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Free Book Preview No BS Guide to Direct Response Social Media Marketing

The ultimate guide to – producing measurable, monetizable results with social media marketing.

2 min read

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5 Tips for Crowdfunding During the Pandemic

Both Kickstarter and Indiegogo report people are continuing to support fundraising projects. Here’s how to adjust your funding strategy for the times.  

Free Book Preview No BS Guide to Direct Response Social Media Marketing

The ultimate guide to – producing measurable, monetizable results with social media marketing.

3 min read

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

With the in a holding pattern and businesses shutting down, you may be wondering if a campaign can succeed right now. Are people going to be interested in funding your next cool gadget or product?

’s numbers reveal that backers are still showing up to support their favorite projects.  crowdfunding campaigns are also thriving.

To those afraid to launch a crowdfunding campaign, I say this is an excellent time to go ahead. While people are cautious about how they spend their money, most are getting on with life and resuming activities they may have paused — including funding projects. And as the number of live campaigns is lower than usual, you can take advantage of less competition and leverage the platforms’ deadline extensions and reduced fees.

Here’s how to make sure your crowdfunding campaign is a success.

1. Focus on community

Community fuels Kickstarted and Indiegogo campaigns. If you have a strong community, build on it. Engage with your audience. Find new ways to pique their interest and regularly update them about product delivery or delays. Consumers have more time to browse and buy products than they used to, so they’ll seek out something that resonates with them. Attract attention with the right messaging and product discounts.

2. Level up promotion

As people make more deliberate money decisions, your job is to be more convincing in your pitch. Give backers strong reasons for funding your project. Invest in ads, doing aggressive A/B testing to get your messaging and visuals right. Spend smartly on social advertising, not more.

Related: How to Kickstart Your Capital Funding

3. Increase your outreach efforts

Start or ramp up how often you send out press releases, reach out for influencer , and guest post, to name a few outreach strategies. People are spending more time online, scanning for content. Address the demand by sending out two guest posts a week instead of one, for example. Add to your content, engaging with your audience and showcasing the impact your product can have.

4. Plan for a relaunch if you are having supply chain issues

If your product relies on supplies from a region with production slowdowns and you have limited options for workarounds, communicate that to your community. Most likely, they will continue to support you through the delay.

Related: 12 Key Strategies to a Successful Crowdfunding Campaign

If you see a dwindling in your funding despite the , marketing and promotion, plan for a relaunch. A relaunch in the next few months may prove to be more effective than stalling a campaign that can’t deliver because of supply-chain issues.

5. Communicate

Regardless of your crowdfunding journey and current status, communication is key to running a successful campaign. Talk to your suppliers and shippers. Keep your community informed, communicating any setbacks or issues you experience. Going silent when you encounter challenges will not help you achieve your goals.

No matter what your situation, give your backers the benefit of knowing the truth. They will likely understand and may try to meet you where you are. Continue to press on for the best outcome and keep involving your backers. That’s how to succeed today.

Related: Beyond Kickstarter: 10 Niche Crowdfunding Platforms for Startups

5 Product Marketing Strategies to Get Costumers to Take Action

Balance obeying the data and knowing when to take risks.

5 min read

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

When it comes to , has a significant impact on individual purchasing decisions, but ultimately it is the products that create an overall impression. Brand marketing is an important component in raising your brand’s prestige and overall favorable perception, but customers want to be part of the picture and feel that is as much about them as it is about the brand. Smart product marketing engages consumers and focuses on products or services that will be useful to them. Your brand will only be as strong as the customers who feel a strong connection to what you are offering. These five strategies will help you revamp your product marketing strategy. 

1. Research new products with existing data

A product launch can be as exciting as the announcement of a personal milestone, but the sad fact is that most will fall short of their expected goals. You can save yourself and your company from disappointment by leveraging the data you already have about your customers and visitors to refine the products and features you are offering. Existing data will tell you your leads’ buying and browsing habits, what they click on and which emails they open. This data should give you significant clues on creating products and features that will get a response and create a successful product launch. 

Related: 4 Strategies That Drive Brand Loyalty

2. Increase demand with existing customers

It is important not to underestimate the value of repeat . Not only are people more likely to take action and purchase a product if someone they know is using it, but drumming up repeat business is easier on your marketing budget. According to the Harvard Business Review, marketers spend between five and 25 times less to secure purchases from repeat customers than from new customers. Providing excellent customer service is one of the keys to keeping customers long-term. Another strategy is to offer them special promotions and deals to reward their loyalty. 

3. Spy on your existing competitors

Although it is crucial to focus mainly on your customers, to keep an edge and stay on your customers’ radars, it is imperative to know what your competitor is doing and how they are performing. This is not difficult to do and can be as intuitive as paying attention to their performance on , how many likes they are getting and what strategies they are using. Using to track what happens after a click can help give you more information on how to update your own strategies. Ensure the sample size you are evaluating is large enough to give you a full picture of what actions to take in closing the gap between you and your competitors. 

Related: 3 Reasons You Should Spy on Your Competition

4. Improve your existing listings

Your listings don’t just convey information about the product. A good listing lets your customer know why he or she needs the product. Revise product listings to emphasize convenience, time savings, reliability and . In addition, incorporating valuable keywords in the listings can make sure your they are seen by those who are most likely to make purchases — the people who are searching and ready to buy. Keywords can also drive traffic from those who are just browsing the web looking for more information about a product, and an attractive and catchy listing can transform an inquiry into a purchase. 

5. Dare to take huge risks

It is worthwhile to achieve a balance between obeying the data and knowing when to take risks. If you are knowledgeable about the risks, you can go out on a limb now and again, especially if your intuitive move is in line with the kind of thing your customers respond to. Past failures, such as lackluster product launches, can be a strong indication of where you can go with future efforts. “The biggest risk is not taking any risk. In a world that’s changing really quickly, the only strategy that is guaranteed to fail is not taking any risks,” says none other than Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg.

Related: 5 Brand Marketing Tips Every Brand Can Learn From the NBA

If your product listings aren’t getting the response expected, there are many ways you can fine-tune your approach. involves the big picture, but getting specific and offering customers things they clearly value can move the needle more quickly. Updating data on a constant basis is essential, but using data you already have provides a valuable roadmap to developing and improving your products and features. Leveraging success with your existing customers is an effective way to get repeat business, especially if you encourage them to refer your product to others. 

Gathering information about competitors on social media and by using AdWords can give you pointers on how to update your offerings and enrich your marketing strategies. Even the phrasing of your listings can be dry and uninspiring or can create an immediate desire to acquire your product or service. In addition, using keywords has the ability to automatically attract potential customers to your listing. Finally, don’t be afraid to follow your intuition and take educated risks when you feel you have a clear picture of what your customers want. 

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This Email Marketing Tool Can Increase Your Engagement Without Increasing Costs

A lifetime subscription to Kirim Email is just $40.

Free Book Preview No BS Guide to Direct Response Social Media Marketing

The ultimate guide to – producing measurable, monetizable results with social media marketing.

2 min read

Disclosure: Our goal is to feature products and services that we think you’ll find interesting and useful. If you purchase them, Entrepreneur may get a small share of the revenue from the sale from our commerce partners.

Email marketing is still the most popular, budget-friendly, and effective method of digital marketing. As such, it should be an integral part of any entrepreneur’s marketing strategy.

However, email marketing is not completely infallible. People sometimes subscribe to lists more than once, change email addresses, or have spam filters up that keep your emails from reaching them. With all of these barriers, you could be paying a fortune for email marketing providers and tools that are only a fraction as effective as they could be. Fortunately, there are ways around that.

Kirim Email is a web-based email marketing platform that can solve problems like duplicate email addresses and other issues quickly. It can help you boost your customer engagement while cutting your marketing costs, which is why it’s trusted by more than 18,000 businesses. Its built-in email validation technology provides a single dashboard to delete duplicates and validate each email address on your list. It automatically removes spam traps, bots, and zombie emails that can hurt your standing with your email service provider, and allows you to run campaigns directly with Telegram, WordPress, Facebook, and more, reducing the amount of code you have to write.

As you run campaigns, Kirim Email allows you to collect surveys with Google Forms and Google Sheets and sync them directly to your emails without third-party add-ons. This way, you can learn more about your customers without having to shell out extra money on data collection. You can even build complete landing pages—without paying any more. 

Kirin Email was named a #2 Product of the Day on Product Hunt for good reason. It can save your business money and get more out of your email marketing without hiring more heads. Normally $163, a lifetime subscription to Kirim Email is just $39.99 today.

Does Your Hobby Have Business Potential? Here’s How to Tell

5 min read

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

If you’re like most people, you have at least one hobby that keeps you busy and helps you stay entertained outside of working hours. You might practice woodworking, paint abstract art, improve your flexibility with yoga or chart the patterns of stars in the night sky.

With your entrepreneurial mindset, it’s tempting to think that there’s some way to make from this hobby, in addition to bringing you personal enjoyment. But does your hobby really have potential?

You might be surprised to learn the answer.

Monetization options

For a business to be successful, it needs to have a way to make money. Even if you’re pursuing this mostly because of your passion, you’ll still need a stream of income to offset your costs and keep the business running.

Accordingly, you’ll need some way to “monetize” your hobby. There are a few possible options here:

  • Production. One of the most straightforward options for hobbies that involve physical production is selling the physical goods you create. You can sell your art, your crafts and your structures for a price that exceeds your costs. Thanks to the prevalence of online platforms, this is a highly popular option: There are 2.1 million sellers on Etsy alone.
  • Viewership/readership. You can also make money just by attracting a sufficient readership or viewership. Producing blog content or regular video streams about your hobby can be your route to a steady audience; from there, you can monetize your practice with sponsorships, affiliate links and advertising.
  • Education. Even if the other paths don’t pan out, there may be a path to monetization by educating people on how to engage with your hobby. You can charge for lessons, private coaching sessions or group seminars; the only prerequisite is a sufficient skill level.

These are just a few ideas, and there might be more creative ways to monetize your hobby. However, the bottom line is that you’ll need to find some reliable way to generate revenue. This is possible for nearly all hobbies but is more promising for some hobbies than others.

Once you learn that a revenue stream is possible, you’ll need to consider whether it can be substantial enough to justify the business’s existence.

Related: Is It a Hobby or a Business? 5 Things You Need to Know to Monetize Your Hobby.

Target demographics and consumer interest

Unfortunately, just because you’re good at your hobby doesn’t mean people will be interested in seeing you practice it (or in buying your products). Before you get too excited about your prospects, it’s important to research your target demographics and gauge consumer interest. How many people would be interested in this hobby? How many people are buying products like the ones you’re making? According to CB Insights, 42 percent of startups fail simply because there is no market need.

Later on, as you flesh out your business idea, you’ll need to answer question like “Who are my target demographics?” and “How can I sell to them?”

Related: How to Turn a Hobby Into a Career — Without Regrets

Competition analysis

You’re not the only person who aspires to turn their hobby into a full-fledged business. Chances are, there are already hundreds, thousands or more people who do what you do and already make money from it. If you want a slice of the pie, you’ll need some way to differentiate yourself from the competition. What is it that makes your unique? Would customers be willing to pay more for your approach, or would they favor your products over your competitors’? A thorough competitive analysis is required here. 

Costs and profitability

Next, you’ll need to think about your financial model. What are your expenses going to be, and what is your potential profitability? For some hobbies, like practicing yoga or playing music, the recurring costs are miniscule. For others, like woodworking or painting, you’ll need to carefully calculate the costs of your supplies and the prices that customers would be willing to pay.

From there, you’ll also want to chart the growth potential of your prospective business. In other words, what avenues do you have to increase your revenue over time while also reducing costs and minimizing the time you personally need to invest? Can you find a way to expand your business? Is that even an important goal for you?

Related: You Won’t Survive as an Entrepreneur Treating Your Business Like a Hobby

The death of a hobby

Before you get too excited about the prospect of turning your hobby into a business, a word of warning: converting a hobby into a business might mean some loss of the enjoyment you gleaned from the hobby originally. Once you start to think of this task as a job, your relationship with the activity is going to change — and likely for the worse. Additionally, you might be forced to think about your hobby, or practice it in a different way, than you’re used to. Some entrepreneurs aren’t willing to make this transition.

Obviously, turning your hobby into a business is more complex than this article would suggest. You’ll still need to put together a business plan, secure funding (if you need the initial capital) and establish a brand for yourself. But knowing that your hobby has potential as a business idea is the best possible start.

Related: 4 Ways to Know If You’re Treating Your Company Like a Hobby or Like a Business