Time To Bust Outta That Box!

You’re a startup entrepreneur. By nature, that makes you an idea generator. It also probably means you’re operating on a shoestring budget.

So you have to wear multiple hats – innovator, marketer, developer, designer – and figure out how to get your offerings to market in an expedient and cost-efficient way. Not an easy task…but you’ve got the tools in your arsenal. =)

For those of you without huge marketing and advertising budgets, it’s frustrating to get your voice heard. I liken it to swimming (okay, it’s probably more like furiously treading water. LOL). You jump into a pool, not realizing it’s the deep end. You’re not a strong swimmer and panic sets in. The pool is packed; swimmers are frolicking, splashing, screaming, laughing. And there you are, right in the middle of it, flailing and floundering. But nobody can help you because you aren’t screaming loud enough. Your lungs are filling with water and you can barely choke out a syllable. DANGER LURKS…need a lifeline!!!!

Lost at sea

Yep. That’s how it is for a lot of us. Markets are flooded with companies trying to pimp their wares. But how many are doing it successfully? Is anyone trying to do things differently to stand out from the virtual crowd?

1. The Alternate Reality – Never assume people are only seeking information online. If you come into contact with potential customers, don’t waste the opportunity to tout your offering. I shamelessly hand out postcards advertising my novel (as well as papering restrooms, hair salons, nail salons, fitting rooms at Nordstrom…LOL). Guess what? After a mass distribution, my sales jump. When I work alongside my street team of hot male models, even better. Know your customer, folks! =)

2. You’ve Gotta Have Swagga – Don’t discount the impact of swag, no matter what Mark Cuban thinks. =) Slap your logo and tag line on mugs, keychains, t-shirts, tote bags and bumper stickers. Zazzle and VistaPrint always run sweet deals!!! Put it out there so people can see it and ask about it. If you don’t know something exists, how can you possibly buy it???

3. Incent & Engage – Contests are a fabulous way to raise awareness of your company name. Get prospective customers to engage with you online and have them invite others to join the party! Photo, video, caption, submit your vote – the options are endless! Just make the incentive worth the effort. The trick, of course, is to find participants. That’s where your social media network comes into play. But don’t stop there. Head to online sweepstakes websites and post your giveaways there. You can find plenty of freebies that will promote them and these sites typically have oodles and oodles of visitors. i mean, who doesn’t love something for nothing? =)

Internet Marketing Diagram

Thanks For A Great Year! Here’s A TESLA!

If you want to increase employee morale, you better dig deep because money doesn’t only talk, it SCREAMS.

Let’s face it. People perform their daily jobs because of what you pay them in salary. It’s why they work 9-5 but it may not light a fire under them to work 5-9.

Now imagine what they would do if you augmented that salary and rewarded them for their involvement and contribution to the company’s successes…say at bonus time??

A startup translated as WiFi MasterKey (backed by Chinese game developer and publisher Shanda) has taken that concept to a whole new level. This year, employees with the company longer than 4 months will receive a Tesla as a bonus.

WiFi MasterKey is a is a mobile app that automatically connects your devices to public Wi-Fi networks when in range. The app claimed more than 500 million users as of the end of September last year, and 230 million monthly active users. It claims to have free access to 120 million Wi-Fi hotspots across China.” – VentureBeat

“Talent is the key determinant for the success of high-tech companies. Through this move, we want to show how much we value and respect our talent,” said Chen Danian, the startup’s founder (and twin brother of Shanda CEO Chen Tianqiao).

Motivate + reward = retention.

Just something for CEOs to keep in their back pockets. =)

Image Credit: WiFi Master Key

Image Credit: WiFi Master Key

Haters ALWAYS Gonna Hate

Want to know one of my biggest pet peeves?

The chronic complainer who LOVES to point out problems but NEVER volunteers a solution.

Those people irritate the hell out of me.

Guess what? If you want to be successful in business, DON’T be one of those people.

I’m fired up, can’t you tell with all the caps?  LOL!

Now, I can certainly appreciate the fact that people may get deterred by a lot of red tape and invisible barriers to change within their corporate structures. That aggravates me almost as much because you may have a fabulous idea that will never get any air time and why not? Because of ridiculous rules and perceptions that hinder more than help.

But my feeling is not to succumb to that defeatist mentality. If people aren’t listening to your ideas and you’re very passionate about them, you may be in the wrong job or company. Consider a move where your input will be respected and valued. It’s amazing how empowered you’ll feel in an organization that welcomes progressive thinking.

In my experience, there are lots of reasons why an idea may not be embraced.

  • People are territorial and don’t like scope of their work challenged in any way
  • Exorbitant development and/or implementation costs overshadow the perceived benefit
  • People are resistant to cultural change and don’t want their apple carts upset in any way
  • People don’t want to expend additional efforts outside their normal scope of work
  • People are not incented to find new ways of working (sadly, their paycheck isn’t enough of a driving force)

And the last reason…the idea just may not be very good. Sorry. It had to be said. =)

But none of those reasons are good enough for you to stop considering new and better ways of doing business. Let the ideas flow! Don’t get discouraged by the naysayers. Haters ALWAYS gonna hate.