Learn How To Build A Strong Business With Gene Marks
A past columnist for both The New York Times and The Washington Post, Gene Marks now contributes to The Hill, The Philadelphia Inquirer, Forbes, Inc. Magazine, Entrepreneur Magazine and The Guardian.
He has authored 6 books on business management, specifically geared towards small and medium-sized companies.
In an exclusive interview, he discusses his latest book, and how small businesses can better their marketing and community building skills to build a strong business.
1. Tell us about your last book ‘The Manufacturer’s Book Of Lists’. What inspired you to write it?
My book, ‘The Manufacturer’s Book Of Lists’ is made up of hundreds of lists from manufacturing experts that answer some of the most commonly asked questions by manufacturers.
I wrote it because, so a lot of my company’s manufacturing clients were facing the issues mentioned in the book on a daily basis.
There was clearly a gap and I tried to fill that up through the book. It is a user-friendly source that answers these questions and helps companies build a strong business.
2. We’re living in a pretty hectic world and sometimes we find ourselves ‘skimming’ content. How do you keep people engaged in a world that just won’t stop?
People have their preferences of how they choose to consume content. Some like newspapers, others like to read online, some prefer to watch TV, while others choose to watch the same stuff on their computers.
Some people are vegetarians, others like meat.
The world is full of choices and business owners have to accept that fact and deliver. To build a strong business, a smart entrepreneur or marketing expert will provide as many options as possible to their customers.
The future for content marketing is providing both long-form and short-form articles that will appeal to a wide and diverse set of audiences.
People like and expect to have choices and if you don’t deliver on that then you’ll be one at loss.
3. Paid tools aside, what are some of the organic ways that marketers can use to promote their product/business online?
For better or worse, almost everything online is driven by Google.
The search engine favors websites that are dynamic and consistently share new and updated content—content that informs, educates, and answers questions.
Lately, Google has been favoring video content along with the written word.
It is geared towards specific keywords that it thinks will help their visitors get the answers they need as quickly as possible.
Google also owns YouTube so you can only imagine how powerful your written message can be if it’s supported by a video.
If you want to build a strong brand, my advice is to focus on Google. And if needed, hire an SEO consultant to help you with the nitty-gritty.
4. What are some of your favorite online communities to engage in?
I usually participate in sales, marketing, and small business communities on LinkedIn.
But if you’re working to build a strong business then, I strongly recommend that clients and businesses get active with the communities both online and offline.
Search for the ones that are most used in your industry. Is there a social channel that is more actively used than the other, any LinkedIn or Reddit groups that you can join?
Look for places where people are asking questions and seeking answers and be active there.
5. What piece of advice would you give to young entrepreneurs who are just getting started with their business?
My most important advice would be – Make sure you have capital.
Capital comes in two forms: money and time. Make sure you’ve got enough money in the bank to pay your bills for at least two years.
And let the important people in your life know and accept that you may be spending the 24 hours working on your idea and building your business.
If you don’t have enough capital, you’re setting yourself up for failure.
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