how to do a webinar without putting your listener into a coma

Also published on building43.com: http://www.building43.com/blogs/2010/02/10/how-to-do-a-webinar-without-putting-your-listener-into-a-coma/

Presenting in front of an audience is tough.  If you have ever noticed good public speakers, it seems like they almost make love to the audience.  In the age of SaaS & social media, webinars have become the standard for delivering information to customers, and like me you probably attended many of them that put you in serious risk of going into a coma.  The difficulty is in the fact that the presenter (you) is not there right in front of the listener and you have no control of what they are doing.  You can’t make love to the audience, you can only have phone sex.  And just like phone sex (so I’ve heard) chances are that if you are boring, the listener is not exactly doing what they say they are doing (they might also look different than they describe, but I digress..)

Here are some tips to delivering online webinars that will keep your listener non-comatose and will increase your success rate: Continue reading

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a great social media map

If you love twitter like I do, twit-on.  If you’re a facebook fan, fantastic.  But if you are only on these or other social platforms for “commercial” reasons, then unfortunately you have to put in some structure (and maybe take out some fun – poor you) into your decision of which social media to use.  Look at the amount of tools available in the map below (courtesy of theconversationprism.com) and choose wisely.

As for the content – if you want to both be successful & have fun, keep it real. Nothing beats the pure fun of true love, so keep it real, keep it fun, and people will love you. (in other words, no one likes to get ads over twitter… ) Continue reading

hate group gets knocked out next to twitter offices

knockout I learned of this fantastic story via Twitter, and thats the only thing this post has to do with sales & marketing. But its just too good to not write about it. A psychotic hate group decided to assemble right outside twitter offices, and express their view of what God thinks about different people.  As some more normal people assembled to watch the hate-freaks, this quickly turned into a hilarious picket contest.  Read the full story here, on asylum.com, its a must!

final score: humanity 1 – hatefreaks 0

want an effective reseller channel? put yourself in the VAR’s shoes

Want to build a fierce reseller channel?  you need to put yourself in your VARs shoes, and build a plan that works for their business.

Here’s a nice dream: you come up with a killer idea for a great software product, spend a bunch of time and money building it, publish a few articles, and start calling up some VARs and telling them about your solution. They are so amazed and excited by your ingenious product that they line up to sign onto your VAR program, grab a demo kit and run out to their customer base selling your software like it was a Platinum Edition of the iPhone.  Then you wake up.  Yes, it was just a dream, and now you are  back in the real world where even you’re grandma won’t return your calls (and she works for a reseller) Continue reading

Market penetration, choosing the right vertical (or – joining Morpheous, Neo, and the rest of the enlightened)

Hopefully you are convinced that you need a strategy that includes starting with a vertical market niche that will help you take the whole market by storm.  Unless your name is Steve Jobs, this is the first stepping stone of any market penetration. Steve is in the position to make stuff with a coolness factor so high and he has branding so strong that he doesn’t need to do much except for announcing it.  If you think that your product announcement will have the same effect as his, you need to take the Redpill and join the liberated ones that are living in the real world fighting the sales & marketing battles against the agents (guess what movie I watched again last night?).  If you’re not convinced that you need a market niche to begin with, read this.

So what are the makings of a vertical market that you can dominate, and that can be your first stepping stone to conquering the universe? Continue reading

Starting to sell? you need to get (a) vertical !

Popsicle - Benny Shavivs sales and marketing blogor maybe the title should be: why do kids buy ice cream?

So you slapped down some code, received a first round investment, printed some fancy multicolored business cards with a kick-ass logo, designed the best product brochure in the industry, got three beta customers through friendly connections, bought a bunch of Google adwords and sat back waiting for the leads to come pouring in… and they didn’t.

Why aren’t the customers showing up en-mass? Because its not easy to get people’s attention when they are seeing your name and logo for the first time.  How many times did you see the coca-cola logo yesterday?  Now what if you were to walk into the nearest convenience store and right next to the known brands you’d see nifty-swifty-cola stacked up.  Would you buy it instead of your coke?  You might not know this, but nifty-swifty-cola tastes ten times better than coke and pepsi combined, so I’m gonna print right on the can “it tastes 10 times better than coke and pepsi combined, it really does!”, would you buy it now?  Probably not.  I wouldn’t either. Continue reading

How can small software startups beat the SW giants?

Fly like a rocket boosted turtleYes.  They can.  You can.  And this is exactly what this blog is about.  My purpose in starting this blog is to provide tips and ideas for small and medium software companies (especially startups), on how to kick some big corporate butt.  If you are reading this and you work for Microsoft, Oracle, SAP, IBM, CA, etc – this is not the blog for you… or maybe it is, because you are going to end up buying startups that kick your butt, which should probably make everyone happy.  Just try not to mess up their software and their customers after you buy the company, ok?

Big companies have massive resources at their disposal, armies of marketeers and sales people, hoards of customers, and seemingly infinite presence.  Funny enough – this is also where your opportunity lies, because the flip side of this very fact is also their weak spot.  Their massive sales & marketing machines are like aircraft carriers – they are powerful, loaded with weapons, omnipresent, but also take a long time to change course and they work according to predefined procedures.  Flexibility is nonexistent, and unknown/bold tactics are almost never used.  They also carry a lot of baggage with them in the form of reputation & corporate standards.  For many large companies, their truly creative sales & marketing people are buried in some corner of a side department with a corporate style manager asking them whats the status of their sales.  This is not to say that the large companies are not smart. They ARE smart, VERY smart.  They did not get to be the biggest and best in their field by being bozos.  However, they do have an inherent weak spot created by their size, and this can be exploited.

Continue reading