Friday, February 17, 2012

Monetizing Your Expertise: Service-based Start-ups

Moderated by Kandarp Shah, WG '12

Eden Abrahams - Founder, Clear Path Executive Coaching
Doesn't use social media - uses referrals for advertising.

Vanessa Bailey - Founder, Cressida Partners
Only official advertisement she has done was send out a formal launch card at the start.
It's more about your peak

Mona Bijoor - CEO and Founder, Joor
It's about thinking about a gap in the market and then filling it in.

Rick Desal - Co-founder, Dashfire

Nick Shah - Co-founder and CEO, Ampush Media
"Fake it until you make it." - In terms of expertise at the beginning. Sounds about right...


What role does social media play? It can really be influential in exponentiating your positive customer reviews.
My start up is a social media consultancy for environmental organizations so i'm curious as to what role you think social media plays in finding more clients and growing your business.
Mona: Very important! It's important to use the different networks for their different perks. Ex. Twitter for quick conversations to show liveliness, Facebook to highlight members, Tumblr to highlight more in depth stories - more information for members. Many people think they're all the same.
Nick: LinkedIn is extremely important.
Rick: Twitter is a great customer service tool. Bonobos - if you buy a pair of pants and take a picture and share it on Twitter you get 20% off.

You're probably going to start high and you can always lower it. Yeah, good to know, since i just agreed to help a client for free...

What are effective bootstrapping strategies for driving traffic and brand recognition.
-Use you expertise to make some extra money.
-Build an advisory network - ask for mentorship before asking for money
-Use social media :) Build a social brand

What are the hardest things:
-Understanding how to grow and remain efficient and divide your time well.
-Ventures are relatively isolating - it's important to have a sounding board to remember that the hard times are normal.
-Your gut is a really need to work with people that you work well with.

"You can achieve anything in life as long as you don't care who gets the credit for it." That's Rick Desal's favorite quote, and maybe now mine too! 

Fantastic Panel! 

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