On a beautiful summer afternoon two women graduated from the same college with marketing degrees. These two women were both young, bright and talented and like any college graduate were filled with dreams, hopes and ambitions for the future.
Recently, at a sales and marketing conference these two women met. They were still very much alike. They both had gone on and married their college sweethearts, both had young children and both had gone to work for successful companies.
But there was a difference:
One of these two women was a staff at a leading advertising agency in New York City making $150,000 per year salary. The other woman chose the path less traveled and used her marketing skills to start her own digital agency raking in over $1 million dollars a year in net profits.
What made the difference?
You might be wondering what made the difference in those two women. Here’s the thing, it isn’t always intelligence, dedication or talent. It isn’t that one person is a “go getter” and the other one isn’t.
The difference is directly related to what each person knows and how they make use of that knowledge.
And that is why I am writing to you about lessons I learned from Emeric Ernoult, a serial entrepreneur and owner of Agorapulse a social media management platform.
I recently met Emeric at a social media sales and marketing conference in Chicago, #socialboom15, and no, I am not either one of the two women mentioned above (although I would like to be the one who became a successful entrepreneur).
By using the knowledge that he has Emeric has built multiple successful businesses.
Here are 5 success tips told by Emeric about what he knew and how he made use of that knowledge:
Success (sales) equals a great product or service and awareness
A great product or service is only as good as that. Adding awareness to it, and what you do with that awareness is what will set you apart from your competitors.
Just remember success may look like a straight line to outsiders but it has twists and turns. However enjoy the journey – “It’s not the destination it’s the journey” says Emeric
Find good business ideas.
Among many ways of finding business ideas here are a couple to think about:
- Fill a gap in a market. It happens every day. Of course you and I may not invent some major new product but we can create something new that customers want. Ask yourself where is there a need and how can I fill it? What special knowledge and experience do you have and how can you make use of it?
- Changing the way a market operates. A new twist to something old can make it new. Uber is a great example of a company that wanted to change the way the taxicab industry operated. Their goal is to “seamlessly connect riders to drivers through their apps.” You can request, ride and pay via your mobile phone using their app.
- Provide a simpler solution. Information and technology has evolved so quickly. There are so many new approaches, tools and strategies to use to provide a simpler solution to everyday problems. Agorapulse is a good example of this. It is a platform that helps users manage all social media messages in one place.
Start small and focused – you may not need investors
Less is more and the more focused a product or service is, the better.
Start a business you can afford to build. The graph below shows you a comparison of Agorapulse to its top two competitors, Hootsuite and Sproutsocial. Agorapulse started with $300,000 while its other competitors started with huge amounts of money most likely from investors.
Now if you look in the image below, you’ll notice that according to information based on ratings and reviews from users, as well as data collected from online sources and social networks, Agopulse rates third. Not bad at all for a company that did not start up with huge amounts of money or funding.
You don’t need more content, you need the content your clients are looking for
What do I blog about? If you write a blog you may sometimes hit writers block and ask yourself this question. Guess what, your problems are about to be over because I will share with you hidden nuggets where topics to write about are buried. If you spend just a few hours a month on the Q&A site Quora, Facebook help center or Twitter help center you will be surprised at how much valuable data you can mine that relates to what your ideal audience is looking for. This will help you write content that answers a problem that people need solved. You can also check for high volume searches of your main keywords on a tool like keywordtool.io. This will pull up keywords that have high volume that you can use. After you have found your topic, run it through SEO filter to see if it relates to what people are looking for. Use a tool like Headline-Analyzer Co-Schedule to help you write SEO friendly headlines.
Selling is a combination of techniques
There are many ways you can get your business from. Public relations, social ads, content marketing, SEO searches, collaborating with other bloggers the choice is endless. Use your advocates and influencers to help you get your word out there. They can mention you in a blog post or on social media. Create a system where you store a database of your network and leverage them. They already know, like and trust you – they are your best asset.
“Whatever I do, I try to do it right and love it” ~ Emeric Ernoult
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