Mark BarnesEntrepreneur/Small Biz-Startup Advisor

"Running a successful small business from home and the golf course." Founder/Publisher at Times 10 Publications. Startup biz coach, speaker, educator, creator of the Hack Learning Series, the uNseries, LeadForward Series, and numerous social media channels for teachers, leaders, and entrepreneurs. Starting a business on a shoestring budget was life altering for me. I love sharing the journey and helping people realize their own startup dreams.

Recent Answers

Six years ago, I was transitioning from classroom teacher to entrepreneur/small business owner. I wanted an audience, because I'd be promoting myself and my company as a speaker, author, and book publisher. I started with Twitter and built a large audience in a year (I now have over 90K followers). While I love Twitter and know it helps my business, if I could go back in time, I'd scrap that idea and begin with email.

Forget marketing "gurus" who say email is dead; they're wrong! Email is still the top online marketing tool for any business. Is a blog important? Sure. A nice website? Definitely. A social media presence? Yep. You can work on all of those while you build your email list, and you can start that in a day.

Get yourself a fantastic giveaway (a lead magnet), find a good email service, set up your autoresponder, and run some cheap Facebook ads, leading people to your giveaway and email capture page.

I built my list to 10,000 in a couple of years, and I still wasn't working very hard at it. Even 500 good leads can be huge for a product launch. Plus, if you nurture these people properly in your emails, they'll become your ambassadors. Let me know if you have any questions.

Good luck.

Start by getting to know the consultant. What is his/her business? Is there a reason they'd want to "steal" your idea? If you don't feel comfortable, move on. Of course, asking someone to sign a Non-disclosure Agreement is a wise course of action. Good luck.

We've had some great results with Facebook advertising. My business is publishing, but I've invested thousands of dollars and nearly 100 hours researching and practicing how to find the right audience on FB, so I think anyone can advertise there successfully. The best part of Facebook is the ability it provides advertisers to target anyone. You can target locations, age, male/female, income and, yes, even homeowners. We've had success using video views to narrow our audience and create hot prospects. Let me know if you have any questions.

This is an important question. Here’s what works well for us. We release the Kindle version at a low price, prior to the paperback, and encourage our audience to grab it before the special launch price ends. Then we ask them to leave an honest review. We get 10-20 verified reviews with this strategy. There are variations on this that can be employed with email lists and Facebook groups.

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