Batch’s Editor Utility Shirt Is an Everyday Adventure Classic

Crafted with reinforced seams, dimensional pockets, a no fuss button down collar and a comfortable tailored fit, Batch’s Editor Utility Shirt is an everyday adventure classic. With a variety of deep, rich colors (Olive Green, Dark Burgundy, Dark Navy, Slate Grey and Jet Black), this shirt is easy to pair with anything. Even better, all of the Batch shirts in the line are made one small batch at time with the highest attention to detail, which makes them one of the most effective style pieces you can add to your wardrobe. Dress better with Batch.

THE BEST PLACES TO GO ON SAFARI IN APRIL

Still off the beaten track, Sri Lanka offers something for everyone, with great wildlife throughout the parks of Yala, Wilpattu and Minneriya, the cultural highlights of Kandy and the ancient cities of Anuradhapura and Polonnaruwa, and some great coastline to relax on. None of these however are reasons to travel during the month of April. The best reason to travel during the April (and even March) is to see (and swim with) the blue whales. During these two months of the year only, we are one of the only companies to provide access to swimming alongside these huge ocean beasts as they bathe off the coastline.

This is our favoured month for tracking the Royal Bengal Tigers of India in the wild. April provides high enough temperatures to provide perfect tracking conditions, but still not too hot to make it unbearable. April really does maximise your chances but our best advice is to ensure that you are staying in properties that have air conditioning or at least fans in order to escape the heat of the day.

Why not try something exotic and head to the beaches of colourful Costa Rica… During the months of December through to April, conditions are much drier with April being the end of the peak season (careful as this can mean that this fits with the US holidays as well making places rather busy). April however provides some of the driest months making a beach retreat a tempting prospect and is also a great month to spot leatherback turtles.

For those keen photographers out there, we often recommend the rainy months of March and April to track the gorillas of Uganda and Rwanda. This may seem bizarre, however the overcast conditions provide better conditions for photography rather than the glare of the hot sun during the drier months of the year which leaves little contrast when photographing your subjects against the tropical jungle background. For further information on gorilla tracking and our photography tips please view our free gorilla guide.

For a different species of primate April marks the start of the dry season in Madagascar offering the opportunity to see lemurs.

If tropical islands and white sand beaches appeal then April is an excellent month for seeing the marine life of the Seychelles; water temperatures are high and visibility is generally excellent at this time of year.

Top 5 Animal Costumes for Children

Animal and little kids are the perfect combination; animal dresses blend well and make a great costume for kids. You can find varieties of adorable dresses for your child; however, narrowing your option to 5 would be quite tough. No matter whether your kid is young or too small, sleeping infant wearing Pikachu Onesie can be simply too adorable. Kids look very cute, wearing furry and fuzzy costumes along with funny accessories, and paints, especially with whisker coated on their chubby cheeks. Before you go to clothing shops and spend some large amount on expensive costumes, look through your child’s junk drawers, closets, and crafts boxes for inspiration. Here are some best animal dresses, which are perfect for toddlers, infants, and kids of all ages. For fun attires, go for Kigurumi Onesies that come in different mascot heads, spats, body structure, etc. You can also make use of paint and makeup on whiskers and nose.

Choose According to the Theme

If there is no theme, you can choose the animal costume of your kid’s choice, whatever you find fancy. Scroll through Kigurumi section to see wide range of products. If you’re presenting your kids or coupling with other, you can buy either contrasting or matching dress, adding a whole new element to the fun. For example, you can make your kid a mouse, shying away from elephant onesies.

You do not have to create a complete new dress, but instead use the accessoriessmartly, which will add fun factor and authenticity. You can add some firework to create sparkle in your dragon dress or add banana to improve monkey costume, keeping safety and health rules in mind.

Puppies

White, black, grey, tan, and brown hooded sweat suit fabric in contrasting shades (brown spots, white suits) can be merged together. Choose a pair of sock matching dress collar or belt. Little girls and boy’s dresses as puppy dogs look just adorable; they can be wildly revved-up, poodles, or beagles.

Cats

Give felines the equal billing; children dresses as kitties look cute, which you are definitely going to pamper. These attires can be professionally created; to be more elaborate, include some fake ears or keep it simple as little leotard. You could take a sweat-suit in gold, white, grey, black, tan colours and match with same or similar socks.

Lions and Tigers

Kids look equally delightful in tiger and lion’s dresses, like kitties; a small baby that looks like king of forest shouldn’t be given a miss. While making ears for kid’s animal costume, keep the sewing loose, so that you can reuse the top, after the party event or fancy dress competition.

Dragon/Dinosaur

The red sheet or green hooded sheet of blue can be matched with fabric glue; you can choose the yellow version and add some pointy tail. You can get different kinds, styles of dinosaur or dragon, and buy the one in which, your kid feels comfortable.

Butterfly

Kids look just cute in butterfly attire that comes with a wing. Choose unique, enticing colour and paint wings with florescent shades in different patterns and shapes.

It is often observed that friendly frogs, cuddly pooh bears, and pink pigs cause risk at social events. You need to choose an appealing onesie that gets plenty of accolades.

Getting Big Results with a Tiny Marketing Department

42% of the small businesses we surveyed invest less than 3% of their revenue into marketing. And only 14% of them outsource their marketing, public relations and advertising.

This is notably different to how they handle the complementary tasks of graphic design and website design: 54% of small businesses outsource those.

Even in-house efforts tend to be scaled down. One study found that 71% of small businesses have marketing teams made up of five people or less. And that’s no outlier, either. Another study found that 68% of marketing teams were made up of one to three people.

But you probably knew all this. You know all too well about the tight budgets, the small teams, and the need to keep your company’s marketing in-house. You’re on one of these tiny but mighty teams. What you need to know is how to get the same results as teams with a dozen or more marketers. Well, it is possible.

You can beat your competitors, even if they have much larger marketing teams.
You just have to be smarter than they are. Here’s how:

1. Track your results
Small and micro-sized teams have no margin for error. They much spend their time on high-return tasks.

This requires two things:

They know what works
They have an action-based plan for how to do more of it
Let’s focus on that first bit. To “know what works” more specifically means you’ve got something like goals set up in Google Analytics for all the major events that happen on your website. You know where your leads and orders are coming from and how well and where they convert.

2. Have a documented marketing strategy
What’s the one marketing best practice that separates the successful marketers from the rest?

It’s not the size of their budget. It’s not the size of their team. It’s having a documented marketing strategy – a plan on paper – that’s data-backed and specific enough to keep your team on track as the deadlines fly and the campaigns keep coming. A road map, if you will.

It’s especially important to include goals in your marketing strategy. A survey of content marketers done earlier this year found that successful marketers are 4.3x more likely to set goals than average marketers.

3. Automate everything you can
Just because there’s work that has to get down doesn’t mean your team has to do it. It doesn’t mean any human has to do it, either.

So invest in some basic marketing automation. Do stuff like:

Automate your onboarding emails
Automate running reports
Automate sending invoices
Create a good enough self-support area on your website so customers and prospects can actually help themselves.

4. Outsource everything you can
Your small team works hard. Very hard. They have to do a lot of different tasks – to “wear a lot of hats”, as some people say. It’s good that they should be constantly learning new skills, but some skills may not be worth learning.

Take video editing or sound editing, for example. It needs to be done, but learning the software, and doing this very specialized task can take a lot of time. And there are dozens of people on Fiverr who are total pros at video and sound editing. Those pros can get more done in an hour than your team member can do in a day. And they’ll charge less than what you’re paying that team member.

So outsource those edits.

5. Invest in good tools
Smaller teams need to maximize every minute. So if that means they need a couple of marketing or social media services or tools that will speed up their work… get them those tools.

6. Invest in training
Some skills should be outsourced; some skills should be maximized. So buy your team some training. If you do, you’ll automatically be in the top 21% of small business marketing teams.

Our survey found that only 21% of small business owners plan to “invest in training or tools to improve employee productivity.” That’s not so great, but it could be competitive advantage for you, if you’re willing to invest.

7. Have SOPs (standard operating procedures)
Creatives call these workflows. Whatever you call them, everything should have a procedure. And ideally, everything should also have a checklist.

Checklists are awesome for people who operate at maximum efficiency but cannot afford any mistakes. That’s why pilots use them. A good checklist, always checked, can save literally tens of thousands of dollars’ worth of mistakes every year. Not to mention all the time used up and the stress created by mistakes and emergencies.

8. Use an editorial calendar
Here’s another way to avoid surprises: Know what’s coming down the pipe. Editorial calendars make everybody’s life easier. They’ll also keep your team from overcommitting. Burnout is neither productive nor profitable.

9. Steal from your competition
Ethically, of course. So by “steal”, I mean track what your competitors are doing. Test what you see them doing.

Word to the wise: Just because your competitors are doing something doesn’t mean it’s working for them. Or that it will work for you. But if you monitor their moves carefully, you may be able to piggyback on some their work.

10. Build a “testing culture”
Thanks to the tracking you set up, you know what has worked in the past and what works now.

But things may not stay the same. And there may be ways to get even better results than you’re getting now. The only way to know is to test. An ongoing, statistically valid program of A/B split-tests (perhaps one per week) is a great way to be constantly improving.

Conclusion
Don’t let being part of a small team diminish your goals. Some of the most effective, admired marketing teams in the business are “only” about 3-5 people.

A small group of talented people who work hard and smart as a cohesive team can often beat larger teams. Even much larger teams. Especially in markets that change fast. The agility of smaller teams can often trump the resources larger teams wield.

So dream big, little teams. Use your competitive edge.

Use Influencer Marketing to Boost Sales at Your Local Business

Influencer marketing is the modern-day equivalent of a “celebrity spokesperson” endorsement of your business, products or services. However, instead of appearing on TV or magazine pages, influencer marketers are found online, typically on social media, YouTube or blogs. According to Hubspot, 71% of consumers are more likely to purchase based on social media referrals like the ones made by influencers. And a study by MuseFind showed that 92% of buyers trust an influencer more than they do an advertisement.

These “influencers” have large followings of loyal fans. The great thing for you is that their fans don’t really consider these people celebrities but see them more like everyday people that have “gone viral.” This keeps the influencer real and genuine in the eyes of their followers, and most influencers stay true to that.

When your business partners with an influencer, you are essentially asking that person to mention or promote your product or business in one of their social media posts, videos or blog posts – but in a very natural, organic, non-salesy way. These influencers have earned their followers’ trust by being genuine, and most are not going to give that up for a quick buck to blatantly promote a product. So it has to be subtle. If your local business has a product or service that fits in line with a local influencer, it could be a match made in marketing heaven.

And with social media platforms like Facebook starting to lock down their algorithm, making it more and more difficult for companies to have organic reach, partnering with an influencer who has a dedicated audience is a great way to show off your business to a group of people who is already paying attention.

How to Find Local Influencers

When people think of influencers, most people think of the Kim Kardashians of the world. But chances are there are influencers in your backyard, in your own city – you just have to find them.

As an example, the teenagers in my city follow a kid that went to a local high school. His nickname is Flyy. Flyy has a YouTube channel called Flyy Does YouTube where he plays practical jokes and does other funny stuff (sometimes there is language that he bleeps out – or should bleep out — but all in all it’s good fun.) The kids LOVE Flyy and it shows with his whopping 97K subscribers! (Not bad for a 19-year-old kid from Cedar Rapids, IA.)

Flyy plays pranks and other goofy stuff around the city of Cedar Rapids, IA, with his friends, and often local businesses are included in his videos. For instance, in his Christmas video, he makes rounds through various drive-through restaurants in the city dressed as Santa Claus.

In one scene the kids drive through a locally owned Burger King restaurant. Not only do they verbally mention that they’re at the Burger King, they talk about the menu and what they want to order. (Even if you were watching the video with the sound off, you would know where Flyy and his crew were eating):

Now, do you think teenagers in Cedar Rapids will be hungry for Burger King food after watching this video — especially when they see how well the employees took this good-humored spoof? Or the next time they want to get a burger, will they be more likely to stop at the Burger King “that Flyy went to”? You bet! Smart businesses in the area that cater to teens would be wise to give Flyy a call and see if they could coordinate a video recording at their business.

The secret is to find influencers in your city with a large following of your ideal customers. These influencers can be other businesses, local individuals, a local stand-up comic, a band, local entertainers, public speakers, sports coaches, public figures, etc. The point is, you don’t have to look farther than your own community to find influencers who might be willing to partner with you in your marketing efforts.

What Happens After You Find an Influencer? The Magic of Influencer Marketing Begins

Once you find an influencer you want to work with, you need to decide on the “payment.” Sometimes influencers will work in trade (i.e. exchange merchandise, products or services for them mentioning your business) and others want monetary payment. So there will need to be some negotiation on your part. The number of fans the influencer has will also impact how much you will have to pay.

Once you agree on the terms and payment, you would then coordinate the “event” (whether it’s a photo, image, video, post, etc.) For instance, if you own a local restaurant and find a local Instagram food influencer that has a lot of followers that you want to work with, you would schedule a time for that influencer to come into your restaurant, give her your usual royal treatment and let her do what she does best – either take pictures of your delicious food, make a video at your restaurant with your food as the centerpiece or let her take in the food, atmosphere, your staff’s hospitality, etc. and then she will go home and weave your restaurant’s food into her next blog post.

The magic happens when the influencer tags your company in their next piece. The goal is to drive traffic to your social media channels or directly to your business, so you get new followers and new customers!

The FTC Guidelines for Influencer Marketing

You may be asking yourself, “What does the FTC have to do with influencer marketing?” Actually, quite a bit. With the rise of influencer marketing, the FTC wants to make sure that people seeing the “pitch” about your business know that it’s a paid endorsement (no matter how subtle the endorsement is.)

Both you and the influencer need to clearly disclose that there is a relationship between your brand and the influencer, and the FTC has created influencer guidelines for doing that. These rules are especially important for Instagram posts because typically people look at Instagram posts on a mobile device where they can only see the first three lines (unless they click “more” – which they rarely do while on the go.)

Influencer Marketing Will Become More and More Popular

With the internet becoming more crowded and social media becoming an ever-increasing source for product and purchasing suggestions, influencer marketing is only expected to become even bigger. As a local business, you should scope out and partner with your local influencers before your competitors do. Chances are, they’re not even thinking about this marketing strategy – yet. And I hope there’s a Flyy in your city. Good luck!

Travel Destination to Iceland in May

In a land of constant seasonal changes, every month in Iceland is recognisably unique, with May arising as one of the more preferable months to travel here for international visitors.

Not only are flights, accommodation and car rentals all cheaper throughout May—a precursor to the upcoming summer season—but the weather is drastically on the upswing, transforming Iceland into a land of blossom flower, natural rebirth and transient sunshine.

In May, Icelanders begin to step out of their winter hibernation, venturing out into the rare reality of the sun, blue skies and longer days. With it comes an atmosphere of youthful excitement.

Icelanders have long by now known how to maximize the sun’s presence, relaxing in the city parks, enjoying the geothermal beach or hiking Mt. Esja, sipping Gull in an outdoor beer garden, taking to the kayak and hosting BBQ’s. In this rush of excitement and anticipation, visitors may even catch a rare glimpse of an Icelander sporting shorts.

Perhaps most important for those visiting, however, are the tours and activities open throughout the month of May. Thankfully, almost every option is available; whale watching, snorkeling, scuba diving, ATV’s, horseback riding, lava caving, hot spring hunting, glacier and mountain hiking, mountain biking, surfing, sightseeing… the list is endless, and with more daylight hours available, Iceland in May can very quickly be turned into a non-stop adventure.

The only experiences missed in May is, first, witnessing the country blanketed in a snow and darkness (both in equal measure), and second, the possibility of seeing the Northern Lights.

The aurora borealis is a solar phenomenon that can only be seen with clear skies at night; considering May comes close to experiencing the Midnight Sun, seeing the Northern Lights will in no way be a possibility.

There are also a number of festivals, events and public holidays that occur in May, adding a cultural overlay to your vacation here. Not only are there two festivals—RAFLOST: Icelandic Festival of Electronic Arts and Saga Fest—but there is also the opportunity to celebrate religious holidays and even attend events organised as part of the International Day of the Icelandic Horse.

So read on to discover the possibilities open to you throughout May in Iceland; whether it’s a holiday focused on gentle relaxation or adrenaline-fuelled action, there is always an opportunity just waiting over the horizon.

Things to Do in May in Iceland?

As previously stated, visiting Iceland in May means that you will have the opportunity to partake in an enormous wealth of different past times and activities, ranging from the relaxing to the adrenaline fuelled.

Though certain areas of the country are still inaccessible during May—such as the Central Highlands—you will be gratified to discover how many more experiences become available as the summer months begin to roll in.

Hot Springs and Swimming Pools in May in Iceland

One of the more popular attractions in Iceland is to visit a natural, geothermally heated hot spring. Thankfully, with relatively mild weather and calm winds, May is perhaps the best month to do just that.

Iceland is dotted with geothermal pools, some well-known, others little more than modern-day folklore. Despite the difference in surroundings and temperature, Iceland’s geothermal pools are sure to provide a deep and lasting experience.

It is always advised to find out where these pools are before you set out travelling as some are located on private land and, thus, entering requires permission from the landowner. Asking locals as to their own recommendations is a sure-fire way of finding the best spots and ensuring that you don’t get lost along the way.

As opposed to hot spring hunting in the winter—a pastime that involves hopping around at sub-zero temperatures trying to recover your clothes from the wind—May makes dipping oneself into these soothing pools a true pleasure.

Nothing can compete with that overwhelming sensuality that one feels as the summer sun keeps perched high and proud in the illuminated night sky. This is a bath-time experience to write home about.

If you’re looking for something a little less natural (though, culturally, second-nature to Icelanders), May is an excellent time to visit some of Reykjavík’s swimming pools.

With the sunshine out and the holiday spirit kicking in, you’ll be surprised to find Iceland’s swimming pools more closely resemble spas, with hot tubs, saunas and steam rooms. After all, why not shed that jet lag and start your holiday in the most relaxed way possible?

One of the most popular and accessible pools for visitors is Laugardalslaug in Reykjavik. Aside from geothermal hot tubs, the pool offers water slides, steam room and sauna, an adjacent gymnasium, a full-length swimming pool and an area for kids to play with ease. There is also a shallow, heated pool for lying out in, an excellent way to stretch out and chill.

Be aware of the rules when it comes to public pools in Iceland; it is not only culturally expected, but required, to shower oneself naked before entering the water. This is not to satisfy the fantasies of the changing room warden, but to help combat the spread of disease and bacteria.