All posts in May 2011

  • Digital Wallets, Mobile Payments, and What You Need to Know

    How smart will our smart phones REALLY get? Well, Google just announced that they have created an open platform for mobile phones to send and receive payments using NFC technology. They’ve already partnered with Citi, Mastercard, FirstData, and Sprint, and are open to accepting more partners. Trials have already begun, and by the summer it will be official. By 2014, the majority of phones will have NFC technology. So, here are the answers to your most pressing questions: What is NFC? NFC stands for Near Field Communication. It is a wireless technology that lets devices communicate to each other over very short distances (roughly 4 cm). It can work between mobile devices, and between a stationary and mobile device. The chip will be in most new smart phones. What does this mean for consumers? Your phone is going to be doing a LOT more than it already does. Your wallet and phone will be one. Going to the movies? Swipe your phone to buy the tickets, and then swipe it again to “check in” to the movies. Google is also working on Google Offers. This will allow you to save coupons and deals to your phone. It also means that…

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  • Business Week Article: Questions to Ask Before You Start a Business

    Who does a 33 year old man from Zambia turn to when looking for entrepreneurship advice? In this case, to Business Week columnist, Karen Klein. I was honored to have my two-bit included in the article: “Separating Yourself From the Pack When it comes to your business itself, make sure you have differentiated your products or services from others already on the market. Getting customers to try something new or work with a new vendor is tougher than it sounds; we’re all creatures of habit. “Make sure you know and can demonstrate a significant differentiator to separate yourself from the pack for your startup to succeed,” says Shama Kabani, president of Marketing Zen Group in Dallas and author of The Zen of Social Media Marketing. Keep your external costs low, she says, and forget about fancy offices or full-color marketing materials to start. “Invest in training for yourself and hiring good people who can bring a lot to your clients and get the job done,” Kabani says. Finally, give yourself a deadline to succeed at entrepreneurship. If it’s not for you, cut your losses earlier rather than later. Be willing to let go of a bad idea go so a…

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  • Pursuit, Passion, and Perils: The Story of One Young Entrepreneur

    I just did a guest post on Sources of Insight on entrepreneurship. It was so well received, that I wanted to share it with you. I was recently invited to speak to a group of young college students at The City University in Hong Kong on the topic on entrepreneurship. And, I was quite thrilled by the challenge. I believe that entrepreneurship is partly inherent, but everyone has a spark within them to make it happen. At 26, I’ve learned quite a few things about entrepreneurship first hand. My first business was at the age of 9. It was no astounding success. As it turns out, your parents will only buy so much gift wrap before they force you to retire. Since then, I’ve become a savvier entrepreneur. Today, I serve as CEO of The Marketing Zen Group –a full service web marketing firm with a staff of 27 and a global clientele. Here are my top ten lessons in entrepreneurship. These are the same lessons that I shared in my physical presentation with the students of City University. 1) Don’t be afraid. It can be scary to start a business. There are a lot of variables and unknowns, but…

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  • Top 3 Signs It’s Time to Raise Your Game

    Did you know it’s possible to be playing SMALL …and not even realize it? Amazing – but it’s happening A LOT …  and in some subtle (and NOT so subtle) ways …  It’s a fact that: * Far too many are yielding to a temptation (yes, let’s face it – out of fear) to PLAY SMALL…”hunkering down,” “treading water,” “pulling back for a while,” or even “waiting this out” (how’s that working so far?) … And, as management expert Tom Peters says:“You can’t SHRINK your way to GREATNESS.” * Far too many others are “aiming too low” – toiling away at the level of mere TACTICS … chasing the next “shiny object” or tech toy … or even on the latest “hot” business model or “blueprint” … (Often jumping from one, to the next, to the next – with little to no results to show … and feeling increasingly more frustrated and overwhelmed in the process). The greatest danger for most of us is not that our AIM is too high and we miss it.  Rather, it’s that we aim too low and we reach it.” ~ Michelangelo * Far too many are failing … simply because they haven’t discovered…

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  • How-To: Outsourcing Your Business’s Social Media Marketing During an Event

    Hello again, Mr. CEO. As promised in How-To: Outsource Your Company’s Social Media Marketing Initiatives – Part 1, here is your Wake-Up Call 2: Events, Trade Shows, Conferences – Oh My! The how and why to snag an invite for your social media marketing initiatives when your company is going to be on display. A case study featuring YOU: So, let’s say you’re going to have a booth at a major conference or trade show that directly relates to your industry and you have recently outsourced all social media to a company that specializes in online marketing . You now have 2 options, well I suppose 3: Plan your SM strategy ahead & bring someone from your social media marketing agency with you. Plan your SM strategy ahead & pay for consulting on day-of best social media marketing/networking practices. Don’t plan ahead. Don’t prepare. Don’t bother going ;) Now, I want to keep this post as optimistic as possible: …so I will write the next bit in a format that will help guide your plans for options 1 and 2. If you’ve chosen option 3… all I can say is, get your act together! Stop allowing your competitors to conquer…

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