owen at owengreaves dot com

Posts Tagged ‘Skype’

The Future Of Business – The Secret To Customer Acquisition

It used to be, the only way to win at acquiring customers was to buy as much advertising as you could afford. The more you spent, the higher the results. That is and was the traditional advertising model that worked for a bricks & mortar business. Today the game has changed, yes traditional ways still work, not because it’s effective, because it’s what older generations prefer it, and they still have the money.

It’s easy to reach a traditional buyer, just run enough ads on traditional advertising vehicles, and you’ll get their attention. Today the customer with money is getting younger by the minute, and we need to market to them differently. We have to make offers that make us extremely uncomfortable. It used to be, if you wanted to get the greatest reach, you ran radio & television ads, newspaper has never had the same reach. You could run 30 second ads on radio for $30 a piece, but to get the frequency for it to be effective, you had to run more than 3 spots a day. The minimum would be 10 spots a day, because the life span of a radio ad is much like a Tweet on Twitter, about 20 minutes. So to have a successful customer acquisition campaign you had to spend significant amounts of money. The same held true for television, but at a much higher cost, not to run the ads, but to make the ad. Customer acquisition campaigns can also be considered branding campaigns, but they are different.

Today we have the Internet, we can reach more people via the NET than we could with radio & television together, for FREE! I’m not telling you anything you don’t already know, I am wondering why there is still such resistance to it. The resistance has the power to kill your business, and you the business owner must guard against it, not succumb to it.

The challenge with having such great reach on the Internet isn’t the cost, it’s being found, and being heard. Hence, we have a new kind of advertising vehicle like Google, Yahoo & Bing. These powerful search networks have really just adopted the traditional way of advertising for the Internet. If you want to be found, land on the first page, you now have a sufficient budget to have that desired result.

Today you can purchase qualified traffic, which, if you speak to them the right way, will become newly acquired customers. The same challenge you had with traditional mediums, holds true with digital ad networks, you need to dedicate resources to get the desired results you’re looking for.

The secret to customer acquisition today, is by leveraging and Open & Free Business Model, where free is the driving force. Like the resistance, free has the same problem, for reasons unknown to me, entrepreneurs and business owners can’t seem to wrap their brains around free. We understand loss leader concepts, but not free, I suspect the fear of giving something away and not getting paid is far greater than we would like to believe.

Companies that have figured out how to use free, have also figured out how to generate revenue because of it. Companies like Google, Spotify, Skype, Vimeo, Twitter, Evernote, Grooveshark and many more. These companies have proven free works, and they have mastered acquiring customers, they have mastered list building to the 9th degree. It does work, but we seem to have more reasons not to use the model. Whatever the excuse is, it’ll work.

You want to get more customers, give them something they want….for free, and then figure out how to monetize your new customers. The old business models are in the genre of win-lose, the open and free business model is about win-win, where everyone benefits. Mater giving products and services for free, and you will have an entirely new market to sell to. The concept makes sense, it just sounds and feels foreign.

FREE is not the enemy, free is your best friend, learn to embrace free, figure out where free fits in your business, because free is the secret to customer acquisition.

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The Future Of Business – Differentiate.

Being creative can be fun, it can also be exhausting, it all depends on how you’re wired, what’s you favorite part of being in the creative zone? For me, it’s trying to find the right message, or to make my product or service different. How do I relate my product or service so that it isn’t like anyone else’s, I want it to be different. Hence, Differentiate.

It’s one thing to create something awesome, it’s another to differentiate it from anyone else selling the same product or service. I believe this is the secret sauce of any product or service you try to sell. How do you differentiate it from all the others that look, smell, and feel just like your product or service. This is also why there are marketing firms in the world, it’s the one area most struggle with, it’s not that easy for most business owners.

The biggest difference between you and everyone else, is you! You are the scarcity, there is only one of you, no one can steal that or duplicate it. Someone can steal your identity in terms of identification, but they can duplicate your personality, you are the genuine you. This genuine you creates another problem, you don’t know how, and you don’t want to promote yourself, it’s uncomfortable, and that’s why you need someone from the outside looking in to handle it on your behave.

I hate pumping my own tires, you know, promoting myself, telling the world how awesome I am, how incredible my product or service is. There are those who love it, but most don’t. Having said that, we need to find a way to fight through uncomfortable feeling, because it’s holding us back from success, no matter what the venture might be. It’s a stronghold in your life, it’s bad self-talk and it needs to be stopped in it’s tracks. I’m not suggesting you be arrogant and egotistical because it doesn’t work. And you most definitely do not want to call yourself an expert or guru.

Surround yourself with creative people who know your work, like your work, even love your work, even if they are spread all over the world. Skype is a beautiful thing. Put those creative people to work on marketing you and your product and services, if you don’t know any, you will find some with a little work. If you have built a following online or in your community, someone in that following is creative and loves your work. Build your team and change the world, differentiate yourself from everyone doing the same thing you are, be the best you can be and let the chips fall where they may.

The same rule applies here as it does with creating something, don’t analyze, just do it, do your due diligence and deliver when ready. Build your team, then get to it. Remember, novelty always sells, but it has a short life span, because novelty tends to wear out fast, sell what differentiates you, that has a longer life, especially if your product or service has a level of need.

Is Your Business Normal?

Is your business normal? I attended a seminar recently, it got me to thinking, mostly about businesses and two questions I like to ask them. Nothing earth shattering, but it might be to you. If you are an entrepreneur or business owner, we tend to make one big mistake, and it’s a simple thought to keep in mind:

We only accomplish what we aim for.

If that’s true, there needs to be more don’t you think? We accomplish one goal but didn’t set a goal beyond the first one, a sure fired way to fade off into obscurity.

Another area I was contemplating, was on is sales, or leads, or seeds. I’ve learned the more seeds you throw, the bigger the harvest. Are you throwing lots of seeds? Keeping things simple is best, why? Because simple is hard enough.

Two questions I like to ask business owners / entrepreneurs are:

1.) What business are you in?

2.) Hows business?

Not very complicated is it, but lets be honest, there are many, many businesses that don’t really know what business they are in. That should be addressed immediately before trying to measure the second question. Because if you don’t no #1, #2 doesn’t matter, the answer will most likely already be known.

If you are doing business as normal, or usual, you’re probably finding no one follows normal anymore.

So, ask yourself if your business is normal, if you answered yes, then make it your mission to be business as unusual. Because if you don’t, you will be ignored, maybe even considered obsolete, being normal means you’re most likely not making a difference and or shipping. Consider a 3rd question, if your business closed it’s doors today, would anyone miss it?

 

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What’s New & Exciting For 2012?

This year, 2012, is a year where we all have great anticipation of special things to happen, hoping life treats us better than it did the year before. I’m no different than you, I’m struggling with much the same issues you are, just differently.

This morning I was asking myself a simple but yet complicated question, I’m going to be 55 this year, and I’m looking ahead at the next 20 years. Should I have them. What do I want to do with what may be the last 20 years I get to live? I mean what meaningful work do I want to pursue and deliver, or execute, better yet ship. How was I going to help you for the next 20 years, should you let me.

You already know how much I love to help people, you already know that I’m passionate about the business community, you should also know that I am concerned for mankind when it comes to technology. But those things don’t mean much, especially when the metal meets the meat.

One of my passions is to bring light to business start-ups in my area, I’m also looking outside of my community area. I haven’t done a good job of this just yet. Public speaking and workshops are cool and fun, but they don’t generate revenue for my clients the way good old fashion PR & Marketing do.

What I mean by that is this, I can show you what’s coming, I can tell you what you might do about it, but no one knows about you, not in the way the Future Of Business will require. You’ve read it, you’ve heard me say it, there are 2.1 Billion people on the Internet and there are another 3 Billion plus coming. How will you be found, how will you be heard, and most importantly, how will you generate revenue?

With that in mind, I’m going to be doing something extra around my workshops and public speaking, and my webhosting business, I’m going to help promote your business, or business idea for you. It’s simple really, I’m going to be doing Podcast interviews of businesses doing something interesting, something great, these interviews will be done via Skype and then released on my Blog with links to your business.

I’m looking for business start-ups to interview, if you know of one, maybe it’s yours, send an email to interview@owengreaves.com and lets talk about your business. I want to know some basic information, like what you are doing, how you are doing it, how long has your business been doing business, what’s your vision for your business, how is your business making the world a better place, and most importantly….what’s your businesses story?

Every business wants and needs exposure, qualified exposure, and it is my desire to help you by interviewing you and publishing those interviews all over the Internet.

If you know of an interesting start-up, or you are starting a business of your own, let me know, and let’s talk about a possible interview. So what’s new & exciting? I would love to hear from you.

Good luck in 2012, and thanks for being a part of what I do here at Owengreaves.com

Many Blessings,
Owen Greaves

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One Of The TOP Open & Free Business Model Examples

Just a few comments on what I believe to be a great example, if not one of the top Open & Free Business Model Examples. Skype has been around for some time, and I’m certain most of you use it, but next to Google they have shown us one of the best ways to give something away and generate revenue. Granted, not all of us has the resources or the know how to build a program like Skype or a systems like Google, but we all have an idea, a product or a service.

The Open & Free Business Model provides us a model to give something away and charge for a Freemium Service. Skype gives you the software for free, they even let you make Skype-to-Skype video calls or voice calls for free as well. There are conditions of course but it’s still free. Once you install the software, you can make these calls free to others who have an account with Skype, the account setup is also free.

In order to take advantage of the premium services, you will have to part with a couple of bux, nut only a couple. I subscribed to Skype for a low $2.95 per month, this allows me to call anywhere in North America anytime and for as long as I want. I can dial directly to Cell Phones and Land lines all for $2.95 per month! Your subscription rate will vary based on the package you decide to purchase. Oh, they also let you pay with PayPal too : ) (another FREE Service)

You have three options available to you when you download Skype:

1.) FREE

– Skype-to-Skype calling
– Video calls
– Instant Messaging
– Screen Sharing

2.) Pay as You Go Calling

– This rate starts at 2.3¢ a minute
– Call phones and mobiles
– SMS
– Skype To Go Number**
– Call Forwarding

3.) Monthly Subscription

– This Rate starts at 1.2¢ a minute
– Lowest calling rates
– Choose unlimited calling***
– Best rates with 3 or 12 month subscription

The above features list were taken from the Skype Website. They also have a product called Skype Manager, it lets you centrally manage Skype in your business. Allowing you to make accounts, allocate Skype Credit, assign features and monitor usage.

There is much more to learn about Skype, so the first thing you should do before you even install the software, read all the about the features, the different ways to purchase based on your needs, just like any other purchase you make right? For example, new in Skype 5.0, you can have up to 9 contacts in a Group Video Call…that may be a very important feature for you.

I asked on Twitter, what is your favorite feature in Skype, other than it’s free. Here’s a couple of responses:

@jameswanless of Vancouver, British Columbia said:

Text, vid and voice at same time, auto-saving of transcripts for reference, ability to phone landlines …

@Billy_Delaney of Akron, Ohio said, and jesting of course:

Typing information to someone on a conf’ call about what is being said, and the said person cannot see it :)))

I am a very happy subscriber, and this tool is one of my top valued items in my tool kit. It should be yours too.

Oh, and don’t SPAM me, but you can hit me up Skype to!

Skype Me™!