I just love to show you this new 2014 CMO’s guide to the 2014 social landscape. It’s about SEO, Brand Awareness, Customer Communication and traffic generation. I hope it will inspire you to consider new channels for your marketing campaigns.
All the best to you, Henrik
For someone whose original ambition was to become an academic philosopher, Reid Hoffman has done very well as an entrepreneur. After deciding that the world of academia would not allow him to make a big enough impact, Hoffman decided his future lay in digital start-ups. On the back of the success of first Paypal and later LinkedIn he has built an estimated personal fortune of $1.9 billion.
While Hoffman’s latest company LinkedIn has been highly successful, he has also had his share of failures. His first start-up flopped and PayPal nearly went under many times according to Hoffman. Through these experiences Hoffman has learned a lot about what works and what doesn’t work when you are an entrepreneur. To learn from his experience here are the top 12 entrepreneurial lessons from Reid Hoffman.
Don’t Focus on How to Make Money Too Early
Hoffman criticizes the idea that entrepreneurs should be working out their business model early on. For seed stage companies they will still be experimenting. While you might have an idea of what the business model could be, it will probably change in the future. Trying to monetize too early can hinder the company’s growth and future options.
Solve Big Problems
Whether you are trying to solve a big problem or a small one you will still need to turn up for work everyday. Therefore you may as well focus on the bigger opportunities. When looking for opportunities focus on those that could completely change or dominate an existing industry. Paypal revolutionized payment processing and LinkedIn completely changed the way that people professionally network.
Launch Early To Get Feedback
Hoffman states that if you are not embarrassed by the first iteration of your product then you are launching too late. He advises that you launch as early as possible so that you are able to get feedback from the market. You can then use this feedback to add or remove features that your customers desire. You can also ask your network what they think and pivot accordingly.
There Is No Rulebook For Entrepreneurship
When it comes to successful entrepreneurship there are many different ways to succeed. While some entrepreneurs have found success in one way, it doesn’t mean that this is the only way to succeed. Sometimes if you want to be successful you need to be willing break the rules that others have laid out.
Keep Your Focus
The founder of Zynga once asked Reid Hoffman when LinkedIn would be adding games. The answer was “Never!” It is easy to be swayed but what seems to be working for your competitor but it is important to stay focused. While you want to be responsive to the market you should still have a core vision of where you want your company to go and to stick to it.
Fear Can Help You
Many people believe in order to be a successful you need to rid yourself of fear. However Hoffman believes almost the opposite. He says if you are not paranoid then you won’t succeed. He also says even after the success that LinkedIn has experienced that he is still fearful and that it helps to keep him focused.
Your Failures May Bring Benefits Later On
Reid Hoffmans first start-up was SocialNet. The business was largely a failure but it did help to build the foundation of Hoffmans extensive network in Silicon Valley. This network would become very useful later on for Paypal and LinkedIn. Even early failures may bring ancillary benefits later on.
When It Comes To Financing You Need To Think Ahead
Hoffman advises that as soon as you have completed the first round of financing for your company you need to start thinking about the second and third round. If you sit back on your laurels and are satisfied with the first round you will find that you are not prepared when you need more capital.
Look For Team Players
Being able to work in a team is one of the most important skills to look for in new employee hires. Hoffman learned this lesson from Paypal founder Peter Thiel who advised to choose employees who had been involved in some sort of team sport. Hoffman himself played in a soccer team. Being able to shift and pivot as is needed is important but they must also be able to do this as a team. If some people resist the changes the business will lose focus.
See The World From Their Perspective
Whether you are designing a new product or forming a business relationship you must be able to see the world from someone else’s perspective. When creating a product you need to be able to understand what it is like to be in your customer’s shoes. The same is true of creating authentic networking relationships. You must understand the world from their perspective.
Hire People Who Can Learn Fast
For early stage start-ups one of the key characteristics he looks for in employees is the ability to learn fast. He says this is more important than experience. He would choose someone with the ability to react quickly to changing circumstances, to someone with 20 or more years of experience. This is essential for start-ups because the business will usually need to pivot frequently once it is exposed to the market. An example of this is Paypal. In the early days of that company there were many different ideas of what the company could be, so it pivoted often. Originally the company was named Confinity and was designed to serve only as means to transfer payments between palm pilots) If the employees of that company had not been so flexible it would have failed.
Be First or Second
When looking for opportunities try to be the first player in that space. If you have a unique variation on the business then being second might also be ok. However if you are third or fourth then you are too late. Hoffman uses the example of Groupon. A second variation on this Groupon might be successful if executed correctly but a third or fourth variation will likely fail.
Since listing in May 2009 at $45 a share it now priced at $160. LinkedIn itself has gone from strength to strength with over 200 million users as of January 2013.
Founder and CEO of LinkedIn Reid Hoffman has also done very well from the business.
With LinkedIns IPO he exited the company with over a billion dollars, adding to his already considerable fortune. Despite all of this LinkedIn is much less well known that some other Internet success stories such as Amazon, Facebook or Google.
This is unfortunate because there is a lot that entrepreneurs can learn from the success of LinkedIn. To help rectify that oversight here are the top 10 business lessons from LinkedIn.
Look For Your Hidden Assets
Over 90% of people who use LinkedIn do not pay for any of the premium services it offers.
And yet LinkedIn is still a very profitable company. How did it achieve this? By charging recruiters to search and recruit talent on the site.
The huge amount of data that is available about LinkedIn users is the sites hidden asset.
While Facebook aims to make money through paid advertising, LinkedIn is able to provide a useful service for its users, connecting them with recruiters, and at the same time run a very profitable business.
Many businesses have hidden assets that could create a whole new stream of income.
Often these opportunities are found amongst the customers that you already have not the ones that you want to acquire.
Don’t Be Afraid To Remove Functions
In 2013 LinkedIn decided to remove its Answers section from the site.
This was a well known part of the site where users could pose and answer each others question.
While the answers section of the site was well known it was not well used by members.
Many questions only received a few or no answers at all. It also required a fair amount of monitoring in order to keep politically and religious topics from causing problems.
LinkedIn removed the function rather than allow it to distract them from their core focus.
One of Reid Hoffman’s guiding philosophies when looking for business opportunities is to go big.
As he has noted whether you are working on a small business or a big business you still have to do roughly the same amount of work so you may as well go for the biggest opportunities.
LinkedIn sought to dominate the online networking space for business professionals and it has managed to achieve this.
Become A Part Of Peoples Day To Day Life
One of the challenges that LinkedIn faced was that many users could only see the appeal of using the site when they were looking for a job.
While they understood the value of LinkedIn they didn’t need it on a day to day basis.
However to have a successful social networking it needed to have a deeper level of engagement with its users.
To achieve this it added functions which would draw users back on a regular basis.
To do this it made the site more social and content driven by adding in functions such as LinkedIn groups.
Be Flexibly Persistent
Hoffman has coined a phrase which he calls being “flexibly persistent”.
The digital world that LinkedIn operates in, changes so rapidly that being too fixed in your goals does not provide the flexibility to succeed.
At the same time if you don’t have a sense of where you are going and you aren’t persistent then you won’t achieve much either.
What is needed is to be flexibly persistent where you move forward towards a target but you adjust as new data becomes available.
Look For Disruptive Opportunities
Reid Hoffman looks for opportunities to disrupt existing industries.
He is not looking to simply improve a business or product slightly. Instead he wants to completely disrupt the status quo.
By doing so he is able to become a market leader in this space.
LinkedIn achieved exactly that by becoming a whole new way to manage your professional network and your career.
Boring Can Be Better
The first social networking sites such as Friendster and MySpace focused on appearing sexy and fun.
LinkedIn on the other hand was entering a traditionally boring space.
However as we have seen LinkedIn is one of the only social networking sites that has not only survived but has even thrived.
Sometimes the best opportunities are not with those that on the outside look the most interesting.
Think about Your Long Term Customer
In the early days of social networking, it was believed that people would use them primarily for activities such as dating.
However that presented a problem because users would either find someone and leave the network or they would become frustrated and give up. The model guaranteed a high churn rate in users.
LinkedIn instead focused on a model which would allow them to retain its users for the long term.
Because LinkedIn has become the place that business professionals manage their career and network, once they join they tend not to leave.
Good Luck Is Found In the Opportunities
Hoffman perceives the idea of good luck a little differently to many people.
When most people think of good luck it is something going well for them or their business succeeding.
Hoffman instead says that good luck is being presented with an excellent opportunity that you can then pursue. That opportunity is the good luck but it is still up to you to do something with it.
Your Network Is Your Greatest Asset
LinkedIn is of course the embodiment of the value of your business network.
But it was Reid Hoffman’s own network that played a crucial role in the success of LinkedIn.
As part of the “Paypal Mafia” he had access to capital and talent that would allow LinkedIn to capture the entire online business networking space.
Whether you’re just starting out as an entrepreneur or you have a few wins under your belt, your network will be invaluable to your success.
Author Bio – Tom writes for valuator – click here to see their business tips. He is a freelance writer from Portland USA.
Come and join the SeoCustomer on LinkedIn. Just click on the picture and join our group. All the best to you, Henrik
In fact it can tell you about all the different kind of social media. I am already inspired to get myself a cup of coffee now. Cheers everybody.
Coffee is on me, Henrik
There are lots of speculations about Social Media. Many feel that it might take the place of Search engines. There are people who feel that search engine optimization practices are gradually fading away.
On the other hand, some of them still believe that Search Engine Optimization has a long way to go. Whatever said and done, it has to be agreed that both have their own places in the industry and you can never say that one is better than the other.
When you make your presence felt in the industry, it will definitely have a positive impact on your Search Engine Optimization results.
Let’s take a look at some of the facts related to search engines.
- Tweets have become an integral part of Google’s search results. For instance, when you search information for a particular topic, Google will pull all the Tweets that are related to the topic
- Search Engines have started viewing Social Media sites more frequently. If you post any new information on your social networking site such as Facebook, chances are that Google will be viewing the information within an hour
- Google trusts all the top rated Social Networking Sites and it ranks them accordingly
Here is a list of some of the Social Media sites that improve Search Engine Optimization
Linkedln – It is one of the Social Media that is dedicated to professionals and business owners. If you own a company, your employees can sign up for an account and start networking with people.After registering yourself, you need to select “Account and Settings” option which will be seen at the top of the page.
Select “My Profile” on the page and it will lead you to another option “Websites”. Choose the “Edit” link option.It will lead you to a different page where you can make changes to your Web sites. Now choose the “Other” button and start describing the site that you want to link to. It is also possible to link internal pages to the site.
Facebook – Using this social media you will not only be able to create your own personal profiles but you can also create fan pages. Just make sure that your profile contains all the necessary information such as websites and more.The appropriate keywords have to be inserted as well. Introduce your sites and products to the audience in the form of brief descriptions.
As far as fan pages are concerned, you need to make sure that blog posts are posted frequently. That makes it easier for your contents to get displayed on search engines when viewers look for them.It is better to use Networked Blogs applications which assist you to post the blogs on your Facebook wall. Also keep in mind that your profile needs to be made available to the public.
Twitter – This is one of the sites whose popularity is on the rise. Using this Social Media, you can use information for sharing with people who follow your profile.Irrespective of the type of content, you can share it with umpteen usersaround the globe.
It has a huge reach. Google has recently started to index tweets and it has proved to be beneficial for people who are trying to post their content through Twitter.Make it a point to use URLs that aren’t shortened because actual URLs are considered more relevant.
Andrea Walters, a freelance writer for MyTechHelp – a leader in providing support across various product brands and tech devices for individuals and small businesses in need of instant tech help.apple tech support
I cam across this awesome InfoGraphic from the guys at sdlsm2.com, and I wanted to share it with you. Here you can get tips and tricks.
Just click on the image to make it larger.
I think most of us know by now that social media is important when we talk about getting traffic and attention to our website. But then the problems start right? Which one should I choose for my website?
Should it be Facebook (now more than 1 billion users), Google+, Twitter, YouTube? Or what about Instagram or Pinterest?
There are so many to choose between. And it’s important that you choose too many different ones, because then you don’t have the time to really rock the boat and get your traffic.
But if you are too busy with too many social media you will not learn to master it and really get to learn a social media.
After you have learned a social media, you can start to put as much as you can on autopilot to save time, but remember that social media means you have to be social right?
Well let me show you how you can choose the right social media for your site.
Step 1 – find the right social media from your own data
I hope you are using Google Analytic – if you are not – get it now.
Go to your Google Analytic data, and look at your referral traffic. You will find it under “standard reporting”, “traffic sources”, “sources”, “referrals”.
Here you can see my report for the last month.
I get a lot of traffic from LinkedIn and then StumbleUpon and Twitter.
Facebook is only number 7 on the list. So go and check your own traffic now.
Step 2 – find the right social media from your competitors’ data
And to go Alexa and check out your competitors. Maybe I have been too lazy with my Facebook. Maybe I should spend much more time on Facebook?
I will check out SeoMoz.org. A lot of people interesting in SEO are using their software.
Now I can see that Seomoz.org uses Facebook better than I do. The number 3 traffic source for Seomoz is Facebook.
So I should try to get more active in that social media.
You can get more ideas here how to choose the right social media.
Step 3 – Now start to rock the boat
Well now you know where to start. So let me give you some advices for some of the hundreds of social media that you can find.
Free marketing giveaways
Remember to grab the our free 3 eBooks about SEO, SEM, Social Media Traffic and Link Building. And join our brand new LinkedIn group SeoCustomer.
Good luck with it. Carpe Diem.
How many users, how many visits, the male-female ration, time spend by average social networking user per month and age demographics of social networking users.
Awesome information if you work in marketing and want to target your potential customers.
It’s made by G0-Gulf.com.
Read more about how to get traffic from Pinterest here.
Best regards, Henrik
Here at Seocustomer you can get tips and tricks for your SEO, Social Media, Link Building and Marketing. Get ideas and tools here.
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