Competitive Edge
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Competitive Edge
Creating your Unique Value Proposition to gain your Competitive Edge.
Curated by Marc Kneepkens
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Your First 10 Customers Can Make Or Break You

Your First 10 Customers Can Make Or Break You | Competitive Edge | Scoop.it

Early in a startup’s life, the main focus is building the right product for the right market. For most B2B startups, this is the period when you start winning your first 10 customers. These 10 customers are unlike any others you’ll have over the course of your company.

You’ll sell to them differently, charge them differently and try to get different things out of the relationship than you will from those that follow. This is the group that will teach you how to refine your product, whether or not you are targeting a large enough market and how to craft a scalable sales process that will help you land your next 100 customers.

Getting these customers and working with them effectively is a challenge for any startup. Here are some tips for startup founders that I’ve learned in my years as a venture capitalist and sales executive. Read more: click image or title.




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"I am very satisfied with my business plan and financial plan. Your work is outstanding."  
- Michael Mundi, Mundi Homes

Marc Kneepkens's insight:

This is so true. Establishing a business depends entirely on the results you get with you first clients. They will always be a reference and in your memory. Great article. Highly recommended.

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whinchatglaze's comment, September 1, 2015 5:37 AM
Its really good :)
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13 Tricks for Landing Your First Thousand Customers

13 Tricks for Landing Your First Thousand Customers | Competitive Edge | Scoop.it

Getting the first 1,000 customers will not guarantee your success, but it will you give you a chance to get some real-world feedback -- and maybe even pay some bills at the same time!

As a startup, your biggest challenge is to get customers on board and getting the first 1,000 always takes the most work. You’re still learning what works while building up repeatable processes that scale. Getting the first 1,000 customers will not guarantee your success, but it will you give you a chance to get some real-world feedback -- and maybe even pay some bills at the same time! Read more: click image or title.




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Marc Kneepkens's insight:

The toughest part of starting a business is to get the ball rolling. Finding your first clients, treating them well, and having them create the word-of-mouth effect. Great tips in this well written article.

Finding funding without having a client base is extremely difficult. Having the 'great idea' is not enough. Get clients, get moving.

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How to Get Traction for Your Startup and Funding

How to Get Traction for Your Startup and Funding | Competitive Edge | Scoop.it
Most startups want to get funding, but what they need are customers to prove demand... only then will they get funding. This article will focus on ways to use Kickstarter to not only build a customer base, but also demonstrate to investors that there is demand.

Most startups want to get funding, but what they need are customers to prove demand... only then will they get funding. This article will focus on ways to use Kickstarter to not only build a customer base, but also demonstrate to investors that there is demand.

There will include lots of successful stories on Kickstarter. The press enjoys them and they are highly shareable--because of the social media era. Currently, crowdfunding sites have become a highly popular medium in order to fund and promote your following business venture, which includes the hilariously simplistic ones. Presently everybody is buzzing in regard to the Kickstarter participant from Columbus who utilized the website to attempt to raise ten bucks to cook potato salad for the initial time. The Ohio Kickstarter user managed to exceed his Kickstarter project objective and obtained more than $55,000 in funds.

Most fantastic Kickstarters, unfortunately, don't get this much success, especially the technology-concentrated ones. What is the reason for this? It's likely because individuals have a more difficult time visualizing and understanding projects with more technical topics.

For the ones who have more tech-concentrated projects, here is how you can leverage Kickstarter in order to make your project successful:

1) Simplify your Messaging

It is important that you relate to the target audience and it may be challenging if the project is extremely technical. As you are creating product descriptors, consider your audience and then ask: Do they get my product? Do they see value in my product?

If those questions are answered prior to posting the campaign, chances are the average individual is going to be more than likely to back you.

2) Promote through Social Media

This one seems as if it should be a no-brainer--particularly coming from a PR viewpoint--but it is vital that you frequently generate fresh content during the month-long Kickstarter project. Posting updates daily to Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and LinkedIn will assist you in driving more traffic. Plus, as you have these backers, that new content isn't just critical for updating these individuals, yet additionally from a search engine optimization perspective. You also can boost the project's engagement by reaching out to related projects, for purposes of cross-promotion, in order to dip in one another's backer pools.

3) Engaging Social Networks for Backing

It has been theorized that securing funds upon the first day of a Kickstarter launch includes the ideal method of ensuring a project is a success. One method of doing so includes engaging followers on social networks, by reaching out to your social media connections prior to launching and reaching everybody you know using email projects. You have to maximize the donor pool.

4) Spotlight Uniqueness to Provide Backers Reasons to Promote and Support You

It's crucial that you spotlight why your Kickstarter project is special. Techniques like personal marketing will be just as vital as marketing your product. With a public crowdsourcing campaign, individuals will be more than likely to turn away from an opportunity to fund if they do not feel connected to an individual requesting funding. Writing a letter or creating a video that explains why you require the funding includes a great method of connecting with the audience.

It also is useful to provide tangible rewards which will appeal to the audience, to increase backers' interest within the project.

5. Earned Media and PR

Press coverage and 3rd-party validations that highlight your campaign include the most efficient methods of driving a special audience to a landing page. However, to accomplish this type of validation will take more than merely talking about the product. Providing thought leadership upon associated product trends, the competition, and the wider marketplace could assist in securing mentions and increasing your visibility.

Piece of the Pie on Kickstarter

Launching a highly successful Kickstarter project may be a good way to increase your enterprise's visibility, as well as generate a customer base, prior to searching for seed funding. And by leveraging the above tips, hopefully more technology startups may boost their odds of taking a cut of the more than the $1 billion dollar pie of Kickstarter funding the platform has accrued so far.


Get your Free Business Plan Template here: http://bit.ly/1aKy7km



Marc Kneepkens's insight:

Traction, sales, customers is the big plus when trying to convince investors that you are the real thing.

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Google's Zero Moment Is The Ultimate Moment of Truth

Google's Zero Moment Is The Ultimate Moment of Truth | Competitive Edge | Scoop.it

In 2012, Google along with Jim Lecinski published a fantastic book that explored how digital customers made decisions in what Google refers to as "The Zero Moment of Truth."

The ZMOT as it's abbreviated, helps strategists discover relevant strategies and tactics on how to show up at the right place, at the right time and with the right content in a digital ecosystem.

In a world where consumers "Google it" to begin their digital journey, ZMOT revealed that brands need to re-think the connected experience and the resulting click path. But what happens when the web sites that appear in traditional Google search results no longer suffice for someone so connected that impatience becomes a virtue? This is after all someone who begins the journey on a smart phone or tablet tapping review sites and social networks to make information come to them before conducting formal research. Some call it the lazy web. Others refer to it as the social web. In the end, it's just how people make information come to them. Once they do, it becomes the norm.

To read the full article, click on the title.



Get your Free Business Plan Template here:

http://bit.ly/1aKy7km


Via Rami Kantari, Thomas Faltin, Martin (Marty) Smith
Marc Kneepkens's insight:

The 'digital experience' has changed marketing completely. People still respond emotionally to the 'increasing' amount of stimuli. The art of getting a response has to adapt to the new media, every day new tools and new ways to reach the client appear. Successful companies understand this very well, companies such as Google, Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter, and more. Focusing on one or more aspects of these new ways of reaching out to the not so new responses of comsumers has grown into huge new phenomena, the social media. Playing these well and understanding them well will mean success or failure.

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Martin (Marty) Smith's curator insight, November 22, 2013 1:26 AM

Very cool ZMOT (Zero Moment of Truth). Too late to write much now, will fill in tomorrow. Marty

Great comment by @Marc Kneepkens on his Rescoop to his Competitive Edge feed:

Marc Kneepkens's insight:

The 'digital experience' is changing marketing. People still respond emotionally to an 'increasing' numer of stimuli. The art of getting a response must adapt to the new media. Every day new tools and new ways to reach the client appear.


Successful companies understand this. Companies such as Google, Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter, focus new ways of reaching out to the comsumers' not so new emotional respons. Reaching out has grown into a huge "new" phenomena called social media.


Playing our new social media games well and understanding them will mean success or failure.




Amanda Groover's curator insight, November 23, 2013 10:02 PM

The more we can understand how Google thinks, the more we learn about how to work with Google. It doesn't mean it always follow logic, but it does help you promote your brand!

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This is the Product Death Cycle. Why it happens, and how to break out of it

This is the Product Death Cycle. Why it happens, and how to break out of it | Competitive Edge | Scoop.it

The hardest part of any new product launch is the beginning, when it’s not quite working, and you’re iterating and molding the experience to fix it. It may be the hardest phase, but it’s also the most fun. The Product Death Cycle All of this was on my mind when I saw a great tweet from  about a year ago, on the Product Death Cycle, when things go wrong. David Bland, a management consultant based in San Francisco, tweeted this diagram:

This is what I’m calling the Product Death Cycle
– @davidjbland

A year ago when I saw this, I retweeted this diagram right away, and a year later, it’s hit 1,400+ RTs overall. This diagram has resonated with a ton of people because sadly, we’ve seen this Product Death Cycle happen many times. We’ve maybe even fallen into it ourselves – it’s all too easy. I’ve written about this phase before, in After the Techcrunch bump: Life in the Trough of Sorrow.  As well as some thoughts and strategies related to getting to product/market fit sooner rather than later.

Let’s talk about each step of this cycle, why it happens, and present a list of questions/provocations that might allow us to escape.

Read more: click image or title.



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Marc Kneepkens's insight:

Great analysis by Andrew Chen. Create that business model that keeps on producing new clients.

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9 Ways To Get Customers (Without Spending Any Money) - #infographic

9 Ways To Get Customers (Without Spending Any Money) - #infographic | Competitive Edge | Scoop.it

Are you wondering how to get more customers and grow your business without spending a lot of money? Then wonder no more!

Neil Patel of QuickSprout has put together this excellent infographic, filled with 9 tactics that you should be leveraging to acquire more customers.

Blogger and YouTuber outreach:

Reach out to bloggers and give free products in exchange for reviews. Dave Horn from ForWebsiteOwners.com was able to get 1 (normal) month worth of traffic in 2 days using the strategy of building relationships with influencers to share his content.

Reach out to your existing network:

Reach out to friends, family, co-workers, and social media connections and ask if they need your product.

If you provide a service, work for free:

Neil Patel was able to get exposure and generate lots of business through outlets such as TechCrunch and Gawker Media by providing them with free services in exchange for testimonials, PR and backlinks. make sure you provide services to those who can either refer business to you or have a huge network for target clients. See more, click on the infographic.





Get your Free Business Plan Template here: http://bit.ly/1aKy7km

"Growthink is a full-service business, representing you through the whole process - very important value-added service. We've been very impressed with the professionalism and kindness that Growthink has shown us in the rather complicated world of commercial financing."

Debra Soto
Freeballer Surfwear


Via malek
Marc Kneepkens's insight:

Excellent tactics to make new sales and find new clients, for free.

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Make Customers Fall in Love with Your Business

Make Customers Fall in Love with Your Business | Competitive Edge | Scoop.it

It's time for a reality check. Businesses aren't half as cool as their owners like to think they are.

In fact, some businesses are pretty much universally disliked. Ryanair, for example, has made a good living out of saying "Well, you get what you pay for!", but even they have recently inaugurated a new advertising campaign, headlined (imaginatively...) "We're changing". Cheap'n'nasty is a valid positioning, but a dangerous one to live by.

Most businesses, though, and by 'most' we mean a good 95%, are neither liked or disliked. They are just there.

To read the full article, click on the title.

Get your Free Business Plan Template here: http://bit.ly/1aKy7km


Via Daniel Watson
Marc Kneepkens's insight:

Especially in small businesses it is very possible to become 'loved' by your customers. Everything is more personalized, you have to work better than your competitor and 'over-deliver'.

Do better than what the expectations are, and create your own image by really catering to what your client is looking for. Go the extra mile. Word-of-mouth will do the rest.

A great example of a business that is love very much is SBI/Sitesell, a company that teaches you how to find your niche, combine that with the right keywords, and set up your website around that. They host, teach, provide forums (very active and friendly), customer service (second to none) and show ways on how to 'monetize' your site. Here is a link: http://www.sitesell.com/welcome23.html


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Fusebill's curator insight, February 13, 2014 10:22 AM

"It's time for a reality check. Businesses aren't half as cool as their owners like to think they are."

Anthony MARTINS de NOBREGA's curator insight, March 4, 2014 3:37 AM

emotions means in motion...

Rich But's curator insight, September 19, 2014 7:37 PM

Right