4. Build long-term relationships. Relationships matter. People do business with companies they know, like and trust. Furthermore, while it's tempting to stay on the hunt for new customers, your existing customers are your best source of repeat business and your most profitable customers. To win their loyalty, you must nurture a relationship with them.
Jim is the Founder and CEO of Owler, a crowdsourced competitive intelligence platform. Prior to Owler, Jim founded Jigsaw in 2003 and was CEO until it was acquired by Salesforce in 2010 for $175 million. Before his career in technology, Jim was owner and operator of Lookout Pass, a ski resort in Idaho, and served in the U.S. Navy as a diving and salvage officer. He's seriously the man. Here's Jim's business advice to first-time entrepreneur who want to start a business:
Once you’ve gathered a list, put together a template outreach email (as you’ll be doing this over and over) that’s short and clear with expectations. Tell your potential interviewee who you are, what your podcast is about, and what you’re asking of them. Do a few test interviews with friends and family to make sure everything is being recorded at the quality you want and then book your first episode.
Many startups succeed because they’ve identified a niche and have cornered that market. By discovering a service, product or feature no one else has thought of – or at least effectively pulled off – you give your company a shot at success. George Shepherd, Professor of Law at Emory University, recommends entrepreneurs “become the guru in that niche.”
Rather than making money through subscriptions, YouTube channels are based on a traditional advertising system. Meaning the more viewers you get, the more you make. Once you’re approved for the YouTube Partner Program and can start including ads on your videos, with every 1,000 views, you will make approximately $2-$4. Which might not seem like a lot, but if you have 100 videos with 5,000 views a month each, that would be $1,000–$2,000 already. Just imagine if your videos start hitting millions of views!
You may decide to create free videos as extra content for your blog, and not sell them at all. If this is the case then you can still make money from these videos by selling advertising space on them (in the same way as discussed for monetizing podcasts). Once you have high volumes of traffic visiting your blog, and watching your videos, you can charge businesses to advertise at the beginning of your videos. Use website’s like Izea to help you connect with companies willing to pay to advertise on your blog.
The internet has made it possible for people from different parts of the world to be registered in the same library. Online library (e – library) is a resource center where you can comfortably conduct a thorough research and study from the comfort of your home no matter the part of the world you live in as long as you have internet enabled device (smartphones, computers, notebooks, tablets et al). People pay registering fees and of course membership fees to make use of online libraries. You can start your own online library (e – library) and attract membership from different parts of the world.
Another option is to again set up a Shopify store. But instead, you have customer orders drop-shipped to them by the manufacturer, or distributor. You know those super-cheap items you see on Facebook that seem too good to be true? The catch is always that it can take 30 – 45 days for your order to arrive – that's the drop-shipping model in operation right there.
Secret Tip: Spend more time on your subject line than anything else; 64% of email recipients open emails based on the subject line, so it’s worth the extra time to craft one that will guarantee opens. And remember: subjects with 10 or fewer characters can see open rates of 58% or better, so keep it short and sweet. For help, see my article, “The Online Marketer’s Guide to Writing High-Converting Headlines.”
What are their demographics? Their buying habits? What does your typical customer look like? After you know who to target, now you must figure out how to target them. An easy way to do this is to build a lookalike audience on Facebook. This targets users who “look like” your target audience whether it’s age, gender, interests, or other demographics.
Reed McManigle: Each of the examples you mention have been under development in universities for decades before becoming 'overnight successes'. The pace and breadth at which they are now being deployed masks the long history that led to this. I would put AI/ML and robotics at the top of the list of technologies 'whose time has come' in terms of corporate and investor interest.
The German Economist Schumpeter once said that there are “no original ideas”, only new combinations of old ones. Curation of curiosity-fueling content is an intriguing and little-known business model. One of the best success stories out there is Brainpickings – a platform that describes itself as “an inventory of cross-disciplinary interestingness, spanning art, science, design, history, philosophy, and more”. The subscription-based model and successful utilization of affiliate links have turned the blog into a self-sustaining business.
Hootsuite – Listed 4 out of 20 times. Like Buffer, Hootsuite is a very handy tool to help schedule and monitor all of your social media activities. They also have been around for a while so they should know what they are talking about. Their latest trending posts are about: (i) How to Get More Facebook Likes: 10 Tactics That Actually Work, (ii) 40+ Useful PC Keyboard Shortcuts for Social Media Pros, and (iii) How to Advertise on Facebook: The Complete Guide.
John Chow was able to grow his blog from $0 revenue to more than $40,000 per month in just two years, working only two hours a day. Today, his blog is one of the biggest blogs on the Internet, welcoming more than 200,000 active daily readers and followers. His blog is ranked number 16 on the AdAge Power 150 list and number 1 in the list of the Top 50 Canadian Internet Marketing Blogs.
Hint: To stand out and increase your chances of receiving a response of “yes, we’re interested in your topic”, I recommend brainstorming creative titles. For instance, one of their posts is named as “How To Jazz Up Your Emails With Rich Media (Inspiration From Brands That Are Nailing It)” which perfectly describes my idea of using creativity in your post subject line.
If you have a propensity for writing and you can slay with your prose, consider writing an ebook. While the market has certainly become saturated as of late, books that help teach people about a technical topic still sell extremely well. This is a great source of passive income but does require a large amount of effort at the outset before any money is generated.
If you've developed valuable skill sets or picked up certifications within your industry over the years, offering your consulting services to local business owners can be a lucrative way to make money online. Whether you're an expert marketer, business strategist, or manufacturing aficionado, there's likely a local business owner who's willing to pay you to help them solve an issue with their company. Start with this 18-step checklist to becoming a local business consultant from Karyn Greenstreet and then use my guide to crafting an effective cold email to convince them to hire you.
Blog posts are the bread and butter of any company’s online marketing – but it gets better from there. A good blog post can be extended to an e-book, shortened into a series of videos, parceled out into infographics, and much more. Each different format gives you the opportunity to reach new prospects and build your brand’s thought leadership chops. All this and you save time.
In this job, consultants help clients to assess their email communication and marketing and improve it. They may also be engaged in creating and setting up email campaigns. In practical terms, it can mean advising the client on what words should be used to increase the response rate, and words that should be avoided so that an email and email newsletters are not perceived as spam. You can also give advice on how to write an effective subject line and structure the email in the correct way.
If you possess a great deal of business experience and knowledge, why not create a business that helps aspiring entrepreneurs find success? You can use your skills to help new business owners get off to a good start and help experienced entrepreneurs keep up with demand. To show off your knowledge and skills and bring in clients, you can also write articles about business on platforms like LinkedIn.
Don’t you just hate it when you go to a website and find out something about it is broken or hard to use? As much as it bugs you, it drives the owner of the website you’re looking at up a wall. That bad functionality and brokenness mean less sales and traffic for the site owner. It also means that website testing is a legitimate way to make money online.
Case studies: Nothing grabs as much attention as a personal story. In fact, there are media that specialize on posting case studies mainly because of their high engagement potential. If it also contains a unique strategy, a new approach or angle, it has really good chances of being accepted by a prestigious blog. Personally, I hate writing about something that I’ve already read/written about before, so that’s why I often go with this option.