Cool Ideas, Random Thoughts, Business Tricks
Well I hope everyone had a great holiday and rested up. We are 10 days into the new year and so lets get started. Today I am blogging about some cool stuff I shared with my friends / family over the holidays. Hope you like the topics!
I use Google daily and like most people, its my Search Engine of choice. But I also use many other features of Google. For example, when I am researching new businesses for myself or clients, I pop over to Google HotTrends. Here I can enter in some ideas, services, products and see how popular they are and get some ideas who is looking for what. I have searched and found that you can have 200,000 people searching for dog beds one month and see a corresponding trend in people travelling with their pets.
The HotTrends change hourly and so you can get some pretty current stats. Flushing out a home business idea? Wondering how many people search for certain topics? Then take a look at some of Googles less popular services. They are FREE and can provide many hours of excellent information…some of it hard to find elsewhere.
Here is another great example: Lets say you want to sell homemade doll clothing. You do a search of the trends and notice that over 175,000 people searched for doll clothing and furniture. And you notice that the trend is really taking off over the past 2 years. Now you don’t have time to start a doll clothing business. But there is another option. Become an affiliate of someone who DOES SELL Doll Clothing and furniture. There are thousands of companies that do and will pay you for orders. Tow big examples of companies that pay affiliate income for referrals…. AMAZON and WALMART.
The Power of Surveys and Open Communication – Over the past years of writing marketing plans, I liked to do some basic research for clients.
Here is one technique I used that helped me get immediate results. A client might develop a new Service ( lets call it Service “A”). He/She wants to promote this service in town but has some competition. So I might talk to local businesses that would benefit from Service “A” and ask them:
- “Are you happy with “Competitor B” and the services they offer”? You would be surprised how many companies will use one of your competitors but they really don’t like the service and simply are reluctant to change (we can fix that).
- “What would it take to get you to move your business AWAY from Competitor B”? Its amazing again how little it can take. But most businesses rarely think to ask consumers.
- “Have you ever experienced a loss, flood and other stressful event in your business”? I throw this question out as its usually unexpected and will open up some discussion on their aches and pains in the business. Remember, you are there to provide a SOLUTION to a PROBEM they have.
Broaden Your Market and Region
A few years ago, I realized that I always targeted the same type of industries for web design. And I always wondered what I was missing. So I started to list different types of businesses that we DIDN’T normally target. When I did approach them, I found many awesome businesses that valued my services or web development. But here is the kicker, for many, it was not about selling products or services. So you ask yourself, what else could it be? Well, many wanted a web presence for their suppliers. Others wanted a portal that staff could login into and download sales literature. I also had some that wanted to cut down on the phone calls they got for directions to their shop. All great reasons to have a web site.
The above seems simple and basic. But, I can honestly say that most people don;t THINK about the different services or options they can provide businesses. Reinvent your business, try new directions in how you market to people and make 2014 an exciting year.
Social Media Tips
Most of us use Social Media like Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Google+ and more. There are easily a million methods of getting better results from social media for a business. But the secret is that its about relationships. I won’t go into a pile of detail but here are some ideas and thoughts.
- Vary the time of Day that you post Twitter posts. And the same with Facebook. Its easy to track what works and what doesn’t. Certain days of the week can make a big difference as well. I find with over 600 friends on Facebook that I can post in the am when I start work and by the end of the day, many people come home, check out Facebook and my post is BURIED. Many evenings, I will see a new post every 30-50 seconds getting posted between 7:30 pm and 9:00 pm.
- Read some of Gary Veynarchuk’s books on how people USE Facebook and Twitter. Research the demographics of WHO uses Pinterest and how they base buying decisions. This information is GOLD and you can use it when starting an online business.
- When I work with clients offering specific products (such as Ski Wear) I will create an AD on Facebook and then go in and tweak the settings so that I can calculate how many people share certain hobbies or interests. For example, if a prospective buyer of your products likes Ski Wear, then it might be worthwhile knowing if they watch Oprah or Ellen and also like decorating and volleyball. You can build a profile and find there are over 450,000 people who match the person you are trying to reach. No need to run the ad right away, they idea is to research the market and determine if you can sell a product t this group.
Last tip today – If you are an Apple iPhone / iPad user ( I started using both 6 months ago) there are some incredible apps for editing video and producing some high definition videos that you can use for personal use or business. The quality of the apps are incredible and I can provide you with some recommendations. Here are just a few that I use on my iPhone ) available through the App Store:
- Extras For iMovie
- FILMic Pro
** I have to mention one thing about FILMic Pro that I really like – I can lock in both the exposure and the focus separately in seconds and get some awesome videos and pictures that are not washed out or out of focus. This is clearly one of my favourite apps.
Okay, thats it for today! Have a great January and watch for another post in the next few days. Have a question? Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and I will post a response in my next issue.