South African entrepreneurs were amongst the hardest hit by the COVID-19 crisis and subsequent national lockdown. Now, to help them rebuild and prosper in the digitally dominated ‘new normal’, the UK-South Africa Tech Hub is hosting a free, three-part virtual training programme aimed at addressing entrepreneurs’ biggest pain point: Selling online.
Interviews conducted amongst investors, venture capitalists, incubators, accelerators and other ecosystem enablers and experts unanimously revealed that entrepreneurs lack online sales skills. As one respondent put it, “Many entrepreneurs have developed services and products, but they do not know how to sell these online in the new, primarily virtual world.” Another added: “Entrepreneurs do not have a funding problem; they have a sales problem. Entrepreneurs need help to focus on sales which will lead to funding.”
Powered by Loudhailer, the workshop series aims to get participants sales-ready by the end of 2020.
Following the inaugural workshop on eCommerce and Online Sales, the second session, taking place on 28 October 2020, will be diving into the world of digital marketing, unpacking practical strategies and solutions that entrepreneurs can implement. Attendees will learn how to set themselves apart from competitors by building a cohesive brand identity; hear from expert strategists on how to plan, budget and implement a digital campaign; explore the importance of community engagement; and discover the tools available to do it all.
The workshop will be broken down into three parts. The first will focus on the Basics of Branding, exploring brand positioning and differentiation, along with how business owners can create a cohesive brand identity online. The second will concentrate on Creating a Digital Campaign and will walk entrepreneurs through the process of running an online sales campaign, from strategy development through to implementation, management and review. The last segment will look at Customer Relationship Management (CRM) and the importance of listening to, and engaging with, your audience. Attendees will learn about CRM best practice and the various tools available.
Digital marketing, campaigning and community-building specialists who will be sharing their experience and expertise include Sarah Heintz, Founder and Managing Director of Digital Fox, a marketing agency that specialises in helping small- to medium-sized businesses around the world develop tailor-made brand identities and advertising campaigns; Vernon Adams, the Chief Marketing Officer at African News Agency; and Mishaan Ratan, Director for Strategy and Creative at Publicis Commerce who is an entrepreneur too.