Entrepreneur: Keep Your Heads Up and Think Outside the Box

I think it is time for you to wake up and smell the roses. Really, is it just me or are you all feeling the same today? It is 2009, almost 10 years from the peak of the dot com bubble, a lot has changed but have you? In this article, I am going to try and touch on a few points as to why you will fail today if you follow the “status quo.”

I don’t mean to make you panic but I want you to understand the urgency to think outside the box.

Since the economy has tanked over the past year, thousands of people are left without a job, consumers are reluctant to spend money and overall a lot of uncertainty on the market. I am sure I don’t have to elaborate on this point but have you ever asked yourself what this means for you and your startups? Well if you haven’t, then you should once you finish reading this posting. “Diligence” must be taken in the wake of the current economic crisis.

There is a lot of uncertainty associated with the recession but one thing we know for sure about recessions is that all countries, including all of ours, will bounce back in time. They have all bounced back out of a recession in the past and this time too, we will bounce back. So while we are down in the trenches at the moment, are you working on your building blocks so you can excel when the economy bounces back?

In order to succeed in today’s market; you need to think outside the box. Move away from status quo. Status quo kind if mentality is not going to get you in front of your competitors; it will only keep you afloat. Afloat only if you are lucky! Thinking and doing the same as your competitors is not going to make you successful.

Source WikiPedia

Source WikiPedia

Learn to think differently than others. Learn to stand out among others. Do something different so you can show your visitors that you have something unique that is not found anywhere else. Think about Richard Branson and his well known controversial marketing tactics. He created his first business when he was 16! Think about the amount of free exposure he generates just by thinking outside the box. I am not suggesting that you work on setting world records to make your startup fly but what I am getting at is that you need to think a little different than the million others who are trying to do the same thing as you are. Then only you can stand out among other entrepreneurs. Everyone has different traits, show your talent by coming up with something unique.

Here are few things you can work on that will help you with your startups.

Social Media Marketing:

Yesterday I’ve discussed about the “Importance of Understanding the Social Media Marketing.” I think it is worth mentioning that again today. The fundamental aspect of marketing is to fulfill certain objectives of yours by gaining the attention of an audience (the visitor). Such objectives could be as simple as to build your reputation, make a sale, redirect to an affiliate program, get a few clicks on your ads or to capture the lead (users, subscribers, etc).

Social Media Platforms offers a wide range of opportunities for you to take advantage of millions of people who wants to participate and collaborate with you. Some entrepreneurs focus on building profiles that are self serving with user generated content only to get traffic back to their websites. Some focus on building a community by participating and contributing to a network of people and eventually building his/her authority in that particular topic or niche. Then there are those that fully take advantage of the social media market and really push it to reap the full potential of social media marketing.

Just think about Twitter. It has millions of users from all around the world with thousands of different interests. It is like you don’t even have to be specific to one niche or to a target audience when you launch something viral on the social media. It is time to leverage the size and the reach of large user base of these Social Media Platforms.

Many large companies such as Dell are taking advantage of sites like Twitter. They are posting “exclusive sales only for Twitter users.”  I am sure you would have heard of the Dell earning $1 million in revenue by posting offers on Twitter. These are different tactics used by leading companies to take advantage of Social Media Marketing. Dell probably don’t care who is looking at their tweets. In other words, with such a large user base of Twitter, Dell doesn’t care who or when a user reads their tweet. Dell today has over one million followers on Twitter. Where else would you get this sort of attention when you hit the “send” button with your message or your sales pitch? People just waiting to read what you have to say! This is very powerful if you know how to master it.

dell_twitter

Just think about it. Are you taking advantage of social media marketing? Are you leveraging the large user base of such platforms? If you aren’t, why are you not thinking about it?

In order for you to succeed with your social media marketing strategies, you need to understand why the people are there in the first place. You need to understand why some spend time on Twitter while others spend time on Facebook or other social media platforms such as Digg. Some spend time on all of them. People tend to cluster in places they feel comfortable with – the tools that provide them with the ability to interact with other users. Therefore, your marketing tactics should differ for each platform. Once you understand what makes each platform unique, you need to launch your campaigns accordingly to satisfy the need of those people.

Once you learn to gain the attention of these users, you will have no problem monetizing your efforts. Some of the key things for you to keep in mind about social media marketing is that when you work on your own profile, make sure you are being honest with people in your network and also try to build relationship with key influencers. These key influencers can make your story/product go viral in no time. They have a huge fan base and they can get the words out. Therefore, associating with key influencers is a must in social media marketing strategy.

Give Before You Ask:

I am sure you’ve heard these terms many times in your life. Are you really taking advantage of this strategy? How are you adding value to your audience? So you work so hard with your social media marketing strategies and drive traffic to your site but if you are not adding value to your audience, then what is the point of driving them to your site in the first place?

Many people have used this strategy and it still works. Yesterday I logged into my Google Adsense account and I saw some unusual activity. I’ve made 3 times more money than any other days. I was happy but in the mean time I wanted to know what was happening. So I went over to my site and watch what sort of ads are being displaced. With no surprise, I found an ad that was giving away a “FREE” product on internet marketing. My visitors found it interesting enough and click through to get their free product. The point of this story is that you should make an effort to add value to your audience before you ask something of them. People will almost all the time will go for it. They will click through or they will subscribe just to get the free product.

If you are a blogger, write good content so you can keep your visitors and gain their trust before you ask them to buy a product or something. If you have a website, give them a free e-book of all of your knowledge. People love the free stuff and they will sign up or even subscribe to get the products.

However, when you offer them a free product, you have to do it in a way that you don’t come across as a spammer. Therefore, you need to make them feel comfortable on your site then you offer them something they want. Do whatever you can to add value to your audience before you ask for something.

Build Strong Relationships within Your Niche:

Don’t take every competitor as an enemy and that you need to take over their business. Everyone during this recession is hurting, so why not think about working together to achieve your goals together? I am not suggesting that you should share your secrets or your products but I am suggesting that there are ways to take advantage of each others traffic, knowledge, etc.

Governments across the world are working together to tackle the economy. They know it is best to work together at this time than to compete. The same strategy should be used by entrepreneurs who are looking to build a foundation for future success. The internet is huge; there is traffic for everyone. Sharing and sending traffic back and forth between sites will allow the audience to feel fulfilled. They will feel that they have gained more by visiting your site or your competitor’s site. Refer to each others products and services. Once a visitor see you working together with your competitor, they also feel comfortable enough to trust you as well.

I talked earlier about the recession and how we need to work on our building blocks for future success. Well if you know your customers are not spending the big bucks today because they are out of a job or something, why not just work on gaining their trust over the next few month so when they have the money, they will spend it on your products? This is what I meant earlier about working on your building blocks and assembling them in a way that you are standing on a stronger foundation when this recession is over.

With this article, I didn’t mean to scare anyone about the recession or anything but just suggesting that everyone should open up their eyes, keep their heads up and start thinking outside the box.

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{ 5 comments… read them below or add one }

Yunjian August 19, 2009 at 2:01 pm

Good article. The world needs more out-of-the-box ways to reduce redundancy, improve efficiency, and add value to the society.

Steve August 19, 2009 at 6:34 pm

Thank you! Thank you for opening up my eyes. Need to stop trying and start implementing.

Steve

Janaki Pendyala August 19, 2009 at 10:34 pm

Excellent article. Being an entrepreneur for over one year now, I understand the significance of “trying to build our USP” and I am happy to say that my USP is working quite well for me, I offer unique performance based pricing model for my clients and its working well for both of us (client and myself).

At the end of the day what matters is how you add value to your services. Isn’t that so?

Korean Collectibles August 20, 2009 at 4:35 am

Thank you so much for your good article. Before reading your post I didn’t realize the need of the building strong relations within my niche. I will try it in the near future.

james December 29, 2009 at 11:06 am

Eye opening, just found and read this. Now reading some of your other articles, thanks

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