Category Archives: Starting Out

How To Promote My New Business?

I am thinking of making a business and wish to know about how to promote the business effectively.

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Jay’s Answer: This is a big question, but it all starts with understanding some key things:

  • WHO specifically are you trying to sell to? Where are they located?
  • WHY would they need what you’re selling? Why is what you’re planning to sell better than what they’re using now?
  • WHY should they trust you? You’re asking them to give you money – why should they feel comfortable doing so?
  • HOW do you know they’ll switch to your offering?

Once you truly can answer these questions, you need to then find the people you’re targeting, and engage them in a dialogue to show them your “stuff”, and then “wow” them.

Build Your Personal Branding

Merge Your Unique Skills

(Photo by Sam)

When you’re thinking of starting a new business, it all comes down to your personal branding. Why should someone choose to work with you?

You can create websites. So can they. You can bake delicious cakes. So can they. You teach yoga. So can they. So, why start a new business that others are already also doing? You’ll have no name recognition, no trust, a price that’s likely no better than theirs’. You need to brand yourself differently.

The trick is to realize that many people (including your competitors) can do one thing well, whether it be sales, marketing, product development, etc. The key to crafting your personal branding comes in is merging one of your secondary skills with your primary skill to offer something no one else is.

If you’re a website designer that’s deeply religious, then why not specialize working with other deeply religious groups (not just your own belief or sect)? Your passion for religion will be self-evident in crafting high-quality websites.

If you’re a cake baker who loves fixing up homes, then why not specialize in architectural cakes? Make cakes that look like business buildings, newly constructed homes, room layouts, etc. Realtors and architects could give memorable thank you cakes to their clients.

If you’re a yoga teacher that loves hip-hop music, then why not feature hip-hop music in your classes, creating special yoga sequences that match the music and your yoga goals? Instead of wearing the normal yoga clothes, imbue your class with hip-hop spirit. You might attract a totally different type of yoga student.

It might not be obvious or easy to figure out how to merge two diverse interests or even how to be successful doing it. By making your personal brand unique, you’ll stand out from the crowded competitive field and make it much easier to find your fans.

Poster Bikes?

We run a street marketing service in the Bay Area- distributing flyers, posters and postcards and we are considering adding bikes with poster trailers.The bikes pull a small trailer that has a two sided poster board standing vertical. It would be mobile and travel throughout the city. Does this seem like a service that would be of value?

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Jay’s Answer: Why not simply test market the service? See if people notice, and the call-to-action on the signage works. If so, you’ve got something that’s easily explained to be effective.

Name My New Business – Too Many Choices

My background consists of sales, marketing, management, food industry, retail, Real Estate Licensee, wedding and event planning. I live in South Lake Tahoe and there are so many wedding chapels and businesses here, although I can’t decide if I want to go into property management or my desire is to coordinate weddings and plan events…. So names? Business direction? To be top of mind ahead of the already existing competition. I moved here in November.  My background has been working in Beef, Chicken food manufacturing as Executive Assistant, Logistics, Sales and Marketing, Senior Services, Independent and Assisted Living, Jewelry sales, there is so much talent. My father was a minister and I like speaking to women’s groups…so maybe my web-site should be a professional motivational speaker?

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Jay’s Answer: Names are irrelevant unless you’ve got a focus. So, let’s talk focus.

  • Do you want to work for yourself or others?
  • Do you want to work in B2B or B2C (i.e., do you want businesses or consumers as your audience)?
  • Do you want to work locally at South Lake Tahoe, or travel, or work virtually (with people from afar)?
  • What truly excites you? You’ve listed a number of skills, but I didn’t hear what YOU want to do.

And that’s just the start of a longer conversation that we could have about where you and and where you want to go.

My suggestion is that you should hire a professional coach to help you narrow down your wants/needs and help you achieve your goals.

Tagline for Business Consulting

I am working on my logo and website but I am really struggling with creating a tagline.  I have started a consulting and training business serving small to medium sized not for profit organizations.  I work them to create solutions to the challenges they maybe having with governance, policy development, and volunteer resources.  I also offer proposal writing, program evaluation, and facilitation. Any ideas would be greatly appreciated.

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Jay’s Answer: I think the problem you’re having crafting a tagline is because it’s not clear WHY your target audience needs you. “Creating solutions to the challenges they maybe…” isn’t a strong offering. What could a non-profit do better as a result of hiring your services? Why couldn’t they do this in-house? Why should they trust your knowledge?

The more specific your offering, the easier it’ll be to sell yourself to them. You don’t want them to have to wade through a menu of services to figure out if you’re the right person for them. If you position yourself as the expert in a specialty, then it becomes much clearer if there’s a fit.

I strongly suggest spending the time developing your marketing strategy. If you need assistance, hire my services. Or, start doing it yourself. But, don’t develop your website/logo any more until it’s clear what you’re offering. Otherwise, you’re going to confuse a lot of people, and they won’t come back to your website after you “tighten things up”.

Can a Psychic use Affiliate Marketing?

I’m a phone and email reader with great reviews, reputable, etc. What kind of network might I use are there networks that will pay by performance or by sale? Looking for a site that does this.

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Jay’s Answer: While I’m sure there are affiliate networks that you can use, my strong suggestion is not to use them, for the following 3 reasons:

  1. Since there are lots of competition for affiliates, to get any quality leads, you’ll need to give a large % of your fee to your affiliate.
  2. Affiliates are best used for selling a concrete product, not a service. Products are easily quantized, but services are hard to compare/contrast.
  3. Affiliates may misrepresent you/your services.

The fantasy is that you can have an army of people who’ll act as your 100% commission sales force. And it’s just that – a fantasy. To help others sell your offering, you need to help them do it. You’ll need marketing materials, case studies, guarantees, etc. to help them to learn about you. Then, if you do get a lead, you won’t know what the “magic” was to attract them, so you’ll never be able to grow your own business.

My suggestion is to get crystal clear about who you’re trying to attract as your customer, and consider why they should use your services (instead of a personal coach, or a business coach, or take classes in a local school, etc.) and trust your advice. From some of these questions are the kernels of your marketing strategy.

Tagline For New Travel Company

Along with a couple of friends we are starting our new travel company..cannot think of a good tagline..we would really be grateful to you if you can suggest us something good..we have great deals on holiday packages and we specialise in tours..we thought a few like..best deals always and travel deals simplified. i look forward to your reply. Our company name will be travista.

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Jay’s Answer: The name you chose is already the name of a worldwide travel company: travistaworldwide.com – if this isn’t your company, you’re likely to find that you’re attracting your prospective customers to their website or have their lawyers request that you change your company’s name.

As to a tagline, “specializing in tours” and “best deals always” are promises that many other travel companies make as well. That’s why you’re having problems creating a great tagline for your business.

Instead, you need to start at the very beginning of your marketing strategy:

  • WHO specifically are you looking to attract to your business?
  • Where are they located? Where do they travel? How often do they travel? How exclusive are their travel needs? The narrower your niche, the easier it is to market to them.
  • HOW do you differ from your competition?
  • If you’re offering the same things as everyone else, then you need to find something that no one else does (that people care about) and do it well. For example, do you send your customers movies about the area they’re planning to visit for free? Perhaps a bonded housesitting (or petsitting) service at no additional fee?
  • WHY should they believe you?

Anyone can make a claim, but few can back it up. What proof can you present that shows what you’re saying is true. Consider testimonials or 3rd party independent investigators.

 

Name My Highly Professional Mortgage Company

homeI have been in the mortgage business for 8 years in Hawaii. I have focused mainly on high-end jumbo loans and have become almost too niched. No one thinks of me for conforming or average loans. I am starting my own company. I am looking for a name that exudes professionalism, confidence, knowledge, trust, etc. I want to cover the entire market not just jumbo. We may want to get licensed in other states so the name has to cross state boundaries. I am really looking for something new and fresh. Any help would be appreciated.

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Jay’s Answer: Here are a couple of names to play with:

  • The Loan Wizard
  • Mortgage Master

 

Help Me Launch my Indian Electronics Store

How to launch a electronic retail store in a mall in India?

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Jay’s Answer: Since you’re hoping to open a shop in a mall, your target audience are initially the people already visiting the mall. What other electronics stores are in the mall? What are they NOT selling? What are people visiting the mall likely to need/want? If you don’t know, visit the mall and survey the visitors.

Next, focus on WHY they should visit your store, instead of any of your competition’s locations (including online). Will you have a selection of impulse items? Do you carry products that are hard to find? Will you offer amazing service guarantees? Do you have knowledge about the electronics that no one else does? Will you offer complete customization of their purchase?

Finally, focus on HOW to attract people to come to the mall and your store. How can you co-market with other stores in the mall to make it a smart use of people’s time and money?

Help Me Start My Wedding Planning Business

I am currently a student and wanted to start being a wedding planner. I need help. Can u help me by  suggesting the name and the work regarding it. i would be thankful to u

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Jay’s Answer:   You don’t start building a business with a name. You start building a business with a plan. Once you have the well-thought out plan, then you can begin to craft your marketing strategy (where you name is one part of it). By starting with a name, you’re assuming you know how to find your customers, what they need, why they should trust you, and how you compare to your competition.  I suggest starting by reviewing this article of mine: http://www.manygoodideas.com/2008/10/01/unpeeling-your-marketing-onion/