We have cracked the code to helping companies raising capital via “equity crowdfunding” using our direct response marketing strategies. Companies are always asking “how do we market to investors online”? Or “how do we market our crowdfunding campaign online”? We can get the job done!
Watch this short testimonial from Steve Sadler (CEO of Allegiancy) and if you need help marketing your crowdfunding campaign, or any marketing needs please fill out the form below.
When Robert Herjavec wanted to start his own company, people discouraged him. They said he couldn’t do it. He had zero experience, he didn’t have a business degree and he knew nothing about running a business.
The headstrong Shark Tank star investor steamrolled ahead anyway. In 1990, he launched his first company, BRAK Systems, which he later sold to AT&T.
“I only knew that I loved what I do and how to work hard,” Herjavec told Entrepreneur. Today, Herjavec Group, his Toronto-based Internet security firm, has grown from three workers in 2003 to 220 employees strong, and it’s on pace to bank $150 million in revenue this year, according to the company.
Herjavec’s commitment to taking the risky entrepreneurial leap — despite the naysayers, and he had plenty of them — has more than paid off. So what if he didn’t have formal training? He also didn’t possess the needed marketing know-how, at least not at first and not all on his own. But that was fine by him.
“Like many entrepreneurs, we didn’t really know what to do at first,” he says. “As a startup, it’s almost overwhelming. I learned that’s where a third party comes in to help you. They take the marketing pressure off so you can do more of what you love to do — your business.”
Countless marketing agencies the world over aim to do just that. One such company is Deluxe Corporation. Herjavec announced a new partnership with the Shoreview, Minn.-based firm last week. Together, they unveiled a series of small-business marketing videos. The short “Behind the Business” vignettes feature the multi-millionaire celebrity entrepreneur alongside a few of the companies he’s invested in on Shark Tank.
The videos share tips on how to best market your startup. We picked Herjavec’s brain for a few, too. Here are his top five:
Simply having several social-media accounts for your company isn’t enough. To fully leverage the potential for acquiring new customers on social media, you must also market to them where they live online.
“With Facebook and other social platforms, you can have highly targeted marketing campaigns to attract customers who are interested in the product or service that you have,” Herjavec says. “Find the user groups they meet up in on social and win them over there.”
As an example, he points to The Natural Grip, a fitness product startup he invests in. The company makes special gloves for people who do Crossfit, gymnastics or lift weights. “That community, athletes, really likes to hang out in certain places on Facebook and we went there to find and engage them,” he says.
Marketing direct to potential customers on active fan pages and buzzy user groups within the popular social-media mecca turned out to be a smart move. It gained the sporty startup a grip of new customers, according to Herjavec.
Even as the ecommerce economy continues to surge, many small businesses old and new still don’t have shopping carts on their websites. Herjavec says failing to sell directly online is “foolishly leaving money on the table.” He believes that if your customers trust and believe in your brand, they’ll buy what you sell on the Internet.
Of those that do offer online shopping, the feature is often set up so poorly that it frustrates and confuses customers. The result: Potential buyers end up abandoning their shopping carts altogether and the sale is dead on arrival. “It quickly becomes such a hassle to go through with the transaction that they say ‘forget it,’” he says. “Don’t let that happen.”
If you don’t know how to set up an online shopping cart, Herjavec suggests leaving it to the pros. “There are lots of great companies that can handle it for you.”
“People are very busy and the first thing that hits them in any marketing communication is a really pretty picture, not words,” he says, “and I know that sounds really trivial but that engages people and gets them to look at more of your outreach.”
Herjavec’s onto something here. Visual imagery is often more immediately engaging than monotonous walls of text, as the brain is widely believed to processes visuals thousands of times faster than text. Images transmit messages in an instant, not only making your marketing messages pop, but also rendering them more memorable, too.
“Your customers have a certain amount of information they’re willing to absorb about your brand and certain ways they like to receive that information in over a certain amount of time,” he says. It’s your job to pay attention and learn how they are best marketed to.
How much information can they handle with each outreach? How do they prefer to be communicated with (via social-media updates, e-newsletter, text notifications, etc.)? How much communication is too much and how much is not enough? If marketing email subscribers start dropping off, find out why and adjust accordingly.
When it comes to Herjavec’s own contact preferences as a consumer, he feels being marketed to by email once every couple of weeks is more than enough. “I’m a big car guy, so a lot of the car companies market to me, but they’ve learned when enough information is enough for me and that’s once or twice a month,” he says. “Once a day is too much.”
Outsourcing your marketing needs to an agency dedicated to taking your brand awareness to the next level frees you up to get back to business. If you don’t have the budget to hire a marketing firm, Herjavec suggests partnering with someone you trust who has successfully marketed their own business.
Whatever you do, he says, don’t take the whole job on yourself, not if you don’t have the experience to back it up.
“I always say, if you’re not a marketing person, you didn’t start the businesses to do marketing, so don’t do it,” he says. It’s crucial that you focus your energy as a small-business owner on the core reason you started up in the first place.
“You wanted to take on the world with the product or service you had, that did something better than anybody else. And that was what you were passionate about, that that’s what caused you to quit your job, get a second mortgage or whatever the reason was.”
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Here is the formula for doubling YOUR revenues in the next 12 months…
L x C x M x F = Growth Potential
Here’s the legend…
It looks like this…
Leads x Customers x Margin x Frequency = Growth Potential
Doubling any of the variables above (leads, customers, margin, frequency of purchase) will double your revenues.
Double them all and you will 16X your business. Can you double them all? Doubtful.
Can you double one of them? Two of them? Even 3 of them?
In other words, there are 4 levers you have available to double your revenues in 12 months…
Work on optimization of everyone one of these areas and you are virtually guaranteed to double your revenues. To get more info on marketing please check out Angel Money Marketing LIVE
If making phone calls really, actually works for you, then I suppose you should make more of them. But most of the time, as I explain in ‘Guerilla Marketing for Hi-Tech Sales People,’ the phone calls aren’t really working that well in the first place. And doing more of what already isn’t working is just dumb. Plus, unsolicited phone calls just annoy people.
Today when you hear a motivational speaker getting sales people all revved up to go make phone calls and endure rejection, picture this in your mind: 1000 soldiers with sticks and rocks in hand charge valiantly onto a battlefield, where they are cut down with machine guns, tanks and artillery fire – dying in droves.
Actually a tiny handful of extraordinary, talented warriors will survive by strength, testosterone and wit. But the odds are heavily tilted against them. Only the very, very best even survive, much less prosper.
If your only weapon in sales is your telephone and your ability to withstand rejection, you’re fighting tanks with sticks. And as the 21st century unfolds, the problem’s going to get worse, not better.
Think about this: about 30 years ago, factory workers began to be displaced by machines and cheap foreign labor. The worker cost $12 per hour but the robot only cost $2.50 per hour.
Anyone willing to work for $2.50 per hour?
Lots of sales people are doing just that.
Today, sales people are being displaced by websites and media. Imagine for a moment that you were a door to door book salesman today (they were quite common 100 years ago) — how would you ever compete with Amazon, or a bookstore like Borders or Barnes & Noble?
Impossible. You’d starve to death. And you couldn’t possibly provide your customers a similar level of service or selection.
A person selling books door to door is only slightly different from somebody who sells insurance or telecommunications or any number of other products and services today.
But here’s the TRUTH: IF you carve out a niche for yourself (I’ll cover that in installment #3 and #9) and IF you use automated tools like your website and direct mail, you CAN increase the efficiency of your business and you CAN compete.
And you won’t antagonize your customers in the process and you won’t need those big doses of motivation.
Listen up: You MUST carve out a niche, and you MUST use your communication tools shrewdly.
Most companies don’t. Most websites are designed with no particular purpose in mind. Most companies don’t have any idea how to create a direct mail piece that makes the phone ring. (That’s why they think direct mail doesn’t work.)
BOTTOM LINE: 1) You MUST have marketing tools that do the grunt work for you. 2) You must tweak those tools until they’re effective.
Often you’ll try something and it doesn’t work the first time.
But… the good news is, once it works, it will usually work for YEARS.
That’s why time spent on marketing is absolutely the best time investment you can make – IF you’re educated about what really works and what doesn’t.
In the next issue I’ll attack Lie #2: ‘You’ve just got to get in front of more people.’
So now that you know why you should blog – how do you go about it?
There are several ways, you can do it yourself, which will take time and as we know time is money; you can outsource it to a big website building company which will cost you big bucks or you can let your friends over at Children’s Educational Network do it for you.
They are expanding their services to meet the needs of shareholders and customers. Their team has gotten really good at setting up blogs like this one and have perfected the skills needed, why not share this valuable resource with you?