Monthly Archives: January 2014

Top Tips To Help You Publicise Your Book Launch on Social Media

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Image Source:
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In the modern times, online marketing of books has caught up in the trend. From traditionally published author to independently self-publishing and hybrid author, online marketing of books has proved to be the best platform for every kind of author. Once authors used to sell their books by trekking from one city to another, but social media, these days, is being considered as the latest version of such old book tours. Publishers, of late, have become selective and take into consideration mostly the works from biggest authors. However, you need not worry, as you can also recreate the book tours with less money and dedication.

Prior to launching your book, you need to plan for the modern day book tour. You should build your author platform and enhance your online presence to keep people interested in your book launch.

Here are a few tools that you can use to build your book tour

  • YouTube videos
  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Pinterest
  • Instagram
  • Contents for your guest posts and blogs
  • Slideshare presentations
  • Google+ hangouts and posts
  • Tumblr
  • Mailing list
  • Podcasts

Make use of different communication channels to publicise your book launch. You can create a media blitz in different ways so that people can share them with their social networks.

Followings are some ways to make a big splash on the launch day

Work hard on social media – You can plan out many post-launch social media marketing events online. Invite some guests on Google+ Hangouts and interview them about the self-publishing process, experience while writing and self-publishing the book. Go live on some other social media as well and organise events.

Ways to do this

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Image Source:
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  • Get in touch with people who host Twitter chats and let them know your willingness to be a guest.
  • Find out about the related Google+ Hangout shows and contact the host.
  • Make yourself available for interviews, chats, Hangouts and other online media.
  • Give a relevant and easy-to-use hashtag for your book so that you can connect your content together across Twitter, Google+, Instagram, and Facebook.
  • Spend a lot of time to publicise your book.

Create your own event – Take a leaf out of Jennifer Miller’s book and create unique marketing events for your own book. Jennifer, author of The Year of the Gadfly, who is a traditionally published author, creates her own buzz for her book with social media channels.

Ways to do this

  • Come up with some unique ideas for your book and do it wholeheartedly.
  • Organise your own events by using online tools like Togather, which connects authors and readers in person as well as online.

Create a media blitz – Jay Baer, author of Youtility: Why Smart Marketing is about Help not Hype, built a pre-book launch marketing team for publicising his book. This way, you will have a whole crew of supporters cheering on your project and wanting it to be successful. You can create a book trailer, a SlideShare presentation, and about twenty five excerpts of the book that were published on some prestigious blogs. You can build a network of like-minded individuals and also create your own blog to build trust and readership of your book.

Ways to do this

  • Invest some time to build a strong, trustworthy and informative online presence.
  • Build your base audience by blogging regularly on the relevant and niche topic.
  • Socialise with authors in same genre.
  • Work hard to build your social media marketing assets before the launch of your book so you can start working immediately post-launch.

Share your adventure – There are some authors who started as an indie writer but they are counted among the hybrid authors. They have built an enviable fan base online that keep a keen eye on the progress meters of current projects with bated breath.

Ways to do this

  • Take photos and share them on different social media like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.
  • Build your presence on Pinterest and register your writer’s life.
  • You can share reviews and let people know about your journey as an author, post questions-answers session.
  • Enjoy being a writer, live your dream and have fun.

Create a media kit – You should build your digital assets before your book launch so that you can give interview whenever people want it. Sarah Robinson, author of Fierce Loyalty: Unlocking the DNA of Wildly Successful Communities, did a commendable job on the website of her book and media kit of her self-published book.

  • A photo in high resolution
  • A long and short author bio
  • Links to various social media profiles
  • Book covers in high resolutions

Ways to do this

  • Create a media kit a month prior to book launch.
  • Spread the word about your book by making it easier for people to spread the information.

A book launch is a long process and you need to watch for all the developments even after your book is released. So, invest some time in social media marketing and create a fascinating presence of yours on different media channels.

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Technology Helping To Solve Education Problems In Nigeria

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The education scenario in Nigeria has suffered many blows in the past and due socio-economic and political upheaval, the educational infrastructure in Nigeria never really got the opportunity to blossom. As an educator, I have been following the education trends in various countries around the world, but the Nigerian education scenario comes across as appalling at times. However, there are technology firms, who are taking great initiatives to better the education scenario in the country.

In 2013, Intel and Airtel took initiatives to solve a few of the educational problems in Nigeria. While Intel made an effort to provide low cost and free digital learning resources, Airtel Nigeria fulfilled its pledge for the ‘Goal for Education’ campaign and donated stationary to schools in Nigeria. In my eyes these were extremely meaning steps taken tech giants to help the country upgrade the sector.

However, another serious problem that the Nigerian education system faces is the dearth of capable educators. There are too many students in schools and colleges but there are hardly any teachers to hold class. This year, Mavis Computel, a technology firm, has taken its first steps to address this very problem with digital help. The head operations and corporate strategy at Mavis Computel, Chizaram Ucheaga, says that the company will start with Nigeria before addressing other nations.

On reading this piece of information, I was extremely delighted to see how technology is slowly being able to help the Nigerian education system in various ways.

“One of the main challenges we are trying to solve is the dearth of quality teachers – first in Nigeria and other countries.” – Chizaram Ucheaga, Head of Corporate Strategy and Operations, Mavis Computel

The company has on sale a product called a Smartpen. This product has audiobooks loaded on it with the help from distributors both within the country and abroad. The demand for these books, to hit the market, has already started pouring in. Chizaram Ucheaga, Head of Corporate Strategy and Operations, Mavis Computel, says that the product will soon be available at physical retail shops through resellers, across Nigeria and will also be made available in online channels and school bookstores. He also added that the solution was also quite affordable.

 “The solution is affordable when compared with the cost and effort involved in getting a language teacher for your private tutoring. Plus, unlike the teacher, it doesn’t get tired. Additionally, people can come together in groups to buy it to reduce the cost per person. Our goal is to get the solution to as many learners as possible. One Smartpen can be loaded with many talking books and talking posters. The Smartpen is NGN29,500 (US$185) and each talking book – about 60 pages – is NGN4,800 (US$30). So the basic pack is NGN34,300 (US$215), with volume discounts available for large orders.”- Chizaram Ucheaga, Head of Corporate Strategy and Operations, Mavis Computel

This product has been tested in Nigeria and has been demonstrated in other countries, like Kenya. These talking books may just be the solution to the dearth of quality teachers in Nigeria. In my perspective, this is just a mini step taken towards addressing the problem of fewer teachers, but it is definitely a strong step.

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Why Earning Foreign Degrees Online is a Wise Strategy for Nigerian Students?

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If you ask career aspirants as what can make their CVs look good, the majority would answer ‘a foreign degree’. In fact, reports have found that the real value lies in foreign degrees rather than the nationalised ones. For instance, there are several companies in Nigeria that keep hiring and promoting people having certificates earned from overseas rather than those earned from Nigerian universities. In fact, they would be ready to take someone with a foreign bachelor’s degree instead of one with a Master degree from Nigeria. Although they admit it secretly, it’s sheer reality.

Cracking interview jobs is easy with a foreign degree

What the implication stands here is that adding a foreign degree to one’s CV is equivalent to a ticket to enter the world’s best companies. Chances for cracking job interviews will be high and employers would love offering fat pay packages. So, where the demand of earning degrees from foreign universities is on the rise, students are turning to be more concerned as how they would manage to travel abroad for earning a degree. Well, there is a convenient, affordable and legible way to do so, and it is distance learning.

No need to quit jobs, No need to travel abroad

There are many students in Nigeria who are facing problems in securing admission to Nigeria universities. Seeing this inconvenience, an initiative has been taken by the UK universities to give students the opportunity to earn their foreign degrees online. As a result, they would neither have to travel overseas nor quit their jobs. Rather, they can stay with their families and continue studying within their means.

Well, online education today has achieved global popularity. In fact, pursuing online distance learning courses under UK universities will help working professionals to:

– Meet professional and personal duties at the same time

– Remain exposed to more employment options

– Pursue higher studies and get eligible for promotion at work

Besides, distance learning courses can be helpful in a number of ways for students as well as those who are working. For instance:

  1. Earning a foreign under a UK university online will help one secure a prestigious job or admission to a Nigerian university.
  2. Students not having good scores at school can take top-up courses to get admission into a 2nd or 3rd year, and work alongside to gather experience.
  3. One can take one’s own pace to complete a course. There will be no deadlines which would therefore let students handle their course work with ease.
  4. Students or working professionals looking for business management courses would not have to pay lump sums like what brick and mortar business schools charge. In fact, UK universities would bring easy payment schemes which would keep enrolees financially stable.
  5. One would be able to access study materials for their distance learning courses anytime he/she wishes.
  6. Online course curriculums will comprise video tutorials, journals, social networking and a lot other interesting activities that would let students take pleasure in their studies.
  7. With a distance learning degree under a foreign university, you are sure to impress the biggest employers all over the globe.

So, you see that students in Nigeria are no more required to travel all the way to the United Kingdom to earn certificates. By simply availing the option of distance learning under a UK university, one can instead pursue higher studies and continue working at the same time.

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Cost Effectiveness Of Online Learning In Nigeria

Every year, almost 1.2 million learners qualify for an undergraduate education in Nigeria. However, the 104 universities in Nigeria can only accommodate 300,000 learners in campus. This is something very uncomfortable for the aspiring learners in Nigeria. This imbalance actually caused the demand for online education in the nation and as it allows more learners to have an access of education, it has become the most loving mode of getting a degree.

Online education is something which cannot be effectually defined by anyone. Each one of us can have a different perspective of the same. According to UNESCO in 2002, open and distance education simply represents the focus on the open access of learning and training provision to the learners. Also, there will be no constraints of time and space and therefore it is just an easy way out for classroom learning. Hence, online or distance education is simply the way of providing knowledge to the learners at their home, or office or any other place. Hulsmann, in the year 1997, defined distance education as:

• Separating learners from the teacher in place and time.
• Necessity of proper university accreditation and the influence of any educational institution.
• Using technology in order to get a degree. For example, taking help of television, radio, audio cassettes, computers, etc.
• Two way interaction between learners and teachers in both synchronise and a synchronise manner.

Cost effectiveness on online learning

According to Obanya, there is lack of proper learning resources in Nigeria. With this low quality education scenario, the future of the learners is bleak. Hence, all this definitely calls for a change in the scenario and online education comes as an easy respite. UNESCO reported, “In efforts to meet the new and changing demands for education and training, open and distance learning may be seen as an approach that is at least complimentary and under certain circumstances, an appropriate substitute for the face-to-face methods that still dominates most educational systems.”The way online education is so much flexible and affordable that it has actually become a very cost effective way of getting a degree in Nigeria.

Online learning or distance education has a number of potential for the learners and other stakeholders in education. For all the learners, online distance learning is all about freedom to education as well as a wide range of skills and opportunities for education. It is much cheaper as well. The online learning courses are pretty much affordable as well. The learners do not need any kind of conveyance cost, food or lodging costs and the tuition fees in itself is very nominal.

What students think about e-learning in Nigeria?

A Post Graduate student in Graphic Design

“I see it as an avenue to further my education. I have Bachelor’s degree but my job cannot allow me to go back to the four walls of any institution as a full time student. As a proprietor of my venture if I try it, that will be the end of the business.”

A Law student

“I have been dreaming of studying Law but the normal (conventional) university will not allow this because I have to write entrance examination which my schedule of work has not permitted me to prepare for in the last four years. Whatever it will cost, this system of distance learning has made it possible for me to start the Law programme and definitely I will finish it and get my Law degree.”

A Banker

“This is the kind of school that can help people like me. Although it is possible to get study leave from my place of work but there is no certainty that one will get the job back when he is back with whatever certificate he would have acquired from the study he went for. There are lots of people who will just fill up the vacancy created immediately one proceeds on a leave of absence. With this distance learning programme, I know that I will get a Master degree after completion and still have my job.”

Online learning is therefore a very cost effective approach to education. Learners do not need to worry about funds and they can relax while earning the degree they have dreamt of for so long. It has simply altered the way of acquiring a degree and Nigeria is one of the places which has got mostly helped by technology in learning.

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An Online MBA Is A Good Idea For Nigeria learners

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When one decides to go for an online MBA degree, he/she is probably doing the right thing. All the employers are in demand of candidates who are very well-run with knowledge, and an MBA degree simply supports the skills of a candidate. If the employees do not have much time to go for a regular university management degree, they can always take into consideration a MBA degree online through the web from an accredited university.

This is quite a tough economic time and now going back to school seems to be a legitimate option in improving one’s skills. This will simply make you all the more attractive to the employers and even if you have a full-time job, you can always go for an online degree in management. MBA courses are always very much in demand and it prepares one to become all the more advanced and gain a lot of knowledge which in turn helps them in their career endeavours. You will be prepared to take up leadership roles in your business or in your organisation.

A survey from the accounting/fiscal workers of different skills as well as seniority levels have found out that the CFO’s with no degree gets an annual salary of only $38,920, the ones with a Bachelor’s degree gets $88,836 in an average and those having an MBA degree gets $104,284. Hence, it makes the thing clear that the return in investment for the MBA graduates is worthwhile. Studies have also shown that the MBA graduates can earn 145% more than the ones who do not have any degree. Hence, if you can earn an online MBA for yourself, there is nothing like it.

However, you should always try to know that the percentages and salary structures given above are subject to change. With an MBA degree, you can always get more salary than these. And also, if you get the degree from a not so renowned university, you salary might be less than this. Again, the type of management designation you have also defines your salary. You can be a Human Resource Executive, or a Financial Planner, or even a Business Head of a company. According to your designation, you will get the salary in hand.

In Nigeria, the education system is quite poor and the learners do not even get proper skills by getting a degree from the local colleges. The college environment isn’t good and the educators are not well-skilled. Hence, online learning now plays a huge role in making education better in the country. There are a lot of learners in Nigeria who have already got aided by an online course. They have got degrees from UK, USA and other places where education scenario is better and polished. So, an MBA UK degree online can also seem to be much profitable for them. This way, they will get a degree from a reputed UK university and thereby can polish their skills to perform well at the workplace.

An MBA degree through online can be a lottery ticket for you but the only thing you need to keep in mind before getting the degree is that make a thorough research about the same on the web. You should be able to keep yourself away from spammers and this way, you will secure your future with a degree for yourself and also you will not have to repent over it in future.

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Informal Sector Escalates Job Openings In Nigeria

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The International Labour Organisation (ILO) reported that the job openings in Africa are increasing with time. The working age population of the country reached almost over 490 millions in the year 2012. It simply represents a leap of 259% since 2000 and aims at a compound growth rate of around 2.8%. Hence, this escalation in labour population is becoming a key to the economic development in Africa, as well as worldwide.

ILO’s global employment trends report in 2013 contained the fact that the increasing working-age population in Africa is now comparable to that of the other countries. The Nigerian economy was getting improved by the increase in job opportunities by 12% in the last quarter.  The reports by NBS (National Bureau of Statistics) indicate that almost 174,326 all new jobs were being added into the economy of the country. Nigeria’s Q1 2013 all new employment documents can also be described as a much favourable opportunity of the economy of South Africa. This has also created 44,000 jobs which are reported by the country itself.

The informal sector of Nigeria have experienced 53% of new employments with 17 million new businesses & enterprises and this in turn has helped the labour market of Africa to grow its overall economy. The formal sector, on the other hand, got a hype of 41% and the public sector came up with 6% of new job opportunities in the job market.

The youth population of Nigeria, of around 15-35 years of age, 32% of new positions were created and got absorbed by the learning sector. This was followed by the 28% in fiscal intermediation industry. Also, from the Q1 2012, there was an enhance in 35% new job positions has made for economic balance in Nigeria.

Overall, when the analysis was done, it was found out that in Nigeria, the 34% of job consisted of the school leavers. The one who had never attended a school had 33% of share and the ones with only primary school certificates had 21% of place. All these got highlighted in the year 2012 with the report published by Campaign for Democratic and Workers’ Rights in Nigeria. This also stated that almost 45% of Nigeria’s workforce were characterised by the most ‘casual’ employment and it included the candidates with low skills and poor expertise.

However, the fact remains that no matter how much the job sector has developed; there is much to do to improve the unemployment rate of Nigeria. The rate of unemployment is 24% and also it scores less in Human Development Index. But the IMF projections are quite positive and it assumes 7.4% GDP growth because of the increasing oil prices and also the vigorous domestic demand. If we see economically, we would know that the Sub-Saharan Africa is the second most fastest growing area internationally. But without development, the growth of the country is a challenge.

The President, on his 2011 budget, said, “Unemployment among our youth is one of our biggest challenges. The time has come to create jobs and lay a new foundation for Nigeria’s economic growth.

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Nigeria Learning To Improve!

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Lack of proper resource and appropriate guidance are major obstacles toward learning. Social upheavals and violence, in addition, are reasons why a large section of population remains bereft from enlightenment in developing regions. So, instead of huge demand for knowledge, Nigeria failed to provide education to the most for years.

Scarcity of qualified teachers and poor quality of edification has been keeping Nigerians away from enlightenment for years. But a few right actions taken by the administrative power can change the scenario to a great extent. Initiatives taken by the government in Nigeria lately to improve the educational quality are examples of remarkable actions. Measures adopted to boost e-learning and making education free at all levels will hopefully drive the nation toward better academic standard in near future!

 

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Image Source:
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A few steps toward a brighter future…

With the introduction of the Federal Teachers’ Scheme and Nationwide Capacity building in 2006, the problem regarding under-qualified tutors and dire quality education improved a bit at primary levels. The project called “Tablet of Knowledge” is also a creditable step to provide students with an enriched environment and recent announcement of Kano’s Governor to make education free of cost is a landmark endeavor. But the battle for the nation is at initial stage and it’s still a long way ahead for Nigerian education system.    

Observing the demand for knowledge of Nigerian learners and the nations obstacles toward providing it, World Bank decided to invest to improve the education system and launch a support for the Nigerian Government to enhance the security system inside the country. Nigeria State Education Program Investment Project (SEPIP) is a $150 million project assuring better instructor deployment and school management. “Investing in people is an essential part of Nigeria’s strategy to reduce poverty and achieve steady economic growth,” said Marie-Francoise Marie-Nelly, World Bank Country Director for Nigeria, “I am delighted that we are supporting better schooling and earning prospects for millions of children and young people, while also cushioning some of the poorest families through a stronger social safety net system.”

More effective strategies are required…

 

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Image Source:
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But initiatives taken by some institutions may not resolve the issue of inadequate funding. And e-learning can only reward the nation with impressive results when tutors of the country provide right guidance. So, practical measures to recover from the present status have become imperative. Strikes demanding improvement that received huge support from various unions over the years in Nigeria haven’t generated any impressive outcome so far. It has changed a little but wasted a lot.

  • A budget for reasonable investment is essential. Maximize the opportunities utilizing the small endowments is what the government should focus on.
  • Individual attempt and funding could also bring about great opportunities for the countrymen. Initiatives taken by a larger group of audience will only help to fast-track the growth of the entire nation. 
  • Innovative ideas to make most of the limited resource can help the country optimize the potential of new age learning. Viable and indigenous strategies to enhance scopes and revamp the sector would be appreciable.     
  • For instance, imposing a small percentage educational tax on import or a rule for the working professional to invest a nominal amount from their salary into education will help the education sector receive a good amount for improvement.    

Monitoring the process is even more important as only collection of money may not resolve the issues. Transparent communication, reasonable actions and proper implementation are important parts of any plan. Supervision of the top agencies and government must be employed in order to materialize the dream of forming an enlightened nation.  

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A New Light in Nigeria with Circular Economy

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The most engulfing factors in recent economic scenario are exhausting resources, and price volatility, thereon. To deal with this crisis, organisations must redesign their business models and take innovative measures in their processes and operations. Circular economy MBA brings a new perception over the linear ‘take, make, dispose’ model, and takes a circular approach through ideas like regenerative product design, new business models, and reverse logistics.

Basic Concepts

After a thorough scrutiny over today’s economic parameters, circular economy MBA introduces various new thinking and processes that lead to the reorientation and transition to a far more resilient economic model.

The MBA makes extensive innovative applications on business models and opportunities to draw out the greatest value out of a project.  The idea of renewable energy sources is one of such examples and possibilities out of technical and biological cycles of materials.

Other concepts covered in the circular economy MBA are like potential for valuing and rebuilding capital, role of prices and internalisation of cost etc.

Why Choose Circular Economy MBA

This MBA programme is aimed at preparing students with the knowledge, tools and skills to make proper valuations on business opportunities and competitive advantages for the organisations adopting this circular approach.

The content is also conducive to enhance leadership and entrepreneurial skills, and detects abundant business opportunities for those who grow the foreknowledge of this advantageous and ground-breaking concept.

Studying Circular Economy MBA Online

Online MBA in circular Economy lets students plan their online MBA degree from anywhere in the world. Even in the countries where educational infrastructure is not so developed as educationally leading countries’, students can take the advantage of distance learning, and proceed on their study of MBA. Employment of the latest resources and gadgets helps online students:

  • Build their improved understanding on the essential principles, concepts and applied sectors of the circular economy
  • Enrich their knowledge on energy resources and commodities which are critical for future prosperity of any business
  • Equip them with pioneering business leadership and entrepreneurial skills
  • Strengthen their conception on technical and biological availability of materials, logistics, regenerative use of products and prospective business areas
  • Make them find the innovative business opportunities through ground-breaking frameworks
  • Let them use online networks to launch debate and discussions

Enrolling in circular economy MBA through distance learning programmes, students of Nigeria as well as those belonging to countries with low academic standards will become an integral part of one of the world’s top UK universities. They will be enriching their learning experiences with fellow students around the world. This becomes even more effective through faculty-led tutor groups, weekly online discussions, live face-to-face online tutorial sessions and collaborative projects.

What students of online circular economy MBA enjoy as bonus benefit is the flexibility, with which they can materialise their profuse spare time on job involvement in respective industries. And, with this hands-on work experience alongside their theoretical knowledge, they pose themselves as somewhat invincible in their claims for jobs. Study of this new born MBA is going to get immense popularity in coming time, and interested students should go for it without wasting a single moment.

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