The Lean Startup: How Today's Entrepreneurs Use Continuous Innovation to Create Radically Successful Businesses
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The Lean Startup: How Today’s Entrepreneurs Use Continuous Innovation to Create Radically Successful Businesses

Most startups fail. But many of those failures are preventable.  The Lean Startup is a new approach being adopted across the globe, changing the way companies are built and new products are launched.

Eric Ries defines a startup as an organization dedicated to creating something new under conditions of extreme uncertainty. This is just as true for one person in a garage or a group of seasoned professionals in a Fortune 500 boardroom. What they have in common is a mission to penetrate that fog of uncertainty to discover a successful path to a sustainable business.

The Lean Startup approach fosters companies that are both more capital efficient and that leverage human creativity more effectively.  Inspired by lessons from lean manufacturing, it relies on “validated learning,” rapid scientific experimentation, as well as a number of counter-intuitive practices that shorten product development cycles, measure actual progress without resorting to vanity metrics, and learn what customers really want. It enables a company to shift directions with agility, altering plans inch by inch, minute by minute.

Rather than wasting time creating elaborate business plans, The Lean Startupoffers entrepreneurs – in companies of all sizes – a way to test their vision continuously, to adapt and adjust before it’s too late. Ries provides a scientific approach to creating and managing successful startups in a age when companies need to innovate more than ever.

Permission Marketing: Turning Strangers into Friends and Friends into Customers
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Permission Marketing: Turning Strangers into Friends and Friends into Customers

The man Business Week calls “the ultimate entrepreneur for the Information Age” explains “Permission Marketing”—the groundbreaking concept that enables marketers to shape their message so that consumers will willingly accept it.

Whether it is the TV commercial that breaks into our favorite program, or the telemarketing phone call that disrupts a family dinner, traditional advertising is based on the hope of snatching our attention away from whatever we are doing. Seth Godin calls this Interruption Marketing, and, as companies are discovering, it no longer works.

Instead of annoying potential customers by interrupting their most coveted commodity—time—Permission Marketing offers consumers incentives to accept advertising voluntarily. Now this Internet pioneer introduces a fundamentally different way of thinking about advertising products and services. By reaching out only to those individuals who have signaled an interest in learning more about a product, Permission Marketing enables companies to develop long-term relationships with customers, create trust, build brand awareness — and greatly improve the chances of making a sale.

Inbound Marketing, Revised and Updated: Attract, Engage, and Delight Customers Online
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Inbound Marketing, Revised and Updated: Attract, Engage, and Delight Customers Online

Attract, engage, and delight customers online

Inbound Marketing, Revised and Updated: Attract, Engage, and Delight Customers Online is a comprehensive guide to increasing online visibility and engagement. Written by top marketing and startup bloggers, the book contains the latest information about customer behavior and preferred digital experiences. From the latest insights on lead nurturing and visual marketing to advice on producing remarkable content by building tools, readers will gain the information they need to transform their marketing online.

With outbound marketing methods becoming less effective, the time to embrace inbound marketing is now. Cold calling, e-mail blasts, and direct mail are turning consumers off to an ever-greater extent, so consumers are increasingly doing research online to choose companies and products that meet their needs.Inbound Marketing recognizes these behavioral changes as opportunities, and explains how marketers can make the most of this shift online. This not only addresses turning strangers into website visitors, but explains how best to convert those visitors to leads, and to nurture those leads to the point of becoming delighted customers.

Gain the insight that can increase marketing value with topics like:

  • Inbound marketing – strategy, reputation, and tracking progress
  • Visibility – getting found, and why content matters
  • Converting customers – turning prospects into leads and leads into customers
  • Better decisions – picking people, agencies, and campaigns

The book also contains essential tools and resources that help build an effective marketing strategy, and tips for organizations of all sizes looking to build a reputation. When consumer behaviors change, marketing must change with them. The fully revised and updated edition of Inbound Marketing is a complete guide to attracting, engaging, and delighting customers online.

Personal Branding Domain Strategies If You Have a Common Name

I was just featured by BBC in an article “Standing out when your name is John Smith” addressing the challenge of building a personal brand online if you have a common name. A starting point in this regard is claiming a proper domain name where you can build a platform for your personal brand.

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Lessons from FSU’s Jameis Winston Twitter Faux Pas

Social media can be a powerful tool by which you can invite your community to engage with you and your brand. It should be noted, though, that there are no guarantees in terms of where communications may be headed. In some cases, it can turn out to be a complete PR disaster such as with the Twitter chat with hashtag #AskJameis on Twitter with Jameis Winston, Florida State University’s quarterback with a controversial past which resulted in numerous critical tweets, many with a rather morbid “humorous” twist.

Ask Jameis Twitter chat

As I have not personally followed the past of Mr. Winston, I am not going to comment upon the specifics of his past and whether he deserves this criticism or not. Instead, I will focus on what organizations can do to avoid facing a backlash from their social media initiatives such as on Twitter like Florida State did. These kinds of reactions, also known as “Twitterjacking,” can happen to not only sports franchises but also to big global brands such as McDonald’s which experienced a major backlash in 2012 to to their invitation to state their own #McDStories on Twitter.

Erica Derrickson’s Tweet Dreams

Erica Derrickson with Niklas MyhrErica Derrickson quit her desk job only a year and a half ago, and already has a thriving photography business because of her implementation of social media marketing strategies. She speaks at local universities on social media, has been recently featured in Trade Secrets, and manages a Facebook group Hollywood East Actors Group which has over 8,000 members. Check out her acting reel, her film credits range from the National blockbuster The Heat (2013) which starred Sandra Bullock and Melissa McCarthy to independent films like Melt (2012) and Rafi Baby (2011).

One day, Erica Derrickson tweeted her enthusiasm over Gary Vaynerchuk’s latest best seller “Jab, Jab, Jab, Right Hook” suggesting it would be the perfect textbook if there were such a thing like a class on social media.

Chapman Social Media Aid 2014

 

Gina Jue "Skypeing" Oricane's Josefine Åhl

Gina Jue “Skypeing” Oricane’s Josefine Åhl

Do you need help with social media? Now it is time again for students in my Internet/Social Media Marketing class to select companies or organizations to help in terms of their Internet and social media presence. The work they do is within the scope of their team projects. While some students typically have ideas of what company they would like to work with, others would be very excited about the opportunity to work with real businesses or organizations that they otherwise would not have gotten in contact with such as a high-tech company in northern Sweden that worked virtually with one team last year, see Oricane blog post.

Gary Vaynerchuk in LA with “Jab, Jab, Jab, Right Hook” book

Gary Vaynerchuk and Niklas Myhr

Gary Vaynerchuk and Niklas Myhr

Always energizing to meet dynamo Gary Vaynerchuk as he always brings it all to the table as he shares his insights on social media marketing, personal branding, and on entrepreneurship either by speaking or with his book. The latest and, according to him, the final installment in his trilogy is named “Jab, jab, jab, right hook” using boxing analogies to illustrate the importance of two kinds of social media postings. Jabs are those updates intended to help, connect, and flirt with customers “in a romancing way” as he calls it, while a “right hook” is when you are going for the close or the knockout punch with an unashamed plug for whatever it is that you would like people to buy whether it is a product, service, event, idea, etc. His first book “Crush it!” was predominantly focused on going for the close in a rather aggressive manner while his second “The Thank You Economy” was all about jabs and building and sustaining long-term relationships.