tech entrepreneur

How to Become a Tech Entrepreneur, Even If You Don’t Know Anything

May 25, 2018

With nearly $50 billion in investment capital being devoted to startups every year, there’s money out there for every kind of wild idea. If you love the tech industry, you might be interested in becoming a tech entrepreneur. Fortunately for investors without a computer science degree, don’t even have to know how to code to get involved.

If you’re excited to get involved with the tech world, follow these 4 tips to get started with your new project.

1. Find Your Niche

Finding your niche is essential to knowing what kind of project you want to put your time into. While you might be told about a million dollar idea, if you aren’t passionate about it, every day will be a slog.

You’re better off sinking your time into something that might be less lucrative but will feel more rewarding.

If you care about health and wellness, work on something related to that industry. While you could make more money on a tech-savvy solution to cryptocurrency trading, if that’s not exciting to you, it’sn not worth your time.

2. Think About Your Investment Potential

Whether you’re talking about time or money, you need to be realistic about what kinds of resources you can commit to this new project. Being a tech entrepreneur isn’t all glamorously rewarding. Much of it will entail serious focus, long nights planning and rewriting proposals, with the endless drafting of emails and presentations.

If you end up neglecting your family or other work commitments, it’s not worth the investment. If you end up having to refinance your home to keep the company afloat, you should seek out other ways to get in the tech world.

3. Look For Mentors

No one should navigate the tech world alone. You don’t need to waste time trying to reinvent the wheel or repeat someone else’s mistakes. A mentor can help to guide you through the minefield of being an entrepreneur and help you get a leg up.

Mentors should be people who you respect and look up to. They should be people who can give you harsh criticism that you respect and will take honestly. They should also be able to speak honestly without being hurtful or obstructing your desire to create.

4. Seek Out Talent

Once you’re sure of the kind of project you’re looking to get involved in, you need to figure out how to find talent. Finding talented people is essential to building a great product.

You don’t need to know what good code looks like but you need to know what it’s like to speak with a good coder.

A Savvy Tech Entrepreneur Needs Balance

Even the best tech entrepreneur knows when to invest their time and when to pull back. You need to give the people you work with time to make mistakes and also the room to experiment. Every great project goes through a process of trial and error.

If you’re working on building your new entrepreneurial marketing plan, check out our guide to make sure yours is a hit.

recruitment strategies

Top 5 Successful Recruitment Strategies to Expand Your Business

May 22, 2018

When it comes time to expand your business, it can be very exciting. However, it can also be easy to get wrong. It’s important that you’re only bringing the very best people into your company. They need to be able to fit into your overall vision and long-term plan.

While there are many ways to recruit new candidates for your company, not all of them are effective. It takes some persistence and a willingness to try new strategies to ensure you’re getting the best person for the job every time.

Below we’ll look at the top 5 recruitment strategies that every entrepreneur needs to know about to expand their business.

1. Recruiting Agencies

Recruiting agencies can be a great option for filling new positions and come with a lot of benefits over other options. Agencies can take a lot of weight off of your shoulders and are a great choice if you don’t have the time or resources to look for new talent on your own.

Agencies also have access to a big pool of potential job seekers. Whether you’re looking for a great accountant or a social media specialist, chances a recruiting agency will be able to help you find what you’re looking for.

Another advantage is that agencies can also help fill positions very quickly, and will often have people immediately available for an interview.

2. Online Job Boards

As long as you make sure to choose the most effective online job boards and websites, they can be a great way to find job seekers and fill just about any type of position.

Using job boards can be both simple and cost-effective. The best job boards are easy to navigate and get plenty of traffic. There is also usually a very easy and simple application process that will allow you to screen the best people with as little effort as possible on your part.

While there are both free and paid job boards, sometimes it can be worth it to pay a small fee to post on the best boards and find the most relevant candidates.

3. Hiring Events

Attending or creating a job event can take a bit more effort than simply posting to an online job board. However, they’re often well worth it for entrepreneurs and tech startups who really want to find the best people.

Going to hiring events can be one of the best recruiting techniques because you’ll be able to meet with potential candidates face-to-face. You’ll immediately get an idea of their background, their experience, and their overall personality and be able to discuss what your company can offer them.

When attending hiring events, you’ll also usually get access to some pretty high-quality candidates, many that will have been screened beforehand.

4. Campus Recruitment

Hiring college graduates straight off of a college campus can also be a good recruiting strategy. Many companies prioritize this strategy, and for good reason.

Campus recruiting can be a great option because you’ll have access to a nice selection of candidates who are highly educated. They’ll also usually be more than eager for a new opportunity.

Recruiting from college graduates can also save your company time and energy. You’ll be going straight to campus and will have access to many potential employes all in one location.

5. Employee Referrals

An employee referral program can also be one of the best creative recruiting strategies and is a good option for finding new candidates. You’ll be relying on the word of your current employees to find the best ones, so they’ll often be very high-quality and these candidates often work out very well.

Because you’ll be trusting your the opinion and recommendations of your employees, it can also help to create a greater sense of loyalty to your company. Referral recruiting can also be cost-effective and is an easy way to get new people for your team without much legwork on your part.

Making the Most of These Recruitment Strategies

By taking the time to consider a few alternative recruitment strategies and techniques, you’ll have a good chance of creating a great team of people who can help you achieve your overall entrepreneurial vision.

However, it’s still important to vet your candidates well, no matter where you find them, to ensure you always make the right hiring decision.

Have questions or comments? Ready to get in touch? Contact me today to learn more about what I can do for you and your business.

International Speakers

5 Reasons Why International Speakers Inspire and Motivate Your Team

May 18, 2018

A recent study released by Gallup found that 51% of Americans are disengaged and unhappy at work.

That figure represents a massive problem for companies. After all, disengagement in the workplace is perhaps the number one detriment to productivity. It also means that your employees are likely doing nothing to try and improve processes which allows for your company to scale.

Bottom line, disengagement and distaste in a workforce mean people just going through the motions. And your workforce just going through the motions means your company is falling behind.

How then, can employers reinvigorate their staff?

One of the key methods people are turning to is hiring a motivational international speaker. International speakers are world renowned for giving speeches that inspire and get listeners back on track to being their best.

Below are 5 reasons why your company should consider investing in one.

1) Boost Fun and Energy

If your team seems like they’re stuck in a rut, a motivational international speaker may be able to help them out of it. Motivational speakers can help your employees have more faith in their abilities. They can help them visualize the amount of success they can have if they invest themselves every day in the workplace.

A motivational speaker will instill confidence in your workforce in a way that brings fun back into the office.

2) Alter Perceptions

When employees hear the same mission statement from their managers day in and day out, they often become numb to the message. A motivational speaker can flip those messages on their head and make consuming them feel exciting again.

When coming at them from a different angle, messages that felt monotonous will feel like opportunities.

3) Bring in New Ideas

A company is only as good as the ideas flowing through it. Motivational speakers can offer a perspective from other places they’ve worked within similar business niches.

They can ask questions of employees, challenge workflows, and help your team do critical, breakthrough inducing thinking.

4) Solidify Your Company’s Vision

When you or a manager is directing a group on a daily basis, it can be hard for employees to buy into “the vision” after a while. This goes back to that numbing mentioned earlier.

When a vivacious, eloquent new person comes in and repeats your messages, this leads to validity. Not only are people going to be engaged and listen to the motivational speaker you bring in but when s/he validates the direction your group is headed in, employees will buy into your company vision like never before.

5) Show You Care

Many workplaces suffer from not investing enough in their employees. This approach is sometimes due to having poor long-term vision. It can also be a byproduct of trying to cut costs.

Whatever the reason, not showing your employees that you’re invested in them will cost your business in the long run.

Getting a motivational guest speaker at an event for your business will show employees that your company has a culture that cares. It shows that you not only want them to succeed at what they’re doing today but are invested in their future dreams and professional development.

That investment will go a long way for your business.

Wrapping up the Benefits of Hiring a Motivational International Speaker

Hiring a renowned international speaker that specializes in motivating employees can bring a lot of benefits to your organization. Chiefly, it can reinvigorate your staff and help them buy back into your company’s vision.

That buy-in means a higher likelihood of getting the most out of your workforce on a daily basis.

For more information on how to get the most out of your employees and tools to solve other business problems, read more on the Rafferty Pendery blog.

branding tools

Top 3 Branding Tools Every Entrepreneur Needs to Use

May 15, 2018

Having a great brand is essential to the survival of your company. A brand gives your company an identity that will carry your reputation as a business.

Creating a brand can be difficult, especially if you’re not the creative type. But fear not because there are some amazing services you can utilize that will make the process much easier for you.

With the right tools, you can turn your brand into an industry icon.

In this blog, I’ll discuss the best branding tools you can leverage to give your company the ultimate brand.

Best Branding Tools

Having a strong brand means that your company will be easily recognizable and have a reputation attached to the brand.

Here are the top three best branding tools that every entrepreneur should be using to have the best brand identity for their company.

1. Canva

This service is fantastic for people who want to seem like they know how to create some incredible graphic designs, but actually, have no prior experience in graphics.

Canva basically does everything for you. If you want to create a twitter header that shows off your company’s brand, Canva can do it.

This service provides a ton of templates, so you just need to put in the information and Canva will do all the graphic design work.

Once you’ve found a template that best represents your brand, you can use this for all your social media platforms and on your website.

Best of all, it’s completely free, so you don’t have to worry about spending any extra cash on developing your brand when using this service.

2. Brandmark

The most recognizable part of your brand is going to be your logo. You need a logo that stands out and is unique, so when people see it; they know they are seeing your company.

Brandmark will help you design a logo, and will also create a website that’s built around the design of your logo, so it all looks uniform and organized.

It works by using a few keywords (provided by you) and will design logos based on those keywords. It will keep producing different logos until you find the perfect one for your company.

3. Business Blog

Having a great logo and attractive website is a fantastic way to have a visually appealing brand.

But creating a strong brand isn’t just about having a recognizable logo or style. You need to have a reputation attached to the style for it to mean anything to customers.

One way to do this is to create a business blog on your website. This helps to provide expert information on services and products related to your business.

This will not only give your website more credibility but will also attract new customers to your page. Plus, you can establish yourself as an authoritative source of information.

For More Information

If you are starting a new business and in the process of developing your brand, it’s important to utilize different branding tools.

If you want to create the best brand for your business, contact me today for more information on how to brand your business. You can consult me about social media, online PR, and marketing, organization, and expansion strategies.

Public Speaking Quirks

9 Public Speaking Quirks You Should Avoid at Speaking Engagements

May 11, 2018

Bad public speaking habits can absolutely derail even the most professional speaker. Make sure you’re in the clear by knowing what to avoid.

Here are nine of the biggest public speaking quirks you’ll want to steer clear of during your next presentation.

1. Reading Directly From Your Slides

You were probably able to get away with this during your school days, but you’re a professional now. There’s no reason why you should read directly from your slides.

Not only does it waste your audience’s time, but it makes you come across as if you didn’t bother to prepare.

2. Failing to Properly Message Your Speech

Even if you’ve never delivered a public speech in your life, you probably understand the importance of targeting a speech to one’s audience.

Every speech has an audience, no matter how casual or formal. Establishing your audience helps you establish your tone during the writing process.

3. Over Gesticulating

Pay close attention if you’re someone who tends to speak with their hands. Overly gesticulating is problematic, as it distracts the audience from your speech.

Hand signals in and of themselves aren’t bad, but make sure you don’t let your hands do all the talking.

4. Fidgeting

It’s common to feel nervous before giving a speech, even if you’re only addressing a small number of people.

Nervous quirks like hand-wringing, foot tapping, and pen clicking lessen the impact of your message.

Instead of your great ideas, all the audience will be able to focus on is how nervous you seem.

5. Talking Down to Your Audience

Nobody likes a know-it-all. Ineffective public speaking occurs because a speaker doesn’t understand how to properly address his or her audience.

It’s important that you come across as professional by including data-driven facts but don’t appear pompous. Smile, make eye contact and keep a friendly demeanor.

6. Appearing Too Casual

Certain entrepreneurs, such as Steve Jobs, could get away with wearing something simple like a black turtleneck sweater and jeans.

You’re not quite at that level yet.

It’s important to dress the part of a professional, so skip the casual wear in favor of a nice suit jacket or blazer.

7. Turning Your Back to Your Audience

Turning your back on your audience is just as unforgivable as reading from your slides. Even if you can recite your presentation word for word, turning your back makes you harder to hear.

If this is one of the bad public speaking habits you’re guilty of, keep a copy of your presentation near you at the front of the stage or table.

8. Fluctuating Your Volume and Pacing

A monotone speaker is a surefire way to put your audience to sleep. But don’t get so caught up in your own nervous quirks that you inadvertently raise and lower the volume of your voice every other word.

Try and keep a natural, consistent pace. Think of your speech not as a monologue, but as a conversation.

9. Creating a Lackluster Ending

As you begin to wrap up your speech, make sure you close on a big point. A lackluster ending can be awkward, as the audience may not realize you’ve finished.

Avoid These Public Speaking Quirks to Improve Your Next Speech

What do you think? Did you notice any public speaking quirks on our list that you’re guilty of?

If so, it’s not the end of the world. Keep at it and you’re sure to be a better public speaker in no time.

Looking for more tips on public speaking? I’ve given speeches around the globe and would be happy to talk with you. Get in touch with me today and I’ll return your message as soon as I can.

entrepreneurial marketing

How to Dominate Your Entrepreneurial Marketing Plan

May 8, 2018

It’s never been easier to launch a business.

The amount of resources available to entrepreneurs is unparalleled. The ability to reach your audience is literally at your finger tips, thanks to the democratizing effects of social media.

It’s also never been easier to be lost in a crowd. Despite the quality of your work, the professionalism of your services, that same social network that offers you opportunity can easily overwhelm your voice, casting you into the depths.

What’s needed then, to stay afloat, is the right approach: a plan of action that parts the waves.

What you need is an entrepreneurial marketing plan.

Keep reading to learn the core concepts your business needs to follow to succeed.

Be Flexible

There was a time where you could schedule out a full-year plan. Quarterly assessments would allow for adjustments, but you were essentially on a long-term plan.

Our world moves faster than that.

Any strategies you implement need to be assessed regularly and adjusted as necessary. You can’t afford to commit to a long-term plan that isn’t working. The market is too competitive.

How do you know if an approach works? Try it. Results can be monitored in real-time, offering the data you need to evaluate your approach.

Not everything you try will work, and that’s okay. Failing is how we learn what succeeds. The difference is being able to adjust.

It’s All About the Customer Experience

The best product in the world can fail if an inferior product offers a better experience.

Humankind is funny. We’ll often choose what’s easy at the sacrifice of what’s better. Fast food is often less nutritious than a home cooked meal, but a billion burgers sold is its own argument.

That’s not to say that you should produce anything other than your best. Instead, it’s to remind you that it’s the experience of the customer that will determine what succeeds and what doesn’t.

Know Your Strengths

There are a several platforms to have a presence on, but that doesn’t mean you should be on all of them.

Choose the platforms that a) you’re comfortable with, and b) make sense for your brand.

It’s better to dominate your entrepreneurial marketing on just a few platforms, than to be a less cohesive presence on multiple platforms.

Customers can pick up on insincerity. If you come across as trying too hard, you’ll turn off both existing and potential customers.

That being said, if there’s an area you know where your market is, but you lack the necessary know-how or skills, hire someone to do it for you.

Don’t waste your time on what you’re not good at. Your time is too valuable. Assess whether it’s worth the effort, and, if it is, get someone with the right strengths to execute it for you.

A Last Word On Entrepreneurial Marketing

There are a million fine details when it comes to marketing your business. Thousands and thousands of words have been spilled recommending specific approaches and angles to take.

However, simply adopting the above concepts and practicing them regularly will allow you to dominate your entrepreneurial marketing strategy, allowing your business to succeed.

For more information regarding entrepreneurship, check out the rest of the blog.

seo solutions

5 Smart SEO Solutions to Help Your Startup Gain Online Traction

May 1, 2018

If you’re struggling to get the attention that your business deserves, it may be time to rethink your SEO strategy. After all, a business’ SEO plans can make or break its entire marketing plan.

Out of fresh ideas? Here are five SEO solutions to help improve your brand’s web presence.

1. Prioritize Local SEO Solutions

Now, it’s understandable that the above header may not seem relevant to your interests, particularly if you have grand visions of making your company a global phenomenon.

And that’s important! Hold onto those dreams, they’re valuable. But in the meantime, start by conquering your local search results.

Local SEO places an emphasis on businesses in a customer’s immediate area. Having your startup listed on Google is a fantastic way to get attention from potential clients.

If you haven’t done so already, make sure your listing includes all relevant info such as your contact information and the location of your business.

2. Rethink Your Website

It’s crucial that a website does more than just look nice. It needs to be fast and functional.

When creating or retooling your site, place an emphasis on speed and usability. Think about how your customer may use the site and create from their point of view.

Don’t forget, you only have a few seconds to make a good first impression. After a few seconds of waiting, visitors are likely to hit the ‘back’ button and move onto the competition’s site. Every second counts.

Optimizing images, enabling caching, and tinkering with your database are all relatively simple ways to boost site speed.

3. Come up With a Content Plan

The bulk of your SEO solutions need to involve content creation. Studies show that businesses who create blog posts or videos are often more successful than their counterparts who don’t.

Come up with a reasonable content strategy. Create on a regular basis and make sure that whatever you create adds value to the visitor’s life.

4. Choose Stronger Keywords

Aside from offering a reader some new form of information or resource, content creation can benefit the creator, too.

Each piece of content you publish needs to include strong, well-researched keywords. Tools like Google’s AdWords Keyword Planner could be a good investment for your brand.

5. Leverage Your Social Media Presence

Your web presence needs to extend beyond your website and into social media. Last year, it was reported that 81% of all U.S. adults had at least one social media profile.

If you’re not on social media, that’s 81% of the population you could be missing out on.

Crosspost content from your website and encourage feedback from users. Use this feedback to create a discussion to further engage with your fans and followers.

And don’t forget to have some fun. Your social media presence should remain professional, but that doesn’t mean you can’t let your brand’s personality shine.

In fact, that’s encouraged! Let people see the team behind the brand, as it makes your company seem more approachable and friendly.

A Stronger SEO Strategy Means a Stronger Brand

Whether this is your first time creating an SEO strategy or you just need to get back on track, this list of SEO solutions should help you dominate the front page of Google.

If you’re looking for more advice or want some professional assistance, get in contact with me.

With years of experience helping entrepreneurs just like you, together we can make your startup a success.