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

Posts Tagged “small business marketing”

Small Business Marketing Ideas for September

If you’re a business owner looking for some creative marketing ideas, you’ve come to the right place.  Let me tell you something-  If it’s being talked about on the news or on the Internet, then your customers are talking about it too.  Become a part of the conversation with your out-of-the box marketing ideas and [...]

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5 Tips for Running Facebook Contests

Looking for a great way to get more “Likes” for your business page on Facebook?  Want a way to keep your current fans engaged or to generate some buzz for your business?  Running a contest on Facebook can get you all these things and more.  Contests are an instant draw because they create a sense [...]

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9 Sizzling Summer Marketing Ideas

Many business owners say that their sales slow down in the summer for various reasons. But just because it’s summer doesn’t mean it has to be slow for your business.  Here are 9 summer marketing ideas that will help keep your business sizzling all summer long. 1.         Celebrate a celebrity’s birthday! Make your business the [...]

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9 of the Best Mobile Coupon Apps for Marketing Your Business

Approximately 30% of American mobile phone users have a smart phone and adoption rates are increasing.  According to comScore, a digital market intelligence company, it’s estimated that by the end of 2011, that number will have increased to 50%.    This represents a huge opportunity to small business owners who have retail locations or who sell [...]

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Guy Kawasaki on Enchantment, Marketing and Small Business

Guy Kawasaki is no stranger to entrepreneurship, having co-founded several businesses including Garage Technology Ventures, and Alltop.com, which is, as he describes, an “online magazine rack” of popular topics on the web.  He’s written ten books including The Art of the Start, The Macintosh Way, and his latest, Enchantment, The Art of Changing Hearts, Minds and Actions, releasing March 8th, 2011, available on Amazon.com, and in bookstores everywhere.

I’ve read hundreds of business books, but never have I read a book like this.  In a nutshell, Enchantment is all about how to make people fall in love with you, and when people fall in love with you, you can accomplish anything.

This book is part inspiration, part motivation, and part practication (I just made up a new word).   With inspiring stories and practical steps, Kawasaki explains all the tactics you need to put together and launch your own enchantment campaign.  Kawasaki’s lessons are taken from his experience at Apple, but many of the stories are very personal stories from average, every day people.  (These stories happen to be some of my favorite parts of the book.)  Buy the book on Tuesday March 8th, or any day and you will be able to experience “enchantment” for yourself.

In honor of the release of Kawasaki’s new book, I asked him to give us his perspective on small business marketing today.  Here’s his insightful and unedited response.  Enjoy!

What do you see are the biggest challenges for a small business owner today?

Sales, sales, and sales. My saying is, “sales fixes everything” because as long as you have cash flow, you’re still in the game. As a friend once told me, the leading cause of failure of startups is death, and you die when you run out of money.

Is that different than what it was a few years ago?

It’s been like this since the recession hit. Every day, I wish for just one more bubble because this time I’ll know what to do!  But I believe that business is cyclical, so it’s not wise to panic. A rising tide floats all boats, but a receding tide makes the big, bloated boats hit rock bottom.

How have you seen business owners overcome these challenges?  (What’s working?)

More than anything else, these times are a test of will–how much are you willing to gut it out and grind it out. If you can survive these times, you’re pretty set to take on anything. I have great admiration for the companies that continue to put out great products and services with less money while maintaining high levels of customer enchantment. It’s much easier to write the book and make the speech than actually deliver results.

As far as marketing, what strategies do you use to market your business?

Right now, I’m mostly marketing my new book. To do this, I believe that “nobodies are the new somebodies.” That is, I don’t focus on only the so-called experts and powerful people. I like to work with as many people as possible because it’s impossible to know who will really make you tip.

Is there a strategy that doesn’t work?

I’ve never been one to throw money at a problem…for two reasons, I never had the money to throw and I hate wasting money in any case.

What advice do you have for business owners who are just starting out?

Prototype, prototype, prototype. Get to market. PowerPoint and Excel are secondary or even tertiary in importance. Get to market and get cash flowing.

Other than StartupNation, Entrepreneur Magazine, Alltop.com, what other resources do you recommend for startups?  Books? Websites, etc?

These are primarily information sources. Startups also need ways to reach and serve customers. For this, God provided Twitter and Facebook. These two sites are entrepreneur’s dreams because they are fast, free, and ubiquitous. The book that I recommend to startups is If You Want to Write by Brenda Ueland. This book provided the inspiration that changed my life. It’s not solely about writing–it’s about the human spirit. Every entrepreneur should read it.

Bonuses:

Online Quiz:  How GREAT Are You?

Online Photo Contest:  Submit your Most Enchanting Photo for a Chance to Win!

“Like” Enchantment on Facebook

Wendy Kenney is the best selling author of How to Build Buzz for Your Biz, Tap into the Power of Social Media, Publicity and Relationship Marketing to Grow Your Business, available on Amazon.com.  She has been featured in the New York Times, Wall Street JournalUSA Today, and Newsday. For more information go to http://23Kazoos.com.

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Guy Kawasaki is no stranger to entrepreneurship, having co-founded several businesses including Garage Technology Ventures, and Alltop.com, which is, as he describes, an “online magazine rack” of popular topics on the web.  He’s written ten books including The Art of the Start, The Macintosh Way, and his latest, Enchantment, The Art of Changing Hearts, Minds [...]

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How to Become a Marketing Superstar

Wendy Kenney is the best selling author of How to Build Buzz for Your Biz, Tap into the Power of Social Media, Publicity and Relationship Marketing to Grow Your Business, available on Amazon.com.  She has been featured in the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, USA Today, and Newsday. For more information go to http://23Kazoos.com.

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What is the biggest marketing challenge that you have in your business? According to a survey by Marketing Sherpa, 78% of businesses say that their biggest marketing challenge is generating high quality leads. In my work as a contract Marketing Director with small businesses I see this challenge on a daily basis. Interestingly enough many small businesses make the [...]

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5 Small Business Marketing Secrets from Big Box Retailers

Big box retailers like Target and Walmart have marketing down to a science and rarely do they stray from these tried and methods.  It’s worth it to take a look at these successful retailers to see what strategies they use that might work for your business too. 1.         The Secret of Reach: Big box retailers [...]

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Use Social Media to Build Buzz for Your Business

Social media has changed the face of marketing forever. What was once a one-way message pushed from the company to the consumer has become a two-way conversation, requiring both parties to participate. Now your customers have a voice in the marketplace and their voices are loud and clear. One study showed that an unhappy customer [...]

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Google Caffeine Means This Marketing Strategy is More Important Than Ever

Just last month Google announced the completion of their new web indexing system called Caffeine.

According to Google,

“Caffeine provides 50 percent fresher results for web searches than our last index, and it’s the largest collection of web content we’ve offered. Whether it’s a news story, a blog or a forum post, you can now find links to relevant content much sooner after it is published than was possible ever before.”

This change means that having fresh content is more important to your business than ever before.  How do you do that?  According to Google’s Matt Cutts,

“Blogging is a great way to show people the human side of your company and provide information to customers and visitors. Blogging is also much lighter-weight than a press release. The only time I’d refrain from blogging is if you don’t anticipate updating your blog very often. If you only do a blog post every year or so, it makes your site look more like a ghost town than a vibrant community.

I’m assuming that you already know what a blog is, so I won’t go into that here.  But suffice it to say, a blog can be a very powerful marketing strategy.  But before you get started, here’s what you need to know.

1.         Blogging is free!

You can use free blog platforms like WordPress.com, Blogger.com, Typepad.com or Tumblr.com to get started.  The great thing about all of these platforms is that you don’t need to know coding or design.  Once you set up your account, you’re ready to publish.  For many of these websites you can even purchase a custom domain name for your account if you don’t want to have the platform name such as WordPress.com in your website URL.

2.         Blogging is easier than you think!

Come on admit it, your website was built 5 years ago and is ready for an upgrade, but your wallet is not.  Fortunately, you can use your blog as your new website!  It has all the functionality of a website and then some.  Plus you can update it as you need to as often as you like without having to pay a programmer.  This keeps your blog fresh and timely-search engine friendly!

3.         A blog doesn’t have to be wordy.

The beauty of a blog is that it can be as short or as long as you like.  You don’t have to write a new chapter of War and Peace every time you write a post.  Sometimes a sentence is all you need!  And if you don’t want to write, try posting photos or videos instead.  What about “before and after” photos of work you’ve done or virtual tours of your product, facility, office, or process.

4.         Your website is like a yellow pages ad, but your blog is like a journal.

Which would you rather read?  A blog invites people to read it because it is reveals the inner thoughts of the writer.  Don’t worry if you start a blog and the only one who reads it is your mom.   That will change as you keep at it and word spreads.   The key is to update your blog regularly.  The rule of thumb is that the more you update your blog, the more traffic you have.  At minimum you should update your blog once a week with articles of 500 words or less.  But blogging twice a week is optimal.

5.         Blogging establishes you as an expert.

With so much competition out there, it can be difficult for consumers to make decisions, however a blog sets you apart from your competition as an expert.  This increases your credibility to your potential buyers which translates to increased sales.  An added benefit is that the media also rely on bloggers as experts.  Case in point, the blog “Get Rich Slowly” is frequently referred to by Money Magazine.  The blog, The Pioneer Woman.com, led to a New York Times best selling cookbook.

So what are you waiting for?  It’s time to get started!  Have a blog?  Feel free to post it here, but business appropriate only please.

Wendy Kenney is a nationally known Buzz Building Expert and the Founder and CEO of 23 Kazoos, a marketing firm specializing in inexpensive and creative small business marketing strategies.  She has honed her marketing skills through over 26 years of entrepreneurship and business management.

Wendy just released her new book called How to Build Buzz for Your Biz- Tap into the Power of Social Media, Publicity and Relationship Marketing to Grow Your Business” based on her knowledge of what works and what does not work in small business marketing.  This book features practical and low cost marketing strategies, such as “How to Grow Your Business Using Social Media,” as well as valuable links, resources, and tips.

Wendy frequently speaks to organizations about marketing for small business.  To get more information or to schedule Wendy to speak go to:  Business Marketing Speaker

Claim your free download (no email necessary) on Wendy’s website:  23 Kazoos

How to Build Buzz for your Biz:  23 Creative and Inexpensive Marketing Strategies That Will Get You Noticed

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Just last month Google announced the completion of their new web indexing system called Caffeine. According to Google, “Caffeine provides 50 percent fresher results for web searches than our last index, and it’s the largest collection of web content we’ve offered. Whether it’s a news story, a blog or a forum post, you can now [...]

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50 of the Best Twitter Applications and Resources For Small Business Owners

1. Twellow: http://www.twellow.com

2. Tweepz: http://www.tweepz.com

3. Nearby Tweets: http://nearbytweets.com

4. GeoFollow: http://geofollow.com

5. Streetmavens: http://usa.streetmavens.com

6. Twitter Grader: http://twitter.grader.com/location

7. Journalist Tweets: http://journalisttweets.com

8. Media on Twitter: http://www.mediaontwitter.com

9. Muck Rack: http://www.muckrack.com

10. Listorius: http://listorious.com

11. Twitter advanced search: http://search.twitter.com/advanced

Manage Twitter:

12. Journalist Tweets: http://journalisttweets.com

13. Media on Twitter: http://www.mediaontwitter.com

Manage Twitter on Your Computer:

PC

14. Tweet Deck: http://tweetdeck.com

15. Seesmic Desktop: http://seesmic.com/seesmic_desktop

16. HooteSuite:http://hootsuite.com

Mac:

17. Nambu: http://www.nambu.com

18. Tweetie: http://www.atebits.com/tweetie-mac

Manage Twitter on Your Mobile Phone:

Blackberry:

19. OpenBeak: http://www.orangatame.com/products/openbeak

20. Tiny Twitter: http://www.tinytwitter.com

Android:

21. HootSuite: http://hootsuite.com/android

22. TwitDroid: http://twidroid.com

23. NanoTweeter: http://code.google.com/p/nanotweeter

iPhone

24. Twitter for iPhone: http://www.itunes.com

25. Echophone: http://www.echofon.com/twitter/iphone

Automate Twitter:

26. CoTweet: http://cotweet.com

27. HootSuite: http://www.hootesuite.com

28. Twuffer: http://www.twuffer.com

29. Social Oomph: http://www.socialoomph.com

30. Ping.fm: http://ping.fm

Personalize Your Twitter Background:

31. TwitrBackgrounds: http://www.twitrbackgrounds.com

32. Twitrounds: http://twitrounds.com

33. TwitBacks: http://www.twitbacks.com

Market Your Small Biz with Twitter Applications:

34. TwitHawk: http://www.twithawk.com

35. Easy Tweets: Promote your biz: https://easytweets.com

36. Twitjump: Monitor your brand: http://www.twitjump.com

37. Listorius: Find the top lists to follow: http://listorious.com

38. OneForty: Best Twitter applications: http://oneforty.com

39. Twt Apps: Applications especially for businesses: http://twtapps.com

Just for Fun!

40. Twittersheep: http://twittersheep.com

41. Playtwivia: http://twitter.com/playtwivia

42. Tweetbomb: http://twitter.com/tweetbomb

43. Twittearth: http://twittearth.com

44. Tweet Cloud: http://tweetcloud.com/

45. My Tweet Cloud:

46. Twitter Grader: http://twitter.grader.com

47. 12 Seconds.TV: http://12seconds.tv/home

Twitter Tips and How To’s

48. 100 Twitter Tips eBook, by Dan Hollings:

49. Twitter Power 2.0, by Joel Comm (book)

50. Mashable.com

Wendy Kenney is a nationally known Buzz Building Expert and the Founder and CEO of 23 Kazoos, a marketing firm specializing in inexpensive and creative small business marketing strategies.  She has honed her marketing skills through over 26 years of entrepreneurship and business management.

Wendy just released her new book called “How to Build Buzz for Your Biz- Tap into the Power of Social Media, Publicity and Relationship Marketing to Grow Your Business” based on her knowledge of what works and what does not work in small business marketing.  This book features practical and low cost marketing strategies, such as “How to Grow Your Business Using Social Media,” as well as valuable links, resources, and tips.

Wendy frequently speaks to organizations about marketing for small business.  To get more information or to schedule Wendy to speak go to:  Business Marketing Speaker

Claim your free download (no email necessary) on Wendy’s website:  23 Kazoos

How to Build Buzz for your Biz:  23 Creative and Inexpensive Marketing Strategies That Will Get You Noticed

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I didn’t like Twitter at first. I thought it was random, and stupid, and a waste of time, and so right after I first signed up I deleted my account. But after a while I kept hearing the testimonials from people who loved Twitter and so I thought I would give it another shot. I’m [...]

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The One Business Marketing Strategy That Will Cause Customers To Buy More, Refer More and Keep Coming Back for More!

My husband and I love baseball and we’ve always wanted to have season tickets. So during the Arizona Diamondbacks Spring Fan Fest we decided to take the plunge and buy a weekend ticket package.

We were excited about our purchase, until the season got under way. As of this writing the Diamondbacks have had a poor run, so far losing more games than they have won, placing them at the bottom of their division.

We are having serious buyer’s remorse.

It’s during tough economic times that people want–no, they desperately crave–experiences that help them feel better. They want good prices, great experiences and companies that care. But more than that, they want to know that their decision was the right one.

How do you help your clients feel like the purchase they made with you was the right one? How do you prevent buyer’s remorse?

Looking at all of the empty seats at the Diamondbacks games should give you the answer; simply said, you need to be a winner. Attendance at Arizona Diamondbacks games is down 17.4%. And they are only one of two teams to have lost money last season.

Compare the attendance at the Diamondbacks games to the recent playoff experience of the Phoenix Suns, and you’ll see what I mean. Their attendance level was at 95% for the whole season. Winning sells!

If you own a business the same is true. Winning makes you win!! Customers will buy more, refer more, and keep coming back for more because they want to be associated with a winner!

So then, what does being a winner mean to you and your business? What makes your business a winner to your customers? I would love your comments here!

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My husband and I love baseball and we’ve always wanted to have season tickets. So during the Arizona Diamondbacks Spring Fan Fest we decided to take the plunge and buy a weekend ticket package. We were excited about our purchase, until the season got under way. As of this writing the Diamondbacks have had a [...]

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Social Media Marketing for the Medical Practice

I recently read a fabulous article about social media marketing for dentists by Dr. Jason Lipscomb. The article states that dentists have been very slow in adopting social media as a tool for marketing their practice, preferring to stick with traditional marketing methods, such as direct mail, because that’s what’s always worked.  However, the traditional marketing [...]

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Marketing Planning Part II: Give Them What They Want

Give ‘Em What They Want, When They Want It Now that you’ve formed a better idea of who your ideal customers are, you need to identify how you can meet their desires. So let’s look at a few examples of businesses that have profited by aptly answering to their customers wants. Joe’s Real BBQ: Known [...]

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Controversy Sells

Recently, Tempe, Arizona, restaurant, Café Boa, sparked worldwide controversy when they announced the highlight of their Easter menu; rabbit.     This shocking revelation led to over 200 stories in the media from all over the world.  From Arizona to Tokyo, people were talking; even protesting; the Arizona restaurant that was cooking the Easter Bunny for dinner. [...]

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7 Hot Summer Small Business Marketing Ideas

With summer just around the corner, business can slow down as folks head to the cool country or go on vacation. However it doesn’t have to be a slow time of year for your business. Here are 7 hot marketing ideas that will keep your business humming all summer long! 1.  Host a food-eating contest! [...]

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