Why Tech Companies Fail at Marketing (And How They Can Avoid It)

tech companies

Tech companies often fail at marketing because they take a fundamentally wrong approach to designing marketing strategy and campaigns. Subpar marketing means “me-too,” uninspiring content on corporate blogs with insignificant social shares and superficiality from the target audience’s viewpoint. Tech companies struggle to create strategic messaging to describe their products with undifferentiated messages, jargon and superlatives. Marketing drains significant resources on channel-oriented paid acquisition campaigns that have no market segmentation or lead to homepages or other generic pages.

These are just a few examples, but what’s behind such failure? Part of the problem is not understanding what marketing is and what its goals are. The goal of marketing is to control perception and change the behavior of your target audience. Period. All marketing activities and every aspect of marketing falls under the goals of controlling perception, changing behavior or both.

In the last few years, I’ve spoken with over a hundred founders and marketing executives. When asked about marketing strategy, most of the time companies present some sort of Excel file (or other document) with a list of activities such as SEO, SEM, social media, content marketing, paid acquisition campaigns, PR, email marketing etc. Each channel might include a few generic marketing campaigns or just a laundry list of activities. So, why do so many tech companies fail at marketing?

 

Focusing on Channels Rather Than Target Customers

 

Successful marketing strategy starts with understanding your target customer, setting the right goals, creating effective messaging and only then deciding on the best channels to reach your targets. Knowledge of the target customer should drive your strategic messaging and content strategy. Both are essential in designing marketing campaigns.

The process of creating a marketing campaign is somewhat similar to cooking a nice meal for your family or friends. First you might consider their preferences. Then you think of the dish that you want to cook. Only then do you make a list of ingredients needed. In successful marketing, the channels are just the ingredients that come after you are clear on your target audience, your goals and your message.

Most companies start their marketing backward: Channels – > Segmentation  -> Customer -> Message
This is how success marketing campaigns are structured: Customer -> Segmentation  -> Message -> Channels

Before designing your next marketing campaign, answer the following questions:

  • Who is your target customer?
  • Can you segment your market into meaningful segments such as verticals?
  • What messages do you want to use or test to influence your target customer?
  • What are the best channels for your marketing campaign to reach your target audience?

Going Wide and Shallow Rather Than Narrow and Deep

 

Companies rarely look into segmentation to achieve greater ROI on their marketing spend. Even when a company understands its target customer, it overlooks the fact that their target customers’ needs and challenges might be very different depending on the vertical. For example, a sales manager in the pharmaceutical industry might have different needs, organizational structure or even goals than a sales manager in the hardware or media industry.

While account-based marketing and account-based selling might come across as something new, the basic concept has been around for a while. Focus your selling and marketing efforts on a list of target customers with the highest potential Customer Lifetime Value (CLV). The true benefit comes when account-based strategies in sales and marketing are aligned.

Marketing based on target customer profiles segments the market into a few categories and creates a list of specific companies and people to go after. So for example, if you are selling to VPs of sales in organizations with over 20 sales representatives, you might segment and test the pharmaceutical market and software resellers. Then you would pick a list of 100-200 companies in each category. Needless to say that when you prepare your marketing campaign for each vertical, you need to design unique messages.

Ultimately, align your marketing and sales messages so that your target customer is exposed to your message a few times per day. In the morning, your sales team might send him/her an outbound email. During work hours your customer can be exposed to your ads on Linkedin and Twitter leading to a marketing asset that provides valuable insight. And at the end of the day he/she might see your retargeting campaign ad on Facebook or while reading the news. This unified 360-attack will allow you to spend your money efficiently and embed your company and message into the mind of your potential buyers.

 

Focusing on First-Touch/Last-Touch Attribution Models 

 

Do you understand the pattern of how your prospects interact with your content, your product and your marketing campaign before they become a customer? If not, you’re missing a big picture. Look for overall patterns and a correlation between free trial signups and how many times a customer visited your website, consumed your contented or was exposed to your marketing campaign. It is not the first touch or the last touch that matters. It is about the number of times (pattern) that prospects are exposed before they signup or buy from you.

Marketing is not about picking channels and running broad marketing campaigns with generic messages. Successful marketing strategies start with understanding your target customer and designing effective messaging that resonates. Market segmentation helps companies to get maximum return on every dollar they spend. Instead of going wide and targeting the whole marketplace, figure out an effective way to segment your audience. Align your sales and marketing and design joined-up campaigns that allow you to reach your selected target of customers multiple times per day.

This article originally appeared on BusinessCollective.com.


Myk Pono is a marketing and product growth consultant focusing on strategic messaging, content strategy/lifecycle marketing for RevenuePath.

BusinessCollective, launched in partnership with Citi, is a virtual mentorship program powered by North America’s most ambitious young thought leaders, entrepreneurs, executives and small business owners.

 

Why Tech Companies Fail at Marketing (And How They Can Avoid It)

tech companies

Tech companies often fail at marketing because they take a fundamentally wrong approach to designing marketing strategy and campaigns. Subpar marketing means “me-too,” uninspiring content on corporate blogs with insignificant social shares and superficiality from the target audience’s viewpoint. Tech companies struggle to create strategic messaging to describe their products with undifferentiated messages, jargon and superlatives. Marketing drains significant resources on channel-oriented paid acquisition campaigns that have no market segmentation or lead to homepages or other generic pages.

These are just a few examples, but what’s behind such failure? Part of the problem is not understanding what marketing is and what its goals are. The goal of marketing is to control perception and change the behavior of your target audience. Period. All marketing activities and every aspect of marketing falls under the goals of controlling perception, changing behavior or both.

In the last few years, I’ve spoken with over a hundred founders and marketing executives. When asked about marketing strategy, most of the time companies present some sort of Excel file (or other document) with a list of activities such as SEO, SEM, social media, content marketing, paid acquisition campaigns, PR, email marketing etc. Each channel might include a few generic marketing campaigns or just a laundry list of activities. So, why do so many tech companies fail at marketing?

 

Focusing on Channels Rather Than Target Customers

 

Successful marketing strategy starts with understanding your target customer, setting the right goals, creating effective messaging and only then deciding on the best channels to reach your targets. Knowledge of the target customer should drive your strategic messaging and content strategy. Both are essential in designing marketing campaigns.

The process of creating a marketing campaign is somewhat similar to cooking a nice meal for your family or friends. First you might consider their preferences. Then you think of the dish that you want to cook. Only then do you make a list of ingredients needed. In successful marketing, the channels are just the ingredients that come after you are clear on your target audience, your goals and your message.

Most companies start their marketing backward: Channels – > Segmentation  -> Customer -> Message
This is how success marketing campaigns are structured: Customer -> Segmentation  -> Message -> Channels

Before designing your next marketing campaign, answer the following questions:

  • Who is your target customer?
  • Can you segment your market into meaningful segments such as verticals?
  • What messages do you want to use or test to influence your target customer?
  • What are the best channels for your marketing campaign to reach your target audience?

Going Wide and Shallow Rather Than Narrow and Deep

 

Companies rarely look into segmentation to achieve greater ROI on their marketing spend. Even when a company understands its target customer, it overlooks the fact that their target customers’ needs and challenges might be very different depending on the vertical. For example, a sales manager in the pharmaceutical industry might have different needs, organizational structure or even goals than a sales manager in the hardware or media industry.

While account-based marketing and account-based selling might come across as something new, the basic concept has been around for a while. Focus your selling and marketing efforts on a list of target customers with the highest potential Customer Lifetime Value (CLV). The true benefit comes when account-based strategies in sales and marketing are aligned.

Marketing based on target customer profiles segments the market into a few categories and creates a list of specific companies and people to go after. So for example, if you are selling to VPs of sales in organizations with over 20 sales representatives, you might segment and test the pharmaceutical market and software resellers. Then you would pick a list of 100-200 companies in each category. Needless to say that when you prepare your marketing campaign for each vertical, you need to design unique messages.

Ultimately, align your marketing and sales messages so that your target customer is exposed to your message a few times per day. In the morning, your sales team might send him/her an outbound email. During work hours your customer can be exposed to your ads on Linkedin and Twitter leading to a marketing asset that provides valuable insight. And at the end of the day he/she might see your retargeting campaign ad on Facebook or while reading the news. This unified 360-attack will allow you to spend your money efficiently and embed your company and message into the mind of your potential buyers.

 

Focusing on First-Touch/Last-Touch Attribution Models 

 

Do you understand the pattern of how your prospects interact with your content, your product and your marketing campaign before they become a customer? If not, you’re missing a big picture. Look for overall patterns and a correlation between free trial signups and how many times a customer visited your website, consumed your contented or was exposed to your marketing campaign. It is not the first touch or the last touch that matters. It is about the number of times (pattern) that prospects are exposed before they signup or buy from you.

Marketing is not about picking channels and running broad marketing campaigns with generic messages. Successful marketing strategies start with understanding your target customer and designing effective messaging that resonates. Market segmentation helps companies to get maximum return on every dollar they spend. Instead of going wide and targeting the whole marketplace, figure out an effective way to segment your audience. Align your sales and marketing and design joined-up campaigns that allow you to reach your selected target of customers multiple times per day.

This article originally appeared on BusinessCollective.com.


Myk Pono is a marketing and product growth consultant focusing on strategic messaging, content strategy/lifecycle marketing for RevenuePath.

BusinessCollective, launched in partnership with Citi, is a virtual mentorship program powered by North America’s most ambitious young thought leaders, entrepreneurs, executives and small business owners.

 

How To Find The Best Apps To Help You Manage Your Money

manage

Did you know that by the end of 2017 there will be an estimated 2.6 billion smartphone users in the world?

With the mobile revolution in full-swing, it’s easy to see why apps have become increasingly popular. In the palm of our hands, we can have a device that texts friends and family, updates our social media channels, read our favorite book, schedule a meeting, and manage our finances.

While that’s a great problem to have, some of us just don’t have the time to review the hundreds of money management apps that are available. So, to make the process run more smoothly, here are the five questions that you should ask when looking for a money management app.

 

What are my goals?

 

There is no one-size-fits-all money management app. While most of the apps do offer similar features, such as online banking and budgeting, they vary from app to app. For example, the traditional YNAB app is ideal for creating and sticking to a budget, while Personal Capital focuses primarily on investments.

Before settling on an app, list the goals that you want to accomplish with the app. If you’re looking for a household budgeting app so that you can afford groceries, then something like YNAB or Mint would be more favorable than an app that helps you save for a vacation or retirement. In the case of saving for a vacation, retirement, or a large purchase, apps like Simple or Unsplurge would be a better decision.

 

What features are available?

 

While each app is different, they should include the following functions:

  • Banking where you can pay bills electronically, deposit checks, set-up automatic payments, transfer funds, and reconcile account balances.
  • Budgeting where you can set spending limits and manage your cash flow.
  • Planning that allows you to monitor and pay down debt, estimate major life expenses, and forecast your retirement/saving needs.
  • Investing so that you can receive stock quotes and track your portfolios.
  • Reports so that you can review your finances.
  • Taxes where you can set-up your own tax categories so that you can prepare your return to generate a report on tax deductions and estimated taxes that you’ll owe.
  • Provides your credit score so that you can improve it to take a loan or line of credit if needed. This is especially important if you’re planning on purchasing a home or starting your own business.

If your app contains these features, it makes your life easier since all of your financial information is one dashboard instead of spread-out across multiple apps.

 

Is the app compatible with my mobile device?

 

Most money management apps, like Mint, Pocket Guard, YNAB, and Level Money are compatible with both iOS and Android devices. However, that doesn’t mean that all of these apps are compatible with your mobile device. For instance, Unsplurge is only available for the iPhone and iPad.

 

How much does it cost?

 

The good news is that a majority of money management apps are free to download and use. But, be careful. Some of them will charge you fees. YNAB costs $5 a month. And, some apps, such as Spendee, may be free but offers a “pro” version for $1.99/month if you want access to all of the features.

 

How secure is my information?

 

With all of the security breaches happening, your security should be a top concern. Especially when providing and sharing financial information anywhere — whether it be with an online business or an app.

Before downloading an app, make sure that it’s reputable and trustworthy by reading online reviews and doing research on the security measures that they offer. Wally is a promising personal finance app since it doesn’t’ link to your bank account.

 

Compare your options.

 

After answering the questions listed above, start comparing the ebank apps that fit your needs the best, work on your device, and will keep your information secure.

Bear in mind though that just because an app is accessible either online or among your peers doesn’t mean it’s the right fit for you. Take Mint, for example. It’s one of the most popular, and useful, apps to manage your money.

However, if you’re looking for a solution to help you run both your household and small business finances, it’s not the best option. In that case, you would want to shop around for an app that can manage your personal and professional finances.

This article was written by  and originally appeared on DUE.com.


 is the Content Editor at Due.com

Due is a payments, eCash, online invoicing, time tracking, global payments, and digital wallet solution for freelancers, small business owners, and companies of all sizes.

Trump Ban Fallout: The Rise in Deportation Scams

Trump ban

In addition to growing fear in immigrant communities about family members wrenched from their loved ones and children separated from parents, there’s another unfortunate outcome: the rise in deportation scams.From impersonating Immigrations and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agents, to using technology to send fraudulent phone calls, emails, and texts; scammers are taking advantage of terrified undocumented immigrants.

“These scam artists are taking advantage of the current political environment,” says Adam Levin, chairman and founder of CyberScout. A cybersecurity expert, Levin is also the author of Swiped.

“The Attorney General [in Queens, New York] Schneiderman talked about the incident where someone was approached on Roosevelt Avenue and told, ‘Pay us.’ When he refused, they said, ‘You are going to be arrested.’ Someone else in Queens was told, ‘Give us $250, or you will be arrested,’” Levin says. Queens, New York is home to many communities of immigrants from all over the world.

Email and text messaging are also favorite tools of immigration scammers. “They send emails out,” explains Levin. “[Scammers] will claim on email—let’s say—something about a new development in immigration policy, or send an inside scoop on where ICE officials [will] hit next.” These emails often instruct the recipient to make some sort of payment to get the advertised information.

“These immigrants are doubly victimized,” Levin says. They are still at real risk of being deported, due to President Trump’s immigration crackdown, and “someone stole their money on top of it,” he says.

How do scammers find vulnerable people to target? In a variety of ways, according to Levin. “It’s the same way undercover people operate,” he says. “They talk to people and hear things. They can buy lists—there is all sorts of info out there [and] on the dark web.” He says these scammers are homed in on areas of cities where immigration populations are known to live.

These particular types of scams have increased so dramatically, that the New York Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman released a public notice on his website, issuing an urgent fraud alert.

The other problem is that, in the aftermath of being scammed, undocumented immigrants often have little or no recourse to file charges or recoup swindled money. That is because they are often underbanked, using check cashing places and wire transfers that do not offer the fraud protection of traditional banking institutions or credit card companies.

While undocumented immigrants are particularly vulnerable to fraud, anyone can become a victim. Levin offers some advice from his book Swiped, “Whether it’s someone posing as an ICE or IRS agent, no one from those agencies will call you up, send an email, or knock on your door, and ask you for money—ever,” he advises.

He also suggests using two-factor authentication when logging on to financial websites, shredding documents with important information; using known websites; and setting up monitoring and fraud protection offered by more and more banks, credit card companies, and other institutions.

“Nobody has a greater interest in your self-protection than you do. The ultimate guardian of the consumer and citizen is the consumer and citizen,” says Levin.

 

Trump Ban Fallout: The Rise in Deportation Scams

Trump ban

In addition to growing fear in immigrant communities about family members wrenched from their loved ones and children separated from parents, there’s another unfortunate outcome: the rise in deportation scams.From impersonating Immigrations and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agents, to using technology to send fraudulent phone calls, emails, and texts; scammers are taking advantage of terrified undocumented immigrants.

“These scam artists are taking advantage of the current political environment,” says Adam Levin, chairman and founder of CyberScout. A cybersecurity expert, Levin is also the author of Swiped.

“The Attorney General [in Queens, New York] Schneiderman talked about the incident where someone was approached on Roosevelt Avenue and told, ‘Pay us.’ When he refused, they said, ‘You are going to be arrested.’ Someone else in Queens was told, ‘Give us $250, or you will be arrested,’” Levin says. Queens, New York is home to many communities of immigrants from all over the world.

Email and text messaging are also favorite tools of immigration scammers. “They send emails out,” explains Levin. “[Scammers] will claim on email—let’s say—something about a new development in immigration policy, or send an inside scoop on where ICE officials [will] hit next.” These emails often instruct the recipient to make some sort of payment to get the advertised information.

“These immigrants are doubly victimized,” Levin says. They are still at real risk of being deported, due to President Trump’s immigration crackdown, and “someone stole their money on top of it,” he says.

How do scammers find vulnerable people to target? In a variety of ways, according to Levin. “It’s the same way undercover people operate,” he says. “They talk to people and hear things. They can buy lists—there is all sorts of info out there [and] on the dark web.” He says these scammers are homed in on areas of cities where immigration populations are known to live.

These particular types of scams have increased so dramatically, that the New York Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman released a public notice on his website, issuing an urgent fraud alert.

The other problem is that, in the aftermath of being scammed, undocumented immigrants often have little or no recourse to file charges or recoup swindled money. That is because they are often underbanked, using check cashing places and wire transfers that do not offer the fraud protection of traditional banking institutions or credit card companies.

While undocumented immigrants are particularly vulnerable to fraud, anyone can become a victim. Levin offers some advice from his book Swiped, “Whether it’s someone posing as an ICE or IRS agent, no one from those agencies will call you up, send an email, or knock on your door, and ask you for money—ever,” he advises.

He also suggests using two-factor authentication when logging on to financial websites, shredding documents with important information; using known websites; and setting up monitoring and fraud protection offered by more and more banks, credit card companies, and other institutions.

“Nobody has a greater interest in your self-protection than you do. The ultimate guardian of the consumer and citizen is the consumer and citizen,” says Levin.

 

Here’s Why Your Facebook Live Video Sucks

Facebook Live

The Facebook Live feature is arguably one of the most game-changing features the social media giant has ever rolled out. It’s another platform for celebrities and pundits to engage more intimately with followers and allows average citizens to document their lives and all they witness to a tremendous audience.

Facebook Live has also provided real-time viewing of some truly horrific tragedies; most recently, a two-year-old’s murder was captured on Facebook Live. Sadly, some young people have even used the service as a suicide missive, followed by killing themselves on livestream video. Fortunately, most use the service to inform, express themselves, and entertain.

There is one problem though; the quality of many Facebook Live videos is not so great, despite many people shooting their videos via high-quality smartphones, like the iPhone, or cameras, like the Mevo. Of course, other factors come into play that can contribute to bad video streams, such as poor lighting or shakiness, but the lack of quality even while filming with high-quality tech is nonetheless alarming.

The best way to ensure you have a better stream on Facebook Live is, when going live, to not connect to 3G or 4G cellular and to use strong Wi-Fi. Generally, Wi-Fi has more robust speed than cellular connectivity.

Let me clarify what I mean by strong Wi-Fi: I’m referring to 5 GHz Wi-Fi.

For example, you may notice that when you connect to a Wi-Fi network in a hotel, the name of the hotel’s Wi-Fi network is listed twice: something like,“Hotel-Wi-Fi” and “Hotel-Wi-Fi-5.” That means the hotel is transmitting its Wi-Fi network over two bands: 2.4 GHz and 5GHz. (However, please note that not all Wi-Fi networks are dual-band, but when it doubt, ask the establishment’s management or IT people.)

It’s best to use the 2.4 GHz band when you are doing more mundane tasks, such as scrolling through Facebook, messaging, or checking email. When you do anything with video, you want to connect to the 5 GHz, if available.

The 5GHz offers a broader band than 2.4 GHz, and it can handle the throughput demands of video streaming better than 2.4GHz. The only caveat is that the 5 GHz band has less range than 2.4 GHz. Thus, you need to be close to the router or Wi-Fi source when you connect to 5 GHz.

Here’s to seeing better quality Facebook Live videos!

Startup Grind: The One Talk Worth the $750 Ticket Price

Christine Souffrant Ntim

After enjoying several talks throughout the day at the Startup Grind Global Conference including the Q&A with Justin Kan, co-founder of Twitch; and Mike Brown’s “Tech is the New Black” discussion with Flip founder and CEO Kemar Newell; my mind started to move into a relaxed state thinking the day was about to wind down.

Boy, was I wrong. I walked into a room of approximately 200 people and positioned myself in the front row for Christine Souffrant Ntim’s talk, “100 Random Hacks to Scale a Startup in 6 Months.” Still in my relaxed state, I got adjusted, started to take my phone out in order to record some of the conversation and then WHAM! I was hit by resource, after resource, after resource. They just kept coming, broken down into four succinct categories: Product Hacking, Growth Hacking, Funding Hacking and Press Hacking.

Christine Souffrant Ntim (Image: Buildteam.io/Christine Souffrant Ntim)

Here are just a few of those resources that Souffrant Ntim decided to share, specifically under the Growth Hacking category:

Post & Share Sites:

  1. Post on the “Legendary Three”: Reddit, Digg, HackerNews. (Ninja Tip: Before posting a link of your screenshot to Reddit, first share it on Twitter and then post the Twitter status link to Reddit. It’s an easy way to pick up a few Twitter followers).
  2. Post a deck demo on SlideShare with a perk: www.slideshare.net
  3. Post Question on Quora (and other question forums) Try answering questions (with links to your startup of course, but only where appropriate) for one hour, three days a week. After one month, look at your analytics to see how successful Quora has been as an acquisition channel.
  4. Post a screenshot of the app with the link on Dribbble, DesignerNews, and other niche forums. Don’t limit yourself to the “Legendary Three.”
  5. Post on Craigslist, Eventbrite, Meetup: Launch a competition, campaign or event to test your app or advertise it on these platforms. Offer money, discounts, or pizza. Get creative!
  6. Post on Dubbler. Promote your blog posts or content having to do with your app’s niche on Dubbler (now Yappie) — a 60-second audio social network.
  7. Post an answer on Google Search: Leave comments on the top five to 10 search results. On a related note, you can search your keyword on Google and find the top five to 10 articles then leave a similar comment. Insider tip: You can search that keyword on Google Keyword Planner to see how much search volume it gets. If it gets more than 5,000-10,000 per month it’s probably worth commenting. Anything less is up to you!
  8. Twitter: Use Crowdfire to follow your competitor followers
  9. Facebook: Use Facebook Insights to see viral posts, that way you can cater your message to topics already generating traffic.
  10. Instagram: The post description area is sacred ground; comment on your own post with any related #hashtags you want to use, and it’ll have the same impact as including them in the description.

 

For more information and tips on how to grow your business rapidly, visit Souffrant Ntim’s site at csouffrantntim.com, and check out her Haiti Tech Summit, happening June 6, 2017.

 


Sequoia BlodgettSequoia Blodgett is the Technology Editor for Black Enterprise, Silicon Valley. She is also the founder of 7AM, a lifestyle, media platform, focused on personal development, guided by informed, pop culture.

Improve Engagement on Your Instagram Page With Growth Hacking

Growth Hacking

So, I had a little chat with our Black Enterprise community on IG Live and realized that some people may not be familiar with the term growth hacking as it is very Silicon Valley.

What does it mean to growth hack social media? Well, by definition, according to Wikipedia, growth hacking is a process of rapid experimentation across marketing channels and product development to identify the most effective, efficient ways to grow a business. Growth hacking refers to a set of both conventional and unconventional marketing experiments that lead to the growth of a business. In short, it’s figuring out how to get the best results possible with the least amount of time spent.

So since I was on IG, I’ll do a little recap for you all regarding what we chatted about.

First and foremost, the content has to be right before you even think about growth hacking anything. That means your content has to be consistent with the brand. If you are selling dog T-shirts, your content better be focused around cute editorial shots with dogs in their custom shirts. In addition, don’t push the sell, meaning, just capture the viewer’s attention with your cute little dog in the T-shirt with an equally cute caption under it, i.e., “Buy my dog shirt,” ain’t it. Let the viewer make a decision. If there is enough of a need, they will inquire more.  

OK, so you’ve been posting consistent content. Not only does it look uniform but, you are posting at least two to three times a day, (P.S., you can automate this process using Hootsuite. Google it). You’ve done all that work but you’re still not seeing engagement. Here is why. People only want to engage with people who engage with them. Therefore, if you don’t engage with them they are less likely to engage with you. So start engaging.

But Sequoia, I don’t have time to like 500 pictures and create 1,000 comments a day. That’s where growth hacking comes in. There are bots out there that will do this for you but, here is the kicker—your bot does not replace you. Your bot only assists you, so if you are thinking I’m going to sign this bot up to do all the work, think again. Your bot will like, follow, comment, etc., but you darn sure better be behind it following up, talking to your potential leads, and having real conversations.

OK, great. The bot is doing great; you are feeling great. Your numbers are growing, you’re getting a little action. What now? You need a place to drive traffic to. A landing page is best. Use your description in the bio of your IG account to insert a link to your landing page. At that point, you should capture the lead with an email address. You can do this by offering a discount or some other gamification component that makes your potential customer want to hand it over. Once you capture the lead you are ready to start sending out your emails to start the sales process. There is so much more work after that sentence but, that is another article for another time.

This is a very high-level overview and one way to growth hack social media and please believe it’s not the only way. There are a lot of details but this will get you started. If any of you will be in the Bay Area on March 4, I will be having a Social Media Growth Hacking Seminar that you should attend if you want a deeper dive or touch on Twitter and Facebook. Those two platforms are very different from IG and should be approached as such. 

Cliff Worley, Daymond John’s former, Chief Digital Officer will be covering Instagram, while Startup Grind’s Marketing Manager, John Frye will tackle Twitter and Facebook’s Advertiser Optimization Lead, Chidi Erike will, of course, dive into Facebook. 

You can also attend virtually by clicking the link

 

 

 

 


Sequoia BlodgettSequoia Blodgett is the Technology Editor for Black Enterprise, Silicon Valley. She is also the founder of 7AM, a lifestyle, media platform, focused on personal development, guided by informed, pop culture.

Sign Up Your Girl for Summer STEM Fun at NYC Intrepid

Intrepid Image: (Intrepidmuseum.org)

 

 

 

The Intrepid Sea, Air, & Space Museum Complex in New York City is now accepting applications for girls to its summer STEM program.

The GOALS for Girls Summer Intensive is a free six-week program for eighth and ninth grade girls. Fifty girls are selected to participate in hands-on experiences, field trips, and conversations with influential women currently in STEM fields. The program focuses on aerospace science, Earth science, and engineering; providing a range of study that appeals to different student interests.

Designed to foster critical-thinking skills; social and emotional development; and parent/guardian support, the GOALS program is particularly targeted to girls from high-need, low-income areas. Some of the benefits of the summer workshop include:

  • Lunch every day at the Intrepid
  • Metro Cards are provided to and from the museum
  • Two GOALS t-shirts to wear on field trips
  • Networking opportunities with women STEM professionals
  • Improved academic, collaborative, and public speaking skills
  • The chance to make friends with peers
  • Continued learning through weekend forums throughout the school year

Eligibility for the program is attending a New York City school; being a girl in eighth or ninth grade; and a willingness to commit to the six weeks as well as weekend experiences during the school year.

Some of the activities from last year’s program saw adventurous girls dissecting a sheep’s brain; extracting and visualizing their own DNA at Rockefeller University; sailing on a schooner at the South Street Seaport; and even rock climbing and rappelling off a 60-foot wall. The summer’s program ended with a sleepover party on the Intrepid’s vast and famous hangar deck.

Applications can be downloaded or completed online. Students have the option of having a teacher also provide a recommendation. Applications are due March 20th. The program officially kicks-off on July 10th.

 

 

Hustlers Make the Best Entrepreneurs

Hustlers

Marlon Nichols is the definition of a hustler. After being turned down by his now business partner, Troy Carter, his tenacity and conviction led him to become one of the founding members and the general partner of the thematic VC fund, Cross Culture Ventures.

That’s exactly what Nichols wants to see in any entrepreneur he decides to fund. He sat down with BE The Code and gave it to us straight, no chaser.

“Do you have to have tenacity, fortitude, a certain level of scrappiness, and most importantly, hustle?” asked Nichols. “Are you ready to make those hard decisions like fire you best friend that you started this company with?”

Marlon Nichols (Image: BE The Code/Marlon Nichols and Sequoia Blodgett)

 

In addition to those character traits, he looks for founders who have personal and professional backgrounds that directly connect to their product. “What’s the unique experience that you have that makes you uniquely qualified?” asks Nichols. This not only gives the founder a competitive advantage but also fuels his or her passion for sticking it out when things get hard—because they will get hard.

Nichols certainly practices what he preaches. During business school, he almost flunked out because he was hit with an ailment that would have caused most of us to throw in the towel and live out our presumed last days on the beaches of Tahiti. Instead of giving up, he took the class again, on top of a full load. Did I also mention he was running a VC fund simultaneously? Now that’s the definition of #Hustle.

To learn more about Nichols story, watch the clip below or tune in to Episode 4 of BE The Code on iTunes or SoundCloud and be sure to subscribe for more inspiration.

 

 

 

 


Sequoia BlodgettSequoia Blodgett is the Technology Editor for Black Enterprise, Silicon Valley. She is also the founder of 7AM, a lifestyle, media platform, focused on personal development, guided by informed, pop culture.