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Archives for October 2012
by Marla Tabaka
Have you mastered your social media strategy? Do you know how to leverage the power of social media to create meaningful relationships, build your business and learn from your virtual mentors?
Ok, you can admit it. Social media is still somewhat of an enigma to most people and you may be one of them. Sure, we have our guru’s and a relatively small number of business owners who have experienced astounding success with their social media strategy, but the average entrepreneur remains baffled by the mystery of these communities.
Today I would like to introduce you to someone who you may want to know if you are serious about making the powerful social media engine work for you.
Eric Yaverbaum is the Best Selling Author of several books, including the famed Public Relations For Dummies. With more than 25 years of experience in public relations, Eric has earned a reputation for his unique expertise in strategic media relations, crisis communications, and media training. He co-founded Jericho Communications in 1985, the 11th ranked PR firm in the country to work for and served as its president before its successful merger in 2005. He then founded Ericho Communications in 2006 and has offices in New York City and White Plains.
And you’ll be pleased to know that this year, Eric joined forces with the top social media experts in the industry to launch four social media magazines (Tweeting & Business, FB & Business, LI & Business, The Big G & Business) which are projected to have a combined business circulation of 5 million readers. These magazines will deliver insights, strategies and powerful tips to assist you in your social media strategy. For today, Eric offers these “must know” tips to increase your social media savvy. Here’s what he has to say…
As John Bartlett once said, “I have gathered a posie of other men’s flowers and nothing but the thread that binds them is mine own”. If you pay close attention to some of the most successful people in social media today, you will get a great education every day. For free! I follow the absolute best in order to form my own opinions. People like Jeffrey Hayzlett, Mari Smith, Nathan Kievman and Larry Genkin are four I have learned the most from!
10 Things a Solopreneur Should Know About Social Media
1. All social media are not the same. LinkedIn should be treated differently than Facebook, which is different from Twitter, which is different from Google+.
2. It takes time and frequency to build trust in any social media, just as in any relationship. Social media is a tool, not a destination.
3. Use all of your communities as a Business Development tool to source highly targeted potential clients/customers.
4. Use LinkedIn to establish Thought Leadership through the growth of a community of highly passionate and engaged people. You can even write a blog that is linked into Facebook, Twitter & Google+.
5. You should join groups in all of your social networks. There are also some terrific resources out there for free. You can freely subscribe to any of mine. www.socialmediamags.com
6. Your posts will and should reflect the personality of your company. If you are not genuine, you won’t last very long. Anyone who says otherwise is just trying to sell you something.
7. It is okay for your customers to disagree with you on Twitter. That’s why they call it “social” media and not “one kind” media. Best practice: Have a policy for how you deal with negative comments and reach out to those who support you. They are your brand ambassadors! This is true for all of your communities,not just Twitter.
8. If you choose to schedule your Tweets, timing is everything. The life of a Tweet is about one hour; schedule several times throughout the day. Make your presence consistent and meaningful. Hootsuite might make that easier. Follow suit in your other communities.
9. Make sure you are listening to communities on Twitter and any community you participate in! Make no mistake; consumers are in charge now more than ever. Pay attention to what they say. Some of the best product ideas, feedback and problems will come to you from your Twitter communities.
10. Use all your communities to cultivate business leads.
Article provided by Inc.com. © Inc.
How to be a Successful Entrepreneur
An entrepreneur does many wonderful things. In fact, many people are amazed with how the entrepreneur’s mind works. How does an entrepreneur become successful? And most importantly, do you want to be a successful entrepreneur too?
Firstly, an effective entrepreneur should have great ideas. You have to research if your business idea is feasible. After gathering all the needed information, you can now decide if you will pursue the business idea or simply file it and do it in the future. For instance, you decide to pursue the idea. The next thing that you would have to focus on is generating the capital needed.
The projects undertaken by entrepreneurs are done in a very careful manner. Demand research is a very important aspect to determine if a business is feasible or not. Saturated and established markets are a big no for entrepreneurs because their aim is to earn more money. With this kind of market, the business that they are about to put up is suicidal because of the extreme competition.
If you want to become a successful entrepreneur, you have to work on some concepts such as ROI or return on investment, compounding capital, economy of scale, speed of business returns, and many others.
You can’t work your way to success if you don’t know these concepts. So you have to study and continue your learning. If you can study a business related course, do so. Having the proper educational background will help you a lot in succeeding in the business world.
According to many expert entrepreneurs, education is not enough. As an entrepreneur, you must have the right attitude and qualities. Now what are these attitudes and qualities? Firstly, you have to be hard working. You have to be willing to work many hours of the day or night especially if you’re a beginner.
Almost eight percent of your time will be allotted for encouraging customers or subscribers. In the case of an internet business, you have to attract a lot of traffic to your site otherwise, your business will fail.
The second is to be a risk taker. Most entrepreneurs are not afraid to take risks. This does not mean that entrepreneurs enter the market with their eyes closed hoping for success. Entrepreneurs are willing to take risks especially if after a careful study they can see high chances of success.
Not many individuals are willing to take risks because they are afraid to fail. But you see, an entrepreneur learns a lot from past failures. It’s all part of life and so you should not be scared.
The third one is to be organized and you should know how to deal with different kinds of people. If you can build good will and you can win the trust of your customers and subscribers, your business will surely succeed.
If you have these qualities, then you’re on your way to becoming a successful entrepreneur. You can choose between online internet businesses or you can start by putting up a business in your local area. If you choose the second option, you would have to study your local market and make sure that there is a need for your business.
If after awhile you feel that it is time to expand, you may do so because you will earn more profit from it. The first option is often the most chosen at this point in time because there are many opportunities waiting for entrepreneurs online. Choose now.
Discover How to be an Effective Entrepreneur Yourself
Success in the business industry was never too much for newcomers to stop the innovation. If people could understand their roles and specifics, they’ll discover the different paths our economy could offer despite its downfalls. Our entrepreneurs have played an essential role throwing a lifeline in this economic society. Aside from the profit, entrepreneurs are also recognized and awarded for their contributions and success.
To be one, you should act like one. Not just by making people believe that you are an entrepreneur, you should give them the benefit of recognizing your worth as someone who once dreamed and now conquered. Instincts must never be put to a shut as responsibilities come with a price.
These modern day businessmen and women have different roles to establish. A role in the market industry, a role for his people, a role to make a new discovery making the world perceive change amidst economic struggle, a role to his fellow laborers,. a role to his suppliers, a role to his competitors and a role to self-fulfillment.
The market industry has always been crowded with buyers and sellers. The thrill of discovering a new product would entice clients to want more than expected. Satisfaction should be guaranteed.
One of the most important roles of an aspiring entrepreneur is to always keep customer satisfaction at its highest point. They should understand the difference between the wants and needs of their consumers. Providing the available resources is not enough to satisfy a need because people are born to crave for more than the usual amount given.
An entrepreneur should always be on the lookout for new creations and new ideas, not missing a spot. If worse comes to worse, he could always revitalize his resources by trying special strategies to cope up with liabilities.
As an owner and a manager of his own company, an entrepreneur should also think about his employee’s welfare. It is not only important to achieve customer satisfaction but also a good employee-employer relationship. Now nobody wants people banging on their doors in the middle of the night just because of unfair salaries.
Where would you get materials, machineries and facilities needed for production? From suppliers. With the constant price hike, an honest negotiation would bring much advantage. An entrepreneur should be capable of assembling all the elements into one and at the same time treat each element equally. Dealers are like gasoline that fuel-up the industry with the appropriate raw materials, facilities and machineries.
Battling everyday disappointments and struggles can make a man fall to his knees and give up everything he has worked hard for. But on the end of the day there would still be hope to do better. This is a world where competition made history.
From hair accessories to foot wear, every brand has made its trademark. That’s why a businessman should always see to it that his fellow competitors would be compelled and would do anything to imitate what he has uniquely done. Catching their attention is mission accomplished.
At the end of the day, when you go home, you’d think about the tiring day that you had. Flashbacks of that multimillion deal you had with a business tycoon. That’s self-fulfillment. No, it wouldn’t be only for the money but also for respect and recognition.
What’s the one thing every business wishes it had more of?
If you guessed sales or customers, then you are not alone. Nearly every business wants to grow and increase its reach by gaining new customers. Most do this through their sales staff or other sales channels such as retail stores, but many businesses ignore their best salesperson. The one that’s available all day, every day. The one that responds immediately on demand. The one that can speak to any customer, regardless of their location.
That’s right. Your website.
Your website could easily be one of your best salespeople, and if you don’t think of your website in this way, it’s time to start. Here are three tips to help you get started.
Tip #1: Stop Thinking it’s a Brochure
The number one mistake many businesses make when it comes to their website is thinking it’s an “online brochure.” Because of this thinking, businesses take print material they have – often a brochure – and put it on the website. But here’s the problem with that. In most cases, you don’t expect a print brochure to make the sale. You put the brochure in the hands of a salesperson and they work together to make the sale. When you put a brochure on the website, it’s much less effective than if you had created content which qualifies customers and allows them to buy. After all, given the choice between a web presence and a website that makes sales, which would you rather have?
Tip #2: Listen to Your Customers
Customers use websites to research their options and make comparisons. If your website broadcasts what you want to say, rather than what your customers want to know, it’s much less likely to be a good lead or sales generator. In other words, you have to listen to your customers. What questions do they ask your salespeople? What about your support staff? What objections do they raise? If you ask these kinds of questions and truly listen to the answers, you’ll end up creating content that will help customers make a purchasing decision.
Tip #3: Be Obvious
How obvious? If you think it’s painfully obvious that’s probably about the right level. Research shows you have about three seconds to capture a customer’s attention before they click the back button to find what they’re looking for elsewhere. In those three seconds you need to tell them who you are, what you do, who you do it for, and what’s in it for them. So be obvious about it. Put it front and center where customers can’t miss it. After all, they aren’t going to buy anything if they can’t figure out what you do or how to contact you.
If you follow these three tips, you’ll dramatically increase the ability of your website to act as one of your best salespeople. Now I’d like to hear from you. What tips do you have for increasing the sales potential of a website? Share them in the comments below.
Four Famous Names Entrepreneurs on the Internet
Those individuals who are still new to world of business will definitely want to meet or at least know of the expert entrepreneurs. Oftentimes, these experts or masters serve as the guide and inspiration of beginners. There are so many names of famous entrepreneurs if you try to surf the internet. With one click, you will be able to find a link to these famous names.
It would be a great privilege especially for entrepreneur starters to get to know the masters of entrepreneurship. If you have the time, try to search the internet and check if there are boot-camps being held exclusively for entrepreneurs. Usually, famous entrepreneurs drop in on the said boot-camps to share their knowledge in the field.
Well anyway, if you want to know some big names in the business world, here are some of them:
• Yanik Silver – if you want to become an internet marketer, you must get to know this person right away. This entrepreneur is a brilliant marketer online and has earned millions of dollars.
• Ted Nicholas – by the age of 25, this man became a millionaire as a copywriter and master author. There are thousands of business opportunities online and if you want to become an internet entrepreneur, why don’t you try copywriting or writing eBooks.
• Derek Gehl – he was the partner of Cory Rudl (deceased) in running a particular center for internet marketing. Just like the first three famous names mentioned, this guy is also a certified multi millionaire
• Armand Morin – this man is also a multi millionaire and if you want to know more about him try to conduct a search by typing his name on a search engine. In fact, you can find his name on more or less 744,000 pages.
These are just four of the big and famous names of entrepreneurs that you can find online. They have earned their share of huge profits. It seems that more and more entrepreneurs are now doing business online. One evident reason is that an online entrepreneurial business requires smaller capital but you get to earn huge money.
These famous entrepreneurs are open, honest, nice people, and they are comfortable sharing their techniques and ideas which also helped them to succeed. If you too are confident with what you’re doing, you may become a famous and rich entrepreneur sooner than you think.
According to these entrepreneurs, if you want to earn big money, you have to be present online because there are so many ways of succeeding through the internet. If you can master the internet’s key structures and make it work for your online business, then you will also succeed someday. You can expect immense returns. One very important thing that you have to remember as an entrepreneur – words are powerful. If you can put words together in the right manner, it will be one of the keys to success.
The business world is full of struggles and extreme competition. You must always be strong and hard working despite all the adversities you may encounter. If you want to enjoy staggering success, you have to try and work even harder.
Look up to the names of famous entrepreneurs and aspire to become one of them. Who knows, in due time you will also be among the expert entrepreneurs and become popular worldwide. Start working your way to an entrepreneurial business online now.
The Entrepreneur and Internet Home Business
Have you ever tried running a business that is online? A lot of entrepreneurs are now relying on the power of the internet to market their products or services. Home businesses are gaining more and more popularity these days. Perhaps it’s also time for you to consider an internet entrepreneur home business.
Sometimes, those that have families can’t manage their time between career and family life. Because of this, most of them are forced to leave their jobs just so they can take good care of their family. This is not the end of the world for you. In fact, even when you’re at home and taking care of your family, you can run an online business.
There are a lot of home business opportunities online. All it takes is looking into your home business options and choosing the right one that will work for you. If you have the qualities of an entrepreneur, an internet home business will be the answer to your needs. Oftentimes, if only the husband or the wife works, the income is not enough to provide for the family’s needs. If you don’t have a career or a job, you can start thinking of the best internet home business opportunity.
If you have your own computer and most importantly, an internet connection, you can already become an entrepreneur who owns or runs an internet home business. However, you must also see to it that the business is legitimate to avoid any problems in the future.
The first option is to become an affiliate marketer. For those entrepreneurs with limited capital for business, this is an excellent choice because you will only need a small amount. You will have to find an affiliate company who will provide you with the products or services. After doing so, you will then create your very own site where you will market the products or services. In order to attract huge traffic to your website, it must be interesting and catchy. You will be able to receive commissions for every product sold or for the services rendered.
Supposing you already have a home business such as arts and crafts. Perhaps you’ve observed that you have very few customers in your locality. If you want to have a larger market, you can turn your home business into an internet home business. By doing so, you can reach the different countries of the world. You have to create your own website and there you can put pictures of your arts and crafts.
This will take a lot of hard work especially if you’re just starting out. You will have to work on your site and make it user-friendly. If customers can maneuver within your site without any problems and you have excellent arts or crafts products, more orders will come in.
Since you’re an entrepreneur, you will not have much problems dealing with the orders and shipments of your products. You only have to establish the right contacts or connections and the profits will come rolling in.
There are still other internet home business opportunities for entrepreneurs. By surfing the net, you can find the right business opportunity for you. Your qualities and capabilities as an entrepreneur will not go to waste if you engage in internet business.
So if you have limited capital and less business resources, try the home business opportunities online.
Being an entrepreneur isn’t easy. Creating your own business and career path is not for the faint of heart. However, it is possible to thrive as an entrepreneur. While there’s no magic potion that will turn your business venture into an instant success, there are several things you can do to raise the bar. Here are seven simple things that you can implement today to be a better entrepreneur.
1. Put in an extra hour before or after your day
Most people typically have certain times in the day when they’re most productive and focused. Maybe it’s between 7 and 9 am, or 9 to 11 pm. If you’re a morning person, try to get up one hour earlier and start working; likewise, night owls should put in an extra hour at night.
Learn what your ‘productivity hours’ are and use them for high priority and challenging projects. Brian Tracy’s classic time-management book Eat That Frog its title from a Mark Twain saying, “Eat a live frog first thing in the morning and nothing worse will happen to you the rest of the day.” Maybe your frog is writing content for your company blog, preparing a quote for a potential client, or responding to a tricky customer request.
2. Free yourself from the busy work
With cell phones, email, Twitter, and Facebook, it’s easier than ever to lose control of your schedule and priorities. In this environment, you can spend a whole day doing a lot, yet accomplishing very little.
Successful entrepreneurs know how to stay focused on their priorities in the face of all these distractions. For example, Tumblr founder David Karp aims to stay focused by not checking email until 9:30 or 10 am. Dedicate sections of the day when you unplug from the phone and/or email to get some work crossed off your to-do list. Then, log back on and power through any urgent responses.
3. Delegate, delegate, delegate
It’s not always easy for highly driven entrepreneurs to give up the reigns, but it’s critical to grow your business and avoid burnout. Get help (whether a virtual assistant, part-time, or full-time employee) to help you take care of the busy work. And outsource complex issues to specialists, such as an accountant for your bookkeeping and taxes or an expert for handling your legal paperwork like incorporating and annual reports. There’s no reason why you should dedicate significant chunks of your valuable time to become an expert in tax or employee law – stay focused on core strategic, revenue-producing activities instead.
4. Stop fearing failure
If you’re scared of failing, you’re probably playing it too safe as an entrepreneur. Failure is practically a rite of passage for successful entrepreneurs. Valuable lessons can be learned through the experience…lessons which you would never learn from a business class. In fact, there are some venture capitalists who won’t invest in any entrepreneur that doesn’t have at least one failed business under his or her belt.
If you find yourself nervous about what might happen, think about all the opportunities and possibilities you leave behind by not ever trying. Trying (no matter what is the outcome) is your first step toward success.
Related: 6 Tips for Networking Success
5. Co-promote with other small businesses
Sometimes it’s collaboration, not competition, that can take your business to the next level. Team up with other businesses for joint marketing and selling opportunities. Get creative and look for opportunities anywhere and everywhere.
For example, if you run a local boutique shop, you can offer discounts on yoga clothing to anyone who signs up for yoga classes at a nearby studio (and vice versa). Or a local Public Relations pro who focuses on startups can collaborate with other service providers to put on a free ‘small biz bootcamp’ to their collective group of clients.
6. Remember your customer
No matter what kind of products you sell or services you offer, your business is all about your customers and clients, period. In the day to day grind, it’s easy to lose yourself in product specifications, pricing strategies, competitor activities, marketing plans, and more. But at the end of the day, your customers determine the success of your business. Spend a few minutes each day focusing on who your customers are, what they want, and the major challenges they’re facing. Then get to work in fulfilling those needs better than someone else can.
7. Take a day off
Being an entrepreneur is a non-stop job, but if you’re working seven days a week, you’ll probably start to burn out and lose the passion you originally had for your business. At least once per week (if not once per day!), make some time to do something you love.
Time off can open the flood gates to fresh perspectives and inspirations. Who knows, when you least expect it, you might dream up a new startup idea, think of a new way to deal with a pesky client, or come up with a new tagline. By taking some time off of work, you’ll not only end up being happier, you’ll be a better entrepreneur as well.
A Government Entrepreneur Grant? Its easier then you Think
When someone plans to put up a business, one of the many worries is cash for the business’ capital. This is true even if you’re putting up an internet business or a physical business office. Many entrepreneurs find raising of funds as an arduous task. Building the inventory, paying for registration fees, renting or purchasing space, and purchasing the needed equipments require working capital. One of the key sources of capital is a government entrepreneur grant.
There are many ways to raise business capital. Since entrepreneurs are hard working individuals, they will not stop until they’re able to raise the needed amount of capital. They can seek assistance from friends and family members, relatives, banks, and personal savings. Most entrepreneurs on the other hand prefer to search for venture capitalists.
Aside from those mentioned earlier, a government entrepreneur grant is one of the most excellent options to raise business capital. The government gives grants to qualified entrepreneurs that would serve as financial assistance. There are different grant making agencies in the country, depending on where you reside.
These agencies have grant programs that you can avail as long as you’re qualified. The US federal government, for example, is willing to spend about $400 billion for the government entrepreneur grants.
The best way to look for entrepreneur grants is through the internet. If you find it hard to do it online because you’re not familiar with it, you can always ask your local government for information regarding the grants.
Grants are given for many purposes and for starting a business you must choose an entrepreneur grant. If you’re lucky enough, you can find grants that offer business consultation, loans, and services for free. Oftentimes, local governments award entrepreneur grants to businesses that can potentially hire more employees.
Economic development is very important for every country. The economic conditions are unpredictable and volatile and so every country needs all the help it can get to improve its overall standing. Businesses are the major contributors to the success of the economy and so the government is always willing to extend the needed financial aid.
Some entrepreneurs are hesitant to get assistance from the government. But if you’re one of those entrepreneurs with capital problems, don’t hesitate to ask help from the government. The government has a huge fund allocation for the grants. If you want to know more about the government grants, you can simply log on to the internet and search for these entrepreneur grants.
Before an entrepreneur decides to put up a business, he conducts a lot of studies to determine if the business is feasible or not. If he can prove the feasibility of his business proposal, the government will immediately provide the needed capital assistance through the entrepreneur grants.
If the working capital that you’ve raised from family, relatives, and friends are insufficient, try to contact the local government and ask for the requirements in order to avail the government entrepreneur grant. You can either do this online or you can visit the physical office of the local government of your state or country.
For those who qualify, you will provide all the important papers and receive the amount that you need. After that, you can already start your business. If the business is successful, you can already earn huge profits.
Discover Entrepreneurial Activities for a Successful Business
Ever wonder what goes inside a busy day of an entrepreneur living up to his entrepreneurial functions and activities? Basically, a lot. The very first thing that would enter his mind when he wakes up in the morning is how to show efficiency and effectiveness to the client the benefit of his presentation. Then he would walk into his office and meet with them.
He would emphasize the importance of patronizing his ideas. When they shook hands with it, an entrepreneur knows that’s the start of a brand new day.
But meeting up with the expectations is not all that there is. An entrepreneur’s responsibility doesn’t stop there. He’s mind should always think beyond the unthinkable and recheck his assets to support it. The cost is great but the risks are greater. An entrepreneur not only sacrifices his reputation at stake but also his trust fund.
In summary, there are only 3 important daily routines an entrepreneur incorporates with his life: Organize, coordinate and mobilize. He must have the ability to balance all three because when one is lost, the others might be compromised.
Organizing includes creativity, innovativeness and strategy of pulling it altogether. The spirit of a true warrior has to be present. He is knowledgeable that a positive attitude and the will to walk the extra mile with no hesitation would gain much profit. He always does his research, gather data, and think of ways on how to expand his own establishment.
Coordinating means communicating. Explaining the pros and cons. Talking to people who can supply resources like raw materials, facilities, and machineries needed for the business to get on its track. A blurry conversation between the entrepreneur and the supplier would affect the rate and quality of production.
Mobilizing the people who works wholeheartedly for him must also be prioritized. An iron hand always gets a business into trouble. He adds benefits. He knows that what he needs is similar to what his laborers need. This is crucial to establish one big happy working environment.
These activities must be balanced. One thing lacks or exceeds, the whole process messes up. His functions are elaborated more.
The function to think
• Think of numerous possibilities beyond human expectation
• Think of who needs what
• Think of how to handle a question or a problem by providing different possible answers
• Making decisions without the fear of being crucified the moment he mess things up
• Think of how much everything would cost
• Think of how much he would profit
• Think of what others might not think
• Elaborates and explains to further understanding
The function to act
• Act according to his plans
• Act that exceeds to what is expected
• Act with passion and charisma
• Act giving pride to the phrase “1% inspiration, 99% perspiration”
• Act bearing the dignity, respect and trust
• Act like the world owes you big time
• Act like no one has acted before
If all of these functions seem easy for you to conjure, then your good to go. But if situations and predicaments are holding you back, you are bound to fail. Remember, balance in everything is how you and others benefit. Function as you are expected to function and find glory in it.