At the beginning on this year I set a few goals for myself. One of the goals was to blog about marketing, business, or leadership once a week for 52 weeks. Today is the midway point of the year and I am on track to reach my goal, having published 26 new blog posts. I wanted to blog weekly for 2 reasons. First, to sharpen my thinking and expertise in marketing. Second, to generate more sales for my business. So far, my sales leads have increased by 122% and my revenue has increased 42%. Here’s how it happened.
“The best marketing begins with explaining,” said Susan Su of 500 Startups, a leading global venture capital seed fund and startup accelerator. I heard that line earlier this week at a marketing conference and it’s stuck with me.
Microsoft announced this morning that they will purchase LinkedIn for $26.2 Billion in cash, making it the largest acquisition in Microsoft’s history. To compare, the next largest acquisitions by Microsoft were Skype ($8.5 billion in 2011), Nokia’s phone division ($7.6 billion in 2013), online advertising company Aquantive ($6 billion in 2007), and Minecraft maker Mojang ($2.5 billion in 2014). LinkedIn’s CEO Jeff Weiner will report to Microsoft’s CEO Satya Nadella. LinkedIn will keep its branding and become part of Microsoft’s productivity and business process division.
Why does this acquisition make sense for both companies?
In the fall of 2012 I quit my job to become an entrepreneur. My first business was a blog about marriage and parenting that I ran with my wife. In terms of impact, it was a success (it is still being read by 100,000 people per year). In terms of being a profitable business, it was a failure. My second business was a marketing company. Thankfully, we’re in our third year of business and continue to be growing. Life as an entrepreneur has its ups and downs. It’s not for everyone. But more and more people are considering this route. A recent Forbes article estimates that by 2020, 50% of the workforce will be self-employed. For anyone that is considering becoming an entrepreneur, I hope this list of pros and cons will be helpful in your decision making process.
Last weekend I attended the funeral of the father of my good friend. The church was packed with hundreds and hundreds of people. It may sound odd, but I find attending funerals to be very meaningful. This was a difficult time for my friend, as he was very close to his father. I felt that it was important to be at the funeral to support my friend. But from a selfish point of view, attending the funeral gave me a chance to reflect on death. Thinking about death has helped me to improve my business and my life. Here’s why.
Almost every small business owner and freelancer I talk to wants to grow their business. Growth doesn’t always mean more money. Growth could mean more profits. Growth could mean less work while keeping your revenues stable. Growth could mean more ideal customers and less non-ideal customers. That’s why I sometimes describe what we do at Coracle Marketing as helping small business owners “grow the way they want.” Every person has a different vision of how they want to grow their business. But whatever your definition of growth is, there are three main ways to achieve this.
Today is my wife’s birthday and I wanted to write a blog post to celebrate her. 3 years ago I wanted to start a marketing business. I talked with my wife about the idea, but she was hesitant at first. But she could see that it was something I really wanted to do, so after reflection and prayer, she started Coracle Marketing with me. This business would never have succeeded without her support. I’m so grateful for her.
A new friend who works closely with Canadian charities recently told me about the Google Ads Grant. This is a grant where Google gives charities $10,000 of Google Ads to use. “Any charity?” I asked her. “Yes, I haven’t heard of any charities being turned down yet,” she told me. I quickly wrote myself a reminder to look this up, because I know of many charities that could benefit from this.