Root Four: How To Create a Rockin’ Product


In Root Two we discussed using Google Keyword Tool to discover your perfect business niche. Now Girl EnTREEpreneur is going to show women in business how to create a Rockin’ product or service.  Here are the questions you need to consider:

Questions:

1. Who Is Your Customer?  Define in exact terms who your target market is.

2. What Do They Need?  What product or service would make them excited?

3. What Do They Fear?  What product or service would take them out of pain?

4. What Do They Follow?  Television, music, internet, education, social.

5. What Do They Hate/Frustrate?  How can you solve this hate or frustration?

6. What Do They Dream About?  How can you help them fulfill their dreams?

7. What Would Make Them Happy?  Needs can you meet that would cause happiness.

8. What Makes Life Easier?  How could your product or service make life easier?

9. How Can I Help Them.  Deep service and the meeting of needs creates gold.

10. What Results Do They Want? Can you give them a result they strongly desire?

Seed Four: 7 Critical Ingredients for a Successful Startup


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Ingredient One: FAITH

The Merriam-Webster dictionary defines “Faith” as, “fidelity to one’s promises” or “firm belief in something for which there is no proof.”  For the entrepreneur, there may be no higher requirement than Faith.

Can we talk?  Starting a business is hard.  It always costs more – takes longer – is harder – than you might think.

And Faith is the bonfire on the shore when your Entrepreneur-ship is battered and torn by the waves and storms of mistakes and misdirections, fears and the ache of rejection.

So don’t set a goal; make a promise – and believe.

Ingredient Two: PASSION

Passion

On the start-up journey, if you are not passionate about your product or service or the process of starting a business, you will soon start second guessing yourself, stop working the long hours and eventually succumb to Cheetos, the remote — and obscurity.

Be passionate and bring something great into the world and you will be rewarded.

Ingredient Three: MARKET

Ok, yeah, I’m the girl who said you have to have a product or service you are passionate about, but you also have to have a market.

Passionate about making small mud Justin Bieber figurines?  Yes, strangely enough there may be a market.  (As I write this, Justin Beiber has 40.4 million twitter followers – really people?).  But if you are passionate about making mud figures of, let’s say, Cloris Leachman, start bailing water – you’re in a sinking ship.

At Girl EnTREEpreneur, we always follow the sacred Girl formula:

LOCATE A HUNGRY POOL OF FISH.  FIND OUT WHAT THEY WANT TO EAT. 

FEED THEM.  FEED THEM AGAIN.

So, connect to your passion but then do your homework and make certain there is a hungry pool of fish waiting to be fed.  Then feed em’!

Ingredient Four: UNIQUE SELLING PROPOSITION

In almost every episode of Shark Tank, Mr. Wonderful, says something like, “You know Sharon, can’t I just hire a pack of trained monkeys to copy your chocolate cookie recipe and put you out of business in a week?” 

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Well, yes, he always has a point.

Your product has to have a unique and protected selling proposition.  Chocolate chip cookies?  It’s been done.  Your mom’s secret brownie recipe?  It’s been done. Chocolate cookies shaped like Justin Beiber with a small wispy lock of his hair in each one?  Maybe pure gold!  (I can’t believe I’m writing this, but it might sell)!!!

And if you own the licensing rights, the sky’s the limit. Find a way to feed your fish in a unique way.  Even if you are eventually copied, if you build a brand, you’ll still be ahead of the curve.

Ingredient Five: Weapon of Choice

Ok, now you have something you’re passionate about, there is a market for it and it is somehow unique.  It’s time to choose your weapons of choice.  There are hundreds of ways to get the word out.  Will you be an affiliate?  Will you start a website?  Should you market using Google Adwords? What about Social Media?  Would Fiver work?

Examine your options and then decide the best ways to market and deliver your product or service.

Ingredient Six: ACTION

I have a friend who makes to-do lists to make to-do lists, but he never gets anything done.

Take action!  Make a plan and execute.  If it doesn’t work change it.  If it still doesn’t work?  You guessed it – change it again.  If it still doesn’t work?  Don’t make me say it – change it again.  Keep acting until you succeed.

Ingredient Seven: FREEDOM AND GIVING BACK

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The last INGREDIENT is reaping the rewards of you hard work and dedication.  Imagine the freedom you will feel when you are financially independent.  You will know the journey has been worth the effort.

And finally, true happiness only comes from giving.  Imagine how you will feel when you know you have plenty to give and that you are making a difference in people’s lives.

Guest Blogger: BOSSWORK DISCUSSES FOUR QUESTIONS YOU SHOULD THINK ABOUT WHEN CONSIDERING A WEBSITE


Bosswork Business SolutionsIf you ask any business owner, they will tell you that having a website is essential. Not only will the website add credibility to your business, it will also make it easier for interested people to locate you 24hours a day.  So of course you need a site, that’s the easy part. But what do you need to think about before you get started is really what’s important.  Here are a few examples of the some important items you may want to consider before getting started on your website.

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  • What’s the purpose of the website?  Are you informing people about your business or are you generating sales?  Think of it as “what is the action that I want to compel the website visitor to do.” It may be to call and make an appointment or possibly whip out the Amex and make a purchase. Every business’ call to action will be different, but it must provide a benefit to the visitor for them to become a potential customer.
  • Is content important? Most people know how they want their website to look, but don’t have a clear concise message they want to convey on the website. Of course the design and functionality is important, but the content is key.  Use the content on your site not to overload the visitor, but compel them to continue browsing. Set a timeline of scheduled content updates and maintenance as well.  This will give the site a fresh, up to date feel, while giving the visitor another reason for him/her to return to the site. Do not become the business owner that builds the site and forgets about it.  Your website will not work for you unless you work for your site.
  • How will I gauge my sites performance? Sometimes a business will get the site and celebrate the completed feat of joining the World Wide Web. I know that this is a great feeling of having your personal site that visitors come directly for you, unlike with Twitter and Facebook pages. But after the excitement, you have to drive traffic to your site, and analyzing your sites’ stats to determine what exactly is effective is important. If you have an E-commerce site, you can always review your sales to determine popular items and what the customers want. But with informational sites, it is a little different.  Your developer can offer analytic tools that will help you monitor how your website visitors behave once on your site. These statistics can tell you how many times pages are visited, where visitors come from, keywords used, how long they stayed, etc. This information is very helpful in determining if what you’re doing is working and which should be changed for the better.
  • How do I initially incorporate Search Engine Optimization? It is crucial to maintain a high position on the search engines like Google, Yahoo, Bing, and others. Optimize your website with keywords or phrases that will be used frequently in search engines. Choose the right ratio of general keywords to specific ones to attract the most members of your target market. Keeping your site updated is another great tool at optimizing your site. The more updates you do, and the more valuable the information your site has on it, the higher your site will rise in search rankings.

While getting a new website is a very exciting time in your business’ lifespan, understand that you have to dedicate time and effort into making your site easy to find and a place for returning visitors.  While all of this may sound overwhelming, the truth is your business needs a website if you want any share of credibility. However, don’t go into the process blind and curb expectations, but this will be one of the greatest investments for the growth of your business.

 

By Kedric Carswell, CEO of Bosswork Business Solutions. Your premiere marketing firm specializing in mobile apps and websites.

Girl Entreepreneur Boss Work

Website: www.bosswork.biz

Email: kcarswell@bosswork.biz

Twitter: twitter.com/bossworkbiz

Instagram: instagram.com/bossworkbiz

Pinterest: pinterest.com/bosswork

Guest Blogger: Carlo Panadian Discusses Cheap and Effective Ways for Small Businesses Without Resident Marketing Skills to Create a Marketing Plan


Marketing can appear a very daunting prospect – especially for entrepreneurs and SMEs who have no resident marketing skills. In addition there’s the cost to consider; marketing plans appear to need significant sums of money behind them – something that isn’t always possible for smaller businesses. However, there are ways and means through which you can launch your own campaigns without too much technical expertise and without a bucket of cash.

Before you go anywhere near the Internet, you need to ask yourself a number of questions:

  • Who are the types of people you are marketing to?
  • Where does your target demographic live?
  • How do you communicate your message, so that it ends up in front of them?

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Getting in with the Community

Once you’ve answered these questions, it’s worth taking some time to work out what your long-term and short-term goals are for your business. As you do so, you may find that certain strategies reveal themselves, perhaps based around who your demographic is and where they live.

If you are planning to start locally, then you might want to consider launching some events that are designed to raise awareness of your brand. You might consider things like fund-raising events, entering charity events or even holding giveaways in the town centre. Whatever you do, be sure to inform the local press and radio. You can also contact your local newspaper and offer them some copy that focuses on your business. Papers are always looking for articles, especially if they highlight something that’s changing within the community.

In addition, don’t discount ideas because they’re frivolous; often the most attention-grabbing strategies are those that involve a healthy dose of humor.

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Further Afield

For further-reaching strategies, it’s worth looking at the benefits offered by social networking sites. Sites such as Facebook and Twitter offer a broad reach, but require a bit more attention. Whether you set up a Facebook page for your business or open a Twitter account, the key is to try and establish a relationship with your potential customers – one that isn’t based around hard-sell. For example, if you Tweet, then eight of ten of those short messages should be aimed at generating an interesting point of view, rather than being advertisements; it’s called ‘social’ interaction for a reason.

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On the Blog

Building a website isn’t difficult and they don’t have to have bells and whistles. Companies such as WordPress offer cheap and easy-to-use templates that are well within the capabilities of even the most confirmed technophobe. Apart from stating what your product or service is, the most important part of your site is the blog. Through blogging, you can express opinions, comment and establish yourself as an expert in your field.

However, be sure to link your blogs to your social media accounts. The point of a blog is to generate interest in your points of view and, as a result, drive traffic to your website. If you don’t, your website will be as redundant as keeping an attractive car in a garage; it’ll look great, but no one will see it.

Author: Carlo Pandian is a keen observer of the start-up world and writes about marketing, business software such as Intuit accounting and productivity. He has previously spoken for the members of the Centre of Excellence for Women’s Entrepreneurship on how to promote small business online.

Guest Blogger Karlyn Lothery Asks What Kind of Communicator Are You: Creator, Magician, Ruler, or Caregiver?


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As an entrepreneur you are either trying to sell people on your ideas, products or services, or some combination of them all. Whether your audience is made up of one or one thousand, remember this one simple truth: great communication makes the difference between where you are, and where you want to be!  Add on the fact that, according to the National Institute for Mental Health, 74% of all people admit to suffering from some form of speech anxiety and you may be committing some communication mistakes that are hurting your potential for success.

  • Your communication style should reflect the following:
  • Your brand as an individual
  • Your business brand, since the business is often and extension of the entrepreneur who runs it
  • How you serve your customers’ needs

If you do all three well, you’ll close more business and make more money.

So let’s get back to the blog title question, where I ask what “brand archetype” fits you and your business. In marketing, there are 12 generally accepted brand archetypes that consumers recognize. Those with a clearly defined brand are more memorable and allow people to trust them more easily.  Today, we’ll focus on the first four: the Creator does just that, like Loews helps you “build something together.” The Caregiver helps you care for others like Life Alert and Hoveround. The Ruler enables people to take control, like VISA “everywhere you want to be.” Or the Magician, who is, frankly, me. I help people eliminate their fear and dislike for public speaking so they can connect with their customers and employees in a more concise, confident and compelling way.

Once you identify your brand as an individual, you can develop a communication style for optimum success. Your style includes three very simple components: Your message, voice tone and body language. 93% of the impact you have on your listener is influenced by the latter two. In fact the biggest mistakes happen in these two areas. Some women who get nervous get the sing-song or valley girl tone. They appear afraid and inexperienced. Men who are nervous or uncomfortable might default to the other extreme of monotone and flat delivery.  They appear disinterested or aloof. And let’s not forget what most people do when they are nervous:  they’ll fidget, or worse, read their notes or PowerPoint and forget all about eye contact and audience connection.  You can’t appear confident, capable, and ready to do business, if you’re committing one of the many communication faux pas made by most business professionals. The biggest challenge in overcoming these issues, isn’t nerves. It’s self-awareness. Most people don’t know they’re committing these and other mistakes, and most audiences won’t tell you! They just talk about you after you finish.

Once you get your delivery style in line, you must focus all of your attention on your message. After all, even the most attractive and engaging speakers need substance to leave a lasting impression. For example, are you speaking about what interests your audience? Do you use their language or your own jargon? Does your message include language that reflects your brand?

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  • Creator: Build, create, start, initiate, grow, etc.
  • Caregiver:  Protect, save, support, provide, etc.
  • Ruler: Lead, empower, demonstrate, strengthen, etc.
  • Magician: Empower, enhance, transform, improve, showcase, strengthen, eliminate, etc.

If you use fillers (um, like, you know, kind of, sort of, a little bit) and words that lack confidence (maybe, possibly, try) you won’t have the impact you want on the people you’re trying to influence. The good news is, there are plenty of ways to refine your message, you just need to be clear on what you want to say. Good luck and may all of your prospects lead to new business!

Karlyn Lothery is a communication specialist and founder of Lothery & Associates LLC.

For More Great Karlyn Communication Advice: Karlyn Tip of the Week
Email: Karlyn@Lothery.com 
Twitter: @Prepare2Speak 
Website: http://www.lothery.com/

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Branch Two: 5 MORE Must See Video Making Secrets


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As I discussed in Branch One, my video equipment has arrived and I’m setting up the studio in my basement.  It’s almost rock’n roll time.  Video is a MUST if you want to reach more people.  Gary Vaynerchuk, social media genius, discusses on Fox News just how easy it can be and the importance of humanizing your brand and relating to people.

So here are five MORE tips including some recommended equipment although you only really need a video camera.

TIP 1:   BUY THE RIGHT STUFF

I almost hate to mention Koenigs again, but his gig is all about internet video and he has really great content.  At Traffic Geyser you can view  his free product, HD $200 Studio.  Basically he says, buy: (1) Kodak Play Touch Camera, (2) Manfroto 785b tripod, (3) Audio Technica Lavalier Mic (4) a soft box lighting kit.

You will also need video editing software.  For PC we recommend Camtasia and for Screenflow for Mac.

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TIP 2:   DEVELOP YOUR OWN YOUTUBE CHANNEL

If you really want your stuff to rank really well on YouTube, you need an authoritative channel with lots of subscribers.  Views are pretty cheap to buy on Youtube and the larger number of views appears authoritative to YouTube and Google.

Youtube lets you include links to other YouTube pages.  Make sure you include this on all your videos to drive viewers to your channel page.

TIP 3:   BE INTERESTING, EMOTIONAL and MEMORABLE

Having great content is not enough.  People want to be entertained.  Be interesting, be full of emotion, be memorable AND provide great content.

TIP 4:   PICK UP FREE VIDEO TRAINING

Distilled.net has a great FREE resource called, “The Distilled Guide to Online Video Marketing.” I highly recommend it.  And did I mention its FREE?!

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TIP 5: MAKE YOUR VIDEO START RIGHT AWAY

If you have just asked for an email in exchange for a video or video series, give them the video RIGHT AWAY and DO NOT WAIT for the play button to be clicked.  Make sure your video is set up to start right away.

Brendon Burchard has been testing different results for opt in video classes and he had determined that a substantial amount of people, who have just entered their name and email fail to watch the video given to them.  My guess is that each person thinks, “hmm, I don’t have time for this now.  I’ll just watch it later.”  And of course, they never do.

Here is a good example of what I’m talking about: http://www.totalproductblueprint.com/

So, that’s it for now.  Next time we will hear from Karlyn Lothery, founder of Lothery and Associates, about developing your own unique and effective communication style and then on to our first video.  “See” you soon!

 

Branch One: 5 Secrets You Must Know For Successful Videos


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Alright, I’ll admit it.  Call the priest.  I have a confession to make.

Now, it’s probably not what you’re thinking.  No I haven’t been executing hits for the CIA or coveting my neighbors new Arhaus furniture — ok, bad example, as I have been coveting her really awesome furniture, but I digress.

It’s something less sinister, but in many ways much more embarrassing.  It is — video.

There.  I’ve said it.  Ok Mike Koenigs, Brendon Burchard, Jeff Walker and Marie Forleo, now you can just back the heck up.  I’ve heard you!

You see.  I’ve long known that to get your message out in a big way, you’ve got to do video.  Period.

But, like most of you, there are big “buts”.  But I won’t look right.  But, I don’t know how to hold my hands.  But need a new hairstyle.  But like really, does my voice actually sound like that?

So in blogging, advertising and trying to get our words out, most of us are comfortable hiding behind words and avoiding the camera, but without video, your chances of growing big are greatly diminished.

And, in order to really serve you with SEO, Keyword searches and finding your market niche, I have to show you.

So, with some amount of trepidation and a little excitement, and armed with the knowledge that the top marketers on the planet say video is a must, this week I’m working on my first video so I can give you the best info you deserve.

With that though, I’m going to give you the best practices from the top video marketing minds on the planet.

1.    NO VIDEO IS NO OPTION

The great Anthony Robbins lists Mike Koenigs, Brendon Burchard, Jeff Walker and Marie Forleo as some of the “New Money Masters.”  Why?  Yes, they all have great content, but how did they get the word out?  In a word – VIDEO.  They were not afraid to step up and provide great (and also free) video content.

Jeff Walker admits he’s an introvert, but he still does video.  If an introvert like Jeff can force himself in front of a camera, then so can you.

One other convincing number — 1.8 million words.  That’s the value of one minute of video, according to Dr. James McQuivey of Forrester Research.  Do you have time to write 1.8 million words?  I didn’t think so.  Do video.

2.    GIVE VALUABLE FREE ADVICE

Your videos should not be old school shout it out advertisements.  Give massive value.

The experts all give away tons of free video advice.  In fact, the whole basis of Walker’s Product Launch Formula and Burchard’s Total Product Blueprint as well as their entire web presence is to give away such great and valuable content that trust and excitement is built.  By the time a product is actually launched, they’ve built up so much trust and excitement that there is always a buying frenzy.

Image3.   THE 10x10x10 MARKET DOMINATION FORMULA

Mike Koenigs has four steps to a great video campaign: (1) Write down the top ten frequently asked questions about your product or service; (2) Write down the top ten questions a buyer SHOULD be asking, (3) Record 20 short Q&A videos (30 seconds to 2 minutes long) (4) Record 4 short “mini” videos.

At the end of each video tell the people where to go to get all 20 videos in exchange for their emails.  After you send them the 20 videos, you’ll have earned permission to email them with new great content as well as product opportunities.

4.    GET THE WORD OUT

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Youtube is one of the top search engines on the planet and other video sharing sites are a must in your video distribution arsenal.

In short, that means you have no excuse not to distribute and dominate anywhere you can from video sharing sites such as Youtube, Vimeo, Metcafe, Google Videos, Facebook, Vines and Daily Motion, to social networks, blogs podcast directories and through tags in social bookmarking communities.

In short, think of it this way: 20 videos x 50 sites = 1,000 outbound messages.

You may also want to look into paid services such as Koenigs’ Traffic Geyser, which will greatly aid you in video distribution.

5.    TELL EM’ WHERE TO GO

What good is your video if there is no call to action?  At the end of each video show the web address of where the customer should go and say something like, “If you enjoyed this information and would like to receive 20 free videos of _____________, visit (web address).

Also, many hosting solutions allow you to add clickable links at the end of each of your videos and you can also overlay links on top of an embedded HTML5 video of you using Javascript.  These links won’t help your ranking with Google, but it will make it easier for your customers to click through and drive traffic.

Marie

Leaf One: 10 Ways to Make Money Online


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The Sunday sun is setting outside your window. The shadows and gloom seem darker in another way – you have work tomorrow and can already feel it in your stomach. 

“Where did the weekend go?” you sigh, taking a long sip of wine while digging under a pile of bills for the television remote.  “There has got to be a better way.”

Well, if you’re at Girl EnTREEpreneur (which you are), as soon as I’m finished I will share with you the white paper I’ve been working on, 73 Ways to Make Money Online.  It includes traditional ways and all of the new cutting-edge ways you can make money online.  In the coming weeks, I’ll give you the inside scoop on how you can get your free copy, but for now I can say there are a lot of strategies I’ve used and many new ones I’m just now getting darned excited about.

In Seed Two and Seed Three, we looked at finding our passion and narrowing it down into 9 keywords.

ImageAnd in the coming articles, I’ll show you how to locate a rich market niche and figure out how to serve it and build a wonderful ebusiness.  I normally think of an ebusiness in terms of a website, but it’s better to think more broadly.  There are many ways to make money online. 

1.   Cash In on Your Product or Service: 

Marketing your own products or services has never been easier.  Hosted storefronts like Big Commerce, goEmerchant and Miva Merchant make setting up and monetizing easier than it has ever been.  And marketing through entities such as Amazon, Ebay, Clickbank, Craigslist, Backpage, Hoobly,  and OLX make it easier to get the word out.

2.   Selling for the Man – Affiliate Marketing:

If you think someone else’s products or services are really valuable to people and you want to promote them, you can use all the tools listed above.  This is called affiliate marketing and many companies from Amazon to Lush Cosmetics to Sephora pay YOU to market their products or services.  You can find out if a company has an affiliate program by looking at the bottom of their home page to sign up.  Amazon pays commissions up to 20%.  You can also peruse sites such as Clickbank, Linkshare, Commission Junction, Shareasale and Pepper Jam to find even higher commissions – up to 75%.  I’ve found on average companies pay approximately 10%.

3.   Microjobs and Freelancing:

Twenty years ago, if you were the best portrait painter of panthers living in India, really, who would care?  But now, with sites such as Elance, Guru or Freelancer, the world will beat a path to your panther painting door.

These sites allow potential employers to post jobs that can be anything from copywriting, to electrical engineering to ecommerce web design.  And if you have a specialized skill and just love to use it, you can look for any of the thousands of jobs posted and bid to do the work. It could be a big business for you just waiting to happen.

4.   Blog It Up:

Setting up a blog has never been easier.  For example, at Blogger you can set up a blog for free without knowing squat about web design or ecommerce.  And, blogger makes it a breeze to add Google AdSense so you get paid anytime your readers click on an ad.  You can also bring in the cash by CPM (Cost Per Thousand), CPA / Affiliate Adds (Cost Per Action), Test Links, In-Text Advertising, RSS Feed Ads and more.  Blogs also open the door to selling your own products or services.

5.   Ebay:

Yep, Ebay.  I know it’s been around forever, but for a good reason.  Ebay is a great location to sell niche products.  Sites such as ProStores provide an online ecommerce platform that lets you design a storefront that fully integrates with eBay.

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 6.   Micro-Money:

You can offer your product or service for five bucks at Fiverr.com or for ten at Tenerr.com.  Thousands of people offer services from things like, “I’ll draw you as a Simpson’s cartoon” to “I’ll record a movie voice for you.”  Find a good niche and exploit it.

7.   The Answer Guy (or Girl):

Know a lot about blogging or car repairs?  At kgbanswers or JustAnswers you can become an expert after taking a brief test.  When a customer asks a question you can get cash by answering it.

8.   Crafty Business:

Do you sew, make handkerchiefs, design voodoo dolls from match sticks?  If you do, you can sell any homemade crafts at Etsy, a virtual craft and hobby marketplace.

9.   Professor for Hire:

Sites like Demand Studios hire experienced freelance writers, editors and filmmakers.  Do you like to tweet?  Paidpertweet, AdDynamo, and GetpaidtoTweet will pay you for your audience. 

10. Get my free download soon!