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Category Archives: Marketing

How to generate leads through social media

Even though the overwhelming majority of folks on the planet today take advantage of social media to interact with friends, family, complete and total strangers and even some of the biggest celebrities and superstar athletes in history, businesses use social media for – surprise, surprise – business (even if they aren’t using it as effectively as they could or should be).

Generating leads through social media can really help you streamline your overall sales operation in ways that you may not even be aware of right now. When pulled off perfectly, ANY social media platform can help flood your marketing funnels with a tremendous amount of highly qualified leads that give you the best opportunity to convert into paying customers and clients.

Some of the big benefits you will enjoy when you start to generate leads through social media include cutting down the costs of lead generation by up to 45% compared to more traditional approaches and improving the revenue generated from these leads by nearly 25%.

You’d have to be at least a little bit crazy not to take advantage of everything that social media has to offer your business today. Here’s how to improve your lead generation operation almost overnight with social media!

Who is your perfect prospect?

It may be easier to reach literally anyone – and we mean ANYONE – today than it has ever been before, but that doesn’t mean that businesses are really thinking out WHO they want to reach when it comes to prospecting and lead generation.

Without knowing exactly who your ideal prospect and your ideal client really is you’ll never know which of the major social media networks to target for your lead generation activities, what kinds of “bait” are likely to attract the most, and what you have to do to move them from complete stranger to paying repeat customer or client as efficiently as possible.

Spend the bulk of your time in this research and ALL of your marketing and advertising efforts (as well as the products and services you offer) will get much better.

Match your message to your market via the right medium

Generating leads through any major social media network is going to require taking a unique approach that your competitors aren’t while still “playing by the rules” that people using the social media networks are going to embrace.

All of the different social media platforms out there have their own “flavor”, all of them have different “rules of the road”, and all of them have different approaches you will be able to leverage when it comes time to communicate with folks on these platforms.

You’ll want to create as “native advertising” as possible – the kind of advertising and lead generation efforts on social media that doesn’t come across as advertising or lead generation efforts on the surface.

Folks today are incredibly sensitive towards overt plays for their business or their hard-earned money. If you make that kind of heavy-handed effort you’re going to be rebuffed every step of the way, but if you learn how to generate leads while camouflaging them on the social media networks everything becomes a lot easier

Content marketing tips for small businesses

If you are serious about making the most of all the leverage available from marketing on the web today – and as a smart and savvy business owner, advertiser, or marketer you NEED to be making the most of this leverage ASAP – you need to knock your content marketing right out of the park or you’ll fall behind to competitors that are.

We live in the middle of the most competitive business environment that has ever existed. There are more opportunities to build a business and the financial future of your dreams than ever before, but these opportunities exist for more people than ever before as well – and that means there is plenty of competition, requiring plenty of innovation.

One of the most effective marketing tools you’ll have in your arsenal has to be content marketing. This can be your unique selling point, your unique competitive advantage, and help you to separate yourself from the rest of the pack. But content marketing is only ever going to be powerful and productive if you’re smart about how you utilize the strategies.

Here are some tips and tricks to help you do exactly that!

Produce powerful and valuable content

The overwhelming majority of “also-ran” style businesses in any industry or market are going to dive headfirst into the world of content marketing with one thought in mind – pushing out as much content as they can as often as they can and just kind of hoping for the best.

As a savvy marketer, however, you’re going to understand that the shotgun style approach can and will never work. There’s too much noise in the market already and not enough signal, and you are only ever going to be to rise above the pack with valuable and powerful content that resonates with your market.

The best way to produce game changing valuable content marketing pieces is to create the kinds of content that you would charge a premium price tag for – and then give it away free of charge as part of your marketing funnel.

Your competitors will never be able to touch you with this approach!

Give your market EXACTLY what it wants

There is always a bit of a temptation to kind of ignore what your market is telling you they want and instead tried to sell or create the kind of products and services you are interested in offering – even if it isn’t all that effective when it comes to ringing the cash register.

With your content marketing you are much better off really understanding your ideal customer, what they want, what they are searching for most, and what they find valuable and then reverse engineering your content marketing pieces from there.

The results you’ll get with this kind of approach are going to be head and shoulders above anything else you’d have been able to create on your own, and best of all this kind of approach to generate content marketing becomes effortless as your customers, your prospects, and your industry partners are telling you exactly what they want.

All you have to do is listen and then take initiative to give them exactly that.

Tips for Promoting Your Business on Social Media

Promoting your business on social media can either have great results, or can be a complete flop. Your result depends on the kind of efforts and techniques you use to promote your business. The five tips below will help you successfully promote your business on social media, so you don’t have to watch your efforts fall short.

The Correct Social Media
The first and most important aspect about promoting your business is choosing the correct social media websites. Targeting the sites that reach your intended audience the most is the optimal option. Some social media sites are more appealing to a certain gender, and certain social media websites do better with different kinds of content, like images, text, or website links.

Valuable, relevant content.
After figuring out which social media websites will do your marketing aspiration the most good, then it’s time to work on posting valuable, and relevant content that is worthy of being shared with the rest of the world. If you can post content that is valuable to your readers they will want to follow your page to get similar content in the future. If the content is relevant to your business niche, then it will be that much easier to gain authority for your business’s online presence.

Updates
While having valuable, relevant content is one of the most important aspects about promoting your business on social media, having consistent updates is just as important. With posts full of helpful information for your consumers, they will be looking forward to more posts, which means if you forget about your social media account and only post on random days once or twice a month, no one will really care about the trickle of information you provide on an inconsistent basis. It is best if your followers don’t have time to forget who you are. Posting frequently during the start is the perfect way to build a base of followers, then over time reduce your posts to once or twice a week if you feel comfortable doing so.

Freebies
Followers love free things. Free samples, free information or almost anything free. This is a great tool for running promotions. Offer a product free for 24 hours through your social media site and your ratings will increase overnight, so to speak. However, when providing freebies, make sure they are useful freebies, providing something of very low value for free is not going to help your business, you want to use the opportunity to show off your quality work.

Show and Tell (but mostly show)
For those scrolling through their social media accounts, they can pass hundreds of posts in minutes. So, what causes someone to stop and actually look at something? A catchy graphic. The more images you have that can catch someone’s attention, who is just scrolling through, the better your business will fare. A lot of times the graphic can even have the words you would normally just write up in the post on the image instead. If it looks good, it’s more likely to make someone stop to look at it.

With these tips you can start promoting your business and watch as your online presence grows.

How to Create a Successful Business Blog

It is absolutely impossible to compete in today’s ultra competitive business environment without an online presence that your customers can find, engage with, and learn quite a bit more about your company and your products or services without you having to do any of the heavy lifting all day long.

Thankfully, blog technology today (namely the open source blog technology WordPress that powers nearly 50% of all websites today) makes it really easy to set up an online company blog and build your business from the ground up with next to no real resources – at least from a monetary standpoint.

You just have to be really smart and really savvy about how you go about setting up your business blog so that you can cash in on your efforts, rather than burn out and coming for a crash landing when you find out people aren’t anywhere near as excited about what you have to offer as he thought they might have been.

Here are some tips and tricks to help you really hit the ground running with your new business blog!

Understand your audience

A lot of people (including some pretty smart and savvy business owners and entrepreneurs) start their business blog building journey in exactly the wrong spot – looking for web designers that can create something flashy as opposed to figuring out EXACTLY what their audience wants and then giving them that and nothing else.

You see, on the web today – with so many different choices, so many different websites to visit, and so many different businesses all competing for the exact same customers – content is everywhere.

You really have to drill down into understanding exactly what your customers want most so that you can give them exactly that, cutting through the noise in your market and building a real relationship with them.

Perfect your persona

The other thing that you really have to master when building up your business blog is to take the time to create a business persona that you are going to project onto your market – almost like a character, if you will – that really resonates with your ideal prospects expectations as well.

There’s a reason why people have absolutely no trouble whatsoever believing that Indian a Jones could be both a treasure hunter digging through tombs and a Harvard professor – and that’s because of the costuming and the persona that he projects depending upon his circumstances and environment.

What you’re going to want to do is understand that your business blog is a business tool first and foremost, and because they’re so much content out there you need to create a business persona and character that resonates with your customer. Find out who they’d like to interact with most and write your posts from that perspective.

Court controversy and market like crazy

At the end of the day, you’re always going to have a tough time debating against a flood of free information that pours into the Internet on a daily basis – unless of course you are willing to court controversy and market your business blog like crazy.

Don’t be shy about alienating anyone (ANYONE) that isn’t your ideal prospect and likely to give you money, and make sure that you market and advertise your business blog just as aggressively as your products and services.

Millennial Entrepreneurs in Asia

The businessmen and women of generation Y are determined to strike out on their own. Choosing to forego a standard “9 – 5” job for a chance to make their own startup is becoming a trend for Millennials everywhere.

The Entrepreneur Spirit
It’s clear that the entrepreneurial spirit has taken off all over the world. The Forbes’ 30 under 30 lists cite CEO’s of new startups that are making a huge impact all around the globe. From startups in the US to the Millennial entrepreneur in Asia, this generation has been bit by the business bug and there’s no turning back now.

Curiously, in the studies conducted with entrepreneurs in Asia, researchers find that the Millennials of Gen Y are more interested in pursuing their passion and goals than actually making a huge profit with their companies. This mindset is concurrent with the shift of graduates foregoing the corporate lifestyle for one that is set by their own rules.

Is Passion Enough?
Many individuals, like the candidates on the Forbes’ 30 Under 30 list, often risk a great deal to pursue their start up. To some it may seem illogical that a mother of two would sell their home to fund a passion project, but does it work? Well, for Ha Lam, pursuing her “passion project” worked wonders. Her company Triip.me now plans local tours in over 600 cities throughout the world.

Some skeptics, however, still look to Millennial entrepreneurs as delusional and quickly reiterate the statistic that only 10% of startups actually make it big. To skeptics, passion is a silly reason to risk it all. What the skeptics don’t realize is the fact that passion is always at the heart of any kind of innovation.

Passion over Profit
In Asia and other parts of the world, many individuals that have had success with their startups and businesses say that it takes a lot of work, but equal parts passion. In fact, passion is the key to success for startups that succeed.

In a world of Internet startups, established corporations, and thousands of new businesses, entrepreneurs that are just in it for the profit may become quickly discouraged. Contrastingly, highly passionate individuals that thoroughly believe in their new business realize that passion gives their entrepreneurial drive an inhuman strength of sorts. For this generation, the will to truly succeed and the will to push through is not profit based, and it’s working out just fine.

Entrepreneurial Uncertainty
Considering all the risk that is involved with most startups, a Millennial entrepreneur in Asia, and anywhere else in the world, faces a lot of uncertainty. For individuals that choose the path of pursuing their startup idea or small business plan, the future often seems daunting and financially unstable.

Nevertheless, with the use of the Internet and the path left by millions of successful startups that have made it big over the past few years, new entrepreneurs are making the startup jump every day, despite the financial uncertainty.

At the end of the day, for most Millenials, putting passion over financial stability and profit makes all the sense in the world. Having a successful business to call their own is the best financial security of all.

Importance of a Business Plan for Entrepreneurs

When it comes to working on a startup one of the most important things you’ll need before beginning a business is a business plan. Especially as an entrepreneur, the entire future of your business will be riding on your business plan and without one, you could see failure faster than you could imagine. Below are just some of the largest reasons as to why developing a business plan is essential.

Learning More About Your Idea

Everyone can have the idea of opening a business and you can think of the general aspects of creating a company, but when you take the time to go through a business plan you can get a better feel for what you’re trying to achieve. It’s simple to sit down and say that you want to sell baked goods for a living, but you’ll learn much more about the different types of baked goods, the types of customers you’ll be targeting, and the general purpose of your business once you establish a plan.

Setting and Achieving Goals

It’s also important to consider setting up a business plan so you know where you want your company to be 5 or 10 years down the road. When you open for business it’s easy to lose track of the things that you actually want to accomplish, such as moving into a larger space or opening several different chains for your bakery. When you make a business plan you can outline the small and large goals that you want to accomplish over your years of being a business owner so you can stick to your plan and become the most successful business person you can be.

Avoiding Common Mistakes

There’s nothing better than being able to write things down on paper as you’ll have everything you need right in front of your eyes. By taking the time to develop a business plan you won’t have to worry about making common mistakes that are quintessential to most new business owners. You’ll be able to account for any confounds and develop solutions for potential issues you might face in the future.

Raising Funds

It’s important to note that the majority of people that are interested in investing in your venture won’t do so without a business plan presented to them. When you develop a plan it shows investors that you know what you want to do, how you’re going to do it, and be able to show them how it’s going to benefit them. There are hundreds of things that should be included in your business plan ranging from the size of your market to the funding requirements that you’ll need. It’s also important that you include financial projections so your investors can know how much of a return they can expect.

Pleasing Lending Institutions

You might find that in the event you can’t find investors or you don’t have enough cash for the start up, you’ll have to rely on lending institutions such as banks. You can guarantee that a bank will not give you a business loan if you don’t have a sufficient business plan in place. You’ll easily be able to get your funding when your business is it the stable stages of planning.

Saving Tips For Start Up Business

Simply put, it is a well-known fact that start-ups have it rough. From finding the right talent to getting funding and building a business in a competitive atmosphere, long nights, hard decisions, and dedication stand between you and your dreams. More often then not, the biggest problem start ups have is funding. Lets take a moment to review saving tips for start up businesses. In particular, we will look at what you can do before beginning your start up, while you are working in your start up, and ideas for saving money in the future.

tips and bulb symbol - text with sign in flat design web icon, business support concept

1. Before You Begin

Prior to beginning your start up, try to save as much money as possible. Bring together your free assets, wealth, and other sources that can be pooled together. Every dollar you save now means being able to last longer once the process begins. In addition, take this opportunity to look at your current funds and create a shoe string budget. You will want to spend as little as possible until you are well established, meaning that things like rental space should be kept to a minimum size to serve your needs. Also, keep the equipment you need to a minimum as well. Don’t go overboard when it comes to decking out your space and instead focus on only what you need. As a final consideration, carefully choose the type of business you want to form. Everything simpler then a limited liability company will put you at increased risk if the business goes belly up.

2. While Your Business Is In Start-Up Mode

Never stop revising your business plans. This will keep your goals, directives, and spending in line with how your business currently is doing. Make sure that when business agreements are made that every agreement is put into writing and that you have a copy of it. The last thing you want to do is find yourself in a costly argument about who said what. Also, know the legal status of your workers and stay on top of taxes. While this may take some time on your part, it will ensure that everything is by the books, limiting risk on your end. As a final cost saving suggestion, re-use shipping materials. Depending on the nature of your business, you may be spending a lot on shipping materials that you have in house. Why spend when you can re-use?

3. Considerations For Saving In the Future

Stick to what you know, learn what you do not, and hire what you cannot do. The sooner you figure out your limitations in these regards, the happier and more effective you will be at starting a business and saving money. When it comes to hiring professional help, take the time to look for good people. More then anything else, you will need to rely on these people and be able to get along with them if and when an emergency comes up. Also, consider bartering services with other small companies. This way you can keep things relatively cheap without having to involve money directly.

Reasons Why Your Business Needs A Marketing Plan

The 21st century has brought about a revolution in how companies effectively market themselves to new consumers. As older and dated techniques loose their predictability in models, newer techniques that utilize social media platforms as well as other creative marketing techniques have come to take their place. With so many available options, it may seem like your business does not require a marketing plan, especially when some of the marketing options available to you are without cost. Lets take a moment to discuss why regardless of any consideration, your business will need a marketing plan to survive.

Word Cloud with Marketing Plan related tags

1. Marketing Is Necessary Regardless Of Size, Flexibility, Or Time

Regardless of the size, companies can benefit from having a marketing plan. In fact, this is so true that companies that range the gambit in size and organization can all utilize marketing plans and strategies to increase their brand awareness. In addition to size, many people do not consider a marketing plan necessary because they see their company as flexible. While it may be true that your company can quickly and effectively react to your consumer’s needs, being unable to reach them will mean that despite your flexibility little is gained. Finally, there is the consideration of time. More often then not (and especially for small businesses with limited personnel) marketing is seen as ancillary to the true work at hand. In order for your business to succeed, you need to make the time and have the direction to create a marketing plan.

2. It Keeps You Task Oriented And Directed Towards Goals

When creating a marketing plan, you have ample opportunity to rethink the various strategies that underlie your business. The time spent on this can not only help you rethink your strategy, but also create direction with your overarching goals. Your marketing goals can then help to empower these goals, making your goals into a reality.

3. A Necessary Step For Obtaining Financing

More often then not, before a bank or other investor provides money, you will have to have a strategy for how your business will succeed in the current marketplace. This includes having a marketing plan designed around a firm understanding of who your consumers are and how you can reach them.

4. Help To Determine Target Customer, Marketing Strategy, And Niche

Creating a marketing plan helps to identify who your target customer is, where your niche is, and what the best kind of marketing strategy will work to highlight your brand. By creating a consumer profile, you can specifically target populations where your message will have the greatest effect, increasing profits as a result.

5. Will Provide A Breakdown For Budget

How much will your marketing plan cost and how much money do you have to spend on marketing. The final reason why your business needs a marketing plan is because you need to know how much money makes sense to put into marketing your product. Without this information, you are either wasting money or wasting potential. Neither is good for your company.

8 Tips for First Time Entrepreneurs

Taking that crazy jump and becoming an entrepreneur for the first time, is both terrifying and exciting. It takes a certain kind of person to succeed, but there are definitely some tips you can use to help you along the way.

men and women entrepreneurs with signs that say I love my Job

  1. Take Risks

Becoming an entrepreneur in the first place requires a considerable amount of risk. However, you are only going to encounter more and more risk taking as you build up your empire. You should embrace risks, and look forward to thrill of something working out.

  1. Keep an Idea Journal

Sometimes the best ideas will come to you at the most inappropriate moments, such as sitting having Sunday dinner with your parents. While you may not be able to excuse yourself to begin planning straight away, you can take a couple of seconds to jot it down. Even if you look back at it later and think it’s a ridiculous idea, it may provide you with some inspiration.

  1. Network

This pretty much goes without saying, but it’s the way you do it that’s important. It’s not just the big wigs that you need to get on your good side. You should also be looking to build connections with your peers, try to meet other entrepreneurs and business owners on your level, discuss ideas with them and help each other out from time to time. Once your established, take some time out to help others just starting out, they may be able to repay the favour one day.

  1. Stick to Your Guns

It’s important to listen to the advice of people that have been there and done it. However, they won’t always be right. It’s important that you stick to your instincts. You are the only person that will be able to make your business flourish. All the final decisions will be down to you, so make sure you listen to yourself as much as you listen to others.

  1. Brand Yourself

It’s enough to brand your business, you also need to brand yourself. Everything you do and say will reflect on your business exploits so make sure you represent yourself in a marketable way.

  1. Keep on Learning

Every day is an opportunity for you to learn something new, and you should actively pursue this. Entrepreneurship is all about solving problems and learning as you go along. You should constantly be aiming be better yourself and in turn better your business.

  1. Read, Read, Read

Dedicate a few hours a day to reading up on anything and everything you are interested in. Reading doesn’t have to mean getting musty old textbooks out from the library. In this day and age you need to keep ahead of the times, so keep on top of any relevant blogs, magazines and newspapers. Also, it’s important to allow yourself some time to read for fun.

  1. Eat Healthily

One final tip. To keep your mind sharp, you need to keep your body sharp, so try to eat a healthy balanced diet and take regular exercise. You are definitely going to need some extra energy.

 

Singapore’s Internet Connections Are One Of The Best In The World

High Speed Internet - Measuring Web Traffic or Statistics
 
Who has the best Internet in the world?  The answer may surprise you.  There are many characteristics that can be used to define the best Internet, including connectivity, download rates, upload rates, coverage, penetration, and providers.  For a closer look at how all of these come together, lets take a look at Singapore.

With more then 5.4 million people in this modern day city-state, Singapore rests on the southern tip of a large landmass in Southeast Asia.  With an incredibly high density, the majority of Singapore residents live inside the city, which itself is based on a series of islands.  Known as the Lion City, Singapore has helped to bring about superior Internet connections through its small size and history of dedicated Internet coverage.

History Of Internet In Singapore

Before the Internet came to Singapore, Singapore helped to create its own Internet.  Launching a proto-Internet, Singapore used this network for academic ad governmental use, mirroring in many ways how the Internet would eventually come into play.  This changed however in 1994, when Singapore connected to the Internet and began creating the networks that would soon help define it as one of the best in the world.  While not happening all at once, Singapore has gradually added to the integrity of its Internet lines, slowly producing one of the most comprehensive and inclusive Internet infrastructures in the entire world.

Ranking Singapore’s Internet

Simply put, Singapore has one of the best Internet connections in the world.  It has the greatest broadband and Internet penetration rates seen in any country in the world.  In addition to this, Singapore has remarkable download rates as well.  Of all the countries in the world, Singapore frequently finds itself at or near the top of the list in several different criteria.  Recently ranked 10th in average Internet speed, Singapore has also been ranked 22nd best in connection speed in past surveys.  No matter how you look at it, Singapore’s Internet and underlying infrastructure is strong, robust, and changing with the needs of modern business and use.  How is all of this made possible?

Nationwide Coverage

As briefly mentioned twice before, the secret to Singapore’s success is infrastructure as well as a set of policies designed around making this infrastructure fantastic.  Singapore ONE, a provider on Internet in the country is available nation wide.  There are a total of 5 Internet providers in this city-state, allowing for incredible versatility in choice and providing no opportunity for a dominating monopoly, as seen in places like the United States.  Another thing to consider when looking at Singapore’s excellent Internet connection is the Island wide 3.5G mobile and wireless Internet access.  Providing coverage for people no matter where they are in this densely packed country, every resident with the proper equipment can go online and find the information they need.  As a result, Singapore has one of the best Internet infrastructures in the entire world, supported by a population that relies on it every day.