Starting a business out of your garage or home office isn’t as easy as Silicon Valley
makes it look. Not only do you face an uphill battle in your particular
marketplace as a newcomer, but transforming your everyday living
quarters into the home of your new business can be incredibly difficult.
Your home has always been a place of relaxation and usually a safe haven from stress, but once you embark on your entrepreneurial journey, you seemingly give those qualities away.
Create a separate working space that can be closed off from your normal living area. Set yourself up in an office, basement or any area that is easy to close off from the rest of your home. This area will be known to those in your home as a “work only zone” and can convey the point that when you are there, you are working.
In this area, make sure you create a comfortable and functional work space complete with a comfortable chair, good lighting and of course, a computer desk that conveys business and comfort. By creating a comfortable working space, you will be able to focus solely on your business and push aside any confusion of the work/life line.
“If you don’t pay appropriate attention to what has your attention, it will take more of your attention than it deserves.” – David Allen
Obviously a basic four-legged, single drawer desk and kitchen table chair will do the trick, but it’s important to make sure that your workspace will help keep you engaged. Additional options such as adjustable height desks, ergonomic chairs and adjustable lighting can help you stay engaged on your work when the day starts to labor along.
I can’t emphasize enough the importance of creating a work schedule. Maybe you don’t want to work your basic “9-5” – that’s fine, but make sure that your schedule is consistent and that each day, you know what to expect of your schedule. Plan to give yourself two 15-minute breaks each day at the same time and a lunch time which you regularly abide by. Setting these mental work guidelines will help you become more productive in between your set breaks.
Utilizing a whiteboard for ideation, planning and reminders allows you to layout any thought in an easy way that can be helpful to the more visual learner. Notebooks, sticky notes and computer notes are helpful, but both can be misplaced or ignored whereas a whiteboard is always in the same spot and easy to reference. This will also give you a chance to get up from your (hopefully comfortable) seat once in awhile.
By keeping tabs on yourself, you will likely be motivated by the idea of looking at a “Tasks Completed” list at the end of the day. This motivation will make you do more work and keep you from getting sidetracked.
Don’t put a TV in your office. Limiting your distractions isn’t easy to do with alternative entertainment surrounding you in your home, but as much as you can eliminate these possible distractions the more work you will be able to accomplish. It may seem very miniscule, but even leaving on the morning news in your office can severely limit your progress on daily tasks.
“Work is hard. Distractions are plentiful. And time is short.” – Adam Hochschild
Set boundaries with your family, significant others and even pets. To your family or significant other, “being home” all day might make the work/life line a bit blurry so be sure to set the boundaries early.
A good rule of thumb is that your office is your workplace and during your set work hours, you are actually at work. Setting these boundaries will allow you to complete your daily work without being bothered with things that you wouldn’t have to do while working at an office.
Overall, working from home is a great opportunity, and sometimes the only option, for entrepreneurs looking to make a name for themselves. The best part about starting your own business is that your business will only work as well as you do. Success and failure is in your hands and if you have a difficult time working in your home, you business could suffer.
No matter if you are a self-employed individual or apart of a team, there are always a few defining points to becoming successful.
More often than not, successful entrepreneurs will share similar characteristics, regardless of their trade or their role. While you might think there are a few secrets to becoming successful, you will find that the facts that successful people are actually more common than you think.
It will take time to become profitable and while you are striving for financial success, any money you utilize should be closely monitored. Remember that your capital is limited and you should ensure that every penny is used wisely. Keep track of your spending and stick to your allocated budget. Proper money management will help prevent financial mistakes as well as ensure you keep (or wisely spend) any profits made.
Creating a business plan will help you maintain an active list of goals and achievements. Not only that, business planning will help ensure that you build healthy habits that you will develop, implement, as well as maintain along the way. With the assistance of a proper business plan, you can easily highlight your goals and how you will reach them.
“To any entrepreneur: if you want to do it, do it now. If you don’t, you’re going to regret it.” – Catherine Cook
While it is a great trait to be passionate and even stubborn about something you are working hard for, the lack of flexibility will hinder you in the long run. Successful entrepreneurs need to learn how to adapt and be flexible for the current market trends.
Entrepreneurs are often times considered to be risk takers. Yet, not every risk taker is considered a successful entrepreneur. The difference is simple – know when to take a risk and what the risks involve. Ask yourself is this risk worth my time, my money, or the cost of my career? You should also ask yourself what you will do if a certain venture does not pay off.
Getting to know your customer on a personal level is one of the most competitive aspects you can offer your clients as well as the market. People are always looking to make a connection and if you can provide this service you will not only stand out, but will also create a long lasting client base.
Organization is key. Lacking proper organizational skills will leave you cleaning up unnecessary messes. Keep track of your daily tasks in one place, whether it is a calendar or journal and make sure that you keep a close eye on what happens each day. Staying organized is absolutely necessary to run and manage a successful business.
One of the greatest aspects of running a business is learning how to network. Meeting people and getting to know those in your community or reaching out to mentors can only help you improve within yourself and therefore your business. Besides, putting yourself out there will help others remember who you are and if you can create positive business relationships, you will find that your business will thrive.
When you are passionate about your business, you will be motivated to keep moving forward to meeting your goals. When you do something you love to do, work will not seem mundane. In fact, you will find that day in and day out, you are enjoying what you do and that alone makes all the difference. Make sure you love what you do and working hard will not seem like hardly working at all.
“I’m convinced that about half of what separates the successful entrepreneurs from the non-successful ones is pure perseverance.” – Steve Jobs
One common factor amongst all entrepreneurs is this: they know their product inside and out. In addition, those successful individuals are also very familiar with the market dynamics. Remaining aware of market trends, changing market needs, your competitors movements, as well as other external factors will only help you remain in that successful side of the market.
Unfortunately, not every attempt you make will end in success. The defining point of successful entrepreneurs is to know when to take a graceful exit and how you can learn and grow from that experience. Several famous entrepreneurs have had their failures but they have also had the foresight as well as the serenity to know when they should cut their losses.
You wonder how they do it, how they are able to build their businesses from the ground up efficiently and fledge it to the best to structure your business, and even talk to mentors. Unfortunately, the results aren’t as spectacular. However, you keep trying.
To be a successful entrepreneur, there are skills and traits that you have to possess. These traits are beyond your credentials and they determine how your business will move to the next step. These skills determine if you get funding from venture capitalists, angel investors, strangers, or your family and friends.
Do you possess good leadership skills? Do people like your leadership and does your leadership style inspire change? As a business owner, you must be able to manage your employees and the teams involved.
Businesses that are meeting their goals and aspirations have gotten where they are because of having leaders with the capacity to guide the businesses through the different challenges, but still come out on the other side having achieved what they set out to do. Being a great leader means that your employees work with you, question your moves at other times, and basically communicate well with you just to ensure that your business reaches its goals.
“The quality of a leader is reflected in the standards they set for themselves.” – Ray Kroc
For you to get the end product you had in mind when starting, you should be able to clearly communicate your goals to all the teams involved in the production and processing process. An entrepreneur needs to understand their employees, know their strengths or weaknesses, then help them use these effectively, making the business and the employee better. This is only possible through communication.
Communication must be two way and you should also listen. Good written and spoken communication skills are important out of the business establishment as well. Communication is integral when looking for funding, when handling complaints from customers, or when negotiating new deals.
To change the world with your business, you need to have ambitious projects. Ambitious projects are often referred to as the disruptive ventures. To get on top of things and the industry, yours should be the project that will disrupt the society’s status quo.
As an entrepreneur, your ‘holy grail’ is a product or a service that will shake up the industry radically. This includes the ability to change the way people view things, interact or label things.
An entrepreneur is the definition of a risk taker. Business growth depends on your ability to dive into the future of uncertainty while embracing all the challenges and the problems that will cross your path. You should be willing to risk your money, time, and other unknown factors. To deal with these risks and the unknown, you should set aside resources, bandwidth, and plans to deal with the unknown.
You cannot run a business when you are afraid of every turn you are about to make. Being a risk taker requires a fearless spirit. There will be scary moments, but your ability to maneuver and win over the fear is the power that will propel you and your business to greater heights.
There isn’t one successful entrepreneur who faults or regrets trusting their instincts. In a normal consumer life as well as the business world, you have to listen to that little voice and step out when your gut says so.
As a result of the impressive results reported by entrepreneurs who always trust their instincts, gut instincts have been dubbed the sixth sense. This sixth sense is very powerful and you should be able and willing to trust and rely on it. It doesn’t matter what the rest of the team thinks.
You cannot take on the entrepreneurship bull by the head and ride it without falling over or getting it to trample on you if you have a solid vision in mind. Perceptive and creative business visionaries tend to twist normal views, distorting reality and eventually change the way people see the world. To be in the top entrepreneurial league, you should be able to cultivate these visions in your mind so as to make the big breakthroughs, which could never be envisioned by an ordinary person.
“The key to realizing a dream is to focus not on success but on significance — and then even the small steps and little victories along your path will take on greater meaning.” – Oprah Winfrey
The most important trait ingrained in successful entrepreneurs is passion in what one does and the motivation to hit the big business storms every day without giving up. Because of passion, you will stay up late to complete unfinished tasks, wake up earlier for your customers to get their deliveries in time, work endlessly on the same thing without getting bored, willingness to make the business better and stronger, and the ability to be in love with that which you wake up to, every day. Without this and the internal motivation to make things work, you will not succeed in business.
You don’t have to be a pro in all matters tech and programming but in this digital age, you should have the least possible capacity to market your products or services online and to connect to your customers, competitors, or suppliers through social media platforms. Digital marketing is crucial and you should do some basic SEO. You should also use the company’s and your personal social media platforms to build and enhance your business brand.
You need to manage your money. Even when you have a CFO, you still have to control things and help in making business decisions concerning money. Besides financial management, you must have the ability and the capacity to raise funds. To get investors interested in your business, you should be able to show them what you have and what their investment can do for your business.
In conclusion, the success of your business depends on these skills and traits. A rapidly growing business is one that is not only disruptive, but also one that leaves a positive impact in society. Your goal in business shouldn’t just be raising a lot of money, but you should have the vision to change things around to benefit the whole society.
Did you start your business for specific reasons such as the loss of a job or due to your desire to be independent? However, do you think you have the right personality to manage an enterprise successfully? Are you aware of the common trait found amongst successful entrepreneurs or are you frustrated and struggling along?
Anyway, just keep on reading; to discover what might be missing in your personality. Because, once you dabble into business, you have become a different animal. If you want the business to survive and meet its set objectives, it must also be in tandem with your own self-survival and inner peace.
Seek knowledge. Go after many sources. Get an insightful mentor, preferably older than you. I lost mine about 4 years ago. I miss him greatly. Learn about winners and even losers in life. Learn about the lowly and the mighty. Learn about the hidden and the obvious.
This new habit of learning will spark and build your inner confidence. It makes it easier to develop and arrive at your own full conviction. Why? Because, today, there is so much confusion around our world.
You will have to be a master of your emotions. It is not easy because we are human.
But you can strive to keep away from taking knee-jerk decisions. With deliberate practice you will be rewarded.
“Your intellect may be confused, but your emotions will never lie to you.” – Roger Ebert
Your business needs all the attention. Self-discipline and your lifestyle have a lot to do with it. Imagine you are a guest at a sumptuous dinner and you have a business appointment out of town the next morning. Your friends can choose to eat or drink anything, in any amount. But not you. Maybe a bite or a sip. An overnight rumbling stomach may prevent you from doing that job out of town.
You will need to cultivate some business relationships. That is a tough one, for people like me, who don’t make friends easily. But one must work at it, because a business moves more smoothly with a good network. It throws up many opportunities and things get done faster. Or you may get a person to do much of that on your behalf. But be ready to pay a fee.
Create the time to reflect on your successes and mistakes about your business and personal aspirations. This routine exercise prepares you when you need to make urgent and accurate decisions. Crisis will come up. I can assure you of that.
During your quiet moment, you will also be looking for patterns, opportunities and trends around you and even across the rest of the world. Your business is greatly affected by these realities. Other successful business leaders in your industry and elsewhere are actually doing same. It is a game of survival.
“I’m reflective only in the sense that I learn to move forward. I reflect with a purpose.” – Kobe Bryant
At the onset of a new enterprise, the health of a business owner needs all the attention.
You will be doing both the mental and the physical work. When you grow and if your finances allow it, then you can employ to help. That will reduce your workload and you will live longer. You will also be able to see your business more broadly, giving you more time to rest.
You must strike a delicate balance to
get the cooperation of your friends, staff and loved ones. Remember,
those close to you may make or break your efforts. Not because some of
them don’t love you, but they are thinking “Why have you imposed so much
hardship on yourself instead of getting a paid employment?” But believe
me, most won’t tell you to your face — even your adorable spouse, until
you strike gold.
At your workplace study your staff, the people that do business with you and your clients.
And on rare occasions, for some very difficult clients you will have to let them go but with care. Therefore, you must reassess and renegotiate all relationships and be firm about it.
If your business dies, you may follow literarily, unless you have a reservoir of mental strength to stay alive and with your sanity intact.
1. Making customers wait
Customer impatience isn’t necessarily about how long they have to wait, but the lack of information on how long the wait will be, or a wait time that is longer than promised. Be forthright with customers regarding delivery timeframe and always keep them informed so they know exactly what to expect.
2. Delivering only what you promise
Keeping your promise is just the bare minimum. Murphy contends, “… you need to wow them every time by offering [and delivering] them even more than they think is fair.”
3. Being hard to contact
Can many of your customers’ questions and needs be met online or by calling the home office? Sure. But if they want to talk to you, nothing else will satisfy them. Don’t make customers work to get in touch with you.
4. Selling to them constantly
One of the great challenges of effective selling is walking that fine line between “pursuing every opportunity” and operating in a constant, full-on sales mode that customers find both exhausting and obnoxious. One way to avoid sales fatigue is to consistently bring valuable information and insights to customers, ensuring a balance to your sales agenda.
5. Being secretive and opaque
When left in the dark, customers tend to assume the worst. Be as transparent with customers as possible. It’s a critical element in building trust.
A thought strikes that you may feign sickness tomorrow and take one day – just one smallish day off but the client meetings and responsibilities at your office will not let you do so. You want an extra day’s rest from the dog-eat-dog corporate world but you cannot do so.
This anxiety is simply because you are not able to tap your inner bliss and passion. You are not living up to your best potential. Rather than being in the moment you are living more in the past or future. When you live a fulfilled life you spread happy moments throughout each day.There is something to enjoy even on Mondays, your boss does not look any different on Monday! Does he? Maybe you are not pursuing what you always wanted to do!
Maybe you wanted to have your own business, or become an entrepreneur or open a restaurant near your favourite location. Maybe you wanted to be a writer? Think back, what dreams did you have growing up? I am sure it’s not the Dilbert’s cubicle you dreamt of! Maybe you always a wanted a business which allows you to visit Paris, London, Zurich, Spain, Portugal, whole Europe and live for an extended period of time there. Maybe you wanted to go to wild safaris in Africa, snorkel in Australian reefs or watch Monasteries in Japan.
“Know yourself and you will win all battles.” – Lao Tzu
Due to family pressure and social norms you had to school yourself for ‘a good job’. When I was in college I wanted to have a business, what business? I had no idea. I did start a sales business but could not stick with it. Why? Because parental and social pressure says you must have a ‘good job’. I got into a good job but I always wanted something more, something that gives me freedom and passion.
Think of this freedom like your relationship. Suppose your partner always taunts you for your clothes, what would you do? You will push back like “I don’t need your free advice; I am OK (which you are).” But if your partner bought you brand new Fashion-TV type clothes and marvels how good you look then chances are you will look into the mirror and think “hmm… now this is something I like.” Which will make the relationship grow strong.
The imperial corporate world is built differently by its ‘champions’ and ‘leaders’, because they mean only business. “Work hard and go home, keep your feelings with yourself.” Most importantly the current profile and enormous responsibility at your office are not translating your dreams into reality. The only hope of getting out of the rat-race in a job is winning the lottery.
I know you can’t just leave your job and get set for your dreams, unless you have a good chance of consistent stream of income. I know it is not that easy – but yeah with correct knowledge and drive we can fulfill our destiny.
Now working at a Fortune 500 Bank in Loans and Credits Department for six years I was always tempted to compare successful companies or businesses and their successful owners to losing companies and their losing owners. I have worked right from the front-line desk guys who consult prospects for loans (and their dreams); to the cabins where dreams of entrepreneurs are presented and sanctioned. I can tell you what I have learnt from many successful entrepreneurs and what I am observing to be working best.
If you want to open a restaurant, then go out and meet some successful restaurant owners. Winners are good at heart. You will be surprised by their readiness to teach an open young mind. They can tell you critical information about the suppliers, buyers, market condition and more.
If you wanted to be a real estate agent, then meet few agents in your locality. They will be able to provide you some insider knowledge that you must know to start. They may offer you commissions if you bring business to them, and this way you learn in the process.
You can contact on email or phone first and then take 15-20 minutes appointment. Before becoming a success coach I interacted with lots of people by email and Facebook. Some responded some didn’t, that’s OK. But I met some really nice souls this way and they motivated me to pursue my passion of becoming a success and life coach.
Another shortcut, take your banker out on lunch and ask them, how the industry is doing? Are the loans or other accounts doing well? If most of them are bad, it does not make any sense for you to enter, as many professionals are not making money in the industry.
Do some free work for people and you will discover some new knowledge in the field. You do not have to see the whole stair case to go up the stairs, just climb one step at a time.
Author, Mike Dooley observed that in his earlier business of selling T-shirts whenever he was out for marketing, even if he didn’t sell anything, someone at the office would receive an order. So make a definite plan and start taking action from today.
Brace yourself to learn entrepreneurship, marketing, communications, and networking. There are some things that you can outsource, but marketing, communications and maintaining relationships with your clients – you cannot and should not outsource that.
Learn as much as you possibly can about the industry you want to make a career in. A lot of people assume learning stops when you graduate High School or University. Little do they know that is when the learning actually begins.
If you did not take the course on communications at your college then take one now. You will be amazed to know how to communicate from your clients’ perspective, what do they want and critical non-verbal communications and body-language.
Most of the companies start with these types of courses during probation so maybe you have already done that. If not then make some arrangements this weekend. It can make or break your chances of success.
I have made costly mistakes of loaning to cocky people, assuming it is a sort of self-confidence. Cockiness can get you a few dates at the Pub but not long-term repeat clients. Nobody cares how hot your business idea may be.
Venture Capitalists, unlike bankers, are ruthless to break through cockiness and decide if the idea is viable or not. Take care of your clients like your own brothers and sisters and they will take care of your business and expand it.
Generally speaking new businesses often take somewhere around one to one-and-half years to break-even. You may break into profit even earlier also but it makes sense to have at least two years worth of savings with you.
If it is hard for you maybe due to the high credit card debt in our society then you must first pay off the debt as soon as possible before you even think of leaving your job and becoming an entrepreneur full-time.
“Only the educated are free.” – Epictetus
Now before you go full-time in your business. You must have family responsibilities and rent to be paid. So instead of going all out with that restaurant plan, why not follow another plan and open a food-truck first, this way you accelerate your learning. Or if you want to become an author, complete your novel in free time and try to get it published.
Famous fiction Author, Stephen King, did not leave his teaching job long before he started earning enough from his published books. Thereafter, he churned out over fifty popular fiction books.
You must test the waters first and take an overall view for what it takes to launch a business. You will find water is deep indeed, but like Mr. Darby and his uncle of the famed story ‘Three Feet from Gold’ said, you must persist before you see the success you always wanted. Do remember to have fun throughout the journey.
Here are the top 8 habits that can sneak into your hard-earned income and eat up your funds.
There’s no harm in raising your standard of life when you can. However, if you are a person who is constantly looking for ways to spend your money, you will probably find yourself in a difficult situation soon enough. If you continuously raise your expenditure along with any increase in your income (or even without it), it would be hard to have any real savings.
Try to keep your expenditures at a constant level along with exploring ways to increase your income. That’s the route to success!
Usually, when people find it hard to tackle a problem, they choose to ignore it. That’s a sure recipe for disaster. The same is the case with your finances. Generally, people focus on their present needs, wishfully thinking that future needs will somehow be met in some way.You need to take the future into perspective whenever you are making any financial decision. Although it is good to take care of everything in the present, do your best to save for your future.
When you are young, it is easy to get carried away by the various pleasures money can buy. People often think that right now is too early to start saving or investing. Wrong! It is never too early to save a portion of your income, no matter how low or high your income is!
Start saving today! In fact, experts say that you should save before you spend. Keep aside a portion of whatever money or income you get, and then spend the rest!
We all think that we know where our money comes from and where it ends up. Sadly, that’s not true for most of us. We might be aware of our major expenditures, but the small things usually eat up our finances more than the big ones.
It is an excellent idea to start keeping a journal for all your income and expenses, whether they are huge or small. This way you will have a much better idea for controlling your finances.
You might be documenting everything. Then again, you might be missing the starting point — a budget! Having a realistic and well-documented budget is the foundation of all your financial planning and success.
Make a budget and stick to it! I can say this from my own experience: it makes a huge difference in how you look at your money. In the absence of a budget, it is very easy to get carried away and commit unnecessary expenditures.
In order to save money and build wealth, it is of the utmost important that you absolutely care about the must-haves, good-to-haves, and not-to-haves! You need to prioritize your financial targets. If getting rich is a top priority for you, then you need to sacrifice some of your present pleasures, whether you like it or not.
Be clear about your goals and write them down. Review them at regular intervals to keep yourself on track.
For a lot of people in today’s world, interest eats up a huge portion of their finances. It’s a painful fact. Still, they don’t know how to get out of this vicious cycle, leaving them with little to no savings.
First of all, make paying your debt a top-of-the-list item on your agenda. Work out a plan for this and stick to it, no matter what. You don’t want to believe that you’re poor, do you?
There is no limit to it. While there is no harm in buying gadgets that you actually need, buying only because there is this next version of mobile available in the market will definitely cause you more harm than good.
Take charge of your life today. Do what needs to be done right now. You can do it. Do yourself a favour and start your journey of becoming wealthy today. As William Shatner said, “If saving money is wrong, I don’t want to be right.”
With a 13-year track record of helping network marketing organizations and small businesses achieve unprecedented growth, Jim Lupkin decided it was time to share his strategies with the world. He turned to best-selling author, Brian Carter. Carter, trusted by brands like NBC, Microsoft, and PrideStaff, has guided businesses to 800 percent profits and higher with Facebook marketing.
After reading Lupkin's case study on a network marketing company that grew over seventy-million in sales with his approach, Carter knew it was time for the pair to co-author a book. The authors are quick to mention, however, that Network Marketing For Facebook is not valuable to only the network marketing industry. "We were not surprised to hear that sales professionals and entrepreneurs love the book too," says Carter. "These techniques will work for your business if your personal brand is part of the sales process."
Why Facebook you may ask? "Wouldn't it make sense to join the community with the most people?" says Lupkin. "Facebook has more than one billion users and is five times more popular than the next most popular social network."
Here's just a taste of what you'll find inside the cover of Network Marketing For Facebook.
When someone knows, likes and trusts you, they're more willing to hear about your business. Your profile gives you this opportunity when you use your profile picture; cover image, and "about" section properly.
Choose a professional profile picture. Use your cover image to give people a snapshot of your personality. A complete "about" section makes you more credible and rounds out your personality.
Your goal is to let your friends know what you do for a living and how you can help them. For example, if you're a realtor:
Hey everybody! As you may know, I love helping people find their dream home. If you know anyone that needs assistance, please message me.
If you're an insurance rep:
Hey there! As you may know, I love helping families be protected from unforeseen tragedies. If you know anyone that needs life insurance, please message me.
It is like email, but better. If you've previously conversed with a prospect and you're getting ready to talk to them again, you can quickly review all your previous talks in one place.
If you haven't spoken to a friend in a while, make sure to re-establish the relationship first. You don't want them to feel like you are only reaching out for business. You can say, "Hey! We haven't spoken in a while. How have you been?" Only chat about your products if they ask what you do.
A realtor example:
Hey Tom! I know you love houses with a view, and I seem to remember you were looking for a house. Well, check out this amazing lake view property! Do you want to come see it with me?
An insurance rep:
Hey Alicia! I know we're both family people, and it's been awesome to see yours grow up on Facebook. I was super glad to find out about this new life insurance option our company just created. It provides for families like no other policy I've seen. Do you want to hear more about it?
It's exciting to have someone respond to your messages! Thank them for the response, give them additional information: pictures, videos and details of your offering, and then let them know what is the next step.
If you don't hear back, send them a message once a week asking if they wanted to take the next step. Be patient. Not everyone checks Facebook daily.
It's only a matter of time until friends want your product. Stay in touch on Facebook by posting quality content and interacting with your friends' posts. Posting quality content is a balance between business and personal: Too much of either can result in failure. Be personal 80% of the time. People do business with those they have the best relationship with; so post about what's on your mind. Post about business the other 20%.
The more you interact with your friend's posts, the more your business posts appear in their newsfeed. Your friends will also see you as a true friend, not someone just trying to sell them products. When you comment on a friend's post, write from the heart. Treat it the same as when you talk face to face.
With over a billion users, Facebook offers an unlimited amount of people to talk to if you take the time to build relationships. Facebook's Graph Search solves the new prospect obstacle by opening up their entire database to you. All you need to do is take the time to reach out and build relationships.
Whether you're a manager motivating a team, or have a group of industry peers who want to support each other, Facebook Groups are the answer. You can move mountains when you belong to a group of passionate people working toward the same goals, supporting each other every day.
Once you start your group, post at least a few times a week. It could be a question, words of motivation, pictures, or videos. Always like and comment on what others are posting as well. Groups are like live events happening 24 hours a day. When run correctly, it will become the cornerstone of your success.
Facebook connects you to new people and helps you develop relationships. However, you still need to talk with people face to face, over the phone, and at events. They also need to experience a "taste" of your offering.
Don't just follow the crowd; creative thinking is key if you are to successfully distinguish your brand, so here are some smart marketing tips that can drive your business forward.
Would you like better results in Google? Then stop doing keyword research and start focusing on fresh, trending topics. When you are small or starting out, you can't always compete on highly competitive keywords to rank organically.
Keyword tools such as Google Adwords run on historical keyword data, so all the high-volume keywords are extremely competitive and difficult to rank for.
Instead, start following influential social pages, groups and communities within your industry (on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook) and watch out for trending topics. Then you can build content on the back of what people are talking about right now - in the form of blog articles or YouTube videos, for example. This can be a great way to build your brand as a thought leader and get traffic spikes for high volume search terms with low competition.
Lead generation tools offer a range of powerful features to find leads, create a pipeline and send out bulk, personalised emails. Anyleads, for example, allows you to search for specific terms and then it trawls Linkedin for lead data that you can save directly into your CRM. But it's important not to use this for unsolicited emails; instead send out valuable content to help your audience overcome their challenges, which will help to build trust, awareness and interest in your product/service.
It doesn't cost anything to stand out from the crowd. Take Learning Heroes, for example. This original and quirky brand promise to "save the world from boring e-learning"; its employees even wear capes!
Learning Heroes is just one example of a creative company that's not afraid to challenge convention and push boundaries to make its brand memorable. How can you make your brand memorable this year?