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  • Social
    deals Through networking I hate that word though since it sounds too cold A better term is friendship Business deals happen through friendship At least that s how it plays out with me I meet another entrepreneur We get to talking and realize we have compatible business models attitudes and values We realize that in some particular area our businesses could mutually support each other We discuss possibilities We settle on a deal that seems win win win They win I win The customers win We do the deal Value flows Money flows If the deal works and everyone does their part honestly and honorably and if the deal adds value and generates positive results it strengthens the friendship too Try doing a million dollars worth of business with someone and see how friendly you become More business will likely result Why Coaches Are Often Broke I know dozens of life coaches Most of them are broke Why They aren t getting enough paid clients Why not Because they don t have time to do quality coaching AND effective marketing simultaneously I also know coaches who have endless streams of new clients Why They partner with other friends in business who have lots of people who d love coaching if they could only get a referral to a qualified coach That s an easy win win win situation This is an overgeneralization to be sure but it s not too much of a stretch to say that the broke coaches try to do everything themselves whereas the prosperous coaches invite and allow other partners to help them succeed Social Support in Business It s good to have friends you can turn to for help not just for advice but for doing some actual income generating business together When I use the term social support in my articles I don t just mean Facebook friends that verbally encourage you That kind of support isn t particularly valuable unless you re suffering from low self esteem and need constant validation I m talking about having friends with whom you can do mutually beneficial exchanges that generate real income If someone is supporting your business it means they re helping you generate business How many of your friends have sent real business your way How many of your friends are your paying customers I could probably list at least 50 entrepreneurs I know that I could call on the phone propose a business deal and within an hour we ll have a tentative agreement to do something that generates at least 50K in extra revenue for someone Individual consumers normally don t care about this B2B side of my business The vast majority of them just enjoy my free content Some of them wonder how I actually make money since I hardly have anything to sell to them They don t know that most of my income comes not from individuals or from visitors to my website but from other businesses What s

    Original URL path: http://personalbranding.sg/tag/social/ (2014-06-18)
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  • Christina Bechhold: Make Your Customers Feel Like Part of the Club
    an ideal way to cultivate product evangelists who will disseminate your message with sincere enthusiasm Multiplying home grown ambassadors not buying expensive campaigns drives early virality People want to fall in love with products feel like they re onto something great and share it with others Everlane for example does it through unique value based storytelling and a striking infographic on just how much a designer t shirt costs to make and mark up the payment app Cover seems to be doing it by strategically targeting only the hot restaurants their young bill splitting users frequent paying your bill with a couple taps at spots like Charlie Bird or L Artusi in New York no doubt makes you feel like a regular with a tab A company I invested in found that witty branded content on topics and products hyper relevant to their community encouraged regular social sharing through their platform and giving early coverage to other brands in their space encourages cross promotion to new audiences Another company has a weekly Instagram photo contest that has become so competitive winning feels like hitting the jackpot despite the fact the prize is simply having your photo shared with their almost

    Original URL path: http://personalbranding.sg/2014/05/29/christina-bechhold-make-your-customers-feel-like-part-of-the-club/ (2014-06-18)
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  • Customers
    What the startup industry has however that big business lacks agility And this is a key to how startups are able to set about picking up precious slices of market share from existing players By listening to customers wants and needs and by reacting quickly startups have the ability to meet specific customer pain points before the larger corporations have noticed that they even existed This often doesn t happen the first go round Startups typically miss their target a whole lot more than they hit it but with the ability to work with tight development cycles and get products or services to customers quicker they can maneuver far better than an industry giant is able to See Full Story on www theglobeandmail com Filed Under Entrepreneurship Tagged With Customers Entrepreneurs Maneuver Misleading Pivot Startup What Does The Fox Say 4 ways to make business communication stick 20 February 2014 by Digital Curator Leave a Comment Here are four ways you can make your best business communication stick Make it catchy Watch the video of What Does the Fox Say and you may just think these somehow believable animal characters dropped in from an alien world But here s the clincher they ve reeled you in with a great big hook When you watch it it s so well catchy that you don t want to look away That s exactly what you want to do Whether you re preparing your next pitch for a prospective client or an all team meeting think about your hook Your first job is to create an opener that sells Think about it People can read charts reports and handouts for themselves When you craft a creative way to open your next meeting three things happen immediately it engages the audience establishes a connection and offers a glimpse of what s to come So take a cue from the stage go for the hook and they ll stay tuned in Make it relatable As silly as this little tune is it s instant and it s recognizable Everyone can relate to it because there s just something that tickles you While it s admittedly kooky it actually creates rapport and conversation Isn t that what we want to do every day with our customers and with our teams In today s world of instant everything I think we tend to believe we know people better than we do look at how many connections you have on LinkedIn or how many Facebook friends are on your list Taking the time to actually create rapport and offer a relatable story first will pay off Don t overlook this one Make it different What s so great about this song It s unexpected When you re looking at ways to differentiate your company think about the small things that really do make you different Before I give a seminar or a workshop I ll often survey the participants about how they follow up with their customers to thank them for their business You d be surprised by how many follow up less than 50 of the time and mostly via e mail Here s a free idea The next time you want to follow up with a client pick up the phone and say thank you or actually hand write a note It will stick with them See Full Story on smartblogs com Filed Under Entrepreneurship Tagged With Business Communication Stick Customers Four Ways How to Prepare Your Office for Bad Weather 24 January 2014 by Digital Curator Leave a Comment Armed with a focused inclement weather policy as well as a keen understanding of how to communicate with your employees and customers during dismal conditions you ll weather the storm just fine Here s how to do it Step 1 Form a Plan Dust off that employee handbook It s time to update your inclement weather policy that is if you have one According to a survey of small business owners by Travelers Insurance nearly 44 percent of all U S small businesses do not have a written business continuity plan or any other type of document that explains what will happen to the business in the event of serious weather emergencies In fact the survey noted risk management ranks relatively low among priorities facing small business owners Your business can t afford this level of ambiguity According to Athey it s important to think through the different weather scenarios and address them as they arise By addressing these issues with your employees you set the expectations of what they are required to do in bad weather Plus your company is much less likely to have any unpleasant surprises he says It s sort of like road rage or ice rage Athey says If someone is out there sliding all over the road and they get to work and find out the place is closed or they re not going to get paid well it s not a great way to improve your employer employee relationship The inclement weather policy should clearly spell out who is responsible for announcing any closures and where they will be able to find that information Rania Sedhom a consultant who specializes in communicating policies employees says that it s essential to remind employees of protocol for bad weather Don t be afraid to repeat yourself she says It s not insulting make it your customary announcement at the end of September or early October Continually communicate And if you change the policy especially in regards to pay let them know sooner than later See Full Story on www inc com Filed Under Entrepreneurship Tagged With Bad Weather Communicate Customers Employees Inclement Understanding Growing your company from the first few fans to making 10k a month 22 October 2013 by Digital Curator Leave a Comment Relationships are key to succeeding in business Before our company even had a product we acquired our first customers just by selling our ideas alone But

    Original URL path: http://personalbranding.sg/tag/customers/ (2014-06-18)
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  • Hyper-relevant
    partnerships and content is an ideal way to cultivate product evangelists who will disseminate your message with sincere enthusiasm Multiplying home grown ambassadors not buying expensive campaigns drives early virality People want to fall in love with products feel like they re onto something great and share it with others Everlane for example does it through unique value based storytelling and a striking infographic on just how much a designer t shirt costs to make and mark up the payment app Cover seems to be doing it by strategically targeting only the hot restaurants their young bill splitting users frequent paying your bill with a couple taps at spots like Charlie Bird or L Artusi in New York no doubt makes you feel like a regular with a tab A company I invested in found that witty branded content on topics and products hyper relevant to their community encouraged regular social sharing through their platform and giving early coverage to other brands in their space encourages cross promotion to new audiences Another company has a weekly Instagram photo contest that has become so competitive winning feels like hitting the jackpot despite the fact the prize is simply having your photo

    Original URL path: http://personalbranding.sg/tag/hyper-relevant/ (2014-06-18)
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  • Marketing
    told me Now the site handles orders and she can focus on growing her business Plus in just one month her sales are up 15 percent thanks to the new site See Full Story on blog score org Filed Under Social media Tagged With Goals Internet Marketing Small Business Integrating Social Media With Your B2B Trade Shows 16 December 2013 by Digital Curator Leave a Comment Despite the proliferation of online marketing in recent years offline continues to be the main focus of SMBs looking to generate leads to their business A survey conducted by the Center for Exhibition Industry Research CEIR in 2011 revealed that the average share of marketing budget allocated to trade shows by companies in the B2B niche was around 40 This emphasis on trade shows is not surprising considering that no other marketing activity gives businesses the same level of relationship management and engagement as face to face meetings during trade shows Given this scenario it is very unlikely for the marketing strategy for such B2B companies to change in the near future However what a lot of businesses in this segment miss out is on enhancing the visibility of their brand by integrating their trade show promotions with social media The logic is simple Trade shows attract a huge chunk of audience who can be converted into customers This audience is also highly connected to other potential customers who may not be attending the trade shows By engaging with the trade show attendees over social media businesses can not only carry on the relationship building process beyond the trading booth to an online platform but also enable a word of mouth promotion of the brand from the primary attendee to their contacts online A common refrain among old school marketers is that while social media can create a virtual following it does not help in conversions That is a wrong metric to measure the success of a social media campaign An alternate way to look at social media integration with trade shows is to see how many potential customers were touched by the overall campaign For instance let us take the example of a trade show where setting up the booth and preparing brochures and sample accessories cost 20 000 overall A successful campaign without any social media integration could typically establish serious relationships with 15 20 prospects with conversions expected to generate around 30 000 80 000 worth of sales However integrating social media into the trade show marketing campaign businesses may expect the number of leads to increase anywhere from 5 20 which in turn is likely to increase the revenue generated through the campaign Most importantly such social media campaigns are free to integrate with very minimal inventories required By Anand Srinivasan See Full Story on socialmediatoday com Filed Under Social media Tagged With B2B Trade Shows Marketing SMBs Social Media 5 Ways Small Business Owners Can Mobilize Their Marketing 29 November 2013 by Digital Curator Leave a Comment Today s consumers are more mobile dependent than ever before In fact according to Pew Internet 91 percent of American adults own a cell phone 56 percent own a smartphone and 35 percent of Americans over the age of 16 own a tablet Mobility has become an integral part of our culture with users checking email shopping online and visiting social media sites from their mobile devices The momentum shows no signs of slowing down making it all the more important for small businesses to target customers through mobile Below are 5 tips for small business owners to mobilize their marketing strategies Big Ideas for the Small Screen Consumers use mobile devices to research and look up businesses It is critical to ensure that your website is optimized for mobile screens Avoid the use of heavy graphics that slow down page loading times or navigation that is difficult to use from a small screen Ensure that your site is optimized for mobile with the use of a responsive design a design that adapts to the device dynamic serving or adaptive design serves different content based on the visitor s user agent or with a separate mobile site Txt 2 Sell Create a mobile opt in program that allows users to sign up for daily or weekly specials via text message Tap into the on the go urgency of mobile users by offering time or quantity limited specials such as only 5 left or available for 48 hours only You can also use text in the same way as email marketing by previewing new products or services or giving a first look at special offers Be judicious in how often you text and don t rely on text speak Avoid Goldilocks Syndrome A campaign that is not tailored to fit mobile users can have your customers feeling like Goldilocks sitting in Papa Bear s seat Create campaigns specifically for mobile users that are just right Use mobile apps and mobile coupons to drive users to your products and services Have mobile specific landing pages that include a click to call feature to make it easy for users to take advantage of a call to action Use Google Mobile Ads to get your ad in front of mobile and smartphone users Don t Go Off the Grid Make sure that your mobile site is discoverable by customers who may be searching Add your mobile or mobile responsive site to Google Places Take advantage of the robust profile to include complete business information and photos Ninety one percent of local searchers say they use Facebook to find local businesses online Ensure that you can be found by trying Facebook Nearby on a mobile device Make sure that your information is accurate and up to date including the map and directions Be sure to keep your Facebook business page up to date as well By Kristy L Campbell See Full Story on huffingtonpost com Filed Under Networking Social media Tagged With Marketing Mobilize Small Business Invest

    Original URL path: http://personalbranding.sg/tag/marketing/ (2014-06-18)
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  • Successful Strategy
    partnerships and content is an ideal way to cultivate product evangelists who will disseminate your message with sincere enthusiasm Multiplying home grown ambassadors not buying expensive campaigns drives early virality People want to fall in love with products feel like they re onto something great and share it with others Everlane for example does it through unique value based storytelling and a striking infographic on just how much a designer t shirt costs to make and mark up the payment app Cover seems to be doing it by strategically targeting only the hot restaurants their young bill splitting users frequent paying your bill with a couple taps at spots like Charlie Bird or L Artusi in New York no doubt makes you feel like a regular with a tab A company I invested in found that witty branded content on topics and products hyper relevant to their community encouraged regular social sharing through their platform and giving early coverage to other brands in their space encourages cross promotion to new audiences Another company has a weekly Instagram photo contest that has become so competitive winning feels like hitting the jackpot despite the fact the prize is simply having your photo

    Original URL path: http://personalbranding.sg/tag/successful-strategy/ (2014-06-18)
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  • 4 Tips From Launching a Second Startup
    rushing into your idea So she took her time thinking about what kind of business she d want to be a part of for the next 30 or 40 years 2 Spend 90 days preparing for your launch When Darabi was incubating Zady in a co working space within Google she received some very wise advice from two of retailer Warby Parker s co founders You can only launch your brand once they told her So Zady planned that day with extreme care They put up a coming soon website and didn t talk to any press until three months before the launch date And then they decided to speak to one journalist a fashion reporter for the Wall Street Journal who had an interest in sustainable manufacturing It resulted in a cover story in August of 2013 and Zady moved its launch day by a couple days to coincide with the story Don t think you can land such splashy press Spend all of your time and attention identifying the media and organizations that have the best fit with your mission 3 Pick a co founder you know and trust but not your best friend In Darabi s case she had known her co founder and Maxine Bedat for 17 years and had kept in touch off and on While the two share the CEO title and the managerial duties Darabi says they have complementary but not overlapping skill sets Bedat a former lawyer is the one who s a stickler about reviewing contracts and keeping the trains running on time 4 Listen to smart advisers but not too closely Zady has 15 investors five advisers and no shortage of smart and talented people who can offer advice But the second time around Darabi is much more comfortable trusting

    Original URL path: http://personalbranding.sg/2014/05/29/4-tips-from-launching-a-second-startup/ (2014-06-18)
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  • Company
    this before but obliged and it turned out pretty well for both of us This was our first small ripple the essential start to any wave of momentum See Full Story on women2 com Filed Under Entrepreneurship Tagged With Building Momentum Company Entrepreneurs RenterResume Successful Entrepreneur Braden Kowitz Why You Should Listen to the Customer 21 February 2014 by Digital Curator Leave a Comment How can my company become great at design Founders ask me this question more than any other They re often considering hiring a hotshot designer or an expensive design agency And while those might help neither will bake design deep into how the company operates Founders need a way to make great design become automatic and there s only one way I ve found to do that reliably invest time in listening to your customers You ve probably heard this advice a hundred times before Whether you call it user research or customer development or just getting out of the building we all know that hearing directly from customers is one of the fastest ways to learn and improve our products But when I ask founders how long it s been since they ve watched a real customer not a family member use their product they usually look embarrassed and admit they haven t tested anything in months It s so much fun to make things that it s often hard to stop and listen I ll admit it even though I know user research is valuable I ve argued against it on many projects I ve made one excuse after another to avoid talking with customers because I d much rather be building Luckily I work with talented and stubborn people who have proven me wrong over and over again So here are some of the dumb excuses I ve made and how I coach myself out of making the same mistakes again Excuse Customers don t know what they want I m sure you ve heard the famous Ford quote If I had asked people what they wanted they would have said faster horses So what No one expects customers to design the product for you That d be way too easy But customers can absolutely tell you their goals and frustrations Customers can show you what they like or dislike about products and you can watch when they get stuck or confused So if customers say they want faster horses what you should hear is that getting around is too slow It s the team s job to take all that raw input and build products to delight customers Reality Customers know a lot if you just know how to ask Startups need to stop pitching and start listening By being thoughtful you can guide conversations with customers and learn much more Write a script to structure the interview and avoid asking questions that customers can t answer very well Humans are remarkably bad at explaining why they did something in the past and even worse at predicting what they ll do in the future So skip over all that and get your customers to show you what they do today what problems they have right now and watch where products including yours are failing them I guarantee you ll learn a lot Oh and there s no record that Ford even said that silly quote anyway See Full Story on blogs wsj com Filed Under Entrepreneurship Tagged With Company Conversations Customer Founders Listen to the Customer The Older Entrepreneur s Secret Weapon 20 February 2014 by Digital Curator Leave a Comment In the early days of founding my current company The Grommet I met with a prominent venture capitalist His firm had a summer incubator program for student entrepreneurs As we chatted two of those young in resident founders walked by The investor shook his head admiringly and said to me Those kids are here all hours of the day Then he paused thoughtfully and questioned Can you do that I guess he assumed that as a 47 year old woman with three sons at home I would turn into a pumpkin at 5pm every day with the call of dinner preparation demanding my presence I ignored the blatant bias and answered What do you mean could I work like that I already do Five years later I am at the helm of a company that grew its revenues 450 in 2013 and counts one in 200 Americans as a supporter The young pair of founders I saw who eventually raised over 50M in venture capital funding are no longer at their venture There are two points to this story I will leave one of those points investor bias to another time But the second point about the advantages of being a middle aged company founder is often overshadowed by a media archetype of start up founders as hoodie clad 20 something s In reality studies show that one of the identifiable success factors in creating a high growth start up is having founders who graduated from college and were older at the time they started their companies because they therefore tended to have more experience and more contacts to build successful large firms In fact the average age for founding a successful company is 40 It s not a revolutionary insight to expect that experience and networks matter However in building The Grommet I have experienced and observed that there is a hidden advantage to this life stage more mature adults tend to have more significant social and family supports to give them resilience to survive the brutal psychological assaults of creating a company In other words there are plenty of credits to balance the debits of kids mortgages and looming college tuitions For me family provides a separate identity outside my company a consistent outlet for rest and relaxation and a safe haven to escape the relentless pressures of building a business These social supports go far to replenish the

    Original URL path: http://personalbranding.sg/tag/company/ (2014-06-18)
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