Category Archives: entrepreneurship

This thread contains stories of and inspiration for entrepreneurs, as well as our own experiences with Markitty.

Being small can be an advantage: what are the five qualities of a small business you should take advantage of?

What are the most important marketing metrics experts say a small business should keep track of?

Read our interviews with these entrepreneurs: Rand Fishkin of SEOmoz, Ann Handley of MarketingProfs, Anita Campbell of Small Business TrendsGini Dietrich of Spin Sucksreputed online marketter Lisa Barone, and others.

Tech Marketing: Interview with Bhaskar Sarma, B2B Marketing Consultant

Bhaskar Sarma, B2B CopywriterBhaskar Sarma of Pixels and Clicks is a copywriter specializing in B2B technology businesses. He is also a fantasy fan, judging by his marketing blog posts that reference Tolkien and Dr. Who. He talks to us about copywriting and social media for B2B.

My questions and comments are in bold.

How and why did you become a consultant?

I came into consulting and copywriting through a pretty roundabout fashion. Before my current gig and after getting my BE in computer engineering I was a tech journalist, an infosec consultant and a volunteer with a non-profit running schools in remote mountain villages near Mussorie. I decided not to get back into the corporate rat race and opted to work for myself, travel when I want and choose my own clients and projects.

Continue reading Tech Marketing: Interview with Bhaskar Sarma, B2B Marketing Consultant

Weekend Reads for Better Marketing: All About Startups

Do you have it in you to be an entrepreneur? Successful entrepreneurs possess five key traits.

Women selling vegetables in a local market

But once you’ve started your business, what is your goal? Joel Gascoigne of Buffer shares some interesting thoughts.

And over on Women’s Web, I write about eight things a new entrepreneur should do.

Read HubSpot’s article on 7 common SEO myths: and if you’re building on any of these, please stop.

HubSpot also tells you when to — and when not to — outsource your marketing: think twice before outsourcing social media or content creation!

Marketing Reading, But Not Just for the Weekend

I couldn’t find any recent blog posts or articles I loved and wanted to share with you, so I thought I’d share my favorite marketing and business books.

Marketing books
I could only photograph three of the books, since the fourth’s lent out to our hacker

Continue reading Marketing Reading, But Not Just for the Weekend

Small Business Marketing: Interview with Anita Campbell of Small Business Trends

Anita Campbell of Small Business TrendsAnita Campbell is the Founder and CEO of Small Business Trends, a popular U.S.-based site for small business advice. Small Business Trends has been mentioned in the Wall Street Journal, MSNBC, and the New York Times, and Anita herself is a popular writer and speaker and is on several advisory boards. She talks to us about content creation, content monetization, and entrepreneurship.

My questions and comments are in bold.

Tell us a bit about Small Business Trends – I read you started it as a version of an email newsletter? Who was your first audience? Continue reading Small Business Marketing: Interview with Anita Campbell of Small Business Trends

Weekend Reads for Better Marketing: Do This Now

This week’s reads are all about tips you should start following right away or mistakes you need to avoid. Get on these right away so you don’t lose opportunities!

This is something we have found too: everyone wants to help you. As usual, Joel Gascoigne dispenses excellent and inspiring advice to entrepreneurs.

The KISSmetrics blog lays out seven critical errors made by e-commerce websites. Make sure you’re not making any!

Are you optimizing your images for search? If not, start now!

A study of smartphone and tablet users in the U.S. found some interesting results with regard to mobile searches for restaurants:

Continue reading Weekend Reads for Better Marketing: Do This Now

Marketing to Women: Interview with Aparna Vedapuri Singh of Women’s Web

Aparna Vedapuri Singh is the Founder and Editor of Women’s Web, an online magazine for Indian women. (Full disclosure: I’ve known Aparna for years and I write a career column and the occasional book review for Women’s Web.)

Read on for Aparna’s experiences in and tips for entrepreneurship and marketing! (My comments and questions are in bold.)

Aparna Vedapuri Singh, the Founder and Editor of Women's Web
Picture credit: Bilat Singh Thongram

Tell us about Women’s Web – how did you come up with the idea for the site?

Women’s Web is a product that came about as a result of a need I felt existed in the market – and as with many entrepreneurs, beginning with a need I felt myself!

While women’s magazines are certainly not a new phenomenon in India, increasingly, there is such a sameness to them. Many women are interested in beauty, but why should the pursuit of beauty define us? Really, is better skin and anti-ageing all that there is to our lives? I wanted to read something better! I felt that there is a niche in the market for interesting, useful information and reads, directly relevant to our lives.

Continue reading Marketing to Women: Interview with Aparna Vedapuri Singh of Women’s Web

Office Hours: Marketing For Startups

Two weeks ago, I spoke to the moderators of a local business community, Pune Open Coffee Club, and as a result of that discussion, Better Marketing started a new initiative:

Office Hours: Marketing For Startups

We’re offering free consulting services to start-ups in Pune. Every Thursday, we sit at a local cafe and meet at least one entrepreneur. We talk for a couple of hours about their business and help them map out a marketing strategy or suggest things they could improve.

We started last week and met two businesses – and we received so many inquiries that we’re booked up through December!

This is the process we are following:

Continue reading Office Hours: Marketing For Startups

Marketing a Style Blog: Interview with Sally McGraw of Already Pretty

I’m thrilled to present our first podcast, an interview with style blogger Sally McGraw. Click on the player to listen to the interview or read the transcript below! (My questions and comments are in bold.)

Sally McGraw, savvy businessperson

Hey, everyone! This is Unmana from Better Marketing. Today we’re talking to Sally McGraw of the style and body image blog AlreadyPretty.com.

I’ve been reading Sally’s blog for several years, uh, since way back when she was just another blogger with a day job, and now she manages her own thriving business. She’s here to tell you how she did it, and how you can, too.

Sally?

Yes!

So, um, tell us a little about your journey — about the blog and about the business?

Continue reading Marketing a Style Blog: Interview with Sally McGraw of Already Pretty

Weekend Reads for Better Marketing: A Wide Assortment

Cheesecake with assorted fruits

With the five links below, you can learn about blogging, websites, advertising on social media, motivation, and sales. Let’s start!

Hubspot tells you how you (yes, you) can be a business blogger.

Copyblogger tells you how to set up a WordPress website in fifteen minutes. (Though really, if you’re new to this, I think it will take you at least half an hour. Or a couple of hours — speaking as someone who’s technically-challenged but got this website up and running, with a little help from the other guy.)

Continue reading Weekend Reads for Better Marketing: A Wide Assortment

PR, Content Marketing, and Social Media: Interview with Gini Dietrich of Spin Sucks

Gini Dietrich manages the marketing blog Spin Sucks and is the founder and CEO of marketing firm Arment Dietrich. She talks to us about marketing, entrepreneurship… and cash!

Gini Dietrich of Spin SucksRead on. My questions and comments are in bold.

Tell us about Spin Sucks. Why call it that instead of something like, you know, the Arment Dietrich blog?

Continue reading PR, Content Marketing, and Social Media: Interview with Gini Dietrich of Spin Sucks

Weekend Reads for Better Marketing: LinkedIn Endorsements and Twitter Follower Count

This seems to be Tools Week! Neil Patel shares ten mission-critical tools for every modern marketer. How many of these do you use? I use only two — IFTTT and Hello Bar. But I plan to start using Hootsuite and KISSmetrics soon — these are both very popular and recommended tools, and I’m hoping they’ll help us!

Rand Fishkin, Founder and CEO of SEOMoz, shares 24 things that he wished he had known “then” (at the beginning of his entrepreneurial journey. My favorite is, obviously, #10:

“Better marketing often trumps a better product. Invest in both.”

Lisa Barone shares seven rules for writing awesome content. The first, of course, is telling stories.

I hate LinkedIn’s new Endorsement feature — I think it makes it far too easy for people to endorse others and makes it somewhat of a popularity contest. But since it’s there, you might as well use it, and Social Media Examiner has tips.

This study of 36 million Twitter users finds that the number of followers you have directly correlates to how often you tweet. So, how many tweets have you sent out this week?

SEO and Blogging: Interview with Ruud Hein of Search Engine People

Ruud Hein of Search Engine PeopleRuud Hein is one of the faces of Search Engine People and editor of their popular blog. Ruud talks to us about blogging, SEO, and entrepreneurship.

Let’s get to it! My questions and comments are in bold.

There’s this story on your website about how Search Engine People got started. Tell us the story — how did you get involved?

Besides teaching English as a Second Language at the French Centre de Langues Internationales Charpentier (CLIC), I had taken up building and promoting websites. Much of my informal SEO education came from discussions on the Cre8asite Forums (recently bought by Jim Boykin) with brilliant people like Ammon Johns, Kim Krause, and Stockbridge Truslow – to name but a few.

Continue reading SEO and Blogging: Interview with Ruud Hein of Search Engine People

Interview with Lisa Barone, Small-Business Marketing Expert

Lisa BaroneIf you’ve been reading me for a while, you know Lisa Barone is my favorite marketing guru — she gets quoted in most of my weekend reading posts! So I’m tremendously excited to bring you this interview with Lisa Barone, internet marketer, popular blogger, witty tweeter, fabulous inspiration, and very very nice person!

In true Lisa style, she opens up about her work, marketing in general, and advice she has for small businesses.

Let’s get to it! My questions and comments are in bold.

So, why Overit?

Continue reading Interview with Lisa Barone, Small-Business Marketing Expert

Customer Appreciation: Are You Doing It Right?

Call it marketing or customer service or just call it business strategy — you hardly need to debate the importance of demonstrating to your customers that you value them. We all want to retain customers and usually go above and beyond to please them — by giving something extra, by offering lower rates, or by providing premium service.

Larger businesses have loyalty programs to handle this, but small-business owners usually like to use their own discretion and not allow employees an easy way to make these decisions. But good employees want to keep regular customers happy. They may go ahead and offer these “extras” anyway — by giving the room overlooking the pool, making small repairs in addition to the contracted job, or by over-pouring.

These “extras” are part of your  cost of retention, but do you know how much that cost is? Are these extras proportional to the business you are getting from those customers? Are these extras in addition to the priority rates/service you are offering those customers? All these are important questions, but the most important question is — Does your customer even realize you are giving her something extra?
Continue reading Customer Appreciation: Are You Doing It Right?