Why I Will Or Won’t Follow Someone on Social Media

followers on social media

followers on social media

I remember some years of high school as being better than others. A lot of it had to do with the people I was hanging out with. I always judged people by the way they treated me and other people and not by how much money or power they had, or by how many friends they had. Sometimes I hung out with the most popular kids in high school and sometimes I didn’t. I’m still like that today.

Social media reminds me a lot of high school, with the “likes” of Facebook, and terms like “followers” on social media. Like in high school, people are judged by how popular they are and how many “friends” they have. But as someone who has spent most of my life in the entertainment industry, the word “friend” is bantered about loosely, and your real friends can be counted on one hand. Your real friends are the ones who are still there when the chips are down and you’re at your lowest point.

Social media reminds me of the same cliquish hierarchy as high school, and why I would hang out with certain people and not others. Here are some of the reasons I will or won’t follow someone on social media:

  • Information isn’t useful to me or my own followers – The first thing I do is look through someone’s thread to see what kind of things they post. If there are endless posts about what someone had for lunch or things that wouldn’t be of interest to the other people on my list, I don’t follow them. Nothing personal, it’s just not my cup of tea. [Read more...]

How to Utilize Google + to Connect with Influences as an Entrepreneur

It’s always nice to hear about modern day rags-to-riches stories like Dropbox or Soundcloud that are now worth millions, but for most entrepreneurs, it’s more of a rags-and-more-rags sort of tale. Bootstrapping a business wouldn’t exist if it wasn’t worth it, but the personal effort involved is steep. Using every tool available is the only way to pull yourself out of obscurity and connect with the right people, which means using even the toughest social media outlets like Google +.

Google +

Google +

Google+ certainly had more than its fair share of teasing from the peanut gallery as it failed to become the next big social media hit to topple Facebook. Believing it’s a social wasteland though would be a sizable mistake. Most people agree that while Google+ is not the premier hangout for the average consumer, it has been generously adopted by professionals of all kinds as more of a laid back version of LinkedIn.

While this makes it a small pool teaming with raw influencers for the masses, getting with the right people isn’t as easy as one might assume. Google+ has a much different framework than social forums like Facebook and Twitter. Where these sites pride themselves on equal playing fields of public information, Google+ is built on exclusive memberships within tight circles.

For any optimistic entrepreneur, the best method to find the right people is find the almost right people that will get you to where you want to be. Share content with people that will take interest and encourage them to repost. As more people positively engage with content, the more circles it will find, eventually leading to those with the largest platforms.

Take Advantage of the Differences

Although Google+ may be more complex than other social media, it shouldn’t be feared but embraced especially by the startup society. Boasting features that other social media sites can’t hold a candle to, Google+ has a unique way of playing to anyone’s strengths allowing for a deeper expression of personality. Hangouts are perhaps the best examples of creating a more immersive and personal experience. “Hangout” with journalists, bloggers, and others that could deeply connect with your ideas. [Read more...]

3 Ways to Make Customers Buy

There’s a lot of discussion out there about how many times a customer needs to see your product before they will buy it. Some go by the rule of three, some by the rule of seven, and some say there are no rules on ways to make customers buy. This discussion has been going on since 1885, when an advertising dude, Thomas Smith, wrote a book called Successful Advertising.

ways to make customers buy

ways to make customers buy

According to Thomas a customer needs to see or hear about your product or service 20 times before they will buy it. That sounds like a lot, but the average infomercial could rack that up in a couple of days. There are some companies who think you need to see their products 20 times an hour to get it. It’s like Chinese water torture, where drops of water are slowly dropped on the victim’s forehead until you go insane. I want to get out my credit card and scream “Okay, okay. If I buy the pasta strainer will you make it stop?!”

Here is the list that Thomas Smith put together for his guide:

The first time people look at any given ad, they don’t even see it.
The second time, they don’t notice it.
The third time, they are aware that it is there. [Read more...]

How a Product Entrepreneur Can Protect Intellectual Property

Intellectual property

Intellectual property

As a product entrepreneur you’ve spent a lot of time and money developing new products, whether physical or digital. Then one day you Google your product keywords, and up pops a page with your exact product on a Chinese website, or any website for that matter, with a different name. Someone is profiting off of your hard work!

I know how this feels. As an inventor with a patent and trade dress on a product I was shocked to see my own picture of me wearing my product on a Chinese website. As I looked further I saw even more of them. Some used my pictures and some even used the trademarked name.

I had noticed that business had slowed down quite a bit, but couldn’t figure out why. Now I knew. I spent the next few months contacting infringers to ask them to remove the product. Some didn’t know they were infringing and took it down. Some ended up becoming my customers and bought from me. But I had to fight the ones that were left. And even now I spend up to an hour every day knocking counterfeiters off the Internet.

So, how do you protect what you create from infringers? I posed that question to several product entrepreneurs who each had their own way of dealing with infringement.

product entrepreneur

product entrepreneur

Sandy Stein – Finders Key Purse (r)

I invented Finders Key Purse(r) in 2004 while I was a flight attendant. I used my flight attendant friends to help me sell in to the retail gift industry, and in 2005 we sold 1 million units. Since this was done with my friends, we were sort of underground, but after those million units were sold, the copies came up instantly.

Luckily for me I had started the patent process when I first invented it in April 2004, so we had that to protect us but soon realized that it wasn’t much in the way of protection as the small companies would give up with a lawyer letter, but the bigger ones decided to keep going. We finally got our patent a few years later, and had to spend $1 million in legal fees to get one of the biggest infringers out of the market. Since Finders Key Purse(r) is our flagship item, I had to pursue this infringer at all costs, or he would have taken over the market with a similar product with a lesser cost. OUCH! We won-the infringer is no longer selling, but he went BK to get out of paying us.

Lesson learned. If you want to get a patent, that is not too expensive. If you want to protect and defend your patent, that is extremely expensive, and you need to decide the value of the protection. Had we not had a patent, I am sure we would be out of business today with that infringer and several others who said that they didn’t want to battle me since my patent was so good and I was so litigious.

Sandy Stein
President
www.FindersKeyPurse.com

 

IP and book publishing

IP and book publishing

Stephen Lesavich, PhD, JD. – Founder & CEO of Coconut Avenue, Book Publishers, Intellectual property attorney, and technology expert

Here is what we do to protect our books:

A U.S. federal copyright application is filed for the content of all our
books and the book cover as well.

Information on copyrights can be found at www.loc.gov/copyright

This allows an infringer to be sued in federal court if the book contents or cover is copied.

If there is a tag line or branding associated with the book, a U.S. trademark application is filed.

This allows an infringer of a tag line to be sued in federal court if a tag line is copied. [Read more...]