Becoming an Online Entrepreneur: The Expectations vs. The Reality [GUEST POST]

“It’s not about ideas. It’s about making ideas happen.” – Scott Belsky, co-founder of Behance.

Scott’s right; the online entrepreneur world is full of hot air. Podcasts, Facebook groups, YouTube channels, blogs — all of them peddling the online entrepreneur dream. Don’t get me wrong — earning a decent wage and supporting a family through online work is totally possible, but watching one webinar isn’t necessarily going to change your life. Becoming a successful online entrepreneur takes hard work, a good sales pipeline, and a commitment to developing the right habits. Here are some common expectations vs. reality that people struggle with at first.

“ I can do it all myself” vs. “I am going to have to outsource this”

The bootstrapping entrepreneur may feel the need to do ABSOLUTELY EVERYTHING by themselves. Which seems like a good idea for all of five minutes, until you realize that you need to spend more time on the things you’re actually good at.

Outsourcing can touch all parts of your business — from HR and finances to content production and social media. Start to build a picture of what you are good at, and what you’re not so good at, to determine where strategic outsourcing might be needed.

You need to develop strong relationships with your suppliers. You aren’t going to be their biggest client, so you have to develop strong social bonds instead. Explain to people that you want them to be part of your success and they will be much more likely to help you out.

Outsourcing isn’t about diluting your brand or cheapening it — quite the opposite: it’s about finding time to do more things that matter.

Consider whether a remote team in another part of the world can help you cost-effectively grow your operations, without you having to hire staff and rent traditional office space. The beauty of internet work is that you have access to a global market and workforce, so take advantage of that.

Plenty of interested leads vs. plenty of time-wasters

When you first start your business, a lot of people will show interest and want to talk to you about what you’re doing. But that initial curiosity will wear off, and interest doesn’t always translate into actual sales. It’s easy to get frustrated and to see people as time-wasters, so take control of your own sales strategy — you will find it gets a lot easier.

Sales are crucial for an online entrepreneur — especially when you’re too busy to do it! It’s easy to get wrapped up in ongoing projects, and then suddenly have nothing to do when the work dries up. Sales have to be a constant preoccupation. Having a proper sales pipeline managed by a CRM is a good idea to help you organize your sales. Take the hassle and emotions out of following up with templates and automated reminders.

As well as sales, you need to focus on building a community around you with networking — socializing is important for entrepreneurs as a way to share information. Co-marketing and joint ventures are important for online entrepreneurs as a source of regular income.

Related: Classification of Sales Leads: Hot, Warm or Cold

Automation seems wrong vs. automation is my lifeline

When you first start, your passion may get the better of your practicality. It can be hard to trust software to take care of your business, but online business is 24/7…and you do need some time off.

Smart entrepreneurs embrace automation as a way to take care of repetitive tasks. Using smart data and technology like AI, it’s becoming more and more feasible to automate customer interactions and business processes. Don’t be afraid of automation, but just make sure you build in robust systems so that you can keep yourself accountable to your clients and customers.

Related: How to Get Quality IT Appointments Hands-Free with Marketing Automation

I can retire at 35 vs. I’ll always want to work

Becoming an entrepreneur is a lifestyle choice. You might have dreams of making a lot of money, selling your business on and retiring, but once you get going it’s hard to stop. The digital world is constantly changing, and once ideas and projects gather momentum, you will find yourself getting pulled into all directions.

Rather than retiring, you will probably find yourself working even harder and longer. Don’t underestimate the weight of responsibility of making your own decisions and taking charge of your life — it’s an intense experience.

What you need to do is focus on the longevity of your ventures, rather than any ‘get rich quick schemes’, and create a balance with plenty of time away from your desk and time for pet passion projects.

Related: 6 Tips How to Make the Right Career Choice In a Startup [GUEST POST]

I need a great idea vs. it’s all about execution

The best business isn’t always the one who came up with the idea, but the business who executes it the best.

Many dreamers think that running a successful business is all about having a great ‘idea’, and they will spend years tinkering in their labs like mad scientists. The truth? Yes, ideas are great, but many of them aren’t that original. You’re much better off focusing on the execution of your ideas.

Frameworks, processes, systems — these are all dry words, but they are what it takes to be truly successful in business.

I’ll spend time perfecting it all vs. let’s get an MVP out

Don’t make the rookie mistake of sitting on your project, website, blog, product, or idea for months: get out there in beta mode and start testing! Customer feedback and live reactions are invaluable: this is the sort of information that money can’t buy.

A great strategy I’ve heard work in the past for a product-based online business is opening up an inexpensive online store, and driving paid traffic to the site to see how people react (monitoring bounce rates, dwell time, average order value). The business in question treated these early customers like super VIPs with surveys and phone calls, strategically using this time for fact-finding — and it helped them tweak their offering so that they made a killing on launch day. Reddit is a great place to test out content ideas, whereas software can be tested by elite online communities. Product and idea testing isn’t always for the faint hearted, but it will help set you up for good.

If you’re not quite sure what your viable MVP would look like — check out this checklist. It’s a proven strategy that works.

Total freedom vs. huge demands on my time

When you were sat in a cubicle punching numbers, the entrepreneur lifestyle of having Wednesday mornings off and working in your PJs probably sounded like a holiday. But don’t be deceived: you will be working a whole lot more, not a whole let less. You can definitely choose your hours — but you will probably end up working during all the hours available because of the demands placed on you.

That’s why scaling, outsourcing, and automation are such clever strategies. Once you nail those, you will have the freedom to breathe a little freer and design your own life. Entrepreneurs get a lot of strength from role models, mentors, and each other, so seek out like-minded individuals in your network.

Online entrepreneurship is opening up doors for people from different backgrounds and countries to make a name for themselves. In the Democratic digital world, we are all capable of success. Start your journey today and start living your entrepreneur dream. What’s your biggest fear about entrepreneurship?

Author Bio:

Gareth Gareth SimpsonSimpson – Technical SEO & Startup Founderis an SEO pro with over a decade in the industry. Now based in Bristol, UK, his specialisms are blogger outreach and content. You’ll find him at his desk, drinking green tea and working on his latest campaign.

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Why Best Actor Leonardo DiCaprio is “King of the World” After his Speech at Oscars

Why Oscars Best Actor Leonardo DiCaprio is “King of the World”

In Titanic, DiCaprio screamed “I’m the king of the world!”. He may very well be now.

The annual spectacle that is the Oscars was controversial this year when, for the second year in a row (why am I not surprised), all the nominees were Caucasians. And so the hashtag #OscarsSoWhite made its way back to our newsfeeds. It didn’t help that the host of the 88th Academy Awards was Chris Rock – he sure did emphasize the conspicuous lack of diversity among the nominees. Mr. Rock was actually doing great, calling out the Academy for its major faux pas, until he made an inappropriate remark himself about Asians halfway into the program. It makes one wonder if it’s about time they renamed the Academy “Barnum and Bailey”.

While the politically correct among us dwelled on that issue, asking when the reforms will take place or if it will ever happen, the purists and even those who enjoy the movies for what they really are – as entertainment, an art, a medium for escapism – were collectively asking a different question altogether:

Will this be the year Leonardo DiCaprio bags his first and long-awaited and perhaps, overdue Oscar?

And so when the secret fantasy of every girl aged four to 65 took the stage after having been named Best Actor in a Lead Role for his portrayal of frontiersman Hugh Glass in the movie The Revenant, everybody was in bated breaths, expecting him to give a lengthy, emotional speech about the bittersweet event that is getting an Oscar for the first time (after having been nominated five times previously, the first of which was in 1994). Alas, Mr. DiCaprio surprised us yet again.

After the perfunctory thank you’s to his family and the whole team, he wasted no second in talking about the most glaring issue in the world right now: Climate change.

AMPAS Oscars© All right reserved


“Making The Revenant was about man’s relationship with the natural world — a world that we collectively felt in 2015 was the hottest year in recorded history. Our production team needed to go to the southern tip of this planet just to be able to find snow; climate change is real, and it’s happening right now. It is the most urgent threat facing our entire species and we need to work together and stop procrastinating. We need to support leaders around the world who do not speak for the big polluters or the big corporations, but who speak for all of humanity; and for the indigenous people of the world; for the billions and billions of underprivileged people who will be most affected by this; for our children’s children; and for all the people out there whose voices have been drowned out by the politics of greed. Let us not take this planet for granted; I do not take tonight for granted.”

He might as well have been awarded “Best Person” in the world right that moment.

See, it wasn’t a political issue, or a diversity issue. It was a human issue, a universal issue. That’s why it resonated with everybody. It was vital for our survival, and the survival of the planet we call home.

What Leo did was an act of bravery and initiative and vigilance. But if you narrow it down, it was just plain common sense. Or prudence. There may be scientists who claim they know, who believe that we are centuries away from running out of resources, just as there are scientists that claim global warming isn’t real. Guess what? There used to be scientists, too, who said the world was flat, that the Earth was the center of the galaxy. In spite of their certainty, and the fact that many believed them, they were wrong. But their wrong assumptions and theories didn’t have any global repercussions. The worst that happened was, they were prosecuted and killed. Now, if the scientists saying climate change and global warming are nothing but hoaxes are wrong, we lose everything.

You might also want: Mark Zuckerberg’s Best and Inspiring Response to Grandma Becomes Viral

We need to use common sense. We know there is not a resource on Earth, from a mountain spring to our own human bodies, that doesn’t have limits. Everything has a tipping point. Everything has a point where too much is too much. And once that happens, there’s no going back.

So, ask the questions. Search for answers. And then, be prepared to fight for our home to make the sacrifices necessary to ensure its survival, and the survival of every bit of life on this planet. It’s the most important job we will ever have. We must save our home from ourselves.

Leonardo Dicaprio

That’s the most important thing we can do. And when we’re done, maybe we can watch a Titanic re-run.

Make our world a better, make a difference and start with yourself! Check out our ‘Outside the Box’ Outreach Program and be inspired to help!

Callbox Cares: Feeding and Relief Operation for Fire Victims in San Juan Molo

Callbox Pays it Forward

Get some juicy motivational tips today. Revitalize your passion and productivity with this article! Running Low on Passion? Remember the First Day Feeling 

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12 Experts That Will Teach You How to Get More Leads

 A targeted list. A good marketing channel. A strategy that works. All these and with the help of skilled lead generation experts, you’ll achieve marketing cloud nine.

Sounds easy? But it takes time, money and resources. Nevertheless, let this interview be your guide in starting off your ABC’s. These 12 sales and marketing experts will teach you lessons in lead generation, far more than pushing and promoting your products and services, lead generation is also about strategic branding and influencing prospects buying decision.

Get a handful of tips as they answer this question from

If you are starting out with your company, just launching your product into the world or even wanting to generate sales for your (freelance) work, how do you generate good qualified leads. Potential customers have not yet heard of your company, how do you attract those leads? Can you describe to us what is your ultimate growth technique and how can we implement that for our own companies?

#1 Joanna Wiebe

Joanna WiebeJoanna Wiebe is widely known as the Copy Hacker, the copywriting expert for CRO. In her previous roles, she’s worked at Intuit and Conversion Rate Experts. Today she runs the amazing Copy Hackers blog.

Answer: Guest post! Or write an original post on Medium or Inbound. Or do both. The point is that you need to get your expertise + personality out there stat if you wanna start attracting people to your site (or, better, your lead-gen page).

A common rookie mistake is to fill one’s new blog up with great blog posts – but newbies should actually publish incredible stuff in places their prospects already are. Build your authority on blogs that already have authority, and drive leads to your site. This works on so many levels – as long as the content you share is truly amazing.

#2 Sujan Patel

Sujan Patel

Sujan has 12 years of experience in digital marketing and co-created Content Marketer, a tool to help automate and scale content marketing. He is also an avid blogger and writes for Forbes, Inc, WSJ and Entrepreneur.

Answer:  Start blogging early, comment on other relevant blogs in your industry, build relationships and answer questions on Quora. The underlying recommendation here is to establish yourself as an industry leader. If you can afford it invest in PR. If you can double down on blogging.

Related: Blogging Tips to Generate More IT Leads

#3 Nathan Resnick

Nathan Resnick

Nathan Resnick is a junior at the University of San Diego and the founder of Yes Man Watches. Having launched and advised several successful Kickstarter campaigns, he knows the ins and outs of how to turn ideas into realities.

Answer: I’d say one of the keys to generating qualified leads early on is creating a group of early adopters or beta testers. This group will create a community around your product and launch. They’ll be the ones talking about your platform or product on social media and the ones who recommend you to their friends. By creating a community around your company, you’ll have people on the outside eager to provide their feedback, which will make them feel like they are a part of your team.

#4 Aseem Badshah:


Aseem Badshah is the Founder and CEO of Socedo, a web platform that helps to automate lead generation on Twitter. He has been a leader in the social media marketing space for more than 8 years. Before Socedo, Aseem founded Uptown Treehouse, a marketing agency for Fortune 500 brands focused on social media.

Answer: Twitter is a great place to generate your initial leads because it’s easy to find prospects interested in specific topics and then engage with them directly. Many early adopters are hanging out on Twitter looking for solutions to their problems.

#5 Jason Amunwa

Jason AmunwaJason Amunwa is the Director of Products at digital-telepathy, a user-experience design studio that created SlideDeck, the WordPress slider plugin that lets you create awesome content sliders in minutes with no code, as well as Hello Bar and Impress. His most recent endeavour is Filament.

Answer: If you’re just launching your product, chances are you have at least a few beta users – these folks will be your key to attracting your first warm leads. Find the folks who’ve participated the most in your beta, and treat them like royalty – “charter member” pricing, bonus features or discounts, swag, or even free lifetime memberships are all good ways to give back.

#6 Chris Hexton


Chris Hexton is a co-founder of Vero, behavioural email marketing software that helps online retail stores increase their customer satisfaction and sales. Living between Sydney and San Francisco, his favourite part of working on Vero is helping other businesses grow.

Answer: We focused on some really concentrated content marketing and tried to find audiences we could share with: Hacker News, Reddit – places that genuinely read and respect good ideas (if you put in the effort). These places had a built in audience that would listen, and that was powerful for us.

#7 Paul Kemp


Paul Kemp is a host of the popular entrepreneur startup show called ‘The App Guy Podcast’ with over 300 episodes and world leading app founder interviews. Paul’s built and launched over 80 apps, has reached top 1,2 and 3 in the Apple App Store with various apps and inspired listeners to quit corporate jobs to become app entrepreneurs.

Answer: Building credibility, an impactful online presence, networking and really engaging with people on social media is my ultimate growth technique.

Let me explain. I spent years trying failed techniques which all required interrupting somebody’s day to pitch a sales message.

Now, I have more prospects and opportunities than I can handle.

Related: 5 Ways B2B Startups can Become Thought Leaders

– I built credibility through a daily app entrepreneur show called The App Guy Podcast
– I built up my online presence and brand
– I expanded my network exponentially by interviewing experts for my talk show
– I really engaged with people via social media by replying with personal audio messages and engaging in a human way

Now, all the business opportunities come to me.

The beautiful aspect of this approach is that their is no need for a sales pitch. Through my online presence, hours of podcasts and content marketing something wonderful happens. People approach me already pre-sold. They already know, like and trust me.

Just ask yourself this question. If you are at a BBQ and a good friend says

“hey – come over here! I’ve got something to show you”

You’d go over to have a look – right?

Now switch this around. You are walking past a dark alleyway and a stranger says the same thing. You’d have no trust and would say NO.

Now apply this to what we do as marketers. We want to become the trusted friend in this relationship, not the stranger. That’s why it’s important to build trust, credibility, an online presence and engage with real people in a real way.

#8 Nichole Elizabeth DeMeré


SaaS Consultant & Customer Success Evangelist. Moderator at @ProductHunt and @GrowthHackers. Previously: Growth at @Inboundorg. INFJ.

Answer:  Use Lincoln Murphy’s Ideal Customer Profile Framework to determine who your Ideal Customers are and then get in front of them. Leverage trusted sources that already have your Ideal Customers as their audience. And once you’re in front of them, ensure that you’re doing lead generation and not lead capture.

Also, don’t allow FOMO to cause you to focus on more than one Ideal Customer at a time. As Jim Gray points out,you don’t have a customer if you don’t have non-customers.

#9 Daniel Scalco

Dan Scalco

Daniel is the founder/owner of Digitalux, a digital marketing company located in Hoboken, NJ. When he’s not pitching prospective clients or working on new growth strategies for current clients, you can find him fixing up my old motorcycle or playing with his dog, Max.

Answer: If I was justing starting out, I would focus on determining the distinguishing factor between my product and my competitors. This will allow me to understand my value proposition – why someone should buy from me instead of my competitor.

#10 Kane Thomas

Kane Thomas

Kane is a serial entrepreneur with a background in engineering. He loves being involved in startups, mentoring, and angel investing. My current projects focus on social media marketing, email delivery, and entrepreneurship networking.

Answer: Here’s a couple strategies we’re using at DoSocial that seem to be effective so far:

(1) We’re using the Content Marketer tool to identify and contact industry leaders with an outreach email. This has helped us get kickass feedback from social media pros, plus we’ve gained extra traction when some of them have shared our tool to their followers.

(2) We’re directly interacting with people on Twitter that are either customers of our competitors or just fans of social media marketing.

Related: Cream of the Social Crop: A List Social Media Influencers to follow on Twitter

#11 Benji Hyam

Benji Hyam

Director of Growth at Everwise, Previously first Marketing hire at ThinkApps, Co-Founder Social Proof Interactive + Founder Insights. Marketing at Vistage.

Answer: Content marketing is where I always turn to generate high quality leads and gain awareness from my target market. The trick is you have to understand your audience really well and deliver compelling stories that cater to the top, middle and bottom of the funnel.

While building a blog audience is a longer term strategy, results can pay off in anywhere from one month to a year. For example, when I was at ThinkApps I grew their blog from 0-35,000 unique visitors in six months. It started generating SQLs by month three. Content was the biggest driver of awareness and leads to the company overall.

#12 Ryan Gum

Ryan Gum

Ryan is the CEO of a SaaS startup called, he runs an online community for salespeople called Closing Call, and writes about Growth and Startup Marketing.

Answer: If you’re starting at day 1 with 0 customers, Inbound Marketing tactics like blogging and answering questions on Quora are great, but it can take a lot of time and effort to start generating results.

Until your Inbound Machine is working, you can’t afford to wait around for leads to come to you. Don’t leave the fate of your startup up to chance – you need to go to them.

At this early stage, you need your first few customers. The single most valuable thing you can do is by doing things that don’t scale (at first), with email outreach:

  1. Come up with your Ideal Customer Profile hypothesis
  2. Find out where these people are – online or offline. This might be groups they belong to, blogs they read, or even just their LinkedIn profile.
  3. Find their contact details (there are plenty of examples how to do this)
  4. Start with 20 of them, and reach out one-by-one. At first, the majority of them won’t respond, but don’t let this discourage you, it’s normal. You’re looking for Innovators and Early Adopters, the small segment of the market that are visionaries and risk takers.
  5. If your emails are relevant enough you might get 4 out of 20 that will take you up on your offer, and 1 of those that will become that all important first customer.

Keep these emails short, simple and personalized. Make it about them. For example:

Subject: Intro

Hi {name},

I noticed {something relevant about them that can link to you or your product} / {common connection}.

I just built {your product} for {their job title} to {what it does & what it helps them do} and I wanted to intro it to you.

If you think it’s interesting, can I show you a demo of how it works later this week? Would only take about 15 minutes.

Love to hear your thoughts,

If you truly believe that what your building will help them, then you’re doing them a favour by reaching out to get it in their hands.

Read full article on 12 Experts That Will Teach You How to Get More Leads

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Grab a copy of our FREE EBOOK, The Ultimate Lead Generation Kit Ebook! Updated with links to the best and latest techniques that will help generate quality sales leads for your business
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7 Important Business Insights from the Granddaddy of Animation

To the eyes of the world, Walt Disney may have been an innovator.  But he was more than that. He was a leader that created not just an entertainment empire, but a legacy that can last us a lifetime.

For the B2B industry, Disney’s cult of personality that cherishes the virtues of friendship, family, and personal development provide a better understanding of attaining success in aspects such as sales and marketing.

New York Times and Wall Street Journal best-selling author Shep Hyken lists the seven important insights we in the B2B marketing field can learn from Disney’s immortal legacy.

If you can dream it you can do it. –Walt Disney

If you can dream it you can do it.

–Walt Disney 

One of the most famous Disney quotes, and great advice for anyone getting into business – and anyone who is trying to solve a customer’s problem. Sometimes it takes creativity to make a customer happy.

Venture outside your comfort zone. The rewards are worth it. –Rapunzel (Tangled)

Venture outside your comfort zone. The rewards are worth it.

–Rapunzel (Tangled)

The best companies empower their employees to make good customer-focused decisions. Unfortunately, there are many that are afraid to do so, mostly because they are worried that their employees might make bad decisions. For those companies, it’s time to venture out of your comfort zone and empower your employees. Start by training employees to make good decisions, and if they make a bad judgement call, use it as a training opportunity. With the right training and management, you’ll be surprised how quickly you’ll create the empowered workforce – and feel comfortable about what used to make you feel uncomfortable.

Oh yes, the past can hurt. But the way I see it, you can either run from it or learn from it. –Rafiki (The Lion King)

Oh yes, the past can hurt. But the way I see it, you can either run from it or learn from it.

–Rafiki (The Lion King)

This is a perfect follow-up quote to the last one. No doubt our employees will make mistakes. And some of them, while painful, will be learning opportunities in disguise. Embrace the past to help you and your employees grow in the future.

How we learn from our past mistakes: The Callbox Guide to Handling Bad Reviews

A little consideration, a little thought for others, makes all the difference. –Eeyore (Winnie the Pooh)A little consideration, a little thought for others, makes all the difference.

–Eeyore (Winnie the Pooh)

Put yourself in your customer’s shoes. Show empathy, sympathy and consideration. It goes a long way to building a relationship with your customer.

The problem is not the problem. The problem is your attitude about the problem. –Jack Sparrow (Pirates of the Caribbean)

The problem is not the problem. The problem is your attitude about the problem.

–Jack Sparrow (Pirates of the Caribbean)

Attitude is everything. At work, and in life, we’re faced with problems every day. And, it’s the same for our customers. Our attitudes about our customers’ problems can turn angry customers into loyal evangelists.

Just because it’s what’s done, doesn’t mean it’s what should be done. –Cinderella (Cinderella)

Just because it’s what’s done, doesn’t mean it’s what should be done.

–Cinderella (Cinderella)

Perhaps this is one of the earliest quotes about innovative thinking, and it came from Cinderella! You don’t always have to do things just because they’ve always been done that way. Once again I’m using that word, “empowerment.” If you empower employees to come up with creative solutions to problems, you’ll be amazed at the results.

Get on track with these marketing tips! B2B Marketing Priorities Checklist: Setting the Right Goals

Always let your conscience be your guide. –The Blue Fairy, although many think it was Jiminy Cricket (Pinocchio)

Always let your conscience be your guide.

–The Blue Fairy, although many think it was Jiminy Cricket (Pinocchio)

Okay, this really isn’t about customer service, but it is one of my favorite Disney quotes. It’s a rule to live by, and the message is simple: Do the right thing.

 Points to Ponder: Quotes from the Best Minds in B2B to

Get you Through the Year

Points to Ponder: Quotes from the Best Minds in B2B to Get you Through the Year (or What’s Left of It)

Featured: Quotes from the Best Minds in B2B to Get you Through the Year

Learn more business tips today!

Points to Ponder: Quotes from the Best Minds in B2B to Get you Through the Year (or What’s Left of It)

About to say goodbye to July and hello August! And also, hello to the second half of the year!

Time flies insanely fast! And it feels as if we have just finished shovelling up the last snow piles of March when summer comes along with that glorious burst of sun. An exaggeration, yes. But really, who can ever ignore the fact that we’re just months away from the end of the year.

This, of course, signals a handful of brands in the B2B industry to increase their efforts and hit those statistical goals for the year.

As a service to B2B companies, we have compiled some of the most important and inspiring quotes to instill a bit of motivation as we tread the second half of 2015.

The question is, "is the world different now?

The question is, “is the world different now?”

Seth Godin

For Seth Godin, success can only be achieved by adapting to one’s surroundings. In other words, marketers shouldn’t be contented with a certain strategy or approach if it works because one thing’s for sure: they can’t work all the time. As buyer perceptions change as drastically as search engine algorithms, marketing has to sing with current tunes for it to stay productive.

Related Post: The Times are A-Changin’, and your Marketing Strategy Should Too

Follow Seth on Twitter:

  Standing out from the pack takes innovation and Creativity. Create experiences for your customers that are worth posting and reposting to Instagram. And Twitter. And Facebook. And Tumblr. And SnapChat Standing out from the pack takes innovation and Creativity. Create experiences for your customers that are worth posting and reposting to Instagram. And Twitter. And Facebook. And Tumblr. And SnapChat. Jackie Huba What Jackie wants to say is that if you want to engage people on the long run, set out and plant yourself on this new and popular thing called social media. A simple daily tweet containing 140 characters worth of relevant marketing advice gives the impression that you are all in for educating your market rather than make money off of it – which is of course a good thing. Related Post: Why B2B Social Media Marketing Still Deserves Attention    Follow Jackie on Twitter:

Often, B2B content is written to represent the company. Swell. Except your audience is most likely your customer base and prospects. To that end, write your posts with your customer’s usage in mind.

“Often, B2B content is written to represent the company. Swell. Except your audience is most likely your customer base and prospects. To that end, write your posts with your customer’s usage in mind.”

Chris Brogan

Value marketing should be everyone’s favorite term because when it comes down to getting customers to buy a certain product, it is important to speak to them about the product’s consistency to specific concerns (better cybersecurity and business productivity, for instance).

Content production that focuses primarily on such needs is an important to getting high quality leads that sales can approve of.

 Follow Chris on Twitter:

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Don’t you just love reading B2B marketing tips, stories and inspiration? Learn more!

5 Ways B2B Startups can Become Thought Leaders

Modern marketing has a lot to offer the world. And we mean a LOT.

With companies becoming more aggressive in their lead generation and appointment setting campaigns, it has become relatively difficult – especially for business startups – to promote their brands. Considering the amount of content and clutter that has overrun every communication channel there is, you would be lucky to have sourced at least a B2B lead from one of these channels.

It would seem like the present offers the least favorable conditions in which B2B startups can prosper. Unlike big and more experienced companies that are capable of investing in mass messaging and promoted advertising, B2B startups have no other course but to apply more cost-efficient and productive strategies to break the handicap.

To counter the messaging of big brands, startups can always fashion themselves as effective thought leaders. gives a clear description of what a thought leader is: “an authority on a topic relevant to a group of people.” Take note of the word: authority. It is always synonymous with competence and experience that usually take a great deal of time and effort to attain.

Fortunately, with a little practice, simple startups can effectively build their credibility just enough to get their audience’s attention.

Use LinkedIn

Writing for Forbes, Mary Juetten said that your LinkedIn account can be used to build up your reputation as a thought leader. Provide insightful replies and comments to message boards and share thoughts on specific industry-relevant topics.

Bonus Tips: Update your LinkedIn Profile for a Better Lead Generation

Blog regularly

In the same article, Juetten highlights posting of relevant blog content on a regular basis. This allows for maintaining a regular stream of site visitors who at any time can expect you to provide new industry information.

Bonus Tips: Building an Effective B2B Marketing Experience

Attend conferences

Joining conferences is the way forward. As companies continue to see the value of corporate events, it is imperative for you to interact and expand your networks to include more influencers. Just put on your best business attire and start socializing with fellow startups as well as industry veterans.

Bonus Tips: 4 Reasons Your Employees Should Attend Conferences

Create a podcast

Nothing beats video when it comes to raising audience awareness. But what could beat a podcast that lets you to promote corporate wisdom in real-time? Hold webinars and you will see what we’re getting at.

Bonus Tips:  How Thought Leadership can Boost IT Lead Generation

Focus on relationships… not on ego

One fatal notion about thought leadership is that it justifies having a know-it-all attitude. It is not, because thought leadership is more about forming symbiotic bonds and building (from the ground up) a long-term image you want to project to one’s market.

Being a thought leader entails a lot of challenges especially convincing audience that you are worth their time. So here’s a good quote to end this post.

Here’s your chance to become a thought leader, we are inviting guest blogger to share their thoughts on B2B marketing and lead generation tips.

If you are interested to learn more, check out:

Business Lessons from the Life of a Hero, Nelson Mandela

Business Lessons from the Life of a Hero, Nelson Mandela

On December 5, 2013, the world mourns the loss of one of the greatest gifts humanity has ever endowed to itself: Nelson Mandela. Father of a nation. Nobel Peace Prize winner. Anti-apartheid pioneer. Merchant of peace. Philanthropist. Modern hero.

In the wake of his passing, people all over the world have nothing but good words for the former South African leader and his legacy that will be forever engraved in history.

Many people call Mandela as a true “sales person” because he embodied the traits of someone who not only stands true to the things he believed in, but also has the influence and perseverance to move others around him to do the same thing.

“When people are determined, they can overcome anything.”

Determination in business is a rare value to come by. A lot of business owners tend to expect instant gratification not realizing that most of the time, success comes with a great deal of patience and perseverance. Mandela never abandoned his campaign against racial discrimination up until his dying days. That’s why the impact of his deeds are long-lasting; it’s because he put a lot of work into it.

“Difficulties break some men but make others.”

After being imprisoned for 27 years, most of us wouldn’t even dare to repeat the same things we got imprisoned for. That didn’t stop Mandela from continuing his fight as if nothing happened. The measure of a business’s success is not always about winning; more often it’s about how many times it was able to pick itself up after a fall.

 “A good head and a good heart are always a formidable combination. But when you add to that a literate tongue or pen, then you have something very special.”

An idea will remain an idea if not shared with the world. Marketers have the crucial task of developing a business message and packaging it for the world to behold.

“One cannot be prepared for something while secretly believing it will not happen.” 

A little bit of optimism goes a long way. If Mandela didn’t believe he was fighting for something that’s worthy of his sacrifices, he wouldn’t have went on. You have to believe in what you do to be able to see it through the end.

“It always seems impossible until it’s done.” 

The thing that cripples most businesses is the lack of ambition. A business that refuses to take risks and venture into new prospects can easily be left behind. Without guts, there would be no glory – and  Mandela is the epitome of guts.

Help, not Hype: Companies that focus on Social Responsibility

Help, not Hype - Companies that focus on Social Responsibility

“It is one of the most beautiful compensations in life, that no man can sincerely try to help another without helping himself.”  ― Ralph Waldo Emerson

It’s no wonder why organizations like Forbes would go out of its way to honor companies who have outstanding reputation in terms of corporate social responsibility. This kind of thing inspires us to look beyond our business goals and do our shares in helping society become a better place.

This year Forbes released a list of the world’s most ethical companies based on a study conducted by Ethisphere, where businesses from over 100 countries and 36 industries were surveyed. The list honors those companies who have exhibited high social and ethical standards. The list includes 138 organizations.

Let’s take a look at how 3 of these honoraries have shifted their focus on helping more than selling:

Empowering the world: General Electric (GE) – This company has gained recognition by virtue of its efforts to promote sustainable energy. Their most recent effort is the “FlexEfficiency 50” power plant, which uses wind and solar power and is targeted to provide energy to at least 600,000 homes, and that’s just in an area in Northern France. GE has already succeeded in providing electricity to 55 million people in the UK by use of renewable energy.

Starbucks for the youth– This global coffee hub is more than just a staple beverage; it is also a global advocate for youth empowerment. Through its Youth Action Grants, Starbucks affianced 53,736 young people in certain parts of the US to take actions that benefit their communities. They also financed education initiatives in China and Guatemala and offered grants in local communities. Starbucks also has a multimillion-dollar commitment to support clean-water initiatives in Kenya, Ethiopia, Indonesia and India.

Changing the game: T-Mobile – It may rank behind bigger giants such as AT&T, Verizon and Sprint, but T-Mobile is the first and only telecommunications services provider that was brave and empathetic enough to break the norm and focus on their customers’ needs. Their revolutionary move to eliminate service contracts (no more 2-year deals and unsubscribe fees) shocked their competitors but was delightfully received by the masses. It was a financial risk that T-Mobile took, but their efforts to provide “true” service were reciprocated with admiration and respect from the people who mattered most.