In the driver’s seat – Mishpacha Magazine

In the driver’s seat – Mishpacha Magazine

Para is an app that allows gig workers to see how much money they will actually make on each trip

Ddemolition gig economy intrigue you? Would like to have a little side hustle, but don’t want to burn you with low tips and small orders? Para is an app that lets gig workers see how much money they’ll actually make on each ride via Uber, Grubhub, Shipt, Lyft and others like it. It calculates tips and gas, and allows drivers to enter credentials from a few gaming platforms so they don’t have to switch between apps.

The gig platforms hate it, because it gives transparency to the drivers as well as giving some power back to them. But despite the cease-and-desist letters they’ve sent Para, it’s still around and thriving, with over 400,000 downloads and 100,000 active weekly users.

App notifications
  1. Don’t just design a pretty app; you need to target your ideal user. Designing your app with your specific user in mind will ensure that the people who actually use your app love it, and don’t delete it the second a “low storage space” warning pops up.
  2. Keep analytics available. You will have access to the app’s analytics from the start. The more you know about how people use the app, when, where and how often, etc., the faster you can adjust, target and optimize it. Many people add analytics after the app is built and running, but it’s very wasteful.
  3. Safety is important. If people don’t feel safe, they won’t use your app, no matter how cool it is. Also, do you really want to get hacked or phished after investing so much? Make sure you have clear security protocols in place.
  4. Offer transparency. You and I and everyone else know that no one reads the fine print about user data. So while you may be in the clear legally, being upfront about what data you collect from your users and what you do with it will only make people love and trust you more. So speak up!
  5. Personalization. Dale Carnegie was on to something. There is nothing as sweet as hearing your own name. People love programs that are tailored to their interests, or offers put together just for them. If you can customize the app experience – do it!
  6. Dumb it down. It’s KISS all over again – keep it simple and silly. If people have to figure out your app, they’re gone. Invest in UI and UX to make it easy for people to stick with.
  7. Build “Force Upgrade” into your app from the start. This way, all your users’ apps will be updated automatically, and you won’t have people complaining that it crashed when all they needed was the latest version of your app. This is connected to ideas 4 and 6.
  8. Make sure you match. Your app should have the same vibe and feel as your website and social media presence. Be consistent or you will lose users’ trust.
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What is happening with WhatsApp

WhatsApp is looking to expand its business opportunities and offerings, hoping to monetize an app that is currently free. Soon, businesses will have the ability to accept payments on WhatsApp, making it easier to communicate and transact with customers.

After a trial run in Brazil (their biggest market with 150 million users), the platform plans to roll out an app directory of businesses, and even offer a local search feature so companies can see which companies are near them.

If you were looking for a reason to leave the platform, do it now, before it gets even harder.

Robots yes or no?

Amazon recently developed a new robot named Sparrow, along with its counterparts named Robin and Cardinal. What is special about the Sparrow is its ability to handle small and individual items. All the other bots until now have only handled whole packets, not objects in the packet.

The call from the opposition is of course that this development will dehumanise the packaging industry, and there will be redundancies. In return, Amazon insists that these robots will free people from boring, repetitive tasks, giving them time and space to do more interesting and stimulating things.

Personally, I would love to pack someone else’s pack, and I don’t think I’m the only yenta out there who will find this interesting.

On the official side of the company, robotics researchers at Tohoku University in Japan have developed WaddleWalls, automatic reconfigurable walls. They allow you to set up office spaces and cubicles in a million different ways, depending on your needs for the day: Open concept in the morning, privacy cubicles in the afternoon – without you lifting a finger.

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Time for someone to leave? Just let his cubicle walls slide away; he gets the message.

Agency Shmagency

Everyone and her sister seem to have one, either with their cousin, solo, or contracts for one, and you still haven’t quite figured out what they all do.

Let’s talk about digital agencies and the types of services they offer. SEO Agency – SEO stands for search engine optimization (but you know that). Basically, their goal is to get you to appear number one on Google’s organic (non-paid) search. They do this by making sure that all the content on your website is organized and optimized exactly the way Google likes it. They will help you with keywords, formatting, technical stuff and maybe even SEO optimized content writing.

PPC Google Advertising Agency – PPC is pay-per-click. This is direct advertising on Google that helps you target specific keywords and optimize your campaigns to ensure your target audience sees it.

Marketing in social media – Each social media platform works differently, with different audiences, algorithms and features, and knowing how to optimize for each one is a talent. These agencies will help you develop your message, your posts and stay on target. Social media is really too broad a term in this context; ideally you should have one person for each platform your business is on. Many agencies will even run the entire site for you. (I don’t recommend it, but that’s for another day.)

Inbound Marketing – Inbound marketing is an overall approach to marketing where you get the customer to come to you, instead of pitching you to them. This is done by using many different marketing techniques from blogs to webinars, to social media to email and the like. An inbound marketing agency may use techniques from other agencies, but they have an overarching philosophy that guides all of their decisions.

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Content Marketing – If it can be published, it can be called content, whether it is text, graphics, video, sound and the like. Content marketing agencies produce the material you want to post on your website or social media. Is there an overlap here between social media agencies and SEO companies? Possibly. But really they are all separate skills. Content marketing is usually part of an inbound marketing strategy, which is a different approach to marketing than direct response, so it’s important to know what you’re getting with any agency.

E-mail marketing – Emails can fall under copy and content, but really, when you add in the email service provider, privacy policies, list maintenance, analytics and segmentation, it’s its own marketing beast. People stick with email despite its complexity because of all marketing approaches, it has the highest ROI (hmmm, maybe it got so deep and complicated because people realized there was real money to be made from it). Either way, an email marketing agency will create different email campaigns for your business and then optimize them for the highest conversation rates by reviewing your analytics, segmenting your list, a/b testing subject lines, and other fun techniques.

Web design – If you want your stuff to look good on the Internet, you need a web designer to make it look good. And if you want it to work and not just stand there and look pretty, you need a web designer. They serve both fashion and function. Web design agencies often offer different packages ranging from website development to maintenance to add-ons. They may also offer online copywriting services to complement their offerings.

(Originally mentioned in Mishpacha, issue 938)

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