3. Building a Team: “The 3 Golden Rules”

Jason will be the first to tell you that your company is only as good as its people, and a great team drives a company’s success. Each person that you consider for your team should possess three important qualities – smarts, ethics, and drive. When you get the smartest, morally-focused, and ambitious people working with you, the competition will be much easier to beat.

4. Getting Customers: “Put the big rocks in first”

Getting customers is the fundamental aspect of any business. Consumers of our products and services drive and direct what we do, and also serve as motivators for our work. Of course, it is difficult to get customers if no one knows about your business. Therefore, one of the most important aspects of starting a new company is to drive traffic to yourself, rather in-person, online, or both. This can be done through various means including SEO, paid advertising, and other marketing tactics.

To illustrate how customer development should be done, Jason offered us an anecdote of a jar with rocks in it – Imagine a glass jar filled with large pebbles; as soon as the jar is filled to capacity with the larger rocks, most people would say it’s full. To completely fill the jar however requires a little thinking outside of the box. Most would overlook that adding rock shavings, sand, water, and just about anything else smaller to the jar would fill it much further than just the larger rocks. In this way, thinking creatively in terms of developing a wide variety of customers can bring in business we didn’t even think of.

5. Online Traffic: “Paid and free marketing”

If you’re going to be noticed in today’s world, you must have a strong web presence. Having a website these days is as easy as setting up a WordPress account, so the competition to actually get your site noticed is fierce.

There are a few ways to get traffic headed your way, some paid and some free. First of all, it’s best to deal with search engines who have the ability to send serious traffic to your site. Search engines rank your site based on a number of criteria including keyword density, authoritative links pointing to your site, and valuable content. Optimizing your content to improve these points will give you a much higher ranking.

Paying search providers is another way to secure good placement. Many services such as Google and Yahoo! search will allow you to purchase ad space at the top of their search results. If it looks like a good fit for your company, this may be a way to improve your odds.

Search engines however are inherently objective when it comes to your site and content; this rules out selling them on your idea, passion, and creativity. The media on the other hand is often subjective in the way it views the world, so it is a great way to get your company’s name out there by bringing a more human element to you and your brand. Jason recommends that while pitching the media it is necessary to provide refreshing, original content that connects journalists with a novel and interesting element of your business. As with anything, you should stay in contact with your new media leads in case you may need their help at a later time.

Last but not least, any good media campaign is best supplemented with a solid social media strategy. Jason recommends that the best thing you can do with social media is to create what he calls a “viral loop.” What this means is to connect with people who will promote you to their friends and family and will set up a cycle that will lead to a large amount of exposure.

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