The Web For Business.com Blog

Internet marketing observations, perspectives, tips and tricks for your education and enlightenment.


Sir Richard Branson's Advice is Sound - So Why are You Still Struggling?

Mark Kawabe - Friday, August 08, 2014

Richard Branson's advice on how to market your business cheaply is currently making the rounds on social media. It's great advice. My distillation:

1) Know your core values - the reason why you do what you do -  and communicate them.

2) As an entrepreneur or business owner, you should be the one driving - and be the face of - your company's marketing.

3) Use social media to engage with your customers in an authentic and fun way and listen to feedback to understand how you can do things better.

4) Enjoy what you do and share that enthusiasm.

Wonderful advice. Very inspirational. I am momentarily uplifted.

Reality Check

I would add some items to Sir Richard's list. My suggestions are:

  1. Improve your communication skills. All of them. Practice speaking in groups. Enhance your writing ability. Focus on listening and understanding. Richard Branson would not have been effective if he were not a good communicator. He was a poor student academically and has dyslexia but has a great ability to connect with people. The ability to connect with others in a variety of contexts is a must for entrepreneurs.

  2. Be creative. We are all born creative beings. Our innate creativity often becomes suppressed by our parents, peers, educational system and sadly, by our own selves. Embrace creativity and open your mind to new perspectives. When you limit your thinking, you limit your growth.

  3. Persist. We may not have the resources or the natural talent or the charisma of Sir Richard, but we can choose to persist. If you truly believe that what you're doing is reflective of your core values and you want to make your own personal dream come true, then persist.

  4. Accept that you can't (or shouldn't) do everything. Branson didn't build his business empire on his own. He has had help all along the way. His mother re-mortgaged the family home to pay for unpaid taxes and fines that Sir Richard's record company racked up in 1971. Even though Branson is a visionary, there are many other people who have contributed to his current success.

    Building a team of people you can rely on for your business is crucial to your success. Chances are you can't do everything well. Focus on what you're good at and let your team help you with the rest.

Everyone knows the path of entrepreneurship is not easy. It's a special person who chooses this path. It's great to be uplifted by the many great thinkers of our time, but when reality strikes, it's you who is going to have to put in the countless hours of work to make your dream come true.

Gettin' Out There - with Video!

Mark Kawabe - Monday, November 18, 2013

When I was starting out in business, I thought about getting a promotional video made. I quickly realized I'd never be able to afford it. At a cost of two thousand dollars for a two minute video, there was no way I could justify it. That was back in 1997, eight years before YouTube changed the game forever.

YouTube changed the video industry in two very important ways.

1) It democratized the distribution of videos. Anyone can upload a video and have it seen by millions. It's free to do this. Imagine what you would have had to do before to get your videos seen by millions before YouTube came along. People used to distribute business card sized CDs with videos. Remember those?

2) It lowered the quality threshold. If content was compelling enough, people will watch a video. The top 30 all-time watched videos on YouTube are mostly professionally-produced music videos from popular artists with huge fan bases. #5 is called "Charlie bit my finger - again!" and has been viewed 599,148,435 times (as of November 15, 2013). Don't ask me what's compelling about this . . .

Video engages people in a way that text can't. With a video of you, people see you, hear you and can see your body language. It's much more powerful than words on a screen. You don't have to be a movie star to make good videos. Just be you. With a little preparation, you can make an video that engages, entertains and builds rapport with your audience.

Also, notice I've added a video to this blog post. It says pretty much everything I wrote here, but it's in video. What will be remembered more? What are your thoughts on this? I'm curious, so please share your comments!