Amra Beganovich: “Improve Your Existing Services”

You can improve your existing services by removing any bugs that customers may have been reporting with that service, or you can update the features that are there to make them even better. One of the most important things is to stay ahead of the trends. If you wait too long to make changes, it […]

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You can improve your existing services by removing any bugs that customers may have been reporting with that service, or you can update the features that are there to make them even better. One of the most important things is to stay ahead of the trends. If you wait too long to make changes, it could result in lost competitive edge.

As part of our series about “How To Use Digital Transformation To Take Your Company To The Next Level”, I had the pleasure of interviewing Amra Beganovich.

Ms. Beganovich is the CEO and founder of Amra & Elma. She is a top influencer with over 1 million followers across her channels. She has been named as a leading digital marketing expert by Forbes, Business Insider, Financial Times, Entrepreneur, Bloomberg, WSJ, ELLE Magazine, Marie Claire, Cosmopolitan, and many more. She develops and manages advertising campaigns for Fortune 500 companies, including Johnson & Johnson, LVMH, Procter & Gamble, Uber, Nestle, HTC, and Huawei.

Thank you so much for joining us in this interview series. Before we dive in, our readers would love to “get to know you” a bit better. Can you tell us a bit about your ‘backstory’ and how you got started?

We started back in 2012 by designing a blog that covered lifestyle topics. To our surprise, the blog quickly took off, and we had 150,000+ monthly unique visitors within three months.

That same year, we opened our social media accounts and started posting. We gained over 20,000 followers each within couple of months and brands started approaching us for advertising opportunities.

We founded our agency Amra & Elma two years later that specializes in digital marketing, including social media management, influencer marketing, SEO, content development, media buying, branding, events, and more.

Fast forward 7 years later, Amra & Elma is currently one of the highest-ranked influencer marketing agencies and social media agencies on Google. Our clients include Fortune 500 companies.

Can you share a story about the funniest mistake you made when you were first starting? Can you tell us what lessons or ‘take aways’ you learned from that?

We went to raise funding for our company not knowing what our business model was — we didn’t know how we would grow the company and what type of product or service we could even offer.

We were asked by an investor how we would “scale” the company, and our response was “what do you mean by scale?” as we didn’t even know what the word meant.

The takeaway is that you don’t have to know a single thing about the business you are starting, and that is OK! You will inevitable learn things as you go along. The idea is to know that your ability to reason and get creative is at least as good (and ideally better) than some of your peers.

Getting started was the hardest part, and believing in your own abilities was the second hardest. The rest falls into place, and you simply evolve your business skills and learn from your experience.

None of us are able to achieve success without some help along the way. Is there a particular person who you are grateful towards who helped get you to where you are? Can you share a story?

We had no help, and we are very grateful for this. I find that mentors are likely to share their own experience, and their expertise may be limited to a particular time and space.

Big part of our success was that we marched into a completely unexplored territory. When we started, influencers and social media advertising did not exist. If we had asked a mentor if this was a good field to explore, most of them would have probably discouraged us from going into something that was a completely foreign concept at the time.

Instead, we followed our own logic! It is surprising just how far logic can take us if we take time to identify the opportunities and think of ways in which we can solve existing problems in the market. Every business model is simply a solution to an existing problem/need.

Is there a particular book, podcast, or film that made a significant impact on you? Can you share a story or explain why it resonated with you so much?

One of my favorite books is Alphabet Versus the Goddess by Leonard Shlain. It talks about the power of the creative mind. As the time goes on, I find it more and more relevant.

All of the problems that we face may be attributed to our unwillingness to turn on our imagination and creativity. It has been my experience that there are no problems which we cannot solve by getting really creative. This has persisted throughout my career and in personal life.

Extensive research suggests that “purpose driven businesses” are more successful in many areas. When your company started, what was its vision, what was its purpose?

We started with the idea that we could create something of value that other people would enjoy. Initially, it was the content we published on our blog, later it become the content we shared on our social media, and finally it was the digital services we offered to businesses that ended up growing their revenue.

The idea has always been that when you create “win-win” solutions, you simply cannot loose. It may sound elementary, but I feel that most people fail when they build a business on “one-sided benefit” approach.

Are you working on any new, exciting projects now? How do you think that might help people?

We are working on software that would allow us to serve more people at affordable prices. I love the idea of software opening doors for others to grow their businesses at a minimal cost.

Today, we are able to use technology to start a business virtually with zero investment. Furthermore, those who are more likely to invest their time into becoming more tech savvy tend to benefit tremendously and quickly climb over their competition.

I know that this was not the case in the past, and many businesses had tremendous amount of up-front cost associated with starting a brand. Today, we can experiment, and try our hand in entrepreneurship without investing large sums of funds up-front. I never take this for granted.

Thank you for all that. Let’s now turn to the main focus of our discussion about Digital Transformation. For the benefit of our readers, can you help explain what exactly Digital Transformation means? On a practical level what does it look like to engage in a Digital Transformation?

Digital transformation is a strategic effort to use digital technologies and behavior to improve its competitive advantage, customer satisfaction and organizational effectiveness.

You can get a sense of the of digital transformation in our agency, Amra & Elma. We continuously share how we believe our business should make the most of new sources of data across various fields such as customer-facing interactions with prospects and customers, process flows throughout our management, and improving quality of our services through performance of campaigns online.

This is because each additional piece of data gives us new opportunities to create value for our customers or do things we didn’t know we were able to do before. We can extract new insights that would help us close bigger deals more often while making offerings more personal.

Which companies can most benefit from a Digital Transformation?

Any company that is not currently considered a “digital adopter.”

Forward-thinking brands know that digital technology is inescapable, and they seek to harness its power, not resist it. Today, the companies best positioned for success are those with strong leadership who are able to adapt to new technology the fastest.

Those who understand the importance of building mobile-first software apps, responsive websites, social media marketing campaigns, predictive analytics toolsets, machine learning systems, data systems that act as large reservoirs of exported data ready for analysis or export, customer satisfaction software, or user analysis APIs to track what visitors think about the brand’s website are the ones that win.

We’d love to hear about your experiences helping others with Digital Transformation. In your experience, how has Digital Transformation helped improve operations, processes and customer experiences? We’d love to hear some stories if possible.

One example of our Digital Transformation includes helping a brand with their marketing processes by utilizing software that identifies popularity of influencers on the Internet without the need to approach them for their analytics. In other words, they were able to know ahead of time whether the campaign would perform well before engaging an influencer. This strategy ultimately resulted in their increased ROI on influencer marketing.

As a part of our SEO strategy, we utilized user tracking software for our clients to improve customer experiences. We were able to record all customer sessions and identify best landing pages, broken links, and any potential problems with user interface. We were also able to provide their target audience data such as their location, IP addresses, and more.

Has integrating Digital Transformation been a challenging process for some companies? What are the challenges? How do you help resolve them?

Digital transformation has been a challenging process for some brands. Companies often face a variety of hurdles when they go digital, but the benefits of going digital far outweigh the difficulties.

Some people can argue that integrating digital transformation is a nice idea and can lead to better business practices, however, it may not always be easy or even possible due to factors such as budget constraints and technological know-how. For any company or organization venturing into Digital Transformation, one thing to remember is that it is never too soon to start planning implementation of new technology.

A key component in overcoming challenges of digital transformation includes training employees on technological knowledge so that they are able to use these technologies in an efficient way. Other solution includes hiring agencies or companies that can assist with this transition or perform the work for the brand.

Ok. Thank you. Here is the primary question of our discussion. Based on your experience and success, what are “Five Ways a Company Can Use Digital Transformation To Take It To The Next Level”? Please share a story or an example for each.

1) Maximize Your Capabilities

Maximizing the features your brand already has is crucial for brands that are new to digital transformation. In order to maximize company capabilities, you need to look at all of your brand’s services and see which ones have been the most useful to customers in the past. Then you can prioritize those services, and all the features that come with them, to make sure they are optimized for digital transformation.

For example, if you built an educational app that helps children learn how to read and write, it would be wise to incorporate voice recognition software into the app like Dragon Professional. This will allow people to use their voices instead of their fingers, which for some children may prove beneficial.

2) Improve Your Existing Services

You can improve your existing services by removing any bugs that customers may have been reporting with that service, or you can update the features that are there to make them even better. One of the most important things is to stay ahead of the trends. If you wait too long to make changes, it could result in lost competitive edge.

For example, if you build an app that helps people find information about local attractions, restaurants and hotels, it may be wise to add a section for verified reviews with software like Net Reviews.

3) Grow Your Customer Base

You can utilize SEO, influencer marketing, email marketing, advertising, and social media to grow your customer base.

For example, you can use Ahrefs to launch your guest-blog-posting campaign and build authority of your own website. This can allow you to rank faster on the most searched keywords in your industry.

4) Recruit the Top Talent

Brands want to be able to bring in the best people to work for their company. This is where digital transformation comes in again. Take advantage of social media sites like LinkedIn, Twitter, and Facebook to let your subscribers know that your brand is hiring and for what positions. This way, your existing followers can recommend your available positions to their network.

5) Monetize Your Data

When you are collecting customer data, you are able to make money off of it.

You can use LuckyOrange software to record user sessions and improve your user interface and landing pages. You can even use Personyze AI to serve different landing pages to different customers based on the visitor profile.

In your opinion, how can companies best create a “culture of innovation” in order to create new competitive advantages?

Below are some tips on how companies can create “culture of innovation”:

– Offer special rewards to teams that are the first to try a new technology.

– Establish an internal PR team or a single specialist that will announce new technological gems found by other team members so that employees feel comfortable coming up with ideas

– Encourage innovation by rewarding creativity and encouraging intellectual risk taking in the workplace. We like to offer gift cards for the best new software finds that would help save money or increase revenue.

Can you please give us your favorite “Life Lesson Quote”? Can you share how that was relevant to you in your life?

One of my favorite quotes is by Nathaniel Branden. It is about the importance of discovering our “inner-hero.” It focuses on the idea that the only person who can save us is us.

I love to use this idea in businesses to push forward and try out new strategies without external suggestions/permission but simply through inner guidance/intuition. The beauty of technology is that no-one knows all, and those who are most curious and willing to experiment end up as winners.

How can our readers further follow your work?

You can check out some of my work on our website, Amra & Elma digital marketing agency. You can also follow me on Instagram.

Thank you so much for sharing these important insights. We wish you continued success and good health!

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