Ryan StemkoskiHelping businesses market online.

I am a partner in a digital advertising agency. In this role, I have worked with over 750 business in a wide range of industries. I help these businesses design and implement strategies to market their products and services across the web.

Recent Answers

Most jobs in the marketplace are going to require more skill and experience than you have currently. One avenue that may allow you to make some money while expanding your skills would be to bid on projects through the platform upwork.com. This is a platform designed to help people find freelancers to assist with various projects.

Upwork.com has a constant stream of web development project of all shapes and sizes. You may be able to find some projects there that fit within your skillset and bid to complete them.

Another unpaid opportunity could be to begin writing free/open source scripts, utilities, or tools and post them for public use. This would allow you to expand your capabilities while also building a body of work that you could show potential clients or employers as your skills improve and you begin seeking employment. Look for common problems and find ways to solve them. Even if there are other solutions out there you can exploit your limited knowledge to create simple straight-forward solutions for other beginners like yourself who can often be overwhelmed by some of the more complex solutions and frameworks common in the marketplace.

I am not sure that I understood your question entirely but based on my interpretation I would suggest taking a deep look at Teamwork. (https://www.teamwork.com/) Teamwork is a software platform designed to help organize a company and help it manage tasks and projects. The Teamwork package consists of 3 products.

Teamwork Chat - This similar to slack minus a few features. Teamwork Chat includes a direct integration with the rest of the Teamwork system. This allows members of your company to communicate in real-time, create rooms, and share project details all in a permanently recorded environment.

Teamwork Desk - This is a great ticketing system that allows external parties to have tracked email communication with reps. This may be the avenue where you deposit incoming inquiries. Your brand management reps could get the inquiry via desk and then turn it into a variety of tasks for various departments in Teamwork Projects. As tasks are completed they can use Teamwork Desk to communicate back to the customer. This software includes a portal where these reps can log-in and see their entire account/request history with the organization and a help desk that would allow you to create self service help docs for your products/services/store if necessary.

Teamwork Projects - Teamwork Projects is a project management software that allows you to create users, departments, and even allow client access into the system. You can develop projects, tasks, timelines, and calendars based on those elements. You can easily send tasks into Teamwork projects from desk and then route communication back to desk as projects are completed.

Overall, it sounds like this would be a great combination of tools to help you manage your products and brand. I am not a representative of the company nor do I get paid for this recommendation, in fact, I pay them as a user and I use these tools to accomplish something very similar at my company. They have some great videos. Check it out and see if it would be a good fit.

There are a number of pre-built social media platforms designed to allow people to quickly create their own social networks such as ning.com and Dolphin. The problem is that if your idea is truly unique, then these platforms probably won't have the tools you need to accomplish what you're looking to do.

I would suggest searching for a co-founder or perhaps multiple co-founders to join your team. There are sites like https://www.cofounderslab.com/ that will allow you to network with like-minded people with specific abilities and experience. Using this platform you could search for someone with relevant coding experience looking to take on a new project. You may be able to find someone willing to help build your product in exchange for equity ownership in your company.

Lastly, if you do have a truly unique idea you will want to protect it. Here is a link to a great article that walks through several steps you can take to help protect your idea/concept from employees, investors, and competitors: http://www.forbes.com/sites/drewhendricks/2013/11/18/7-simple-ways-you-can-protect-your-idea-from-theft/#b883b90707ee.

It will cost you a bit to respond to each lead but I would suggest looking at Thumbtack. (https://www.thumbtack.com/) You can create a profile for your freelance business and they will send you leads in your general category. The leads will be be in your geographical area and if the lead looks appropriate you can pay a small fee to bid on the project.

Most of the projects you will find on Thumbtack for web design are small projects with small budgets but doing a few would allow you get some experience and also give you an opportunity to develop a process for dealing with clients, changes, launches etc. so that you're prepared as you move to larger jobs.

Another great place to look if there aren't enough Thumbtack jobs in your area would be Upwork.com.

Without more detail it is hard to make a good recommendation. Since I don’t know your exact needs I will share the best AI based chat tool I have seen. It is offered by a company called NextIT. You can see it in use at goarmy.com. If navigate there and chat with Sgt. Star you can ask him just about anything you can think of and you will get a good and accurate response.

There is a great website dedicated to finding a co-founder https://www.cofounderslab.com/.

I am personally a member and have met some very talented people through the site including my co-founder for a project I am working on. It allows you to search for the type of person you need in your start-up based on their particular skills.

I work in online advertising and meet with a large number of new startups. The most common problem I have observed is a lack of solid business plan and/or revenue model. Often theses startups will come in and ramble on about their idea and how it will change the world but they haven’t really thought about it from a business standpoint. How are you going to produce the product? How are you going to market it? How are you going to make a profit? What does the competitive landscape look like? How will you attract investors?

Sadly, many of theses startups are already into their business and haven’t answered these questions. Many of the founders have quit their jobs and began burning their life savings. Money goes fast in a startup, especially if there is no practical revenue model. My suggestion is to throughly vet your idea internally. Figure out how you will make money and come up with a good plan for getting to market. I would also suggest finding some experienced advisers and mentors, people with business experience to review and provide feedback on your plan before you get started.

I would suggest checking out cofounderslab.com. They have a great service with a free tier that allows to to mingle with other people interested in starting like minded businesses. Through CoFoundersLab you can actively look for people in specific regions or people with specific skills.

I believe you could find good experience with any of the job opportunities you have listed. I personally work at an advertising agency and we work with hundreds of clients, many times we work directly with the business owners themselves. I get to look into tons of business and leadership styles so that may be something you want to consider. That said, based on my observation, the most successful entrepreneurs aren't the people who call themselves entrepreneurs but instead the people that spent several years working and learning an industry and then turned this experience and knowledge into a business in that industry.

I would suggest thinking about an industry that would interest you. Spend some time researching it's future prospects. Make the effort to find an industry that suits you well and is poised for future growth then get whatever job you can in that industry. Look for innovative companies or good leaders you want to learn from, get a job with them and work your butt off to learn everything you can. Eventually, as you learn the industry you will start to spot opportunities and efficiencies you can leverage to create a business. By that point, you will have the skills, industry experience, and contacts necessary to get your business off the ground.

When you get your great idea and you go to look for outside investment your investors will want to know if you have business skills and if you have industry experience. This is the best way to get plenty of both.

From the question it sounds like this is more about forecasting than it is about tracking but I could be incorrect on that. If I were tracking something like this for a client I would generally track a conversion when any item is purchased and then I would track the conversion value as the dollar amount of the actual transaction. You could also leverage Google Analytics e-commerce tracking to get good, detailed numbers on the items purchased and amounts of each item and of the total transaction.

Based on this logic your logic and a conversion rate of 2% you would have 2 conversions out of 100 visitors and a totally average sale value of $x where $x is the total value of the conversions added up and then divided by the number of conversions. If sale 1 was $50 and sale 2 was $100 then you would have a 2% conversion rate with an average transaction value of $75.

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