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Archive for “Launch a Home Business”

86 Common Sense Marketing Ideas for Startups

When starting a business, marketing is (or should be) the business owner’s biggest priority. Yet many startups have no clue about marketing.  With that in mind,  I thought who better to learn what works in marketing than from those who have gone before? I reached out to established business owners across all industries to see [...]

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Conference Survival Tactics

I just returned home from a few days away at a conference.  As always, getting back in the groove is difficult when returning from being away whether for pleasure or business.  That is not what I am going to write about though.  Rather, I am going to address the leaving for a trip instead. When [...]

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Want a “Happiness Problem”?

Your phone rings off the hook. Your Inbox is flooded with requests. Your schedule is packed. When you can’t take on any more clients and you can set whatever fees you want because you are booked solid with work, this is called a “happiness problem.” And while it can be wonderful to have all this [...]

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5 Reasons You Should Not Write a Blog

As a small business owner, you’ve heard all about the benefits of having a blog for search engine optimization (SEO) and getting noticed online. But just because everyone else has a blog doesn’t necessarily mean you should write one too. Here are… The Top 5 Reasons You Should Not Write a Blog. 1.  You are [...]

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10 Budget-Friendly Ways to Market Your Business

Every business owner needs to make the most of their marketing dollars and sometimes thinking outside the box can help you do much more with less.  Here are 10 great ways to market your business without busting your bank account provided by business owners across the country.   I love writing posts like this.  The advice [...]

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And you thought marketing to women was simple…

Yesterday I was invited to attend a speaker series at the Center for Women’s Entrepreneurship featuring Mary Lou Quinlan on the topic of Marketing to Women.  At first, I thought, well, I know everything on thinking like a woman because I am a woman.  Boy, I was wrong, and I gained some huge insight into [...]

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3 Signs of SEO Copywriting Burnout

Are you writing Website landing pages, e-mails, search engine optimization (SEO) tags, blogs, social media entries, and more on a daily basis? If so, you may be experiencing one or more of the following symptoms: •    Difficulty turning on the computer to start writing. •    Endlessly staring at a blank page waiting for inspiration to [...]

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5 Creative Marketing Ideas for Mother’s Day

Mother’s Day is Sunday May 13th, 2012, and is an excellent opportunity to build buzz for your business with some creative marketing! From Mother’s Day Contests to Mother’s Day themed promotions, here are 5 creative Mother’s Day Marketing ideas that will help you bring more customers in your door. 1. Create a Mother’s Day Gift [...]

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Google Update and Your SEO-What Do You Need To Do?

You just finished updating your search engine optimization (SEO) with Google’s Panda update, and now you hear that Google is making another update. What do you do? Well, don’t’ stress out. You have no control over what Google does. But there is one thing you can do to ensure you maintain your top SEO rankings, [...]

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Tools to Start a Small Business

When you work for yourself, the right tools can help you save time and money. Aside from the obvious tools: a computer with plenty of memory, a space-saving All-in-One (link to Brother), shredder and other tools mentioned on Startup Nation, there are other not-so-obvious tools that can help you start and grow a business. Reliable [...]

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10 Tweets To Solve Twitter Writer’s Block

If you are actively involved in your social media activities, then you may have trouble coming up with new and exciting tweets to share with your customers on a daily basis. However, there is a simple fix for this. Remember, social media is about being social and interaction. When you are not sure what to [...]

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Get a Big Media Story in 3 Steps

As a small business owner, you may think it’s impossible to get a big, feature story about your company in one of your favorite publications, especially if you don’t have the money to hire a publicist. And while a publicist has the skills to build buzz and cultivate relationships with the media, it is possible [...]

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9 Big Marketing Ideas for Small Business

Small business owners are always on the lookout for that one big marketing idea that will catapult their business into the stratosphere.  What I’ve found, however, is that it isn’t just one marketing idea but many marketing ideas, implemented strategically and consistently over time that reap the best results.  Here are nine of my favorite [...]

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Setting Limits with Commitments

Across most of the country, summer, I mean spring has arrived.  After an unseasonably mild winter for many, like me, it seems as though summer is here bright and early.  While I don’t doubt that we may still get some spring rain-filled and cooler days, the heat and sun is prompting an early summeritus season. This week [...]

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6 World’s Worst Marketing Tips

I spend a lot of time talking with small business owners about how they can get new customers and grow their business.  I love hearing about new and innovative ways that companies and business owners have used to market their brand, build some buzz, and get their company in front of the right prospects.  While [...]

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Small Business Owner Bob Christensen Gets the Word Out

Recently, I spoke to the CEO of Your Dollar Matters, Inc., http://www.theformtool.com, Bob BobChristensenChristensen. As a successful, small business owner who deals with other entrepreneurs in accounting, case management and HR on a regular basis, he is getting the word out about his business and increasing sales via public relations efforts. Here are his insights…

Why did you start Your Dollar Matters?

As a significant purchaser of professional services, particularly from lawyers and accountants, I was often disappointed by the agreements and documents that constituted their final product, which were usually just cut-and-paste hatchet jobs in Word, regurgitations of documents created 20 years ago and reused 1000 times since.

I wanted to provide the market with the kind of professional, form-based product I expected rather than what I was getting. While I don’t mind paying well for expert guidance and advice, compensating someone hundreds of dollars an hour for laboriously tweaking documents they’ve written 100 times before strikes me as ludicrous. I’ll gladly pay by the gram for brains, but not by the pound for the words!

With Your Dollar Matters, we saw an opportunity to do well by doing good: good for professionals who are yoked to their clocks; good for clients who want lower prices and better service; even good for “the system” by improving courthouse and bureaucratic productivity, too, by giving taxpayers a more efficient bang for the buck.

What advice do you have for others starting a new business?

Figure out who needs a better mousetrap then build one that is exponentially better than the best. Before you launch, though, figure out how you’re going to convince your market that it actually needs your better device.

Because, as it should, the market only cares about one question, “What’s in it for me?” A successful entrepreneur needs to have an overwhelmingly convincing answer to that question.

How are you getting the word out about your business and why?

Times have changed. Traditional paid media is fading fast. Consumers, including business consumers, have instant access to what I think of as “crowd experience,” reports on product experiences from users in near real-time.

Our biggest decision was to adopt a “Freeconomics” business model similar to what Facebook, Pandorajam and Twitter have done, where a small minority of users pay for the service while the vast majority get it for free. (Note: “Freeconomics” is a strategy outlined by Chris Anderson in his 2009 bestseller, “Free: The Future of a Radical Price.”) We expected that decision would help us build a user base fast, to which we could later turn for word of mouth (or keyboard), product reviews, testimonials and paid upgrades.

Three of the unexpected consequences of that decision were fascinating. First, overnight TheFormTool found an international following among people who need document assembly on a regular basis. Second, because people could actually count on a real product and a real lifetime license for absolutely free, they stepped up to decisions they otherwise might not have. Finally, the incredibly rapid adoption into other industries – contractors, estimators, environmental engineers, insurance and a dozen others – is possible because people could justify giving TheFormTool a chance because of the low-risk threshold of their decision.

What marketing and publicity strategies have worked so far and why?

As buyers, we all look for the Amazon ratings or online ratings in other virtual stores. We trust those masses of anonymous, prior purchasers. With TheFormTool, our task was to develop a respectably-sized user base just as fast as possible and to give users an opportunity to crow or complain about our product and service.

Now, ordinary people really can assemble the smartest documents™ in the world and they do, easily – the feedback and chatter were stellar. After awhile, the professionals started noticing the chatter, and we began to have opportunities to help them with editorial content, which provided free media coverage, which fed the virtuous circle.

What do you plan to do in the areas of PR and marketing in the future to build awareness and why?

Our job is to expand the user base and continually enhance document-assembly users’ experience so that they come to the point where the reasons for buying are just overwhelming. The best way to do that is to share current users’ experience with the interested public.

That translates into tightly focused attention on our primary vertical markets. We’ll work with PR professionals to identify those markets and to seek and exploit opportunities for press attention within them.

Why is public relations important to your overall, business goals right now?

We want TheFormTool to become as ubiquitous as pen and paper once were. For that, we need awareness among 100 million or more potential, document-assembly purchasers of their need for increased productivity.

We need everyone to agree with us that it’s time for documents to start thinking on their own, for promissory notes to be smart enough to compute their own payments and for a contractor’s bid form to fill itself out, correctly and instantly. Public relations is the most efficient way to accomplish these goals.

What PR and marketing tips do you have for other, new business owners?

Build a story just as fast as possible, but remember that the best stories are not about you or your company. The very best stories are about users and customers. They’re the ones that are reinventing the world.

Thanks for the information Bob. Hopefully, your insights will help other small business owners with their PR and marketing activities.

How about you? Do you have marketing and PR tips for other entrepreneurs? Please write to me below or visit my site at www.rembrandtwrites.com for more information.

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Recently, I spoke to the CEO of Your Dollar Matters, Inc., http://www.theformtool.com, Bob Christensen. As a successful, small business owner who deals with other entrepreneurs in accounting, case management and HR on a regular basis, he is getting the word out about his business and increasing sales via public relations efforts. Here are his insights… [...]

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3 Questions to Avoid SEO Stress!

If you are a copywriter or small business owner researching SEO (search engine optimization) keywords for your business, it can be overwhelming. You’ll find tons of words via the search engines, Google Analytics, social media efforts, and more. With this in mind, here are… 3 Questions to Ask to Avoid SEO Keyword Stress! 1. What [...]

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Blogging is the New First Impression

In recent weeks, I have been using examples of dating and attending a party in my writing.  Keeping up with the same social theme, today, I am going to talk about first impressions. First impressions are considered crucial, if not critical in both life and business. Whenever, one meets someone new in biz or anywhere [...]

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5 Tips to Optimize Your Facebook Timeline for Business

Business owners beware! Facebook has changed the game again, and this time the change involves your business!  On March 1st, 2012, Facebook rolled out Facebook Pages (otherwise known as Timeline) for businesses, brands and organizations.  All business pages will be converted to this new format automatically on March 30th, 2012.  You can choose to have your [...]

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