Tag Archives: internet business

11 Ways to Market Your Business with a Small Budget

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Small businesses with great products often fail due to its inability to get themselves in front of the mass market.

Despite of the successes of multiple social media platforms, traditional marketing mediums remain to be outside the budget limits of most small businesses.

In today’s article, I’ll share with you top ten ways to market your business with a small budget.

1. Advertisements

There are a number of websites now that offer free advertisements if you wish to sell product/service such as Mudah.my, Carousell and more.

You can even post advertisement on Facebook Groups which is specifically built for the purpose.

If you’re willing to spend a little bit of money, you can always go for Facebook Ads as it also posts your ad on Instagram – which means you are able to extend your market reach further.

Although, keep in mind that it is important to target your market specifically – or you’ll risk having only traffic to your business but without much sale.

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2. Press Releases

Press releases can be expensive depending on which medium you approach. It goes without saying, the larger the news, the more expensive it becomes.

However, if you’re able to attract enough attention from public, most news medium are more likely to come over and have a look at what the big deal is.

Release a statement that you’re organizing a charity event or that you’re helping homeless people to build their homes. Organize events, followed by invitations to news media to cover the stories. It’s a cheap form of publicity.

3. Sponsorship

Sponsorship is not as easy you’d think. Quite a number of entrepreneurs often mistaken that it’s always best to sponsor any events that attract the most customers. While these kind of events can be very expensive, it is also attracting people who are not in your targeted market.

If you’ve followed me long enough, you’ll know it’s always best to avoid or reduce reliance on the ‘numbers’ game – where the more is better. This is expensive and is kind of a gamble.

Personally, I feel it is best to narrow down the number of consumers by categorizing them into who would need and benefit the most from your product/service. Whilst the market has been minimized to smaller number of consumers, the chances of getting sales return is promising.

For example, if you are selling affordable designer handbags – sponsor a group of fashion influencers who attract women looking for international branded designs but with cheaper price tag. If you sell athletic watches – a group of fitness enthusiasts/celebrity fitness trainers. You get the idea.

Play with numbers where you can afford to lose in case things go south.

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4. Media Stunts/Guerrilla Marketing

Media stunts are effective in creating buzz.

Remember when Richard Branson drove a tank through the city?

Or do you remember when Elon Musk launch his Tesla to space?

Look at Domino’s on how they leverage the potholes problems in US towns by adding their own brands on each of the repairs they conducted.

While small businesses can’t compete at the level of those billionaires, there’s nothing you can’t do with a little bit of ingenuity and creativity.

For a small business, start looking around your neighboring area for things that you feel need to be addressed.

Provide a solution and stamp your brands all over it to create awareness of your company.

Don’t forget to invite news reporters too.

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5. Make more use of your business cards

Your business cards are a form of investment – so use it wisely.

It’s not a matter of simply distributing those cards among your family and friends, it’s about creating the need for them to ask for your business cards.

For example, back when I ran Mirsky Mode, I often meet up with my lady friends to catch up on things where I always bring up the ‘handbag’ conversation. We’ll talk about the design, brand and the expensive price tag of the bag. Once we get to the price, talk your way into how your company offers designer handbags for an affordable price. They would immediately ask for a card or even check out your online store on the spot!

This can also be applied to other industries too.

The important thing to do is to make sure the person you intend on distributing the business card is a part of your targeted market – or you’ll risk of wasting away that card.

Then, create a need for them to find out more about your business

6. Join a local networking group

A business that does not connect often fails.

Your company needs to be connected with people to gain their support.

By becoming emotionally connected with people, you are adding value to the relationship. Build on it and when the time is right, people will start visiting you to see what your business has to offer.

I’ve often made new friends from online meetup sites such as Meetup and AirBnB activities.

If you visit the local public library or town hall, there will be notice boards on local events or gathering too.

Pay a visit to one of them and start building relationship with people.

7. Use self-employed sales agents

This is a cheap alternative selling method.

Self-employed sales agents do not take large commissions from you since they do not have to pay any sales agency fees.

They are also highly motivated and very good at working independently.

This is great for you since you do not need to spend too much time on training/teaching them the ropes as they can get the things done on their own.

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8. Leaflet drops

The key of a successful leaflet drop is to pick the right market to distribute to.

Leaflet drops is a numbers’ game. Traditionally, the more you distribute, the higher chances of getting sales. This costs money.

Instead, narrow down your market. Target those who you feel the most likely to be interested in your product/service.

Pay more attention to the design of the leaflet. Be more emotionally connected with the consumers on the issues of what your business offers to resolve. Selling part comes later.

I’m not a huge fan of traditional leaflet drops but since I know a few businesses that successfully gain results from it, I’d share with you nonetheless – but with caution as it could costs much money and time which small businesses can’t afford.

9. Give talks to other businesses

I’ve given talks on investment once and learned few things from it.

First, you gain new connection who are in similar fields or interest. This is a no-brainer.

Just be sure to leave your contact or company’s contact details so they can find out more about your business.

Secondly, during Q&A session, I’ve managed to understand what troubles or issues people are experiencing in the field respectively.

The sessions gave me direct insight and I’ve learned numerous issues which my company can help resolve. A win-win.

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10. Write for your favorite e-magazines/blogs or create your own newsletter

Contributing articles is a must for bloggers and even writers nowadays.

Reasons are that you will extend your market reach to the blogs you’re contributing to. Don’t forget to leave links back to your blog (with permission, of course). If readers enjoy your writing, they will know where to look to find you.

Being a writer, I’m very fond of this idea. Ever since I was a kid, I’ve always enjoyed writing fiction and as I grew older – business topics. So, why not use this to advantage in growing business?

11. Collaborate With Social Media Influencers

In this digital age where social media thrives able to flood your business with traffic/consumers, you’d best take full advantage of it. Plus, it’s cost varies from low-to-zero.

Influencers’ endorsements are definitely cheap compared to celebrities’. They can help influence their followers with a click of several buttons and your business will be on the ‘maps!’

While some agree to promote your business on reasonable fees, there are also those who simply accept your product/service as payment. It all comes down to negotiation and their popularity rating. Rest assured, they will cost you a lot less than celebrities.

Read more about what I wrote on selecting the right social media influencer for your small business.

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Why The Future of making money For Content Creators is great

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I’m not talking about Patreon, Onlyfans, SuscribeStar and so on.

I’m talking about the future of online ads for video content creators.

Imagine if Youtube have competitors, there will be higher profit from advertisements for creators than today.

For now, you can see other companies such as Vimeo replicating the idea but with little success – for now.

How about BitChute?

There are numerous creators who have already added their content on the platform and even received partnership offers.

Even an article by Bloomberg have found that large numbers of creators are also moving  and/or diversifying towards Ethereum-based platform such as Viewly due to its interesting potential and consistent policies unlike Youtube.

The reason a number of sites are popping up lately (time I write this) is due to constant changes of Youtube policies lately.

That and the fact Youtube seems to be inconsistent when it comes to enforcing their rules and regulations are starting to drive a number of creators looking for another platform to share their content.

And when barriers of entry loosen up, competition will start pouring in soon.

I’m not saying Youtube will lose.

What I’m saying is – this could potentially lead to more platforms competing.

Most of the benefits from that competition will go to content creators such as Youtubers; and it’s competitors will start offering better support and higher ad revenue in order to remain relevant.

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This is why I believe the future of content creators, particularly video creators, is going to be more optimistic as more opportunities and potentially better ad revenue will be available soon.

Consequently, this is an opportunity for entrepreneurs (especially solo-preneurs) to create another stream of income by adding valuable video content on these platforms.

So, time to pick up another skill, future millionaires!

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Google’s Most Loved and Hated SEO Tricks

There isn’t much information Google publishes about SEO. However, there are many heated exchanges among SEO experts worldwide – who, eventually, have reached conclusions as compiled below. Please note, these are subject to change as algorithms do change from time to time.

Let’s start with what positive factors that is considered as ‘Good’ SEO practices – simplified form:

Positive Factors

  • Keyword in URL
  • Keyword in domain name
  • Head: Keyword in title tag
  • Head: Keyword in description meta tag
  • Head: Keyword in meta tag
  • Body: Keyword density – should be over 5% but do not go over 20%
  • Body: Keyword in H1, H2 and H3
  • Body: Keyword font size (bold, italics etc)
  • Body: Keyword proximity (e.g. where two keywords are close to each other)
  • Size and age of page/site

Negative Factors

  • Text in graphic form only, leaving no content within the body
  • Don’t be an affiliate site with ‘all link and no content’
  • Linking to link farms or a blacklisted site
  • Redirecting through REFRESH meta tags
  • Vile language. Anything deemed offensive; racial and ethnic slurs.
  • Excessive cross links
  • Keyword redundacy
  • Using frames
  • Invisible text (same as background color), small text
  • Gateway pages

How To Keep Your Website In Tip-Top Condition For Search Engines

Running, keeping and creating content at the same time can be an overwhelming experience – especially if you’re doing it on your own.

Today’s article, I’ve provided a checklist for you in order to keep your website in top condition and ranked high in search engine result page (SERP):

  • Ensure that you add new content regularly – search engines prefer sites that continuously add new updates.
  • The more content you add, the better.
  • Get validated. Validate your HTML and CSS code to check that it is accurate.
  • Test your site in different browsers, mobile devices and resolutions, especially after any such major changes e.g. updates by provider (e.g. WordPress). Check on different systems too (Mac, Microsoft etc)
  • Make your site accessible as possible – run your site through accessibility validators regularly.
  • Send out PR regularly to printed and online magazines, ensuring that your web address is clearly marked in the release.
  • Add a standard site map page to your site to help visitors.
  • Add a Google sitemap to your site, and update it regularly, or automate the updating process through  a script.
  • Be on the constant lookout for sites that will link to you – provide reciprocal links where applicable.
  • Resubmit your site to search engines ever 1-2 months – not too frequently or you may get blacklisted for spamming.
  • Check your web stats regularly to ensure that there are no errors and to see what is working and what is not.

Top 5 Female Entrepreneurs You Must Know

1. Denise Coates

Denise-Coates

Company: Bet365

Age: 51

Net worth: $3.9 billion (£3 billion) (2018)

Denise Coates owns the site Bet365. It’s a betting site which took her a year to develop and launch. She bought the Bet365.com domain name back in January 2000 and looked poised to success.

She raised a whopping £15 million loan from Royal Bank of Scotland to help fund her run the business.

Today, Bet365 has grown into one of the world’s largest online gambling sites.

Today, Denise’s net worth is an astonishing $3.0 billion.

 

2. Cher Wang

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Company: HTC Corporation

Age: 60

Net worth: $1.6 billion (£1.2 billion) (2018)

Cher Wang is one of the pioneers at producing new and innovative smartphones in China.

She founded the tech company HTC – which quickly grew placing itself next to other tech powerhouses such as Apple, Samsung and Huawei.

Cher Wang was born in 1958. She received her degree in economics from the University of California in 1981.

About a year later, she joined the company ‘First International Computer. Later on, she co-founded VIA in 1987 and HTC in 1997.

Cher has been featured on Forbes world’s billionaires numerous times in 2010, 2011 and 2012 – having a net worth of 1.6 billion.

3. Folorunsho Alakija

Famous Female Entrepreneurs - Folorunsho Alakija

Net Worth: $2.5 Billion

Folorunsho Alakija is an unknown to many. She’s actually the richest female entrepreneur in Nigeria. She may not be as popular as other female entrepreneurs, but she has a net worth of around $2.5 billion

She started out founding a tailoring company called Supreme Stitches. She founded the company after being employed at Sijuade Enterprises in Nigeria; and the First National Bank of Chicago.

Later down the line, Alakija started looking to various industries for investments once Supreme Stitches started to become very successful.

She’s also named as Forbes’ 96th most powerful woman in the world.

4. Gina Rinehart

Famous Female Entrepreneurs - Gina Rinehart

Net Worth: $11.7 Billion

Gina Rinehart is considered to own a personal fortune of $11.7 billion.

This makes the Australian billionaire not only the richest person in Australia, but also places her 6th riches woman in the world.

She’s the chairman of Hancock Prospecting Group; a giant mining company which produces up to 30 million tonnes of iron ore per year!

Rinehart took over the mantle as chairman of the company when her father passed away in 1992, and has become one of the riches female entrepreneurs in the world ever since.

5. Wang Laichun

Wang Laichun Famous Female Entrepreneur

Net Worth: $1.5 Billion

Wang Laichun, is another pioneer in the Chinese electronics manufacturing industry. She’s the chairman of the company which supplies Apple much of its parts.

She is also known as one of the world’s youngest self made female billionaires once the company becomes a success.

It’s been estimated Laichun’s net worth is around the $1.5 billion.

7 Women Entrepreneurs You Need To Know

I’ve decided to write something else this time. It’s rare to see stories written about successful women entrepreneurs around the world. Not that they need any more recognition than they already have – but I feel the time was already due to write about these ladies in my blog.

I remember the first time I saw SlideShare back in the university days. Years later, I was shocked that LinkedIn bought it for $118.75 million in 2013. Curious, I started researching about the company and its history (a nerd I was).

What caught my attention was not the fact Rashmi Sinha, the founder, is a woman, but the fact she studied PhD in neuropsychology – nothing to do with web technology at all. It just shows the level of aptitude she possesses which impress people in the business world.

She co-founded the company with Jonathan Boutelle in 2006 who became the CTO before being sold to Linkedin which has more than 16 million registered users now.

Another company that grew to become a giant, Cisco. The idea was born out of the problem where the founder Sandra Lerner experienced difficulties to email with her then-husband Len Bosack while working at Stanford University. This problem has led her to design the multi-protocol router – a platform which catapulted Cisco in 1984.

In 1990, it was reported Lerner walked away from the company with $170 million from the sale of her stock options. Her entrepreneurial career did not end there, she continued on to start Urban Decay, a company specialized in cosmetics and a farm based in Virginia.

Flickr was founded in 2002 by duo couple Caterina Fake and Stewart Butterfield. The popular photo sharing website was an offshoot of a game which Fake was developing with her husband at the time.

Three years later, Yahoo bought the website from the couple for a reported $35 million in cash and stock options. Fake went on to co-found another another website called Hunch – a site that makes recommendations based on users’ preferences. She was even named to the board of directors of the very popular online marketplace Etsy.

4. The Body Shop

Anita Roddick was not a stranger to the entrepreneurial life when she founded The Body Shop in 1976, England. Right after running a hotel and a restaurant, she used the experience to create a livelihood for herself and her two daughters – thus creating the company.

Her business concept became a hit and Anita launched her second branch within six months after launch. Realizing she hit jackpot, she soon launched The Body Shop franchise program which enabled her company to open stores all over the world.

The company’s success led to its first public offering in 1984 and 2006 later on. It didn’t end there. Anita and Co finally sold to L’Oreal for a reported $1.4 billion which today, we see there are more than 2500 stores in 61 countries.

Katie Rodan and Kathy Fields were classmates who studies together at Stanford University. Both ladies agreed to the need of finding a better acne treatment since they have also suffered similar ordeal at some time in their lives. At a certain point in their lives after Stanford, the pair noticed the problems acne posed for people of different ages which led them into developing a new way to treat facial blemishes.

Over a five-year period of researching and testing, they have developed an effective acne skin care system which is know as Proactiv Solution. It was a combination of acne medicine and soothing botanicals to create a much more effective acne fighting system designed to leave the skin smooth, clean and clear.

6. HTC

Cher Wang is the co-founder of the famously known mobile technology company HTC with an estimate worth of $1.6 billion according to Forbes. She was born in 1958 and studied degree in economics from University of California in 1981. A year later, she joined First International Computer company, which led her to co-found VIA in 1987. 10 years later, she went on to co-found HTC in 1997.

Cher has been featured on Forbes world’s billionaire list multiple times from year 2010-12 having a net worth at an estimated 1.6 billion dollars making her one of the most powerful women in 2012.

7. The Huffington Post

No one familiar with digital media world has not heard of The Huffington Post. The founder, Arianna Huffington  even plays a huge role in the company after selling it to AOL for $315 million.

Arianna is also an accomplished author having shared her experience in book Thrive: The Third Metric to Success where the book still remains featured on the website.

My Final Two Cent

What do you guys think of the list? I’m sure there are more ‘women-preneurs’ which I missed hustling and working hard around the globe. Let me know any women entrepreneur which you feel very interesting and ‘must-know’. I’d really like to find out more about them.