There are, and Katie Sween of eBay's Seller Development team is determined to make them common knowledge.Sween has been instrumental in relaunching eBay's Seller OnRamp program, where promising new sellers and those who want to grow their existing businesses can get coaching by phone about everything from their item listings to various eBay tools to boost sales."It's a short-term account management program where we will take high-potential sellers through a 90-day program, setting milestones that sellers accomplish to go on to the next portion of their course," she explains.Culled from the Seller OnRamp program as well as veteran eBay sellers, the following 10 ideas can make a big difference in how well you sell on eBay."To be a successful seller, you really need to offer a money-back guarantee," says Brad Schepp, co-author with his wife, Debra, of eBay PowerSeller Million-Dollar Ideas.The Schepps cite a seller who deals in used skis.
But even the most meticulous practitioners of digital hygiene generally focus on maintaining the updates of their computer's operating system and applications, not its firmware.That obscure, reptile-brain code controls everything from a PC's webcam to its trackpad to how it finds the rest of its software as it boots up.And that's not because lazy users have neglected to install them, but because Apple's firmware updates frequently fail without any notice to the user, or simply because Apple silently stopped offering those computers firmware updates—in some cases even against known hacking techniques.Duo found that even Macs with perfectly updated operating systems often have much older EFI code, due to either Apple's neglecting to push out EFI updates to those machines or failing to warn users when their firmware update hits a technical glitch and silently fails."There’s this mantra about keeping your system up to date: Patch, patch, patch, and if you do you’ll be running faster than the bear, you’ll be in a good state," says Rich Smith, Duo's director of research and development."But we're seeing cases where people have done what they’d been told, installed these patches, and there were no user warnings that they were still running the wrong version of EFI...Your software can be secure while your firmware is insecure, and you're completely blind to that."
Red Hook Lobster Pound relied on e-mail blasts to lure customers to its Brooklyn eatery when it opened in 2009.As the restaurant evolved, so did social media, and owner Susan Povich has used it to her advantage.She has established an extensive social presence and focuses her online efforts on brand building, creating a quirky personality for her urban lobster business.When Red Hook Lobster Pound’s Brooklyn site took on six feet of water during Hurricane Sandy, Povich had an advantage not every local business had: A loyal following.She turned to Smallknot, a crowdfunding site, and invited customers to buy $100 gift certificates, with $75 redeemable for food and $25 going to the cause.Povich is known for posting retro song lyrics, and got especially creative on Pinterest, creating photo galleries that go far beyond food.
Contests are big business on Facebook.Customers love them because they could win cool stuff.Businesses love them because they attract new customers.But if you run a business page on Facebook, you probably know how much of a pain Page-based contests can be to set up and manage.Some good news: Today, Facebook amended its promotions policy to simplify the process.Previously, Facebook's terms prohibited businesses from using any of the website's inherent activities as an entry into a contest or promotion.
Don't pitch Jill Abramson, executive editor of The New York Times.Or BuzzFeed editor in chief Ben Smith.Instead, find a story about a subject similar to your business, then contact the staffer or freelancer who wrote it.In your e-mail, show familiarity with the writer's work; it helps them to understand that, no, this isn't just another blanket-the-media letter.This may seem obvious, but you'd be surprised by how many pitches don't include all forms of contact information.Writers are not going to want to work to figure out how to get in touch with you, so make it easy for them.
This fall, Massachusetts congressional candidate Carl Sciortino posted a heartfelt, funny video to YouTube titled "Father's Son."Blurring the line between traditional political advertising and content marketing, it told a sweet, funny story in a little over a minute.Aaron Blake at The Washington Post called it "one of the more interesting campaign ads we've seen in a while."MSNBC's Chris Hayes tweeted to his 250,000-plus followers: "This ad's basically a masterpiece."But in this case, he's coming out not as a gay man, but as a "Massachusetts liberal" to his conservative Tea Party parent.For small, scrappy brands, "humor can help you stand out in a crowded world," says the brains behind the router ad, Tim Washer, Cisco's senior marketing manager of social media and a comedy writer whose credits include Late Show With David Letterman and Saturday Night Live.
Here is a cloud computing feature that may seem a bit odd at first but that does actually have its uses.Google’s Compute Engine today launched the beta of a new feature called “nested virtualization.” As the name implies, this essentially allows you to run VMs inside of VMs.But why would you want to do that?“Nested virtualization makes it easier for enterprise users to move their on-premises, virtualized workloads to the cloud without having to import and convert VM images,” Compute Engine product manager Scott Van Woudenberg writes in today’s announcement.“Dev/test and CI/CD workloads that need to validate software in multiple environments are a good match for nested virtualization.”He also argues that this is a useful feature for building cheaper cloud-based disaster recovery solutions and that it’ll be useful for companies that want to set up virtual environments for training and certification, where you want to make sure that everybody gets the same environment to work from.
In their book, The Ultimate Guide to Google AdWords, 3rd Edition, authors Perry Marshall and Bryan Todd lay out the fundamentals of Google's pay-per-click advertising system and detail how businesses can build campaigns to increase search engine visibility, capture clicks and increase sales.In this edited excerpt, Marshall and Todd discuss how Google AdWords and Place Pages can be a gold mine for local businesses.Most brick-and-mortar businesses don't realize the opportunity available to them for free by combining the power of local search marketing and online reviews.Google has processed so many searches that it has an excellent idea of how people make buying decisions and where an individual searcher is in the buying process.A few years ago, Google started dedicating a portion of search results to local businesses, and people have using Google like a phone book.Based on a searcher's IP address, Google knows your geographic location, so it can easily provide local solutions to your query.
I am really keen to set up another online business but need help finding a software tool.You may know this tool as the keyword selector tool, reverse search tool or keyword inventory tool.Using this tool, when you put a keyword in the browser it not only gives you the total amount of searches for that term for that month, but also gives you all the connected variables to that word.For example, if I put the word "dog" in the browser, it also gives me variables such as dog food, dog health, dog clothes, etc.It also displays the amount of searches for those terms alongside the words.The idea is to accurately find niche products/services to exploit on the web successfully.
Over the past couple of months, I have been meeting with hundreds of mentors through my accelerator programs to help scale my startup Alumnify, an alumni-engagement platform.And while they have offered a plethora of amazing advice to help shape my strategy in product development, sales, marketing and team building, one of the most helpful conversations that stood out to me was my recent talk with Alex Pirouz, the founder of Linkfluencer, a company focused on helping business owners grow their business using LinkedIn.Through working with Pirouz, I have had many key takeaways around our sales and marketing strategies but none as profound as the knowledge he shared on how to use LinkedIn to grow our business.Now whether you are looking to test customer feedback or are trying to increase your sale’s efficiency, here are six LinkedIn lessons I’ve learned that can help build your business:When we started cold calling universities for Alumnify we usually would have to go through a chain of command just to get the right person on the line.This strategy was a huge time sucker and caused major headaches.
Rich media, a form of engaging content that should already be incorporated into your marketing strategy, has become the latest marketing buzzword.Rich media provides this opportunity by offering much more dynamic elements and a ‘richer’ user experience.By definition, rich media is any form of content that deviates from normal text and static images and engages with the end user.Roughly 30 percent of your customers are auditory learners and will process and retain information much easier through sound.If that isn’t enough of a reason, consider the following added benefits of a podcast: It forms an intimate relationship, shows expertise and is a way to build brand equity across multiple devices.Consider leveraging this form of rich-media content to collect opt-ins for an email list of qualified leads.
Twitter said as much on Monday, defending its reasons for not removing the president's tweets over the weekend that North Korea interpreted as "declaration of war.""Some of you have been asking why we haven't taken down the tweet" that heightened tensions with North Korea, the company began in a tweetstorm."We hold all accounts to the same rules, and consider a number of factors when assessing whether tweets violate our rules.Among the considerations is 'newsworthiness' and whether a tweet is of public interest.'"In short, Trump's tweets get special treatment despite Twitter saying two months ago his account gets no special treatment just because he's the leader of the free world.Note: Trump tweets from his personal account, rather than the official @Potus Twitter handle.
Every email marketer’s worst fear is that their carefully crafted message will wind up in the spam box before the recipient even clicks on it.According to HubSpot’s Sarah Goliger, you can improve your email marketing through six main steps:Sharpen your goals, from simply “reaching more people” to “increasing the number of site visitors who buy.” This will give you more direction for the marketing decisions that follow.Watch for the main types of responses that different segments of your email list have for the same email.Based on these, split the list into subgroups, so that each group will only receive content that has proven to interest them.Determine from the previous results what kind of content is best at achieving your newly specified goals, and which recipients are most interested in this content.
However, one of the undeniable forces drawing businesses and their customers closer together is the ability to weave a better story.Content marketing is a great way for brands to tell their story, and I would argue that one of the best vehicles for content marketing today has to be the podcast.Indeed, podcasts like Serial have found a way to captivate an audience of hundreds of thousands, and create a loyal following.The buzz around that particular podcast has primed the medium for take off.Besides uncovering interesting and relevant information chosen by the person, podcasts are an easily consumable content format, and it doesn’t require a person’s undivided attention like video or text-based content does.When there are a zillion more brands and businesses vying for audience attention in the online space, it’s evident that the plain old tricks of content marketing may not keep working for your business.
Image credit: HTCAmerica | YouTubeHTC is taking its crusade for smartphone supremacy to the streets.In a hilariously awful rap music video entitled Hold the Crown, the Taiwanese mobile manufacturer is jabbing competitors Apple and Samsung with lyrics like “We own the universe, your Galaxy is overrated” and “HTC we hold the crown/Word to Peter Chou.” (For those who aren’t “in the know,” Chou is HTC’s co-founder and CEO.)The parody video stars Doc G, a member of the 90s hip-hop act P.M.Dawn, and David Bruce, a longtime HTC employee who hosts a show on the company’s YouTube channel.HTC also posted a behind-the-scenes interview between the two in which they gush about the company and discuss how the tune came together.
Before you invest valuable time and resources developing a mobile app, ask yourself if it something that people need?But even launching an app you know a particular group of people wants doesn't guarantee success.Here are three tips for boosting its chances of success.It is marketing that will help your app break through the clutter, and become more visible to your audience.Say you’ve developed an expense manager for families.Your app must becomes visible to this particular demographic.
Every day buyers purchase offerings with some features that are not adequate, relevant or ideal to their particular business needs.They make the buying decision anyway because the pros outweigh the cons.However, there are times when some objections are “show stoppers,” meaning that buyers eliminate offerings from consideration.Years ago I saw a popular poster that said: Selling begins when buyers says no.Once a buyer states an objection it is difficult for sellers to have them change their mind.Techniques like this reinforce buyers’ beliefs that sellers try to manipulate them.A seller’s job would be easier if buyers had fewer objections.
Mark Cuban listed Never Hire A PR Company as one of his commandments for startups, yet one of the most common entrepreneur complaints to VCs is; “I need money to hire a PR agency in order to get eyes on my product and boost sales.” It's a vicious circle.The reality is that editorial pieces written and pitched to the press by you will be far more effective for garnering attention than journalistic coverage alone.Here is a simple five-step process for crafting the perfect query to effectively create your own press.Once the stage is set, get out a sheet of paper and start writing a list of ideas for story topics.I recommend you begin by bullet pointing some big, general topic ideas, then try to come up with specific story idea angles under each.These don’t have to be fully formed stories at this point, just a sentence or two per topic.
There are 85 million mothers in the United States today.From the recipes they post on Pinterest to the candid tweets they share at MommyFail tweets, moms wield tremendous power with brands -- and with other moms.Given that influence, consumer companies of all types are constantly looking for new ways to understand and better serve Mom.Our global customer collaboration consultancy Communispace works with moms of all ages -- and all walks of life -- on a daily basis, connecting them with brands like Hallmark to help develop products, messaging and experiences that resonate and add value to their lives.Leading up to Mother’s Day this year, we wanted to share with brands five lessons we’ve learned from working with these moms.They want the safest and best products for their children; and quality and safety trump price.
How many potential shares, would-be leads and short attention spans do you think your content has lost over the years?You know, all the visitors who slipped through the cracks — the ones who didn’t stick around or convert?Even the best content can be be held back by a bad experience.Consider that the average blog post can take up to five hours from ideation to publishing.With all the time and effort we invest in creating valuable content, we can’t afford not to maximize its potential to actually serve its purpose.Is your best content being buried by your most recent content?