4 Facebook Marketing Tips Entrepreneurs Can’t Ignore

                                                                                Guest post by Ivan Serrano

Facebook marketing tips

Facebook marketing tips

As an entrepreneur, you have limited resources. Not only do you have to make sure you have enough room in your budget to produce your product or service, but you also have to determine how you’ll build awareness of your business.

 

When it comes to implementing a social media strategy for your startup or small business, utilize the platforms that will give you the most results. Believe it or not, Facebook is still an extremely powerful tool for building awareness of your business and generating leads. In fact, Hubspot’s State of Inbound Marketing report found 77 percent of B2C and 43 percent of businesses acquired customers from Facebook.

 

If you’re currently planning your social media strategy, make sure Facebook is a part of your plan. Here are four facebook marketing tips for entrepreneurs:

 

1. Set a clear goal. 

 

A huge mistake many entrepreneurs and small business owners make with their Facebook strategy is not creating a clear goal. Many businesses think they can start sharing content immediately, however, this can greatly damage your online brand.

 

Before creating and sharing Facebook content, set a realistic goal for your Facebook page. For example, do you want to build a community for your business? Is it your goal to drive traffic to your website? Regardless of the goal you choose for your Facebook page, make sure it ties into your strategy and how you’ll drive results for your business.

 

2. Document your Facebook strategy. 

 

The foundation of any social media strategy is to make sure it’s documented. Create an editorial calendar for your Facebook strategy that outlines the type of content you’ll share and how often you’ll post. This calendar will make it easier for you to plan future content and ensure you’re consistently engaging with your audience.

 

When it comes to finding the right time to post on Facebook, it’s really important to understand your target audience. Do some research on the demographics of your audience and understand what their habits are on Facebook. For example, if you offer a project management app for Millennial business owners, you’ll want to research the best times to reach them on Facebook and they types of content they engage with most.

 

3. Share posts with photos. 

 

The most important element of a Facebook strategy is visual content. Socialbakers.com performed a study where they analyzed the top 10 percent of Facebook posts created by more than 30,000 brand pages. During this study, Socialbakers.com discovered Facebook posts that included photos included the most engagement. In fact, these posts received 87 percent interactions!

 

Every post you publish on Facebook should include a visual. Whether it’s a branded image or a photo that captures behind-the-scenes footage of your business, photos can add a large amount of value to your Facebook strategy. People will be more likely to comment and share your images, which means you’ll gain more exposure for your business.

 

4. Upload video content. 

 

In addition to photos and images, video is a powerful tool for creating brand awareness. According to Hubspot, the amount of video in Facebook News Feed has increased 3.6 times over the last year. Additionally, video posts per person has grown 75 percent over the last year.

 

There are a number of ways you can use video to promote your business. Publish customer Q&A sessions or create a product tutorial. As long as your video content provides value for your audience, you’ll be able to create content that drives results for your business. Once you’re ready to share a video, make sure you upload it to Facebook. This will ensure it’s played immediately when a customer scrolls by your post.

 

Although there are a number of social networks to choose from, Facebook remains to be one of the most effective platforms. By following these tips, you’ll be able to design and implement a Facebook marketing strategy that creates awareness and boosts sales for your business.

 

How do you use Facebook to market your business? 

Shark Tank Entrepreneur

Guest post by Ivan Serrano

The Shark Tank Formula for Startup Success

If you’re reading this now, you’re probably an entrepreneur who’s thinking about launching a business. If so, you’re about to learn some valuable advice that can make or break your success as a startup founder.

Over the course of nine seasons, ABC’s Shark Tank has given hundreds of entrepreneurs the opportunity to pitch their business ideas to investors (otherwise known as Sharks). Throughout the show, 186 deals were made and the Sharks offered to invest over $20 million in 109 companies.

While it might seem like entrepreneurs who go on Shark Tank are extremely successful, there are a number of lessons to be learned. The reality is, launching a startup is a challenging goal and not every startup is successful even if they receive the funding they need. In fact, only one in 17 startups on the show have actually earned a profit.

When it comes to launching a startup and attracting investors, there are a number of variables to keep in mind. First, it’s absolutely necessary to know your product inside and out. Investors expect entrepreneurs to be able to explain the purpose of their product and how it’ll benefit their target audience. If you’re able to come up with a great product at fills a need, you’re on your way to a successful startup.

Next, it’s important to perfect your pitch and understand your numbers. As you approach investors, they only care about the numbers regarding your business and how you’ll be successful in upcoming years. When you meet with investors, be ready to explain how much profits you plan to earn in the next five years. This will make investors more interested in your idea.

These are just a few of the valuable lessons to learn from Shark Tank. To learn more about the Shark Tank formula for startup success, check out the infographic below: [Read more…]

Small Business Customer Service

One thing that differentiates a large corporation from a small business is the level of small business customer service. It’s easier for a mom and pop small business to make judgement calls when it comes to breaking the rules. The larger the company, the more levels of bureaucracy you have to deal with, and the harder it is to get a real person to listen to you. Of course you have to have rules that your company abides by, but sometimes making a good judgement call can net you even more business down the road, and bring in very loyal and devoted customers for life.

starting a business

starting a business

An example happened this past weekend. I was staying at a rustic resort in the middle of nowhere. It was great. No cell phone coverage, no Internet coverage, no TV, and no radio. The nearest grocery store was about 40 miles away. Some people might freak out about that, but for a stressed out and overworked small business owner I thought it was heaven!

So, here’s what happened. They have a main building with about 20 rooms, and separate from the building it’s surrounded by small and large cabins. I was staying in one of the small cabins, which had a refrigerator and microwave. I was suppose to move into the main building for a couple of nights, but what I didn’t know is that the new room didn’t have a [Read more…]

When Branding Turns Negative

negative branding

negative branding

I made a call this morning to the International Special Events Society and a pleasant voice answered “ISES”. Now, I’m sure no one out there is going to associate an event organization with a terrorist group that beheads journalists, but still, it must suck to have your brand hijacked by a negative situation.

Apparently ISES isn’t the only organization having to deal with this. The ISIS mobile app is changing its name to avoid any association with the terror group. Again, I don’t think people would confuse a mobile app with a terrorist group, but as a brand owner myself I can see where it would probably leave a bad taste in your mouth when branding turns negative.

Steve Gause bought a security company in Texas two years ago with the unfortunate name of ISIS. He could argue that the terror group actually infringed on his good name, which has been an upstanding company for many years. But I don’t think you would be successful in getting a group of jihadists into a courtroom over trademark infringement.  [Read more…]

Why I Will Or Won’t Follow Someone on Social Media

followers on social media

followers on social media

I remember some years of high school as being better than others. A lot of it had to do with the people I was hanging out with. I always judged people by the way they treated me and other people and not by how much money or power they had, or by how many friends they had. Sometimes I hung out with the most popular kids in high school and sometimes I didn’t. I’m still like that today.

Social media reminds me a lot of high school, with the “likes” of Facebook, and terms like “followers” on social media. Like in high school, people are judged by how popular they are and how many “friends” they have. But as someone who has spent most of my life in the entertainment industry, the word “friend” is bantered about loosely, and your real friends can be counted on one hand. Your real friends are the ones who are still there when the chips are down and you’re at your lowest point.

Social media reminds me of the same cliquish hierarchy as high school, and why I would hang out with certain people and not others. Here are some of the reasons I will or won’t follow someone on social media:

  • Information isn’t useful to me or my own followers – The first thing I do is look through someone’s thread to see what kind of things they post. If there are endless posts about what someone had for lunch or things that wouldn’t be of interest to the other people on my list, I don’t follow them. Nothing personal, it’s just not my cup of tea. [Read more…]

How to Utilize Google + to Connect with Influences as an Entrepreneur

It’s always nice to hear about modern day rags-to-riches stories like Dropbox or Soundcloud that are now worth millions, but for most entrepreneurs, it’s more of a rags-and-more-rags sort of tale. Bootstrapping a business wouldn’t exist if it wasn’t worth it, but the personal effort involved is steep. Using every tool available is the only way to pull yourself out of obscurity and connect with the right people, which means using even the toughest social media outlets like Google +.

Google +

Google +

Google+ certainly had more than its fair share of teasing from the peanut gallery as it failed to become the next big social media hit to topple Facebook. Believing it’s a social wasteland though would be a sizable mistake. Most people agree that while Google+ is not the premier hangout for the average consumer, it has been generously adopted by professionals of all kinds as more of a laid back version of LinkedIn.

While this makes it a small pool teaming with raw influencers for the masses, getting with the right people isn’t as easy as one might assume. Google+ has a much different framework than social forums like Facebook and Twitter. Where these sites pride themselves on equal playing fields of public information, Google+ is built on exclusive memberships within tight circles.

For any optimistic entrepreneur, the best method to find the right people is find the almost right people that will get you to where you want to be. Share content with people that will take interest and encourage them to repost. As more people positively engage with content, the more circles it will find, eventually leading to those with the largest platforms.

Take Advantage of the Differences

Although Google+ may be more complex than other social media, it shouldn’t be feared but embraced especially by the startup society. Boasting features that other social media sites can’t hold a candle to, Google+ has a unique way of playing to anyone’s strengths allowing for a deeper expression of personality. Hangouts are perhaps the best examples of creating a more immersive and personal experience. “Hangout” with journalists, bloggers, and others that could deeply connect with your ideas. [Read more…]

3 Ways to Make Customers Buy

There’s a lot of discussion out there about how many times a customer needs to see your product before they will buy it. Some go by the rule of three, some by the rule of seven, and some say there are no rules on ways to make customers buy. This discussion has been going on since 1885, when an advertising dude, Thomas Smith, wrote a book called Successful Advertising.

ways to make customers buy

ways to make customers buy

According to Thomas a customer needs to see or hear about your product or service 20 times before they will buy it. That sounds like a lot, but the average infomercial could rack that up in a couple of days. There are some companies who think you need to see their products 20 times an hour to get it. It’s like Chinese water torture, where drops of water are slowly dropped on the victim’s forehead until you go insane. I want to get out my credit card and scream “Okay, okay. If I buy the pasta strainer will you make it stop?!”

Here is the list that Thomas Smith put together for his guide:

The first time people look at any given ad, they don’t even see it.
The second time, they don’t notice it.
The third time, they are aware that it is there. [Read more…]

How a Product Entrepreneur Can Protect Intellectual Property

Intellectual property

Intellectual property

As a product entrepreneur you’ve spent a lot of time and money developing new products, whether physical or digital. Then one day you Google your product keywords, and up pops a page with your exact product on a Chinese website, or any website for that matter, with a different name. Someone is profiting off of your hard work!

I know how this feels. As an inventor with a patent and trade dress on a product I was shocked to see my own picture of me wearing my product on a Chinese website. As I looked further I saw even more of them. Some used my pictures and some even used the trademarked name.

I had noticed that business had slowed down quite a bit, but couldn’t figure out why. Now I knew. I spent the next few months contacting infringers to ask them to remove the product. Some didn’t know they were infringing and took it down. Some ended up becoming my customers and bought from me. But I had to fight the ones that were left. And even now I spend up to an hour every day knocking counterfeiters off the Internet.

So, how do you protect what you create from infringers? I posed that question to several product entrepreneurs who each had their own way of dealing with infringement.

product entrepreneur

product entrepreneur

Sandy Stein – Finders Key Purse (r)

I invented Finders Key Purse(r) in 2004 while I was a flight attendant. I used my flight attendant friends to help me sell in to the retail gift industry, and in 2005 we sold 1 million units. Since this was done with my friends, we were sort of underground, but after those million units were sold, the copies came up instantly.

Luckily for me I had started the patent process when I first invented it in April 2004, so we had that to protect us but soon realized that it wasn’t much in the way of protection as the small companies would give up with a lawyer letter, but the bigger ones decided to keep going. We finally got our patent a few years later, and had to spend $1 million in legal fees to get one of the biggest infringers out of the market. Since Finders Key Purse(r) is our flagship item, I had to pursue this infringer at all costs, or he would have taken over the market with a similar product with a lesser cost. OUCH! We won-the infringer is no longer selling, but he went BK to get out of paying us.

Lesson learned. If you want to get a patent, that is not too expensive. If you want to protect and defend your patent, that is extremely expensive, and you need to decide the value of the protection. Had we not had a patent, I am sure we would be out of business today with that infringer and several others who said that they didn’t want to battle me since my patent was so good and I was so litigious.

Sandy Stein
President
www.FindersKeyPurse.com

 

IP and book publishing

IP and book publishing

Stephen Lesavich, PhD, JD. – Founder & CEO of Coconut Avenue, Book Publishers, Intellectual property attorney, and technology expert

Here is what we do to protect our books:

A U.S. federal copyright application is filed for the content of all our
books and the book cover as well.

Information on copyrights can be found at www.loc.gov/copyright

This allows an infringer to be sued in federal court if the book contents or cover is copied.

If there is a tag line or branding associated with the book, a U.S. trademark application is filed.

This allows an infringer of a tag line to be sued in federal court if a tag line is copied. [Read more…]

5 Reasons Entrepreneurs Should Hire Young Talent

 

entrepreneur

entrepreneur

Whether you are just starting out as an entrepreneur, creating your first business or are a seasoned professional, there seems to be one thing people tend to overlook when seeking out talent. There is an ever growing untapped resource you can use as leverage to help make major moves and grow your business. It flies under the radar at times and can be considered a secret: hire young professionals!

 

Below we are going to outline why you should start looking to hire younger workers, as they can really help you grow, save money and push your business to new heights.

 

1. Economical There is no way around it, if every entrepreneur had their wish, it would be top talent across the board. However, when seeking out individuals with years of experience under their belt, you better be prepared to pay a lot of money for them. Yet when you begin to widen your search, in the hopes of saving your profit and losses (P&L) table, you will notice that hiring a young professional, or someone just entering the field, can save your business a lot of money and still push you forward. Sometimes, you can even hire two people for the same amount it would have taken you to secure one seasoned person. A bigger reason for doing this is covered next. [Read more…]