Get known! How to get your online and real world presence off the ground!

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When I was on my way from Munich, Germany to Switzerland, I made an observation that really led to a “ah ha!” moment.

On the roads of Munich, I saw many American-made cars like different models of Fords and Jeeps. On top of that, my friends and I made a stop at a McDonald’s where I was again inspired.

Inspired at a McDonald’s? Seriously?

Yes indeed!

The Ford Focus and the Jeeps I saw, plus the McDonald’s restaurant are all tied together if you look at them from the angle of the ENTREPRENEUR. How so? You may ask. Well my friend, they are all proofs that it is possible and rather common for a company to have an international/global reach.

It is very true that the above-mentioned companies have substantial means and have been around for a very long time (McDonald’s 58 years and Ford Motor Company 110 years). However, the point I’m trying to make is that global reach or at least global availability should always be in the mind of the resourceful and well-grounded entrepreneur that you are. The world needs to know about you and your business. You need to establish your presence.

How do you get your online and real world presence off the ground?

I’ve assembled a couple of ways for the starting entrepreneur to get going. Of course, they are many more ways and what’s presented here is just to show you some leads.

1-Free online business cards:

Business cards are very important. They show people that you are serious about your business and that you can be reached and also that your business is legit! Be very generous with them. Pass them out to people you meet even if you think the person might not need your services or products. He or she might know someone who does.  Here are three (3) links to get you started:

 

2-Printed T-shirts with your info, logo and/or Website:

You might think this one is expensive, but it really is not! I’ve found shirts that you can design online and have your logo or message printed that go for $1.75/shirt. Having some shirts that you can pass out to your friends and family is such a great idea because you get huge exposure for really cheap. Everywhere they will go i.e. the store, the mall, a bar, or other events they will be advertising to hundreds of people. Make sure that the phone number and the website are easily legible and that your logo is where it’s supposed to be.  Three (3) website where you can start looking

 

3-Fridge magnet and bumper stickers:

When it comes to fridge magnets and bumper stickers, you don’t have to have a whole lot of them for a start. Just order a couple. Bumper stickers will be like the t-shirts. They will get you maximum exposure for a relatively low price. Hand them out to people you know and ask them if they don’t mind putting them on their car. You don’t want to give it to someone who will not use it appropriately. I got you links that will help you with your research.

Bumper-stickers:

Fridge magnets:

 

4-Youtube-Facebook-Twitter:

You should open an account on each of these social networks that will be solely dedicated to your business. It will be about your business and for business. Make sure you are really strict about the content that goes on your account i.e. what you talk about/post and what other people post and talk about. The vast majority of your posts should be informative and about the happenings (sales, promotions, etc) of your business. You can also (from time to time) talk about an achievement as it relates to your business. When it comes to YouTube, make a short, sweet, and to–the-point video describing what you’re selling or the services you provide. We’re talking about your business, so be and look professional in the video. For Facebook and Twitter, be professional, and please make sure you spell check everything you post. Do not abbreviate too much and make sure you are a 110% sure about the information you’re putting out.

5-Good’old Word-of-Mouth:

The most important favor you can do to yourself will be to talk about your business. Don’t be afraid to talk about it to friends and to complete strangers. You should be as comfortable talking about it to both. In theory, your family and close friends would be first ones to know about what you’re trying to accomplish so make sure you talk about it with them thoroughly! You have be thorough with the people you know well because if they ask a question about your business you don’t know the answer to it wouldn’t be too bad. HOWEVER, if a stranger asks you something about YOUR business and you don’t have a satisfactory answer, then it’s a very bad sign. Remember, a first impression is the last impression. Make sure you cover all the bases with your family members and close friends. Have them ask you any question that comes to mind so you’re prepared for whatever question someone might/will throw at you.

The five ideas you just read are great ways to start your marketing campaign on a low budget. Let’s face it; when you’re just starting out, you don’t have a lot of money to spend. However, it should be very easy and obvious for you to realize the potential effectiveness of these ideas. Just imagine: How many people do  you think will see your message from a bumper sticker or from someone wearing a shirt with your website, contact information and name on it in just ONE day? (hundreds!)

With Twitter, Facebook and YouTube, you will have international reach in a very short period. NEVERTHELESS, you have to make sure that before you put something out there you are okay with it representing you, your values and your business.

Stay tuned for more articles about being an entrepreneur on the fast lane

See you in a bit…

 

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Your BRAND & Your IMAGE

I’ve recently come back from a 40-day trip in Europe. It was my second trip in less than a year there and I visited Germany, Switzerland, Italy and France.

During my time there I kept my eyes open and my business sense on high alert because one of my goals on the trip was to observe and absorb anything and everything that could help me become a better entrepreneur.

FIRST STOP: MUNICH, Germany

THE BRAND

What I’ve learned while in Munich is the importance of the brand. Concretely, what is a brand? Brand is a synonym of trademark. A trademark is, according to the Merriam-Webster online dictionary “a quality or way of behaving, speaking, etc., that is very typical of a particular person, group, or organization” it is also “a distinguishing characteristic or feature firmly associated with a person or thing” i.e. a business.

With the definition out of the way, I have a question for you the reader: If you have a penchant for entrepreneurship (I hope you do), what is your trademark? What is your brand? I’m not talking about a logo or company name, I’m talking about that distinguishing characteristic firmly associated with you or with the business you’re thinking of putting in place or already have in place.

Think about it; write it down in clear details

THE IMAGE of your brand

While you’re thinking about your brand, also think about the image you want your business to reflect.

One thing I like about the city of Munich is its abundance of Audi’s, BMW’s and Porsche’s. While walking the streets I was able to see all kinds of models of these said brands but what I really noticed is that after a while, I was able to predict what the driver would look like. I was able to guess the age range, the type of clothing, the attitude and overall allure of the driver. Did not matter if it was a man or a woman, I could guesstimate depending on gender what the person behind the wheel would look like.

That got me thinking!

Before you even start to concretely implement your plans about your business, you should have a clear idea about the image you want to portray as a businessperson and/or entrepreneur. One of your end goals should be for people to automatically associate a feeling, a look, a philosophy or an idea to your brand. For example, when you think of an Audi, a BMW, or even a Porsche, what do you think the driver looks like? What is its financial situation? What kind of clothing would the driver wear?

This is what I want you to do, but I want you to do that to visualize your typical client or customer.

When it comes to the image of your brand, I want you to realize the importance of your customers and the public to accurately visualize and connect your concrete product or service to an abstract idea.

ON A PERSONAL NOTE, something else I’ve come to understand while in Munich is that it’s never a good idea to burn bridges. In this life, you never know who you might need in the future, sometimes the very near future. And if you apply that in your business enterprise, you have to understand that some business transactions or just your average day to day human interactions will not always go as you planned.

What you need to remember is that no matter what the case is, you must end things in a cordial manner. In this day and age where great business comes from referrals, don’t let your disagreements with someone become a burnt bridge and make you miss on a huge sell or a service/favor you might need down the road

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Starting with what AND who you know

Trying to establish your business is going to be tedious and will require perseverance and savvy. The smart way to go is to start with what AND who you know. What you have to do is take time and think about all your friends and family members and then figure out who can help you with what.

In my case, I have a couple of friends who are real estate entrepreneurs. Some are rental property owners and others are real estate agents. Long before taking the leap of entrepreneurship, it is paramount that you make a sort of inventory of available help you can get from your family and friends. Also, it is a good idea to seek out and befriend successful individuals in the field you’re trying to get into.

Prime example:

Even though I’ve made a mental list of the people I go to for specific questions and insights, I decided to seek out and befriend someone who is very successful in the field of real estate. I went online and found the professional contact of one of the starts of the show Million Dollar Listings New York and I contacted the person. What did I have to lose? Lo and behold I got a friendly and receptive reply. We’ve since stayed in touch and I’m planning on going to New York (only 4 hrs away from DC) for a face to face.

What I recommend is that you do the same. What I mean by that is that you take time to figure out who can seriously be of help (not just moral support) in your immediate circle and let those people know that you’re serious about your entrepreneurial endeavor. On top of that, you must muster the courage to approach a very successful person (aim high) of your choosing and just go for it. A mentor is extremely important

What I’m absolutely sure about is that you have a set of skills that sets you apart. Just think! What is it that you do so easily but others struggle with? You’re the first person your friends and family come to when they have problem with ____(fill in the blank). I’m sure they are things you do as if you have a PhD or as if it’s second nature. Use those those skills to lay the ground work for your plan(s). Taking that route will result in two things: 1-Your foundation will be very strong and 2-Laying that foundation won’t be difficult because it won’t feel like work because you’ll do it so easily!

One integral part of entrepreneurship is that the sought end result is the ability to control one’s own time while making a good living doing something that comes naturally. To attain that noble result, the proper foundation must be laid. This blog is showing you how I’m laying my foundation while at the same time letting you know what works and what doesn’t. So, as I’m learning from others while avoiding their mistakes, you’ll read and learn from me while avoiding mine. As a result you’ll be ahead in the HOV lane for entrepreneurs only

Cedric Lavie Facile

Cedric Lavie Facile

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What is this about?

What this blog is about and what it represents

This blog is actually long overdue. Long ago I decided that the 9-5, Monday-Friday, lifestyle is not for me. I am an entrepreneur at heart and I’ve decided that I should take steps to make that dream a reality

I started a website about 4 years ago when I was still in College. The website was about my passions: green living, organic products and an overall healthy lifestyle. School and a very active social life veered me away from that endeavor and I had to shut the site down. Now I’m taking another go at it and I’m actually doing it right. I’ve hired a web developer, a graphic designer and my personal involvement is more pronounced.  

This blog, like the title says, is about the day to day of a young entrepreneur (moi) and it represents my growth through the ups and downs of this life

Entrepreneurship encompasses a lot, it is a state of mind, a way of life. Having complete control of my time and financial freedom are my ultimate aims but the way I’m planning on achieving that is through two areas that enjoy: Real estate and green living.

How am I planning on reaching my goals?

Before changing majors halfway through, Civil engineering was my major. Real estate was (and still is) something I knew I wanted to do but I had taken the wrong way about it. After talking to professors and counselors, I realized I’m more suited for the business side of real estate, not the engineering part. A real estate agent for now and real estate developer later is the path I’m on.

Within the next couple of months I’m getting my real estate license and it will be full sail ahead from then on. It is true that I will also have my living-organic website to manage but I’m glad it won’t be as demanding.

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Inspiration: Tips for Entrepreneurs [Infographic]

Very interesting and enlightening article. This is a great guide to help anyone start or it can be used as a guideline

BizTV Blog

The top tips for entrepreneurs from Young Entrepreneur.

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Hello world

Hello world

I decided that the very fist post would be a picture of me. It’s always best when you have a visual of what you’re dealing with

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