Empowering people by crowdfunding hopes and dreams - for a better future.
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|Suggested by Marius Fermi|
It’s time we take a step back, away from all of the ideas and best practices of sales and the art that is selling and consider what the simple, indisputable truths are of selling.
A tad "old school" but helpful selling tips such as:
#1 Initiating Contact
#2 Quick Qualification
#3 Demonstrate Your Offer
There are 10 similar "sales 101" tips. P&G taught me an excellent format to tell a sales story (back in the day lol):
Summarize The Situation (set up your pitch factually)
State The Idea (clear, short, punchy)
Explain How It Works (use examples and made to stick analogies)
Share Benefits (only two benefits make or save money)
We BUY with EMOTION and that format is organized around logic, but skillful salespeople know how to weave that format into what feels like a spontaneous and relevant story.
One of my favorite quotes is the old Indian saying:
Tell me a fact and I’ll learn. Tell me a truth and I’ll believe. But tell me a story and it will live in my heart forever.
Use the P&G format to organize but then riff a story, follow up with relevant links and social media to "simply sell" today.
Print The Legend
Fascinating film about the beginning of a BIG THING (3D Printing) this film accurately describes what its like to be a startup in a hot space. Frustrating, magical and crazy all at once the movie will ring true for anyone whose started anything with OPM (Other People's Money).
Couple of cool trends in the movie include:
* Open source MakerBot becomes closed and gets bought.
* Closed and highly proprietary Avi Reichental does a RETHINK on his company's IP strategy and becomes more open.
* 3D printing remains in search of its "killer app".
That last bullet is also interesting. There is speculation that a printed plastic gun could become the "killer app" until the government steps in. In reality the killer app is problem going to be medical or healthcare related and is three to five years off.
Great window into startup land and 3D printing.
Why Content Curation Is Coming To B2C Merchants
In Curagami's 2nd guest blog post @Cendrine Marrouat - www.socialmediaslant.comshares 7 Content Curation Tips online merchants must know including:
Levels is cool. I added Durham, NC to his Nomad List of great places to be work "in the wild". Love the idea of FAST and then FASTER startup creation. Reminds me of a lesson Alton Pickens taught before we realized what a bad painter I am (lol). }
In college Pickens had me line up 50 sheets of paper and create with a timer. Fast became faster. He was trying to destroy THINKING TOO MUCH. Levels is doing the same by floating like a startup butterfly and stinging like a bee.
Shyp is the easiest way to ship anything. The mobile app provides an easy on demand shipping experience. Shyp is transforming how you send items by replacing the traditional hassles with a delightful experience.
Imagine a "Shipping Hero" coming to your place and handling your holiday shipping FOR YOU. What would that be worth? Shyp is betting its worth a lot and I agree.
I used to run a distribution business with Janet McKean called Found Objects. This time of year we were hunkered down shipping wholesale orders for the holidays. I've probably packed and shippped over 10,000 packages and it SUCKED.
Shipping is also a GAME played by giants on a field you can hardly understand or imagine. Shyp packs your package and secure the most secure and cheapest way to ship. DONE, where do I sign? Shyp launched in NYC and it may be a bit before they head to Raleigh / Durham. When they are here I'm there since the "joy" of shipping wore off long ago.
Can a couple of 20 somethings change the world? Stripe's answer is a strong affirmative YES. Stripe is fixing the biggest barrier to the social / mobile / connected web. We can't buy stuff on our phones.
Phones are, to use the founders of Stripe's words, "Clunky" (watch that video here: http://cnnmon.ie/1DxDZMG ). Why is the phone the lynchpin? Stop thinking of your phone as a phone.
Think of your phone as a PORTAL, game console and magic wand. Soon "see a thing, buy a thing" will be taken for granted but only if the Stipers can make mobile payments less "clunky".
I poked around on their site some and would say they are half way down a very interesting road. Why is the phone the lynchpin? Because once payments work on phones they work ANYWHERE.
Once payments work anywhere social commerce becomes a reality and "see a thing, hear a thing, buy a thing" a reality. Extend the logic further and ask, "What is a website?".
If we can wrap "see, click, buy" tech on phones we can do so on Facebook, the Redbox machine and the grocery store. Scan those fritos with your phone and Harris Teeter or Wegmans or Kroger bills your account.
NO CHECKOUT because your PHONE is the checkout. Fix ecom on the phone, change the world.
The Curagami Story
Curagami was launched by Martin Smith and co-founder Phil Buckley when they found a need in the marketplace they felt was not being served and a window of opportunity.
Curagami helps ecommerce merchants discover the "new ecom" where commerce and content live harmoniously together. This is their story.
Great write up by @Lori Wilk about our #startup Curagami.
You’ll often find me in some huge debates online on anything related to politics, religion and capitalism… all the red-hot buttons that most people avoid. It’s why I have personal and branded presences across social media. If you want marketing only, follow the brand. If you want me, follow me… but be careful… you get all of me.+
While I’m an unabashed capitalist, I also have a big heart. I believe we should help one another and not depend on bureaucracies that are inefficient and ineffective. I truly believe the way we change things is by taking personal responsibility and helping to be the catalysts for change. Our agency is always donating time, money and other resources to not just help charities… but to also help businesses that don’t have the resources but have promise. +
It’s no longer good enough to just have a social media presence. Marketing 3.0 will be won by those who become purpose-driven social brands, and to do so, the CMO, CSO, CSR, and Foundation leads must align to bring a cohesive brand story to life. Check out We First’s infographic below with some cold hard facts that make it clear the future of profit is purpose, and the most iconic brands of the future will be those that drive the most meaningful social change. Simon Mainwaring
It’s not just the right thing to do, being purpose-driven is also becoming an expectation of businesses, the motivation for employees and a growing buying habit by consumers. People want their money to go to businesses that are environmentally aware, treat their employees well, and invest time and energy in making the world a better place. +
I’m glad purpose-driven marketing is becoming a growing strategy and topic of conversation – I’ve written before about the frustration I have when people criticize cause marketing (we discussed this with the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge… ugh). I’d encourage every company to promote the efforts they’re making to help those around them – this inforgraphic points to why!
Brian is SPOT ON here as usual. We've been watching the annual Cone Consumer Activism Survey for years. The number of consumes who want their brands to do the right thing about health, the planet and human rights has grown steadily for years.
Brian is right when he says it isn't enough to make a great widget anymore. Everyone makes a great widget now. Now we buy from those who are "like us" and who we love.
You can't buy love, but you can sure influence it by your deeds and actions. When I started selling bar soap for P&G a lifetime ago (1981) what a marketer SAID was important.
Marketing was about knitting SAYINGS together and repeating them enough to drill them into memory. Now marketing is about what we DO and any dissonance between what we DO and SAY is death.
It's impossible to win solely by managing existing assets when your competitors are busy inventing new ones.
Love this, "To win in these challenging times, innovation has become your most powerful source of competitive advantage. Playing yesterday's game--even with brilliant strategy--is no match for the hurricane strength winds of creative disruption. Today, an entirely new set of skills and approaches are required to succeed. Simply put: innovation eats strategy for breakfast."
Man doesn't eat by disruption alone. Disruption is disrupting, so balance is always a good idea (not really mentioned in this post). Disruption has to COME FROM some place too. Even those who disrupt innovate on or in some space or meme.
Because the disruption feels from left field to some doesn't mean that is where the idea came from. Most disruptions were sitting on the ground staring up at whoever passed by. SEEING without the hypnotic drug of status quo thinking begins DISRUPTION. SEEING is the key then NOT rejecting the disruption, "Embracing the suck." to quote a movie I saw recently becomes critical because every muscle will cry to crawl back to the safety of the status quo.
Don't do that is our advice :). Do disrupt.
Two years ago, we published a two-part post on social media marketing safety with Internet marketer, curator, cancer survivor, entrepreneur and Friend of Paper.li, Marty Smith.
Well, guess what? Marty is back. And this time, he will share his journey and thoughts on entrepreneurship, e-commerce, social media and how his battle against cancer has shaped his thinking.
Love this Jody Porowski post since she shares directly and doesn't lay claim to expertise she doesn't have (rare). I also love here reasons for why content marketing matters beyond pure traffic generation such as:
1. Drive Traffic.
2. Increase Awareness.
3. Create new Connections.
4. Produce Warm Fuzzies.
Great list. I would add:
5. Creates online community (net effect of 1 - 4).
6. Voice is authority, authority is reputation, reputation is all.
7. Provides grappling hooks out to social media to accomplish #2.
8. Shares values and nonverbals communication such as WE LISTEN (especially when you curate or incorporate content from users).
9. Promotes User Generated Content (they won't share if you don't).
10. Define your USP and UCA (Unique Selling Proposition and Unique Customer Aspiration).
YES, we live in a post content-shock world, but construct a website without a voice and see how it performs (it won't). Stories, shared intimacy and risk form the basis of any successful online community. Remember 1:9:90 Rule says 1% of a site's visitors will advocate and share valuable UGC (User Generated Content), 9% will vote and share especially content from the highly trusted 1%ers and 90% read and visit (important to traffic numbers but hard to engage).
We used to think content and voice was the ante for an Ambassador Program or the creation of valuable brand advocates and Sheraps. Team Curagami changed our mind recently and now advise customers such as Moon-Audio.com (manufacturers amazing audio cables and sells high-end headphones and earphones) to ASK for help NOW.
Continue to develop content and voice since the more trusted you are the greater chance you have at the gold at the end of the web marketing rainbow - sustainable online community. BUT ASK FOR HELP immediately, specifically and often.
Such a great post by Jody I couldn't help adding a riff from my experience as a content marketer, content curator and former Ecommerce Director. Added to Startups Revolution because content marketing is one of the rocks many startups get hung upon. Don't over think content marketing and create something daily.
Marty Note On Developing Trusted Content
Startups must create content to develop trust and community. Content marketing. and this may be a surprise to some, is not an end unto itself. You create and share content to help, educate and share. Startups should create content to develop a self-sustaining community.
Sharing content requires being vulnerable, real and authentic. The six tips from the linked post focus on creating honest communication. My 4 content marketing tips describe how to create content sure to be shared (a form of trust), built upon and provide the feedback loops you need to run an online business:
Six Content Tips (from the link)
* Eliminate Hype.
* Make Your Content As Unbiased as possible.
* Present alternative perspectives (from trusted leaders and gurus).
* Include objective research.
* Beware of product pitches (just say NO to product pitches).
* Proclaim your identity (be honestly who you ARE as any disparity creates dissonance).
Marty's 4 Content Marketing Tips (to promote shares and feedback)
* End with a question asking for feedback & don't mind if none comes (1:9:90 Rule says only about 10% of your visitors are going to engage with your content is ways you can see).
* Shorten your sentences & paragraphs and lose the conjunctions and personal pronouns.
* Create short (10 words or less) headlines with "grabbers".
* Create, shoot or develop original art.
Questions are great. We use questions in three ways:
* We ask and then answer our own question as a way to engage a clear line of reasoning and thinking.
* We ask contextually relevant questions at the end of a post looking for feedback on a reader's experience.
* We ask and leave open questions in heading sand sub-heads to promote the content as answer reading the curiosity of a question prompts.
Short and Sweet
Shorten and create SEO writing. SEO writing is reducing your "stop words" such as personal pronouns or other words search spiders can't understand. SEO may be out of favor these days, but those "spider tips" apply to creating content to promote online readership and engagement too. Think Hemingway more than Faulkner.
Startups shouldn't use stock photography. Stock creates dissonance with any startup's main positioning. All startups are claiming to be smarter and more creative than the other guy. When you use sock you look just like the other guy. Just say NO to stock no matter how much your designer wants to use it. CORNED use stock but ask your design team to create unique edits and perspectives so your stock doesn't look like everyone else.
IgnitionDeck is the world's most popular WordPress crowdfunding plugin. Includes free WordPress Crowdfunding Theme. Integrates with Paypal, Stripe, Mailchimp.
At our starutp @Curagami we've been fascinated with the idea of "enterprise crowdfunding". This idea fascinates us because:
* Crowdfunding content is highly social.
* Social Shares - Content is supported by entrepreneurs social net.
* Crazy Guy / Girl In Basement - content is buzz worthy.
Ignition Deck's wordpress plugin means its easy to add crowdfunding to your site. Yes, you give up the "featured" aspect of having your campaign promoted by a big gun like Kickstarter or IndieGoGo, but you gain control and the SEO juice comes to YOU and YOUR SITE not them.
Ethan Mollic's Dynamics of Crowdfunding study showed what we expected:
* Most campaigns get funded by entrepreneurs own network.
* Most campaigns JUST MAKE their funding goals.
* Campaigns that have 25% in first days are 80% likely to meet their ASK. * Even small crowdfunding sites have high PageRank.
That last bullet is because crowdfunding sites benefit from the Facebook effect - create the environment and have everyone else provide the content and links. If most campaigns are funded by YOU anyway using a pluggin like IgnitionDeck may make sense.
Where it REALLY makes sense is at the enterprise level. Our Curagami customer Moon-Audio.com can create a "board" asking for new headphone, headphone amp and audio gear ideas from their Ambassadors and other visitors.
IgnitionDeck looks like a winner. We plan to investigate further and report back on http://www.Curagami.com . Thanks to Mark Foulkrod at Atlantic BT in Raleigh for the share.
I agree with the idea that Neuromarketing isn't a secret ticket to man's inner most desires. EVEN if you could see inside the soul of your customers doing so would be wrong and your view would change the wrong things in the wrong way.
I also agree anyone can do Neuromarketing these days. Big Data, analytics and wisdom of crowds can provide as much if not more actionable information than sticking people in Catscans and postulating on motivations, persuasion and the secret Stimulus - Response curves we all understand to some lesser or greater degree.
Know thyself is great Internet marketing advice and this post helps explain how to define your Unique Selling Propositions and Unique Customer Aspirations.
UCA is the startups secret weapon. When you are aligned to UCA your startup scales. When your ideas are out of alignment or not communicated well (been there, done that) your startup doesn't scale.
Wrote this piece for Atlantic BT during my tenure as Marketing Director.
Buffett's Startups Tips
* Multiple Money - Don't depend on one source of income.
* Spending - Don't buy what you don't need or you will be forced to sell what you do.
* Saving - Spend what is left after saving not other way around.
* Risk Taking - Never test river depth with both feet.
And more tips from the Oracle of Omaha for startups in this Haiku Deck
New business, major ambitions, no budget… now what? You know your startup brand should have a Twitter account, the marketing opportunities can rocket your company into the big leagues.
It’s a free platform that puts businesses on a level playing field, where a decent Tweet can reach up to 271 million active users at an unprecedented speed. Using it correctly unlocks a huge return with little to no financial investment.
That sounds perfect – if you wanted to reach an audience of that size on almost any other medium you’d be paying an amount of money that most small businesses in the US could only dream of.
Getting a solid foothold on Twitter can be a challenge if your brand isn’t established yet. But Twitter users follow at least 5 brands on average, so they’re willing to be courted by you if you can appeal to them.
This means that in every industry there are startups using Twitter to grow their audience, increase their leads, help their customers, and ultimately improve their bottom line. Here’s how you can be one of them:
Last month, 14% of our website visitors AND new contacts came from Pinterest. Pretty good, right?
Well, for one of our clients, 48 percent of his traffic 57% of new contacts came from Pinterest.
...This example of the smoothie recipes is almost too easy. I know. But that doesn’t mean your landscaping company has no choice but to create ebooks about smoothies! Let’s say you created an ebook on starting a vegetable garden. The planning process may be broken down into a few steps. Then there is preparation, a trip to the nursery or hardware store, etc. Each of those steps could use its own pinnable image. You could either create one template and change out the text. Or, you could use colorful images of vegetables and gardens with some text outlining a specific tip or step in the process.
And that, my friends, is my #1 tip for how to get massive numbers of leads from Pinterest.
Mark Twain noted few souls are saved after the first 10 minutes of the sermon. Your pitch has, maybe, half that time.
1. Do some research.
2. Connect with your audience on a human level.
3. Tell a story they can relate to.
4. Share facts.
5. Be subtle -- don't give it all away.
6. Make them laugh.
7. Create a sense of urgency.
8. Make a bold statement.
9. Make your final words count.
Great post I would change the order and add a few. Here are my 10 Tips To Win Investor Hearts & Minds:
1. Slow DOWN, SMILE and be IN THE MOMENT.
2. Open with a BOLD statement.
3. Note any connection no matter how remote (based on research).
4. Tease with cliffhangers & Speak In Sound Bites.
5. Tell A Story relevant to them based on your research. Don't say "I want to tell a story" as that sounds like it will take too much time.
6. Do Research To Know What Is Relevant.
7. Use P&G Presentation Summary (see below).
8. Find URGENCY in your story and highlight it.
9. Weave facts INTO your story.
10. Close with a question that ties your story to their context and ask if they are in. Whatever they say check it back with them by summarizing and asking if you understand.
Want to emphasis 3 things: NOW, P&G & Closing.
This is YOUR meeting. The first thing they are going to want to do is be IN CONTROL and be the ALPHA dogs. Money needs ideas and ideas need money. YOU are an EQUAL even if you are sitting in Kleiner Perkins Caufield (which I would imagine is fairly intimidating).
Powerful RICH people respect people who don't need them. Whoops, let me amend that. "Appear" to not need them. Think of SnapChat turning down billions. Why? Because they KNOW they have something and its THEIRS. When someone makes the right offer for collaboration they will do the deal.
Go hat in hand to an investor meeting and you are dead before you start. THINK about anything OTHER than what is happening in that room in that time and you are dead. If the meeting feels unequal or uncomfortable check-in, ask a question and channel the moment.
NEVER project. Don't meet thinking the partnership and the money will magically complete you. It doesn't and can't, so release any thought of yesterday or tomorrow and be simply and completely in that room listening with every atom in your body.
P&G taught a helpful way to organize a sales presentation:
* Summarize The Situation (discuss the market, macro trends & threads that led you to start a company).
* State The Idea.
* Explain How It Works.
* Discuss Benefits.
Done right this format becomes a seamless story with threads and hooks. Hooks are cliffhanger you pay off in the next section. If you are meeting with sailors frame some of your analogies with sailing references. Careful NOT to presume too much. Stay TOPICAL with your relevant analogies so you don't appear to be challenging their expertise (in golf, sailing, cycling, cancer survival, ivy league schools, prep schools or whatever).
"Close early and often," is how P&G taught me to sell soap. You aren't selling soap, but respect buying signals. My boss said, "Marty learn to take YES for an answer". You should too.
Don't win by talking. You win MONEY and HEARTS by LISTENING more than you talk. Treat every question as if there is a hidden subtext - something they want to share. Don't NOT answer a question, but always check-in after you do. "Did I answer your question," is a simple check-in.
If you are speaking in short "sound bites" not Hamlet-like speeches your answers won't delay the subtext they want to share. The people across do deals daily, so they will be FAST. Fast is fine as long as you don't feel pressured or ill-at-ease.
If you feel EITHER fast or ill-at-east RUN don't walk away from the deal. Whatever feeling you have in the "invest in you meeting" only gets magnified once you take their money. SO if you aren't in love with them too RUN AWAY.
One thing the Big C taught me is DO WHAT YOU LOVE with THOSE YOU LOVE and no amount of money is worth losing the company you love. Make no mistake. There are many ways to lose your company. One way is if it feels like a JOB. You don't work for them. You are collaborating with them.
Money isn't as hard to find as them make it feel. Great partners you can love are RARE and very hard to find. Focus on the PEOPLE not the money and you may win VC hearts and minds.