Mark is an entrepreneur and investor on ABC's Shark Tank. He's the owner of the NBA's Dallas Mavericks, Landmark Theatres, Magnolia Pictures, and is the chairman of the HDTV cable network AXS TV. In his recent interview on 30 Days of Genius with CreativeLive, Mark talked a lot about the mistakes many new entrepreneurs make when they think they've found a profitable business idea. Here's his business advice to those who want to start a business:
Keep in mind though, you don’t need a website to do sponsored content since you can also get paid if you have a lot of social media followers. My wife has a pretty big Instagram following, and she gets all kinds of sponsorships. Not only does she get paid in cash, but we get a lot of free stuff, too. We’ve received free rugs, free lights, and free carpet cleaners. She only promotes things she loves though, so this strategy works really well for her.
Entrepreneurship is not for the faint of heart. Running a business can be challenging, and it takes hard work and perseverance to achieve a high level of success. Whether you’re already in business, or looking to start a business, it pays to heed the advice of others who have walked in your shoes. I asked a few self-made millionaire entrepreneurs to share their advice for being successful in business. Here’s what they had to say:
Over the past few years, Derek Halpern has developed an approach to marketing that both works and is effective. With it, he has built more than a few wildly popular websites, one of which attracted more than one-million views in one day. His video, “Stop Being Cheap,” makes the point that you need to invest money in your business if you want it to grow!
If you are a confident web developer then designing your own themes is an obvious path to follow if you are looking to make money online. ThemeForest sells a wide assortment of developers themes, including themes for WordPress, Shopify, Weebly, and Tumblr, to name a few. Once you have created your theme, get it accepted onto the ThemeForest marketplace and make money each time it sells.
Post Daily — Ensure that you are not just posting your buy links, or marketing information because people will unfollow you. Instead share great content that adds value for your customer. Give them coupons, funny videos, awesome quotes and even how to videos your customer would enjoy. When you’re thinking of what content to post it’s good to follow the 80% Social 20% Marketing Rule. This means for every 10 post you do each day, only 2 of them should be direct marketing post. If you follow this principal your social media accounts will grow.
Many successful entrepreneurs have confessed that they never wanted to pay for something as basic as accounting software, and many times they actually didn’t. They would try and perform all of the accounting functions on their own in an attempt to save money that could have been spent on some marketing campaign. The key is to be smart, save your money where it can be saved, and don’t be afraid to spend it where your need to! Keep your resources aligned with your business objectives. Work with whatever you have and make the most of it!
Affiliate marketing is where a person promotes a product that another merchant sells. Using advertising, social media, blogging and more, an affiliate marketer can attract customers to their landing page. When customers click a link to buy the product they will then be brought to the merchant’s store to buy the product. As an internet business idea, this is great for another no matter their previous experience.
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.
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!
Stay Constant — Everything takes time, if you stop posting on Social Media you will not get results. Notice how Gary Vaynerchuk suggest for you to focus on your organic reach for an entire year… He doesn’t suggest 2 months, or a week, but a year. It’s very important to stick with social media because when you do your results will reflect your efforts.
Every year, hundreds of millions of documents are notarized in the United States: wills, mortgages, citizenship forms, handgun applications. While for decades, this has all been done in person, there is a budding crop of sites that allow notaries to take their services online. If you’re already a notary, you can sell your services online. Or, if you want to get started, check out the National Notary’s checklist for becoming a certified notary.
This is closely connected to the happiness of the customers. If the resulting product or service has made people happy by helping them solve a problem, that is all that may be required for a start-up to be a success. Now, no business wants unsatisfied customers. But in cases like this, happy customers aren’t the way toward the ultimate goal – they are that goal.
Figuring out how to choose the best wording to get a sale has been a part of marketing for as long as marketing’s existed. But digital marketing has introduced a number of new channels and contexts for marketers to figure out. CopyHackers provides research-backed advice on how to write in a way that gets conversions across the wide world of the web.
Santam is passionate about supporting and developing entrepreneurs – the drivers of a new economy. Through our 1001 days series, we’ve brought you lots of insights and advice from business owners who have made it through their first three years of business. Here is a collection of 10 of our all-time best pieces of advice to help you make it as an entrepreneur.
Holly told me she started writing content in 2011. At the time, she still worked a full-time job but created content online part-time to supplement her income. Over time, she was able to double and triple her rates until she could quit her full-time job to write. These days, she makes bank as a freelance writer and teaches others to do the same via her online course, Earn More Writing.
With apps being constantly developed, competent app developers are in high demand. Again, if you have the experience or skills to create successful apps then this could be something you could end up working on as a full-time freelancer. Check out adverts for developers on Toptal, a higher paying jobs site for experienced freelancers wanting to make money online.
The right approach can mean a world of difference in business. Part of setting up a long-term plan is knowing where the problem spots are, as well as which business philosophies work better for which industries. That's why having a strong group of peers and mentors is so important for leaders: An outside perspective, or someone who has already faced a similar misstep, can mean all the difference between struggling and finding success.
Oleg is the co-founder and CEO of SEMrush, an all-in-one marketing toolkit for digital marketers. Oleg has grown SEMrush to 400 employees in four offices around the world and in 2016 they celebrated 1 million users (!!!) with clients in more than 100 countries. Here's Oleg's best business advice for first-time entrepreneurs looking to start a business of their own:
One approach that has worked well for me over the years is to pinpoint the best minds in the industry and follow their every move. Listen to their podcasts, read their blogs, watch their YouTube videos, and keep up to date with their social posts. The key is to find a small group of trusted thought leaders who are renowned for breaking news, challenging the status quo, and turning up day after day with great content.
Open A Facebook Group For Customer Questions — Create a group that your product specialist, and your customers join. Have you customers post questions they may have about your product and have your experts answer. Give your customers great videos showing them how to use, maintain, and other great information about your product and you will start building a lasting relationship with your customers.
More and more companies and startups especially are embracing remote work—where you use online collaboration and communication tools to do your work from wherever you want. And you don’t have to be a 20-something hotshot designer or coder to reap the benefits of working remotely. Many remote positions are for customer support positions or other customer-facing positions that don’t require specialized skill sets.
The insights on the Econsultancy blog range from the entire digital marketing spectrum, and even dive into more specific niche industries. The resources they offer provide practical advice for brands to market themselves online in a way that follows best practices but also integrates innovative trends. When it comes to innovation and the latest and greatest in digital marketing, Econsultancy always has it covered. Whether you're B2B or B2C, or work in fashion or healthcare, Econsultancy offers advice for marketing that nearly any business can apply to their tactics to help reach their own objectives.
The best way to save money, and essentially make money, when you dine out is to use a service like SB Local. With it, you'll effortlessly receive cashback when you dine out or shop at any of the 1,000s of participating restaurants and retailers nationwide. And, you won't have to show a coupon or do anything other than pay with the credit card you link to the Swagbucks Local program.
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.
If you're at all scarcity-minded, it's important to understand how much abundance exists today. Considering that virtually every brick-and-mortar store has made the transition to an online business, there's certainly no shortage of competition. But there's also plenty of so-called blue ocean. While most might make it out to seem like Amazon is the only company reaping the benefits of the ecommerce boom here, the growth is widespread and across every single sector in business.
Take good pictures. Some of the options below don’t require you to actually take the picture and sell the product, but for the ones that do, make sure you take a clear picture that makes your product stand out from the others. If you’re going to be taking a lot of pictures, set up a small “studio-like” area in your home with a backdrop and proper lighting to really make your pictures come across as professional. And of course, you’ll want a good camera too.
Every start-up founder likes doing well in terms of revenue. But for some of these entrepreneurs, the profit is merely a side effect of what they actually set out to do – impact the world in a positive manner. You can see an example of this line of thought with Elon Musk. He said that back in college, he had wanted to be a part of things that could end up changing the world. The continuation of this philosophy is evident in his electric cars (which aim to reduce pollution) and the SpaceX program (which strives to break down some of the barriers of space exploration).
However, this only further illuminates the exponential rise of online business today. Considering that the internet is still largely in its infancy, as the modern conveniences give way to near-instant delivery of products via drones, 3D printing and other means, and as virtual and augmented reality help to improve the online shopping experience, nearly all our commerce will eventually be conducted through online channels rather than offline channels.
If you have the next Harry Potter manuscript sitting in your drawer and the publishing industry hasn’t been kind to you, try self-publishing. Using tools like Amazon’s direct publishing or working with dedicated consultants like I_Am, you not only get the satisfaction of pushing your work out there but also retain 100% of your royalties! Don’t think you can write a good novel? Then stick to what you know – self-help is a money-making genre!
Survey Junkie is another popular online marketing and survey site, and they’re also a great option if you’re looking for ways to make money online. Survey Junkie lets you complete offers in exchange for points which can be redeemed for awesome rewards such as cash, gift cards, and more. All you need to do is fill out some basic information and you can get started completing offers right away.
Unbounce – Listed 6 out of 20 times, The Unbounce blog features great content about building optimized web pages that convert site traffic. Subscribers to this blog are mainly looking to increase conversions and need genuinely helpful content. Recent posts include: (i) Get Custom Advice For Boosting Your Conversions With Unbounce’s New Landing Page Analyzer, (ii) Google Is Leaving You Clues to Help You Rank Higher – Know Where to Look, and (iii) These Are the PPC Metrics That Actually Matter.
The Kissmetrics blog offers analytics and testing insights on everything you'd ever need when it comes to marketing. Data-driven marketing is truly their expertise. The team at Kissmetrics regularly examines statistical trends to create reports that can better inform brand's online performance. These posts help create solutions for companies looking to improve their online marketing, and a lot of their findings can help to shape the decisions made for a lot of companies as they try to achieve their marketing goals. Arguably the best part about their insights, and their real differentiator in comparison to blogs that are seemingly similar, is that nearly all of their thoughts are backed by corresponding metrics that support and provide reasoning for the advice they're giving.
Provide excellent customer service. Answer any questions buyers post as quickly as possible. Be professional and courteous. Positive communication builds your reputation with buyers and gets you return business. Also, package your product well and ship it out quickly. Allowing an item to become damaged or taking too long to ship can negatively affect your reputation among buyers. Wrap all items, especially fragile ones, in appropriate packaging. Commit to shipping items as soon as you receive payment.
As internet-based businesses go, affiliate marketing has huge income potential. And as mentioned earlier, once it's set up properly the income from it can be almost 100% passive. In fact, this is how I quit my job originally. I built lots of little niche sites that eventually were bringing in income of over $10,000 a month! So, I say “Adios!” to my day job and I've never looked back.
In this role, consultants help the company ensure they hire the right employees for the job and provide good working conditions which will encourage them to stay. Their responsibilities may also include the implementation of talent management programmes, legal aspects of employment, promotion and giving ideas on how to create a diverse and inclusive work environment.
Social media is an integral part of any business but it’s time-consuming and ever-changing – so really quite difficult to keep up with and, more importantly, capitalize on. Many business owners are willing to outsource this time-intensive task, so it’s a great opportunity for social media fanatics. Bundle together a few interesting offers, such as “Startup social media kit” or “Small Business Social Media Starter Kit” that encompass everything from social media graphics to analytics reports and the seamless experience will bring you more clients than you expect.
Here your task is to give recommendations on how a client can get more traffic and leads for their website. SEO consultants need to know various methods of optimising website content, including being able to do keyword research to determine which words would be optimal to use in titles, headlines, descriptions, articles or any other text that appears on your website.
Running and charging for webinars can be a great way to build a following in your niche, demonstrate that you are an expert in your field, and make a profit. Hosting a webinar can be hard work. They need to first be promoted, provide original and valuable information, and include interactive elements so your audience can ask questions and engage with your topic. However, once you have built up a large blog following, each webinar can be extremely profitable.
Different online income streams to begin your online business could be ebooks and online courses, niche websites, membership programs, software development, consultation programs and packaging existing content to sell as a bundle. Ducker says “It all comes down to knowing who you’re helping, what their problems are, and most importantly – creating a solution to a problem that they will happily part with a little hard earned cash for.”
Larger companies can hire an agency or full-time staff member to run their Facebook and Twitter accounts, but small businesses often have to handle their own social media marketing. With so many responsibilities, business owners are often too busy, overwhelmed or undereducated about the importance of social media to spend time developing and implementing a great social media strategy. As a consultant, you can help them determine the best tactics, posting schedules and content for their target audience. As their follower count grows, so will your business.
“Nothing new”: This type of content is not necessarily of little value or involves plagiarism. Roundups, reviews, summaries — they all belong to this tier and add up value to initial materials, however, the majority of content is just the retelling of the same old story. The only thing that differentiates such posts from one another is how well they are written in terms of style and structure. So, if you need to publish a story on a not-so-fresh topic, pay special attention to the way it’s written.
They don’t fit into the corporate environment: Entrepreneurs don’t often thrive in corporate environments. It’s often very restricting for their growth. They may dislike the lack of control they have in their role or the office politics. In general, you can spot an entrepreneur in a corporate environment as they’re usually trying to gain more control in their role and learning their coworkers responsibilities to better understand how everything fits together.
When I began to think about my next business venture, I realized my passions had shifted, and that I was fueled not only by affecting positive change, but also by my family. Family inspires me to work harder, be better, and push through any roadblocks that may come my way. It has become the foundation of my current company, Picniic. Find the thing that motivates you to get up and work every day, and make it the core of your business.
Your customers can become ambassadors for your brand if they had a good experience and share it on Google or social media sites. They can also become your worst nightmare if they leave a bad review. It is immensely important to thank customers who leave good reviews and to communicate with customers who leave bad ones. Reputation management is a key online marketing tip and can humanize your business and help it grow immensely if it’s done correctly.
Quality content on different topics and industry news is the special highlight of this digital marketing blog. Their posts are informative, relevant and specifically showcases the new features on social media platforms, updates in Content Management Systems. This blog lets us interact with the industry leaders providing the audience with educational and engaging content.
6. Try PPC (Pay-per-Click) advertising/Google AdWords. "SMBs need to be as targeted with their marketing efforts and dollars as possible, especially if their product/service is location specific -- and PPC ads are one way to do so," says David Waterman, account director, Digital Marketing, The Search Agency, a search marketing and optimization firm.
For example, to implement PPC using Google AdWords, you'll bid against other companies in your industry to appear at the top of Google's search results for keywords associated with your business. Depending on the competitiveness of the keyword, this can be reasonably affordable, or extremely expensive, which is why it's a good idea to focus building your organic reach, too.
According to the U.S. Commerce Department, consumers spent $453.46 billion on the web for retail purchases in 2017, a 16.0% increase compared with $390.99 billion in 2016. That’s the highest growth rate since 2011, when online sales grew 17.5% over 2010. Forrester predicts that online sales will account for 17% of all US retail sales by 2022. And digital advertising is also growing strongly; According to Strategy Analytics, in 2017 digital advertising was up 12%, accounting for approximately 38% of overall spending on advertising, or $207.44 billion.