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5 of the Best Tips for Starting a Business From Scratch

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Starting your own business is the dream for many, but actually doing it and getting your idea off the ground can be an incredibly intimidating process. Statistics which suggest 50% of small businesses fail after five years could be enough to deter any potential entrepreneur from taking the leap from employment to self-employment. However, many entrepreneurs fall before the five-year mark due to a lack of research and a lack of experience. There’s a wealth of great tips and advice out there that if you listen to carefully, you can avoid many of the pitfalls where people tend to get stuck.

Here are a few tips to start your business from scratch:

1. Plan

It might not be one of the most exciting bits of advice, but it is one of the most crucial. As the famous Benjamin Franklin quote goes, “Failing to prepare is preparing to fail”, which holds very true in the world of start-ups. It can be all too easy when starting out to get carried away with your business idea and rush into the launch process.

Nonetheless, building a business plan will not only help you create a strategy for launch and the future of your business, but will also help you secure that potentially all-important investment and/or bank loan.

Your business plan will ideally cover 3-5 years of business, lay out your business objectives, market research, detailed financial forecasts, opportunities for the business in the future, highlight direct competition to your business, a marketing strategy and a business management plan. Taking time to create a plan will give you direction and goals to use as a benchmark for your success.

2. Identify What You’re Good At

Before launching your business, it is important to know what you’re good at and what you’re not good at and act accordingly. Identify your skills, such as management, bookkeeping or product design along with your weaknesses such as marketing or public speaking. This will give you a good foundation to start with.

If you are good at product design but bad at accounts, take the lead in the product development process, but find someone you can trust who can help you with the accounts side of things. Working to your skills and that of those who can help you will set you up for a much better chance of success when your business really gets going.

“Success is achieved by developing our strengths, not by eliminating our weaknesses.” – Marilyn vos Savant

3. Be Smart About Your Finances

This might sound incredibly obvious, but with so many things to consider as an entrepreneur it can be easy to overlook the most important aspects of business. Your finances are the lifeblood of the business so it’s crucial to have someone who knows what they’re doing. Keep your financial projections realistic and monitor how likely you are or aren’t to meet them.

If you are going off target, ask yourself why, what needs to change and how you’re going to change it. There is also a lot of help out there for start-ups in the form of loans, grants and investments. Think wisely if you are to go for loans or investment – do you really need it? What is the interest rate and will you be able to afford to pay it back? How much of your company are you willing to give away?

4. Build a Marketing List

Marketing is one of the most important elements of your business – if people don’t know about you, you’ll have no business. Along with your business plan, it’s vital that you put a strong marketing strategy in place. When starting from scratch, it’s important to build brand awareness and a list of warm leads.

Capturing potential customers’ emails – with their consent – via social media marketing or on your site via contact forms, will provide you with a great way to announce your company’s official launch. Using leads in email marketing often proves to be an effective and cheap way to not only get those first few orders, but also to get your customers coming back time and time again.

“You don’t want a huge list.  You want an engaged list….the gold isn’t in the list anymore, it’s in the engagement.” – Scott Stratten

5. Find Mentors

Being an entrepreneur can be a lonely and stressful experience. However, it doesn’t have to be because there are many business mentorship programs out there along with great networking events in a huge variety of industries at which you can meet potential mentors.

Finding someone who has experience in business in the same or a similar industry to yours can prove to be priceless. A mentor is not only there as a sounding board for your ideas or frustrations, but also to foresee issues in your business which you may have overlooked, guide you in the right direction, help you to avoid the pitfalls they fell into and review your overall business plan.

No two businesses are the same and no two entrepreneurs follow the same path to success, but there are few things everyone can do to turn the odds in their favour. Planning properly in advance, making realistic financial projections, doing your market research, building a marketing list and finding successful and relevant mentors will all set you up for a much better chance at success in the future.

Which one of these tips do you think will help you more in starting a business? Let us know your thought below!

Image courtesy of Twenty20.com

Chris Smith is an independent writer and blogger at Spend It Like Beckham. His blog mainly focuses on finance and sports, and he's had features on a variety of topics published on sites including The Huffington Post, The Guardian and The Telegraph.

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Entrepreneurs

5 Facebook ‘Ad Hacks’ for Quickly Attracting Customers to Your New Hustle

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Image Credit: Digital Uncovered

Facebook has gotten a bit of a bad rap recently, with stories about changing algorithms and news feeds causing an increasing number of businesses to turn away from the platform. After all, what’s the point of spending your hard-earned marketing dollars if you aren’t going to get a solid return on investment?

Despite these fears, however, Facebook remains a quality resource for attracting customers to your e-commerce business. I should know — Facebook advertising has been one of the foundational elements that has helped me build several successful e-commerce stores.

It shouldn’t come as much of a surprise that your successes or failures with Facebook advertising will be largely dependent on the tactics you use.

Without further ado, here are some of the methods that I’ve found to be the most successful in building a following and finding new customers:

1. Facebook Groups

Facebook groups have been one of the best resources in my efforts to build a strong personal brand. My eCommerce Elites Mastermind group has quickly grown to be nearly 50,000 members, where new and veteran entrepreneurs ask for advice and share tips.

Whether you choose to start your own Facebook group or become an active participant in another industry-specific group, these communities offer a great opportunity to interact one-on-one with your target audience. Sharing your own insights is a great way to build niche authority, without needing to spend a lot of your marketing budget.

“People influence people. Nothing influences people more than a recommendation from a trusted friend. A trusted referral influences people more than the best broadcast message. A trusted referral is the Holy Grail of advertising.” – Mark Zuckerberg

2. Find the Engaged Niche

Targeting can make or break your Facebook ad campaign. While many businesses try to expand their reach as much as possible, this isn’t always the best course of action. For niche products, you may be better off targeting a smaller group — in particular, the “die-hards” of the industry.

Let’s say that you sell specialized artwork and photography of National Parks in the United States. While targeting interests such as “hiking” or “nature” may get you some sales, a U.S. specific product may be insignificant to many of the people in these groups. In this case, a wiser course of action would be to target individuals who like the National Parks featured in your artwork.

While the overall audience size will be smaller, these individuals are more likely to be the “die-hard” fans of these parks who are also more likely to purchase related products. A narrower niche can actually lead to more sales and a lower cost per conversion. For best results, check the affinity score for pages similar to yours to help find the most relevant audience interests.

3. Live Content

Going live may sound intimidating, but it can significantly improve your reach on Facebook. In fact, the social media giant reports that close to two billion people have watched at least one live broadcast on its platform. It isn’t hard to understand why.

For one thing, Facebook sends a notification to your followers when you go live. In my Facebook group, this has been a great way to share announcements and behind-the-scenes content, and such events have always generated great engagement.

Even more interesting, however, is that Facebook now allows for the placement of video ads during certain live broadcasts. Though Facebook has implemented stricter rules regarding who can broadcast ads and how often these ads can be played during a live stream, snagging a placement in these high-engagement posts can be a great way to reach new customers.

4. Rotate Your Ads

Facebook display ads continue to be the standard for many e-commerce businesses. Unfortunately, many entrepreneurs waste their ad budget by creating a single ad and repeatedly running it to the same group of customers. The more often someone is exposed to the same ad, the more likely they are to get annoyed by it.

One study found that by the time someone sees an ad on Facebook for the ninth time, clickthrough rate decreases by nearly 50 percent, while the cost per click increases by over 160 percent.

If you want to have a successful display campaign on Facebook, be willing to spend a little extra on the creative end of the process. Switching up the wording and images will ensure that your target audience won’t experience ad fatigue and develop negative feelings toward your brand.

“Advertising works most effectively when it’s in line with what people are already trying to do.” – Mark Zuckerberg

5. Messenger Ads

Facebook Messenger Ads are a relatively new marketing tool, but they offer a lot of potential for e-commerce businesses. This allows you to send sponsored messages to a user through the Facebook Messenger app to promote sales events, offer special discounts and more. Messenger Ads can become especially effective when you utilize a messenger bot.

These chat bots allow for automated responses to a potential customer’s communications through Facebook Messenger. Not only does this reduce the time you need to spend actively monitoring these campaigns, but they can also help you achieve a higher clickthrough rate than standard email marketing.

Brand-Building Through Facebook

Facebook is a highly competitive marketplace, and there’s no denying that finding “ready to buy” customers can sometimes be easier said than done, but it’s not impossible. As you implement these tactics, you’ll be able to see better results from your Facebook marketing efforts and achieve the business growth you’re working for.

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Here’s Why Most New Entrepreneurs Will Fail

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For the last decade, I’ve traveled to hundreds of entrepreneurial and self-growth events where the themes are all about thinking big, and bold. I’ve done the world’s most intense experiential training designed to unlock power and purpose. What I noticed was simple, yet scathing in impact.

Most people weren’t going to achieve their dreams and vision for one reason and one reason only —lack of focus. Without focus, all the energy and possibility created would be lost, scattered and ultimately spent in places that didn’t really matter.

Most entrepreneurs and solopreneurs have no problem creating a powerful, bold vision. They don’t have issues cultivating the skills required, and most love learning and do it automatically. In most cases, they’re also surrounded by other people who are doing big things. These are all powerful markers and must-have ingredients for long term success.

Yet, what’s missing is what moves mountains, creates results and provides deep levels of achievement, and fulfillment: ruthless levels of focus. This is what you’re here for, because it matters — and bringing your dreams to life has to happen. So, how do you harness this level of focus and ensure your dreams come to life? In a distracted world, it’s never been harder and simultaneously rewarding.

Below, are 4 steps to help ensure your entrepreneurial success:

Step 1: Achieve clarity or pay the price

The first step to harnessing the power of focus is knowing what to do. Sounds simple, but clarity for entrepreneurs is crucial — otherwise your day will be filled with distractions. If you have no idea what to do, you’ll spend your time on the easy action steps and wonder why you aren’t seeing big results.

The best way I’ve found to do this with myself and countless clients is to set 90 day targets. These are much better than one year targets since they increase urgency due to how close they are, and are enough to produce a ton of results.

Ask yourself:

  • Where do I want to be in my business in 90 days? Set specific targets for revenue, audience size, content creation, etc depending on your specific business.
  • What can I do to get there? This is where you brain dump everything and don’t stop until you feel you got nothing left. Step away from it, and come back later before asking the next question.

Out of all of these, which are the 20% that will have the most impact? Circle the top priorities. These are usually the bigger projects that aren’t urgent, yet crucially important. Armed with clarity, it’s time to move on to the next step.

“The successful warrior is the average man with laser-like focus.” – Bruce Lee

Step 2: Put your big initiatives first

With the most important work identified, you’re now going to fill your calendar or workflow with the most important items. This means you start your day with time blocks solely dedicated towards those projects. Here’s why: Most people start their day with little tasks; checking off small things making us feel like we’re making progress —but don’t actually produce results.

Instead of checking email, social or even your websites subscribers first thing in the morning, do your most important work. I personally start the day off with a 90 day timeblock to tackle these, and the results have been incredible. It won’t be easy at first, but stick with it and you’ll start to gain confidence in your capability to bring your vision to life.

Step 3: Protect your focused time

You’ve got clarity, you’ve set your time blocks to work on the big movers in your business. You’re all set right? Wrong! It’s one thing to create time blocks, it’s an entirely different ball game to execute on them.

This is where boundaries come in. Make yourself unavailable to others, delete apps, and get off the smartphone. Recent research states the average American worker checks his or her email 88 times a day. Don’t be this person. Do anything you can to protect your focused time, and you’ll become an efficient, purposeful and consistent machine.

Step 4: Stay consistent and be patient

As I mentioned earlier, the lure of easy tasks and busyness can feel great, but it does very little to move our business forward. Using this system, you will feel tempted to go back into your old routines and habits.

The key to making this work, like anything —it takes consistency. The truth is you won’t notice a big shift if you do this for a week, but stay with it for the next 90 days, and you’ll be amazed at what you can create.

You’ll be making real progress with your brand, product or service —and fall in love with focus. Focus itself is a powerful driver of purpose and fulfillment. We’ve all had days as entrepreneurs where we were busy, yet exhausted at the end of the day. The power of this system is you’ll finish your work day knowing you’ve moved your business and life forward. No amount of motivational Instagram quotes can hold a candle to this feeling.

“Your life is controlled by what you focus on.” – Tony Robbins

Focus is your competitive advantage

Lastly, remember this: In a distracted world, focus becomes your competitive advantage. You’ll start to rise above in your niche as someone who is consistent and always delivering. People will start asking for your secret — and the latest hack.

Best of all, you’ll know you’re putting in the real work to make your dreams come to life and never look back. You’ll develop confidence instead of feeling stuck and scattered. As time passes, getting into your focus states will get easier, and the pay off will be even bigger.

Image courtesy of Twenty20.com

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3 Mindset Shifts That Will Grow Your Business

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Moving from solo-preneur to successful business leader requires a mindset shift before actual growth can happen. Key factors to consider are your strengths as a successful entrepreneur and how you can leverage these as you move forward. At the other end of the spectrum, those skills, behaviours and approaches which might have worked for you so far, but which no longer serve you and should be left behind.

Beyond this, here are three key shifts that every solo-preneur needs to work through on their journey to growing a strong sustainable company:

1. From improvisation to strategy

Let’s be honest, at the start, most of us found ourselves making it up as we went along – trying a few things, taking a few chances, risking a few punts. We improvised, we adapted, we made it work somehow. At some stage in your business journey though, improvising and making it up as you go along is no longer a viable approach. A more stable strategy is required as a platform for sustainable growth.

To the solo-preneur who is used to thinking on their feet and making decisions in-the-moment, this can be a challenge. However, it becomes particularly important once you have a growing team in place, because they’ll need clarity around their direction and purpose.

And that’s a key thing: clarity. More specifically, clarity around your purpose and direction.

What IS your long term vision, and can it be expressed in a sentence or two that everyone understands? What are your mid-term 3-5 year goals? What are you doing in the next 12-18 months to align with those 3-5 years goals?

From here on, your team becomes more actively involved in defining how the strategy turns into an actionable plan: How does this break down into quarterly goals for each area of your business? How do these quarterly goals translate into monthly actionable goals and tasks at an individual level?

At every stage, those involved should be aware of how their day to day work aligns with the overall strategic goals of the business. Get this right, and individuals are motivated and engaged because they can see where they are adding value and making a difference, and crucially where they are going. Get it wrong, and people lose sight of their purpose and direction. They’re more likely to become inward looking, task focused and fall into the trap of working in silos.

“You either control your mind or it controls you.” – Napoleon Hill

2. From holding on to letting go

At the start of your entrepreneurial journey, you had to be a jack of all trades: marketing – yep, that’s me. Finance? Me too.  Sales? Yes…that’ll be me. Service delivery and operations? Hmmm….yeah. Me. The irony is that whilst many entrepreneurs aspire to be able to step back from their business, most find it incredibly difficult to let go. It’s their ‘baby’, after all.

Whatever the size of business, a key factor in growth is for the founder to move from doer to delegator. But whilst in principle that’s easy enough, emotionally it can be hard. The stark fact is that other people won’t do things in the same way that you do but that doesn’t make it wrong.

One of the most useful things that an entrepreneur moving to business leader can do is be brutally honest with themselves as to why they struggle to let go. Are you worried that people won’t do the task as well as you can? Is it quicker to do it yourself? Do you simply not know who you could delegate to? Or do you just not want to let go of something you enjoy doing?

The practicalities of delegation and working through others are pretty straightforward – it’s the mindset shift of letting go that needs to happen first.

Ask yourself: What must you let go of in order to deliver results through others, practically and emotionally? How are you communicating your expectations of what you want others to deliver? (and would they agree with you?!) What does letting go free you up to do?

This last point is often the clincher that allows entrepreneurs to break out of the ‘gotta do it all myself’ rut – the realisation that you simply cannot become a business leader and grow your company if you stay stuck on purely operational tasks.

3. From working IN your business to working ON your business

The whole ‘letting go’ factor is moving towards one thing: the ability to focus on growing your business and moving it forward. The CEO role is fundamentally about building the skills to achieve through others so that you can fully embrace that senior leadership role, and focusing on what really matters.

However, at the outset of business growth, you’ll probably find yourself dragged back into the day-to-day fairly often. It’s vital at that stage to schedule in time to work on your business rather than in it – put it in your diary and stick to it. Yes it will be a juggling act to start with, but without a concerted effort to focus on getting things in place for your business’ next steps, they just won’t happen.

Your focus must shift from the day to day to the big picture, steering your business forward by providing the leadership and direction, identifying and removing barriers to growth and putting in place the things that your business needs in order to move forward; the right people, the right processes and systems, the right culture and day to day practices.

“Whenever you see a successful business, someone once made a courageous decision.” – Peter F. Drucker

A word of caution, taking the long term, big picture view of the business leader doesn’t mean losing sight of the day to day. It’s important that communications within any business are two way, and that you’re gathering information from the ‘coal face’ (especially where customers are concerned) as well as clearly communicating aspirations goals and targets.

So is it time for you to shift? Is it time for you to move from solo-preneur / entrepreneur to business leader? Has the time come for you to no longer roll up your sleeves to swab the deck, splice the mainbrace or clean the bilge pump – but to become Captain of the ship? Work on your mindset first – the rest will follow.

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Why Sean ‘Diddy’ Combs Is So Successful

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Sean John Combs, also known as Diddy, P. Diddy and Puff Daddy is the founder and CEO of Bad Boy Worldwide Entertainment Group. The company is a business powerhouse with several streams of income.

Diddy oversees an empire that includes music recording and production, TV, Film, alcoholic beverages, apparel, restaurants and more.

 

Diddy’s Early Life:

diddy net worthDiddy was born in Harlem and raised in Mount Vernon New York. He first got into the music industry at Uptown records as an intern where he went on to become talent director after dropping out of Howard University. He went on to sign and produce Mary J. Blige.

In 1994, Diddy founded Bad Boy Records and signed just 2 artists at the time. They were Craig Mack and close friend Notorious B.I.G. The label went on to achieve huge success with these two original artists as well as; Mase, Lil’ Kim, Faith Evans and others.

 

 

The Growth of a Music Empire:

diddy net worthTwo years later in 1996, Diddy embarked on an incredible 50/50 joint venture with Clive Davis and Arista Records which would allow Bad Boy Records to market their artists to a global marketplace. After an amazing run of success and consistent business growth, Bad Boy Entertainment ended their joint venture on good terms in 2002. Part of deal was for Diddy to retain full control of Bad Boy Records, the artists and the entire back catalogue.

In the early part of 2003, Diddy and Bad Boy Records announced that they had signed a global distribution deal with Universal Records. The terms of the deal dictated that Universal would provide promotional and marketing services for Bad Boy’s artists and distribute new releases as well as the back catalogue. Crucially, Diddy retained 100% ownership of Bad Boy Records.

 

Diddy’s estimated net worth is $825 Million.

 

Clothing Line:

diddy clothingIn 1998 Diddy founded Christian Casey LLC, named after his second son. The company designs, produces and distributes urban fashion clothes and accessories for males and females. Christian Casey operates as Sean John Clothing and owned by Bad Boy Entertainment. The Sean John fashion label has been extremely successful with yearly sales in excess of $100 Million. In 2004, the brand was awarded the ‘Men’s designer of the year award by the Council of Fashion Designers of America. Diddy’s Sean John Enterprise also purchased the Enyce clothing line from Liz Claiborne for $20 million in the latter part of 2008.

 

Fragrances:

diddyIn a joint venture with Estee Lauder, 2005 saw the birth of Sean John Fragrances. Diddy’s flagship fragrance, Unforgivable, reached Number one in department stores in the USA in a very short space of time. Sean John Fragrances have since expanded to incorporate; Unforgivable Woman and I Am King, which are being sold all over the globe. Unforgivable became the first male fragrance to to claim the title of ‘Best Selling Fragrance’ in 2006 according to a leading retail and consumer information provider. Diddy has twice won ‘Fragrance of the Year’ at Annual FiFi Awards hosted by The Fragrance Foundation, once for Unforgivable and once for I am King.

“If you dream and you believe, you can do it” – Diddy

Alcoholic Beverages:

diddy net worthIn an incredible and lucrative move, Diddy entered into a partnership with Diageo to create and manage all marketing processes for Diddy’s brainchild, Ciroc Vodka. The deal dictated that Diddy and Sean Combs Enterprises make all brand related decisions and share future profits and growth with Diageo. This unique collaboration for a USA based spirits company, is set to last several years and will be worth an estimated $100 Million for Diddy.

In the early part of last year, Diddy ignited another partnership with Diageo in order to kick-start a joint venture to purchase DeLeon, a luxury Tequila brand. DeLeon is currently selling for $1000 per in Los Angeles bars. It is currently selling around 10,000 cases per year in only 18 states so Diddy’s famous ability for business growth is destined to take effect for the brand.

“You have to be somewhat crazy, if you want to be successful.” – Diddy

Revolt TV:

diddy revolt tvIn 2013, Diddy was backed by Comcast to launch Revolt TV, a music cable network that is believed to be owned solely by Mr. Combs. In the Spring of last year, Diddy was believed to have bid $200 Million to buy Fuse TV to gain a wider distribution and higher subscriber fees. Although this bid was unsuccessful, it was a clear show of Diddy’s intention to grow the channel and we can expect much more of that in the future.

 

Conclusion:

Diddy is an incredible example of how a persistent, obsession like approach to business growth can create amazing results. It is important to realize that Diddy is one of those ‘self-made’ people that can inspire to believe and take action on our dreams in order to make them a reality.

 

Diddy’s Success:

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You Can Create Whatever Life You Want So Stop Talking Yourself Out of Your Destiny

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There’s never been a time like right now in human history for entrepreneurship. We have access to virtually limitless knowledge thanks to the advent of the internet, and you can reach anyone on this planet literally at the click of a button. (more…)

An SEO expert, consultant, and musician, Thomas Adams writes on his website ThomasFAdams.com where he teaches wanna-be entrepreneurs how to start and maintain successful online businesses involving everything from web design to eCommerce. He has worked extensively with businesses both big and small to improve their SEO since 2014. On the side, he loves playing piano and writing songs.

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5 Facebook ‘Ad Hacks’ for Quickly Attracting Customers to Your New Hustle

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Image Credit: Digital Uncovered

Facebook has gotten a bit of a bad rap recently, with stories about changing algorithms and news feeds causing an increasing number of businesses to turn away from the platform. After all, what’s the point of spending your hard-earned marketing dollars if you aren’t going to get a solid return on investment?

Despite these fears, however, Facebook remains a quality resource for attracting customers to your e-commerce business. I should know — Facebook advertising has been one of the foundational elements that has helped me build several successful e-commerce stores.

It shouldn’t come as much of a surprise that your successes or failures with Facebook advertising will be largely dependent on the tactics you use.

Without further ado, here are some of the methods that I’ve found to be the most successful in building a following and finding new customers:

1. Facebook Groups

Facebook groups have been one of the best resources in my efforts to build a strong personal brand. My eCommerce Elites Mastermind group has quickly grown to be nearly 50,000 members, where new and veteran entrepreneurs ask for advice and share tips.

Whether you choose to start your own Facebook group or become an active participant in another industry-specific group, these communities offer a great opportunity to interact one-on-one with your target audience. Sharing your own insights is a great way to build niche authority, without needing to spend a lot of your marketing budget.

“People influence people. Nothing influences people more than a recommendation from a trusted friend. A trusted referral influences people more than the best broadcast message. A trusted referral is the Holy Grail of advertising.” – Mark Zuckerberg

2. Find the Engaged Niche

Targeting can make or break your Facebook ad campaign. While many businesses try to expand their reach as much as possible, this isn’t always the best course of action. For niche products, you may be better off targeting a smaller group — in particular, the “die-hards” of the industry.

Let’s say that you sell specialized artwork and photography of National Parks in the United States. While targeting interests such as “hiking” or “nature” may get you some sales, a U.S. specific product may be insignificant to many of the people in these groups. In this case, a wiser course of action would be to target individuals who like the National Parks featured in your artwork.

While the overall audience size will be smaller, these individuals are more likely to be the “die-hard” fans of these parks who are also more likely to purchase related products. A narrower niche can actually lead to more sales and a lower cost per conversion. For best results, check the affinity score for pages similar to yours to help find the most relevant audience interests.

3. Live Content

Going live may sound intimidating, but it can significantly improve your reach on Facebook. In fact, the social media giant reports that close to two billion people have watched at least one live broadcast on its platform. It isn’t hard to understand why.

For one thing, Facebook sends a notification to your followers when you go live. In my Facebook group, this has been a great way to share announcements and behind-the-scenes content, and such events have always generated great engagement.

Even more interesting, however, is that Facebook now allows for the placement of video ads during certain live broadcasts. Though Facebook has implemented stricter rules regarding who can broadcast ads and how often these ads can be played during a live stream, snagging a placement in these high-engagement posts can be a great way to reach new customers.

4. Rotate Your Ads

Facebook display ads continue to be the standard for many e-commerce businesses. Unfortunately, many entrepreneurs waste their ad budget by creating a single ad and repeatedly running it to the same group of customers. The more often someone is exposed to the same ad, the more likely they are to get annoyed by it.

One study found that by the time someone sees an ad on Facebook for the ninth time, clickthrough rate decreases by nearly 50 percent, while the cost per click increases by over 160 percent.

If you want to have a successful display campaign on Facebook, be willing to spend a little extra on the creative end of the process. Switching up the wording and images will ensure that your target audience won’t experience ad fatigue and develop negative feelings toward your brand.

“Advertising works most effectively when it’s in line with what people are already trying to do.” – Mark Zuckerberg

5. Messenger Ads

Facebook Messenger Ads are a relatively new marketing tool, but they offer a lot of potential for e-commerce businesses. This allows you to send sponsored messages to a user through the Facebook Messenger app to promote sales events, offer special discounts and more. Messenger Ads can become especially effective when you utilize a messenger bot.

These chat bots allow for automated responses to a potential customer’s communications through Facebook Messenger. Not only does this reduce the time you need to spend actively monitoring these campaigns, but they can also help you achieve a higher clickthrough rate than standard email marketing.

Brand-Building Through Facebook

Facebook is a highly competitive marketplace, and there’s no denying that finding “ready to buy” customers can sometimes be easier said than done, but it’s not impossible. As you implement these tactics, you’ll be able to see better results from your Facebook marketing efforts and achieve the business growth you’re working for.

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Entrepreneurs

Here’s Why Most New Entrepreneurs Will Fail

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entrepreneurship
Image Credit: Twenty20.com

For the last decade, I’ve traveled to hundreds of entrepreneurial and self-growth events where the themes are all about thinking big, and bold. I’ve done the world’s most intense experiential training designed to unlock power and purpose. What I noticed was simple, yet scathing in impact.

Most people weren’t going to achieve their dreams and vision for one reason and one reason only —lack of focus. Without focus, all the energy and possibility created would be lost, scattered and ultimately spent in places that didn’t really matter.

Most entrepreneurs and solopreneurs have no problem creating a powerful, bold vision. They don’t have issues cultivating the skills required, and most love learning and do it automatically. In most cases, they’re also surrounded by other people who are doing big things. These are all powerful markers and must-have ingredients for long term success.

Yet, what’s missing is what moves mountains, creates results and provides deep levels of achievement, and fulfillment: ruthless levels of focus. This is what you’re here for, because it matters — and bringing your dreams to life has to happen. So, how do you harness this level of focus and ensure your dreams come to life? In a distracted world, it’s never been harder and simultaneously rewarding.

Below, are 4 steps to help ensure your entrepreneurial success:

Step 1: Achieve clarity or pay the price

The first step to harnessing the power of focus is knowing what to do. Sounds simple, but clarity for entrepreneurs is crucial — otherwise your day will be filled with distractions. If you have no idea what to do, you’ll spend your time on the easy action steps and wonder why you aren’t seeing big results.

The best way I’ve found to do this with myself and countless clients is to set 90 day targets. These are much better than one year targets since they increase urgency due to how close they are, and are enough to produce a ton of results.

Ask yourself:

  • Where do I want to be in my business in 90 days? Set specific targets for revenue, audience size, content creation, etc depending on your specific business.
  • What can I do to get there? This is where you brain dump everything and don’t stop until you feel you got nothing left. Step away from it, and come back later before asking the next question.

Out of all of these, which are the 20% that will have the most impact? Circle the top priorities. These are usually the bigger projects that aren’t urgent, yet crucially important. Armed with clarity, it’s time to move on to the next step.

“The successful warrior is the average man with laser-like focus.” – Bruce Lee

Step 2: Put your big initiatives first

With the most important work identified, you’re now going to fill your calendar or workflow with the most important items. This means you start your day with time blocks solely dedicated towards those projects. Here’s why: Most people start their day with little tasks; checking off small things making us feel like we’re making progress —but don’t actually produce results.

Instead of checking email, social or even your websites subscribers first thing in the morning, do your most important work. I personally start the day off with a 90 day timeblock to tackle these, and the results have been incredible. It won’t be easy at first, but stick with it and you’ll start to gain confidence in your capability to bring your vision to life.

Step 3: Protect your focused time

You’ve got clarity, you’ve set your time blocks to work on the big movers in your business. You’re all set right? Wrong! It’s one thing to create time blocks, it’s an entirely different ball game to execute on them.

This is where boundaries come in. Make yourself unavailable to others, delete apps, and get off the smartphone. Recent research states the average American worker checks his or her email 88 times a day. Don’t be this person. Do anything you can to protect your focused time, and you’ll become an efficient, purposeful and consistent machine.

Step 4: Stay consistent and be patient

As I mentioned earlier, the lure of easy tasks and busyness can feel great, but it does very little to move our business forward. Using this system, you will feel tempted to go back into your old routines and habits.

The key to making this work, like anything —it takes consistency. The truth is you won’t notice a big shift if you do this for a week, but stay with it for the next 90 days, and you’ll be amazed at what you can create.

You’ll be making real progress with your brand, product or service —and fall in love with focus. Focus itself is a powerful driver of purpose and fulfillment. We’ve all had days as entrepreneurs where we were busy, yet exhausted at the end of the day. The power of this system is you’ll finish your work day knowing you’ve moved your business and life forward. No amount of motivational Instagram quotes can hold a candle to this feeling.

“Your life is controlled by what you focus on.” – Tony Robbins

Focus is your competitive advantage

Lastly, remember this: In a distracted world, focus becomes your competitive advantage. You’ll start to rise above in your niche as someone who is consistent and always delivering. People will start asking for your secret — and the latest hack.

Best of all, you’ll know you’re putting in the real work to make your dreams come to life and never look back. You’ll develop confidence instead of feeling stuck and scattered. As time passes, getting into your focus states will get easier, and the pay off will be even bigger.

Image courtesy of Twenty20.com

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Entrepreneurs

3 Mindset Shifts That Will Grow Your Business

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mindset shift
Image Credit: Unsplash

Moving from solo-preneur to successful business leader requires a mindset shift before actual growth can happen. Key factors to consider are your strengths as a successful entrepreneur and how you can leverage these as you move forward. At the other end of the spectrum, those skills, behaviours and approaches which might have worked for you so far, but which no longer serve you and should be left behind.

Beyond this, here are three key shifts that every solo-preneur needs to work through on their journey to growing a strong sustainable company:

1. From improvisation to strategy

Let’s be honest, at the start, most of us found ourselves making it up as we went along – trying a few things, taking a few chances, risking a few punts. We improvised, we adapted, we made it work somehow. At some stage in your business journey though, improvising and making it up as you go along is no longer a viable approach. A more stable strategy is required as a platform for sustainable growth.

To the solo-preneur who is used to thinking on their feet and making decisions in-the-moment, this can be a challenge. However, it becomes particularly important once you have a growing team in place, because they’ll need clarity around their direction and purpose.

And that’s a key thing: clarity. More specifically, clarity around your purpose and direction.

What IS your long term vision, and can it be expressed in a sentence or two that everyone understands? What are your mid-term 3-5 year goals? What are you doing in the next 12-18 months to align with those 3-5 years goals?

From here on, your team becomes more actively involved in defining how the strategy turns into an actionable plan: How does this break down into quarterly goals for each area of your business? How do these quarterly goals translate into monthly actionable goals and tasks at an individual level?

At every stage, those involved should be aware of how their day to day work aligns with the overall strategic goals of the business. Get this right, and individuals are motivated and engaged because they can see where they are adding value and making a difference, and crucially where they are going. Get it wrong, and people lose sight of their purpose and direction. They’re more likely to become inward looking, task focused and fall into the trap of working in silos.

“You either control your mind or it controls you.” – Napoleon Hill

2. From holding on to letting go

At the start of your entrepreneurial journey, you had to be a jack of all trades: marketing – yep, that’s me. Finance? Me too.  Sales? Yes…that’ll be me. Service delivery and operations? Hmmm….yeah. Me. The irony is that whilst many entrepreneurs aspire to be able to step back from their business, most find it incredibly difficult to let go. It’s their ‘baby’, after all.

Whatever the size of business, a key factor in growth is for the founder to move from doer to delegator. But whilst in principle that’s easy enough, emotionally it can be hard. The stark fact is that other people won’t do things in the same way that you do but that doesn’t make it wrong.

One of the most useful things that an entrepreneur moving to business leader can do is be brutally honest with themselves as to why they struggle to let go. Are you worried that people won’t do the task as well as you can? Is it quicker to do it yourself? Do you simply not know who you could delegate to? Or do you just not want to let go of something you enjoy doing?

The practicalities of delegation and working through others are pretty straightforward – it’s the mindset shift of letting go that needs to happen first.

Ask yourself: What must you let go of in order to deliver results through others, practically and emotionally? How are you communicating your expectations of what you want others to deliver? (and would they agree with you?!) What does letting go free you up to do?

This last point is often the clincher that allows entrepreneurs to break out of the ‘gotta do it all myself’ rut – the realisation that you simply cannot become a business leader and grow your company if you stay stuck on purely operational tasks.

3. From working IN your business to working ON your business

The whole ‘letting go’ factor is moving towards one thing: the ability to focus on growing your business and moving it forward. The CEO role is fundamentally about building the skills to achieve through others so that you can fully embrace that senior leadership role, and focusing on what really matters.

However, at the outset of business growth, you’ll probably find yourself dragged back into the day-to-day fairly often. It’s vital at that stage to schedule in time to work on your business rather than in it – put it in your diary and stick to it. Yes it will be a juggling act to start with, but without a concerted effort to focus on getting things in place for your business’ next steps, they just won’t happen.

Your focus must shift from the day to day to the big picture, steering your business forward by providing the leadership and direction, identifying and removing barriers to growth and putting in place the things that your business needs in order to move forward; the right people, the right processes and systems, the right culture and day to day practices.

“Whenever you see a successful business, someone once made a courageous decision.” – Peter F. Drucker

A word of caution, taking the long term, big picture view of the business leader doesn’t mean losing sight of the day to day. It’s important that communications within any business are two way, and that you’re gathering information from the ‘coal face’ (especially where customers are concerned) as well as clearly communicating aspirations goals and targets.

So is it time for you to shift? Is it time for you to move from solo-preneur / entrepreneur to business leader? Has the time come for you to no longer roll up your sleeves to swab the deck, splice the mainbrace or clean the bilge pump – but to become Captain of the ship? Work on your mindset first – the rest will follow.

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Why Sean ‘Diddy’ Combs Is So Successful

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Image Credit | Billboard

Sean John Combs, also known as Diddy, P. Diddy and Puff Daddy is the founder and CEO of Bad Boy Worldwide Entertainment Group. The company is a business powerhouse with several streams of income.

Diddy oversees an empire that includes music recording and production, TV, Film, alcoholic beverages, apparel, restaurants and more.

 

Diddy’s Early Life:

diddy net worthDiddy was born in Harlem and raised in Mount Vernon New York. He first got into the music industry at Uptown records as an intern where he went on to become talent director after dropping out of Howard University. He went on to sign and produce Mary J. Blige.

In 1994, Diddy founded Bad Boy Records and signed just 2 artists at the time. They were Craig Mack and close friend Notorious B.I.G. The label went on to achieve huge success with these two original artists as well as; Mase, Lil’ Kim, Faith Evans and others.

 

 

The Growth of a Music Empire:

diddy net worthTwo years later in 1996, Diddy embarked on an incredible 50/50 joint venture with Clive Davis and Arista Records which would allow Bad Boy Records to market their artists to a global marketplace. After an amazing run of success and consistent business growth, Bad Boy Entertainment ended their joint venture on good terms in 2002. Part of deal was for Diddy to retain full control of Bad Boy Records, the artists and the entire back catalogue.

In the early part of 2003, Diddy and Bad Boy Records announced that they had signed a global distribution deal with Universal Records. The terms of the deal dictated that Universal would provide promotional and marketing services for Bad Boy’s artists and distribute new releases as well as the back catalogue. Crucially, Diddy retained 100% ownership of Bad Boy Records.

 

Diddy’s estimated net worth is $825 Million.

 

Clothing Line:

diddy clothingIn 1998 Diddy founded Christian Casey LLC, named after his second son. The company designs, produces and distributes urban fashion clothes and accessories for males and females. Christian Casey operates as Sean John Clothing and owned by Bad Boy Entertainment. The Sean John fashion label has been extremely successful with yearly sales in excess of $100 Million. In 2004, the brand was awarded the ‘Men’s designer of the year award by the Council of Fashion Designers of America. Diddy’s Sean John Enterprise also purchased the Enyce clothing line from Liz Claiborne for $20 million in the latter part of 2008.

 

Fragrances:

diddyIn a joint venture with Estee Lauder, 2005 saw the birth of Sean John Fragrances. Diddy’s flagship fragrance, Unforgivable, reached Number one in department stores in the USA in a very short space of time. Sean John Fragrances have since expanded to incorporate; Unforgivable Woman and I Am King, which are being sold all over the globe. Unforgivable became the first male fragrance to to claim the title of ‘Best Selling Fragrance’ in 2006 according to a leading retail and consumer information provider. Diddy has twice won ‘Fragrance of the Year’ at Annual FiFi Awards hosted by The Fragrance Foundation, once for Unforgivable and once for I am King.

“If you dream and you believe, you can do it” – Diddy

Alcoholic Beverages:

diddy net worthIn an incredible and lucrative move, Diddy entered into a partnership with Diageo to create and manage all marketing processes for Diddy’s brainchild, Ciroc Vodka. The deal dictated that Diddy and Sean Combs Enterprises make all brand related decisions and share future profits and growth with Diageo. This unique collaboration for a USA based spirits company, is set to last several years and will be worth an estimated $100 Million for Diddy.

In the early part of last year, Diddy ignited another partnership with Diageo in order to kick-start a joint venture to purchase DeLeon, a luxury Tequila brand. DeLeon is currently selling for $1000 per in Los Angeles bars. It is currently selling around 10,000 cases per year in only 18 states so Diddy’s famous ability for business growth is destined to take effect for the brand.

“You have to be somewhat crazy, if you want to be successful.” – Diddy

Revolt TV:

diddy revolt tvIn 2013, Diddy was backed by Comcast to launch Revolt TV, a music cable network that is believed to be owned solely by Mr. Combs. In the Spring of last year, Diddy was believed to have bid $200 Million to buy Fuse TV to gain a wider distribution and higher subscriber fees. Although this bid was unsuccessful, it was a clear show of Diddy’s intention to grow the channel and we can expect much more of that in the future.

 

Conclusion:

Diddy is an incredible example of how a persistent, obsession like approach to business growth can create amazing results. It is important to realize that Diddy is one of those ‘self-made’ people that can inspire to believe and take action on our dreams in order to make them a reality.

 

Diddy’s Success:

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