Connecting Job Opportunities to Skilled Jamaican Youth

Continuing our commitment to providing online job opportunities to youth who most need them, the MobileWorks teamed up this week with the World Bank & others to provide job trainings for 100 Jamaican youth.

These local trainings provide us the chance to connect with youth on the ground  to learn more about the availability of local jobs, what skills are needed, and fair wages in the area.

Things we’ve learned so far on our trip:

  1. Youth unemployment is a major issue–average unemployment rate of 38.5% for youth age 18-24
  2. Youth who are unemployed have often graduated college or high school and have tangible skills. We’ve met students with skills in Photoshop; website development; app coding; customer service; etc.
  3. Even though youth have passed high school or graduated from college there are few opportunities for them to work and deploy & grow their skills

So far we’ve had the opportunity to speak with and train 60 students at the Northern Caribbean University & 40 youth in the Youth Upliftment Through Employment (YUTE) program. Many of the students had a background in IT, computer science, customer service, marketing, among others.

In these sessions, students were engaged connecting online opportunities to skills they need to develop personally and professionally. Students often asked, “I have 3 years of customer service experience, will that help me in my application? Can I learn more about customer service as a MobileWorker?” “My dad runs a stone business. Will this online work opportunity teach me more about business fundamentals?” “I’m interested in tourism and hospitality. What can I learn as a MobileWorker?”Youth in Jamaica clearly see the link between skills and employability. The students we met were hungry for opportunities to shine. They have skills and only lack the avenue to show off and be paid for them.

During our trainings we walked youth through the MobileWorker application process and explained how our community works–join a team; make friends; ask questions; develop your skills; earn fair hourly wages.So far we’ve had over 130 new applicants from youth across the Caribbean. And we’re just ramping up with three more training sessions at the Digital Jam 3.0 conference this weekend.

We can’t contain our enthusiasm at the opportunity to share online work with so many inspiring youth and their mentors. So get ready for some amazing work coming from youth in the Caribbean!

ABC News: Berkeley startup MobileWorks revolutionizes outsourcing

Our founders and reddit founder Alexis Ohanian speak to the necessity of outsourcing work with a conscience on ABC News.

“MobileWorks is giving people halfway around the world a little piece of economic recovery.” – Jonathan Bloom

“What MobileWorks is proving is that there’s a smart business model to paying people well. To being responsible employers and that’s great because now it’s not just an emotional win. It’s not just an ethical win. It’s also a financial win and that’s powerful.” – Alexis Ohanian
 
Contact us today if you’d like to hear more about our services.
If you’re looking for work, feel free to apply here.

MobileWorks, The World Bank & OECS Team Up & Train Caribbean Youth

This past week, representatives from the MobileWorks team joined the Organization of Eastern Caribbean States and The World Bank in an effort to educate and raise awareness around employment opportunities available to skilled workers in the Caribbean via online platforms. We were thrilled with the turnout at training sessions at Dominica College in Dominica, the Caribbean Development Bank in Barbados, and The Ministry of Technology and Education in Grenada. We garnered over 30+ trainees each session, ranging in age from 18-35, and all of which held college level degrees or were in the process of earning a degree.

This effort is part of a larger effort, DigitalJam 3.0, which aims to address the issue of youth unemployment in the region through opportunists in the technology field. 

“Through workshops on app development and online work platforms, they can become part of a global workforce, even become entrepreneurs. At the 2-day conference it is our intention start the conversation between Regional & Global leaders in the tech field and these talented youth, hopefully leading to greater opportunities for them starting now.” – Carolyn Lazarus, Digital Jam 3.0

In the Caribbean young professionals tend to be in their teens upon graduating. This poses a challenge upon entering a limited workforce. Platforms like MobileWorks allow young professionals to develop skills and build their resumes enabling them to be more competitive and skilled for local jobs. Essentially, the MobileWorks platform encourages productivity while adding a competitive advantage. Young professionals feel empowered through the work we provide.

“To most, “seeing is believing” and in this globally competitive society it is important to bring practical solutions to the Caribbean that are not scams. From Silicon Valley to the Caribbean, MobileWorks representatives have brought these opportunities to the typical islander through the Digital Jam 3.0 initiative.

Our team was pleased to take part in this journey. MobileWorks is far more than a technology startup, we stand by our mission of creating access to online job opportunities for skilled individuals across the globe, regardless of locally available job opportunities.

“The introduction of innovative services like MobileWorks is a significant opportunity for Caribbean nationals as we look to compete in the online global society. This platform moves us beyond the basic concepts of information technology into a more practical use of technology by aiding to alleviate the problem of unemployment in the region. MobileWorks is an innovative company providing e-Lancing opportunities that removes the geographic barriers to employment.” – Marlon Marie, Organization of Eastern Caribbean States

Without Their Permission book tour after party with reddit founder Alexis Ohanian

He came, he saw, he inspired.

Some of you may know Alexis Ohanian for redefining how we share and validate information on the web- the founding of reddit. Others may know him for helping launch hipmunk, his work with SOPA & PIPA and for his recent addition as a Y Combinator partner.

We all know him as a visionary and a voice of our generation. By generation, I’m referring to those that have grown up with the evolution of the Internet.

What’s he up to now? Alexis has embarked on an 100 stop, 65 college, 5 month long tour promoting internet entrepreneurship, which lead to a  lecture at the UC Berkeley Campus. Following his lecture he stopped by MobileWorks HQ in downtown Berkley. This called for an after party.

AlexisParty

It’s only natural that Alexis has become an advocate and trusted advisor of MobileWorks, we’re redefining how the world works…literally. We’re leveraging technology and the internet to provide jobs to skilled workers around the world. Alexis took part in the syndication of valuable information around the world and in turn provided the necessary tools to help educate. We’re now identifying those that are educated and should have jobs however simply lack access.

Thank you Alexis and thanks to everyone that stopped by our office!

Team MobileWorks
Party Pics:

AlexisPartyAlexisPartyAlexisPartyAlexisParty

Fox Business: MobileWorks, finding workers via the cloud [Video]

Watch now.

Our founder and CEO, Anand Kulkarni, appeared on Fox Business this week to discuss how MobileWorksharnesses the power of the crowd to connect high-skilled workers with companies in need of manpower.

“This is the next logical step…Companies are finding they need more flexibility than just hiring folks in their own backyards. If they find someone who is really talented, and willing to work 10-to-20 hours a week, they can hire that staffer no matter where they are in the world.”Kulkarni says

Although larger brands such as  Xerox and eBay currently leverage MobileWorks, we believe there’s a need for virtual workforces in the small/medium sized business markets. Scaling as a SMB  is a doubled-edged sword. Not only must you hire to remain competitive but you must remain competitive on a low budget.  SMB’s  generally lack the necessary resources to hire and scale efficiently. MobileWorks is helping ease the growing pains.

Watch now.

Cold email outreach best practices from around the web

“Not another tips and tricks list!”

There’s no shortage of email tips and tricks. Lists abound all over the internet. Even the narrowly-defined activity of initial email outreach has long lists of advice.

Rather than rehash all the advice that’s out there, here’s a table.

It illustrates what’s helpful, what’s harmful, and what doesn’t make much of a difference either way.

Initial Email Outreach Practices: Best, Worst, and Indifferent


emailtable 

Most of this is common sense, but did you know…?
  1. Emails with 28-39 characters in the subject line had the highest click rates. (Litmus)
  2. Statistically people will decided within 2 seconds whether an email is worth reading. (SmartInsights)
  3. 89% of consumers would delete an email on mobile that doesn’t look good. (KISSmetrics)
  4. On average, our response rate increases by 50% when we follow up to an unanswered cold email. (Life-long Learner)
 
Good example – Here’s an example using some best practices.

sampleemail

Bad example – Follow the example below to ensure poor response.

bademail

Conclusion

Short, clear emails are effective. They should be personal and specific. Use the table above and the links below as your reference for writing initial outreach emails.

Sources

Many thanks to the following excellent sources of information:

Econsultancy KISSmetrics Mailchimp
Marketing Land Smart Insights The YouMoz Blog
Yesware Business Insider Ling-long Learner

And big recognition to Litmus for their comprehensive subject-line infographic.

Increase Your Sales Pipeline Effectively

Lead Generation vs Core Business

Successful businesses engage in two very different activities:

  1. Serving current customers, and
  2. Identifying new customers.

The problem is, when you’re focused on serving current customers, you’re doing less to identify new customers. And conversely, when you’re focused on identifying new customers, you’re doing less to serve current customers.

To increase their sales pipelines, many businesses could use help managing their efforts between lead generation (finding & qualifying potential customers) and core business (closing sales & delighting customers).

A chart of these efforts over time looks like an argyle pattern or a series of Xs. No matter how you describe it, tension exists between these activities.

These efforts are efficient.

Predictability breeds efficiency

 
Many businesses could use a healthy dose of predictability. If you spend a set amount of effort on lead generation, then you can devote the majority of your effort to your core business of closing sales and delighting customers.

By injecting predictability into the mix, you can turn that argyle pattern into horizontal stripes. Your sales pipeline is fed continuously. You have plenty of customers to delight—plus time to delight them—and you have a steady stream of potential customers to convert.

These efforts are efficient. But where and how do you inject this predictability.

Increasing your sales pipeline
 
Successful businesses feed their sales pipelines in three complementary ways:
  1. Word-of-Mouth: customer loyalty and referrals -> Many-to-Many
  2. Inbound Marketing: activities and collateral (this blog, for example) -> One-to-Many
  3. Outbound Prospecting: sales lead generation -> One-to-One
Excelling at your core business is what drives customer loyalty and referrals. Plus it provides the foundation for your marketing material. So doing these things really well helps feed your sales pipeline.

Word-of-mouth and inbound marketing are almost self-feeding compared to the effort required for outbound prospecting. For one-to-one sales lead generation to be fruitful, it requires substantial effort. There’s profile definition, there’s channel optimization, there’s message customization, there’s more. There are many moving parts to outbound prospecting.

One-to-one outreach can be hugely effective among your target market. But it can become an enormous burden to seek out those targets. This is where to inject predictability into your lead generation activities.

“What does Customer-Acquisition-as-a-Service have to do with anything?”
 
Customer-Acquisition-as-a-Service can make the volume and quality of your sales leads more predictable. It can feed your sales pipeline with targeted leads at a regular cadence.

Here’s an example: Every week, a caterer uses Customer-Acquisition-as-a-Service to fill its sales pipeline with 150 contacts of decision makers at targets interested in catering. With a predictable supply of targeted leads in the pipeline, the caterer can focus on doing its core business of closing sales and providing catering.

When you tune your pipeline to a regular cadence, you achieve efficiency.

Bottomline
 
You can increase your sales pipeline effectively by injecting predictability into your outbound prospecting efforts. Your business can focus on what you’re good (serving current customers), and you can let someone else focus on what they’re good at (identifying new customers).

We’ll explore more about these topics in future updates. Subscribe to our blog or follow us on Twitter andFacebook to ensure you’re up to date.

Introducing Customer Acquisition as a Service

“Identifying new customers distracts me from serving current customers!”

And serving current customers distracts you from identifying new customers.

You can’t have one without the other. Yet it’s a struggle to do both simultaneously. That’s the catch to running a business. It’s hard to serve current customers and identify new customers at the same time. They’re very different activities. They require very different skill sets.

It seems like a Catch-22, but there’s help…

You want to serve your customers profitably. That’s where your margin is. A big distraction is customer acquisition. That’s part of your “overhead”. Customer acquisition reduces your margin, because it distracts you from doing what you’re in business to do.

Someone else can identify your new customers

You’ve identified your target market and you’re already making things people want. So, spend your time and effort focused on doing that. This focus allows you to delight and retain your existing customers. Meanwhile, someone else is helping you locate who your next customers are.

Large enterprises have people dedicated to customer identification and acquisition. For SMBs, employing such a staff fulltime is unrealistically inefficient. You’ve got to focus on the main part of your business while controlling costs.

Customer acquisition as-a-service helps control costs

SMBs use Software-as-a-Service to control costs. But software is just one thing that can be provisioned this way. Customer acquisition can be a service too, and LeadGenius provides it. LeadGenius employs qualified workers to identify customers for you based on your objectives. You control costs by hiring them only when you need to.

You know what your business does, so you have an idea of the types of customers you’d like to have. The LeadGenius team will consult on the correct channels to utilize to gather information on prospective customers. Then, a team of outreach specialists researches leads based on your criteria. Professionals manage the team and deliver your results. While this is happening, you can focus on other important parts of your business

Outsourced targeting works

A benefits, payroll, and HR outsourcing firm uses LeadGenius to contact 300 new potential customers each week, with an average of about 100 replies and 30 sign-ups for demos. From there, the firm takes over and closes the sale.  Companies with a clear understanding of their goals, objectives and target demographic continue to see positive results. This case study explains how the process works.

Try it

Do what you’re good at. By letting someone else take on the burden of identifying new customers, you can focus on the business of serving, delighting, and retaining your current customers.

Our team will continue to provide resources on customer acquisition. Subscribe to our blog or follow us onTwitter and Facebook to ensure you’re up to date.

TechCrunch: Y Combinator Alum MobileWorks Aims To Make Acquiring Users Easier with LeadGenius

TechCrunch recently reviewed LeadGenius, a MobileWorks service providing customer acquisition as a service– a simplified solution for garnering new users and customers.

Excerpt from the article:

If you’re a company looking to drum up some new users, the process seems simple enough — you shell out your monthly fee depending on the level of support you need and let the LeadGenius team do its thing. That “thing” naturally involves plenty of conversations.

“They’ll come to us and talk about where they found their first users and what they look like,” Kulkarni explained. “From there we discuss where to find reproducible sources of users.” Once that team has dug into the meat of a business, they’ll start trawling sources like LinkedIn, Kickstarter, and even CrunchBase in search of leads that could stand to benefit from a client’s offerings. Of course, much of that legwork can be invisible to the company that requested it — LeadGenius handles some of the initial outreach and qualification so in the end that client company gets leads to try to seal the deal with.”

Read Full Article

A call to support our community of workers in the Philippines.

Our CrowdTilt campaign to support disaster relief in the Philippines closes in 48 hours! Please help us reach our goal of raising $3,000 to support victims devastated by Typhoon Haiyan!

Many of our most talented workers are located in the Philippines.

We’re overjoyed to let you know that two of our most dedicated workers–Anne and Joane from Tacloban took refuge in Manila immediately after the storm but are now back bringing aid to their friends and family, who currently lack resources and support.

Anne & Joane have been with us since the very beginning of MobileWorks. If you were one of our early users your projects were almost certainly completed by these two tireless ladies. We’d love to have your support as they help rebuild their communities.

A donation at any level will be appreciated.  100% of contributions will go to the Kapuso Foundation to support disaster and medical relief services. (This foundation was recommended by one of our workers in the Philippines!)

To join us in support, click here.

Our workers and their communities thank you!