Tag: LinkedIn

Transitioning to Entrepreneur from Corporate America

by Bryan Janeczko, to see the original post click here.

Working at home
Working at home (Photo credit: gibsonsgolfer)
More and more Americans are leaving the corporate world to start their own business. While some strike out to create a new industry or move in an entirely different direction, most decide to start businesses in the industry they have worked in throughout their corporate career.

Basing your startup in a field you know well offers many obvious benefits. Contacts, peers and clients can be transformed into co-founders, employees and customers. Familiarity with the market or manufacturing process, on-the-job training from their previous employers and even access to groups and associations in their industry are just a few of these clear advantages.

But, not all is perfect. There are some downsides to having a corporate background before becoming an entrepreneur, and they are more likely and pronounced if one has spent a long time in corporate America. Here are the key disadvantages:

1. Lack of Flexibility

In the corporate world people get accustomed to and even dependent on many things that just don’t work in an entrepreneurial environment. Complicated organizational charts, detailed and specific processes, reliance on big-brand suppliers, and similar things create a rigidity that takes away the nimbleness of their small business. Don’t try to beat the big guys at their own game; you need to be quicker, more responsive, and more creative.

2. Financial Stability

When you know how much your paycheck is, when it is coming, and the likelihood that it will continue to come in the future, it eliminates a lot of the hardest parts of financial planning, stress and management. With your own business, especially starting out or in growth spurts, you may have no income or even negative income for days, weeks, even months. (I took no pay in my first company for 1 1/2 years!) If you are not accustomed to this, it can be jarring and disruptive, and create issues in your family and community affairs. Plan accordingly, and prepare yourself for this potentially huge change in your life and lifestyle.

3. The Desire to Change Everything

Many people leave corporate America feeling under-appreciated, unfulfilled, and/or completely burnt out on working for someone else. They are essentially jaded towards the corporate environment, and swing much too far in the other direction. They may hire only or mostly friends and family, maintain no routines or timelines, and favor “going with the flow” over planning and strategy. While it is your business, remember, it IS A BUSINESS, and you have to have your priorities straight. Sure you can ditch the dress code, take a vacation when you normally wouldn’t or promote a more “relaxed” culture in your office, but don’t throw the baby out with the bath water. Corporate America makes big money for a reason, and you shouldn’t stray too far away from their models.

Leaving the corporate world to start your own business is exciting and liberating, and can very well lead to improved fortunes, lifestyle and satisfaction from your work. But, if not properly done, can have quite the opposite effect.  Have you made the transition to entrepreneur from corporate America? I’d love to hear your story in the comments below!

Bryan Janeczko Bryan JaneczkoFounder, Wicked Start Bryan has successfully launched multiple startups. His latest venture, Wicked Start, provides tools to plan, fund, and launch a new business. Also author of WickedStart: Guide to Starting a New Venture with Passion and Purpose, Bryan is committed to helping small businesses grow and succeed. www.wickedstart.com | Facebook | @WickedStart  | LinkedIn | More from Bryan

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What is a Hashtag and How do I Use it in Social Media Marketing?

Written By: Giselle Aguiar

What is a Hashtag and How do I Use it in Social Media Marketing?

A hashtag is the pound or number sign (#) placed in front of a keyword or phrase to make it clickable and searchable.

Twitter invented them, but they are now used in Google+, LinkedIn, Instagram and Pinterest. There are rumors that Facebook is going to adapt them, but they haven’t so far.

Hashtags only work with letters. As soon as you add a space or other character, it only takes the letters that are immediately adjacent to the #.

Yes: #socialmedia, #cybersecurity,

No: #social media, #cyber-security

There are several ways to use hashtags in social media marketing:

  1. Add them to your tweets and posts to target a specific audience – be consistent in using them. When someone clicks on it, all your posts will come up.
  2. Use them for a Twitter chat – schedule a Twitter chat and assign it a hashtag. Participants can tweet questions and answers with the hashtag to engage in the conversation.
  3. Use them during a live event or webinar and encourage participants to tweet about it or ask questions.
  4. Ride on a trend’s coattails. Today for instance, I’ve been having fun with: “#ObamaCareInThreeWords” “#IfYouKnowMeYouKnowThat” and “#iGetAnnoyedWhenPeople.” Be creative. How can you use these to promote something, contribute, or just have fun? Check what’s trending on Twitter and Google+ a few times a day.
  5. Add them to your bios on both Twitter and Pinterest.
  6. If you have a decent marketing budget, you can pay to be at the top of searches in Twitter with a “promoted tag.” You’ll see these used for product launches, movie openings, special promotions, during elections and for countless other marketing campaigns.
  7. Take advantage of breaking news, a live event or strange occurrence. One of the best uses of this was Oreo’s “Dunk in the Dark” campaign during the blackout in the middle of the Super Bowl.
  8. Use them for customer service. Monitor your company name with a hashtag in front of it. A good example of this is a story told by a CBS News Technology contributor (pardon, but his name escapes me). He was flying on Delta to San Francisco and he had an issue with the Delta agents at the departing airport. The flight he was on happened to have wifi. He tweeted about his problem with just using Delta’s name. A follower of his replied back, “Use #Delta.” He reposted the tweet and as soon as he landed, there was a Delta employee waiting for him at the gate with an apology and a gift certificate. Their customer service crew was monitoring #Delta.
  9. Tweets with hashtags have a better chance to get retweeted. That’s a goal when using Twitter – to get your followers to retweet (share) your tweets to their followers.
  10. Create your own hashtag, but look at it closely to see if it looks good.

Check out these “Hashtags Gone Wrong”

Here are some Hashtag Tips:

  • Use the same hashtags consistently – I use #socialmedia on every post that I send relating to social media.
  • Check to see why a hashtag is trending before you use to promote yourself. You don’t want to offend anyone.
  • In Twitter, use no more than 3 hashtags in one post. You only have 140 characters so don’t load it up with hashtags. Don’t duplicate words. Add the hashtag in front of words in the sentence.
  • Use as many as you want in Google+, Pinterest, LinkedIn & Instagram – you’re not limited in space as with Twitter.
  • Use TweetDeck to monitor several hashtags at once. It’s a free software program or an add-in to the Chrome browser.
  • Monitor influencers and experts in your field and see how they use them, if they use them. If they don’t use them, you’ll be a step ahead!

With over 18 years of Internet Marketing and web design experience under her belt, Giselle Aguiar, the AZ Social Media Wiz, and award-winning writer, can help a business grow and increase visibility by leveraging the power of social media and content marketing. She specialized in assisting small businesses improve brand recognition, SEO and website traffic through social media marketing strategies, training, set-up, implementation, & coaching. For more information visit: http://azsocialmediawiz.com 602-738-1700

 

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Google SEO & Content Marketing

Written By: Giselle Aguiar, AZ Social Media Wiz (Updated 9/16/14)

Google SEO & Content MarketingAbout a year ago, Google came out with its Penguin update and changed their algorithm in attempts to get more relevant results for searches. Everything you ever knew about Search Engine Optimization will no longer work. If you were on page one of a Google search, now you may be on page six. Nobody looks at page six.

Before, the more keywords you had on a webpage, the higher it would rank in the Google search results. Not anymore.

Google now looks for and recognizes relevant content

What’s Relevant Content?

Relevant content is basically informative articles related to the topic or industry of the website. For instance, if you’re a landscaper in Phoenix, you’re going to have content on desert landscaping and gardening tips. If you start writing about tax tips, Google is going to demote your site.

Why should you care?

Google Owns Search in 2014Google share of all Internet searches is 86% with Bing and Yahoo struggling to even exist. Now Google has closer to 90% of all searches. Bing and Yahoo will never catch up no matter how hard they try.

It’s now about Content Marketing

The old way of doing SEO is referred to as “black hat” tactics and if you continue to do things the old way, Google will demote you. They may even flag you as a spammer. You do not want that to happen.

You need to provide Google with fresh, relevant content on a regular basis written for the human reader. That’s where blogging comes in. (I’ll get into the specifics of blogging in my next article.) You need to blog at least once a week.

Think like a searcher. What will a potential customer enter in the Google search box to get to your site? Do some keyword research. Google has a keyword tool to help you choose the best keywords pertaining to your site. Choose the ones that have a high number of search requests with less competition.

Once you have your keywords, use them carefully within your blog. Have a thesaurus handy so you don’t repeat the same keyword or phrase over an over again.

Do not duplicate content. Google will demote your site for that also. If you need to “repurpose” an old article, rewrite it. If identical content exists on another site that is no longer working, delete it from there.

Don’t over advertise or sell. Be educational. Don’t have more than 25% of advertising on your site.

Have “back links” to your content from recognized sites like the social media networks, StumbledUpon, Digg, Reddit, and other sharing sites. Don’t “exchange links” with sites that are not relevant to yours in some way. For example, if you’re a contractor, exchanging links with interior decorators or Realtors makes sense. Having links on a food site doesn’t.

Promote your blog on the social networks especially Google+. Google indexes it immediately in the search engine. (I’ll get into detail about Google+ and the other networks in future articles.)

If you don’t consider yourself a good writer, hire someone who is or at least have someone edit your articles before posting.

About the Author:

Giselle Aguiar, AZ Social Media WizGiselle Aguiar, founder of AZ Social Media Wiz is a social media, inbound and content marketing strategist & trainer helping small to mid-sized business owners learn how to leverage the power of social media marketing, increase traffic to their websites, generate leads, increase brand awareness and establish themselves as experts in their fields. As with anything in business, using the right tools in the right way and at the right time are critical parts to your success. Learn from someone who’s known the Internet since it’s infancy. Official Social Media, Newsletter and Blog Manager for Greater Phoenix SCORE and Adjunct Faculty at Phoenix College. Social media training – 1-on-1 or for groups. WordPress sites and blogs. http://azsocialmediawiz.com 602-738-1700. You can connect with Giselle online at LinkedIn or on Google+.

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5 Mar

Outbound vs. Inbound Marketing

Written By: Giselle Aguiar

The Social Media Paradigm Shift

If you’re not taking social media seriously to promote your business, you are missing out on powerful, free marketing tools to reach your target market.

Marketing is not what it used to be.

Once upon a time, advertising messages were broadcasted out via TV, newspapers, magazines, radio, direct mail, telemarketing and the yellow pages. (Yes, remember them? When was the last time you used the yellow pages?) Before, it used to be if you weren’t in the yellow pages, your business didn’t exist. Then it was the World Wide Web. If you didn’t have a website, your business didn’t exist.

Now, if you don’t have a presence in the top networks: Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Google+, YouTube and Pinterest, your business doesn’t exist.

Inbound Marketing 

 Why the shift? Consumers don’t want to look at advertising. They DVR shows and fast forward through the commercials. They block pop-ups. Direct mail is junk mail and there’s the “do not call” list.

People search online for what they want when they want it. “Google” is a verb.

Online search, combined with social media, drives people to your product or service.

You can’t ignore where your customers and potential customers are and they are “hanging out” in social media. 

There is No More “Box”

You’ve heard the expression, “Think Outside the Box”? Well, there is no more box. The box is gone. The old “marketing mix” with a percentage of broadcast and print media, direct mail, yellow pages – is no more. It’s basically “anything goes.” The more creative, witty and clever you are, the better your results will be. If you’re not creative, hire someone who is.

Social Media has become an integral part of the marketing mix. Though it does not completely replace traditional methods, it has to be included in your marketing plan.

Google used to have 60% of the searches. It’s now closer to 90%. Bing and Yahoo will never catch up. Last year Google changed their search algorithm to give searchers content that is more relevant to their searches. It seeks fresh, relevant content written for the human reader.

It used to be that the more times a search keyword showed up in a page the higher it would rank in the search results. Not any more. Customers search for information and find you by the content you provide on your website and blog.

You must think like the searcher. Figure out what they will enter in the Google search box to find what you have to offer and integrate those phrases and keywords in the content.

It’s all about Content Marketing 

Content is King! How do you give Google fresh content? By blogging. Blogging at least once a week will increase your Search Engine Optimization (SEO) and lead people to your website. Can’t write? Hire someone who can.

It’s not all about you! It’s about what you can do for your customer. Solve their problems. Educate and inform them. Make life easier for them.

Social Sharing for Promotion and Visibility

But the blog is not enough. You then need to promote the blog with social media. That, in turn, helps SEO and build relationships with your potential and current customers – something traditional advertising and marketing never did.

Social media is not a magic pill that will immediately drive sales. Though that is the ultimate goal of your business, social media’s job, when used correctly, is to increase awareness and establish you or your company as an expert in your field and increase traffic to your website. It takes time and effort, but it will be worthwhile in the long run.

In my next post I’ll be covering Google+ and how Google is making search social and changing SEO.

With over 18 years of Internet Marketing and web design experience under her belt, Giselle Aguiar, the AZ Social Media Wiz, and award-winning writer, can help a business grow and increase visibility by leveraging the power of social media and content marketing. She specialized in assisting small businesses improve brand recognition, SEO and website traffic through social media marketing strategies, training, set-up, implementation, coaching & ghost-blogging. For more information visit: http://azsocialmediawiz.com 602-738-1700

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