The last few months I spent in Spain. I learned a lot and had some incredible experiences.
Read the post here on the Social3i blog.
The last few months I spent in Spain. I learned a lot and had some incredible experiences.
Read the post here on the Social3i blog.
The world is changing.
The ease of travel. The ease of connectivity.
Lately, I’ve been immersing myself in readings of globalization and world trade. In the process, I’ve stumbled across a number of websites and applications that are making this possible. Here are two that I wanted to share :
The world’s largest and fastest-growing online workplace, ranked #1 by annual contractor earnings.
Over the past year, I have found myself using Odesk time and time again. From graphic design, to content production Odesk allows you to source a contractor, and manage your billing with ease. What is interesting about Odesk is that after you post a job, your inbox will immediately be flooded with applicants from all around the world. The workforce is changing. It is now easier than ever to outsource work to other countries. In the years to follow, citizens will not only be fighting to stay competitive in their own country, but also in the global marketplace.
Alibaba Group is a family of Internet-based businesses which makes it easy for anyone to buy or sell online anywhere in the world.
Right now I am in Spain. Over the last few months, my inner entreperuner has been constantly yelling “I wish this product was in the US!” And so began my quest to master exporting. Though I haven’t quite managed to figure out the logistics, in the months to come I plan to take exporting for a spin.
Just 10 years ago, websites and applications like this didn’t exist…. The world is changing and we are more connected than ever.
Have you done any global trade before? I would love to chat!
I’m not the poster child for good health. I won’t even pretend. However, over the last year I’ve been able to knock off a few pounds, keep them off, and increase my overall state of well being.
Now for the ways to slim down, regain your health, and boost your energy levels tenfold…. here we go!
1.) Diet Products are the Devil - Sugar free, 0 calories…..Get all this stuff out of your cupboards right now. Now throw it in the garbage because that’s what it is. Diet sodas, low calorie packaged snacks, fat free, this stuff is not healthy – just a marketing ploy. I used to LIVE off this stuff. Granola bars and frozen “diet” dinners for meals. Even though I was raised to know better (sorry Mom!), for some reason I was somehow convinced doing this was healthy.
I’m a marketer and for the longest time I fell for all of these marketing tricks. Get smart about label reading with this article here.
2.) Stop Going to the Gym Everyday – When I was at my highest weight, I went to the gym everyday, sacrificed sleep for working out, and grinded away getting no results. Now, I go 4-5 times a week and mix up my workouts. From spin class, to body pump – I’ve seen more results in a month than I had in a whole year. Doing the same thing everyday causes you to plateau and you will see no results. Mix it up! Instead of spending time in the gym I’ve also been walking an hour home from work. This not only saves bus fare, but keeps you active on days you know you won’t be able to squeeze in a workout.
3.) Get More ZZZZZ’s- If you don’t sleep, it’s much harder to lose weight. I’m not a doctor so I won’t tell you how. Read this article instead. Recently, I’ve sacrificed my late night escapades for snoozing. Though I still do have fun late nights out, they are far less frequent. Since cutting back on late nights, I’ve felt my overall health increase drastically.
4.) Ditch Coffee – If you know me, you know I love my coffee. Coffee in itself is not bad for you. What is unhealthy is coffee that is loaded with sugar and fat. For the past year, I’ve replaced my sugar with Stevia, a natural sweetener. Splenda, Extra… throw that crap away. What’s interesting about Stevia is it’s been around for decades, but just recently hit mass market. It used to come in droplets from a natural foods store, now you can pick it up at your local grocers. In addition to adding Stevia, I’ve ditched my 3 o’clock latte, limiting myself to just an Americano in the am.
5.) Don’t Drink – Though a fan of a frosty Stella on a warm day, alcohol has no health benefits. Alcohol is a bunch of empty calories and a reason to make poor food choices a few drinks in. Pizza, burgers, fries…. these things are all synonymous with a booze filled night. Since cutting back on alcohol intake I’ve gotten sick far less frequent and shed those last few unwanted pounds.
As clique it sounds, diets don’t work. A healthy lifestyle does. By incorporating these 5 tips into my daily routine, I’ve been able to slim down and increases my health drastically.
Have any tips for staying trim in a busy world? Would love to hear your suggestions in the comments below!
Just kidding. I love you. I really do. You’re creating some of the most innovative products, changing lives, and making the world a better place. I admire you.
Great. No problem! I can help you with that.
So many times I am met with something like “We’re a start-up – we have no marketing budget.”Here is something I would love to go shout from a mountaintop:
This is a quick and easy formula of how much money you need to allocate to your marketing efforts based on your users goals. (This does not take into account PR efforts)
X = Customer/User Goal
For a million users, you’re looking at a necessary marketing budget that ranges from $50,000 – $5,000,000 (PLUS the cost of execution)
There is a huge misconception that technology start-ups just need to use social media to market their product. Even if you’re promoting your product through a grassroots social media campaign, there is still an associated cost – time. This is either your time or the time of someone you have to pay to help you.
If you can not answer these questions, you should not begin your marketing efforts.
If you have no marketing budget your application or website will FAIL. Marketing is the business function that connects consumers to products. For some reason, a majority of start-ups seem to have missed this class during business school.
Whoever said “If you build it, they will come” was not a marketer.
I’m every marketers dream.
I am a heavy user of social media. I fall in the 20-30 year old age bracket. I talk non-stop. I have disposable income to buy your product.
I hate the word, “influencer” so let’s just call me someone who can’t keep my mouth shut.
Where do I talk?
I talk online.
I talk on my blog.
I talk on Twitter.
I talk on Facebook.
I talk on Tumblr.
I talk on LinkedIn.
I talk on Pinterest.
I talk on every social network you could possibly think of.
I talk in person.
I talk at work.
I talk at bars.
I talk at parties.
I talk in coffee shops
You get the point – I talk all day, everyday.
What brands have I talked about recently?
The Good :
Crest – A while ago they sent me a free Crest white strips, toothpaste, and mouth wash.
Nordstroms – They recently had an awesome event that they invited me to.
Rafflecopter – This tool was amazing and I felt compelled to tell other marketing people about it.
Odesk.com – This website is an amazing outsourcing tool.
The Bad :
Clearwire – I hate this company with a passion for their poor customer service.
HP – I also hate this company for their poor customer service.
So let’s get to the point of this post. How do you market to people like me? – The people who WILL spread your message, good or bad.
Give me something for free :
As cliche as this sounds, it works. Let’s jump back to Crest for a minute. A few months ago, after some Twitter chitchat the company sent me a box of Crest White Strips and Whitening Tooth Paste. I jokingly asked them on Twitter to send me some and they did. This little “act of kindness” had a huge return on investment for them. Why? Because I think I’ve told 100 people about this. And now, a million more people will know this after I publish this post. (Okay fine, maybe 200 Let’s see, so a box of Crest Strips probably costs the company $20? For 300 solid and memorable impressions – I’d call that a deal!
That said, you can’t buy my love – I will never post anything on my social channels because someone paid me to do it – only if I truly like the product/service and think my friends could benefit from it.
Save me time and or money :
If you compliment me on my sweater, I will reply with “Thanks, I got it at _________ for only $20!” I love telling other people about where they can get good deals. I’m a firm believer that everyone should have more free time and more money – I LOVE telling people about this. If you have a product that will save time or money – I’ll talk about it.
Give me something that will make me and my friends laugh :
My feeds are full of the following – things I like and things I think other people would like. I will always post a video or article if I think other people will think it’s funny too. Whether it’s an auto-tuned Bed Intruder video or an puppy with a hat on, if your company can make me laugh – chances are you have a shot at my wallet.
Be innovative and push boundaries :
There are too many companies that are afraid to run any kind of marketing campaign that might spark controversy. I talk about things out of the ordinary. I talk about cool things I’ve seen. There is no way I’m going to tell my friends “Hey, did you know Coke is on Facebook?” – no one cares. What I will tell my friends is “Oh hey, I had ______ experience with this company. They are so _______ !
Want some more marketing ideas? Let’s get coffee and I’ll tell you anything you need to know about marketing to me.
Like I said, I love talking ;D
Well maybe “millions and trillions” is a bit of an embellishment, but read on to find out how you can get new users and views for an extremely low cost.
Over the last few months, I’ve been building a travel website called EuropeBoss.com. My long term vision for this website is for it to be the one stop research tool for planning a trip to my favorite place : Europe.
Blah blah…. This post isn’t about my site – you don’t care. You care about driving traffic to your own website! Okay okay, I’m about to tell you about one of the most amazing marketing tools I’ve found recently.
Driving traffic is TOUGH. For a new website with poor SEO, no initial social channels, and little content – how do you get views?
Not only is Rafflecopter easy, but their customer service is impeccable and their widget can help you get the most ROI for your marketing budget.
Let me walk you through an example. I recently put this widget on my website.
Read the rest of this entry →
Last week I just got back from a trip to Europe. This was my fourth trip to Europe over the last few years. Each time I have returned, I am met with the same response from friends and family.
“You’re so lucky.”
“I wish I could do that!
“I could never afford to do that..”
There is nothing that makes me sadder than hearing phrases like this. Anyone can travel. There are no excuses on why you can’t get your passport, hop a plane, and have the experience of a lifetime.
What are the excuses I’ve heard that cause people to never leave the country?
I don’t have the money for a flight.
Yes you do. For the past four years, between college and living expenses I have lived off around poverty level. (That said – I’ve managed to live great!) I had all the money I needed to put a roof over my head, eat well, and take amazing trips. Travel is not as expensive as you would think. I have not bought a plane ticket to Europe (round trip) for over $800 ever. This last trip, I found a ticket to London for only $432 dollars. There are so many great deals out there – you just have to look a bit harder. And to get you started, here’s a post for you on how to find these tickets.
I don’t have a passport.
Okay, go get one. For $140 dollars you can have your very own. This little book was the best purchase of my life. If you break down the cost over 12 years it costs you about 0.038 cents per day. For less than a penny a day, you can have 10 years of freedom to move about the world. For a college student or someone working paycheck to paycheck $140 is a lot of money – I completely understand. Once you take you’re first international trip – you’ll see it was worth it.
I don’t have anyone to go with.
The first time I had planned to leave the country, I had a friend planning to go with me. As the trip got closer, I never heard back from her. Silence. Since I had already bought my ticket, I decided… “who cares?! I’m going to go anyways.”Guess what? It was scary as hell. Prior to that trip I had never been to the airport by myself, I had never been on a plane by myself, and I didn’t know anyone in the whole country I was about to enter. It gets easier. Yes, it’s scary at first – but after about a day you feel comfortable, you loosen up, and you have the time of your life. There are tons of resources available for those traveling abroad. From finding new friends on Twitter, to Couchsufing – you don’t have to go the trip alone.
I can’t take time off from work.
If you have a job that doesn’t let you take even a week off during a year – you’re at the wrong job. With only a week, you can easily take a trip abroad.
I have nowhere to stay.
For anyone on a budget or traveling alone – hostel are a great options. From hostels, I’ve managed to keep my expenses low and make some amazing friends. I personally recommend HostelBookers for finding some great deals in amazing locations. If you’re even braver, CouchSufing is another option. CouchSufing is a global community of people willing to give travelers a spare bed or couch. In the past, I have hosted travelers and been hosted while in foreign countries. This site has given me some great friends and many once in a lifetime experiences.
If you get hit by a bus tomorrow and die, traveling dead is going to be really tricky. Life is SHORT. You have no idea how many days you have left on this planet. If you want to travel – find a way to do it. There is no telling what your tomorrow may bring.
Women can’t travel alone.
Yes they can. The news is great at telling scary stories. For this reason, I worry my mom every-time I go abroad. (Whoever it was that told her to watch the movie, Taken, please let me know so I can punch you) If you watch your surroundings and stay smart – you’ll be fine. In all the international trips I’ve taken (while travelling alone) the worst that has happened was I got rude cat calls. You just brush it off.. and if that doesn’t work… the F word and the finger is pretty universally understood.
In the future, I plan to do as much traveling as I can. There are so many beautiful, wonderful places out there. You just have to hop a plane to see them. If you have any reasons on why you can’t travel, let me know in the comments and I’ll help you figure out how you can.
Oh yeah, and let’s be friends on Twitter?
A few weeks ago, my friend Ludo Antonov and I attended the TechCrunch disrupt hackathon with an idea in mind. During the hackathon we build a product that enables businesses to quickly and easily establish a web presence – And so JustAbout.co was born.
During the 24 hour period we were able to build a functional prototype. Over the last few weeks, we’ve been hard at work polishing up the product and killing bugs. Yesterday, we finally launched! For our launch we got a few really nice stories from tech blogs around the web. Here are two of our favorites:
Since then, a few people have messaged me saying “How did you do that? How can you get written up?”
My answer : You have to fail. You have to fail A LOT.
In the past, Ludo and I have worked on a number of start-ups and products together :
FlyByMusic – An online music streaming site that let you sync songs to your iPod from a web browser. (That got us in big trouble with the RIAA and cost us a ton of money in lawyer fees$$)
Lolzr- A platform we were going to build funny convertors on. Example : “Change your college tuition into beer.”
One Million Tweeps - An idea to get 1 Million Twitter accounts in a book.
Guess what? All of these went tank down and failed. Why?
Because we didn’t know what the hell we were doing!
….and that’s the beauty of entrepreneurship. You jump off a diving board while being unable to see the bottom of the pool. You have to change directions. You don’t know which way the current is going. Or as Pocahontas would put it, whatever is just around the riverbed. You have no idea. You have to go with the flow.
What did we learn from all these mistakes that helped us this time around?
Don’t keep your idea a secret – “My idea is super stealthy!” “Everyone will steal my idea.” 99.99% of the time, no one will steal your idea – stop flattering yourself. In the past, we’ve held off on PR efforts and refrained from talking about what we were doing. This time around, we talked a lot. We asked industry leaders for feedback and we talked about the product with all of our friends. This opened a lot of doors for us because we were able to get great feedback and feature suggestions.
PR, PR, PR – The first time I did any kind of PR I just made it up. I had no idea what I was doing. Now, people pay me to do it for them. This took a solid 4 years of mistakes to learn how to do it correctly. When you launch a product – tell people! PR is a numbers game – not everyone will write about you. Not everyone will care about what you’re doing. The more people and blogs you contact, the more of a chance you have to be written about. Everything in life is a number game.
Be flexible – Your business model isn’t written in stone and blood. You can pivot and change at anytime. Just because one model doesn’t work, doesn’t mean others won’t. Don’t give up – keep trying new things each and every day.
Though we still have a long way to go to reach success for JustAbout.co, we’re confident that this time around, we know how to run a business better than before. And on that note, I’d like to thank everyone who has given us feedback, connected us with industry leaders, and shared the website.
YOU are seriously the best. Remind me I owe you a hug when I see you!