t go as planned, don’t be so hard on yourself. Mistakes happen, you will fail many times and the best part about it is the only way is up, and you will never do it again.
  2. It is all about people
    Surround yourself with supportive people (family, friends, partners collaborators).
    Get yourself a good team. Even if they’re not full-time make sure you have a list of multiple freelancers you can rely on.
    Also, importantly build a good relationship with people you receive products/services from. Find multiple you can trust. See if you can help them out in any way as you never know when you might need last minute favour.
    Great strategic partnerships are what helps you create and flourish — media partnerships, community partnerships, service partnerships, etc. You don’t have to be the best at everything but if you partner with the best then overall you can have the best solution.
  3. Know who your customer is and make sure what you have is what they want. Right now. You might have a fantastic vision for the future but start small, educate and take them on the journey. But.. be prepared to wait for them to come on board. It is always 10x longer than you think. If not… pivot. Create an MVP and test test test.
  4. Create a lot of assets — creative, content, video, etc. People will need to be told in 10 different ways about your service, across ten different platforms so be prepared to share your story over and over and over again. People are inundated with messages and definitely, don’t have the same passion as you. Also be prepared to tell you stories in many different ways, tailor it to the platform, to your personas and to the time of year. No one ever said it would be easy.

Thank you for taking our pop quiz today. You get an A+ for effort. You can learn more about our interviewee and their business by visiting them on the web:

Insta @digitalandagile
Facebook Digital and Agile

The Formula: The Universal Laws of Success

“This is not just an important but an imperative project: to approach the problem of randomness and success using the state of the art scientific arsenal we have. Barabasi is the person.”–Nassim Nicholas Taleb, author of the New York Times bestselling The Black Swan and Distinguished Professor of Risk Engineering at NYU

Author: Ricky Singh, MBA

Editor of The Startup Growth.

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