Category Archives: Marketing

Musings of a Chartered Marketer – insights into the wonderful world of marketing.

New beginnings

The closing of a chapter

I started this blog almost 4 years ago because I felt I needed an outlet for the thoughts I had on the topics I’m passionate about; marketing, management and the things that motivate me. It’s helped me grow as a marketer and as a person, given me a means of shaping my online presence and taught me a thing or two about how to blog successfully.

This blog was birthed at  a pivotal point in my career when I had just begun my first senior management role as UK Head of Marketing for one of the biggest web hosting companies in the world. I’m closing it as I embark on the next phase in my career – business ownership!

The beginning of a new season

One of the reasons I’ve been able to enjoy my corporate career so much is because it’s never been my life, I’ve always viewed it as a strategic step on my journey to a bigger and more significant vision; training ground that would equip me to do what was really in my heart to do. While I was preparing to make my vision a reality, I was helping others fulfil theirs and I’ve had a blast doing so.

I’ve always known that business ownership was the end goal, one of the first things I did when I left university was write a business plan for the business that I would one day have – that one day has arrived!

New website, new business

Find my new business here  http://katrinadouglas.marketing

You can also connect with me on Twitter LinkedIn and Facebook.

Speak soon!
Katrina

 

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3 invaluable traits of a fierce marketer

traits of a fierce marketer

Hello! It’s been a while I’ve been busy blogging elsewhere and putting the world to rights as you do :) but I’m back and hoping to get back into the rhythm of blogging at least once a fortnight.

How are you? (do feel free to comment below, I really am interested in the answer)

So I’m in a reflective season at the moment, and in my musings about what lies ahead I began to think about the important traits of a marketer and those I look for in the marketers I mentor and lead. I thought I’d share them with you.

Why ‘Fierce’?

Firstly, let me explain my use of the word ‘fierce’ because the choice was very deliberately. The simple truth is, if you aren’t ‘fierce’ that is relentless and incredibly committed to success as a marketer, you just won’t succeed.

Marketing is one of those fields we’re there is no hard and fast formula, it’s not like maths we’re 1+1 will always equal 2.

Marketing success depends on a number of variables, these include: the strength of the message, awareness and credibility of the brand, target audience, timing, competitive landscape to name a few. Successful marketers are relentless and resilient; if a campaign doesn’t pan out as intended we tweak and test until it does, if a particular activity is successful we don’t rest on our laurels, we build on that success.

Contrary to what many may think, fierceness requires humility as well as confidence, because you need to be alert and in a constant state of learning in order to remain effective. The fierce marketer has to be teachable; constantly evaluating, assessing the data, keeping an eye on the external environment, no matter how great you think you are there is always more to learn. This is particular true in a dynamic industry like marketing where things are constantly changing and developing.

Traits of a successful marketer

Confidence

Confidence as defined in the Merriam Webster dictionary is:

The feeling or belief that you can do something well or succeed at something.

Real confidence comes from a high degree of competence, you simply cannot be confident if you don’t know what you’re doing. The lesson here is study to show yourself approved; read broadly, study the market, study the competition, study the successes and failures of others in your industry. It also takes practice, the more you put what you’ve learned into practice and see it work, is the more confident you’ll be in your decision making moving forward.

Marketing decisions are often riddled with uncertainty, you often have to part with large sums of money with no absolute guarantee that what you’re investing in will actually work. Here’s where it’s imperative that you believe in your ability and have the confidence to make tough decisions when called for.

They key is to be confident enough to make hard decisions and humble enough to make adjustments when necessary.

Creativity

Learning about what others have done and are doing is great, but there comes a point where you have to make what you’ve learnt your own. You have to get creative with your marketing tactics because more often than not it isn’t the marketing channel that makes the difference, but how you use it.

If you take a look at these recent campaigns that have proved very successful, you’ll see that it wasn’t the channel or tactic that made them a success but the idea behind them.

  • Schedule thinking time: plan time to do nothing but think, find a scenic spot and just chill. It’s amazing what the mind comes up with when it has time to rest
  • Carry a notepad with you everywhere you go (a still like paper, but I’m also a fan of the Evernote app if you prefer digital): this enables you to capture ideas as they come, you never know when a good idea will come in handy
  • Think about how you can use new channels like Periscope
  • Think about using old channels differently
  • Brainstorm and collect ideas from those around you. True innovation lies in teams not individuals
  • Learn from the kids
Communication

Marketers have to be master communicators. We have to know how to speak well, write well and listen well. You can have the best idea in the world but if you don’t know how to communicate it in a way that convinces peers and management, attracts an audience, helps convert prospects to customers etc. your idea has very little value. The ability to communicate well can literally be the difference between success and failure.

Invest time in learning how to communicate well:

  • Get honest feedback from colleagues and friends regarding ways that you communicate well and where you might need improvement.
  • Practice writing whenever you have the opportunity, writing has become an essential skill for the modern marketer; start a blog, even if it’s for your eye’s only at first, help the PR team with content etc.
  • Practice your negotiation skills whenever you have the opportunity. Negotiation skills are important not just in relation to money but for things such as getting buy-in from colleagues and c-level management for ideas, enlisting support from other departments to make a project happen etc.

I hope you’ve found this useful, if you need help developing these skills, feel free to contact me or comment below.

Speak soon :)
Katrina

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4 tips for choosing the right domain

domains
One of the first things people do when they’re considering launching a business is purchase a domain name, given that it isn’t always easy to find the right domain name it makes sense to secure it as soon as possible, before someone else does. However, it’s important not to choose your web address too hastily, bare in mind that it will most likely stick with you for the life of your business which could be a very long time – and you’d do well to avoid faux pas like these.

Choosing the right domain is important for a few reasons:
  • Your domain is your address on the web. As such it is a central part of your online brand identity and the impression people have of your business.
  • It can have a significant impact on how easy your business is to find online. Domain addresses that are short and simple will be found online more often than those that are not simply because they are easy to remember.
  • It has an impact on how visible your website is to find on search engines

Moz put it this way:

“Ideally, webmasters should strike a balance between finding a catchy, unique, brand-friendly domain name and having a domain that contains keywords they are trying to target. The benefit of a keyword-rich domain is two-fold. First, the domain name itself is a ranking factor that the engines consider when calculating ranking order. Second, having relevant keywords in a domain name is beneficial because the domain name is the text that other Internet users will use as anchor text when linking. Since keywords in anchor text are an important ranking factor, having these keywords in a domain name can have a positive impact on ranking.”

With that said here are my 4 top tips:

1.  Consider what top level domain is best for your business

A top level domain (TLD) is the part in your web address that comes after the dot e.g. .com. co.uk. Up until a years or so ago the choice was relatively limited now you have hundreds of TLDs to choose from that match your industry, business activity and geographic location, such as .london, .marketing, .football and many many more.

2.  Keep your domain name as short and simple as possible

This ensures that website visitors can remember your web address easily and therefore return to your website without difficulties if they wish to do so at a later date.

3. Buy your domain from a reputable provider

The best domain providers will have other features included with the name such as:

  • Email addresses to match your web address
  • WhoIs Privacy as an option. When you register a domain name, the registration details are available to anyone who searches a public database online, this information could include your name, address and telephone number. WhoIs Privacy removes your information from this database and many domain providers will provide this as aoption
  • Subdomains. These are variants of your main domain, an example of a subdomain for katrinadouglas.co.uk might be marketing.katrinadouglas.co.uk

4.   Build a domain portfolio to safe-guard your brand

I recommend buying a few related domains if you can, to safe guard your brand. At the very least I always buy the .co.uk and .com and increasingly some of the new TLDs like .marketing. I recommend buying the TLD related to your industry. For example if you are a restaurant or a mechanic you might consider buying a .rest or .car domain and setting them up to redirect to your main web address.

I recently discussed the topic of domains at The Business Show in London, see a snippet here.

Speak soon,
Katrina

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Your Small Business Needs Web Analytics

Small Business Dilemma one

The number one question I get asked by small business owners is how do I start marketing my business? There seems to be a certain mystique about marketing and people are often unsure where to start and therefore start in the wrong place. Most people start with a website when in actual fact they should start with a strategy and a plan.

Small Business Dilemma two

Once a small business owner does start marketing their products and services the next question is then, how do I know what’s working? If you already have a website you probably already have the answers to these questions, the answers will often be held in the data behind your website. This data includes things such as how many people visit your website, where they visit your website from, what they look at on your website and what they do on your website. The process of accessing and evaluation this data is called web analytics.

The data you hold in your website is a hidden gem

It often remains hidden to small businesses for 3 reasons:

    1. They don’t know that they can access this data
    2. They equate data with difficulty and don’t feel skilled enough to access and utilise the information their website holds
    3. If they have accessed the data behind their website they don’t know what to do with it

At The Business Show in London last November I presented a workshop entitled ‘Reveal and understand your web audience’. In which I provided an intro to what web analytics is, an overview of how to get started and solutions to all the dilemma’s I’ve raised above. Here it is:

In case you’re still in two minds whether to delve a little deeper into the data behind your website I’ll leave you with a few reasons that I hope will convince you:

  1. Marketing is expensive when you don’t know what’s working       Web analytics will help identify what marketing investments are achieving the desired results, without data it’s guesswork
  2. It will make decision making easier                                                                It will become clearer what you should be focusing on e.g. if website visitors are fewer than expected then it might make sense to vion increase the number of website visitors. If people are visiting your website and not buying the focus may be on converting visitors to customers.
  3. It will help you provide a better level of service                                        You’ll have insight into what your customers are most interested in and you can provide more of it
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Traditional Marketing is Alive and Well!

Above is a quote from the weekly content marketing twitter chat that I participated in yesterday and pretty much sums up the topic of this blog post. It’s not about the platform it’s about the content, and in that context there is a place for traditional marketing.

Although I am proficient in digital marketing I don’t describe myself as a digital marketer because I don’t like to be confined by channels. I consider myself to be a strategic marketer, I’m governed by strategy and goals and will always opt for the channels and tactics that satisfy the objectives best – sometimes this will be print and other times Pinterest.

It get’s to me when I hear fellow marketers completely disregard traditional marketing (print, broadcast, direct mail, telemarketing etc.) in favour of more modern marketing methods (social media, content marketing, affiliate marketing etc.) because I don’t think the channels were ever the problem it was more the way they were used and the marketing mindset behind their use.

Both traditional and modern marketing can co-exist, they aren’t mutually exclusive. In fact quite the opposite – they often add value to a campaign when used together as part of an integrated multichannel marketing approach.

I demonstrated how well direct marketing could work as part of modern marketing campaign in a previous post. Don’t get me wrong I’m a big fan of digital marketing and social media, but I continue to bang the drum for traditional marketig because I know there’s life in it yet. So when I saw that yesterday’s weekly Content marketing twitterchat topic was this… 


…I knew I had to chime in. I mean I love the weekly #CMWorld chat in general and attend often (If you haven’t you really should :) but this topic in particular really resonated with me. It was indeed a great chat with some great points raised, so good in fact that I wanted to share some of them with you in this week’s post:

Q1: How has traditional media become less effective? Where can content marketing fill the gap? #CMWorld

— Content Marketing (@CMIContent) January 20, 2015

When used in isolation, without context and content that creates a brand story that connects with an audience, tradtional media like broadcast and print advertising become less effective.

 

Some sound advice was given:  

If you want to drive a high volume of traffic to your business in a relatively short space of time, advertising is still the best way to do it.

Events can be the catalyst for a wealth of content such as video, blog posts, customer testimonials, Slideshare presentations, webinars and more.

There are still a wealth of opportunities in print:

They key is to adopt an integrted multi-channelapproach:

Indeed:

I really like this idea:

This pretty much hits the nail on the head:

My top tip:

So very true:

This is worth remembering:

Q6: Content is used in traditional ads. Is this content marketing? Does it even matter? #CMWorld

My view on this is simple:

So as you can see traditional marketing is very much alive and well. Don’t rule it out!

Speak soon,
katrina

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5 top tips for learning on the go

Learning is a life long process and as I’ve mentioned many times before, the more you know is the more you realise that you don’t know. Like many of you, my life is busy but I’ve always made learning and acquiring new knowledge a priority, because I believe it’s the most important investment you can make in yourself and it will always pay dividends. As the saying goes, you can always find time for the things that are important to you, so if learning is a priority for you too, here are a few top tips that work for me:

1.  Sign-up to Audible

The number one way to acquire knowledge is through books, yep not even the Internet can replace the value of a good book. My absolute favourite pass time is to find somewhere secluded, preferably with a nice view and a cup of tea and just read for hours. Unfortunately life rarely affords such luxuries, so the next best thing is Audible. Audible is Amazon’s audio book division, there are various subscription options available and a great mobile app that allows you to download and listen to books whenever and wherever you are. I subscribed to Audible in 2010 and can’t recommend it enough, I’m one of those people that can’t bare to waste time so it’s a great way for me to utilise the three hours a day I spend commuting to and from work, and provides a great companion while doing the housework.

2.  Use mobile apps to capture your thoughts

Yes we can learn a lot from others but we can also learn a lot from ourselves. Many ideas come to our minds each day and we often fail to acknowledge them, simply dismiss them or forget them. You never know when a good idea will come in handy so I recommend capturing your thougts and ideas whenever you feel that they’ll be worth recollecting at some point in the future. The main app I use for this is Evernote it allows you to quickly type, and store notes, record voice notes, capture pictures, screen grabs and more on the go. The clip below pretty much demonstrates how I use the app regularly, if you only have one app on your phone to boost productivity it should probably be Evernote.

3.  Always have a book in your bag ( or a Kindle)

I’m a little bit obsessed with books so I tend to have a few paperbacks in my car and my Kindle in my bag at all times (I know my husband thinks it’s over kill too lol). But the thing is you never know when you’re going to have an inbetween moment and a few free minutes e.g. waiting in a queue or arriving early for a meeting, and as I mentioned earlier I hate to waste time and a good book is a great time filler.

4.  Listen to podcasts

A podcast is a digital audio file made available on the Internet for downloading to a computer or portable media player, typically available as a series, new instalments of which can be received by subscribers automatically.

Podcasts are a great wat to keep up to date with authors, speakers and thought leaders that are prominent in your industry and beyond. Stitcher is my latest, favourite app.

It’s great for making sure I never miss an episode of my favourite podcasts which include:

5.  Become a professional listener

You can learn something from everyone and anyone, we often miss nuggets of wisdom imparted by others in our daily lives because we’re more interested in expressing our own opinions as opposed to listening to those of others. Much can be gained from listening keenly to what others have to say.

I hope you’ve found theses tips for learning on the go useful and I’d love to hear if there are others you’d like to recommend so feel free to comment below.

Speak soon,
Katrina

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4 Simple Advertising Tips

Simple advertising

Advertising doesn’t need to be costly,  time-consuming  or complicated. There are many ways you can advertise easily and efficiciently here are 4 of my favourites:

1.  Target your marketing message

I’ve mentioned the importance of tailoring your messages to reach different audiences in a previous post. I have also touched on the fact that advertising often receives a bad wrap because historically it has been untargeted and ineffective compared to other marketing methods.

Suffice to say that if your advertising isn’t targeted not only are you wasting money but you’re also wasting the time of those who receive your marketing and are not in the least bit interested. Many of these untargeted recipients won’t resemble your target audience in any way shape or form, which is not beneficial for you or them.

The good news is that the Internet has made targeting  your audience easier than it’s ever been. Online advertising platforms  such as AdWords and social media networks like Facebook and Twitter make targeting easy.

Facebook ad targeting

Twitter ad targeting

2.   Amplify your message with paid advertising

The simple truth is that the organic reach of  marketing is declining. What I mean is that when you post something online, social media update, blog post etc. it is seen by a lot less people than would have been the case in times passed. The reason is that there is a lot more content being published on the web daily, so we have to work a lot harder for our content to be noticed.

Social media without paid advertising doesn’t scale, if you are a business trying to leverage the benefits of social media, ideally you need both organic and paid content.

3.   Measure success

Results count. If something doesn’t work i.e. move you closer to the goal you are trying to achieve stop doing it. So often we continue certain practices out of habit, passed successes or because ‘it’s just the way we do things around here‘. My advice is to proliferate what works and eliminate what doesn’t. A key way to measure success is to monitor the activity and behaviour that takes place on your website, Google Analytics allows you to do that. It allows you to see a wealth of useful information, such as the number of people visiting your website, the most popular pages, where visitors come from and a lot more. I highly recommend implementing Google Analytics,   you can do this yourself or have your web designer do it for you, it’s free and takes just a few minutes.

4. Test and refine

The Internet provides a great opportunity for us to test and refine our online advertising efforts. Enabling advertisers to increase the effectiveness of advertising campaigns and increase return on investment. You can test your advertising efforts in many ways but here are 2 key tactics:

  • Test your headlines and advertising copy
    The aim is to determine which headlines and wording is most effective at getting potential customers to take action. The desired action may be clicking a link, completing a form, visiting your website, purchasing a product etc. You can do this simply with Google Adwords, within  Adwords there is a tool called Adwords Campaign Experiments which allows you to test variants of your ad on a small percentage of your target audience.  Enabling you to monitor results before investing fully,  and placing all your eggs in one basket.
  • Test elements of your landing pages
    Similar to testing advertising copy it’s important to test your landing pages (the pages people go to when they click on your ads) to determine what layouts, designs and content are most effective at converting vistors to customers. Similar to Adwords Campaign Experiements, Analytics Campaign Experiments allows you to test up to 10 variants of your landing page.

Done wisely online advertising can be very successful, cost effective and simple for your business to implement. The key is to equip yourself with the right knowledge and use the right tools to get the maximum return on your advertising spend.

If you need help putting these simple advertising tips into practice feel free to give me a shout :)

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Facebook Advertising: 5 ways to get more for your money

we all have a story to tell

A few weeks ago I was involved in a workshop regarding Facebook advertising. In a previous post I’ve spoken about why I think Facebook advertising can be beneficial, but there was one particular  thought which cropped up that I wanted to share with you, and that’s:

You may pay for advertising but you still have to earn your place at the Facebook table

Facebook is public but most people use it to share somewhat private information and communicate  with loved ones. As such it’s not the primary place many of us choose to hear from brands.

As an advertiser you are not competing with other companies as much as  personal posts. For example – your advertising could quite easily end up between a picture of a sonogram announcing a close friends pregnancy and cool photos of family on their summer holidays in sunnier climes. Therefore Facebook advertising can easily seem  like an intrusion.

So the question is; how do you as a brand earn yourself an invitation to the Facebook table as opposed to being written off as an intruder?

1. Inspire by communicating your why

We all know that traditional advertising is not the purchase driver that it once was, and one of the reasons is that customers don’t want fluffy fake marketing messages, they want real and meaningful. Your brand has to be about more than selling, it’s about  telling a story, one that is real and resonates with your audience, and that has to begin with why your business exists. A lot of businesses know what they do but few know why, and if you don’t understand the why, your story is always  going to be flaky. Simon Sinek elaborates on this in his infamous Ted Talk on the Golden circle:

2. Leverage the power of visual story telling

visual story telling

Often nothing says it better and quicker than a picture, you can convey a thousand words in a single picture, this is increasingly important in our society where time poverty seems to be an epidemic.

Pictures are also a lot more emotive than words and have the ability to move people in an instant. So much of what is posted on Facebook is motivated by emotion; feelings of joy, anger, happiness and sadness, so it seems fitting that ads convey some level of emotional sentiment.

Facebook has also acknowledged the impact of imagery by recently redesigning ad formats so that all ads are centred around a key visual.

Facebook ad formats

3. You’re creative should fit in, but your message should stand out

What I mean is that your ad shouldn’t look like an ad it should fit into the Facebook environment. This is the point of native advertising it shouldn’t be intrusive but instead fit into the flow of Facebook content.

And yet the message should stand out, yep I know this sounds like a bit of a contradiction but these examples from  Shopify illustrate what I mean.

Shopify Facebook ad right

Shopify Facebook ad

You can see clearly how both ads fit comfortably in a Facebook newsfeed and yet they’re interesting enough to cause you to stop and pay attention.

4. Tailor your messages to reach different audiences

When you go on a date, you don’t want to feel like the person is sorting through options, you want to know that the person is interested in you as an individual. Advertising is similar, don’t deliver one size fits all messages, tailor your message to your audience. Facebook provides numerous options for targeting your messages accordingly.

As mentioned in an article from The Guardian on the atomisation of advertising, brands need to ‘contextualise the message by atomising advertising into a series of sustainable, high quality messages that are relevant irrespective of where the consumer chooses to engage with you’.

For example, if you’re a car dealer, you might have two ads for the same car; one targeting budget conscious men, one targeting mums.

The headline targeting men might say; ‘more miles for your money’.
The headline targeting mum’s might say; ‘it’s a car but it’s as safe as houses’.

5. Test your creative and ask the following questions:
  • Does it meet your objective - is the tone of voice on brand?
  • Is it a compelling story?
  • Does it have thumb stopping power? (i.e. is it good enough to make a Facebook user stop scrolling down their Facebook feed )

If you are using or considering Facebook advertising I hope this post helps, and for more on brand story telling I highly recommend the ebook below.

If you have any comments or questions I’d love to hear from you, so please feel free to leave them below.
Speak soon,
Katrina
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Are you one of the 50% of SME’s without a website?

no website

Yes you read right! According to Lloyds Bank UK Business Digital Index 2014:

“Only 50% have a website and on the whole, those that do are only providing basic functionality.”

If you are are one of the 50% without a website then this post is for you. I won’t bore you with all the reasons why you should be online, suffice to say that the UK is the most active eCommerce market in Europe and there are 1.2 billion potential customers online, including your competitors.

Despite this  29% of SMEs and charities still believe being online isn’t relevant to their business. In actual fact the internet is the number one global resource for finding information and sourcing suppliers. Believe it or not people are searching for your very business online, the only thing is you’re not there! So in this post I wanted to tell you about 3 easy and cost effective ways to get online fast.

1.  Social Media Page

Facebook page example

If you’re not ready for you’re own website yet then dip your toe in the water with a Facebook page these are easy and free to set-up. Here’s 5 top tips for creating an effective page:

    1. Customise your page e.g. take advantage of the vanity url, use apps and custom tabs
    2. Keep your page current with news, company info, offers etc.
    3. Engage, engage and engage some more - people buy from people so share your personality and update your page often
    4. Use multi-media – posts that include images and video receive a lot more engagement than those without
    5. Advertise – your own posts and updates will only get you so far, it’s work running some cost-effective ad campaigns, to boost traffic, especially if your page is new

 2.  Website Builder

website builder

A website builder is essentially an easy to use control panel that allows you to build a professional website yourself, prices start from free to about £30 per month. The 1&1 website builder for example is currently available for £0.99/month and offers:

    • Quick creation – drag and drop functionality to change layout,  pictures and add apps
    • Industry specific text and images, plus functionality based on your industry
    • Advanced functionality with 140 drag and drop web apps such as slideshare, shopping apps, contact forms, eCommerce apps and more

3.  Host a WordPress site (like this one)

Wordpress

You can purchase web hosting (the service providing space on the Internet for websites) and then build a WordPress site yourself in a few easy steps.

WordPress is the number one content management system in the world with more than 73 million websites globally. WordPress usage is growing fast. Approximately 20% of existing websites are built with WordPress

I’m a big fan, this blog is a WordPress site which I created myself within a couple of hours with no previous experience or knowledge of website design.

There is no need to go without a website, all three options mentioned above can be created yourself, for a  few pounds a month within a few hours. It’s literally that easy to get online and join the millions of businesses on the web benefiting from online success.

I spoke on this topic in more depth at The Business Show last month take a look at the video below for more tips and insights.

If you need help with any of the options mentioned above give me a shout and I’ll be happy to assist.

Speak soon,
Katrina

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5 ways to monetise your big idea

monetise ideas

Most of us have had a great idea hit us at one time or another. That light bulb moment where you’re filled with adrenaline and excitement about the possibilities. Sometimes the way to make money from that idea is obvious, but often it’s not and you experience that sudden jolt back to reality, as you’re hit with the realisation that you need to pay bills and provide your family with food and sustenance. That idea soon falls by the way side as quickly as it came. What a travesty! If you can relate then this post is for you.

Firstly I’d like to say I do believe that ‘where there’s a will there’s a way’ and if you think long and hard enough I’m sure you’ll find a ways to make money from your idea, persistence pays. However, if you’re experiencing a ‘brain block’ (as we all do at some point) that last statement really isn’t any help to you. So I thought I’d be a little more helpful and provide you with 5 concrete ways you can monetise your ideas.

1. Attach a paid service 

If your idea is to provide a free service e.g. a membership offering, the provision of information or perhaps an online tool, then there is the option to add paid services that are related to your free service  to your portfolio. Often times people think why not just charge for the main service, however charging can be a bad idea. For example your business may be dependent on attracting a high number of users (e.g. a social platform of some sort) charging for your service would hinder your ability to attract the volume you need. Another reason may be that competitors don’t charge for the service, so if you did, you would immediately put you business at a huge disadvantage.

This is why the freemium business model has become so popular. This is when a business provides a version of their offering  for free and then charges for a more complete version with premium features. Here are 7 types of freemium strategies.

2. White label and license

A white-label product or service is a product or service produced by one company (the producer) that other companies (the marketers) rebrand to make it appear as if they made it.

White labelling is done a lot in the food industry with famous brands such as Heinz, creating ‘own brand’ versions of their products for supermarkets. It also occurs often  in the  finance industry where department stores for example, offer store cards that are provided by banks as a white labelled services and then the stores brand and market it as there own. If you have an idea for a product that you think you’d have a hard time selling, but more established businesses could sell it with ease, then you could offer it to these businesses as a white-labelled product for them to sell.

3. Set-up an affiliate program

Affiliate marketing is a type of performance-based marketing in which a business rewards one or more affiliates for each visitor or customer brought by the affiliate’s own marketing efforts.

Essentially you pay other businesses and/or individuals a commission for selling your product. They simply place banners for your product or service on their website and you then pay the affiliates a commission from every sale they make. Companies like Affilinet and Comission Junction make it very easy to start an affiliate marketing program, here’s a guide to creating an affiliate marketing strategy for your business.

4. Attract a sponsor

Perhaps your idea is to set-up an event or an information based website for example, one way to finance this and generate revenue is to  attract a key sponsor.

A sponsor will provide money to a business  (typically in sports, arts, entertainment or causes) in return for access to a specific target audience and access to the commercial opportunities that association with a business provides. This may involve the sponsor having their logo on your website right through to speaking at your events and marketing to your customers or members. Here’s some sound advice on how to attract a corporate sponsor

5. Sell advertising

One of the most popular ideas for monetising an idea is to sell advertising a lot of bloggers do this and it simply involves allowing businesses that offer services that are relevant to your customers/members/users to advertise on your website for a fee.

If you’ve been struggling to come up with ways to commercialise your idea then I hope I’ve given you some food for thought.

If you’ve thought of other creative ideas to monetise your ideas I’d love to hear about them so please feel free to comment below,

Speak soon,
Katrina

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