The Value of Networking Your Brand

Networking can be an effective tool for promoting, marketing and sharing your personal brand. It allows you to meet and connect with like minded individuals and develop quality relationships. It also helps you create the right contacts for growing a viable and profitable network. Last but not least, it allows you to communicate your mission, goals and passions for success.

Listed below are tips and practical ways that savvy networkers can increase their brand proposition.

Activate Your Brand

In order to build a credible and reliable personal brand, you need to be active in your networking activities. Generally, this means staying consistent and intentional in your endeavors. Whether you feel comfortable connecting via in person or online, have a plan and put it into action. Make sure to follow up and follow through. Set up meetings, additional ways to stay in touch in person or online and build your personal brand with others. Show commitment and integrity in your dealings and interactions.

Establish Your Brand

As you develop your relationships, focus on building a strong personal brand. Explore various avenues of expressing your personal brand within your communications styles. What makes you unique and differentiates you from your colleagues or competitors? What skills, abilities or talents make you passionate in your career, business or academics? What do things do people associate you with, when your name comes to mind? By answering these questions, you are gaining a greater understanding of the value of your brand.

Execute Your Brand

Your personal brand can be a powerful for growing your networks. Use it as a touch point for conversations and finding opportunities. Show the relevance of it whenever you go to events, meetings and functions. Incorporate it into your elevator pitch, resume / bio, business cards and other marketing tools and materials. Make every effort to reinforce its worth and significance.

Use these tips to add more value and increase the dynamics of your connections. Along with your communication styles and marketing efforts, create relationships that improve your networks.

By Chi Chi Okezie

Chi Chi Okezie is owner/producer of SIMPLEnetworking, LLC in Metro – Atlanta, GA. Learn tips, tactics and techniques from the Champion Networker! Visit the SN Official Website: http://www.snseminars.com to read excerpts of her networking books, sign up for the newsletter, register for events and classes or visit her blog! Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/9932929

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All About Getting More Facebook Likes

A lot of marketers have a goal of getting as many Facebook likes as humanly possible as they lead to better SEO and a more viral audience that does not hesitate when it comes to jumping into the mix and sharing their opinions along with your posts. Having an active fan base is crucial to promoting your page, product or a service to a larger visitor base. That said, the tricky part is getting those Facebook likes to flow in as today there are a lot of competitors that just can’t wait to see you fail.

1. Post relevant content – yes it’s very easy to get off topic when it comes to these things but keeping on topic and to the point is the key to getting more Facebook likes in a short amount of time, and if you manage to share something that is not already common knowledge your targeted audience will surly know how to appreciate it

2.Add call to action – sometimes we just need to remind our visors and fans to actually participate and add Facebook likes, Facebook shares and Tweet our post, there is nothing wrong with adding a certain call to action at the end of your post

3.Interlink your social accounts – Twitter, Facebook and Instagram work very well together and you can get a lot more shares if you use all of these channels, it won’t be time consuming as you are sharing a same post but it will surely do the trick

4.Offer value – you can run a promotional give away or send out samples of your products to a lucky few but these things usually end up getting a lot of Facebook likes overnight not to mention a lot shares, just make sure you are not overdoing it by accident.

Ask a question! It’s common practice that we always think we have to be the ones telling the story to our visitors in order to get more Facebook likes, however, if you turn the mic over to them, they will be more they willing to participate as they will be emotionally invested in the topic. The key here is to ask the correct question. You can also start a debate as that will work well also.

Post a photo! They get 54% more Facebook likes than just standard textual messages and updates as the visitors have to spend less time in order to get engaged right away. You can also post short videos as those do the trick as well.

Post 1 to 2 times per day! This is proven to get about 40% more Facebook likes and engagement than posting 3 times a day or just once every few days. A lot of big brands use this strategy successfully as this is what will spark the best reaction.

Source: http://www.a1articles.com/all-about-getting-more-facebook-likes-2440179.html By NorbertoHensley

 

 

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The Challenges You Must Overcome to Turn Your Small Business Into a Big Business

You might have a small business today, but you don’t want that label for the life of your business. When entrepreneurs make endeavors, they are looking to create a business that will rule the world one day. However, every business has to face some struggles in the beginning that it must overcome to become a big business. The way you handle these challenges decides the fate of your small business. Today, you will read about these challenges and the solutions to them, so if you are a small business, you can set the foundation for its success.

Knowing the Target Market

One of the biggest issues with most small businesses is that they don’t know their exact target market. Sometimes, they don’t know how to narrow down to the target market. This is a huge issue because you could have a perfect product, but you might pitch it to the people who don’t need it. Keep in mind that people who don’t need your product won’t buy it even if you try to give it to them for free. On the other hand, people who need your product will be willing to buy it even if it is priced high. For your business to survive, it needs to start selling as quickly as possible, and that’s why it is important to find your target market before launching your product.

Solution

The first step of identifying your target market is to know your product well enough. You have to ask yourself some important questions about the product and write the answers down. For example, you have to ask yourself “what existing problem does my product solve?” You also have to know if there are any other solutions available in the market for the same problem. If yes then you have to see how your product is better than them or how you can make it better. Conduct surveys on the street and social media to know the personas of the best buyers of your product.

The Right Type of Marketing

Businesses, small and big, have huge parts of their budgets allocated only for marketing purposes. However, the modern technological advancements have proven that a big marketing budget does not translate to successful marketing. So, you might have done a great job in identifying your target market, but if you approach them in the wrong way or through the wrong channel, you will not be able to reap any benefits from even the most potential market for your product or service.

Solution

Identifying your target market should help you identify your marketing methods and channels too. For example, if your product is for people aged over 50, you would not want to make Instagram the prioritized marketing channel because only 18% of the users on Instagram are aged above 50. Similarly, any product that targets executives, marketing officers and professional people should be promoted on LinkedIn before any other platform. After knowing the buyer personas, you should also select the type of marketing that best suits your potential audience. If you are creating a hip-hop music video for marketing to retired individuals or an opera video for 18-year olds, you are doing it wrong. Use website analytical tools to know what appeals or does not appeal to your website, visitors. Base your digital marketing campaigns on data-this is the era of data-driven marketing.

The Funding Problem

If there were no funding problem, every person who thinks of a unique idea would have a business. In the real world, funding is always a problem, and it is exactly the point where the journey ends for many aspiring people in business. However, it is not always the lack of funds that kill many small businesses before they even start. In fact, the important part is how much dedication you show in arranging those funds. Sometimes, people have the options available, but they do not knock on all the doors.

Solution

First, you have to know all the options you have available for arranging the funds. If you are not okay with arranging funds through the bank or in the form of a loan, take a look around at your family and relatives. You will be surprised to know how many of the people in your circle will be ready not only to give you the investment you need but become a part of the endeavor. The crowdfunding options are also there. You don’t even have to go to the investors personally today as you can visit a platform like funded.com and arrange funds online.

The Right Leadership

You can’t make a business successful unless you have the right leader in place. It is not completely untrue that the attitude of the leader sets the attitude of the rest of the employees at a company. If you lack confidence in your leadership, you will end up hiring people who lack confidence in themselves. One of the biggest problems with most small business owners is that they can’t convince themselves to delegate responsibilities. They believe in their skill so much that their mind never accepts that someone else can handle the responsibilities too. They end up taking the responsibility of everything on their shoulders and mismanaging things at the end of the day.

Solution

The first thing that needs to be fixed here is how you think. If you find it hard to delegate responsibilities, get rid of this habit as soon as possible. You can’t handle everything as the business grows and so you have to create a team right from day one. Do not hire people just because they can do the job-hire people who share the same vision as you. Do not settle for good employees because finding the best ones is taking time. Do not try to take matters into your hands all the times. Listen to everyone that’s part of the team and the decision making process. Have a great relationship with your employees.

Setting the Price

One of the most difficult decisions for a small business owner is to set the price of its service or product. When you are a small business, you can’t afford to have a full-fledged marketing department. Of course, when you have a marketing department, they can set the price of your products, but when there is no marketing department, you are the one to take this decision. Price your solutions too low, and you might not make any profit at all. Price your solution too high, and customers might never buy your product.

Solution

It will be tremendously helpful in this scenario to take a look at your competitors and how they have priced their products. Secondly, you have to know a simple rule to set the prices of your products and services. You first set the price to cover your costs. Once you have started covering your costs, you set the price to cover the costs and make a profit. Once you have done that successfully, you start adding your “value” to the price. You should also know the buying power of your target market so you can keep the price within their comfort zone.

These points cover pretty much every big challenge that a small business comes across. Keep in mind that some of the challenges might be exclusive to your business and industry too, but if you can overcome these common challenges, you can cover the industry-specific difficulties as well.

More detailed information and useful advice can be found at http://www.Funded.com

 

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All New Entrepreneurs Should Avoid These Mistakes

All New Entrepreneurs Should Avoid These Mistakes

A new entrepreneur may feel as if he or she is on a roller coaster ride, especially when starting a new business. A majority of small-sized business entrepreneurs who experienced failure will still vouch that the risk was worth taking looking at the potential rewards. However, it is essential for new entrepreneurs to adopt a cautionary approach. Irrespective of what kind of preparation goes into that new business of yours, learning hard lessons in the way becomes an integral part of this journey.

An essential component of beginning a business is to have a well-structured plan in place and then practice a disciplinary approach to take quick and timely action on it. It is not exactly an exciting proposition to be associated with a startup as you may need just to submit yourself to the flow of the process. Ranging from stiff competition to inadequate funding, a new entrepreneur has to be prepared for different types of hurdles and challenges. Taking necessary actions to avoid such mistakes is highly imperative while beginning a new venture.

Following are some of the mistakes all new entrepreneurs should try to avoid:

1. Getting confused between an excellent opportunity and a good idea

It is indeed a wow moment for every entrepreneur when they hit upon a new idea related to a service or product. Plus, such moments help to reignite the passion within an entrepreneur leading to a great deal of perseverance. However, even if the idea appears to be highly unique, if it does not fetch equivalent market acceptability or fit, it is difficult for your business to succeed.

There is hardly any guarantee of your customers demanding it merely because you conceived and then built it. While the birth of new ideas is essential, it is even more crucial to assess its opportunity in the market to get the desired return on investment; In fact, opportunity stands at the crossroads of a problem if a low requirement is felt by your customer and the capability to fulfill that requirement. If conditions are favorable, extracting an opportunity needs to be translated into the creation of value.

If you refer to past cases, you will find that some of the most prominent tales of success were that of businesses, which began as something else. For instance, when Flickr started its journey, it operated as a tool for photo-sharing for Game Neverending, an online game. Another good example is Instagram that started its mission as a photo and gaming app. Even the journey of Twitter began in the form of a side project with a podcasting organization to transmit SMS messages. Groupon’s operation started as a website for social-fundraising.

2. Improper estimation of the cash required

Expenses to begin a new business may not be the same as it may range from just a few thousand bucks to millions of dollars. The amount of cash required will be determined based on the kind of business an entrepreneur launches. Trying to figure out the type of money you may need to start your business depends partially on facing a projection of the kind of revenue the new company is expected to generate to offset startup expenses. However, it can be a complicated calculation, which depends on plenty of shifting variables. However, you need to keep one crucial point in your mind. A majority of businesses fetch modest returns in the first year. In fact, over 75% of new ventures are known to have their annual revenue at less than 50,000 USD according to a report published by Kauffman Foundation.

Regardless of the kind of business you are in, a great practice is to keep more provisions in your budget than what you think will be required. According to Eric van Merkensteij who was a professor at the University of Pennsylvania and then owned a restaurant for five years, there is a strategy to deal this. He shared this with SmartMoney. Eric said that an entrepreneur needs first to calculate their upfront investment expenses. After that, the figure needs to be doubled and then redoubled.

You will come across several online tools that can calculate the upfront cost required to start your business. However, seasoned entrepreneurs will still advice that you are perhaps underestimating in arriving at the cost in the beginning.

3. Giving first preference to your product and last preference to your customers

While ascertaining your business model and designing your products, you need to have the mentality of providing the first preference to your potential and existing customers. Several such new entrepreneurs are engrossed just about earning more money that is entirely understandable. However, they overlook the importance of creating a sustainable business. It is extremely crucial to have loyal and satisfied customers who will be repeat customers and purchase from you even in the long term.

Starting your entrepreneur journey for the first time is a tough job, and there may be mistakes in the process. That does not signify that an entrepreneur has to go on repeating the mistakes of everyone else’s.

4. Overestimating that you can do everything all by yourself

When you start a business, it is normal to feel that you are best at that job and no one else can match your ability. You think you are the best connoisseur of your product and are the one who possesses the desired passion for getting success in your business. However, such a notion can be a perfect recipe for getting burnout entirely and can impede the progress of your business in a big way. It is essential to have an experienced and knowledgeable mentor or consultant to help you in your much-required objective in the market and your business.

5. Thinking that you have the entire world in your hands

While the emergence and popularity of Internet have made it an indispensable part for companies, if you feel that your marketplace constitutes of a borderless globe, you are sadly mistaken. It is precisely applicable to a majority of small businesses.

While tech-based organizations with only some employees but dealing in billions of dollars could be grabbing the news headlines, Internet companies comprised of even less than six percent of the total number of new businesses in 2013. The Kauffman Foundation shared the data. Nevertheless, it may sound a bit strange the reality even today is that a majority of new companies do not mint money from around the world. Instead, they earn their revenues around the corner.

6. Being deprived of strength by the apprehension of many what ifs

The prospect of starting a new company can be scary for any first-time entrepreneurs, and it is not something a fearful person can do. It is entirely logical to feel afraid of rejection, disappointment, and failure. However, making yourself utterly powerless by such thoughts can become a big stumbling block for the progress of any entrepreneur. The first significant step to combat such fear is to recognize your common worry since there is a reassurance for you that there have been others in your position at some point in time.

7. Setting a small profit margin

It is critical to have a significant profit margin for the success of your business. If you set the margin too low now, life can be quite tough for you going forward. After all, your customers are hardly going to be happy if you decide to increase the prices afterward. You should start taking a close look at your operational and production costs. You should then try to ascertain the kind of flexibility there is. Will you be able to lower these expenses in the future in case it is necessary to do? If that is not the case, select a higher margin of profit now for accommodating those costs.

8. Overlooking the importance of marketing

It is a misperception among some entrepreneurs, especially the new ones that they would launch revolutionary products or services. They feel their products will speak for themselves, and a positive word of mouth and free public relations will work wonders for earning impressive revenue.

Still, the bitter reality is that most of the startup businesses may have to make a substantial investment in marketing activities. These channels may include content marketing, Search Engine Optimization, paid advertising and public relations. Make sure you do a study on where your business rivals are spending money on marketing activities. Do a self-retrospection on how you can differentiate or compete yourself.

9. Setting up unrealistic goals

A new entrepreneur could get too carried away by their so-called big or innovative idea. As such, they may fail to work with a stable and well-structured plan. In reality, you should set up attainable, realistic and measurable goals for getting success in your business.

Make it a regular habit of setting up long-term as well as short-term goals. You also need to ensure that all these goals are specific. Start your goal setting prices by defining a reasonable goal. Then, ascertain the kind of steps you should take for attaining it.

10. Using cost as the only criteria for making hiring decisions

It is a regular phenomenon seen even in some established businesses. When a company has problems related to funds, often it tries to reduce the cost of hiring new employees. However, the strategy is a faulty one since you may end up making more payments in the long term.

If you plan to hire low-cost consultants and employees, you should remember that they are charging less probably due to a particular reason. It is likely that such workforce is unreliable, unskilled or semi-skilled or inexperienced or a combination of all three.

11. Assuming that there is no direct competition

At times, the excitement about launching a new service or a product can make a new entrepreneur think that there is no direct competition in the market for them. They may also assume that their products are far more superior as compared to their rivals and they are in a class of its own.

The fact is there is hardly any business that does not have any direct business rivals. Unless in the rarest of rare cases when you invented a brand new product, it is very likely that there are existing players in the market who share the same niche.

Disclaimer

Any information on this article is published in good faith and for general information purpose only. The writer of this article does not make any guarantees about the completeness, reliability, and accuracy of the information on the article. Any actions you take upon the information you find on the article is strictly at your own risk. The author of this article will not be liable for any losses and/or damages or illness in connection with the use of our article.

 

 

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Top Coworking Spaces Around the World!

What do other coworking spaces around the globe look like and function?

NeueHouse in Hollywood, California

BeacHub in Koh Phangan, Thailand

B. Amsterdam in Amsterdam, Netherlands

Dojo in Bali, Indonesia

The Farm in New York City, New York

OPEN in Johannesburg, Africa

To see more coworking space facilities in different parts of the world, visit: https://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/the-20-best-coworking-spaces-across-the-globe_us_59c42edae4b08d661550413b

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Tips For Growing Your Freelancing Business

Are you a freelancer? You may be writer, web designer, marketing professional or new to the startup world! Regular clients are always good, but you have room to grow. So how can you kickstart your freelance business into overdrive and gain more clientele?

1. Define Your Strengths & Weaknesses

Review your current processes. What’s working and what’s failing? Have you reached your goals lately? If so, how did you do that? Are you budgets on track? Do you need to cut spending anywhere? Is anything holding you back? If so, cut your losses! Look for ways to make sure your failures don’t reoccur. Consult a business analyst for extra help too! They have the skills to identify any additional areas need for urgent change.

2. Review Your Pricing & Rates

Are you charging appropriately for the value you are giving to your clients? Research what competitors are charging their customers. Maybe you have clients that don’t appreciate your value and challenge your rates constantly. Maybe it’s time to find a customer who values your work and is willing to pay for it. Make sure you are always earning what you are worth for every job! Don’t cut yourself short.

3. Increase & Improve Skills

Are there any opportunities to get better at what you’re doing? OR could spend time to gain additional skills to improve your business model? Has a client asked for something you cannot provide but would love to? Maybe it’s time to offer something additional to your clients that can make you stand out from the rest and increase your reputation throughout your industry.

4. Expand Your Marketing

Do you only market yourself when you’re slow? You should constantly market and advertise your services, even when you are busy. Take advantage of social media advertising, both free and paid. Explore different platforms on the internet and spend a substantial amount of time seeing what works and what doesn’t in the advertising world.

5. Networking!

Build relationships with other freelancers and business professionals definitely will pay off. By word of mouth referrals, you could build a huge empire alone! Don’t be shy, you never know who could need your services. Drop a business card off, send an email, strike up a conversation in your current coworking space.

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30 Business Startup Ideas

Thinking about starting your own business? Here are 30 startup ideas to get your brain flowing. And then when you’re up and running, join our coworking space in Gloucester County, NJ to let your new startup flourish!

Source: https://www.oberlo.com/blog/business-ideas-that-make-money

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How to make most of your coworking space?

1. SAY HI TO PEOPLE

In a coworking space, you are able to meet new people on a daily basis. New members are constantly joinging so the chances of you meeting someone that provides a cool service you may need is pretty high. And likewise, introducing yourself to people is important to let everyone else know what awesome business you have too!

2. ATTEND EVENTS

If your coworking space has an event like a breakfast or luncheon, make sure you go! It’s an easy way to meet other professionals in your coworking space and strike up a conversation. Networking here is key!

3. REFER BUSINESS

Is your friend Joe looking for an accountant? Maybe you can refer Joe to Steve, an accountant that shares space with you at your coworking facility. Steve may start sending his clients or friends over to you for referral business as well.

Thinking about taking the plunge and joining a coworking space? Contact us today and we’ll give you a tour of our Gloucester County facility, Incutate!

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New Startup Business? A Coworking Space Can Benefit You!

Startups definitely have humble beginnings. You most likely started out of your basement with a friend and your idea became a success.

Now your garage or basement has become a not so great work environment. Your meetings with clients next to old boxes and lawn equipment isn’t the most professional setting. And your kids and dogs have made productivity an all-time low now that you’re constantly busy and ready to conquer more of the world.

All these problems can be avoided by moving to a coworking space like Incutate, in Mantua, NJ. Coworking facilities have become very popular with freelancers and startups. Different membership options provide an affordable way to upkeep your new business and many professional amenities that you cannot get at your home office.

A conference room, high speed internet, networking are just some of the basic benefits of a coworking space. The environment is perfect for finding new clients, advice and a place for your new startup to grow.

Take a look at your membership options and see if our Gloucester County facility is a perfect fit for you!

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Here’s How You Can Network With Other Professionals in a Coworking Space

Congratulations on your new business! But where are you going to work? Your house? Your basement? The coffee shop?

If you’re not reaching out and networking with other businesses in the coworking space you are apart of…YOU’RE MISSING OUT BIG TIME! Networking with others within your coworking space is one of the top perks of being in one. Different industries, new and old take advantage of coworking facilities. And they can help grow your business; refer you different strategies and business help and spread the word of what you do, especially if you’re a startup that no one knows exists!

Strike up conversations while standing at the copier and coffee maker. Even if it is just small talk and nothing related to your business, ask how they like being a member of the coworking space and if they have any tips.

After initially meeting other members, you may find that they offer something you may need. Offer trading services or share knowledge of business tactics and lead generation. Do they have preferred vendors? Ask, you may get a deal!

Thinking about join Incutate? Take a look at some of our current members.

So get out there and start mingling!

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