All posts in January 2008

  • Like Marketing? Want to Write?

    By: Shama Hyder Drew McLellan and Gavin Heaton are putting together their second book-Age of Conversation 2.0. And, they are inviting you to be a part of it! You can vote on a topic or submit yourself as an author. All proceeds of the book will be donated to Variety, the Children’s charity. A great cause and a wonderful topic. Pitch in here!

  • Fear of Success (Or How Can I Handle all these Clients?)

    By: Shama Hyder One of the first things I do when I work with a new client is help them get over their "marketing fears." It’s a crucial step when it comes to marketing successfully. Even the most self-confident professionals have a few looming fears in their heart of hearts. One common fear that I encounter is "fear of success." This fear manifests itself in many ways. Take a look at some of these- "If I get too many clients, how will I have time for my family?" "What if I get the clients and then mess up?" "I will turn into a workaholic" "What if I am not as good as I think I am?" These fears feel very real to the individuals who harbor them. There are many ways to get rid of negative thoughts. One powerful process that I am a big fan of is called The Work. The Work was invented by Byron Katie to help people get rid of their stressful thoughts by a process of simple questioning. It involves taking any stressful thought and turning it around using four questions. Let’s try it now on a thought related to the fear of success. Client’s…

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  • Startup BizCast Podcast- Marketing During a Recession

    By: Shama Hyder The dynamic Steve Mullen had me over as a guest on his online radio show last week. We talked more in depth about my earlier article on Selling During Stormy Times. You can check out and download the podcast here. It’s only 10 minutes long. (What’s a Podcast-? A podcast is like a radio series that’s available via the Internet. You can listen to shows online or download them to your computer or mp3 player.) One of the first things you will notice is that Steve has an amazing voice and manner. He has radio experience and now helps clients of all sizes with their podcasting needs. If you have ever wondered if podcasting is for you, visit Steve’s site here.

  • A New Paradigm of Doing Business

    By: Shama Hyder Another article inspired by the Godin-Meister. The old way of doing business went something like this- Come up with Idea–>Edit–>Launch Business This is the NEW model– Come up with Idea–>Launch—>Edit—>Launch–>Tweak—>Relaunch The new paradigm of doing business requires you to be an editor. And not just any editor-but a masterful editor. You have to be able to add to your business on a minute’s notice. How flexible is your business? How flexible are you when it comes to implementing changes and improving your business? A recent client of mine (a very talented HR Consultant) came to me because no one seemed to be contacting him for his services. He did get a few calls asking if he could find people jobs. He wasn’t too happy because he isn’t a head hunter. I took a look at all his marketing materials (particularly his website) and suggested an overhaul. His website didn’t adequately convey his talents or speak to his target market. I braced myself for the usual "but, I can’t just change everything…can I?" It didn’t come. Instead he said, "You know, I am looking to build this into a million dollar business. If that means I have to…

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  • How to Pull off a Gimmick

    By: Shama Hyder This post has been inspired by Seth Godin’s recent take on gimmicks. So, what’s a gimmick really? It’s a stunt that gets (or is supposed to get) people talking. It’s red apple sales, sweepstakes galore, and more recently-Starbucks driving cars around major cities with magnetic coffee cups that look like they are falling. People see the cup and come rushing to warn the driver. In return, they get a gift certificate for 5 bucks …and the truth. While gimmicks may work well in the retail world, they seldom fly when it comes to service firms. Service is built on reputation, and gimmicks hurt that to some extent. So what can service providers do to get people talking but not be seen as "gimmicky" at the same time? Seth mentions how toll free numbers in the 60’s were considered gimmicks. So were banks being open on Sundays. What were initially seen as ways to inflate customer base, actually turned out to serve customers. That’s the first way to pull of a gimmick… 1) Do something to IMPROVE service- Sure, people may brand it a gimmick at first glance. But eventually it will be seen as an improvement in…

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  • Selling in Stormy Times-How to Market Your Services During a Recession

    By: Shama Hyder The US economy is not booming at the moment, and according to many experts we are somewhat on the brink of a recession. This is definitely affecting some industries more than others. Often professional services (the intangible) are the first to get cut during tight economic periods. But, there is a way to keep your business thriving in uncertain or stormy economic environments. Here are 5 strategies to keep your business profitable during rough times: 1) Come up with a new way to attract leads: Think about what your target market needs NOW more than ever before. Is it a faster way to do business and close deals? Is it a way to cut supply costs? Perhaps they need some way to reduce turnover rates? As the economy changes, you can bet that your clients’ priorities will change as well. What is your target market’s greatest priority at the moment…and most importantly, how can you help them with it? Example: Sally is a coach for real estate agents. As the housing market tumbles, her target market is feeling the pressure because they can’t close deals like they used to. Ideally, they would go running to Sally for…

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  • Marketing from Within-How to Promote your Company’s Intranet

    By: Shama Hyder Currently, we are working with two clients (both non-profits) who are struggling with the same issue-marketing their intranet. We often think about marketing as an external practice, but it is just as important to market within the organization. Once employees are on board, the entire operation runs easier. Here is the definition of an intranet according to Webopedia: A network based on TCP/IP protocols (an internet) belonging to an organization, usually a corporation, accessible only by the organization’s members, employees, or others with authorization. An intranet’s websites look and act just like any other Web sites, but the firewall surrounding an intranet fends off unauthorized access. Like the Internet itself, intranets are used to share information. Secure intranets are now the fastest-growing segment of the Internet because they are much less expensive to build and manage than private networks based on proprietary protocols. Both our clients have spent a good amount of time and money on creating an intranet that can allow them to share valuable information within their organization. The problem? Actually getting their members to log on. Here are 5 ways to effectively market your intranet: 1) Make it exclusive– If the intranet becomes a…

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  • Marketing Your Business Like a PRO

    By: Shama Hyder My first article over at is up. Here’s how it begins: Most freelancers are talented, hard-working, creative, and do great work. Their one Achilles heel? Marketing! Your business can be divided into two segments-service and marketing. If you are reading this article, then the assumption is that you care about your service and about improving your business. The second part of any business is marketing. Don’t shy away from tooting your own horn. A lot of freelancers I know are not comfortable with marketing because they feel like “Slick Willy” a typical car salesmen stereotype. But marketing doesn’t have to be underhanded. In fact, marketing is really about being an excellent communicator. Create a strong message, and then communicate it with confidence so that the people who are in need of your service can know who you are. They want you as much as you want them! Marketing is often one of the most misunderstood concepts in the world, and most people flat out hate it–and I have an inbox full of queries to prove it.

  • The Future of Web 2.0 and Why So Many Are Resistant

    By: Shama Hyder Yours truly was recently asked for her opinion on why so many companies (especially service professional firms!) are still shying away from Web 2.0 technologies. Here are my thoughts: Foreign Concept Put simply, some enterprises just do not get it. "They don’t understand it," noted Shama Hyder, chief marketing expert and CEO of After The Launch, a virtual marketing firm. "The Web 2.0 concept is still very foreign to most businesses. They aren’t sure what the risks and advantages are of such a technology," she told TechNewsWorld. Many businesses fear that Web 2.0 may be a bubble that will eventually burst. They are not convinced that it is a sustained technology that will further their business, she explained. Even for believers, embracing Web 2.0 is often intimidating. Early adopters do not know where to start, according to Hyder. Many businesses do want to become a Web 2.0 enterprise, but they find the information about the technology can be overwhelming. Even the experts are still learning what works and what does not, she said. "A clear ROI (return on investment) has not been established. Ideally, implementing Web 2.0 technologies can lead to reduced costs and increased efficiency. However,…

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