Tag Archives: entrepreneur

Who Are You Really Marketing To?

 

"…25-30 year old single women with annual incomes over $75,000, who live in San Diego, who like to shop…So if we are pretending we’re a clothing store, these might be some of the questions we should ask:

Where do they shop?

What magazines do they subscribe to?

What blogs might they read?

What do they struggle with when shopping?

How do they share their shopping experience?"     

      –Derric Haynie, CEO Splash

So, I'm new to the world of marketing.  No, it's not my educational background and I am surely not "fluent."  So, when I took a few minutes to read the above article (http://hive.pe/eG) written by Derric Haynie of Splash, I was amazed that there was so much to learn with regard to marketing!  Apparently, I'd been utilzing some aspects of marketing for quite some time now and hadn't even realized it. 

Have you ever completed a profile on an online dating site?  Whether or not you were providing misleading demographic information for your profile, you were probably marketing toward a certain mate.  So you created a profile in such a way that the hope was that you would attract a certain someone who had all the characteristics that you were looking for.  Am I correct?  Well, even though this example is quite simple, you were using some aspects of marketing.  If you included photos along with your description and traits, then you (in a nutshell), were utilzing the phenomenon known as "buyer persona."

I invite you to check out Derric's blog, especially if you are like me and you are new to this world of marketing.  I thought it gave a great overview of this topic and it has forced me to think more about who my target audiences are in more detail.

I'd love to hear thoughts once you've had a chance to read Derric's article.

Entrepreneurial Skills Needed To Effectuate Positive Social Marketing Changes

There is a distinct dissonance regarding the behavior and social change espousements between people who believe that all marketing is evil and those who believe marketing has some redeeming qualities for the good. This diversity of opinion gets played out in program planning meetings, conferences, policy debates and resource allocations (such as found in RFPs and TORs). Not everyone who works to solve intractable problems needs to be a social marketer; yet, learning some basic marketing skills will be advantageous because the most important aspect of marketing today rides with the entrepreneurs who are shaping the social changes and solutions.

1. Entrepreneurs Learn to Listen
Entrepreneurs are constantly listening, looking for ways to maximize opportunities, leverage relationships, and connect to people. And while anyone can be a good listener, doing so as a marketer requires an analytical mind—the process is not at all passive. By being trained in the analysis of your prospective customer using focus groups, and other appropriate techniques, you’ll start to learn how to really listen to what your VIP members and investors want.

2. Entrepreneurs Learn To Make Better Decisions
Knowing how to find and interpret data about your VIP members and investors means that you’ll derive a better understanding of the problems you are facing and how to tackle them in new ways. Of course, you’ll also get in the habit of shortcutting through a lot of unnecessary paperwork and honing in on the relevant data and revelatory insights that are most important.

3. An Entrepreneur Matures In His Communication Skills
The best marketers learn how to gain perspectives into different personality types and how to apply different techniques for engaging with them, based on what their idiosyncrasies are. This could be described as learning tact.

4. An Entrepreneur Does Not Waste Time
Because everyone is on a shoe-string budget, you have to be particularly perceptive concerning the prioritization of resources which is fundamental for small and large organizations and independent operators. Being creative about who ultimately falls into your sales funnel and concentrate on, the ways you reach them, and how to economize while still being effective will help you turn into an efficiency machine.

5. An Entrepreneur Must Be Aware Of The World Situation

Marketers have to be aware of what’s going on in the world culture. This means they read, attend social gatherings, try to figure out what kind of trends are making waves, and generally pay attention to the zeitgeist. No matter what industry you operate in, one must learn to be particularly sensitive to their milieu, which is very advantageous in results shown. One must become accustomed to not focusing on the details of the situation one is found in but train oneself to focus on the bigger picture. This will ultimately payoff by enabling more productive work ethics and help one do better in their chosen workspace. As a byproduct of this kind of focusing one will probably end up having a keener interest in a lot that’s going on around you, which makes one a person who is more interesting for others to be around.

Leading In Social Change

If the foregoing matters are carefully worked through then the foundation is laid for the entrepreneur to be perceived as the leader who can be emulated. This is the most effective way to become an influence for the good in the role of societal movers and shakers. This kind of functioning must be consistent and without hypocrisy in order to acquire the standing to bring positive changes to the way business is carried out. This is the challenge for the entrepreneur, but the dividends are huge.

If you believe that my message is worth spreading, please use the share buttons if they show at the top of the page.

Stephen Hodgkiss
Chief Engineer at MarketHive

markethive.com


Boost Your Success as a Blogger – 7 Tips

All blog writers want their blog to be successful—this is the one thing they all have in common. For most blog writers, success is loyal followers.

Regardless of when or why you began your blog, a few modifications here and there to your blog and your mindset can transform things for the better.   Here's a list of 7 tips to help you be successful as a blog writer.

1. Finding Your Niche

This little bit of advice has been jumping around the Internet since the beginning of the first effective blog.   Still, a lot of beginning writers don’t take this advice, partly because a lot of new writers aren’t sure what to write about and partly because they don’t know what a niche is.

Niche is described as, “a specialized but profitable corner of the market.”

What we really mean when we say to “find your niche” is to slim down the focus of your blog.   Referring to anything and everything that comes to mind is great if you’re composing for yourself, but visitors may discover it to be disorderly and challenging. What visitors really want is an assortment of relevant and beneficial content on the same subject to help fix an issue or query.

Examples of areas include:

  • Health & Wellness
  • Marketing
  • Finance
  • Writing

While it’s correct that there are blogs on essentially every industry, the key to really succeeding and reaching your focus on industry is to filter your subject even further. Choose a gap in the marketplace and concentrate on that. This will decrease competitors while making you a go-to professional in your industry.

An example would be if you desired to start a blog about your travels.  Instead of concentrating on travel in general, you might concentrate on an individual nation or town. That way, you are likely to become the number one go-to blog for people who will be visiting that area.

2. Self-Promote

Promoting your own venture on public networking or within your team of buddies is overwhelming for a lot of people. You don’t want to appear to be boasting, and you definitely don’t want to come across looking like spam.

If you want to be successful, however, you have to tell others to get the word out, and who better to do that than you? It’s all part of the marketing procedure, and writers have to figure out how to use public networking and use feedback on blogs to promote themselves.

Many writers and public networking lovers recommend using 80% of your public feedback and shares to enhance other people’s works and 20% of it advertising your own services and products.  Sometimes tooting your own horn isn’t all that bad. The key is to find balance between self-promotion and humbleness.

3. Build on What Works

Use your web page statistics and comments feature to see how visitors respond to these new concepts. If you’re not seeing any sign of a response in your statistics, study visitors to see what they think.

Experimenting is all an element of the procedure, so don’t be worried about trying something new. Start guest posting, a new weekly blogging series, and try placing ads.

Testing one thing here or there isn’t likely to harm your writing exercise. Some of these tests often lead to a surge in visitors. What's promising is that you can always dump the ones that don’t work.

4. Perform an “Above the Fold” Test

Above the fold includes the content you see when you first view your blog. It’s anything that you see without scrolling.

Since you only have a few moments to create an excellent first impression and help visitors determine what they’re looking for, you want the most essential info above the fold. For example, individuals should be able to tell who you are and what you do without scrolling. If it’s not obvious in your blog headline, there is value including a tag line. If you want to highlight your call-to-action, that should appear above the fold as well.

Test your own site by using the Clue App to set up a free 5-second test.  Don’t like the results? It’s worth rethinking your website layout.

5. Make Your Blog Sticky

Sticky is a term that means you’re motivating individuals come back to or stay on your blog. For example, you might link to an appropriate article from your blog’s archives. You can do this within the material, or you can list additional sources at the end of each short article. The idea is that these hyperlinks point to your own material and offer visitors more in-depth information on the topic or a related topic.

As you do this, everyone is more likely to keep coming back and subscribe to your  blog. You can also make your blog sticky by inviting visitors to subscribe to your blog or by making your RSS feed available with the click of a button.

6. Ways to Extend Your Blog

To get individuals to stay and keep returning, it’s worth increasing  your reach outside of simple blog posts. This allows you reach more individuals who appreciate other types of content and contact, and it keeps your blog from getting boring.

Examples of ways to increase your reach include:

  • Releasing videos
  • Starting a podcast series
  • Hanging around industry forums or social media
  • Sending out newsletters

7. Create Quality Content

People have been saying it for a long time, and the saying still applies.  CONTENT IS KING!

Without well-written and interesting material, your blog isn’t going to go anywhere. Yes, your blog style and your promotion methods are essential, but they’re essentially ineffective if you don’t have quality material. Individuals may come because of the promotion, but they’ll remain when you provide material they need.

Pro tip:  Developing material customers “need” can include anything from educating them on something to offering them entertainment.  While writing a blog about yourself can have its advantages, you should always be concentrating on fixing the reader’s issues first (whether they are looking for advice or a good laugh.) 

Fulfilling your visitors’ needs is what will generate visitors to sign up to your blog.

If you believe that my message is worth spreading, please use the share buttons if they show at the top of the page.

Stephen Hodgkiss
Chief Engineer at MarketHive

markethive.com


Wealthy People Always Network: Are You Doing The Same?

Want to generate consistent, predictable and long-term residual income like wealthy people?  If yes, then, you have to follow certain proven economic/financial principles that ensure wealth-generation.  Now, the definition of wealthy isn’t restricted to those who possess extraordinary large sums of fiat currency but also, include those with mindsets receptive to thinking and executing beyond the limits of conventional restriction (yeah, The entrepreneur).  This applies to those non-comformists who were ridiculed in high school, thought of as techies in college and then, exalted as heroes in adulthood.  So, the question of networking is important because it establishes a foundation where the journey of your success begins with the collective support of other potential business partners with the same vision as yourself.  The Steve Jobs, Bill Gates and Paul Allen’s, of the world can definitely relate.  So, what motivates these malcontents and why do they do it?

Well, many have identified the following psychological needs as being core factors to their pursuit: personal achievement (lifelong dream), autonomy, creativity and freedom.  Even if, you were not an entrepreneur the aforementioned psychological needs are self-explanatory in having great value in the lives of any individual who craves normalcy.      

Now, wealthy people are generally entrepreneurial and seek opportunities to invest their money in ventures that will yield a positive return on their investment.  One of the ways they do it is by team-building or networking with other like-minded people, who share the same vision, philosophy of financial prosperity, technical expertise and willingness to take calculated risks to achieve success.  Oh yes, the wealthy are willing to network with geniuses/mavericks who possess another approach to problem-solving, while developing new innovations to make things more efficient and ultimately profitable.  Please recognize the creation of a Mastermind Group was no accident and continues to this day because of the obvious benefits it yields to its members.  I trust you are onboard, I hope.        

In truth, the wealthy work with others because they recognize the importance of strength in numbers, which increases the probability of success as compared to going it alone, which increases the severity of potential loss.  Billionaire J. Paul Getty, once said, “I would rather profit from 1% off the efforts of 100 people rather than 100% of my own efforts”.  Obviously, Getty knew something about wealth-generation, but more importantly, he knew the importance of working with others, because strength in numbers reduces risk and provides greater knowledge about similar challenges in the future.  The more sophisticated you are in any area of success then; your odds of success explode. 

Now, are you networking or building a team of entrepreneurs who share the same vision of success that you possess or are you doing it all by yourself?  If you go it alone then, be prepared to spend more money out of your pockets because your risk has increased exponentially.  Additionally, if, you are networking with entrepreneurs who FEAR different approaches or refuse to adjust to changing market conditions and more importantly, needs of their customers then, you are a Dead Dealer destined for the MLM Cemetery.  Why shoulder the burden of your entrepreneurial dream, when you can benefit from the efforts of an entire global online community that receives solid training and support from an entrepreneur dedicated to helping the little guy and gal.   

Are you receptive to benefiting from the collective efforts of a professionally trained global network of entrepreneurs producing quality content through one of the most technologically advanced blogging platforms available for free?  Additionally, you will be able to access an arsenal of content creation resources and tools that will enhance your knowledge base as a marketer.  How about creation of groups being an integral part of the success within Markethive because this is where our network of guys and gals employ the Hivemind into providing solutions to problems through our collective content creation efforts.  Nothing like having a ready-made team of like-minded people, who are ready to work for you?  Well, you now see why the wealthy continue to reign supreme, because they connect with others, so as to leverage their efforts and investment by working with others, while the average broke Richard (Dick) does things unilaterally and generates no return on his investment.  Ready to change your philosophy of going it alone or remaining with a network of so called entrepreneurs who fail to recognize their Comfort Zone is really their Failure Zone?  Let’s not forget playing it safe is costly because in today’s business environment being stagnant as the World passes you by ensures your failure.   

Let’s look at some of the social networks exclusive to the wealthy:

Metropolitan Club, a social network for what was described as obnoxious rich people and fittingly suffered its destruction 2-months after its debut in 2014.

aSmallWorld.Net, an invitation only social network of very young millionaires, who wanted to keep their clique very exclusive.

Total Prestige, an invitation-only networking site for one of the world’s most underserved internet demographics: the super- and super-duper rich … Ten members are billionaires. Most of them come from Europe and the Middle East, and range from royalty and entrepreneurs to entertainers. To get an idea of what these folks are blogging about: One recent post seeks advice for avoiding pirates while yachting up the African coastline."

Diamond Lounge, another exclusive group that is by invitation only of social networks consisting of Hedge fund managers, VC’S and CEOs.

Affluence.org, this is Facebook for the filthy rich.  Cost is FREE but, requirement of a household income of $3 Million must be verified.

TopCom, is a highly secure exclusive club that is like Facebook, Twitter.

Qube and Elysiants, luxury social network that became the most exclusive international social network for high net worth individuals on the planet."

Relationship Science, is a business development tool that provides influential people profiles very similar to LinkedIn.

Vaurn James

Contributor

 

 

Why You Must Become An Entrepreneur

Why You Must Become An Entrepreneur

If anyone has lately been searching for a job lately it soon becomes clear that it’s not just startups that do not want traditional employees, Google does not want them, small businesses don’t want them, agencies don’t want them.

Becoming an Entrepreneur

Who do they want then? Entrepreneurs

And companies are using lots of resources to get them.

For example 30% of large tech companies have already set up a seed fund to provide capital for startup entrepreneurs. In the administration of traditional companies, entrepreneurship is more sought after than ever before in history. The use of the term “intrapreneur” dates back to 1992, but it is historically at the present era that intrapreneurship has become a global phenomenon with companies hiring entrepreneurs-in-residence, holding “hackathons”, which are company-wide startup competitions, and encouraging employees to work on creative projects by allowing them a percentage of their regular hours to learn entrepreneurship.

The entrepreneurial worker has become a popular person. However, the question is then, Where does that leave employees who were molded in the tradidional way, the ones that you could tell what to do and they would do it. Does that literally mean that everyone needs to become an entrepreneur?

The robot model wherein employees just do what they are told is quickly becoming outdated.

Consider an appliance building factory. You can either hire two people at $50,000 per year or buy a robot for $100,000 that will serve you for 15 years, with no coffee breaks, 365 days a year 24 hours a day and no absences due to Illness and the like.

No wonder robots are catching on. The current world robot population is around 10 Million. In South Korea, where the highest number of industrial robots exist there are 347 robots per 10,000. How valuable are these robots? By 2030 it is estimated that robots will perform as well as humans at most manual jobs. That means that it would be good to look into the future and consider our job prospects, whether our jobs will still exist in 10 years.

The good news is that there is one quality that robots don’t have – a human factor- which distinguishes robots from entrepreneurs. Entrepreneurs have the capacity to understand humans, to know the problems humans are faced with and to be able to create value out of nothing.

Suppose You Don’t Want To Become an Entrepreneur

What if entrepreneurship just rubs you the wrong way? You are a very good at what you do and you just want to keep things the same? Ok, then let’s suppose in your lifetime there will not be any robots able to do what you do. Well, there is another problem you have to deal with: other people. There are people living in other countries who are willing and able to carry out the same work you do for less, being the same level of a specialist as you may be. In many areas of work roles does not matter if other people live elsewhere. And here is a compelling statistic; wherever you live, there are probably other nations where the type of work you do is cheaper. For example, IT coders from Russia code for 3 times less money than American coders. If we consider India, the rates would be even cheaper. But what about the newly emerging labor sources?

If there might be any safe haven from this entrepreneurialization of labor, it might be that your creativity would prevail to preserve your merit. If it falls to you to be creative perhaps this would preserve your particular niche of employment. However you must consider that an entrepreneurial creative type person would probably try to leverage his creativity outside his main job, so that he would receive more recognition as being someone who is considered to be creative. This creative aspect could be manifested in blog posts, an interesting ebook or an exceptional profile on LinkedIn.

So everything resolves to this: you need to be someone who can create their own opportunities and market the result. That’s entrepreneurship. If you happen to be a mid-level manager, you’ll never rise to the top unless you are able to create substantial value for the company, measured by profit. That’s what it means to sell. And if you don’t want to rise in the ranks, then sit tight, your replacement will probably be someone more dynamically entrepreneurial.

For those who are not happy about this turn of events, this state of affairs is actually a betterment of the workplace. The world is becoming better, but in order to stay competitive you only have to do one thing; you have to change with it – and the best way is by learning to become an entrepreneur.

Profile Pages: Online Branding and Building Authority

Profile Pages: “Online Branding and Building Authority”

What is the difference between online branding and building authority? Some would consider it the same thing, but in reality it can be two completely different processes. Online branding is a way to get more exposure for your brand on all levels of online marketing, especially search and social.

Building authority takes online branding to the next level by making each online presence for a brand authoritative. It goes beyond just about creating a blog or social media account. The following are ways you can build your online brand as well as your authority.

Everyone wants to be an authority.  READ: How to be an authority (Know Your Why First)
https://markethive.com/group/marketingdept/blog/how-to-be-an-authority

Start a Blog with Awesome Content

Blogs are beneficial for brands for three reasons. First of all, blogs help you rank well in search engines – Google loves fresh, unique content on websites that are constantly updated. If you’re looking to meet this goal, be sure to use Markethive’s blog platform and build a blog team in a Markethive group to assist in greater content and curation.

RE: WordPress Markethive’s technology super charges WordPress campaigns.

Next, blogs provide for great content to share on social media networks. It’s hard to get traction if your just sharing product and sales pages. But if you’re sharing informative blog posts about your industry, you’re likely to get a lot of traffic and social shares.

Markethive provides plugins and widgets and tech that allows visitors to subscribe to your blog from their Social Networks like Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter, thereby allowing your new Markethive posts to publish to their news feed automatically.

Finally, great blogs can help your brand build authority in your niche. This is where you go above and beyond cookie cutter posts that talk about your product to creating awesome content in the form of:

  •     Tutorials
  •     Infographics
  •     Videos
  •     Industry Interviews

Awesome content will show fans of your industry that you know your stuff and therefore are the brand to go with for their business needs. A great example of this is the blog you are reading right now – Markethive has Inbound Marketing technologies, the go to Social Network and infographics  that have been tweeted and liked over 10,000 times and posts that have been viewed on Facebook, LinkedIn and Stumbleupon over 100,000 times.

There are two great fears that brands have when it comes to blogging. One is that they won’t have anything to blog about, and this is a complete myth. Everyone can find something to blog about. You just have to expand your definition of the target audience. Imagine you had a body shop. You probably won’t get a lot of attention if you’re writing about paint booths and sanding tools all the time, but you will if you think about broader topics that would interest the people likely to visit an auto body shop. You can blog about the latest coolest Hot Rods at the coming Hot Rod Nationals show or the latest NASCAR winner to grab fans of those programs. Or you can blog about environmental issues and the Prious to grab environmentalists. Just think bigger!

The other fear is that they will be giving away “trade secrets” and lose their business. This one is especially common within industries like SEO, where a brand might feel like giving out ten steps to link building will give their customers the info they need to just do it themselves. But this just isn’t true. I have found that most of the time, if you give a complex, in-depth tutorial, a potential customer will see that your brand has the knowledge to do the service, but they won’t have the time or resources to do it for themselves. Hence, they’ll go with you because they feel confident that your brand has the expertise demonstrated in the content provided on the blog.

The key with your brand’s blog is to make sure that it is apparent who is behind the content. Whether you have your blog on your domain (yourbrand.com/blog), as a subdomain (blog.yourbrand.com), or as a separate site (yourbrandblog.com), be sure that it is matched to your brand. Check out Markethive’s site, blog, and subscribers profile pages, logged in dashboard and display variances on hand held devices. All are unique yet all are well branded and follow a conventional identity protocol (all on separate domains and different devices) as an example of great branding.

Guest Blog for Others (This is a major component in Markethive)

When it comes to blogging, you don’t want to keep the good stuff all to yourself. Guest blogging (join a Markethive Group to share content is that easy) is a great way to build your online brand presence and authority. The basic goal is to find a (GROUP) blog whose audience will be interested in your brand, and create a great piece of content for that blog.

Notice I said great piece of content. I would go so far as to say that the content you create for another (GROUP) site’s blog should be even better than the content you create for your own site. You want the content you create for another blog (GROUP) to rock. You want that content to generate additional social shares, comments, and traffic for the blog owner.

As you create GROUP posts for others, be sure to save the links to those guest posts for future reference. As you approach new GROUPs that you would like to guest post upon, you will want to include those links as examples of your successful guest posts in other Markethive GROUPS. If you can convince the GROUP owner that your post will be a perfect fit for their audience and will drive significant traffic and response, the GROUP blog owner will have a hard time resisting.

My main tips for GROUP blogging for your brand include:

1. Find the best GROUPs to guest post on.

When it comes to blogs you want to get a guest post on, your goal is to find those whose audience would be interested in your brand. The blog should get a significant amount of traffic and social shares as well – there’s no reason to post on a blog that has no visitors just because it has high PageRank or any other criteria – you want to get some brand exposure out of this! Use the Markethive GROUPs directory to start your search for blogs in your niche or industry.

2. Find the GROUPs blogging policy.

If you see that a GROUP allows guest bloggers or outside contributors, the GROUP should have some page or post posted that describes their post policy. If they do have a policy page or post, then be sure to note any and all criteria.

3. Start building a relationship with the GROUP owner first. (Markethive Groups is excellent for this)

Now that you’ve found the blog you want to pitch an idea to, don’t just jump in and pitch them yet. Start by getting to know the GROUP owner first by following their Markethive blog posts, their Twitter and their Facebook fan page. Comment on some of their latest posts – make those comments valuable to enhance discussion and demonstrate your writing skills and expertise in the industry. CoPromote their posts using Broadcasting tools and widgets. Do this for at least a week or two before pitching content to them.

4. Research and pitch great topic ideas. (Join others in our live Markethive Work Shops)

Don’t create the content first and then try to find it a home. Once you’ve found the right blogs and started engaging with the blogs themselves, you’ll get a feel for the type of content they publish.

To get an even better idea of what content is successful for each blog, subscribe to them in your Markethive back office blog platform. Then you will be able to see the site’s latest traffic scores. The higher score, the more comments, tweets, Facebook likes, and other social shares the post received. Use these high-scoring posts as an indicator as to what content does well on each blog.

Now you can message via the Markethive message system or request to join their group saying that you have recently enjoyed reading their blog (as evidenced by your commenting & social sharing) and would like to contribute to their site as a GROUP member. After reading their guidelines, you would like to see if they would be interested in the following topics. Then add three to four great post ideas that you believe will fit their audience to choose from. And of course, if you’ve done guest posts elsewhere, include some of your best links. If not, just include some great links from your own brand’s blog.

5. Create Awesome Content.

Once you get approval from a GROUP, your next job is to create an awesome piece of content. Make sure it fits the theme of that blogging GROUP and that it has the overall feel / tone of the GROUP blog you are submitting to. Also be sure to add in relevant links throughout your blog post – not to your own properties, but internal links to the blog itself. This shows the blog owner you’re really giving it 100% for them and their audience and not just trying to promote yourself.

The self-promotion piece should come at the end with your guest bio. Check out other author bios on the blogs and create yours to match. This is where you can say you are John Smith, an industry enthusiast from ABC Company.

Again, be sure to consider the blog’s guidelines and previous guest author bios when deciding to add one or more links back to your brand. The blog owner ultimately reserves the right to edit it as they feel is necessary.

6. Support your GROUP post once it goes live.

It’s not over yet. After that guest post goes live, you should give it your unconditional love in the form of social sharing with your brand’s audience on Twitter, Facebook, etc. as well as coming by to respond to comments. That kind of response on your guest post will further boost your brand’s reputation as a great guest blogger as well as a confident authority in your niche.

Don’t Forget Blog Commenting

Blog commenting is a great branding and authority building exercise you can do on any blog in your niche. I would suggest subscribing to the top blogs in your industry in Google Reader, and each time there is a new post, be sure to read it thoroughly and add a valuable comment. Remember this isn’t about link building – this is about building your brand’s presence online as an authority in your industry.

Get a Disqus account as well as it is a sort of social network of people that comment.

You can use the blog’s previous comments as a guide as to how you should format yours. Some blogs require you to only use your real name, while others are a little more lenient in using your name – your company. I would suggest linking your comments to your blog as people are more willing to click through to a brand’s blog than their main website.

Your Online Branding & Authority Building Strategy Using Blogs

What is your brand’s strategy when it comes to building your brand’s authority using blogs? Be sure to share what you find brings your brand the best results in the comments!

Create a Consistent Brand Image for Each Profile

Have you ever visited a company’s social profile, and you were not sure that it belonged to the company? One of the most important parts of branding is keeping a consistent image across all of your online properties so that no matter what path a person takes from one property to the next, they will always know it is your brand. For example, someone might:

Find your fan page through a friend’s activity stream and then follow it to your blog, then website

See a tweet from someone they are following, visit your Twitter profile, and then continue onto your website.

Start at your website, then go to check out your social profiles to see if your company is engaging with fans. Engaging is fuel and grows awareness, authority and respect. Comment, recommend. Just drive by liking and endorsing does no one any good and makes you look like a tire kicking couch potato.

Just like you wouldn’t want pages on your website to be different themes, you will want your social profiles to do the same. Markethive also leads the way in doing it right as well:

MARKETHIVE

Markethive probably does the best with branding between their website, Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter and YouTube accounts as shown above. All five are branded with the honey comb logo, color theme and climbers ascending Mt. Everest in representation of the entrepreneurial social community of entrepreneurs helping each other achieve their agendas, so you can feel the consistency moving from one property to the next.

BMW

The above shows BMW’s branding between their website, Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, and YouTube profiles. Each online property uses the same color scheme and is currently focused on automotive technology. The logos are all consistent, and the auto focused in the pages is different perspectives, the coloring and themes are consistent as well

BOLTHOUSE

Bolthouse’s (organic farm fresh juices) branding between their website, Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, and YouTube profiles as shown above uses the same color scheme, logo, and focus on their primary product, carrots and selections of juices. Excellent example of branding and consistency!

Help People Find Your Profiles

I do a lot of competitive analysis in my line of work, and one of the most frustrating things I have to do is search for a brand’s social profiles. Don’t hide your social media presence – flaunt them! Be sure to:

  • Put Social Icons on Your Website – Let visitors to your website know that you are engaging with your audience on social media as well by adding social icons to your website design. The most common places to place them include the header / menu bar, sidebar, and footer. They don’t have to be large and in charge – BMW’s are none existent on their main page and Bolthouse are right up top left of center where they should be and get the job done..
     
  • Put Social Links in Your Communications – Do you send emails regularly? Add social links to your email signature. Do you send newsletters? Add social icons to them.
     
  • Make Your Profiles Search Friendly – If I Google your brand name + Twitter, I should get your Twitter handle in the search results. To make this happen, be sure that the name of your social profile (and the username if possible) matches your brand name. You might be tempted to keyword optimize your profiles instead of optimizing them for your brand name – this is something you need to resist. You can learn more about social media SEO on how to optimize for both effectively for search engines.

Another frustration is the direct sales industry.

Even though the size of this industry is huge by any comparison with a market measured in the trillions, even the top 100 fail miserable branding with social media. Do not be like them, rather show them a good example with your efforts. After several days of research I was able to find one such company that at least had the top 5 Social Medias registered with a similar array (not the same name) of usernames.  The super majorities only have a token Facebook page, even less with Youtube and Twitter and nearly nonexistent with a Google+ and for that almost none of them are engaged.

BEACHBODY

Team Beach Body with a yearly market of 250 million, struggles with social media but has managed to set up the top 5 social medias, Facebook, Twitter, Youtube, Linkedin and Google+, albeit, the account usernames vary, and across the media branding is seriously lacking. It becomes painfully clear this industry needs Markethive or at least their distributors seriously do.

Get Engaged with Your Followers, Fans, and Subscribers

You probably know that it is important to maintain an active account by posting lots of updates, and that it is best to do something other than blasting advertisements non-stop about your brand. So the question is, what should you be doing to stay active in your social networks? Get engaged with your audience, of course. Here are the top networks to get socially engaged in for your brand.

Twitter Engagement

If you’re goal is to build a strong presence on Twitter and demonstrate your brand’s authority in your industry, you need get involved with your following. Some ways to do so include:

Monitoring Brand Mentions – If you use Twitter itself, just do a search for your brand and save the search for future reference. If you use a Twitter management tool like HootSuite, create a keyword search column that will constantly update you with brand mentions. Anytime someone says something about your brand, whether it is good or bad, you should be responding to it if at all possible. This may mean adding some extra team members to your social media GROUP as a response staff. But over time, if people see that you are always on top of any discussion of your brand, you will gain trust and receive lots of great word of mouth marketing. People will tell their followers what a great response they’ve received from you and likely recommend you based on their satisfaction level.

Monitoring Industry Conversation – One of the best parts of Twitter is that you can jump into any conversation, anytime. So if you are a company providing Inbound Marketing services and technologies like Markethive, you can monitor anyone who talks about Inbound Marketing, SEO, linking, Entrepreneurial interests, and other related topics and just answer simple questions that anyone asks about those topics demonstrating your expertise.

Curate the Best Content – Even if you are the best content creator in your industry, people often like to see a second opinion. Find out who other authorities are in your industry and share their opinion on industry topics with your following. You will gain more relevant followers simply for sharing the best news.

Facebook Fan Page Engagement

There are several different ways you can engage with your fans using your fan page that will keep your current fans active and bring new fans to your brand. These include:

Updating Your Fan Page on Facebook – It’s tempting to use HootSuite and other automated programs to update your fan page. But it’s becoming more and more obvious that if you want your updates to show up in fan’s news feeds that the updates must be organic, or originating from your fan page itself. So take the extra time to disable all of your autofeeds and start updating your fan page manually on Facebook. And when people start engaging with your posts or posting directly on your wall, be sure to respond to them. If they know they’re getting response, they’re more likely to return. No one likes a one-way broadcast.

Try Out Different Types of Updates – Don’t just post links or ask questions. Spice it up – add some video updates and photos. Different types of people like different types of content – be sure to try to cater to everyone by mixing your content up!

Thanks to the last major update to Facebook fan pages, you are able to use Facebook as your fan page. This means you can like pages as your fan page instead of your personal profile and then comment on them as your fan page. If you can find pages that are not direct competitors but whose audience will be interested in your brand, you will want to get active on them. For example, social media consultants should be living on Social Media Examiner’s fan page to connect with other individuals and businesses looking for social media help.

LinkedIn Engagement

If your brand isn’t on LinkedIn, you are missing out. LinkedIn allows you to add a company page where you can post your products, services, job openings, and even send status updates to your company followers including your latest blog posts. But some of the best branding and authority building activities for this network lie in the activity of the professional profiles including:

Participating in Groups – There are lots of great, active groups on LinkedIn in a wide variety of industries. Find the groups that have your potential client base within them and start getting active in discussions and posting useful content. Just be sure not to do anything that the group moderator would consider as spamming!

Answering Questions – The next best area to build a great professional reputation and strong authority in your industry is in LinkedIn Answers. There are questions asked every day in topics ranging from administration to technology. The people who answer the most questions are also featured on the answers’ home page as the week’s top experts!

Gaining Recommendations – Last, but not least, is recommendations. You can get recommendations on both the company pages and the professional profiles of your employees. Imagine if someone is browsing your company’s page and sees that the top employees have a ton of recommendations. It will show that you have a lot of experts in the industry which will make potential clients even more confident in your brand!

Entrepreneurial Social Networks

Top 5 Social Networks Entrepreneur Strategy

There are hundreds of social networks out there. You can’t be everywhere and we all need to focus our efforts and time on the most effective social networking sites. Here are the social networks I would recommend most for entrepreneurs.

Looking for a job? Consider creating your own. There are a number of social resources to help you connect with other entrepreneurs and get your business ideas off the ground.

Here are the top 10 social networks for entrepreneurs. Each helps entrepreneurs succeed by providing them with the guidance, tools and resources they need to setup their company and gain exposure.

Nothing compares with the brute force horsepower Inbound Marketing engine that comes free with Markethive, but we need to build alliances among our peers and this list is the top 10 of other Entrepreneurial social nets we recommend you frequent as well.

1. Markethive

I am putting Markethive as number one for many reasons, including a serious case of bias. I built it, aside from that. Markethive is a traditional easily navigated and profile oriented network similar to Facebook, oriented like LinkedIn but unique in that it's engine is a multimillion dollar Inbound Marketing platform. As entrepreneurs, we invest (spend) millions on autoresponder systems, capture page systems, blogging platforms, broadcasting technologies, known as Inbound Marketing today. Markethive's founder is the same man the developed Veretekk and invented Automated Marketing, auto responders, capture pages basically what has become today known as Inbound Marketing. There is no other Inbound Marketing solution on the Internet that comes close, has the level of integration found on the Internet at any price and the other systems cost upwards of $10,000 per month. Markethive's Inbound Marketing platform is free included and built into the social network.

2.  StartupNation

Most social networks neglect the content aspect that makes StartupNation so useful.  With articles, forums, blogs, on-demand seminars, and podcasts, entrepreneurs will be better prepared for their ventures and have the resources required to make better business decisions. 

There are a wide range of topics being discussed on StartupNation right now, including business planning, marketing and web-based business.  The site also offers a series of competitions, such as a dorm-based 20 contest and an elevator pitch competition. If you're an entrepreneur or hope to become one, this site is definitely one you can’t miss out on.

3.  LinkedIn

It’s difficult to leave LinkedIn off of any social networking list because it’s so useful for anyone who's either searching for a job, is trying to network with like-minded individuals, or building a company.  LinkedIn offers many resources for entrepreneurs, such as groups, including the very popular “On Startups” group that has over 54,000 members. 

Entrepreneurs on LinkedIn should brand themselves properly so they can attract the right kind of business opportunities, and perform searches to find service providers or partners.  As an entrepreneur, you should also be looking to participate in LinkedIn Answers, events and applications to spruce up your profile and become a valuable member to your community.

4.  Perfect Business

If you want to meet thousands of serious entrepreneurs, experts and investors from a variety of industries, then Perfect Business might be the perfect social network for you.  The type of people you’ll find are potential business partners, potential clients and advisers. Additionally, the site has leading business partners like Entrepreneur and Virgin Money.

From business networking to a video center where you can learn from successful entrepreneurs, a business plan builder and even an investor center, you’ll have most of the resources you need to create or regenerate your business. There is a free basic membership and a gold membership that costs $29.99 per month.

5.   The Funded

The Funded is an online community of entrepreneurs who research, rate and review funding sources.  Entrepreneurs can view and share terms sheets to assist each other in finding good investors, as well as discuss the inner workings of operating a business.  General benefits of this site include viewing facts, reviews and commentary on funding resources, and accessing RSS feeds of the most recent public comments by members. 

By joining the site, you have access to detailed fund profiles with specialty, reference investments, and investment criteria, in addition to accessing partner vCards that have full contact information of all partners at venture funds.  In order to get any value out of this social network, you pretty much have to become a member.

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Stephen Hodgkiss
Chief Engineer at MarketHive

markethive.com


From Hopeful Work At Home Mom to Entrepreneur

Article By Rita Taketa – I've been a successful Work At Home Mom for 18 years, beginning when there was little career work available at home besides telemarketing. After working for several different companies being in charge of multiple operations, I now have plans to expand my business-to-business professional services with virtual agents.

work at home mom business and entrepreneur

I've been steadily working from home for 18 amazing years. In the beginning, however, it was not a popular decision. The pay was poor and the quality of work was mainly telemarketing for the consumer-to-business market, or some other type of odd tasks that were not rewarding.

I started on this journey after I had my second child. I had been working for a marketing firm as a supervisor handling inbound and outbound calls for clients in the restaurant industry. I had a great deal of responsibility with data and order entry, managing our team, training, and being responsible for the entire company phone system, which was my first introduction to Telephony Software & B2B Marketing.

As much as I enjoyed my career, I had a nine-year-old son at home to care for as well. I always felt torn between being a mother and a working women. I had already been through the route of daycare and before-and-after-school care and all of the challenges that go along with being a working mom. I felt guilty when I was not with my child, and yet I needed to work to help provide for my family, just like the balancing act that we all face today now that most families need two incomes to stay afloat.

Research on the internet afforded me to learn more about working from home, but there wasn't much of a selection to choose from except telemarketing. I started working with a company that produced customer satisfaction surveys for a national tire company. It involved evening and weekend work, so I was able to work my day job but bring in a little extra money. As I worked on different projects for the company, gaining more experience and confidence, I was asked to do more projects in different markets. Eventually, I started doing surveys for a vast array of markets including insurance.

Networking, researching, and trying different work-at-home tasks allowed me to transition into a full-time career working from home as a business-to-business professional. I serve as an extension of a company's inside sales team as an appointment setter, lead generator, and customer service representative. I've worked as an independent contractor for many years, so I took my experience and branched out with my own company to accommodate the needs of businesses in supporting their sales and marketing efforts. My goal is to expand by hiring virtual agents to help with my growing client base.

I chose a rewarding career path that has allowed me to be home with my family (which was my ultimate goal), raise my children, do meaningful work, and make a good living right from the comfort of my home office. Work At Home Mom = a happy mom!

If you believe that my message is worth spreading, please use the share buttons if they are visible on this page.

Stephen Hodgkiss
Chief Engineer at MarketHive
markethive.com