Tag Archives: ideas

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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Innovation, Inspiration and Infants

We are all born creative. We just got it educated out of us. -  @ThamKhaiMeng

Born creative

I spent Tuesday at Internet World promoting the new .London domain on the Dot London stand which I was pleased to be doing as it’s probably one of the most promising of the new top level domains being released this year.  However, If you’ve ever manned a trade show stand for any length of time, no matter how interesting the product or solution you’re promoting may be, the experience is generally  less than joyful lol.

The highlight of my day was in fact the arrival of three young boys aged between about 11 and 13, at first I thought nothing of their presence until I heard them speaking quite articulately to one of my colleagues about domains, their website, a game they had created and how the three of them had formed a partnership to realise their idea.

I actually felt so emotional and filled with pride at their enthusiasm, determination and creativity that anyone would have thought they were related to me and not three strangers that I had just met (I think that type of emotional overflow is one of the weird side effects of motherhood). According to the father that was with them, under 18′s aren’t typically allowed to these trade shows and they had to apply especially for the rules to be waivered,  I was so inspired by them it got me thinking about how kids inspire me in general.

I just love that children are not deterred by barriers; their natural inclination is to get under them, around them or over them and there is much we can learn from this attitude.

We often hear that if you want to be great it pays to follow and take notes from those that have tread the path before us, I believe that there is great value in that  and it’s one of the reasons business mentors are so important. However, I also think there is much to be learnt from our children and young people,  so I thought I’d share 3 things I’ve learnt from mine:

1.   They are totally unrealistic

We as adults are often hindered by what we feel is ‘realistic’, that is what is ‘sensible’, ‘practical’, ‘achievable’ and ‘expected’, which is fine but limiting if you want to achieve anything significant in life.

Children just flow with their imagination, and embrace the possibilities, the issue of whether or not something is ‘realistic’ never pops into their heads. As we get older we loose this ability to think freely and often impose invisible boundaries on ourselves. I am by no means encouraging recklessness, there are indeed times when realism serves us well. But, we’ll also do well to  free ourselves from what is ‘realistic’ sometimes and pursue those things  we once dreamed about. If others have done so and succeeded why not you?

Richard Branson certainly wasn’t thinking about what was realistic when he founded Virgin Galactic and decided to make space tourism a reality.

2.   They have mastered the art of  ‘bouncebackability’

Children just aren’t discouraged by failure, they just get up and go again. Often we’re paralysed by failure or the fear of it, but there comes a point when you’ve just got to feel the fear and do it anyway. In the words of Tim Storey a set back is a set-up for a come back”.

3.  They have an incredible capacity and willingness to learn

Children have such a thirst for knowledge and never stop asking questions, I’m often fascinated by my children’s capacity to learn and retain information, their brains are indeed like sponges.  As we get older our thirst for knowledge tends to cease and we get bogged down in what we already know, which can limit not only our thinking but also our prospects. There is an extricable link between economic prosperity and the ability to acquire knowledge.

One of my favourite Bible verses is 1 Corinthians 2:9 which says:

But as it is written: “Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man the things which God hath prepared for them that love Him.”

I believe there are things that God has for us that we haven’t even imagined.

I’m reading a book at the moment called ‘Faith For Like: Overcoming Everyday Challenges’ and in it Bishop Keith A. Butler says:

“God gave you imagination not so that you could make movies with nine-feet tall blue people in a tree. God gave you imagination so that you could see the promise in advance.”

Richard Branson could see the reality of space tourism in his minds eye probably way before he founded Virgin Galactic. Today, not only has the commercial spacecraft been built, but as seen in the video above it has just completed it’s third test flight into space.

So finally, my question is – what can you see on the inside of you and what are you going to do about it?

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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Some of the Best Marketers Aren’t Marketers

ideas

With most things once you get into it you realise that it’s not as complicated as you once thought, and that’s exactly what’s happened to me in relation to marketing. Over time I’ve gained clarity and it all seems a lot simpler than it used to. I guess as they say; on the other side of complexity lies simplicity – but I digress. One of the surprising things that I’ve learnt is that some of the best marketers aren’t actually marketers.

What I mean is that great marketing initiatives often just start out as good ideas and evolve into great marketing ideas. They tend to come from people that are most involved with the product or service in question. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve sat casually with someone and they’ll be saying in one breadth “I really don’t know much about marketing”, and in the next breadth come out with the most amazing ideas. I think the reason is that people have in their minds that marketing is a big mystery and forget that really it’s just spreading the word about your product or service in a way that resonates with your target audience and provokes action.

Perhaps I’m over simplifying it – it’s easy to say things are simple when you know how.  But my point is that the best marketing ideas happen organically and often emerge from a genuine passion for a product or service; a random thought whilst thinking about something completely different, an idea that comes up in conversation, a question that you suddenly realise you have the answer to. In his ebook It’s Not About the Tights: An Owners Manual on BraveryChris Brogan puts it like this;

“The seeds to larger wisdom are often planted in the soil of simple moments”

Increasingly I’m realising that my role as a marketer is simply to help people hone their own ideas and transform them from just ideas to great marketing initiatives.

I want to work with people to refine what they already have, because often times, in what they consider to be a ‘weak idea’ lies the seeds of marketing greatness.

So that being said if you need support honing your ideas give me a shout ;)

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