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youtubechart

YouTube has changed the online landscape and dominates the web, with more than 1 billion unique users each month. Over 100 hours of video are uploaded to YouTube every minute, and YouTube now reaches more US adults ages 18 – 34 than any cable network. Just to put that into perspective, if YouTube were a country, it would be the third largest in the world, just after China and India.

With that kind of reach, YouTube represents an enormous opportunity for small business owners to get significantly more visibility and exposure.
However, with billions of videos on the video channel, it’s very easy to get lost in the YouTube jungle. In fact, 53% of YouTube’s videos get less than 500 views, and about 30% have less than 100 views. Meanwhile, a miniscule 0.33% have over a million views.

Granted, it’s not all about the numbers, but you do want your video to be seen by as many people as possible. More video views means more engagement, and more engagement means more potential customers!

Fortunately, there are several little-known strategies to optimize your videos on YouTube to give you the “YouTube Booster” effect:

1. Begin With the Basics – It all starts with the upload and your title, description and tags. Be sure to use a descriptive, keyword-rich title. “How to Get More Video Views on YouTube” is pretty good, but “My cool video” won’t cut it as a title. Next, your description should also contain your keywords and should include your full URL. So one of mine might start with http://www.loubortone.com presents how to get more video views on YouTube… YouTube gives you a ton of space for your video description, so take advantage of that real estate. The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon is a great example of how to crush it with the basics. They do a great job optimizing their videos. Lastly, use the tags section to once again list your keywords.

2. Capitalize on Keywords – The importance of keywords cannot be emphasized enough. This is how people find your videos on Google and other search engines, so make sure you’re using your best keywords and consistent keyword phrases. This will also help to “connect” your videos so your other videos show up as related videos.

3. Add Awesome Annotations – Video annotations are a powerful, but under-utilized tool for making your videos more interactive and guiding your viewer to take the desired actions. Annotations can be text, overlays, speech-bubbles or notes, and can be live links to your other videos, playlists, a subscribe link, or even a link back to your main website.

4. Nail Your Thumbnails – YouTube gives you a choice of three thumbnails to represent your video, but you can also add a custom thumbnail to better display what your video is about. Since the three thumbnails YouTube offers are typically pretty random and lame, you’d be crazy not to add a custom thumbnail, where you get to decide what the viewer sees. Create and upload your own thumbnail to take advantage of this option. Many potential viewers will decide whether or not to click on your video simply based on your thumbnail image!

5. Show Up and Share – Finally, be sure to share and distribute your video for maximum reach. Look for the “share” button, which will open up a menu of social media icons and platforms where you can share your video directly from YouTube. You will have to “connect” your accounts first, but once that’s done, it’s easy to share your video to your social media sites with just one click!

Taking the time to optimize your videos with these five steps will help you make the most of YouTube and put you way ahead of your competition. And who knows? With a little luck and persistence, you may even go viral!

Lou Bortone

About Our GE Network Expert - Lou Bortone

Lou Bortone is an award-winning writer and video producer with over 20 years experience in marketing, branding and promotion. As an online video expert, Lou helps entrepreneurs create video for the web at www.TheOnlineVideoGuy.com. More recently, Lou has taken his marketing and branding experience online, where he helps coaches and entrepreneurs build breakthrough brands on the Internet.



 
  


business_success_

It’s often overlooked.

Definitely under-rated.

(Unquestionably the biggest mistake entrepreneurs make…..)

Your story, is the single most important influencer in your business – it’s the key to your confidence, your ability to attract clients and to make money from your passion.

Let me tell you just 10 way your story is business dynamite!

1. You understand what you need to do – when you discover your story, it shows you the path that got you to where you are right now…and it becomes really clear what you need to do next!

2. You find your talents and gifts – your story helps you understand exactly what it is that you do best and where you have found success.

3. You discover your niche – your story is the key to finding out who you are passionate about serving, and who will resonate with you and what you offer

4. You discover your ideal client – you story helps you see who it is that you LOVE working with and who loves working with you

5. You feel comfortable talking about you – your story takes the stress out of having to explain to people what you do so that they actually get it!

6. You discover your compelling message – when you figure out your story, you know what is that one compelling message that gets you and everyone else SUPER motivated

7. You attract ideal clients – you can stop chasing clients, they’ll find you and they will be willing to pay you for what you do!

8. You build your business your way – finding your story and using it to build your business means that that you will show up with authentic presence.  It’s your authentic style, approach and personality that will win hearts and make perfect business sense.

9. You’ll have more time – as you begin to realize even more success, you will be able to spend more time doing the things that you love in your business and in your life.

10. You’ll make more money – your story is the key to de-stressing your marketing so that you can attract high-paying clients with ease

If this makes sense to you (and you’re crazy if it doesn’t!!!), then join me for the upcoming FREE webinar “The Power of Storytelling for Instant Credibility, Outstanding Confidence and Extreme Client Attraction!”

http://businessstorymastery.com/bsm-webinar/

And then, leave a comment below, share how YOUR story has made a difference!


risk-of-failure

“My business is in trouble with debt spiraling out of control and I simply don’t have enough cash to make payments on time. I’ve read that most small business startups have problems similar to mine, but why?”

This concern is common amongst the directors, managers, and owners of small business startups in the UK, and for good reason – about 2/3 of startups fail within their first 3 years of operation. Usually the failure is brought about by a number of factors that work together synergistically to make business progression difficult. Here are the 4 most common reasons why small business startups don’t do well:

1. Inadequate Preparation

Starting a successful startup is all about planning – analysing your market conditions and competition. Some of the things you’ll need to know and have planned for:

  • Who is going to buy your product/service
  • How many companies are providing similar offerings
  • Why your company’s offerings will be more appealing
  • How much your competition is charging
  • What it will cost to get the business of the ground and start an advertising campaign
  • How much the business will need to spend to operate on an ongoing basis

2. Lack of Help or Too Much Help 

Operating a startup all by yourself can be a recipe for disaster. Things happen that we don’t expect, and when there’s absolutely no one else to fall back on it can be easier to become stuck in predicaments that result in missed deadlines and unsatisfied clients.

At the very least you should have a professional accountant on call and/or a general helper to assist with medial duties so that you can focus on the business.  At the same time, hiring too many employees prematurely can drain your cash flow and hinder your company’s ability to invest and progress.

3. Borrowing Too Much Money From the Start 

Most startup founders are a bit overzealous and as such have a tendency to overestimate their funding needs. The prospect of getting a £50,000 business loan definitely sounds tempting, but realistically you don’t even know if your company is going to be profitable yet.

Borrow only what you need to get started, and never borrow more than you’ll be able to pay back in the event that the business fails. If you’ve recently realised that you have too many debt obligations, you may want to consider debt consolidation or a company voluntary arrangement (CVA) as potential solutions.

4. Inexperienced Founders

Unless you’ve actually set up and managed a business before, there’s no way to know how it feels to deal with such pressure and responsibility on an ongoing basis. When you think about it, the entire endeavour is a learning process, as essentially everything you do is a new experience. For this reason there’s a much higher chance of making mistakes that could lead to the failure of the company in the long-term.

If you feel as though you won’t be able to recover from the current debt situation but you’d like to salvage some of the company’s assets before it is dissolved, you may want to contact an insolvency practitioner (IP) to arrange a pre-pack administration sale.

If your startup is not doing as well as you had planned there are still many recovery options that could put you in the 1/3 of those that succeed. Give us a call on 0800 644 6080 or send us an email and tell us about your situation. We’re trained and certified in business rescue so there’s no problem that we can’t help fix.

Keith Tully

About Our GE Network Expert - KeithTully

Keith Tully, managing director of Real Business Rescue, understands how quickly a company can go downhill if operating capital is not available. He has been rescuing distressed businesses for the better part of two decades and is happy to see young businesses survive and grow.


pressrelease

Practically everybody has dreams of earning a bit of media coverage and being flooded with business. Unfortunately, that’s easier said than done. The main reason most press releases fail is because they are self-promotional.

Promotional copy is the cardinal sin of press releases.

Reporters want news, not advertisements, so before you begin to write, pick up an industry journal or two, read through a couple of newspaper articles that pertain to your occupation and take some notes.

1. No First or Second Person - Notice how all the news is written in third person (they, she, them, etc.)? You won’t find “we” or “us” or “you” unless they are included in quotes from various people.

2. Your Target Audience is the Reporter, Not Your Target Market – Unlike writing copy, you are not directing the press release to your target customers. You should be writing to a reporter. So, you aren’t answering the age-old question of “Why should I buy from you” that is constantly answered when writing website or other copy. Instead, the question you’re answering in a press release is, “Why would my readers care about what you have to say?”

3. Everyday Business Activities are Usually Not Enough to be Considered Newsworthy - The launch of a website (unless it does something super-cool), the addition of services (unless they are highly desired and free or never-before heard of) are typically ho-hum in the eyes of most reporters. I’m not saying you can’t get media attention for such things; just that you’d have to have a pretty clever twist most of the time.

4. Have it Professionally Proofread - Unlike other people who fear the Grammar Police, journalists ARE the Grammar Police. Sending press releases out that contain spelling and/or grammatical errors is a sure way to have your submission deleted instantly.

So What Exactly Is “Newsworthy” Material?

I found an excellent course the other day that I’ve really enjoyed called Project Toolkit: Presto Press Releases by Melissa Ingold. With Melissa’s permission, I’m going to share 3 of the 52 clever ideas for creating press releases with examples and explain why they work so well.

1. Launch of a Product Line - Yeah, yeah, I know what I said. “Everyday business activities are usually not enough to be considered newsworthy.” True. Here’s one example of a launch press release that uses one of those clever twists I mentioned.

Diversity Awareness Comes to the Classroom and Scrapbooking

Marlton, NJ – New scrapbooking company launches first in a series of product lines promoting diversity awareness.

Scrapbooking is one of America’s popular pastimes that allows individuals to preserve their memories and express themselves in a creative way. Scrapbooking themes and supplies are in abundance, but Kim Luty, owner of Same-Differences, saw that there was something amiss in the world of scrapbooking.

“A missing segment of scrapbooking products are those that focus on diversity,” says Luty, “disabled, elderly and different ethnic segments of our population who often cannot find products which adequately represent themselves.”

Same-Differences seeks to fill this gap and has begun by launching its Everyday Kids line.

See how this company captures attention by positioning its new product line as the solution to a problem? If you use promotional language and say, “Hey! Come look at our new product line” a reporter will likely yawn and think, “Another one? Big deal.” But if you use this company’s approach and say, “Hey! We’ve solved a problem that bugs a lot of people. Here’s how we did it” that’s something a reporter in the scrapbooking industry would be excited about.

2. Give Away a Free Ebook - “Come get our free ebook” isn’t going to cut it as far as press releases go. So how do you offer a free ebook or report in a way that journalists will be eager to pass the info onto their readers? By solving a problem. (Sound familiar?)

Babies Are Learning Speak to Their Parents 
Before They Develop Verbal Skills

City, State – Simple hand gestures can eliminate frustration for parents as they try to communicate with their babies.

Long before a baby can speak, he has the ability to understand language and even communicate. Certain biological development is required to communicate verbally, but parents can teach their babies different hand gestures to communicate various needs and desires.

This communication is commonly called “Baby Sign Language.” With simple gestures, babies can tell their parents when they are hungry, thirsty or when they want more.

… at the end was this bit of text…

Parents are encouraged to instantly pick up a free report on teaching their baby sign language at XXXXXXXX or call toll-free XXXXXXX to order their free report by mail.

See how it’s written? It’s written to tell someone else’s story, not their own. It doesn’t say, “We have a new report to help you and your baby communicate.” A third-person approach is taken and it’s as if the company interviewed someone else and is relaying the information they found out (which is exactly the process reporters use when writing stories).

3. Give an Award - Don’t have an award to give away? Create one! People love being considered for awards because it gives them a bit of credibility and exposure. It’s simple enough to do. Just decide what you value and choose to offer an award (monthly, annually, etc.) for accomplishing that task. Need some ideas?

• Best New {product/service/idea} of {year}
• Excellence in {industry/niche} Award
• Best Collaboration Between {nonprofits, corporations, hospitals, whatever}
• ______ Love Award {for showing kindness to our earth, children, pets, the homeless, etc.}
• Innovation in {industry/area of business/compassion}
• Anti-_____________ Award {anti-waste, anti-hate, anti-litter, anti-crime, something funny, etc.}
• Responsibility in ________________ {processes, money, caring for others}

Set your criteria (the highest number of nominations wins, those who apply must write an essay, etc., dates for entry/nomination, date you’ll announce the winner(s)) and send out your press release.

With 52 creative ideas for press releases along with templates, blueprints, samples and even software to help you format the media release, Project Toolkit: Presto Press Releases is well worth the measly $27 price tag.

It’s difficult to swap hats after years of writing about your company from the business owner’s standpoint, but when it comes to press releases, it’s vital that you do. Think of it like you’re interviewing yourself. Then combine that authoritative tone with a newsworthy idea and you’re bound to see better results than you’ve gotten in the past.

Karon Thackston

About Our GE Network Expert - Karon Thackston

Karon Thackston is President of Marketing Words (http://marketingwords.com), a full-service copywriting agency specializing in web and search engine copywriting. She has over 25 years combined experience in marketing, advertising, copywriting and SEO copywriting. Karon has a strong understanding of the processes involved with creating successful advertising strategies.


business teamwork - business men making a puzzle over a white background

You may be starting out as a sales manager or have gotten to the limit of wearing those multiple hats for your ever expanding business. Now’s the time to begin hiring and growing your sales team, if that’s the case then take some of these notes below and start building the foundations of a truly successful sales team.

The importance of a sales team will always vary as it’s all dependent on what the company sells and how they sell it. Take an ecommerce business, the need for a sale person is pretty minimal, unless the sales size is of a considerable amount so realistically most of the work can be handed over to the customer service department.

Some businesses however have sales people as the direct representation of the brand, they are the face of it and they are the one’s who meet with all the customers – this sales person is obviously of high importance to the company.

Let’s begin building that truly successful sales team.

Evaluating the Force

Firstly you have to decide what it is that you want your sales team to do for you, like I mentioned in the paragraph above are they going to be on the front line or will they be mostly in the background working within the Sales 2.0 style.

It won’t take long to come up with an idea as to what you want the sales team to be doing, just make sure that when you do decide that it’s not based on the decisions and styles of other companies and their sales teams.

The last thing you want to be doing is creating a sales team, giving them an idea of what they should be doing but expecting them to either be doing something else or working it out – everything should be transparent, if working smarter and harder results in a possible promotion then let everyone know, it shouldn’t ever be a guessing game.

Measure Productivity

The total order amount per sales person is one of the easiest measures of sales productivity, if you take the whole team’s numbers and average it out it then gives you a really good spectrum to work with to compare your sales people to the average.

Whilst the productivity metric shouldn’t determine the hiring or firing of a sales person it can play a big part in the motivation of the individual – like a leaderboard would encourage an athlete a sales person generally has the same mentality.

Some key factors to consider when it comes to measuring the productivity of your sales team are:

  • Are the team maintaining relations with current and previous customers?
  • How effective are the team at converting prospects into leads and leads into customers?
  • How much time is being spent on prospecting and how effective is it?
  • Are the sales team keeping to strict procedures, for example they should never make too big of a promise and then not deliver.
  • Are the sales team emphasising focus on the profitable items or are they selling lots of the wrong product?
  • Are there a lot of returns due to financial reasons such as credit checks?

Hiring Sales People

Now that you’ve got an understanding of what it is that you expect of the sales team and what is driving the team as well as the success, or at least metrics that determine the level of success, you can start to think about either hiring a new sales team or growing the current one.

You’ll have to consider a couple of things that determine how and who you hire to really get the benefit that you’re looking for.

Outsource or In-house

Whilst we initially think that hiring someone full time is always going to be the best option you may find that outsourcing the work to an outside sales company, for the same value as a monthly salary, can be far more beneficial. There’s a lack of employment contract that makes everything a bit more difficult, if the company doesn’t deliver then you can just cut ties and ultimately the job of that whole company is to simply bring in leads or sales.

A lot of companies these days hire people for a job which then evolves into 4 different jobs that still carry high expectations but without the pay rise or the time allowance. This isn’t desirable for many people even if the promotion prospects are their the idea of burning out due to work commitments is something that is likely to put people off.

So take the steps to decide right now – will you be outsourcing or keeping the sale team in-house?

Territories

One thing that a lot of sales managers and company owners fail to put into thought is where the sales people are going to be coming from and where they will be placed to do the selling. One key aspect of this is to see if anyone in the sales team or a new hire happens to already have a rolodex of contacts in a specific area.

If someone does then it would be perfect for their placement to be in that location which they carry a lot of knowledge and contacts in.

Successful placement of sales teams or people in territories can play a huge part in the success of the team and how well they can hit targets. There is no point in sending someone that has to learn the area and build contacts from a fresh start when there is someone that has already done the heavy lifting.

You shouldn’t place too much value on someones rolodex but it should certainly play a part in deciding where they would be stationed and what the benefits would be too. Company benefits result in sales team benefits so for everyone it’ll be a positive situation.

JohnPerrin

About Our GE Network Expert - JohnPerrin

Director of Tactical Sales Training where we teach the subtle art of sales. Offering B2B focused sales training with and emphasis on no scripts and instantly measurable results.



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