We have all heard the horror stories of big business pitted against small business. The classic David and Goliath tale played out from Wall Street to Main Street with all kinds of financial causalities in their wake. While the tales may differ, the moral is the same. The big fish will always try to eat [...]Continue Reading
Archive for “Fund Your Business”
I don’t know about you, but I’ve seen an increase in small-business marketing budgets in the last few weeks. More small businesses are realizing that they need to market and promote their services more than ever to get their piece of the consumer’s shrinking budget. After all, if you don’t get your name [...]Continue Reading
If you want to get some new business, here are three quick tips that may help you boost your customer-list fast… 1. Make A List. Check It Twice. Look through all of your contacts and review the people you’ve met in your industry or at various conferences, local business meetings, presentations, etc. Then, make a list. Research [...]Continue Reading
A recent survey conducted by StartupNation’s friends at Wakefield Research for Brother® International, http://bit.ly/cIsNF5, indicated that small business owners “believe that stockpiling their cash now is the best strategy for survival.” The survey also revealed ways that small business owners plan to make their businesses more efficient this year. To find out more, I interviewed [...]Continue Reading
After conducting extensive research and preparing your story ideas (discussed in previous blog entries pertinent to our “7 Steps to Successful Public Relations”), the next step is to contact the media. Introduce Yourself. You can start with a press release announcing your new business and call or e-mail the appropriate media member with a simple [...]Continue Reading
For many small business owners getting a write-up in Entrepreneur magazine is the holy grail of media coverage. A few lines in the magazine can make all those sleepless nights, hard work, and determination seem rewarded. No trophies or plaques required. So what does it take to secure this much coveted ink? Aronado Placencia, host [...]Continue Reading
As a bootstrap entrepreneur, I’ve learned there are just some things you don’t cut corners on. My “golden rule” has always been to hire the best Lawyer, Accountant, and Business Consultant you can find, even if you can’t afford it. The truth is you simply can’t afford NOT to. Running my small business over the [...]Continue Reading
Want insider secrets from a highly successful entrepreneur on how to survive tough, economic times? Well, today you’re in luck. I caught up with George Cloutier, owner of the highly successful business, American Management Services, http://www.amserv.com/, to discuss his new book, “Profits Aren’t Everything; They’re the Only Thing.” Here’s what he had to say. Tell [...]Continue Reading
Banks aren’t lending-despite reports the economy is getting better. So, what does this mean for small business owners and people trying to start their own business? Basically people are going to need to get a little creative when it comes to getting money from banks. If you don’t have a perfect credit score, you have [...]Continue Reading
(Great tips for handling customer service here.) These are great starting points and should serve as the foundation for any small business looking to incorporate social media in their marketing efforts.
While those are great steps for getting started in social media, it’s important that companies don’t stop there. The real key to your success lies in your ability to actively engage that target demographic. I urge you to roll up your sleeves a little and try some new strategies this year to finally get some ROI from social media. To get you started, I’ve brainstormed a couple ideas below.
- Include a playful and creative flyer in outgoing packages encouraging participation and possibly offering a reward… “Be a sweetie! (attach some candy to the card) Post a pic of you wearing this t-shirt on our Fan Page and we’ll send you a $5 gift card.”
- Create a survey on Facebook or poll on Twitter (twtpoll) asking “friends” to vote on which new products to sell/create…the winning product will be offered to survey participants first, and at a discount. (See how Modcloth does this here)
- Track down recent customers on Facebook and “friend” them with your companies Facebook page (who doesn’t want more “friends”?)
- Spend money to make money…hire a Community Manager that will actually have the time to effectively target and engage new customers and strengthen your online branding. (Not sure what a Community Manager does? Read this by Chris Brogan.)
I truly believe social media is the future for small business marketing and I hope you can find at least one of these ideas helpful in your efforts to engage online. Always be on the lookout for innovative new ideas to reach your customers and don’t be shy. A sincere, heartfelt, and playful “hello” to your customers will be appreciated more times than not. Just make sure you have the infrastructure in place to monitor, measure, and manage all those new customer interactions.
Need help with your social media campaign? Contact me directly here!
I apologize for the outlandish headline, but I don’t really think it’s any more outlandish than crowning Threadless as the sales guru of Twitter. I’m sure you’ve read some recent press in the media bragging about Threadless being the company to emulate when it comes to monetizing on Twitter. (Read one article from Inc here) [...]Continue Reading
The three most important things to achieve in delivering an effective pitch to investors are: A sense of confidence A sense of excitement A clear action plan Just this week on their popular Happy Hour show, Fox Business Network featured our advice on their show. Here’s the interview. Or just click on the image below. [...]Continue Reading
It’s time. Right Now. Stop dilly-dallying. Starting a business doesn’t have to be scarey. And you don’t have to wait. Start on a path to opening your own business. Get our life-changing book, StartupNation: Open for Business. There are easy steps you can take. And there are over 30 examples of success stories using our process, [...]Continue Reading
So what does this mean for small business?
If you haven’t jumped in on the social media bandwagon yet, now is the time. Customers and clients are using their blogs, tweets, facebook status updates, and more to talk about your brand. (Don’t believe me? Watch this.) With the birth of social search, these conversations will now be mainstream for all of Google to see. In other words, your customers will directly effect your Google search rankings.
Will Twitter be more business friendly in 2010?
Absolutely. Their real-time search collaboration is a big step in the right direction and Twitter isn’t stopping there. It has also launched a “Contributors” function (invitation only for now) which allows companies to have several authors send tweets under the same company profile. It is rumored that this may be one of the many new features in a “business class” Twitter account. These accounts would be part of an anticipated paid model launch in 2010. Also highly anticipated is the new emphasis on GeoAPI which will allow tweets to be seen with geo-location information. (Click here to read more.)
So what should you do?
Take advantage of this new opportunity to leverage social media in your favor by developing a listening strategy (read my post here for a how to), ensuring that your current web collateral can easily be shared socially (use AddThis or ShareThis buttons), and abandon spamming your marketing messages via your social networks in favor of developing mutually beneficial online relationships with key influencers in your industry.
Share your thoughts below in the comments! Are you using Twitter for Business?
Need help with your social media campaign? Contact me directly here!
I wouldn’t encourage the naysayers to start chanting “the wicked witch is dead” just yet, but there has been a definite decline in Twitter users. According to the latest research from eMarketer, Twitter posted a decline in users from 23 million to 20 million. How is this possible you ask? Easy. The honeymoon is over [...]Continue Reading
Are you having trouble keeping your employees motivated during today’s challenging times? Well, I recently caught up with human resource and leadership guru Theresa Welbourne, Ph.D. As the President and CEO of eePulse, Inc., www.eepulse.com, a Research Professor with the Center for Effective Organizations, Marshall School of Business, University of Southern California and the Editor-in-Chief [...]Continue Reading
If you are trying to save money and start the New Year off right, there may be a secret problem lurking in your business. With the stress of trying to balance a budget, pay bills, obtain new customers, and have a life outside of the office, it can be easy to overlook one key element [...]Continue Reading
Excited to share the news: ABC News Now’s Tory Johnson just highlighted select winners from the 2009 StartupNation Home-Based 100. Click on the image here to view the interview or select “Play ABC Video.” I was able to mention these winners in the quick interview: Haralee Weintraub’s Haralee.com Joe Hansen and Cristy Stewart-Harfmann’s PricelessProfiles.com, and [...]Continue Reading
As the “royalty” status of Hollywood stars has risen, so has their effectiveness as key influencers in consumer purchasing behaviors. Celebrity product placement is considered an “influencer-marketing” approach for helping brands increase their competiveness in an increasingly crowded marketplace. Marketers and small business owners can harness that power through strategic product placement opportunities that have [...]Continue Reading
Ever heard of “The Conference Board”? It’s a global, independent business membership and research association. Their mission is to provide organizations with the practical knowledge they need to improve their performance, among other things. They do a study on a quarterly basis that measures CEO confidence, which had increased in the second quarter of 2009, and [...]Continue Reading
Recently, I caught up with Cynthia Good, CEO, founding editor and co-owner of the award-winning PINK Magazine, www.PINKmagazine.com. PINK reaches more than two million professional women every year and has raised more than $60,000 for nonprofits benefiting women and girls. Before becoming an entrepreneur, Cynthia was a news anchor on television stations nationwide, created her [...]Continue Reading
Tory Johnson, frequent reporter on ABC’s Good Morning America show and anchor of the ABC NewsNow series focusing on careers asked for a little StartupNation love recently. One of her faithful fans, Natalie, of ChicSweets, asked for ideas about how to move her business forward on a variety of levels, especially in the transition from part-time [...]Continue Reading