The StartupNation Blog Trends, tips and real-life anecdotes from industry experts

Posts Tagged “Marketing”

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College Dropout Starts Private Money Blueprint

Successful Real Estate Investor Now Educates Others Recently, I received an e-mail from Patrick Riddle of Private Money Blueprint, www.privatemoneyblueprint.com, talking about his history of dropping out of school to pursue a new dream of becoming a real estate investor. Like some of the top business owners in the country, Patrick made his entrepreneurial dreams [...]

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SEO Is Not About Keywords

Follow These 6 SEO Guidelines for Search Engine Optimization Success? If you think SEO, or search engine optimization, is just a buzz word and a matter of adding keywords to your site to increase traffic, you are wrong. Search engine optimization is a big part of your overall, content-strategy program tied directly to your marketing [...]

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Entrepreneur Helps The Environment With Aqwastream™

Startup Tips from Founder, Mare Van Dyke

Recently, I went scuba diving in Redondo Beach, California and was looking forward to seeing fish, crabs, lobsters, and some interesting sea snails. But that wasn’t the case. This time, I dropped down into the ocean, and there was a sea of garbage.

I can’t say I was that surprised. ABC News reported that, “approximately 1 billion seabirds and mammals die per year by ingesting plastic bags” and an article at The Mother Nature Network states that, “80 percent of plMare Van Dyke of Aqwastreamastic bottles are simply thrown away.”

I was sharing this story with an associate and discovered that she is actually doing something about it. Meet Mare Van Dyke, founding partner of Aqwastream and what she had to say during our interview…

Tell us about Aqwastream and why you started the company.

In a nutshell, we are developing a system of personal, water-bottle refill and digital media-stations that dispense free, filtered water on college and corporate campuses. The program for universities will be funded by corporate sponsors and provided to them at no cost.

Aqwastream™ stations include a micro-broadcast network where videos play to promote sponsor sustainability efforts to a targeted audience. Our goal is to partner with sponsors, schools and corporations to attack the issue of plastic-bottle waste one refill at a time.

I’ve worked continuously in various education and marketing related positions for over 40 years. During that time, I had the privilege to learn many facets of business, both B2B and B2C and felt strongly about becoming involved in something that could make a difference in our world – some small action with an educational twist that had a long-term benefit. I’ve been carrying a refillable water bottle for more years than I can remember, so the opportunity to create Aqwastream was a perfect fit.

What makes Aqwastream unique and why do you think it will be successful?www.aqwastream.com

Aqwastream™ is unique because of the total system solution technology we’ve incorporated in our network of stations to educate and engage users. We are taking the idea of the prehistoric “watering hole” or more contemporary “water cooler” concept where users quench their thirst, and get caught up on the important news of the day.

Our broadcast network is designed to display content directly related to issues around sustainability – produced by corporate sponsors or creatively designed by students – and shown in an environment where education and company loyalty can increase engagement and action.

We’re also utilizing M2M (machine to machine) technology to manage all mechanical and technology systems on the station. Sponsors and hosts (corporations and schools) won’t have to worry about maintenance or service calls. We handle it all, having developed a proprietary remote monitoring system.

What has been the most difficult part about starting a new company and becoming an entrepreneur?

From a personal perspective, there’s a lot of buzz around young entrepreneurs taking their great idea to market. You see them on TV, in social media and on magazine covers. The excitement of their risk is buffered by the time they have in life to re-group if they lose all their money or that of their investors.

We don’t hear much about professionals who later in their careers, take their beliefs, experience and savings and combine them to start something new in what’s supposed to be a winding-down time. With everyone “working toward retirement,” you only hear warnings that you’ll end up as Wal-Mart greeters if you fail. In actuality, according to a December 2012 article in Inc. magazine, “Older Entrepreneurs Get a Bum Rap,” those starting businesses later in life have a pretty good shot at success.

What is the most important lesson you’ve learned so far starting Aqwastream?

The most important lesson I’ve learned is to get outside of your current network. Fresh opinions and perspectives open your mind to possibilities and new connections. One particular new contact gave me advice that proved to be most valuable. She advised me to take advantage of my years of experience and connect only with those at the top level in each organization. She stressed the importance of “owning the start-up space” and adding value in every category by working top level players.

As a marketing expert, how are you marketing and promoting your new business?

Since becoming a founding partner of Aqwastream LLC, I’ve spent a lot of time learning how sustainability, Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) and green movement professionals are communicating to their constituents. There is a tight network of those who already “get it.” Expanding our concept to broad and targeted audiences will happen through expansive efforts of social media. It’s where we all look to learn.

What tips do you have for other entrepreneurs just starting out?

My tip to new entrepreneurs is to create value right from the beginning by acquiring assets for your business. File for trademarks, create systems with technology, apply for patents, establish your brand standards, set up a solid accounting system, and add equity partners to your team. Put your ego on the sideline and skip the fancy office, address and business expenses that do not add value to the business you are building.

That’s great advice Mare. Is there anything else you would like to add?

One of the most poignant statements that I heard about building a new business or even running an existing company goes like this. “Everything a company does should be done to make it more successful. Everything else is just a waste of time and resources.” For entrepreneurs like me, this is timely advice.

Thanks for your insights Mare, and we wish you all the best with your new business. If you’d like to contact Mare, visit www.aqwastream.com.

Do you have comments or a good, startup story to tell? Please write to us below.

And if you need help with your PR and SEO content strategy to boost sales, please write to me at www.rembrandtwrites.com.

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Startup Tips from Founder, Mare Van Dyke Recently, I went scuba diving in Redondo Beach, California and was looking forward to seeing fish, crabs, lobsters, and some interesting sea snails. But that wasn’t the case. This time, I dropped down into the ocean, and there was a sea of garbage. I can’t say I was [...]

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So What is SEO Anyway?

What is SEO? Hint – It’s not just about adding search engine optimization keywords to your Website SEO, or search engine optimization, is a big mystery to many people. While many of us in the media and communications business have no trouble understanding it, it can be misunderstood by entrepreneurs and business people worldwide. If [...]

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Why Isn’t Your AdWords PPC Campaign Working?

Don’t Waste Time on SEO That Is Not Working “Why isn’t my SEO, PPC campaign working?” “My site traffic is not increasing with my AdWords PPC campaign!” “I’m spending a fortune on PPC each month with no results!” If any of these statements sound familiar, you are not alone. Many entrepreneurs come to me asking [...]

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InventionHome Product Spotlight – Tipsy Tower

Memorial Day has come and gone.  The holiday signifies many things…a time to remember those who sacrificed their lives for our country, as well as a time to visit the gravesites of our loved ones to pay respects.  In a much less ‘official’ manner, this day also marks a changeover in the season making it [...]

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Stop Writing Your Online Content!

Are You a Trained, SEO Copywriter? If not, please stop writing your company’s content! If you are writing your own copy for all of your marketing needs, but you are not a trained, SEO (search engine optimization) copywriter, stop! You may think you are saving time and money, but you are actually losing out on [...]

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Is This on Your Year-End, IT Checklist?

It’s time to get ready for 2013! The craziness of Cyber Monday is over, and now comes the holiday rush. With everything that’s going on in your organization, it can be easy to get overwhelmed and miss out on some important, year-end activities. Here are a few reminders to help your IT team stay on [...]

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Time to Check Your Site!

The busy, fall season is here, and it’s time to focus on your priorities for the rest of the year. Here’s a quick list of questions to ask: What are your site analytics telling you? Review your most popular content, and make a note to add more of this to your site. If you are [...]

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Tips for Dealing with Negative Folks

Have you ever heard the quote, “If it weren’t for people, business would be easy?” Running a successful business is all about dealing with different personalities to accomplish specific goals. And this is often much easier said than done.

Well, instead of increasing your blood pressure and letting these people get to you, here are a few tips to help you open up the communication lines and accomplish more:

1. Listen.

    So many times, we are in a hurry, have an important point to get across or just want to provide our feedback. Without knowing it, this can give the wrong impression, and we can come off as pushy. This triggers a response in the person we are talking to that puts them on the offensive.

    Instead of talking a lot, try to be a good listener. This way, you’ll learn more about the person you are communicating with and be able to fulfill their needs more adequately. Plus, you’ll create a better, more respectful, working relationship.

    2. Stay Positive.

      Even if someone drives you nuts, it’s important to keep a positive attitude. After all, you may not have control over the person you are speaking to and what they say, but you do have control over your thoughts and actions.

      When you are dealing with a “Negative Nancy,” try to think of something positive about this person or the situation. It will help reduce your stress level and make the conversation more productive for both of you

      3. Say “Thanks.”

        If you are having a difficult time staying positive when your boss is yelling at you or you have a run-in with a negative customer, try to think of five or more things you are thankful for to change your mindset. Perhaps you are thankful you have a job with a steady income, that you are healthy and made it to work today, that you have wonderful children? The list goes on…

        When it comes right down to it, there are more important things than work. If you put it into perspective and think of all the big things in life you are thankful for, your attitude will change significantly.

        Hang In There.

        Business can be tough, especially if you are an entrepreneur. And it’s sometimes necessary to deal with people you’d rather not talk to at all. When this happens, it’s important to focus on listening to the other person, stay positive and think of the things you are thankful for in life. This way, you can face difficult people with a smile, learn more about there needs and maintain a healthy attitude that will make you more successful in business… and life!

        Got questions? Please write to me below or at www.rembrandtwrites.com.

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        Have you ever heard the quote, “If it weren’t for people, business would be easy?” Running a successful business is all about dealing with different personalities to accomplish specific goals. And this is often much easier said than done. Well, instead of increasing your blood pressure and letting these people get to you, here are [...]

        Continue Reading

        What Are Your SEO Keywords Doing?

        The kids are back at school, and you are settling into a regular work-schedule for the fall. With this in mind, it’s time to think about your SEO processes and make improvements now… before the onslaught of year-end work and the holidays hit. With this in mind, ask yourself these questions: How are your SEO [...]

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        Want Some Good Publicity? 3 Key Tips…

        If you are an entrepreneur or just trying to get some publicity for a new business and haven’t had any luck with reporters, you may want to stop and review your process. There are three, key things to do before pitching a media member. Conduct research. Are you just sending a press release or a [...]

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        Crowdfunding Tips from FutureDash

        Recently, StartupNation was approached by FutureDash, and they had a lot to say about crowdfunding. Here’s what CEO Kevin Strong had to say… Tell us about your business. FutureDash is a technology startup focused on an energy management solution called EnergyBuddy, www.energy-buddy.com. It gives homeowners and small businesses awareness of their energy usage, helping them [...]

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        Time to Increase Sales with PR, SEO and Marketing

        If you are worried about finances and slow sales at your business, it’s not the time to reduce your PR, SEO and marketing budgets. It’s time to increase them! While these areas may not seem important to the core of your business, it’s essential to put more money, time and effort into them… especially when [...]

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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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