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Category Archives: Podcast

Podcast: Michael Lebowitz, Founder & CEO, Big Spaceship

Podcast: Michael Lebowitz, Founder & CEO, Big Spaceship

I recently interviewed Michael Lebowitz, Founder & CEO, Big Spaceship about how corporation get social media wrong. Listen now:

 

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Rookie Entrepreneurs: Learn How to Change Gears Fast, Get Publicity Super Fast

Rookie Entrepreneurs: Learn How to Change Gears Fast, Get Publicity Super Fast

One of the things I found most fascinating from the champion entrepreneurs I interviewed for How They Did It: Billion Dollar Insights from the Heart of America was their ability to seize on Plan B, that is, to realize when their initial idea wasn’t a home run, and to focus on a better idea. Scott Jones, inventor of voice mail as we know it – now used by billions of people all over the world — was faced with this choice when he decided to kill a good business that didn’t have the potential for a home run. He went for the huge home run and he won.

In this podcast I interviewed new entrepreneur Limor Elkayam and we talked about her first company, Spotery.com, a news aggregator. When Spotery.com didn’t get traction she thought up the idea to create a daily deal aggregator to help make money, called Dealery.com. Limor quickly realized that the second idea was the winner. Dealery is kind of like Groupon or Living Social, but doesn’t employ sales folks to sell to local merchants. Instead it picks up deals from a bunch of different deal sites and rebroadcasts them, earning a commission on each sale.

Not only did Dealery feel like a stronger concept to Limor, but validation wasn’t long in coming. She launched and started getting publicity within 30 minutes of flipping the switch “on” for her site. How did that happen? By cultivating the same journalists who’d ignored her the first time around! Limor said Spotery publicity “was like pulling teeth” but the same bloggers and journalists who ignored the first company readily picked up and reported on Dealery, including the New York Times and USA Today. Rookie Limor learned two great things:

First: get ready to turn on a dime. Defend your first idea, but not to the death. If things aren’t working, get ready to shift, move, change gears when you see the better idea.

Second: be upfront with your new idea. Just because you got rejected the first time doesn’t mean you won’t be embraced – quickly! – the second time around.

 

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Get Inside the Mind of the Buyer: Podcast with Jill Konrath, author of Snap Selling

Get Inside the Mind of the Buyer: Podcast with Jill Konrath, author of Snap Selling

If I had to name the biggest mistake we make when selling, it’s that we do not get in the mind of the buyer. We tend to be so focused on what a cool product we have; all the bells and whistles; and we pay so little attention to what the buyer is thinking and feeling.

I recently had a great conversation with Jill Konrath, author of Snap Selling. Jill shared advice on how hungry entrepreneurs can catch the attention of potential buyers.  In today’s world, people are so busy that they go through email and voicemail as fast as possible to delete, delete, delete! So how do you catch someone’s attention, make them stop in their tracks and really consider your product/service?

You want the buyer to say “that’s interesting…tell me more.” Jill explains The Buyer’s Matrix and talks about the factors that decision-makers use to filter through these sales messages:

1. Is this relevant?
2. Is this a priority?
3. Does the sales person provide value?
4. Is it simple or complex?

This sounds simple. But do you really answer these questions from the buyer’s perspective before you get on the phone or send that email? If you did you may re-think your standard pitch for selling because most likely it’s getting deleted so fast it’ll make your head spin. Learn how you can get in the mindset of the buyer, how you can build a valuable email database, and how ultimately, you as the seller are more important than the product you are providing. Take a listen.

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The Spouse, the House and the Job: Podcast with Simply Hired’s Founder Gautam Godhwani

The Spouse, the House and the Job: Podcast with Simply Hired’s Founder Gautam Godhwani

I had a great talk with Simply Hired co-founder and CEO Gautam Godhwani and I think everyone who’s ever had an entrepreneurial experience is going to love listening to this. What occurred to me from Gautam is both the serial nature of successful entrepreneurship and the sense that none of us do this alone. Not that every venture has to succeed, but there’s just this tendency among founders to keep thinking up new ideas and then execute on the best of those plans. In Gautam’s case, he, his brother and co-founders first launched @Web, which was acquired by Netscape/AOL. The founding team then went on to launch Simply Hired, now in its seventh year and profitable after $22 million invested by the team and VC firms.

Simply Hired, which aggregates five million job posts and operates in 21 countries, is perhaps the best example of the improving tools now available online to help employers and candidates find each other.  Let’s hear what you think –

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How to Successfully Merge Two Companies: Podcast with Haivision CEO Mirko Wicha

Mirko Wicha

Mirko Wicha

Whether you are a one-person shop or have 1,000 employees, there’s always the possibility that some other company is on the horizon that could get you further along faster. A merger is one way to make your business stronger, if done right.

With 25 years experience in high tech, Mirko Wicha, CEO of Haivision, explains how to make a happy merger for all concerned. Mirko started Haivision in 2004 when he bought technology for high performance, high quality video encoding and decoding.  While YouTube provides one-way streaming, Haivision specializes in interactive bi-directional video. Hear about the strategic merger that was made with Video Furnace in 2009 and how it transformed Haivision into a company that provides a whole user experience. I had the good fortune to meet Mirko as a shareholder in Video Furnace, and it’s great to be able to report a successful merger in real time and before the final outcome (like all fast growth companies…the goal here is an IPO or big sale).

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Sending Clear Signals – Are You on Message and Memorable?: Podcast

I got to meet marketing and brand strategy expert Bill Schley at the 800CEOREAD Pow Wow in December. Bill has clear and simple advice for entrepreneurs and company owners to stay on-message. The problem is that in so many organizations, there are a multiplicity of messages going on, leading to confusion. Listen in and learn as Bill explains how developing a tagline that tells a story in a memorable, repeatable way, can serve as a tool to keep corporations and startups alike on course for success.

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Top Tips for Company Owners for Search Engine Optimization from Noble Samurai Co-founder Eugene Ware: Podcast

Did you know that there is now the concept of a marketing balance sheet? We all know about financial balance sheets, but what about marketing? Marketing has historically been viewed as essentially a creative or budgetary black hole. That’s no longer true in an online world, where we can all measure, well, everything. In this podcast Noble Samurai co-founder Eugene Ware describes the marketing funnel process and how to view those metrics as what is essentially a new-age version of a balance sheet. Eugene, who is expert in SEO and marketing, began Noble Samurai to improve all elements of the market research process.

Anyone concerned with a meaningful online presence could benefit from hearing Eugene’s advice on content, keywords and links. I’m not sure there is any kind of business or industry that doesn’t have an online component these days –

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Entrepreneur, Know Thyself!: Podcast

An interview with Georges van Hoegaerden of The Venture Company

Listen to this podcast from outstanding venture capital and entrepreneurship thinker, Georges van Hoegaerden, who discusses the 35 venture funds who make money – out of 790 funds in the US. Georges says that even though they make money, they are not necessarily good venture funds!

Entrepreneurs are not spared from Georges’ eagle eye. His biggest piece of advice for entrepreneurs is to know exactly who you are and what you want out of an investor so that you can go to the right kind of investor in the first place. So many company founders have a one-dimensional outlook: I need money, and they have money. End of story. But that’s not a thorough enough understanding of your own mindset and the actual needs of the investor, to know whether there’s a chance of a good marriage, or a relationship that will hit the rocks fast. Many founders are so desperate for money that the attitude is, “any port in a storm,” without realizing that the wrong money could lead to the wrong relationship which could lead to the entrepreneur being fired or going bust far faster than if a slower and more thoughtful approach had been taken, resulting in eventually finding the perfect partner. Listen up!

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Sales Coaching – the Advanced Lesson: Podcast

Philippe Lavie, President of KeyRoad Enterprises, is not only an outstanding sales team coach – he’s also the sales coach’s coach. Much thanks to Philippe for sharing advice and insights earned from years of growing sales teams, sales professionals and sales management. Listen to the coach here for three great insights:

  • The game changes through company stages, from startup to young growing company to large company. Very different sales challenges.
  • Beware: if you don’t understand the processes that you need to automate sales tasks, the only thing you do is automate non-existing processes and get to chaos much faster
  • There are seven specific elements that go into evaluating whether someone is a leader

Listen here.

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Learning from Andy Whitman and Gary Sebek of the 2x Fund: How a CPG Fund Will Evaluate Your Company: Podcast

A fascinating conversation with Andy Whitman and Gary Sebek, managing partners at 2x Consumer Products Growth Partners fund. I first got to know Andy when he invested in gDiapers, a Portland, OR based company that had invented a truly green disposable diaper. gDiapers biodegradable inserts break down in months – not eons – read for yourself here.

Andy, Gary and partners also invested in Orabrush tongue cleaners, Tasty Bite ethnic foods, Eagle brand snacks and Wellness all-natural pet foods. If you want to see an outstanding example of Internet promotion and marketing, check out Orabrush here. And then go to one of their incredibly well done YouTube videos – as I write this feisty Orabrush has crossed 25,608,144 YouTube views.

If you have a consumer products company, listen here for some fast advice on what motivates a CPG investor.

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