2015 October

Why Use Facebook For Business?

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With the sudden rise in social media in the past 12 months, Facebook has become one of the most visited websites online and has 1.19 billion users. Facebook managed to capture a huge market share and a generation

It’s now been reported that Facebook gets more visitors every day than even Yahoo.So with all these people to be-friend on Facebook, the question is, “how do you use Facebook to build your business?”

The answer is quite simple.

You make friends first.
Then, you attract followers by providing them good value in the form of thought provoking questions, comments, quotes and dialogue. You’ll know who your followers are because they will read your status updates and comment on them or let you know that they like what you have to say. Then, those followers will become a fan of yours, meaning that not only are they your friend and follower, but they will reach out to you and thank you for your contributions to your community and perhaps might even ask you what you do or how they might be able to work with you. This might even result in a new customer, business partner or both.

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This is called Permission Based Marketing and it makes for the best transaction between a seller and a buyer online. Now, the worst thing you can do on Facebook, is pitch your deal. Not only will people ignore you, but many will remove you as their friend if they feel that the only reason you are on Facebook is to sell your product or service. Imagine going to a doctor and before they even ask you any questions, they are writing you a prescription. Not only didn’t they ask you anything about yourself, but they didn’t even find out if you even have a need for one.

To suggest to someone on Facebook that they should look at your company, product or service is considered rude, pushy, even annoying. This is otherwise known as spam. Nobody likes to be sold, but everybody loves to buy.

So, brand yourself as a leader first – someone that people will come to know, like and trust.
Then, if people ask you about your business, that’s great. Let them engage you and then you can provide them with more information. Now, if you contribute to your community on Facebook often, with great value, it’s fine to include a link to your personal blog or hub page or any other Social Media that you’ve created or that has been written or spoken about you. If all you post is business information, your intentions speak loudly on their own and you will alienate yourself.

If you treat your Facebook friends with respect and courtesy and contribute often, chances are that you will attract great people who ask what you do and how they can get more information.

Screen Shot 2015-10-20 at 3.20.14 AMAbout The Author:

Andrew Van Valer is a serial entrepreneur, noted real estate investor, author, speaker, coach and Managing Partner of SlingshotSV and writes on a variety of subjects related to startups, small business growth, acceleration and leadership.

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Changebound’s Non-Profit Event: Bethany Hamilton Behind The Scenes

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This is a repost from ChangeBound’s blog some of Slingshot notes on it.

This past Friday, Changebound brought Bethany Hamilton to Santa Cruz for an amazing event where we  she shared her story. We appreciate all of those who helped make this happen – including Changebound, Slingshot, Stuart Newton, Regeneration Church and many more! We collect our favorite pictures that we took and have them here for you!

Slingshot’s Notes: 

This event was such an inspiration event and really brought together a lot of inspired young people to be able to focus on what really important. Following their passion. Bethany is such an amazing example of how even after tragedy one can rise and continue to follow your passion and do the things you love! That is truly what Slingshot is all about, if you are not passionate about it than why are you doing it?!

The video below was made by Brandon Does Social, who is a partner of Slingshot when it comes to Changebound. Let us know what you think in the comments below or on Twitter!

VIDEO RECAP OF BETHANY HAMILTON EVENT


If you attended the event the download link to your pictures with Bethany is down below, enjoy!

bethany hamilton 5

A full house! We sold out all of our tickets with 450 people at our event. Such an awesome time!

bethany hamilton 4

Bethany Hamilton is such a fun person to hear talk. She is always so positive and inspiring the way she talks about life

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Some of our awesome raffle prizes! Hope all of those lucky winners are enjoying their SIGNED Bethany Hamilton pictures and surfboards!

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Not just youth but adults were getting inspired, Bethany Hamilton makes everyone feel brighter.

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I’m happy that Changebound got a new banner! Thank you so much Business With Pleasure 🙂

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How To Protect Your Ideas

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Everyone has great ideas! Don’t let somebody else get credit for or profit from your brilliant brainstorm or idea. It is important to safeguard your ideas and inventions, even if you can not act on them quite yet. The right kind of coverage depends on the nature of your idea or design. Outlined below are the general protections available. Be sure to see which of the legal devices below best suits your entrepreneurial efforts.


More importantly – take action! I can’t tell you how many friends, family members or acquaintances I have met over the years that have great ideas that are worth millions of dollars. But they don’t take ACTION. They find a few years later that their idea was actually brought to market with great success. Don’t be one of them! You might be afraid, concerned, not sure how to do it….but without the first step, there will never be a second.

types-of-intellectual-property-protection_1
COPYRIGHT
What it protects: An original work, published or not published, that has been recorded in a lasting form. Material protected by copyright includes books, plays,musical compositions, works of art, architectural plans and computer programs.
How to file: Apply directly to the U.S. Copyright Office (find forms and info at copyright.gov) the process is simple for most works. Just remember to include a copy of the material you’re seeking to protect with your application.
What it costs: $35 if you apply online; $45 if by mail

PATENT
What it protects: A new or improved and useful process, machine or product
How to file: Apply to the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (uspto.gov). To boost your chances of approval few patents get the nod—describe the invention in detail and hire a patent attorney to edit your application after you’ve drafted it. Not sure your product will make it in the market? File a provisional patent, which covers your idea for a year and save about 80% in fees.
What it costs: $800 to $1,000 for a provisional patent; $4,000 to $5,000 for a full patent

TRADEMARK
What it protects: A word,name, symbol, motto or other distinctive form of identification associated with a product or service. Examples include the Coca-Cola script and the name Windex.
How to file: Apply to the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office; this is often done in conjunction with a patent application. Names that are generic or descriptive—”cars” for an auto company—are less likely to get approved. File online at uspto.gov.
What it costs: $325 online, $375 by mail

 

 

Here is a handy infographic from Entrepreneur Magazine showing how to conduct a formal and thorough patent search:

1428067428-conduct-patent-search-brilliant-invention-doesnt-already-exist-infographic

http://https://assets.entrepreneur.com/static/1428067428-conduct-patent-search-brilliant-invention-doesnt-already-exist-infographic.jpg

If have any questions after that let us know and we would be glad to you help out!

andy@slingshotsv.com

 

Screen Shot 2015-10-20 at 3.20.14 AMAbout The Author:

Andrew Van Valer is a serial entrepreneur, noted real estate investor, author, speaker, coach and Managing Partner of SlingshotSV and writes on a variety of subjects related to startups, small business growth, acceleration and leadership.

 

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The Definite Guide For Setting Up Basic Social Media For Small Business Owners

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How to Set Up Basic Social Media

Social media is changing the way small businesses can reach out to their raving customers. Social media has so much to offer small businesses like increased exposure, increased traffic, brand recognition, lead generation and creating a community of loyal raving customers/fans.

Social Networking Explained Very Basically! If you are new to the idea social media we would HIGHLY suggest you check this out to get a grasp of the ideas and concepts behind this fantastic work of networking.

There will always be social media networks popping up and appear and this is why the landscape of social media is always changing. as of now there are 13 social media networks and these 13 are:

 

  • Facebook 
  • LinkedIn
  • Instagram
  • Pinterest
  • Snapchat
  • Tumblr
  • Youtube
  • Twitter
  • Periscope
  • Medium
  • Google+
  • Yelp!
  • Foursquare

 

Now first of all, don’t be overwhelmed because just because there are 13 doesn’t mean you need to or should be on all 13. With social media it is more about quality and effort put in than anything else and so that is why r where your target audience spend their time and focusing on those outlets. The point of social media is to drive awareness to your brand and provide an outlet for your business to have a voice and use that voice to be social with your customers. So choosing the best places to put your time effort and money into is super crucial.

 

There are little tricks that you can use to stay organizes and not waste time or money on social media. Brandon from Slingshot can show you some below:

 

Here are some tips from Shopify to help you decide where to put your efforts into depending on your business:

 

 

One of the fast growing segments on the Internet is the community-building sites where like-minded people can network, communicate one-to-many, and share ideas. Look at Facebook, Linkedin, Twitter, etc. They are all groups of people linking together with people they like, are interested in, and trust! Understanding what the difference is of each and how to use them is critical.

We tend to believe information we hear from other people, much more so than traditional advertising. The public has a strong level of distrust for slogans and campaigns. They want and value information, but are asking for a problem to be solved, not to be sold. They want to be informed so they can evaluate and decide. This points to the importance of word-of-mouth as a critical component of any communications effort. The market and public are moving towards this mode of communication and away from traditional marketing. Pay and pray is no longer working.

Some people are jumping right in to social networking and yet many people have been slow to jump on board with the whole social marketing trend. So what is social networking and how do you use it?

Let go over the how to setup the two most popular and the how to manage them.

LinkedIn

Linkedin is a professional network where BUSINESS people connect, one where you would place your PROFESSIONAL and business details and  history. This is where most people go to find out what you have done in your professional life and connect and attract like minded business people. When in this network you would be business conscientious as if you were at a business mixer, business meeting or presentation.

Networking here is for new business partnerships jobs, and long-term professional relationships.

Presentation in this network is business like. Most pictures are in business suits or business casual. Appropriate actions would be placing your business in your profile, describing what you are doing professionally and networking with peers.

Inappropriate actions in this network would be posting what you are doing outside of business, over hyping your product or continually selling your product or service, complaining or using the network to join other people’s networks because of their influence for your gain without being of service.

Depending on your goals and personality, this network is typically closely guarded with only hand shakable contacts in it – people you know and trust.

 

How to Create A Public Profile On LinkedIn

  1. Create a LinkedIn account and profile by entering your personal and professional information and pressing the “Join Now” button or open your existing LinkedIn account.linkedin-signupGo to your home page and locate the site map, a rectangular box that is made up of several categories.
  2. Find the “My Profile” category within the site map and click on the “Edit My Public Profile” link. Make it Public
  3. Create your public profile via the “Edit My Public Profile link.
  4. Keep the current URL designated to you or choose your own.
  5. Customize your URL by entering 5 to 30 alphabet letters, numbers or a mix of both. Only follow this step if you did not pick to keep the designated URL.
  6. Click on the “Set Address” button to personalize your URL address.
  7. Pick a “Basic View” or a “Full View” of your public profile by selecting one of the radio. You may also opt for the “None” radio button, which turns your profile off from public view.
  8. Choose the “Basic View” for a default public profile. The “Full View” profile is recommended to maximize your exposure on the LinkedIn network. Be sure to include links to YOUR business and websites.
  9. Check all the categories you wish to include in your “Full View” public profile by clicking boxes within the check box.
  10. Press the “Save Changes” button to successfully update your public profile
  11. Click on the “View My Profile as Others See It” link to review your public profile.

 

Facebook

Facebook is a more relaxed network where people you have many different types of contacts find out what you are doing socially and professionally. But mostly it is socially.  This is where people go to find out what you are doing today to stay connected – family, friends and people you feel comfortable inviting to a party or social event.

Networking here is all social, what are your kids doing, what vacations did you go on, did you learn anything of interest  that you might want to share, and many things that you would talk about at a social event.  Be careful what you post here if you are running a business!

When in this network you would be socially conscientious as if you were at picnic, party, or at a social event.

Appropriate actions would be describing what you are doing in general, tips for others, links to great articles you just read, posting jokes, talking about your business product or services on occasion, and communicating with your friends and contacts all at one time.

Inappropriate actions in this network usually are continually selling your product or service to your network or using your connections to write on their walls about your product or service. This is the quickest way to get removed from someone’s network.

Depending on your goals and personality, this network is typically less guarded and people who are met during other social events might be added.

How to Create A Public Profile On Facebook

facebook-sign-up

  1. Start at the homepage. When you go to Facebook.com, you see a screen that asks you to login or sign up for a free account. Click on “Sign Up,” which takes you to a Web form.
  2. Fill out the form that asks for your full name, your current status, email address, a password and your birthday. You’ll also have to type in a series of letters and numbers for a security check as well as check a box saying that you understand and agree to the terms of use and privacy policy. Click the “Sign up now!” button when you have completed the form.
  3. Wait for your confirmation email. Facebook sends this email to confirm your registration. When you get the email, click on the link in the email to confirm that you did in fact register for a Facebook account. You will then be logged into Facebook.
  4. Search for friends and coworkers. When you first set up a Facebook account, you have the opportunity to search your email address book for possible friends and contacts. Type in your email address and password to do a search, or try searching by school or company.
  5. Use the same information that you used in setting up your Linkedin profile.

 

How To Create A Facebook Page For Your Business

facebook-page-setup

Step 1: Create a Page from your account

  • Cick the arrow in the top-right corner
  • Choose Create Page

Step 2: Choose a business category for your Page

Select the type of Page you want to create from the following categories:

  • Local Business
  • Company, Organization or institution
  • Brand or Product
  • Artist, Band or Public Figure
  • Entertainment
  • Cause or Community

facebook-page-info

Step 3: Choose a category that matches your business. Then fill out some basic info about your business.

  • Agree to the Facebook Pages Terms.
  • Click Get Started

Step 4: Optimize and start connecting

  1. Add a description and your website address, if you have one.
  2. Add a profile picture from your computer or device.
  3. You can also add your Page to your Favorites on your Facebook account, so you’ll have easy access to it when you log in.
  4. With Reach More People, you can immediately start reaching new audiences.
  5. Click Save Info and your Page is ready to go.

 

Twitter

Twitter is an online social networking service that enables users to send and read short 140-character messages called “tweets”. Registered users can read and post tweets, but unregistered users can only read them. This makes twitter like a news feed of information from your favorite influencers, celebrities, brands and people! It is a way to connect with people and have conversations while also cutting out the fluff due to the 140 character limit.

 

How To Create A Profile On Twitter

twitter-home-page

  1. @username – Find a username that works best for your business. For example if your app is called @Perch and that is taken on twitter, try @PerchApp
  2. Profile Photo – This should be a clear, high quality picture of your logo or you. Try to be creative with your logo instead of just any .jpg you can find. Example: If you are a surf shop you can take a high quality picture of your companies’ sticker on a surfboard and make that your profile photo
  3. Bio – This should be enticing and define what you are and what you post about. You need to quickly get people’s attention and keep it.
  4. URL – Should always lead to your website!!
  5. Header image – Should be optimized to fit perfectly for maximum resolution. Try using Canva.
  6. Pinned Tweet – Pin a special offer to make sure that it doesn’t get buried in the the clutter

 

Instagram

instagram-account-view

Instagram is a photo-sharing platform that allows you to post a picture or a 15 second video and add a description with tags, location tagging and also allowing you to share that picture/video on other social media sites. Instagram is owned by Facebook so you can link your business’ Facebook page with your Instagram feed to engage with your customers on multiple platforms.

 

How To Create An Account On Instagram

instagram-account-signup

  1. Download the Instagram app for iOS from the App Store, Android from Google Play Store or Windows Phone from the Windows Phone Store.
  2. Once the app is installed, tap  to open it.
  3. Tap Sign Up, then enter your email address and tap Next or tap Log In with Facebook to sign up with your Facebook account.
  4. If you register with email, create a username and password, fill out your profile info and then tap Done. If you register with Facebook, you’ll be prompted to log into your Facebook account if you’re currently logged out.

 

How To Create An Account On Pinterest

pinterest-signup-landingpage

  1. Go to www.pinterest.com and fill out the information form on the page
  2. Once you get to your page after filling out all of the information required by Pinterest you can then edit your information by clicking the ‘Edit Profile’ button here:
  3. Once you have your Profile picture added, your description filled out and your website added you can start using Pinterest to get familiar with it.

pinterest-info-edit-profile

How To Create An Account On YouTube

 

Youtube is a little different of a sign up process than other social media networks. YouTube is owned by Google and so you need a Google account to access all of Google’s tools like Youtube. Just sign into your Google account and the setup should be easy and guided after that. Here is a quick guide from their blog that pretty much sums it up.

 

Social media can lead to creating a community around your business, it can lead to increased user experiences with your business and will turn into brand loyalty and repeating raving customers. But again, it will not come easy seeing how much work social media actually is we have found this method that will really simplify everything for you in a very easy to understand way.  Here are some ways to keeping all of this information on your social media in one place to be more efficient and organized:

 

Having any questions?

Contact Andy Van Valer, Managing Partner at Slingshot: andy@slingshotsv.com

 

Have particular questions about how social media can help your business?

Contact our partner Brandon, from the video above  anytime regarding your social media questions: brandon@brandondoessocial.com

 

 

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