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5 Business Reads for 2013

How many of you have set some New Year Resolutions either in your business or personal life?  Most do…I personally like to call them goals for the year.  I like to focus on achieving these goals and not just trying to resolve to do something more, less or better.   One of my 2013 goals is to read at least 3 business related books.  Maybe one of your goals or resolutions is too, so here’s a list of some of the recommended business reads from last year that I’ll choose from:

By David Novak “Taking People With You”

is the result of a program that Novak teaches up to eight times a year within the company; a step-by-step guidebook and workbook. Think of this book as your own personal MBA course with one of the most successful executives on the planet. And like any MBA course, it takes time, diligence and patience, or as Novak says, “To do this right, you need to take your time, reflecting on each step and on your own leadership style.”

By Peter H. Diamandis and Steven Kotler “Abundance: The Future is Better Than You Think,” the authors offer a boldly contrarian and optimistic book for today’s cynical times. They make the case that we are indeed on the cusp of a new era, an era when the lives of millions are improved.

Think of this book as the ultimate “Yes, we can.”

In “For Better or for Work: A Survival Guide for Entrepreneurs and their Families,”Meg Cadoux Hirshberg, a columnist and the wife of the founder of Stonyfield Yogurt, offers her account of what life in a startup really looks like — from the inside.

“Breakthrough Branding: How Smart Entrepreneurs and Intrapreneurs Transform a […]

Seasonal Marketing

How Pinteresting

How many of you are pinning?  Pinterest, the newest social media site, just hit more than 10 million unique visitors, making it one of the fastest growing websites ever. In the past six months, visits to Pinterest grew by 4,000%, receiving 11 million hits in just one week! I have been seeing or hearing about the site everywhere…from the delicious recipes I was perusing on Lynn’s Kitchen Adventures that had a link to her Pinterest page to the friend at my son’s basketball game last weekend that shared she recently got an amazing recipe and her kid’s Valentine idea from the visual pinboard.

Pinterest was named the best new start up of 2011 by TechCrunch and is doing a great job of driving traffic, leads, and sales. In fact, early research indicates that Pinterest is more effective at driving traffic back to a website compared to other social media sites, even Facebook. Josh Davis includes some interesting stats on his blog:

Pinterest is now driving more traffic to the Real Simple website than Facebook is.
Warbly Parker, the hip but inexpensive eyeglass retailer, reports that 11% of its social traffic is coming from Pinterest. 18% is coming from Twitter.
Like many early bloggers, Kate Bryan managed a blog that was based around her interests, but it never generated many readers. She blogged about her professions of hairstyling and jewelry making, and also her craft projects. Hairstyles are extremely popular pins on Pinterest. Kate started pinning her own work and rapidly started generating traffic. In five months, she achieved over 14,000 new subscribers to her site as well as generating over one million page views from Pinterest.

What’s unique about Pinterest compared to most social media websites, is that it reduces […]

5 Branding Tips for Small Business

Even though you may not be the size of a corporate giant like Coke or Microsoft, engaging in branding is important for your small business.  Here are 5 branding tips that could make a difference for the long-term success of your small business.

1.  Create a logo and put it on everything.  You don’t need to spend a lot of time or money creating your logo, but you do need something that stands for your business that customers can recognize.  You then need to put it on everything from letterhead and invoices to your website and newsletter…and every communication in between.

2.  Start a blog. A blog can be a great tool for a small business. With it your site will rank better in search engines, you can communicate to customers and grow brand involvement. Blogs help you share valuable information and help you become the expert customers will trust when the time comes to make a purchase decision.

3.  Prepare a one-page business overview. This one pager will be critical as a leave behind when you meet prospects. Be brief – Use short sentences in short paragraphs – people like to read quickly. Also make it very conversational; it’s not a white paper. Your one page overview should include your value proposition, target audience benefits, customer testimonials and a mini-case study – and don’t forget to put how to contact you!

4.  Participate in local business events and network.  Participate.  Get involved.  Going to events is wonderful, but you’re just a face in the crowded room. Ask to be on one of the committees or chair or sponsor a meeting. Interestingly enough, it’s as easy as just asking most of time. Groups are looking for volunteer to […]

Local Business + Social Media

Get More From Google Search

If you’re like me, you probably use Google many times a day.  However, unless you are super techy, you probably still use Google in its simplest form.  If your current use of Google is limited to typing a few words in, and changing your query until you find what you’re looking for, then I’m here to tell you that there’s a better way – and it’s not hard to learn.  On the other hand, if you are a technology geek, and can use Google like the best of them already, then I suggest you keep this list of Google search tips.  You’ll then have the tips on hand when you are ready to pull your hair out in frustration when watching a neophyte repeatedly type in basic queries in a desperate attempt to find something.

The following Google search tips are from an article on Hubspot.  The list is by no means comprehensive.  But, I assure you that by learning and using the 12 tips below, you’ll rank up there with the best of the Google experts out there.  The descriptions of the search tips intentionally terse as you’re likely to grasp most of these simply by looking at the example from Google anyways.

12 Expert Google Search Tips

Explicit Phrase:
Lets say you are looking for content about internet marketing.  Instead of just typing internet marketing into the Google search box, you will likely be better off searching explicitly for the phrase.  To do this, simply enclose the search phrase within double quotes. Example: “internet marketing”
Exclude Words:
Lets say you want to search for content about internet marketing, but you want to exclude any results that contain the term advertising.  To do this, simply use the “-” sign in […]

Branding

I believe a “brand” lives in the mind of the consumer. What the consumer perceives your brand to be – is what your brand is. Being a high caliber company is only true if the consumer believes it to be true. Branding is by far one of the most important factors influencing an organization’s success or failure in the marketplace, and can have a dramatic impact on how the “organization behind the brand” is perceived by the discerning buying public with, for the most part almost limitless purchasing options. In other words, the brand is not just a representation of a company’s products and services; it is a symbol of the organization itself, and that is where the core of brand loyalty lies. To build brand equity, all elements of the promotional mix are required to develop and sustain the desired perception in the mind of the consumer. Initially, the challenge is to build awareness, then to develop the brand personality and reinforce the perception. This leads to another important factor in brand-building: the need to invest in the brand over the long-term. Building customer awareness, communicating the brand’s message and creating customer loyalty takes time, but ultimately translates into sales and reputation on a local and national level.  Successful organizations “invest” in their brand, often at the expense of short-term profitability.

By |November 17th, 2010|Uncategorized|0 Comments