10 Innovative Passive Income Ideas for 2024

Income

In an era where financial freedom and flexibility are prized, the concept of passive income has become a beacon for those seeking to bolster their earnings and secure their financial future. While traditional employment remains essential, the allure of generating income passively has captivated the attention of many looking to diversify their revenue streams. In 2024, the landscape for passive income has evolved, presenting a plethora of innovative opportunities. Here are ten lucrative ideas to consider for generating passive income and accelerating wealth-building this year:

1. Cryptocurrency Staking:

With the evolution of blockchain technology, cryptocurrency staking has emerged as a viable avenue for passive income. By holding digital assets in a wallet, individuals can validate transactions and earn rewards in the form of additional tokens.

2. NFT Royalties:

Non-Fungible Tokens (NFTs) have surged in popularity, and creators can earn ongoing royalties whenever their digital art, music, or other content is resold in the NFT marketplace.

3. Real Estate Crowdfunding:

Participating in real estate crowdfunding platforms allows investors to pool funds with others to invest in properties. Passive income is generated through rental income and potential property appreciation.

4. Peer-to-Peer Lending:

Platforms facilitating peer-to-peer lending enable individuals to lend money to others in exchange for interest payments, providing a steady passive income stream.

5. Dividend-Paying Stocks:

Investing in dividend-paying stocks from reputable companies offers the potential for regular dividend payments, allowing investors to benefit from both stock value appreciation and recurring income.

6. Automated Dropshipping:

Leveraging e-commerce platforms and automation tools to run a dropshipping business can yield passive income by selling products without the need for inventory management.

7. Create an Online Course:

Sharing expertise through an online course on platforms like Udemy or Teachable can result in ongoing passive income as learners enroll and access the course content.

8. Affiliate Marketing:

Building a niche website or social media presence to promote products or services as an affiliate can generate commissions on sales made through personalized affiliate links.

9. High-Yield Savings Accounts and CDs:

Although not as high-risk, high-yield savings accounts and certificates of deposit (CDs) provide a steady, albeit smaller, passive income through interest accumulation.

10. Content Monetization:

Whether it’s through a YouTube channel, podcast, or blog, monetizing content via ads, sponsorships, or subscriptions can lead to a consistent stream of passive income as the audience grows.

While the allure of passive income is enticing, it’s essential to approach these avenues with realistic expectations and due diligence. Diversification, research, and continuous learning are crucial components in any passive income strategy. Moreover, some ventures may require initial active effort before transitioning into a more passive income-generating stream.

In conclusion, the landscape for passive income opportunities in 2024 is diverse and promising. Exploring these innovative avenues can provide individuals with the means to augment their earnings, build wealth, and attain greater financial stability. By embracing the evolving financial landscape and adopting a proactive approach to generating passive income, individuals can pave the way for a more secure and prosperous future.

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AI-Powered Personal Branding: Elevate Your Presence

Personal

In today’s hyper-connected world, personal branding is more than just a buzzword; it’s a powerful tool that can significantly impact your professional success. Whether you’re an entrepreneur, freelancer, or climbing the corporate ladder, establishing a strong personal brand is key to standing out in a crowded marketplace. And now, with the rise of artificial intelligence (AI), there are incredible opportunities to take your personal brand to new heights.

The Power of Personal Branding

Your personal brand is the unique combination of skills, expertise, values, and personality that sets you apart from others in your field. It’s how people perceive you and what makes you memorable. Building a solid personal brand establishes credibility, opens doors to new opportunities, and fosters trust among your audience.

Unleashing the Potential of AI in Personal Branding

Artificial intelligence has revolutionized various industries, and personal branding is no exception. Here’s how AI can elevate your brand:

1. Content Creation and Curation

AI-powered tools like language models can assist in crafting compelling content. From generating engaging social media posts to drafting blog articles, AI streamlines the content creation process, helping you maintain consistency and relevance across platforms.

2. Data-Driven Insights

AI analytics provide valuable insights into audience behavior, enabling you to tailor your brand strategy. These insights can reveal which content resonates most with your audience, when to post for optimal engagement, and even what tone or style performs best.

3. Personalized Branding

AI enables personalization at scale. Chatbots, for instance, can engage with your audience in real time, providing personalized experiences and solutions, thus enhancing your brand’s image as responsive and customer-centric.

4. Visual Branding and Design

From logo creation to designing marketing materials, AI-powered graphic design tools offer templates, suggestions, and automated design processes that align with your brand identity.

5. Enhanced Networking and Outreach

AI-driven algorithms can assist in identifying and connecting with relevant contacts within your industry. These tools can sift through vast amounts of data to suggest potential collaborators, mentors, or clients, expanding your network strategically.

Crafting Your AI-Infused Personal Brand Strategy

While AI presents incredible opportunities, it’s crucial to integrate it thoughtfully into your personal branding strategy:

1. Define Your Brand Identity

Clearly outline your brand’s values, goals, and target audience before leveraging AI tools. Understanding your brand’s essence will guide AI implementation effectively.

2. Choose the Right Tools

Select AI tools aligned with your brand’s needs. Whether it’s content creation, social media management, or data analytics, explore and experiment with different AI solutions to find what works best for you.

3. Human Touch Matters

While AI streamlines processes, maintaining authenticity is paramount. Personalize interactions, engage genuinely with your audience, and ensure your brand voice remains authentic.

4. Continual Evaluation and Adaptation

Regularly assess the impact of AI on your brand strategy. Analyze performance metrics and adjust your approach accordingly to ensure your brand evolves with the changing landscape.

Final Thoughts

AI is a powerful ally in crafting and enhancing your personal brand. Embrace its capabilities to streamline processes, gain insights, and foster meaningful connections. However, remember that the heart of your brand lies in authenticity and genuine engagement. Integrating AI thoughtfully and strategically can elevate your brand while maintaining the essence that makes it uniquely yours.

By harnessing the potential of AI in personal branding, you’re not just staying ahead; you’re defining the future of your brand in a dynamic and competitive digital world.

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From Products to Solutions: Meeting Customer and Investor Needs

Products

In today’s fast-paced and dynamic business environment, the focus is shifting away from merely offering products to customers and investors. It’s no longer enough to create a fantastic widget or a cutting-edge gadget and expect the world to beat a path to your door. What customers and investors truly desire are solutions to their problems and challenges. This shift in perspective is crucial for businesses that want to thrive in the modern marketplace. In this article, we will delve into the idea that customers and investors don’t want products; they want solutions.

Understanding the Problem:

The first step in providing a solution is understanding the problem. This holds true for both customers and investors. Customers have specific needs, pain points, and challenges that they are looking to address. Investors, on the other hand, are seeking opportunities that provide solutions to broader market problems. To capture their attention, it’s essential for businesses to identify the problems their products or services solve.

Customer-Centric Approach:

Customers are drawn to companies that put their needs and experiences at the forefront. When businesses adopt a customer-centric approach, they are better equipped to offer solutions that cater to real-world problems. Instead of merely selling products, they create experiences that add value to the customer’s life. For example, the smartphone industry shifted from selling devices to providing solutions for communication, productivity, and entertainment.

The Role of Innovation:

Innovation is a driving force behind solutions that cater to both customers and investors. To create a product that truly addresses a problem, businesses must continuously innovate. A static product may solve a problem today, but it might become obsolete as new challenges emerge. Innovations in products, services, and processes ensure that a business remains a relevant problem solver in the long run.

Investors Seek Market Potential:

Investors are primarily interested in the market potential of a business. They invest in companies that have the capacity to provide solutions to a large number of customers. Businesses that can demonstrate how their products or services address significant market gaps or problems are more likely to attract investor interest. This highlights the importance of understanding market dynamics and positioning your offering as a solution.

Building Trust and Loyalty:

Customers and investors are more likely to engage with businesses they trust. When a business consistently provides solutions that meet or exceed expectations, it builds trust and loyalty. This trust extends to investors, who are more likely to invest in a company that has a proven track record of solving problems and delivering value to customers.

Adapting to Changing Needs:

Customer needs and market dynamics are constantly evolving. Businesses that focus on providing solutions, rather than products, are more adaptable to changing circumstances. They can pivot and adjust their offerings to continue addressing current challenges. In contrast, businesses that are product-centric may find it challenging to stay relevant in a shifting landscape.

Conclusion:

In the world of business, the paradigm is shifting from selling products to providing solutions. Customers and investors alike are looking for businesses that can address real-world problems, adapt to changing needs, and create value in their lives. By understanding the problems, adopting a customer-centric approach, embracing innovation, and building trust and loyalty, businesses can position themselves as solution providers rather than mere product sellers. This shift in perspective is crucial for long-term success in the ever-evolving marketplace. So, remember, customers and investors don’t want products. They want solutions.

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Developing Strategic Partnerships and Collaborations

Collaborations

In today’s rapidly evolving business landscape, the journey towards success is seldom a solitary one. With the advent of globalization, technological advancements, and intricate market dynamics, developing strategic partnerships and collaborations has emerged as a potent strategy for enterprises to thrive and innovate. This article delves into the art of cultivating fruitful alliances that amplify growth, foster innovation, and create a lasting impact on industries.

The Dynamics of Strategic Partnerships

Strategic partnerships are more than just contractual agreements; they are symbiotic relationships built on shared values, goals, and visions. Unlike traditional vendor-client relationships, strategic partnerships entail a deep-rooted commitment to achieving mutual success. Such alliances often involve pooling resources, expertise, and networks, resulting in a whole that is greater than the sum of its parts.

Why Collaborate?

Access to Resources: In an era where innovation is fueled by access to specialized resources, partnerships offer a gateway to expertise, technologies, and infrastructure that might be otherwise out of reach. This can significantly expedite product development and market entry.

Risk Mitigation: Collaboration spreads risk across multiple parties. In an environment of uncertainty, partners can share the burden of financial, operational, and market risks, creating a safety net for each other.

Innovation Acceleration: Combining diverse skill sets and perspectives often leads to breakthrough ideas. Collaborators can draw from their unique experiences to conceive innovations that might not have been possible in isolation.

Extended Market Reach: Strategic partnerships can open doors to new markets and customer segments. This expansion can be particularly advantageous for businesses seeking to diversify their consumer base.

Nurturing Successful Partnerships

Shared Vision and Values: Aligning on core values and a common mission is fundamental. A partnership built on a strong foundation is better equipped to weather challenges and remain focused on overarching goals.

Clear Communication: Effective communication is the glue that holds partnerships together. Regular and transparent exchange of information fosters trust and prevents misunderstandings.

Mutual Benefit: A successful partnership should be a win-win scenario. Both parties should derive value from the collaboration, whether it’s through resource sharing, revenue growth, or innovation.

Defined Roles and Responsibilities: Ambiguity about roles can lead to friction. Clearly defining each party’s responsibilities avoids confusion and streamlines decision-making processes.

Flexibility and Adaptability: Markets are dynamic, and partnerships must be agile enough to adapt to changing circumstances. Flexibility allows partners to navigate unforeseen challenges and capitalize on emerging opportunities.

Real-Life Examples

Apple and Nike: The Apple Watch-Nike+ partnership seamlessly combined technology and fitness, leveraging Apple’s cutting-edge devices with Nike’s athletic expertise to create a unique product and ecosystem.

NASA and SpaceX: The public-private partnership between NASA and SpaceX revolutionized space travel. The collaboration enabled the development of the Crew Dragon spacecraft, marking a new era of commercial spaceflight.

In a world that is increasingly interconnected and complex, the power of strategic partnerships and collaborations cannot be underestimated. From fostering innovation to sharing risks and resources, these alliances have the potential to reshape industries and drive exponential growth. By understanding the dynamics, nurturing relationships, and embracing a mindset of mutual benefit, businesses can harness the true potential of synergy and create a legacy of success that transcends individual capabilities.

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Importance of Location for Your Small Business

Location

If you are thinking of starting a business that benefits from walk-in foot traffic, you have to pay attention to the location you choose. Whether it is a retail store, a motel, a restaurant or a spa, the right or wrong location of the business can decide its fate. Yes, some businesses reach the heights of their success at the oddest locations possible, but it is not very wise to keep exceptional cases in mind while starting a business. So, what role does a location play in the success of a business? Here are some important points for your understanding.

The Foot Traffic Matters

Now, the area you choose must have ample foot traffic for you to take advantage of. Of course, you are a business that benefits from the foot traffic, so you need a lot of it. For this purpose, you first have to look for commercial areas where people normally go for shopping. If there is no place available in the commercial area, you want to explore further to look for locations from where a lot of people pass. Think about your marketing as well. If you are going to use billboards, neon signs or vinyl for marketing purposes, you want them in places where people can see them. The more people there are at the location of your business the more they will notice your marketing signs.

There aren’t a lot of people at the location that you are considering for your business, you are already at a disadvantage. It shows that people don’t naturally walk in that direction when they are looking to do business. It is the same way on the internet. You bid for keywords that have the highest number of searches. You want to put your banner ads on websites that have a lot of traffic. In short, foot traffic matters.

The Buying Power of the Community

Before you choose the location, you must know the type of audience your business attracts. Are you a fine dining restaurant? Will you be selling low-cost meat burgers? You have to decide your location based on the type of business. If you are opening a fine dining restaurant, you want to open it at someplace where people have the buying power to afford expensive foods. It requires a lot of research for you to be able to find such locations, but the time you spend researching will always pay off in terms of a good return on investment.

Businesses in Proximity

A lot of businesses try to avoid having their competitors located close to them. But believe it or not, it is extremely beneficial for small businesses to be located near other big businesses. By doing this, your business benefits from the traffic of other businesses. It solves a lot of problems that can be detrimental to businesses at locations where there are no other businesses. The first benefit is that you already have foot traffic, so you can already move on to the next step of pulling those potential customers into your premises. Secondly, you don’t have to force people to walk away from their daily routes to come and do business with you.

If you already have a lot of similar businesses located around you, people already come there for that type of business. So, if you are opening a boutique in an area where there are many boutiques already, you can rest assured that people already come to this market for buying clothes.

The Expenses of Operation

This item has to be on your checklist of choosing the right location for your business, otherwise, you are going to regret your decision. Sometimes, you find a place that has high foot traffic volume and lots of other similar businesses in the vicinity, but the operating expenses are through the roof. The businesses that have already established might have adjusted according to those expenses, but things will not be the same for a starting business like yours. You want to keep your operating costs as low as possible. What if the area you are going to has private companies providing electricity?

What if the availability of clean water is a challenge at your desired location? What is the rent of the building if you are considering renting a place for the business? A starting business already has very thin profit margins. Add high operating costs to the equation and even those little profits will be gone.

The History of the Location

The location you have chosen has proven to be ominous for many businesses in the past, you have to dig deeper even if everything sounds right. When a lot of businesses have opened and closed at the same location, it is an indication of something wrong but not visible with a casual survey. You will have to be very careful in finalizing such a location. If nothing, it could be the owner of that building that might be an issue for its renters.

Some landlords are overly interested in their profits and do not care how much damage they are doing to a starting business with their demands.

Many small businesses need some favors and flexibilities from their landlords for them to be in a stable position. Some building owners will even lower your rent to allow you to establish first. If the landlord’s reputation is okay, check to see that the place is not a frequent picnic point for robbers.

Final Word

Many of the things mentioned above might sound basic or understood to you, but you will be surprised to know that many new businesses shut down because they fail to realize the importance of these same points. Believe it or not, you cannot take any of the points given above for granted. And while they might sound very understood and intuitive, lack of time and capital can often push you in a direction that you don’t want to go in. Stay tenacious to this checklist because a compromise at this point will give birth to several compromises in the months to come.

 

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4 Things Venture Capitalists Do Not Want to Hear From Entrepreneurs

Venture

Securing financial support from a venture capitalist is not an easy task. Most of the time, only those who are considered the “best of the best” get the venture capital that they need. But does that mean it’s almost impossible to get one? Actually, it’s not. However, if you are really keen on closing the deal with your potential investor, you should work hard to present your business perfectly.

There are many articles that sum-up the things that entrepreneurs should say when given a chance to pitch their startups to venture capitalists. This article is different. Instead of giving tips on what entrepreneurs should say, it would list four things that business owners should avoid saying when dealing with potential business partners:

1.      “We plan to sell the business as soon as possible.”

A lot of venture capitalists invest in businesses that have the potential of becoming large and meaningful. Unless they tell you that they want to make small money in a short time, don’t mention anything concerning a sellout in the next or two.

2.      “It will be the next Facebook.”

Nobody stops you from dreaming. But reality dictates that less than one percent of business startups across the country make it half as big as Facebook. But if you’re really sure that yours will be successful, then explain how you plan to do that – and hope that your potential investor would agree with you.

3.      “My family loves my idea.”

Of course, families love the idea of their members. Try getting the opinion of someone who is not related to you and is regarded as a top-notch individual in the industry that you’re working on.

4.      “No one is competing with us.”

This is a promising line, considering that it has the capability to lure in potential investors to put some money on your business. The problem, however, is whether or not they will believe you. Most probably, they would not. Every business has competition, and failing to recognize yours would surely turn-off venture capitalists. Instead, identify your competition and outline the things that would make your business better than them.

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Having Trouble Writing Business Plan Goals and Objectives?

Objectives

One of the important components of a business plan is clearly defining objectives. Stephen Harper in Starting Your Own Business (McGraw Hill) writes, “Objectives can be viewed as dreams with a deadline.” The point he is making is that objectives should be specific in terms of projected amounts and timeframe.

For example, you would not write an objective like this: The business will grow over the next 5 years. You would write it like this: Sales are expected to be $2 million in 5 years and the business will be one of the top 5 niche market leaders. The dreams you have for the business should look ahead and establish where you want the business to be positioned or how much growth is expected within a set period of time. The dreams should also be reasonable, based in facts and business reality, and achievable.

For example, if you plan on opening 5 franchise businesses within 10 years (1 every 5 years) the objective should be stated as such. However, you should also be able to support plans for opening these franchises in the competitive analysis section of the business plan. If the market is already close to being saturated, those 5 new franchises may be difficult to open. When objectives are focused and sensible, the business plan will become a living breathing document that supports your dream.

If you are having trouble setting objectives for the business plan, there are some questions you can ask yourself to develop focus. Ask yourself what your ultimate goal is 5 years from now. Picture yourself as an entrepreneur 5 years from today and imagine the level of business success you want to succeed. Ask yourself questions like how many sales people you hope to have working and how much market share you want to gain. Picture yourself as successful and put your definition of success in writing.

Objectives will become clear when you take the time to look into the future. Though a business plan is not a crystal ball, it is a driving force with strategies for achieving success. Set clear objectives first and the rest of the business plan will be a lot easier to develop.

 

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Convincing Investors Your Business Idea is Really Worth the Risk

business idea

How do you convince investors your business idea is worth the risk of investing money? You may have the most innovative and creative idea ever put forth, but that doesn’t mean anyone is going to invest in it. Even a good idea can flop if it’s not implemented correctly. Of course, the most well-known example in business history is the 1958 Edsel. The car had a poor name, a poor pricing strategy and was manufactured during a recession. It remains to be seen if the modern-day Chevy volt will be classified as the “new” Edsel for similar reasons.

Investors are willing to accept risk, but they will do everything in their power to ensure they understand how much risk is involved. Investors are not the same as business speculators in most cases because they want a value proposition that includes a very good probability of earning positive returns. There are many different factors investors will consider to determine risk, and you should assess them first.

Risk is a function of management competencies, available collateral, market acceptance of the business idea and time. To convince investors your business idea is worth the risk of funding, you will have to first prove that the people implementing the plan are fully competent and capable of running a business.  Investors will also want reliable collateral. You need to show that the product or services can be efficiently brought to a willing market. Finally, the investor will want to assurances that the payback agreement in terms of time will be met. Payback in terms of money is taken care of by the other factors of competency, market success and collateral.

You can convince investors to fund your projects by developing a sophisticated business plan that clearly and carefully shows the level of risk the investor is assuming. The good news is that the time spent developing a business plan in the first place reduces risk right away.

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The Building Blocks for Great Marketing Copy

Marketing

Marketers and copywriters craft the best marketing copy to guarantee more conversions and sales.

But how do you write the best copy that convinces even the most demanding consumers?

What is Marketing?

Marketing refers to creating the image a business wants to portray to their consumers and stakeholders. Marketing is all about representing your image and establishing your unique identity in the market.

Marketing content is not restricted to your products and services. A company can market its work culture to attract the best pool of talented employees. A business can also market its eco-friendly operations to show that they care for the environment we live in.

Common formats of marketing copy include:

  • Blogs
  • eBooks
  • Social media posts
  • Landing pages
  • Whitepapers
  • Video scripts
  • Infographics
  • Paid ad copy
  • CTA copy
  • Email
  • Case studies
  • Webinars

Now that you know what marketing copy is all about, here are the best ways to write an attention-grabbing marketing copy.

Focus on a Single Message

The best copy revolves around a single subject. While copywriters and marketing gurus are multi-taskers, they strongly recommend focusing on one message that is the crux of your campaign.

For instance, if you are writing a copy for a company that sells Bluetooth earphones along with other accessories, such as speakers, create unique content for each product. Whether you’re writing a blog post or creating a landing page, there should be separate information available for every product.

Brainstorm

There’s no copy without understanding the philosophy behind producing and selling a product. If you run a small business, here are a few factors to consider:

  • What are your strengths?
  • Why is your product different than other products in the market?
  • How do you aim to serve your consumers?
  • What are the channels or mediums that you want to use for your marketing campaigns?

Once you’ve identified the goals you want to accomplish with your copy, crafting the best marketing copy becomes easier. The best way to capture your audience is to address a current problem that needs to be dealt right away.

If you’re a web design and development company, base your marketing copy on statistics that reveal how much online traffic has shifted to mobile devices. This way you can pitch companies that are in need of responsible websites.

Keep it simple

No need to complicate things when all your consumers want to read is simple information. Owing to an exponentially decreasing attention span of today’s busy online visitors, the simplest copy gets the most views and shares. This is because an average user is unaware of the technical terms and jargon you might be tempted to use in our copy.

Keep it short and simple and avoid long-run sentences. Make sure you come up with adjective-rich copy that sums ups the best part of your products in just one word.

Use catchy headlines

Boring headlines and clichés are just a big turn-off.

What’s marketing without any creativity? Interesting headlines ignite interest and push your audience to skim through a blog post or open an email. A few effective ways to create your headlines are:

  • Pose a question to pique your visitors’ interest
  • Compile “Top 10” like lists related to your products and services
  • Include a current or trending subject in your headline
  • Make an irresistible offer if you’re writing a copy for your social media pages

Value-added services include complementary products and discounted services to first-time and loyal customers. We all love free offers and consumers are always looking for something they can try out for free before investing. The fun part is that a great copy makes even the smallest of offers tempting and popular among customers.

Target the Fearful Customer

Copywriters are known to play off the customers’ fears. For instance, if you’re marketing an insect repellent spray, make your reader imagine a situation where his bed is infested with bed bugs. Nobody wants to imagine ugly crawling insects making their way to their children’s beds.

You’re not doing anything wrong here. You’re just identifying a current or potential problem and offering a solution. Basically, you’re playing off the masses. Needless to say, this is one of the best ways to push more sales.

Again, do your home work to identify what troubles your target audience. What drives them during the day and what keeps them up all night.

Convince not Converse

A customer only buys a product once he’s convinced that the product is going to solve his or her problem. Let’s say you are writing a copy to sell a dietary supplement. Listing ingredients and compounds is not enough to lure someone into buying the supplement.

Make sure you also list the benefits of each ingredient. Even if your marketing copy proclaims that a product solves a specific problem, consumers will remain doubtful. However, if you tell them ‘how’ it takes care of their problem, you convince challenging customers.

Call to Action

All great marketing copies come down to a clearly visible call to action. One deadly mistake that most marketers and copywriters commit is to keep CTA at the bottom of the page. While placing the call to action button in the end is a common practice, there is no fixed rule that prevents you from initiating customer activity during any part of your copy.

Whether it’s providing free consultation, receiving a free eBook or signing up for a newsletter, remember to incorporate CTA’s throughout your copy.

Test your copy

There are plenty of ways to test your marketing copy. The best method to track success is to conduct A/B tests. These tests can be done for any landing page, blog post or infographic. A/B testing helps businesses expand their outreach to a wider audience. It also helps marketing teams tweak suitable changes to their current and future campaigns.

Final Thoughts

Today’s smart consumers can tell the difference between functional and fad products. Great marketing stems from incredible products. If your products don’t add any value to your customers’ lives, not even the best marketing copy can save you. Focus on creating amazing products and let your marketing copy take your business to new heights of success.

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Using the Rules of a Toast When Looking for Investors

looking

One thing you can find plenty of when looking for investors is advice. Everyone seems to have an opinion and plenty of advice to share even when they have no experience in landing business funding. The best advice you can get is actually the same advice Toastmasters International gives as toasting tips: keep your presentation personal, brief, customized and heartfelt.

Unfortunately, many entrepreneurs and businesses wait until they are desperate for cash to find investors. When it’s time to approach venture capitalists, equity partners or angel investors, the general theme is one of desperation. That is not an approach that usually works because desperation reeks of risk. If investors can detect one thing quickly it is a business or business idea that is high risk and the risk is not supported by a definitive business and marketing plan.

The personal aspect of approaching investors is quite simply – you. You are the one with the idea. You are the one who developed the business plan. You are the one who needs business funding. That makes you a business asset, and the personal aspect refers to your ability to prove business experience, ability to be productive and knowledge of the industry and market niche to be entered. Investors will also want to learn about your background.

When it’s time to present the business plan, the presentation should be brief, organized and well prepared. The investors will ask questions about any area they want more information about. However, when looking for investors, the business plan itself needs to thoroughly address all of the topics of interest. These topics include:

  • The nature of the business
  • Uniqueness of the product
  • Market definition
  • Customer demographics and needs
  • Competition
  • 5 year operating strategy
  • Repayment plan and return on investment
  • Supporting documentation
  • Collateral
  • Financial statements

The customization needed for the presentation will depend on the type of investor you are presenting too. For example, angel investors are considering a high risk investment in your early stage venture so your presentation will have to focus heavily on the management and minimization of risk. If you are presenting to potential equity partners then it will be important to address control of the business. If you are looking for large amounts of venture capital, the presentation may focus on the business plan for accelerated growth.

In all cases when looking for investors, the presentation must be heartfelt. Being heartfelt in this case means you are honest, forthright and truthful. When explaining to angel investors, venture capitalists or equity partners why you need the money, it’s important to show how the funds will be used to fuel growth.

What else can you learn from the toasting experts? You can learn to:

  • Practice your presentation and avoid embarrassing faux pas
  • Speak clearly and confidently
  • Be positive and exude success
  • Keep comments on point
  • Summarize succinctly

There are experts who can help anyone looking for investors for their business. Looking and landing are two different things though. In the final analysis, it’s up to you to do the convincing.

 

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