Get the word out!

One of the biggest challenges in publicity marekting, is simply getting the news to travel.

But I just read Glenda’s post on “9 Ways to Use Social Media to Campaign for Votes” which really hit it right on the head when it comes to getting the word out. Her nine tips are practical and really easy to do. But most importantly, I feel that they are also effective.

Leveraging off social networks is probably one of the smartest way to promote yourself or your business. There is only one thing more powerful than the 9 o’clock news – Susie’s gossip. If you doubt this, then consider that there are times when you know nothing about the big news about the new community center getting built in your neighbourhood; yet, Susie seeing your neighbour buying a diamond studded collar for his dog is known by one and all.

Social networks have been a powerful force throughout civilization. Now, with the Internet, it has become even more formidable. Question is, do you know how to harness its power?

[tags]social networking, gossip, news, marketing, publicity[/tags]

Holiday Blogging Awards 2007

Well, if you have been blogging for a while, and you are still at it, then you must really love it. So, why not test your mettle against the best on the web and take part in the Holiday Blogging Award 2007 competition?

There are three categories that you can participate in:

Best Holiday decoration of a Blog – Any blog or blogger who has decorated their blog for the holidays either entirely or in an subtle way. Prize: $20 USD via Paypal and links from channel blogs.

Best post about Christmas on a Blog – The best posting about Christmas or holiday activities on a blog. It can be religious or non-religious, but should celebrate the spirit of the season. Prize: $20 USD via Paypal and links from channel blogs.

Best Holiday image or video on a Blog – The best display of your own personal holiday decorations on a blog. It can be religious or non-religious, but again, should celebrate the spirit of the season. Prize: $20 USD via Paypal and links from channel blogs.

I have been invited to be a judge for these awards, so please… be nice to me! :)

[tags]blog, blogging, holiday blogging[/tags]

New Products – Innovation vs Market Feedback

In most large marketing companies, market research tends to rule, or rather, over-rule many marketing decisions. Marketing by numbers has become not only the favourite past-time of marketers, it has also become necessary to justify ever increasing budgets.

Most of the time, market research is useful and important. Product managers should never fall in love with their products and company owners should not be so enamored by their own cleverness that market feedback is ignored.

But what happens if the market says “no” when everything you believe in says “yes!”? This is a dilemma faced by innovators through out the ages.

If you believe market research, the Sony Walkman would never have seen the light of day. If you listen to market research, Intel’s CPU road map would be boring indeed. And of course, Microsoft, who in the world would have imagined that everyone “needed” to have Microsoft Office on their computers, at home? No one needed a telephone and the fax machine was a joke.

Then there is the now infamous line “… who would ever want to make a copy of that?”

Now, bring that into the context of Marketing, and you will begin to see the same behvaviour. When you propose a new idea that no one has ever tried before, the Management will more likely than not, shoot it down. Simply because it has never been done before. Keep this in mind when your next idea gets canned and just smile a little smile to yourself.

Entrepreneur Tip – Get a Business Card Reader!

Here is a really simple, yet often overlooked tip for business owners – collect as many business cards as you can!

OK, for those who are asking “why?” I would then say, because…

– you need to know more people who might become your potential customers
– you need to know more people who might know your potential customers
– you need to know more people who might be able to help you in your business
– you need to know more people who might be able to invite you to more parties

But as any avid business card collector will tell you, the challenge is not in collecting cards. People are more than happy to pass you their cards. It has become an auto-reflex. The real problem is, what do you DO with all those cards? It is going to be hell trying to type in all the contacts.

Nice Toy!To the rescue, comes the business card reader. As an employee, you might wave it off as a frivolous toy, but as an entrepreneur, this is your lean, mean, lead-generating machine!

Of course, this is not the only model available out there. But this model, Scan2Contacts from ScanShell integrates with your Microsoft Outlook and scans those addresses and other information directly into your Outlook. Talk about saving time!

If you speak with any internet marketing professional, you will always hear “… the money is in the list” kind of talk. Well, in this case, it is easy to create that list. Just feed those cards into the reader. If that is too technical for you, then you must be that 5-year old lemonade king that everyone is talking about down the block!

[tags]business card scanner, entrepreneur, small business, start up[/tags]

What can we learn from Prostitutes and Corporate America?

I just came across this really interesting post by KEVIN. That post got me thinking. Not about prostitutes nor about the similarities with corporate live. Nope. Nothing like that at all.

When something new comes along, when there is an innovation; it usually isn’t the big boys who jump first. Sure, they have all the analysts, they do projections, they monitor the markets, their customers. They segmentise 9-ways to nowhere and they should be miles ahead of us small little entrepreneurs. But you see, innovation and creativity seems to be antithesis to large corporation.

Reading that post, I have hope. That individuals catch emerging trends better than large corporations. That small companies fueled by individual ambition and tenacity ride new waves better than large corporations. But then, I also have a sobering thought. Many entrepreneurs are so caught up with running their business, they have no time to spare. In fact, some have shunned the Internet, not wanting to be caught in its web of defeat, where companies are expected to give away everything for free and users are expected to well, be surfing.

In the end, it is up to you. As a society, as an economy, everything moves together. But that huge movement forward is made up of many small movements. It is not just the large corporates that move. The little guys create far more movement that they ever could. In fact, large corporations detest change. They cannot help it. It’s their nature. I don’t even need to prove it.

So, here is your chance. Your opportunity. Blogs, forums, web 2.0; these are all tools that you can use to help you grow your business. Tools to help give your marketing that extra boost. But only if you dare.

[tags]entrepreneur, large corporation, small business[/tags]

Entrepreneur Tip – Get Flyers Printed

Sometimes, problems appear larger than they really are. As a small business owner, the thought of using some of the tricks of the “big boys” seem to be so out of reach. But you know, getting color flyer printing done is not really that tough. It’s like less than thirty cents a piece and it will not cost you more than a hundred bucks to get a batch done up.

So, if you think that having some nice flyers distributed around your neighborhood is going to cost you an arm and a leg, you can now heave a sigh of relieve. Entrepreneurs need to employ all kinds of marketing strategies to get noticed and to survive. Services like these are a valuable resource.


[tags]printing, flyers, small business, marketing[/tags]

The Art of Niche Linkbaiting

Randa is a designer. But reading her blog, you might be forgiven for thinking that she is a great marketer. Well, actually, she is both.

And once again, Randa has managed to put up a post that is really rich in learning for us, and she did not even have to write it herself! Imagine that!

For those who want to learn how to do link baiting, go read this post. It is really good. Short and to the point with some really great advise. In case you are wondering, the writer, Ahmed Bilal, is well respected as someone who really knows the art of blogging.

read more | digg story

Optimising your Blog

Everyone tries to get the best out of their blogs. They consult the SEO gurus and scour the web for tips and tricks to generate traffic, and even ask their neighbours if they have read their blogs!

While we spend a lot of time looking at our blogs, optimising both design and keywords, there might be a little piece of real estate on our blogs that we are missing: the footer! Go read Randa’s excellent take on this over at 12 Ways to Make Better Use of Your Footer. Looks like there will be more work to do over the week tweaking the footer!