A Smart Bear: Startups and Marketing for Geeks

Finding the right advice

A Smart Bear: Startups and Marketing for Geeks

It’s fine to say social media could be the key to your marketing success, but if you think Twitter is insipid and Facebook is fake and Instagram is not serious, will you really be successful if you force yourself to post things?

For marketing early startups: Deep, not wide

A Smart Bear: Startups and Marketing for Geeks

Watch a bunch of interviews of founders of successful companies, and here’s what you don’t hear: We tried eight different marketing channels — AdWords, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, social media, events, retargeting, SEO, guest-posting, PR, and so on.

Trending Sources

Should this startup exist? Converting 5W’s into existential justification

A Smart Bear: Startups and Marketing for Geeks

Social Media makes group-games viral. In American grade-school, we learn the “Five Ws” interrogatives: Who, What, When, Where, Why. And How. “How” is always tacked on like “Y” to the vowels.

How do I figure out who my next important hire should be?

A Smart Bear: Startups and Marketing for Geeks

You could keep going with other roles — design, content-marketing, finance, data analysis, social media, biz dev, etc. This is the perennial question for startups who have started to taste success, and are ready to invest in themselves in the form of new helping hands.

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What if there isn’t another 10x?

A Smart Bear: Startups and Marketing for Geeks

What if Facebook can make $20b/yr in advertising, but since the teens and social media elite have left, it will never make $200b/yr? What if Dropbox is just an awesome file-sharing and backup service but not a universal key/value storage API?

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Zero-sum marketing channels: Good or bad for a startup to pursue?

A Smart Bear: Startups and Marketing for Geeks

Counter-Example: Social Media. Many marketing channels are “zero-sum,” meaning that if one company wins a piece of the channel, other companies cannot also use that piece. Example: AdWords, where the price is set by the highest (dumbest?)

Refutation: An acquisition is always a failure

A Smart Bear: Startups and Marketing for Geeks

Oh how the media loves superlatives (but only because that’s what we click on and share). Jake Lodwick wrote an article on PandoDaily entitled “An acquisition is always a failure.”

“Stealth mode” and other f’ing brilliant strategies

A Smart Bear: Startups and Marketing for Geeks

Getting consistent attention from the media is easy too — why wouldn’t popular bloggers want to write about you all the time? Here’s some of my super-secret winning strategies from fifteen years of building startups. Stay in stealth mode until the last minute.

Escorts, Startups, and the questionable promise of being your own boss

A Smart Bear: Startups and Marketing for Geeks

Why does a person shirk the relative reliability of a job to start a business? And don’t tell me about how jobs are just as unreliable.

The full story of “the one important thing” for startups

A Smart Bear: Startups and Marketing for Geeks

Get more involved in the Bay Area startup community: Join the WebWallflower mailing list to get a calendar of upcoming startup events and exclusive discounts sent right to you every two weeks. Powered by LaunchBit ).

Imbalanced People

A Smart Bear: Startups and Marketing for Geeks

A great writer (content marketing, social media) versus 100 average bloggers. There’s a saying that a great developer is 10x more productive than a mediocre one. That’s not true. You can’t put 100 average designers on a committee and get a fabulous design, right?

The unfortunate math behind consulting companies

A Smart Bear: Startups and Marketing for Geeks

So you “put it out there&# hoping that the magical world of “social media word of mouth marketing&# will bestow eager users upon your sign-up form. Consulting can be a great way to fund a startup or make a bunch of cash.

How do I get my first few customers?

A Smart Bear: Startups and Marketing for Geeks

There’s all the startup marketing ideas you’d expect: Adverts, split-tests, media splashes, networking, pitch-competitions, inside baseball, creative stunts, SxSW launches, you name it. (Powered by LaunchBit ).

The wrongness of relativism

A Smart Bear: Startups and Marketing for Geeks

the darlings of the news media, and this is not a path to finding good answers. Instagram had 13 employees when they sold for a billion dollars. Was there any startup founder who didn’t feel depressed when that happened? Yes, depressed.

Startup Therapy: Ten questions to ask yourself every month

A Smart Bear: Startups and Marketing for Geeks

More than that, knowing your "padding" as I used to call it is helpful in making decisions like "Can I afford to try this Risky Expensive Thing," such as making your first hire or trying a $20,000 media blitz.

Real Unfair Advantages

A Smart Bear: Startups and Marketing for Geeks

Chris Brogan commands $22,000 for a single day of consulting in an industry (social media marketing) where all the information you need is already online and free. This is Part 2 of the series: 5 lessons from 150 startup pitches.??? What if someone copies your awesome business idea?

Trends: Follow or flee?

A Smart Bear: Startups and Marketing for Geeks

“Old Media” will be consumed less. I’m not a “big trends” thinker. Maybe that makes me short-sighted, maybe that makes me focussed on reality. How much should you care about “trends?” ” A lot of predictions are easy.

Attacking your sucky excuses for not blogging

A Smart Bear: Startups and Marketing for Geeks

You already know that nowadays you’re invisible without some sort of social media presence. How-To blogging inspiration social media writingYou already know the (alleged) benefits of having a personal or business blog. But you still don’t blog, and for good reason, right?

Startup Exercise: What can’t be solved with money?

A Smart Bear: Startups and Marketing for Geeks

One big exception is anything that requires authority , like blogging and other social media stuff. Social media marketeers (like mouse-katteers but with larger Twitter followings) have already beat this point to death; no reason to repeat it.

Do I dare call bullshit aloud? Do you?

A Smart Bear: Startups and Marketing for Geeks

I mean, as much as Social Media is supposed to be about “honesty&# and “being human&# and “genuineness,&# of course most isn’t.

How do I know where to advertise?

A Smart Bear: Startups and Marketing for Geeks

I eventually built a system that could measure campaign efficacy with pinpoint accuracy, even with traditionally different media like print. (I This is part of an ongoing startup advice series where I answer (anonymized!) questions from readers, like a written version of Smart Bear Live.

On the value of Judgement

A Smart Bear: Startups and Marketing for Geeks

But we are judged, by our customers choosing between us and a competitor, by our employees choosing whether to entwine their careers with our fate, and by our peers, allies, and passive-aggressive antagonists on social media. We’re told not to judge, lest we be judged.

“She doesn’t deserve to be alive”

A Smart Bear: Startups and Marketing for Geeks

Social media usually isn’t a debate, it’s a combination rotary club and soap box. Talk about the social media echo chamber!) The media predicted an embarrassment, playing to a massive, largely empty stadium.

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A Tradeshow Checklist, born of experience

A Smart Bear: Startups and Marketing for Geeks

I know, you thought "print media" was dead. Eric Sink says that tradeshows are like sex : When it's good it's really really good, but when it's bad. it's still pretty good.

No, that IS NOT a competitive advantage

A Smart Bear: Startups and Marketing for Geeks

We're better at SEO and social media. Social media and SEO is ever-changing quicksand. This is part 1 of the series: 5 Lessons from 150 startup pitches.

Specificity: A weapon of mass effectiveness

A Smart Bear: Startups and Marketing for Geeks

This is the principle behind my satirical post on the “rules&# of social media. (In My single best advice about writing — whether for marketing copy, blogging, a sales pitch, an investor pitch, or even humor, is: BE SPECIFIC. All done, you can stop reading now. (As

Austin in San Francisco

A Smart Bear: Startups and Marketing for Geeks

” I vividly recall the moment when I connected on this level with Austin Gunter — our social media keymaster (are you the gatekeeper?),

How David Garland built a community of 100,000 followers in 24 months

A Smart Bear: Startups and Marketing for Geeks

Zero media appearances in traditional media. Or really any connections for media. I’ve been blessed to have snuck into the media over 100 times including ABC, CNN, CBC, The Wall Street Journal, Bnet and more. Social Media. Becoming Your Own Media Source.

If you build it, they won't come, unless.

A Smart Bear: Startups and Marketing for Geeks

Tags: How-To advertising branding lead-gen marketing positioning social media

Entrepreneurial Re-entry — Businesses for Moms

A Smart Bear: Startups and Marketing for Geeks

Recently Gotham Gal opened the question: What does workforce re-entry mean for the modern mom?

Employed with a side of startup

A Smart Bear: Startups and Marketing for Geeks

For example, you know that to avoid social media shitstorms you're supposed to have stupendous customer service , so you claim as much on your website. Are you going to SxSW? If so, drop me a line and we'll coordinate.). Most people start their first company while they still have a day job.

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How To Turn Your Life Experience Into A Business

Entrepreneurs-Journey.com by Yaro Starak

This may be about how you have figured out to successfully use a form of social media, turned your business into a franchise, or reached millions of people through your blog while you were traveling the world (like Yaro!). Blogging and social media including Twitter and facebook.

Tech Support *is* sales

A Smart Bear: Startups and Marketing for Geeks

Apparently tech support is a better "social media outreach" program than hiring interns to spray comments on random blogs. You probably think of "tech support" as the bottom of the food chain. Shit flows downhill" and all that. After all: Tech support deals with insane customers.

Uncommon Interview: Finding Fulfillment with Good Company

A Smart Bear: Startups and Marketing for Geeks

(Powered by LaunchBit ). Everyone likes New Year’s Inspiration this time of year; this interview is perfect to scratch that itch. This is the fourth installment in my “Uncommon Interview” series — interviews where we get right into the meat and dispense with pleasantries or “how did you get into this business” sorts of fluff.

Rise and fall: Three Lessons for Entrepreneurs

A Smart Bear: Startups and Marketing for Geeks

Gary Vaynerchuk (the founder of Wine Library TV and the so-called " Social Media Sommelier ") made a similar point in a speech at the Web 2.0 Thanks to Walker Corporate Law Group , a boutique law firm specializing in the representation of entrepreneurs, for supporting A Smart Bear this month.

Episode 3b: Smart Bear Live!

A Smart Bear: Startups and Marketing for Geeks

And I think you need to disabuse yourself from the on-line media definition of success for a start-up. Especially when dealing with media, I would just recommend strongly that you get more of what your story is and what you’re looking for and what you value and what you don’t value just out there. (Powered by LaunchBit ). This is the conclusion of Episode 3 of Smart Bear Live; see the original post for details and the first half.

Marketing Platform Independence

A Smart Bear: Startups and Marketing for Geeks

Unlike Twitter, where social media marketing consultants don't care which Twitter clients are most popular. Some startups die because their business model is platform-dependant.

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Impossible that @ChrisBrogan and I are BOTH right, so don't listen to either of us

A Smart Bear: Startups and Marketing for Geeks

Chris Brogan, prolific social media how-to author, blogger, and $22,000/day consultant , recently wrote a post describing his "Simple Blogging Formula" in under 1000 words. Tags: Essays advice blogging choices honesty introspection social media writing

Episode 3: Smart Bear Live!

A Smart Bear: Startups and Marketing for Geeks

If someone wants to become an entrepreneur, is it more important to keep looking for a really good media idea that you can do a month’s worth of customer development on or is it better to think of literally what complete start up can I make in a week? It’s Episode 3 my little “ Loveline for startups. ” Introduced a few months ago as an Austin event, I’m now doing this live audio advice column to the web, taking phone calls from startups around the country.

Smart Bear Live 7: More from AZ Disruptors

A Smart Bear: Startups and Marketing for Geeks

Jason: Because you said premium digital media, so I didn’t get selling music out of that. Welcome back to Smart Bear Live, the call-in show with Jason Cohen, sponsored by Software Promotions. In this episode, we share three more interviews from our AZ Disruptors meeting last fall.