Tag Archives: entrepreneur

8 Books Every Entrepreneur Should Read

Entrepreneurial life can be extremely challenging. More than 90% of startups fail within the first five years of their inception. Every founder will encounter situations where he wouldn’t know if he is headed in the right direction. It is during such times when one needs to not only introspect for character building  but also seek inspiration to stay optimistic.

There are hundreds of great books out there that offer advice & insights about the business world. However, there is only so much time that one can spare from his busy work life and we want you to make the most of it by recommending eight books that will refine your personality and make you a better thinker and leader.

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So let’s get started.

1. How to Win Friends & Influence People
One of the first best-selling self help books that was ever published, this book can be read by anyone but is a must for entrepreneurs. After reading this book, you will be able to make friends quickly, get your employees to start thinking the way you do, avoid conflicts at workplace and become a better visionary.

2. 7 Habits of Highly Effective People
Successful people always have some qualities that set them apart from the    rest of the crowd. To develop those qualities, you need to tread a carefully crafted path. Stephen Covey outlines this path for you in his book.  

This book  presents a holistic, principle-centered approach to solve personal and professional problems and was listed as one of ”The 25 Most Influential Business Management Books” by Times in 2011.

3. The Lean Startup
Today, entrepreneurs have innovative ideas but often lack the tools   necessary to build an enduring business. The book offers advice from someone who himself saw his startup fail, learnt from his mistakes and then went on to build a multi-million dollar enterprise.

The book will enlighten your mind about the 5 principles that are critical to the success of a startup and what makes a startup a ‘lean’ one.

4. Rich Dad Poor Dad
Everyone would like to become an entrepreneur after reading this book.  It is about a person who has two fathers- one rich & the other poor. Both fathers teach their kid on how to achieve success  but differ vastly in their approach.

The theme revolves around two things: a can-do-attitude and fearless entrepreneurship. The lesson is simple: if you desire to be an entrepreneur, you must take charge of your life by overcoming fear, laziness, cynicism and arrogance.

5. 80/20 Sales & Marketing
The business landscape has changed considerably over the last decade.   Instead of reaching out to everyone, a highly refined targeting of potential customers is the way forward. To bolster sales and run targeted marketing campaigns effectively,  you need to focus only on those customers who are genuinely interested in your product. The secret lies in saving 80 percent of your time by zeroing in on the 20 percent of your customers who have the highest probability of buying from you.

6. The $100 Startup
Without direction, purpose and strategy, any startup stands very little chance of succeeding. From the initial stages of starting a business to managing the growing  operations, this book will assist you at every stage. The book was written after conducting interviews and surveys with founders of real startups and hence is a must read for entrepreneurs who are thinking of starting their own business.

7. Start With Why
Great leaders inspire others by putting the Why(the purpose) before the How(the process) or the What (the product). In the book, the author uses real-world examples of great leaders to show you how they communicate and how you can adopt their mindset to inspire others.

Once you are finished reading this book, you will be equipped with the tools which will help you to lead and inspire.

8. The 4-Hour Workweek
I can’t recommend this book enough. After reading this book, your life will never be the same again. People often complain about struggling to balance their work life and not finding enough time for leisure.So if you are an entrepreneur and feel like you have been trapped in the vicious circle of life, this book will serve as a useful guide for a new and revolutionary world. It is bound to shake things up and make you do things differently.

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Business Mistakes Learned the Hard Way: 5 Entrepreneurs Share their Story

Where are you in your entrepreneurial pursuits? Idea stage? Development stage? Growth Stage? Whatever stage that may be, there is excitement and uncertainty. Many of us know to seek out mentors, business coaches, and peers about their experiences and insights. For good reason too: learn from them. Listen to their advice. Take their words of wisdom and apply it to your own situation. Yet, regardless of where we are in the process, we will encounter obstacles and problems. We KNOW we will make mistakes; we KNOW there will be failure, but we fight to minimize the depth of failure. However, there are situations that pop up without warning or they creep up on us to create havoc. These 5 entrepreneurs share their story and lessons learned:

Jennifer Tamborski, Virtual Admin Experts: “Hiring people and being a leader is entirely different from the corporate world. I hired employees and set them loose, assuming they knew what I knew. When they came back to me confused and lost, I realized I didn’t have the processes necessary for my employees to effectively perform their job. It’s a process I had to learn as I taught them.”

Lesson learned: a clear, concise, communication and documentation plan must be established. Follow-up with employees is just as important as follow-up with clients.

Chris MacLellan, Whole Care Network: “My theological background inspired me to trust without hesitation. That approach to life did not transfer well to business. I didn’t discover this until I handed over the IP (intellectual property) to a business connection in which the gesture was not reciprocated. As a result, I lost lots of money and my humility. It took a great deal of time to restructure my business, much of which conflicted with my trusting nature.”

Lesson learned: Life skills do not always transfer well to business skills.

Mary Scott, Make Believe TV: “Create a clear, contractual arrangement for each project which includes payment agreements and pricing for situations that influence the service offered. All decisions must be clear and understood before the project (or any part of the business arrangement) begins. If it isn’t clear, it will cost a lot of time, money, and frustration.

Lesson learned: Do not rush into a project without the proper documentation.

Angie Monko, Harmony Harbor Coaching: “I jumped into business without a clear plan, quickly becoming distracted by multiple business objectives. I didn’t recognize the situation until ~18 months later when cash flow and momentum declined. It took another 18 months to create a business plan and to begin recovery.”

Lesson learned: Create a business plan, follow it, and revise as your business shifts and grows.

Paul Heirendt, True Bearing Advisors: During my corporate days, I had ‘two young guys’ working with me. They frequently joked, ‘You’re not the boss of me’, which resulted in them learning very little and becoming a liability rather than an asset. I eventually left the corporate world and took one of these young guys with me. As his urging, we moved into his uncle’s free office space in downtown St. Louis. The caveat: the uncle’s son must become the CEO of my company. With no written partnership and nearly 100% of the company in my name, I dealt with legal issues, lost opportunities, lost revenue, and lots of bad blood.”

Lesson learned: It’s better off not partnering unless each member can prove their value AND share the same business goals.

These entrepreneurs faced some crushing blows to their business growth but regrouped, adjusted and recovered. Communication and documentation were the top business issues. How can you apply their lessons? Share your ideas or stories below.

Kristen Edens

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Does Faith Help an Entrepreneur?

Being a devout Christian and being an entrepreneur aren't usually found in the same sentence. I've seen articles and heard people even say that the two don't go well together, saying one is progressive while one is degressive. However, in my opinion this couldn't be further from the truth.

Anyone who knows me knows that I am a huge believer in the saying, "manifest your dreams." I believe that if you have a deep passion for the work you are doing and become willing to do whatever it takes then you can accomplish just about anything. It may sound cliché, but this is the exact moment where I see God fit in many lives. 

You see, the biggest part of manifestation is truly when someone spends hours on a daily basis dreaming about what they plan on creating. When someone deeply envisions something they begin to grow a passion for it. Passion leads to hard work. Hard work leads to success. Christians who are empathetic, observant, and live to help others (as we were called to do and be) usually are easily able to pinpoint problems in society. These problems are where business ideas stem from, as the next step is finding a solution. I'm not saying these traits are only found in believers, I'm just saying that we have been taught these for the majority of our lives.

When I start a new project, no matter the size, I spend a quick moment talking to our Lord and Savior. I pray to him asking for a clear and creative mind, success in my endeavors, and the ability to do his work with my hands. I lift my project to him, and allow him to take over. Immediately after this I feel renewed, fresh, and as if I have a clear brain. This allows for my brainstorming to now take place.

Generally, when brainstorming, a lot of my ideas are risky. I can't tell you how many times my parents, family and friends have called me crazy and I definitely can't tell you how many times I was told by teachers and classmates that I screwed my self over by picking too hard of a topic. What I can tell you though, is that I do not regret any of those choices. "A man who does not leave his comfort zone never grows," is one of my favorite quotes. That mindset combined with the confidence that if I fail I will be saved and put back on the right track by God allows me to take risks without the constant worry of failure.

It has actually led me to believe that more Christians should be out there building new things.

Building on my former point, I believe there is nothing more important in life than worshiping the higher being who has given us this universe. I tend to view myself as someone who worships through my work and because of this I refused to do "useless topics" in class but rather picked some of the most challenging and controversial. I also refuse to live a stereotypical lifestyle because I believe I wasn't born a stereotypical person. I was made in the eyes of God, not the eyes of the institutions and government who continuously push me to go to college just to find a job with benefits (nothing wrong with either, just not my calling). Instead, I would rather go do something that can change the world we were given for the better. My faith is partially responsible for my passion for entrepreneurship because I feel like we as people all possess the ability to do something amazing and this is the canvas which I can excel at doing so with.

"With God, all things are possible." If you grew up in a conservative Christian household you've probably heard this near a million times at this point in your life. But hey, I can not think of a better way to end this article. With God it's very true that all things, within the morals and guidelines he has given us, are possible. I don't have much to add on to this statement besides my promise that this is true. I have witnessed his miracles many times, I have witnessed him turn dreams into reality, and I have witnessed him turn nightmares into fantasies. Give him your business or whatever you're working on, do his work through it, and in that moment you'll start to see success like never before. God promised to provide for you, and provide he will.

 

About the Author: Jeremiah Northcutt is a dreamer who is currently an enrolled Business Administration major at Gordon College. He has recently started a new company named Jueko Imports, LLC which has set out to help the Wildlife Conservation Society save the endangered animals of our planet by donating $50 for every 50 sales. Jeremiah has experience in E-Commerce, social media marketing, and sales. 

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Markethive is the Rise of the Entrepreneur

Markethive is the Rise of the Entrepreneur

If you ever wondered what drives Markethive? This video explains it all. We did this for you. This is why it is basically free. This is why it was built, for all of the entrepreneurs who strugle and have a dream.

Thomas Prendergast
CEO Entrepreneur Inc.

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Markethive Vision Statement

Markethive Vision Statement

Markethive is Inbound Marketing combined with a dynamic vertical social network funded by advertising. Not only makes the entire Inbound Marketing system cost free, it also allows you to leverage huge results when you build groups to facilitate the platforms via the social network.

Markethive is next generation technology from a 20 year old Inbound Marketing platform called Veretekk. Built by the same entrepreneurs, innovation is our DNA.

We invented Inbound Marketing back in 1996.

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I’ll say it: the days of outbound marketing are over.

I’ll say it: the days of outbound marketing are over.

entrepreneur

The "Wolf of Wall Street" mentality of harassing customers over the phone, sending spamy emails, and going door-to-door to close deals has become much less effective in recent years. Customers have access to so much information every day, they’ve become increasingly resentful of marketing intrusions. The rise of blocking tools such as caller id, spam folders and ad blockers is not coincidence.

Inbound marketing is the new normal. That’s the idea that if you provide value to customers first, they will respond by returning that value back and doing business with you.

To get a peak under the hood inbound marketing, and get tips on how others can use it, I had a chance to chat with A.J. Agrawal – an entrepreneur who built his business, Alumnify, around it. A.J. is a fellow contributor at Entrepreneur as well as at Forbes, Huffington Post, and others.

Here’s an edited version of our e-mail interview:

Why begin with universities?

We started there because we saw a strong decrease year after year in alumni engagement. Right now, alumni engagement is at an all time low – under 10 percent. It was obvious that institutions were struggling to adjust to the new ways their alumni were communicating and engaging. So we saw the opportunity.

For about 85 years, alumni engagement was pretty steady. Then all of a sudden, in the 90’s it began to fall drastically. In panic mode, many schools chose to double down on the outbound marketing tactics that worked in the past: cold calls, snail mail, and increased email addresses. They also deployed better data tacking and software to help optimize open email rates as well as make the giving process easier for graduates.

But these strategies had no effect (or even a negative effect on engagement) because they were built on an overall strategy that was broken. So we decided we would build inbound marketing solutions to provide value to alumni first. 

How do you begin inbound practices?

First, make sure you know what inbound marketing is. At its core, inbound is anything that provides a tremendous amount of value to your target customer without asking anything from them in return. There are tons of ways to do this and the best part is that most of the major strategies can be done for minimal cost.

One thing we recommend to companies we work with us is to start by getting a blog set up and to have someone be responsible for publishing regular content. One of the nice things about inbound marketing is that it requires companies to build major assets for their business. Your content library is a huge asset and will eventually help your SEO, and pull in more customers to your website.

Other popular inbound strategies include webinars, eBooks, infographics, mobile apps built to help your customers, and optimizing your social media.

Each business is different, so the strategy depends on factors including audience, industry, and expertise. Like most things, the hardest part is just getting started. Once you find an inbound strategy that starts to work, it becomes much easier to fine tune and expand on your traction.

Do you avoid outbound strategies?

Not at all. While inbound is definitely the future, some customers still respond well to outbound strategies. Even as an inbound company, we still cold call customers and send promotional emails once in a while — but as part of a complete plan.

When thinking about the brand I want for Alumnify, I don’t want prospects and customers avoiding our phone calls. The image of a customer seeing an Alumnify Team Member calling them and saying “Not these people again” is my worst nightmare. And it should be any entrepreneur’s nightmare too.

Instead, I believe that the key to getting customers to love us is to provide value without asking for anything in return. For example, we have a free inbound marketing email list we just launched yesterday with weekly tips and webinars. And I’m always happy to help any fellow entrepreneur hammer out an inbound strategy. That type of approach may take more work in the short run, but it’ll also help build a much better brand to our customers in the long run.

Article writen by:

Inbound Marketing solution

 

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50 Ways Entrepreneurship Will Change Your Life

I’ve seen tons of articles talking about what personality and skills you need to become an entrepreneur, but while certain qualities can help you become more successful as an entrepreneur, anybody can become one.

Related: 8 Entrepreneurial Qualities That Contribute to Success

The experience of being an entrepreneur changes you, fundamentally, from the way you think to the way you act and the way you want to live your life. Most of the time, it’s for the better, and occasionally for the worse, but entrepreneurship will change your life. Here are 50 ways:

1. You become passionate about working. Success in entrepreneurship depends on following your passions.

2. You wonder how you ever held a normal job. Each day, that typical office-based 9-to-5 lifestyle seems stranger and less appealing to you.

 

3. You think critically about everything. Being in control makes you evaluate everything, from your morning coffee to the arrangement of your living room furniture.

4. New experiences become a commodity. You crave new experiences because you know they’re a gateway to new insights.

5. Everything can turn into an idea. Every object, situation and experience you encounter becomes a potential platform for a new idea.

6. You see the potential in everyone. You see the strengths and weaknesses in people, sometimes immediately, and imagine their great potential.

7. You can reduce most things to numbers (if you choose to). Entrepreneurs have to objectively analyze very subjective topics — the result is your ability to objectively analyze almost everything.

8. You get a new perspective on common situations. Some things seem more important, and others wholly unimportant.

9. You don’t care about small failures. When you stumble, make a mistake or lose something, those failures somehow don't seem as bad.

10. You embrace criticism and feedback. When someone points out something you’re doing wrong, you embrace that feedback as an opportunity to improve.

11. You support other people’s passions. You know the value of passion and support it in others.

12. You appreciate personal freedom more. Once you’ve tasted it, there’s no going back.

13. You make decisions more easily. After making 100 decisions a day, all other decisions in life seem easy.

14. Your problems seem smaller. Your daily crises pale in comparison to what you face as a company leader.

15. Your brain never turns off. You find yourself thinking and brainstorming all the time, with no reprieve.

16. You constantly want to learn new skills. You’re thrilled at the notion of how much you have left to learn.

17. You read more than you ever did before. Books, news, articles . . . you love to absorb new information.

18. You want to meet new people more than ever. You realize the value of new connections, and love to meet interesting new people.

19. You can’t just do nothing. If you feel as if you aren’t making progress at something, you go crazy.

20. Everything becomes a productivity challenge. You want to make everything as efficient as possible.

21. You want to tinker with everything. Your life is a giant experiment.

22. You have an easier time speaking in public. The pressure is off, you become more confident; and speaking becomes easier.

23. You work harder for things. You know your rewards are proportional to the work you put in, so you work harder at everything.

Related: 25 Common Characteristics of Successful Entrepreneurs

24. You aren’t afraid to say no. When you don’t want to do something, you feel less pressure to say yes.

25. You feel accomplished. Whether you've produced a success or a failure, you’re proud of what you tried to do.

26. You never feel bored. Even in dull moments, you find yourself entertained with complex thoughts and brainstorming patterns.

27. You feel in control of your own destiny. You truly feel in charge of your life.

28. You see patterns in chaos. That crazy traffic can be reduced to a series of actions of and reactions by reasonable drivers facing specific conditions.

29. You care less about your comfort zone. You’ve broken your comfort zone so many times it no longer exists.

30. You’re more confident in your abilities. You feel sure of yourself in certain key areas.

31. You want to experiment all the time. Everything is alive, and everything can be changed for the better.

32. You think more about your community. If your business relies on your community, you think more about giving back.

33. You see “work” and “fun” as no longer mutually exclusive. You know there’s a difference only if you make one.

34. You become a teacher. You want to share your knowledge and experience with others.

35. You become an even better student. You’re always eager to learn something new from anyone who wants to teach it.

36. You take more risks. You aren’t as afraid to fail because you know failure is never the end.

37. You aren’t afraid to dream bigger. You demand more for yourself.

38. You encourage others to dream bigger. You demand more for others.

39. You construct your own routines. You enjoy creating processes and systems for yourself.

40. You care more about time. You realize the true value of time, and that time truly does equal money.

41. You spend more time with people you like. You know who’s valuable to you and don’t waste your time with anyone else.

42. You challenge the status quo. You aren’t afraid to break the rules.

43. You take more initiative to build great environments. At home and at work, you strive to create places where you feel good.

44. You see everything as a game. Everything can be broken down into rules, actions and objectives.

45. You see everything as a win. Even failure is a learning opportunity.

46. You respect anybody who works hard at anything. You know the value of a work ethic.

47. You try to innovate everywhere. You want to try new things all the time.

48. You love solving puzzles even more than you did. Puzzles are especially thrilling because you know the satisfaction of finding solutions.

49. Everything seems faster paced. The pressure of being an entrepreneur bleeds into other areas of your life.

50. You remain calm in tense situations. Nothing seems as intimidating as it did before you became an entrepreneur.

I, for one, love how my entrepreneurial experience has changed my life. My days have more meaning, my mind seems sharper and everything has become easier to understand, in a new perspective. If you’re exploring the possibility of becoming an entrepreneur, grab my eBook, The Modern Entrepreneur: How to Build a Successful Startup, from Beginning to End.

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Free Inbound Marketing Platform

MarketHive the Free Inbound Marketing Platform

free inbound marketing platformMarketHive is the answer to all you entrepreneurial, inbound marketing needs. Built by entrepreneurs for entrepreneurs, (not opportunity seekers) MarketHive deliveres enterprise class inbound marketing tools coupled with a vibrant social network…all for free!

MarketHive is the result of over 20 years of online experience dating back to when the internet was at its infancy. Thomas Prendergast a 40 year marketing veteran, and 25 year internet marketing veteran has built the most powerful Marketing Automation platform (known as Inbound Marketing) for the little gal and guy, like you. 

MarketHIve is a cutting edge inbound marketing platform that combines the power and techniques of inbound marketing with that of a vibrant social neural network of entrepreneurs from around the world. With the ability to broadcast your message to 10’s of millions of social accounts, you will dominate your business niche in record time.

No other inbound marketing platform provides this kind of reach or interaction with an integrated entrepreneurial community and all the marketing tools you need right at your fingertips. 

Not HubSpot, Not Pardot, Not Marketo. Not InfusionSoft!

The benefits of MarketHive

  • Social interaction on the same platform: While you are utilizing the tools of MarketHive, you can converse, message and communicate with like minded entrepreneurs from around the globe within the same platform. You do not have to leave you inbound marketing website and jump onto a Facebook group to ask questions, provide feedback or inspire others. With a familiar social interface, you will feel right at home in MarketHIve!
  • Integrated Blogging Platform: Most inbound marketing platforms provide many of the same tools, email capabilities, capture page technology, CRM and the list goes on. With MarketHive you have a powerful blogging platform available at the push of a button. Write you blog, then with the MarketHive WordPress plugin RSS you blog post to as many WordPress blogs as you desire. 

    Swipe blogs from other like minded entrepreneurs to use as guest posts on your own blog, providing your readers additional insights into your specific niche. Or allow persons you are aligned with on MarketHive that have the same interests to automatically post to your blog as they post to their blog.

  • Capture and Lead Pages: MarketHive puts the power to capture lead without having to pay a monthly fee to have lead pages. You have the ability to modify an impressive set of capture pages or, if you love to code, develop your own custom page. 
  • Capture widgets that are state of the art, 1 click and you get the full profile of your prospect who is registering. One click, full name (real name), real email address and the Social Network they confirmed with to register account. This is forward thinking, advanced marketing technology, priceless and no cost to you.
  • Email Marketing, Autoresponders & Lead Management: No marketing platform is complete without an email platform. Again MarketHive provides the most deliverable email marketing system available anywhere. Set up a capture page to develop a lead and then drip information to that lead building a relationship of trust. Don’t forget to call your prospect. Nothing takes the place of speaking directly to them. You want to segment you list? MarkHive provides this functionality. Divide your leads into groups and send a broadcast email when you have important information, a great idea to share or just want to say, “Hi!”
  • Marketing Campaign Management:  MarketHive gives you a complete set of campaign marketing tools to help you develop wining marketing campaigns:
    • Vendor Records Management
    • Group Marketing Co-Op
    • Tiny URL Tracking
    • Website Rotators
    • Asset Maps to track your website real estate
    • Keyword Analysis
    • Backlink Tracking

This module alone will benefit you by helping you organize, track and work with your entrepreneurial group in swarming the internet with you message and product.

  • Advertising: Do you have a product or service you wish to get out to the masses? MarketHive offers unprecedented packages at far less rates than any other social network. Plus, you have the option to become a paid member and receive millions of advertising credits to use as you wish. In addition, the more you participate in MarketHive, posting valuable content, sharing content, commenting and the like, you will receive additional advertising credits. And even better, they never expire!
  • Video Integration: Integrate all your videos from YouTube directly into MarketHive to share directly with your group and entrepreneurial friends.
  • Ongoing Live and Recorded Training Workshops: We will teach you how to set ups your blog to maximize your swarm broadcasting to millions of entrepreneurs using social media
  • Thousands of entrepreneurs, at your fingertips for collaboration, sharing information, helping and bee-friending.

Other inbound marketing platforms like Aweber, Getresponse, HubSpot, Pardot, charge from $200 per month to $10,000 per month and more. MarketHive (The powerful Marketing Automation Platform by Prendergast) is 100% free. MarketHive makes its revenue from Advertising and then pays you up to 50% commissions on that revenue. Advertising runs about $100 per day. The tools are powerful and the preceeding list gives you an idea of the comprehensive sophistication that makes MarketHive a powerful inbound marketing platform to Internet marketers, entrepreneurs, etc. like myself. 

 

Bryan Tuck
Helping Entrepreneurs Leverage the Internet To Build A Successful Business
231-373-3569
tuckb@bryantuck.com
www.MarketHive.com

 

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Top 10 Features of MarketHive’s Inbound Marketing Platform

MarketHive is the only Free Inbound Marketing Platform

free inbound marketing platformMarketHive's inbound marketing platform delivers enterprise class internet marketing tools coupled with a vibrant social network…all for free!

Built by entrepreneurs for entrepreneurs, (not opportunity seekers), MarketHive is the solution to all you entrepreneurial, inbound marketing challenges.

MarketHive is the result of over 20 years of online experience dating back to when the internet was at its infancy. Thomas Prendergast a 40 year marketing veteran, and 25 year internet marketing veteran has built the most powerful Marketing Automation platform (known as Inbound Marketing) for the little gal and guy, like you. MarketHIve is a cutting edge inbound marketing platform that combines the power and techniques of inbound marketing with that of a vibrant social neural network of entrepreneurs from around the world. With the ability to broadcast your message to 10's of millions of social accounts, you will dominate your business niche in record time. No other inbound marketing platform provides this kind of reach or interaction with an integrated entrepreneurial community and all the marketing tools you need right at your fingertips. Not HubSpot, Not Pardot, Not Marketo. Not InfusionSoft!

The Benefits of MarketHive's Inbound Marketing Platform

1. Social interaction on the same platform: While you are utilizing the tools of MarketHive, you can converse, message and communicate with like minded entrepreneurs from around the globe within the same platform. You do not have to leave you inbound marketing website and jump onto a Facebook group to ask questions, provide feedback or inspire others. With a familiar social interface, you will feel right at home in MarketHive! 2. Integrated Blogging Platform: Most inbound marketing platforms provide many of the same tools, email capabilities, capture page technology, CRM and the list goes on. With MarketHive you have a powerful blogging platform available at the push of a button. Write you blog, then with the MarketHive WordPress plugin RSS you blog post to as many WordPress blogs as you desire.Swipe blogs from other like minded entrepreneurs to use as guest posts on your own blog, providing your readers additional insights into your specific niche. Or allow persons you are aligned with on MarketHive that have the same interests to automatically post to your blog as they post to their blog. 3. Capture and Lead Pages: MarketHive puts the power to capture lead without having to pay a monthly fee to have lead pages. You have the ability to modify an impressive set of capture pages or, if you love to code, develop your own custom page. 4. Capture widgets that are state of the art, 1 click and you get the full profile of your prospect who is registering. One click, full name (real name), real email address and the Social Network they confirmed with to register account. This is forward thinking, advanced marketing technology, priceless and no cost to you. 5. Email Marketing, Autoresponders & Lead Management: No marketing platform is complete without an email platform. Again MarketHive provides the most deliverable email marketing system available anywhere. Set up a capture page to develop a lead and then drip information to that lead building a relationship of trust. Don't forget to call your prospect. Nothing takes the place of speaking directly to them. You want to segment you list? MarkHive provides this functionality. Divide your leads into groups and send a broadcast email when you have important information, a great idea to share or just want to say, “Hi!” 6. Marketing Campaign Management:  MarketHive gives you a complete set of campaign marketing tools to help you develop wining marketing campaigns:

  • Vendor Records Management
  • Group Marketing Co-Op
  • Tiny URL Tracking
  • Website Rotators
  • Asset Maps to track your website real estate
  • Keyword Analysis
  • Backlink Tracking

This module alone will benefit you by helping you organize, track and work with your entrepreneurial group in swarming the internet with you message and product. 7. Advertising: Do you have a product or service you wish to get out to the masses? MarketHive offers unprecedented packages at far less rates than any other social network. Plus, you have the option to become a paid member and receive millions of advertising credits to use as you wish. In addition, the more you participate in MarketHive, posting valuable content, sharing content, commenting and the like, you will receive additional advertising credits. And even better, they never expire! 8. Video Integration: Integrate all your videos from YouTube directly into MarketHive to share directly with your group and entrepreneurial friends. 9. Ongoing Live and Recorded Training Workshops: We will teach you how to set ups your blog to maximize your swarm broadcasting to millions of entrepreneurs using social media 10. Thousands of entrepreneurs, at your fingertips for collaboration, sharing information, helping and bee-friending. Other inbound marketing platforms like Aweber, Getresponse, HubSpot, Pardot, charge from $200 per month to $10,000 per month and more. MarketHive (The powerful Marketing Automation Platform by Prendergast) is 100% free. MarketHive makes its revenue from Advertising and then pays you up to 50% commissions on that revenue. Advertising runs about $100 per day. The tools are powerful and the preceeding list gives you an idea of the comprehensive sophistication that makes MarketHive a powerful inbound marketing platform to Internet marketers, entrepreneurs, etc. like myself.   Bryan Tuck Helping Entrepreneurs Leverage the Internet To Build A Successful Business 231-373-3569 tuckb@bryantuck.com www.MarketHive.com   Bryan Tuck

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Profile Pages: Online Branding and Building Authority

Profile Pages: “Online Branding and Building Authority”

What is the difference between online branding and building authority? Some would consider it the same thing, but in reality it can be two completely different processes. Online branding is a way to get more exposure for your brand on all levels of online marketing, especially search and social.

Building authority takes online branding to the next level by making each online presence for a brand authoritative. It goes beyond just about creating a blog or social media account. The following are ways you can build your online brand as well as your authority.

Everyone wants to be an authority.  READ: How to be an authority (Know Your Why First)
https://markethive.com/group/marketingdept/blog/how-to-be-an-authority

Start a Blog with Awesome Content

Blogs are beneficial for brands for three reasons. First of all, blogs help you rank well in search engines – Google loves fresh, unique content on websites that are constantly updated. If you’re looking to meet this goal, be sure to use Markethive’s blog platform and build a blog team in a Markethive group to assist in greater content and curation.

RE: WordPress Markethive’s technology super charges WordPress campaigns.

Next, blogs provide for great content to share on social media networks. It’s hard to get traction if your just sharing product and sales pages. But if you’re sharing informative blog posts about your industry, you’re likely to get a lot of traffic and social shares.

Markethive provides plugins and widgets and tech that allows visitors to subscribe to your blog from their Social Networks like Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter, thereby allowing your new Markethive posts to publish to their news feed automatically.

Finally, great blogs can help your brand build authority in your niche. This is where you go above and beyond cookie cutter posts that talk about your product to creating awesome content in the form of:

  •     Tutorials
  •     Infographics
  •     Videos
  •     Industry Interviews

Awesome content will show fans of your industry that you know your stuff and therefore are the brand to go with for their business needs. A great example of this is the blog you are reading right now – Markethive has Inbound Marketing technologies, the go to Social Network and infographics  that have been tweeted and liked over 10,000 times and posts that have been viewed on Facebook, LinkedIn and Stumbleupon over 100,000 times.

There are two great fears that brands have when it comes to blogging. One is that they won’t have anything to blog about, and this is a complete myth. Everyone can find something to blog about. You just have to expand your definition of the target audience. Imagine you had a body shop. You probably won’t get a lot of attention if you’re writing about paint booths and sanding tools all the time, but you will if you think about broader topics that would interest the people likely to visit an auto body shop. You can blog about the latest coolest Hot Rods at the coming Hot Rod Nationals show or the latest NASCAR winner to grab fans of those programs. Or you can blog about environmental issues and the Prious to grab environmentalists. Just think bigger!

The other fear is that they will be giving away “trade secrets” and lose their business. This one is especially common within industries like SEO, where a brand might feel like giving out ten steps to link building will give their customers the info they need to just do it themselves. But this just isn’t true. I have found that most of the time, if you give a complex, in-depth tutorial, a potential customer will see that your brand has the knowledge to do the service, but they won’t have the time or resources to do it for themselves. Hence, they’ll go with you because they feel confident that your brand has the expertise demonstrated in the content provided on the blog.

The key with your brand’s blog is to make sure that it is apparent who is behind the content. Whether you have your blog on your domain (yourbrand.com/blog), as a subdomain (blog.yourbrand.com), or as a separate site (yourbrandblog.com), be sure that it is matched to your brand. Check out Markethive’s site, blog, and subscribers profile pages, logged in dashboard and display variances on hand held devices. All are unique yet all are well branded and follow a conventional identity protocol (all on separate domains and different devices) as an example of great branding.

Guest Blog for Others (This is a major component in Markethive)

When it comes to blogging, you don’t want to keep the good stuff all to yourself. Guest blogging (join a Markethive Group to share content is that easy) is a great way to build your online brand presence and authority. The basic goal is to find a (GROUP) blog whose audience will be interested in your brand, and create a great piece of content for that blog.

Notice I said great piece of content. I would go so far as to say that the content you create for another (GROUP) site’s blog should be even better than the content you create for your own site. You want the content you create for another blog (GROUP) to rock. You want that content to generate additional social shares, comments, and traffic for the blog owner.

As you create GROUP posts for others, be sure to save the links to those guest posts for future reference. As you approach new GROUPs that you would like to guest post upon, you will want to include those links as examples of your successful guest posts in other Markethive GROUPS. If you can convince the GROUP owner that your post will be a perfect fit for their audience and will drive significant traffic and response, the GROUP blog owner will have a hard time resisting.

My main tips for GROUP blogging for your brand include:

1. Find the best GROUPs to guest post on.

When it comes to blogs you want to get a guest post on, your goal is to find those whose audience would be interested in your brand. The blog should get a significant amount of traffic and social shares as well – there’s no reason to post on a blog that has no visitors just because it has high PageRank or any other criteria – you want to get some brand exposure out of this! Use the Markethive GROUPs directory to start your search for blogs in your niche or industry.

2. Find the GROUPs blogging policy.

If you see that a GROUP allows guest bloggers or outside contributors, the GROUP should have some page or post posted that describes their post policy. If they do have a policy page or post, then be sure to note any and all criteria.

3. Start building a relationship with the GROUP owner first. (Markethive Groups is excellent for this)

Now that you’ve found the blog you want to pitch an idea to, don’t just jump in and pitch them yet. Start by getting to know the GROUP owner first by following their Markethive blog posts, their Twitter and their Facebook fan page. Comment on some of their latest posts – make those comments valuable to enhance discussion and demonstrate your writing skills and expertise in the industry. CoPromote their posts using Broadcasting tools and widgets. Do this for at least a week or two before pitching content to them.

4. Research and pitch great topic ideas. (Join others in our live Markethive Work Shops)

Don’t create the content first and then try to find it a home. Once you’ve found the right blogs and started engaging with the blogs themselves, you’ll get a feel for the type of content they publish.

To get an even better idea of what content is successful for each blog, subscribe to them in your Markethive back office blog platform. Then you will be able to see the site’s latest traffic scores. The higher score, the more comments, tweets, Facebook likes, and other social shares the post received. Use these high-scoring posts as an indicator as to what content does well on each blog.

Now you can message via the Markethive message system or request to join their group saying that you have recently enjoyed reading their blog (as evidenced by your commenting & social sharing) and would like to contribute to their site as a GROUP member. After reading their guidelines, you would like to see if they would be interested in the following topics. Then add three to four great post ideas that you believe will fit their audience to choose from. And of course, if you’ve done guest posts elsewhere, include some of your best links. If not, just include some great links from your own brand’s blog.

5. Create Awesome Content.

Once you get approval from a GROUP, your next job is to create an awesome piece of content. Make sure it fits the theme of that blogging GROUP and that it has the overall feel / tone of the GROUP blog you are submitting to. Also be sure to add in relevant links throughout your blog post – not to your own properties, but internal links to the blog itself. This shows the blog owner you’re really giving it 100% for them and their audience and not just trying to promote yourself.

The self-promotion piece should come at the end with your guest bio. Check out other author bios on the blogs and create yours to match. This is where you can say you are John Smith, an industry enthusiast from ABC Company.

Again, be sure to consider the blog’s guidelines and previous guest author bios when deciding to add one or more links back to your brand. The blog owner ultimately reserves the right to edit it as they feel is necessary.

6. Support your GROUP post once it goes live.

It’s not over yet. After that guest post goes live, you should give it your unconditional love in the form of social sharing with your brand’s audience on Twitter, Facebook, etc. as well as coming by to respond to comments. That kind of response on your guest post will further boost your brand’s reputation as a great guest blogger as well as a confident authority in your niche.

Don’t Forget Blog Commenting

Blog commenting is a great branding and authority building exercise you can do on any blog in your niche. I would suggest subscribing to the top blogs in your industry in Google Reader, and each time there is a new post, be sure to read it thoroughly and add a valuable comment. Remember this isn’t about link building – this is about building your brand’s presence online as an authority in your industry.

Get a Disqus account as well as it is a sort of social network of people that comment.

You can use the blog’s previous comments as a guide as to how you should format yours. Some blogs require you to only use your real name, while others are a little more lenient in using your name – your company. I would suggest linking your comments to your blog as people are more willing to click through to a brand’s blog than their main website.

Your Online Branding & Authority Building Strategy Using Blogs

What is your brand’s strategy when it comes to building your brand’s authority using blogs? Be sure to share what you find brings your brand the best results in the comments!

Create a Consistent Brand Image for Each Profile

Have you ever visited a company’s social profile, and you were not sure that it belonged to the company? One of the most important parts of branding is keeping a consistent image across all of your online properties so that no matter what path a person takes from one property to the next, they will always know it is your brand. For example, someone might:

Find your fan page through a friend’s activity stream and then follow it to your blog, then website

See a tweet from someone they are following, visit your Twitter profile, and then continue onto your website.

Start at your website, then go to check out your social profiles to see if your company is engaging with fans. Engaging is fuel and grows awareness, authority and respect. Comment, recommend. Just drive by liking and endorsing does no one any good and makes you look like a tire kicking couch potato.

Just like you wouldn’t want pages on your website to be different themes, you will want your social profiles to do the same. Markethive also leads the way in doing it right as well:

MARKETHIVE

Markethive probably does the best with branding between their website, Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter and YouTube accounts as shown above. All five are branded with the honey comb logo, color theme and climbers ascending Mt. Everest in representation of the entrepreneurial social community of entrepreneurs helping each other achieve their agendas, so you can feel the consistency moving from one property to the next.

BMW

The above shows BMW’s branding between their website, Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, and YouTube profiles. Each online property uses the same color scheme and is currently focused on automotive technology. The logos are all consistent, and the auto focused in the pages is different perspectives, the coloring and themes are consistent as well

BOLTHOUSE

Bolthouse’s (organic farm fresh juices) branding between their website, Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, and YouTube profiles as shown above uses the same color scheme, logo, and focus on their primary product, carrots and selections of juices. Excellent example of branding and consistency!

Help People Find Your Profiles

I do a lot of competitive analysis in my line of work, and one of the most frustrating things I have to do is search for a brand’s social profiles. Don’t hide your social media presence – flaunt them! Be sure to:

  • Put Social Icons on Your Website – Let visitors to your website know that you are engaging with your audience on social media as well by adding social icons to your website design. The most common places to place them include the header / menu bar, sidebar, and footer. They don’t have to be large and in charge – BMW’s are none existent on their main page and Bolthouse are right up top left of center where they should be and get the job done..
     
  • Put Social Links in Your Communications – Do you send emails regularly? Add social links to your email signature. Do you send newsletters? Add social icons to them.
     
  • Make Your Profiles Search Friendly – If I Google your brand name + Twitter, I should get your Twitter handle in the search results. To make this happen, be sure that the name of your social profile (and the username if possible) matches your brand name. You might be tempted to keyword optimize your profiles instead of optimizing them for your brand name – this is something you need to resist. You can learn more about social media SEO on how to optimize for both effectively for search engines.

Another frustration is the direct sales industry.

Even though the size of this industry is huge by any comparison with a market measured in the trillions, even the top 100 fail miserable branding with social media. Do not be like them, rather show them a good example with your efforts. After several days of research I was able to find one such company that at least had the top 5 Social Medias registered with a similar array (not the same name) of usernames.  The super majorities only have a token Facebook page, even less with Youtube and Twitter and nearly nonexistent with a Google+ and for that almost none of them are engaged.

BEACHBODY

Team Beach Body with a yearly market of 250 million, struggles with social media but has managed to set up the top 5 social medias, Facebook, Twitter, Youtube, Linkedin and Google+, albeit, the account usernames vary, and across the media branding is seriously lacking. It becomes painfully clear this industry needs Markethive or at least their distributors seriously do.

Get Engaged with Your Followers, Fans, and Subscribers

You probably know that it is important to maintain an active account by posting lots of updates, and that it is best to do something other than blasting advertisements non-stop about your brand. So the question is, what should you be doing to stay active in your social networks? Get engaged with your audience, of course. Here are the top networks to get socially engaged in for your brand.

Twitter Engagement

If you’re goal is to build a strong presence on Twitter and demonstrate your brand’s authority in your industry, you need get involved with your following. Some ways to do so include:

Monitoring Brand Mentions – If you use Twitter itself, just do a search for your brand and save the search for future reference. If you use a Twitter management tool like HootSuite, create a keyword search column that will constantly update you with brand mentions. Anytime someone says something about your brand, whether it is good or bad, you should be responding to it if at all possible. This may mean adding some extra team members to your social media GROUP as a response staff. But over time, if people see that you are always on top of any discussion of your brand, you will gain trust and receive lots of great word of mouth marketing. People will tell their followers what a great response they’ve received from you and likely recommend you based on their satisfaction level.

Monitoring Industry Conversation – One of the best parts of Twitter is that you can jump into any conversation, anytime. So if you are a company providing Inbound Marketing services and technologies like Markethive, you can monitor anyone who talks about Inbound Marketing, SEO, linking, Entrepreneurial interests, and other related topics and just answer simple questions that anyone asks about those topics demonstrating your expertise.

Curate the Best Content – Even if you are the best content creator in your industry, people often like to see a second opinion. Find out who other authorities are in your industry and share their opinion on industry topics with your following. You will gain more relevant followers simply for sharing the best news.

Facebook Fan Page Engagement

There are several different ways you can engage with your fans using your fan page that will keep your current fans active and bring new fans to your brand. These include:

Updating Your Fan Page on Facebook – It’s tempting to use HootSuite and other automated programs to update your fan page. But it’s becoming more and more obvious that if you want your updates to show up in fan’s news feeds that the updates must be organic, or originating from your fan page itself. So take the extra time to disable all of your autofeeds and start updating your fan page manually on Facebook. And when people start engaging with your posts or posting directly on your wall, be sure to respond to them. If they know they’re getting response, they’re more likely to return. No one likes a one-way broadcast.

Try Out Different Types of Updates – Don’t just post links or ask questions. Spice it up – add some video updates and photos. Different types of people like different types of content – be sure to try to cater to everyone by mixing your content up!

Thanks to the last major update to Facebook fan pages, you are able to use Facebook as your fan page. This means you can like pages as your fan page instead of your personal profile and then comment on them as your fan page. If you can find pages that are not direct competitors but whose audience will be interested in your brand, you will want to get active on them. For example, social media consultants should be living on Social Media Examiner’s fan page to connect with other individuals and businesses looking for social media help.

LinkedIn Engagement

If your brand isn’t on LinkedIn, you are missing out. LinkedIn allows you to add a company page where you can post your products, services, job openings, and even send status updates to your company followers including your latest blog posts. But some of the best branding and authority building activities for this network lie in the activity of the professional profiles including:

Participating in Groups – There are lots of great, active groups on LinkedIn in a wide variety of industries. Find the groups that have your potential client base within them and start getting active in discussions and posting useful content. Just be sure not to do anything that the group moderator would consider as spamming!

Answering Questions – The next best area to build a great professional reputation and strong authority in your industry is in LinkedIn Answers. There are questions asked every day in topics ranging from administration to technology. The people who answer the most questions are also featured on the answers’ home page as the week’s top experts!

Gaining Recommendations – Last, but not least, is recommendations. You can get recommendations on both the company pages and the professional profiles of your employees. Imagine if someone is browsing your company’s page and sees that the top employees have a ton of recommendations. It will show that you have a lot of experts in the industry which will make potential clients even more confident in your brand!

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