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Biz Tip #5: Track Your Numbers.

Posted on : 05-03-2011 | By : Carol Gancia | In : Biz Tips

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You love what you do. You enjoy doing all these wonderful things to help improve and promote your business. You spend a lot of time working on your website. You and your business are all over the social networking sites. Everyone you know from Zimbabwe to Sierra Leone are connected to you on Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn. ‘Nothing wrong with that as long as you understand its role in your business.

Keep in mind that a business’ main purpose is to make money for you. Having followers on Twitter and a healthy audience on Facebook are great, but check every now and then how much of your efforts get converted to sales or sales leads. You need to connect the dots to understand if your website and social networking efforts all help achieve your financial goals for the quarter.

The best barometer on how your business is really doing is through your monthly financial reports. Look at your profit and loss and your cash flow statements. Figure out what they mean. Numbers tell the true story about your business. Use it as a guide. It will tell you what to do next– advertise, hire, outsource, expand or streamline.

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Biz Tip #4: Tell A Story.

Posted on : 04-03-2011 | By : Carol Gancia | In : Biz Tips

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Ever wondered what it takes to create a successful video demo without breaking the bank?

You’re launching a new cloud-based product. You think it’s the next big thing to hit the competitive social media market. You know you need a product demo video to get people excited about it. And you want it to be better than the last one you did for your first release. What will make it better? You’re not quite sure.

My two cents. Think about all the amazing youtube videos you’ve shared with friends and colleagues in the last couple of years. Why did you like them so much that you had to share them? Was it because there was an amazing video transition that blew your mind during the first few seconds of playing it? Was it the music? Or, was it the special effects and animation in the middle? These are icing to the cake. Good to have once we have a great-tasting cake. The cake is your story. Telling a good story is key in keeping your viewers glued to the screen. Many a beginning video producer sometimes gets wrapped up in the icing. Gently remind them about what matters.

It’s always about the story.

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Biz Tip #3: Define Your Market.

Posted on : 03-03-2011 | By : Carol Gancia | In : Biz Tips

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You have a great product. You think you can sell it to just about anyone. It’s versatile, adaptable and easy to use. What’ more, it’s way better than your competitor’s latest release. You’re pretty sure every Tom, Dick and Harry will love it. Should you market it to all three or maybe, just Tom?

It’s tempting to sell to everyone but often, the consumer has many choices. For them to notice you, your product needs to stand out from the rest. It’s not enough to claim to be the best. What it needs to do is to claim to be the best for Tom.

Consumers choose products that appear to know and respond to their specific needs and wants. Marketing and selling to someone rather than everyone will increase your chances of financial success.
Define your audience. What does your typical customer look like? Where do they normally hang out in the inter-web? What do they like? Tailor a marketing campaign that incorporates their language, their music, their hobbies, their habits and most importantly, their pain.

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Biz Tip #2: Follow A Plan.

Posted on : 02-03-2011 | By : Carol Gancia | In : Biz Tips

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It sounds basic enough. Make a plan and stick to it. Or at least try.

With soaring gas prices especially in the San Francisco Bay Area and other cosmopolitan cities, you often do not have the luxury of exploring around town with a carefree spirit and gallons of free gas.  I bet you rarely leave the house without knowing where you’re going and planning your route these days.

Just like any road trip, a business needs to have a road map. I have been in business since 1995. I can tell you that I’ve made so many different plans for my venture which I didn’t necessarily follow to the letter. There were even times when I completely scrapped it out and made a new one. The point is to have a plan to start. It should be the motivation and inspiration to everything else you do on a day-to-day basis. It helps keep us on track.

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Biz Tip #1: Keep It Simple.

Posted on : 01-03-2011 | By : Carol Gancia | In : Biz Tips

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You’re running a tech start-up. You just received your first or second wave of funding. You decide to use a portion of it to revamp your website and create a professional-looking video demo.

As you plan the concept and structure behind these two important elements to your marketing campaign, you get excited. You want it to make the strongest impact possible as it’s often a customer’s first exposure to your branding. You think about the many bells and whistles you can add to your site and video idea to maximize its impact. As you go through the brainstorming process, try to remember that your site visitors and viewers are inundated with loads of information on the web. They often do not have time to sift through the cool and hip layers of packaging we sometime think of doing. Capture their attention quickly and deliver the message before losing them. Three words. Keep it simple.

Technology has advanced so rapidly in the last 20 years but the same old principles apply to much of what we do. Keeping your video and website simple still makes for a successful campaign.

Remember. More is not better. More often than not, it is just clutter.

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