Steli is the CEO of Close.io, a high-powered inside sales communication platform (and my pick as the best CRM for small business) that's powered by his years of experience driving millions of dollars in sales for hundreds of venture backed Silicon Valley startups. Here's what Steli has to share as far as business advice for aspiring entrepreneurs who want to start a business today:
The role of a social media manager is easy to infer from the title, but which social networks they manage for the company depends on the industry. Above all, social media managers establish a posting schedule for the company's written and visual content. This employee might also work with the content marketing specialist to develop a strategy for which content to post on which social network.
"One of the most costly and painful mistakes that I see over and over again is hiring in marketing and sales too early. Things tend to go VERY wrong when a founder brings on board a senior sales or marketing person who is lacking entrepreneurial spirit and/or experience working in startups. Instead of hiring full-time, founders should seek out and consult with experienced marketers and sales veterans who work with startups on a daily basis for a fixed fee or company stock based on specific goals."
As marketers, we’re often forced to quickly become strong content creators. However, if your blog is relegated to free information that you use strictly for onboarding audience members into your funnel, then you’re limiting what your content can do for your business. Enter the growing industry of “knowledge commerce,” as Kajabi calls it; their blog is dedicated to this space.
If your customers are making it all the way to your check out page with items in their cart and not making a purchase, something is wrong and Google Analytics will let you know. There could be a number of reasons that people are abandoning their carts, but figuring it out on your own could cause even more problems. An online marketing expert will be able to help you solve this problem quickly and prevent it from happening again.
You’ll find a lot of Smarp blog posts about bigger-picture thinking, mindset and company culture – and how those topics tie into marketing and growth. For example, this guide to fostering growth mindset may have a “how to” headline, but it’s far from a shallow tutorial. Their in-house writers are sharp, while compelling guest authors have included the likes of influencer marketing thought leader Shane Barker, Social Media Marketing World presenter Ben Beck, former Search Engine Journal lead editor Kelsey Jones and lead nurture expert Lilach Bullock.
Research individual companies in your desired niche: If possible, it’s always better to become an affiliate directly with a company (if they have an internal affiliate program), as no one else will be dipping into your commission rate. This is the preferred route for most of the prominent affiliate marketers, including Pat Flynn. Unfortunately, it’s also the most work, as you’ll have to do the research yourself to see who offers programs (they’re usually listed in the website footer).
Amy Schmittauer (now Amy Landino) is a globally-recognized YouTuber, speaker, author, podcaster, and marketing consultant. You’ll find her at YouTube channel formerly Savvy Sexy Social, now Amy Landino where she teaches others how to leverage video storytelling and shares her collection of strategies and tactics to help you create video that gets the attention you deserve.
I tend to be a competitive person, so it's helped me to turn my goal-setting into a competition with myself. While many people may not think they are competitive, you might be surprised once you create a competition that gives you something to beat. A good example is the 100-day challenge, often connected to fitness such as 100 days of planking or push-ups.
If you’re a software engineer, the perks of working at a startup or tech giant are pretty sizable, but if you’re more invested in flexibility, diversity of projects, taking on work at your own pace, and the freedom of being your own boss, then freelance coding is one of the greatest online business ideas around. Whether you’re into web design—an especially popular freelance coding category—or another kind of software development, it shouldn’t be too much of a challenge to find clients you’re interested in helping out.
However, like anything else truly worthwhile, apps require a significant investment of your time or money upfront. If you don't have the skills, then you have to hire someone who can assist you in creating a great app. But first you need to come up with an idea that will sell. Do the proper market research and analytics to come up with the right app.
The quote above is from the article What I learned about email marketing after losing $135,000 a day. Kagan discusses one of his previous startups, which failed when one of their largest partners banned their service and caused a catastrophic drop in sales. One of his biggest internet marketing tips is to have a direct line to customers rather than depending on Facebook or ads to reach your target audiences. Kagan says that Internet marketers should build and grow their own email lists. Email marketing is the most effective way to speak directly to all of your customers and maintain a stable line of communication to them.
What does that mean for you? It means Nielsen will pay you $50 a year to keep their app on your favorite internet browsing device. The app itself collects statistics on your internet usage anonymously, so you never have to worry about any data being linked to you. And the best part is, the app takes up barely any space and doesn’t slow down your phone or tablet at all!
If you hate the idea of writing you can always outsource that work to somebody else. But writing great content for an affiliate site really isn't that difficult. It just takes a bit of practice, and once you see those first commission checks you'll be up writing articles for your site before work, during your lunch break, and when you should be sound asleep in bed. Successful affiliate marketers can be real gluttons for punishment.
The key to successful internet marketing is to establish smaller goals to help get to that big goal you ultimately want to get to. At first you should set reasonable and attainable goals like “gain another lead per week” or something along those lines. Whatever your main reason is for doing internet marketing, make sure you add structure to it with goals
Marketing Land – Listed 4 out of 20 times. If you are keen on knowing new things about the digital marketing industry then Marketing Land is one of the best digital marketing blogs. In their Research section, you can find detailed analyses about items like: (i) MarTech Intelligence Report Enterprise Digital Personalization Tools: A Marketer’s Guide, (ii) B2B Marketing Automation Platforms: A Marketer’s Guide, and (iii) Enterprise Local Marketing Automation Platforms: A Marketer’s Guide.
Overall, the Internet itself is overflowing with one money making opportunity after another. While making money online for most people isn’t their primary source of income, it can net a very solid supplement stream of incoming dollars each month. There are some online entrepreneurs, however, that are managing to mine gold due to all the effort, persistence, and time they’ve invested in order to make that dream come true. Can one of these online money making options work for you?
With the rising trend of DIY-products and online marketplaces that sell home-made crafts, people who have a knack for art, or just like crafting, have an outlet to sell their products to the public. With platforms like Etsy, artists and creatives now have a place where they can sell their merchandise, and customers can shop for unique products that can’t be bought at any local superstore.
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For decades small-to-larger sized business owners and business management professionals have been under the impression that they have to spend top dollars for marketing, internet marketing and advertising that barely makes impact on their overall bottom line. The fact of the matter is that times and technology have changed enormously, especially in regard to how you can bring in new business by harnessing the power of the Internet. Specifically, business owners and business professionals now have the power to take control of their own marketing campaigns. Our job is to simply show you many of the ways that you can leverage some simple methods, resources and tools for attracting new customers.
One factor that you must be aware of though is that Care.com is a peer-to-peer arrangement. That means that you will be in direct competition with other pet sitters in your area. You must price your services competitively in order to get business. Once you begin to develop a list of regular clients, you will be in a better position to raise your rates. This will be particularly true as you get referrals from those customers.
Running a coupons website can be very lucrative. Find a coupon niche, select a WordPress coupon theme, and then display relevant coupons on your site. When your audience uses the coupon codes or discount links, you will earn an affiliate cut, for example, you could set-up a site dedicated to iHerb Coupons or add a page to your website with Web Hosting Promo Codes. Coupon websites are quite high maintenance as they need to be constantly updated with new offers. However, if you build up an engaged audience and allow them to post coupons and discounts they have found themselves, then quite quickly your workload will reduce.
In this role, you input/manage information into/in various types of documents. Typical tasks include entering data into existing sheets, creating new data in databases, updating existing records and deleting the records that are no longer of use or no longer current, etc. Sometimes you may be required to work with various data entry software such as EpiData or Entrypoint Data Entry.
Tim Schmoyer posted his first YouTube video more than 10 years ago. Since then he’s created over 3,000 videos, amassed over 50 million views and became officially certified by YouTube in “Audience Growth.” In 2013, he started Video Creators to train other creators to master the YouTube platform and use it as a place to spread messages that change lives.
Starting an online business is a tempting prospect – but that’s the easy part! The real challenge is to find out which opportunities are specific to your area of expertise or knowledge. To make your decision making a bit easier, we have created a list of online business ideas which shows you some specific examples of independent career paths suitable for various skill sets.
There are loads of people out there who are looking for graphic artists to contract their graphics jobs to. If you are a graphic designer, then you can take your services online. You just have to be proactive and aggressive in marketing your services. One good thing about offering graphics services online is that you can sign a long term business deal with just one clients especially if you are good at what you do.
The Falcon blog talks about social analytics, community engagement and governance for Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Instagram. Don’t’ expect to see really long-form, in-depth content on their blog, but what they do provide is packed with visuals and interesting advice. If you’re looking for 5-minute reads that give you the info you need, Falcon might be for you.
Use Google Trends to look at trending stories in your niche, after you find the trending articles take a look at the headlines that are trending. Study the headlines of trending articles and before you write your content this will give you an idea of what people are interested in. (Don’t steal headlines, but use them as a brainstorming tool for great content)
"I recommend that first-time entrepreneurs take this as a real wake up call to avoid making excuses for not getting meaningful product validation before spending resources on development. You need at least 95% confidence that the thing you're working on will be predisposed to some initial success. There are too many other factors out there working against you when you're first starting out and are tight on resources that make the road of entrepreneurship hard enough as-is. Don't make it more difficult for yourself by building a bunch of features no one really wants to pay for."
Starting a new business online requires much less risk than investing your dollars into a brick-and-mortar storefront or downtown office. Because your business is based online, you can reach more potential customers, work from virtually anywhere and make money online without large overheads. With some basic website and communication skills along with a little maintenance know-how, almost anyone can launch a business online and get it up and running in only days. Think you’re ready to become the next big entrepreneur online?
Many people fancy themselves as designers. If you have a unique idea for a new product then it may be time to get it designed. This can be a long process involving prototypes, discussions with factories, package design, and much more. However, the profits once the product is on the market could be substantial. And remember, with Amazon FBA, your products can all be stored and shipped by Amazon, giving you time to think up your next invention. Learn more about Amazon FBA with my How To Start An Amazon FBA Business Guide.
By building an extensive following, this will allow you to gain profit by attracting key advertisers or get commissions by promoting other brand products (think affiliate). Blogging is big business; just ask Heather from Dooce.com. She’s a mom that blogs daily about her children and pets and has successfully turned her daily adventures into a very lucrative business by simply making money blogging. One of my favourite ways to make money from a blog is by creating your own online course.
Are you a professional in a field that can help answer questions for people looking for your expertise? Websites like JustAnswer and LivePerson match you up with people looking for answers to technical or professional questions. You can make money online by simply answering these questions and providing the right information to people based on their individualistic circumstances.
Convince & Convert offers a variety of resources including a website, blog, podcast, books, and ebooks. They are digital marketing advisors led by Jay Baer, and it is the perfect stop to learn more about digital advertising. Each of the articles are short and simple that get to the point of what they are discussing, while still remaining insightful and informative. Their articles help you look at your own content in a new way, and think outside of the box in regards to what opportunities you could be incorporating into your own digital marketing strategies. Their content, can help your own content.
There is no need to waste your time on the conceptualization of what kind of a web design your business site should feature. Take a look at the examples of some of the most successful businesses in your niche. What tricks and hacks do those use on their web platforms? Learn from their example and create your own design (but don't copy your competitors!).
Equally, you can charge businesses to ‘claim’ their listing, a method used by many large directory sites like Google Business and Yelp. This involves companies paying to upgrade their listing and adding information such as their web address, social media links, images, and more. Other revenue streams include charging for ad space, adding affiliate links and even charging for services and products on your directory site.
With stunning UX and an easy to navigate website, Digiday is the perfect go-to for all things marketing. Hang out on their website for a bit or sign up for their newsletter, Digiday Daily, which delivers top stories to your inbox each morning. This is my favorite option, as it pops up just in time for me to read an article or two before morning meetings. You won’t want to filter this one into your Spam folder.
The quote above comes from the article and podcast, Brands Not Using Social Media Create Communication Language Barriers with Customers. Moore says that the mission of online and digital marketers is to find out where your target marketing is spending time and “speak to them, communicate with them and most importantly serve them where, when and how they choose.” Not using social media means not serving your target market online, and it sends the message that your brand doesn’t have enough time for their customers to meet them where they are.
"An efficient Google AdWords campaign, where you are sure you know how the platform works, can be a huge quarry of leads for small businesses," adds Kyle Peterson of Clement | Peterson, a tech PR and marketing firm. "Start with uber-targeted keywords, paying close attention to keyword match types, negative keywords and search query results to eliminate irrelevant visitors, like people looking for jobs," he says.
Here’s a good example of how lead sales can work in real life: My second website, Life Insurance by Jeff, brings in a ton of traffic from people who are searching the web to find answers to life insurance questions. While I used to have the website set up so I could sell these people life insurance myself, it was a lot of work to process all the different requests and clients. As a result, I started selling the leads I gathered instead.
Whether it’s by editing metadata tags, regularly updating the company blog, or searching for smart keywords to rank highly on, a good SEO consultant can drastically change how a company’s website appears to search engine users—and just a few positions on Google can make a huge difference in traffic numbers. In short, you could have a big impact on a business’s bottom line, which means this online business idea is in high demand.
Thanks for the tips, Jeff! I am gonna try them out and see if I can get some more extra cash. May I suggest to other fellow readers one way I have been earning. I have been earning a bit by writing snippets on QWERIFY and it had been great and I am getting paid for writing contents for others. Writing is fun but I will also try these tips when I have the time!
Prior to having some meaningful feedback from potential customers (or in the case of medical technologies -- some efficacy data), it's next to impossible to recruit outside entrepreneurs or to solicit investment. SBIR/STTR [Small Business Innovation Research and Small Business Technology Transfer programs, also known as America's Seed Fund] funding can be a bridge over this gap, but it's a slow process and requires someone (often a PhD student or post-doc) to commit to being in a startup that has scant funding, instead of pursuing a more stable job in a larger company or an academic career. SBIR/STTR funding only pays for research, so it may not be possible to involve an experienced business partner/entrepreneur with the scientific founders in the early stages of the company, which can stunt their business development efforts.
Let’s say you are the richest, most skilled young person in the world. Unfortunately, you are still going to have trouble starting up a company, and this limitation to your success is by far the most frustrating. Most businesses file for incorporation, hold a business account or a credit card. Shockingly, all three of these things are illegal in many countries if you are under the age of 18, making it not only hard, but illegal to start a business.