#1 Social Media Misconception Everyone Makes

When Local Business Does Social Media

You have to be everywhere online.
Make sure to set-up an account for your local business on all the social networks.
Don’t worry about adding too much content.

Nope!

That’s probably the biggest waste of time for you right now. If you’re looking to get into social media to help expand your business then do just about the opposite. If you’re worried about someone else registering your business name then do a land grab first.
What To Do

Choose 2 or 3 key social media networks to start with. Focus on making quality connections with customers. Once you can maintain a consistent schedule start looking at the data.
Social Media Questions To Keep in Mind

Where are you getting the most traction with likes, shares, comments, etc?
Are customers checking in to your location a lot?
Are they always sharing your photos on Facebook?
Do you get a lot of retweets on Twitter when you post a link?

Look at the numbers, *always* document the findings, and turn your focus on what’s giving you the most bang for your buck.

Why Those Expert Tips Aren’t Working

Not Getting the Results You Expected?

There’s a lot of information available to us across the internet, and now that marketing your brand online is based around blogging, the highly sought after experts in almost every field are publishing the information they charge a lot of money for, for free.

It’s awesome, right? Free tips, tricks, hacks, tactics, guides, etc. are at your finger tips from industry pros. At times they can be obvious, but still extremely profound. That moment when you ask yourself – “why didn’t I think of this”? So, you begin to put it to work. Slaving over the new information you’ve learned, to get it just right.

Finally you launch it! The newsletter template, email headline, social media update, your new blog, landing page etc.

You wait, and something strange happens.

Nothing.

No one shared your tweet. Your list is actually unsubscribing from the newsletter. The pitch email didn’t even get opened.

But why? Were the experts wrong? No, they couldn’t have been. They used data and case studies and client examples to prove that it worked. Why didn’t you have the same results?

You’re not cutting through the clutter. You’re actually starting to add to it. A lot of the info has been tried and tested, then tweaked to perfection. That means it’s been used to death by the experts, and now it’s been handed down to you. It’s available to everyone, and kind of why it’s free.

You might be doing a great job re-creating it but someone else might be butchering it. If it worked once doesn’t mean the consumer will go for it again. It might even be a psychological trick or tapping into preferred user behavior, in which case the consumer can become fatigued by it.

This is not to say all the tips and tricks are bad, just consider this a possibility as to why your strategy isn’t working.

#1 SEO Misconception Local Businesses Make

When SEO assumptions go wrong

When I hear this one statement over, and over, and over again it always gives me a chuckle (in my head). It usually comes from intelligent people who just lack the basic understanding of what search engine optimization actually is.

It’s usually some variation of this:

“I don’t need SEO because when I search for my business on Google I come up first”

So here’s what makes this so funny. Unless your business has some really generic name like “plumbing co.” or “grocery store” your going to show up in search engines for it, typically on the first page and probably in the top 3 search results. If it doesn’t, then your new WordPress powered site still has “Just another WordPress blog” in the title. Just do a search for that phrase and you’ll find this –

These are folks who did not change the tagline, for whatever reason, and are now missing out on some branded keyword juice.

Luckily, we were able to find them for this example. Don’t be that guy or girl. Read up on SEO or hire someone, anyone, just don’t do this.

Key takeaway: Search Engine Optimization is to get your business in front of people that don’t know you exist (yet), but are looking for a product or service you offer.

Baby Steps

It’s Never Perfect The First Time, Accept It

Ever notice how the first pancake (or crepe) turns out funny, no matter how perfect the batter is? It’s a rule of thumb I’ve come to accept. The goal for me now is to get that first pancake out, take note, make the necessary tweaks (like add milk, maybe flour or even give the pan more time to heat up) and repeat.

There’s a famous proverb that a journey of a thousand steps begins with the first step. Well, they should have said baby step.

21 Questions: An Investor Might Ask You

Before I piss anyone off, remember these are my 2 cents. Not that anyone wants pennys anymore, nonetheless they are mine.

I’ve been working with start-ups exclusively since 09′, I’ve raised money for a start-up (and given it back – no, seriously), participated in the 2012 NYC Dreamit Ventures Accelerator, interned for DEV Advisors, Brooklyn Bridge Ventures, and am now a member of 37 Angels after the Angel Investing Bootcamp. I’ve read too many VC blogs, but I should really say, spent my weekends ravaging through their archives. I also try to attend pitch forums as much as I can.

So after I came back from Funding Post one particular evening I decided to dump everything into this list of 21 questions you might run into while trying to raise funding.

1. What pain point do you solve?
2. What is your business model? How do you make money?
3. Who is your primary customer?
4. Who are your competitors? Why are you better?
5. What are you customer acquisition channels?
6. What are your customer acquisition costs?
7. What are your profit margins right now? Will they grow? How?
8. What is your exit strategy? Do you even want one?
9. What are the biggest obstacles your facing today? Expected obstacles in the future?
10. Do you own any intellectual property?
11. How hard is it for a larger player to replicate the idea? What are the barriers to entry?
12. How much money do you need?
13. How long will it last you? What’s your runway?
14. How will the money be used?
15. Have you raised money in the past?
16. If so, did you expect to be raising again?
17. What is your expected growth rate? Based on what data?
18. What’s your churn rate?
19. What is your (expected) customer lifetime value?
20. What is your background, are you the most qualified to run this business?
21. If not, who do you need on your team? Employees, Advisors, interns, etc?

What am I missing?

Stop Losing Email Subscribers

Make the Best of Email Pop Ups

Ever had this experience? You click on a link, get to a website, and automatically you’re met with an email sign-up form. Sometimes they’re nice looking, and sometimes they’re just ugly. Either way your first response is to close it. I’m willing to bet this happens 9 out of 10 times.

Why?

no trust = no email address

An email address is now the most valuable piece of digital data. People aren’t giving them out like they used to. Just because you have someone’s attention does not mean you’ve got their trust.

no value = no email address

Yes, the smart email pop-up forms have a nice image, top 3 benefits on the left side, and a bright call to action button. Unfortunately, since most people scan quickly or immediately close the pop up because of muscle memory, the value is lost.

no context = no email address

The pop up doesn’t target each visitor based on the reason for their visit; It becomes either hit or miss, just like the opt ins. No matter what the context is for that blog post or landing page, it’s the same sign up form.

The opportunity is to speak directly with the visitor, knowing exactly what pain point they’re trying to solve. That’s why we make landing pages in the first place, right? I would recommend customizing the email sign up form for each landing page and placing it somewhere obvious and easy to find; Maybe in the usual sidebar, or header and maybe again at the bottom of the page with a new version of the value proposition.

It reminds me of when someone shoves a flyer in your hand as your walking down the street because there’s a pizza place 2 blocks away. In the real world, time is the most valuable. So without skipping a beat you shove it back, or dump it in the nearest trash can. You don’t have time for that shit!

Why?

No trust, no value, no context.

I want to hear from your experience with instant email sign up forms. Has anyone experienced higher bounce rates? Does the “lead” score” go up or down with these instant subscribers?

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