How to Get Your First $1 Million in Sales

Tyler Bosmeny is the co-founder and CEO of Clever, which is a fast growing company in the education space. He recently gave a talk at Sam Altman’s How to Start a Startup class at Stanford University describing how startups can get their first $1 million in sales.

In the talk, he outlined the four steps of the funnel:

Propsecting

Conversations

Closing

Revenue / Promised Land

His presentation focused on optimizing for each of the first three steps, and some things you’ll want to avoid. We’ve outlined all of his main points in this blog post.

via How to Get Your First $1 Million in Sales.

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Digital Marketing and SEO for Bands and Musicians | Marketing Technology Blog

You might find my taste in music a bit angry, I’m especially fond of a local band Join The Dead here in Indianapolis. Over the years, I’ve become more and more of a fan of live, obscure, and local bands. I love having a beer with the band and appreciate the local music experience much more than some band I can barely see from the nosebleed seats at the local stadium or amphitheater.

To be honest, while many large bands and music stars cry about the sky falling on their industry, I believe online media has transformed the music industry for the better. Instead of a few moguls out there selecting the music that’s going to be heard or the next boy band that’s going to be stars, we now have the consumers of music deciding what they want to hear. We’re not totally there yet – but there’s no doubt that a relatively unknown band can get heard now more than ever, especially if they market themselves well online.

via Digital Marketing and SEO for Bands and Musicians | Marketing Technology Blog.

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Can Sponsored Guest Blog Posts Hurt Your Rankings? – AudienceBloom

There are many guest post strategies businesses can use to improve their online visibility. Guest posting on an external site can pass page rank to your website, thereby increasing your SEO ranks, and can also increase your reputation in your industry and send referral traffic your way directly.Offering guest posts on your own site can help boost your reputation, especially if you can work with major influencers, and can beef up the diversity of your content offerings.

But one form of guest posting—namely, sponsored guest blogs—is perceived as risky. There are a number of misconceptions and fears around sponsored guest posts, but for the most part, the fears are misplaced.

via Can Sponsored Guest Blog Posts Hurt Your Rankings? – AudienceBloom.

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All

Pablo Picasso once said, “Why do two colors, put one next to the other, sing? Can one really explain this? No. Just as one can never learn how to paint.”

Ladies and gentlemen, Picasso was wrong.

You actually can figure out why “two colors, put one next to the other, sing.” Or, more accurately, you can figure out why some color combinations work (i.e., look good) and why other color combinations don’t work (i.e., look terrible).

I realize that Picasso probably meant “one can never learn how to paint” in a less literal, more philosophical way. As in, you can’t teach someone to have a sense of style or how to develop artistic sensibilities; that there is some innate, incomprehensible trait that some people have and some people don’t.

It would seem, according to Picasso’s quote, that being able to determine what colors look good next to each other is a talent you’re born with, and not something you can learn.

Again, I would disagree.

From a scientific standpoint, it’s certainly plausible that some people are genetically predisposed to being good at art and design. But I’d argue that the “10,000 hours theory” makes that notion irrelevant. For those unfamiliar with the 10,000 hours theory, it states that anyone can become a master of a particular skill provided that they practice that skill for, approximately, 10,000 hours during their lifetime.

So, while Picasso may have been born with some level of predisposition toward being good at painting, the primary reason why he was so good is quite simple: he painted a lot. And if you practice a lot, you can get better at picking the right color palettes, too.

via All.

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AdWords Rot | Successful Software

An AdWords account that starts off making a worthwhile profit for the owner is often neglected and, within a year or two, is losing money. Potentially a lot of money. I have seen it happen again and again. If you are running a Google AdWords campaign, you have to at least monitor it. Better still, actively maintain it. Otherwise the rot will soon set in.

Here is an example of an AdWords campaign that was professionally set up and then left to coast, unmanaged. You can see that the cost per converted click (blue) rose, while the number of conversions (orange) fell a little. The average cost per conversion (trial) rose by a factor of 3 in just 4 years. What was once a profitable account was now wasting a lot of money. Ouch.

The main reason for the rot is that Google are continually changing AdWords, and they may opt you in to new features without asking you.

via AdWords Rot | Successful Software.

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You Might Be Surprised Which B2B Referrals Are Closing | Marketing Technology Blog

The sales machine at any B2B company has to be fine-tuned, well-oiled, and running full speed to truly make a difference to the bottom line. I believe that many companies suffer simply because they’re so dependent upon new business via cold calls, but their staff doesn’t have the right team in place to do the hard work to achieve success.

A CEO recently shared with me Sales and Marketing Metrics for successful Software as a Service companies by Insight Venture Partners – and the numbers may shock you. It takes a ton of work to acquire a new customer. You can’t have a team that’s not coming into work sprinting every day and expect to make a difference.

Or can you? There is one source of B2B business that converts much higher than any other that you may not be taking advantage of.

via You Might Be Surprised Which B2B Referrals Are Closing | Marketing Technology Blog.

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10 Marketing Blogs For Intermediate and Advanced Marketers

Over the course of the last few years, I’ve come across a huge number of articles that list “The Best Marketing Blogs of 201X” or “Social Media Blogs You Cannot Miss Out On!”

I find that a variety of the blogs that I would really like to see on these lists often get overlooked.

Often, a fair amount of the mainstream blogs and their content is meant for those starting out in the marketing industry.

That’s not a bad thing. These are important lessons, and there are plenty of social media marketers out there that are just starting out and could use this information.

But as a result, intermediate and advanced marketers often struggle to find quality, in-depth and useful content.

I’ve always shared my opinion on this in the comments on these type posts, talking about how there are far too many blogs out there that are never mentioned. I saw a similar article on Buffer, and shared my thoughts in the comments of that post.

via 10 Marketing Blogs For Intermediate and Advanced Marketers.

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