Archive for September, 2014

More money, more startups: Once-closed financial industry makes a place for independent entrepreneurs

Gigaom

Financial startups don’t have the cachet of a Tinder or Uber: instead of promising easy hookups or a revolution in urban transportation, they focus on mundane issues like credit scores. But they are having a moment in the sun all the same.

Thanks to technology and a new ecosystem that provides unprecedented access to the traditional lords of finance, so-called “fin-tech” is emerging in New York and elsewhere as its own class of startup scene — though it often looks little like the culture of Silicon Valley.

Big banks and outside entrepreneurs

The two-day Finovate event in New York this week saw dozens of fin-tech startups and entrepreneurs talking up their ideas for applying tech to a host of everyday financial operations: opening accounts, checking credit scores, serving risky borrowers and so on.

The scene was notable in large part because, a decade ago, startups focused on the financial sector barely existed.

“In the past, technical innovation always took place within incumbent firms and…

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Marketing Mistake #13 | Not Selling To Your Existing Customers

Straight Up Business Talk

Your best prospects are people who have purchased from you before. They have already experienced the products you offer as well as the service you provide.

They know you, like you and trust you. (At least they did when they first bought from you… enough, at least, to give you their money.) Hopefully, things haven’t changed. And ideally, your relationship with them has improved.

Research shows that it costs around six times more to acquire a new customer than it does to sell something additional to an existing customer.

So, if nothing else, it makes good financial sense to attempt to sell your existing customers before looking outside for new prospects.

One of the best ways for doing this is to constantly keep in touch with them. Make it impossible for them to forget you. Let them know you really appreciate not only their business, but their friendship, as well.

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Easy Ideas for Marketing Your Service Business

marketing-strategies-globe2 A lot of small services businesses struggle with marketing and acquiring new customers.  If that sounds like you, then below are a few tips to try out:

– Find local industry events or meetups that you can participate in and network with other professionals in your area of expertise. You may be able to pick up projects and establish a local reputation that way.

– Sign up for speaking opportunities at relevant local  events, meetups, and conferences. Your presentation shouldn’t be a sales pitch, but an “expert” presentation that establishes you as the go-to person in your area of focus and then include a brief sales followup to those that are interested in learning more.

– how does your website rank in organic Google search results? Write content for your website that is geared to pulling in traffic from people who are looking for folks like you – identify the long-tail keywords, and write a page for your site for each such keyword (without keyword stuffing or other black-hat stuff).

– Use LinkedIn: participate in relevant LinkedIn groups, connect to the people you already know in your field & that will give you access to other prospects also. Post updates about your company (customer case study or testimonial, info about your services, etc), keeping it “real” not spammy.

– Do you do any email marketing? You should be collecting emails on your website (offer a white paper or other information in return for their email address & use a double-opt-in form). Then have a regular customer newsletter.

– Get written up in some articles in your industry: write a press release on a newsworthy event about your company (eg, a new offering, etc), submit it through a press release site like PRWeb, and then reach out individually to journalists and bloggers in your industry – you can usually find contact information online. Just look for recent articles related to your space then reach out to those same folks. Focus on the respected publications, blogs and sites in your industry.

These are just a few ideas that can be useful for small service businesses.  If you’re looking for some more specific ideas for your business, then check out our marketing coaching services at http://www.kazooassociates.com/coaching.php

Happy Marketing!

Is Mobile actually more important than Cloud?

Developing a Strong Launch Plan

space shuttle

If you’re launching a new product or service, nothing is more important than making sure you have a strong Go-to-Market Strategy.  Check out these tips for a strong software launch: http://www.software-marketing-advisor.com/software-launch.html

 

Making sense of big data: without these people, your company’s data is useless

Gigaom

Big data has become so big, it’s spread beyond the tech world. When 163-year-old publication New York Times hired a chief data scientist earlier this year, it became clear that even non-technical organizations were hopping on the big data train. To successfully predict what their customers want or how they might behave, companies that know how to mine big data — also know as companies who hire good data scientists — have the advantage.

To do their jobs effectively, data scientists must do a whole lotta dirty data work. The New York Times calls it “data janitor work.” In a recent article, NYT reported that data scientists spend from 50 percent to 80 percent of their time laboriously collecting and prepping data before it can be extracted into digestible insights.

“Data wrangling is a huge — and surprisingly so — part of the job,” Monica Rogati, VP for…

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Tips From The Startup Fundraising Playbook

TechCrunch

Editor’s note: Nathan Beckord is co-founder and CEO of Foundersuite, a San Francisco-based company that developed the first collection of software tools to help entrepreneurs launch, manage and grow their businesses.

I’ve been considering raising a seed round for my startup Foundersuite. So, to get my head in the game, I’ve been chatting up various startup friends who have recently been in the market for capital.

Here are a few of the best tips for running an efficient fundraising round.

1. Mine AngelList and CrunchBase to Build a List of Investor Targets

I’m a big fan of AngelList, and whenever I need to build a dataset of target investors, it’s the first place I go. Here’s how I do it: From the homepage, navigate to the “People” tab and use the “Role” header to select the relevant type of investor (seed, angel, VC, etc.). Next, scroll…

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Former Twitter Chief Scientist Launches Steven, An Emoji-Based Social App

TechCrunch

I can’t quite put my finger on why I keep using this new app called Steven – yes, Steven, like a boy’s name – but I do. The app itself is sort of silly – it offers you a way to log your activities and location using emoji, optionally add photos, plus view and respond to posts from other friends, also through the use of emoji.

Why? Well…why not?

The app may not be as trivial as it seems at first glance, despite some similarities to other, even goofier emoji-based social networks.

By recording a user’s everyday activities and location, the latter in a decidedly “non-creepy” way, Steven is gradually building up a database of information that could be put to use in the future for any number of purposes. On a personal level, that could mean a navel-gazing look back at your past, in order to extract certain trends. Are you getting to…

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