Marketing a Start Up to Prospects & Customers

For a start up to have any success in generating sales, you have to know four things:

1 Who can buy your product or service?

2 Who are the decision makers?

3 Where are these decision makers going to make buying decisions?

4 How do these people make buying decisions?

I covered the first two questions in a previous post. Let’s focus on questions three and four. To find out where the decision makers go to make buying decisions you need to do following:

Ask them, how did you decide on buying product XYZ? This will be easier to with your existing customers but prospects will respect you for asking questions that other people don’t. Another place to see where decision makers go to buy your products is trade shows. You could attend as either an exhibitor or an attendee. Try to get a booth at the show. Exhibitors are provided with demographics of who attends the show and have a chance to interact with buyers directly. Does your customer base have a specific incentive to make purchases at a certain time period? For example, when I was a sales rep in the Dental industry, the IRS allowed dentists to write off capital equipment purchases they made up to a certain amount. If you cannot afford to go as an exhibitor then go as an attendee. This way you can see what goes on first hand.

Now on how these people make buying decisions. This information could be obtained by asking them or it could be obtained by looking for published research. If none exists, conduct a survey and offer a free gift to fill it out. You could even include questions on how they came to a decision to make a purchase. SurveyMonkey is a good way to do this.

Social Media Marketing

Marketing your business using social media is a great way to build your business and reach potential buyers. Before I discuss more about this, I want to ask you some questions?

Do you have a website? If not, why not? Websites are easy to put together. I put mine together rather quickly. Having a site helps your business come up in searches. When I Google you and your business what comes up? Go ahead and try it now. If nothing comes up, that’s not good!

Now you’re asking what do I put on my website? I would put basic information that sells who you are and what you do. I would also upload information on your products and services. You should include a resume, testimonials and a blog. A website is like fashion, it is never finished. You can look at my site as an example. I also write a blog and publish online newspapers. I use my blog to give my followers a value massage. This blog is published on WordPress and Tumblr. I share the content throughout my social networks. I will cover how to build a website and a blog in future posts.

The Social Networks that I would have a presence on are the following: LinkedIn,Twitter, Facebook, and Google+. I also have social sharing buttons on my site and blog. Pinterest is also a good network; however I have focused on the first four.

I would try to build a following on each these networks. Your best bet on how to do this is to share good content with people. When I started, I shared other people’s articles, and then I wrote my own. However, I still share others content that I find interesting. You can market your business with these updates. Search for people who are have an interest to what you have to offer. I have provided links to articles I have written on how to do this on these networks.

These are the basics on how to market a start up to prospects and customers.

Additional Resources

http://www.slideshare.net/Dgalantenyc/small-business-marketing-101-56503388

About the Author

Dan is passionate about using Marketing to help businesses drive sales. HubSpot Certified in Inbound Marketing, Dan has worked on various marketing assignments including Start Ups, a Political Campaign & a Digital Marketing Conference.

Prior to teaching, Dan served customers as an Outside Sales & Marketing Rep in NYC. In this role, he taught & trained Dentists on the company’s products & services using a consultative selling approach combined with direct marketing. He also supported the company’s marketing efforts at industry trade shows.

He writes & publishes a business blog on the topics of Sales, Marketing & Social Media entitled Sales, Marketing & Social Media Today; which has grown to over 17,000 followers on LinkedIn & over 13,000 on WordPress.

Dan is seeking a full-time marketing role in Direct, Inbound, Digital, Content & Social Media Marketing. He is willing to be a CMO to create and build out the Marketing function of your organization if it does not exist. If your company is hiring for roles in these areas, contact him directly via a free LinkedIn Message or email him at Dan@DanGalante.com to set up interviews.

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WordPress & Tumblr 101: Writing & Publishing an Engaging Blog Article

WordPress & Tumblr are great publishing platforms where users can create customized & branded content which includes domain names. For tips on setting up a blog click here.

Today I am going to focus on how to write & publish a killer blog article on these platforms.

image via singlehop.com

When writing a blog article, your goals are to:

1. Educate & inform readers about your products & expertise

2. Engage your readers & build an audience

Let’s examine the features of a WordPress & Tumblr blog.

The Structure of the Blog Article 

 Title

The platform provides a place for a title.

Tool Bar

Underneath the title, there is a tool bar similar to one you would see in Microsoft word that allows writers to use headings, Bold, Italics, underline, center, bullet pints and numerical lists. Users can also use the tool bar to insert links, images, and videos. (tumblr users need to click the button on the side of the blog platform for the tool bar to appear.)

Body

Next, is the body of the platform where users can write the body of their content and lastly there is the SEO tags.

Pictures/Images

Users can also upload an image at through out their article, Bloggers should  credit their image source whenever possible.

Writing on WordPress & tumblr

Now that we have described the inner workings of the the WordPress & tumblr blog, let’s describe how to write compelling posts.

Now you might be asking what topics should write about?

Popular topics are as follows:

1. Your insights on trends in your industry.

2. Case Studies

3. Topics in the News

4. How to articles that teach readers how to do something.

5. How you learned from failures and adversities.

6. Questions & Answers

The Body of your Post

Once you have chosen your topic you are ready to start writing. You must create a thesis which is the claims that you are making. This should be followed up with three to four paragraphs that prove your thesis, claim and assertion. Paragraphs should be 4 to 6 sentences when possible.

Within these paragraphs, you should use headings and  sub headings along with bullet points so your text is easy to read. The text should be visually appealing  to the reader.

In terms, of how long your post should be it is up to you. There is no set length, rather your post should be long enough to prove out your thesis, assertion and claim.

Title

Your title should reflect what the topic that you are writing about while being engaging to readers. Most people just skim the headlines as they are bombarded with content, in other words you have just seconds to catch their attention.

Popular titles include:

1. How to’s,

2. lists ex 7 ways to _______

3 A question.

4. Why ________

SEO tags Keywords

Make sure to pick keywords that reflect your topic and match the title and content

Images

Make sure when you upload images that reflect what your post is about.

Video’s/embeds

To enhance your text, you can embed videos and presentations from Slideshare & YouTube. This can be a strategy to re-purpose existing content.

Calls to action

Make sure that your posts have a call to action at the end. In other words, what action do you want your reader to take as a result of reading your post.

Sharing

You can share your post in the following ways:

1. On LinkedIn through a status update, your LinkedIn groups & messages.

2. Through the Social Sharing buttons that include LinkedIn, Facebook, Google+ & Twitter.

3. Through links

4. Ask questions of the reader that encourage them to comment and start a discussion.

This is how to write a blog post on WordPress & tumblr that engages readers & builds an audience.

What strategies do you use to write a blog post?

About the Author

Dan is passionate about using Marketing to help businesses drive sales. He has worked on various marketing assignments that include a Start Up, Political Campaign & a Digital Marketing Conference.

Prior to Teaching, Dan served customers as an Outside Sales & Marketing Representative in the Dental industry. In this role, he taught and trained Dentists on the company’s products and services using a consultative selling approach. He also supported the company’s marketing efforts at industry trade shows & in the field through lead generation of Digital Technology along with large Dental Equipment.

He writes and publishes a business blog on the topics of Sales, Marketing & Social Media entitled Sales, Marketing & Social Media Today.

Dan is seeking a full time marketing role in New York City. He is interested in roles in Direct, Digital, Content & Social Media Marketing. If your company is hiring for roles in these areas, contact him directly via a free LinkedIn Message or email him at Dan@DanGalante.com to set up interviews.

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Content Curation: 4 Ways to Improve your Content Marketing Results

4 Ways Content Curation can improve your Content Marketing Results image via wonacotpr.com

Content creation is one of the best ways to engage an audience, making it essential to content marketing. However, we simply cannot cover every single topic in our industry. This is where content curation comes in handy, content curation is where you share the work of others in your industry. Content curation can enhance your content marketing efforts in the following ways: it offers users a fresh perspective on a topic, sharing others work can plug a hole because you can’t write about every single topic in your industry and you are engaging the person whose content you are sharing. Sharing the content of others is key if you hope to get your content shared.

Content curation takes many forms across social networks but it always comes back to sharing the work of others and celebrating them. By celebrating others, content curators get to build relationships with those in their industry allowing reciprocity. In other works, people will help each other get their message out because they are part of digital community.

Content can be shared in the following ways:

1. On blogs.

2. On social networks.

3 Through online publications.

4 Guest blogging/Content Syndication

1.Blogs WordPress/tumblr

Blogs are a great way to create content and share ideas. Blogging platforms such as WordPress & tumblr have a like button and a reblog function. The like button allows user to say they like a piece of content and a reblog button allows users to republish a blog they like on their own blog. When a user reblogs a piece of content from another blog, the original publisher is notified of the reblog or share. A reblog is much more powerful than a like although a publisher see both types of notifications.

Blogs also allow users to categorize topics with endless SEO tags. Users can also search out keywords or tags to find related content on a topic which they can reblog. In addition to reblogging, users can share blogs to other social networks such as LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook & Google+ etc… by clicking share buttons embedded on the platforms.

LinkedIn Long form Posts

LinkedIn also has a blogging platform of it’s own called the long form post. Users can curate content in the following ways: clicking the like button, sharing the article which will appear as a status update, sharing the article in groups, using social share buttons to share content to Twitter & Facebook and of course LinkedIn. Each piece of content in LinkedIn is indexed with three SEO tags that categorize it by topic. Users can also embed content from Slideshare along with videos. This can be a great way to share your work and that of others in the form of a blog.

LinkedIn Slideshare

Slidseshare is a great tool for content curation. The site was acquired by LinkedIn. Slideshare allows users to upload documents,  presentations and videos. Users can create descriptions of the content, a category along with SEO tags to further categorize the information. Slideshare is a great way to repurpose content. Content on Slideshare can be shared to social networks via sharing buttons & embedded on other blogging platforms such as LinkedIn, WordPress & tumblr.  Slideshare is a platform in itself.

2. Social Networks

Social networks such as Twitter, Facebook and Google+ offer users like and share buttons that allow users to curate content that they like. All three networks allow users to categorize & index content by topics using #hashtags.

Twitter

Twitter allows users to create lists based on topics they found interesting. Users can add other users to lists. This helps to build a digital community by uniting people around common interests. Tweets are also indexed in Google.

Facebook 

Facebook is similar to Twitter in the sense that it let’s users tag content based status updates; helping users to reach beyond friends and followers. Facebook also allows users to share content in groups as well. Facebook is partnered with Microsoft’s Bing Search engine.

Google+ 

Google+ is similar to Facebook in the sense that it allows users to join groups. It is also helpful for content curation because the results are indexed in it’s search engine. The like button is a plus one button and Google+  has  a sharing button. Users can also use hashtags and build a community based on topic as well.

3. Online Publications

Online newspapers and newsletters are another great way to curate content. Flipboard is a great site. I like Paper.li Users can sign up with Facebook or Twitter. Paper.li allows users to customize newspapers and is a great way to curate content. Users can pull content from multiple sources to create newspapers based on topics. These sources include RSS feeds social networks, lists, hashtags etc… These newspapers celebrate the work of others by mentioning them on social networks in the form of a status update. I have gained a lot of followers this way. There are countless sharing sites out there.

4. Guest Blogging/ Content Syndication

Writing on other blogs is a great way to get your message to a wider audience and it allows the blog owner to curate great content that happens to be yours. This can be a great way to build up a following. Another way to use curate content is to syndicate your content. Content syndication is when your share your blog’s RSS feed with other websites. When you share your RSS feed, your content can be shared to multiple websites simultaneously when you publish on your blog. tumblr offers a widget where you can share a blog on a stand alone website.

These are some content curation strategies you can use to improve your content marketing results. How do you curate content?

About the Author

Dan is passionate about using Marketing to help businesses drive sales. He has worked on various marketing assignments that include a Start Up, Political Campaign & a Digital Marketing Conference.

Prior to Teaching, Dan served customers as an Outside Sales & Marketing Representative in the Dental industry. In this role, he taught and trained Dentists on the company’s products and services using a consultative selling approach. He also supported the company’s marketing efforts at industry trade shows & in the field through lead generation of Digital Technology along with large Dental Equipment.

He writes and publishes a business blog on the topics of Sales, Marketing & Social Media entitled Sales, Marketing & Social Media Today.

Dan is seeking a full time marketing role in New York City. He is interested in roles in Direct, Digital, Content & Social Media Marketing. If your company is hiring for roles in these areas, contact him directly via a free LinkedIn Message or email him at Dan@DanGalante.com to set up interviews.

My Digital Marketing/Social Media/Content Marketing Insights Part 1

Below are my topic marketing insights by topic.

Digital Marketing/Social Media/Content Marketing

How to Get Started on Social Media

Today, many people and organizations are using Social Media to get their message out. If you are not using Social Media you are missing  an opportunity. The major Social networks are LinkedIn, Twitter ,Facebook tumblr, & WordPress. These networks have similarities in the sense they are designed for people to communicate. Below is how to get started on these platforms.

2 Tools Brands can use to increase Customer Engagement & Reach

Screen-shots and hash-tags are an invaluable tool for marketers to reach and sell products to their audience. The old adage is that a picture is worth a 1000 words. As the fields of Marketing and Advertising shift to digital and mobile formats, the power of the image to tell stories and get your message across are the new tools of the 21st Century.

How to use Google Analytics on your Website & Blog

Google Analytics is a great way to monitor your efforts online. It allows you to see how many people are visiting your site, the duration of their visit, what content they are looking at and from what network. You can also see what country they are from. Another thing you could do is to set custom goals to check for certain things. The site allows you to measure the amount of traffic that comes from social networks. To access this, just click under the social tab under traffic sources. Google Analytics also lets you track your Adwords campaigns. I use Google Analytics for my website and tumblr blog.Today I am going to discuss how to setup Google Analytics for your website and blog.

How to Optimize your LinkedIn Profile for Storytelling

A LinkedIn profile is a great opportunity to show case who you are and what you can do for others.  To effectively show case yourself with your LinkedIn profile, you need to be able to tell a story that is credible and engaging. How do you tell a story on LinkedIn with your profile? There are 5 Steps you need to take in order to optimize your profile for storytelling.

How to use @Twitter to build an Audience & Engage Customers

Twitter is also a great marketing tool for brands to promote products and services. Twitter has a few hundred million users worldwide. Getting started with Twitter is quick and easy. To get started using Twitter you need to do thefollowing:

Pinned Tweets have now Gone Mobile: How to Pin Tweets from your iOS & Android Device

Twitter now let’s users Pin Tweets from iOS & Android Devices. Here is how to pin your Tweets.

Content Marketing-Blogging & Content Curation

How to Start Blogging on WordPress & tumblr

Writing a blog is great way to share your ideas and market your expertise in an area. I began blogging back in November 2011. Blogging had connected me with so many great people around the globe. I began publishing on the WordPress platform. Recently, I began cross publishing my blog on Tumblr. In this post, I am going to discuss how to set up your blog on WordPress and tumblr.

How to Create & Curate Content through Blogging

Blogging is a great way to build your brand and market your products to the masses. Writing a blog allows you to demonstrate your expertise through writing. Blogging helps to provide prospects and customers with valuable information. Providing valuable information helps to position you as an expert and a resource. (Content Creation)

Popular blog posts formats are:

How to use Content Marketing for Lead & Demand Generation

Content Marketing is a great way to connect and engage with potential customers. Only through thoughtful connecting and engagement with others will you be able to obtain quality leads and create demand for your products.

How to Curate Content using Paper.li

Blogging is a great way to establish and market yourself as an expert. However, there is only so much you can write on a topic in a time period. This is where content curation comes into play. Besides writing, experts share articles and opinion of others in their field. This can come in the form of a retweet on Twitter, like on Facebook, +1 on Google plus and various other forms of re-sharing. However, if you want to curate content from multiple sources, an online newspaper comes in handy. This is where Paper.li comes in.

Small Business Marketing

How to Market your Small Business to Potential Customers

For your small business to have any success in generating sales, you have to know four things:

9 Ways to Generate Leads for your Business

Lead Generation is an essential building block for businesses to find potential buyers who are interested in their products and services. In previous posts, I discussed how to prospect and identify your target market. In this post, I will discuss how businesses can find leads and what mediums can be used to obtain leads.

How to Qualify and Convert Leads into Sales

In my last post, I wrote about the various ways businesses can get leads. Now that you have collected all these leads, what do you do with them? In this post, I will discuss how to qualify and close the leads you get.

Prior to calling on the leads you need to do the following:

How Businesses can use the Power of Word of Mouth Marketing

Word of Mouth Marketing is one of the most powerful tools that you can use to build your business. Whether you are a Sales Rep or run a small business, what customers and prospects say about you determines the kind of success you have.

Word of Mouth Marketing or WOMM is what your customers and prospects say about you when you are not around.

About the Author

Dan is passionate about using Marketing to help businesses drive sales. He has worked on various marketing assignments that include a Start Up,Political Campaign & a Digital Marketing Conference.

Prior to Teaching, Dan served customers as an Outside Sales & Marketing Representative in the Dental industry. In this role, he taught and trained Dentists on the  company’s products and services using a consultative selling approach. He also supported the company’s marketing efforts at industry trade shows & in the field through lead generation of Digital Technology along with large Dental Equipment.

He writes and publishes a business blog on the topics of Sales, Marketing & Social Media entitled Sales, Marketing & Social Media Today.

Dan is seeking a full time marketing role in New York City. He is interested in roles in Direct, Digital, Content & Social Media Marketing. If your company is hiring for roles in these areas, contact him directly via a free LinkedIn Message or email him at Dan@DanGalante.com to set up interviews.