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Posts Tagged ‘tokibiz’

Social Messaging? Blogs? Facebook? Twitter!

December 16, 2008 Leave a comment

Over the last couple of months, to the neglect of this blog, I’ve become quite addicted to Twitter. Like I originally did with blogs, I cursed Twitter because I didn’t see the point of it. Well I must admit that I regret not getting on Twitter sooner.

As I eventually learned a blog is an essential business tool and one that generates all my business, well that was until Twitter. Twitter is a social messaging/notification service that allows you to text updates on what you’re doing right now. You know that one little status section of Facebook that asks you what you’re doing right now? That’s Twitter and it’s phenomenal. Twitter only allows you to send 140 characters at a time but it’s amazing how much information you can learn from brevity. 

In my opinion Twitter has become the best tool for networking with people, connecting with information, marketing and most importantly getting people to talk about whatever topic you’re talking about. These days I have two Twitter accounts. My business is @TOKiBiz and the one I’m most amazed by is @BostonTweet.

@BostonTweet, in conjunction with BostonTweet.com, broadcasts real time Twitter updates about what’s happening right now at Boston restaurants, bars and music venues. @BostonTweet is very focused on local Boston business, which  makes people passionate about voicing their Boston restaurant recommendations. What Twitter does, that blogs and Facebook don’t do (or at least as well), is to get people to think about topics and contribute to the discussion in real time. What amazes me about BostonTweet is people are very passionate about their favorite local people, places and things – I know I am! So when you pose a question about what’s your favorite Thai Food restaurant we all immediately chime in with our vote. This puts the restaurant fresh on our mind and for me makes me want to visit that establishment ASAP. I know I’ve already visited a few new spots based on these recommendations and I’m sure (out of 550 followers) I’m not the only one  – businesses need to get in on the Tweet! I’m definitely going to J. Pace & Son in the North End very soon!!

In my opinion Twitter has become more valuable for business than blogs and Facebook. Blogs are terrific for when you want to be verbose on a topic that you’re passionate about but blogs can no longer beat the immediate influence that Twitter has. Maybe it’s that we can no longer process anything more than 140 characters or 30 seconds of video but those are the influencers and if business wants to survive then they need to embrace that. My buddy at EaT in Portland, Oregon just yesterday asked me if he should spend money on having a website for his new restaurant. I said no way! Create a blog, register with Twitter, and then send updates from your cell phone (while at the restaurant) about what’s happening RIGHT NOW at EaT. With a simple line of code you can notify your followers and update your blog & website with fresh content that will immediately be indexed on the search engines. Your typical portfolio, online brochure website is no longer effective in generating business for offline companies. Sure it’s nice to have an online menu but in most cases it’s not going to generate new business and it’s definitely not going to get people talking. Twitter can!

If you’re an offline business (restaurant, bar, cafe, shop) then you know that word of mouth is your most valuable form of marketing – recommendations from loyal customers. This is what Twitter does for your business and you need to get on board to get people talking and thinking about your business. Blogs and websites are you talking to your customers, which is of course important, but Twitter gets your customers talking. 

As for Facebook I use to think that it was good for marketing but I no longer believe that to be true. Facebook is phenomenal for connecting with former classmates and I owe Mark Zuckerberg a lot of thanks for connecting me with my former St. Martin de Porres (Poughkeepsie, NY) classmates – I don’t know how Classmates.com is still in business. However, as a marketing & networking tool Facebook isn’t as effective as Twitter. In my opinion Facebook’s revenues (or lack of) prove that. Of course Twitter is also trying to figure out their revenue model, maybe someday it will be a necessary utility like the telephone, but in the simplest terms Twitter is an advertising model in itself. Not in the form of banners but in the form of valuable information that’s not clogged with a bunch of spam and excessive text. If you don’t like what someone’s dishing then you just un-follow that person – problem solved. Wouldn’t it be nice if email was like this?

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Website Worth & Valuation

June 25, 2008 2 comments

Rick Breslin of the Drive Thru Internet Marketing Podcast recently interviewed Tom O’Keefe about the benefits of Bizak for both startups and investors. Topics in the video podcast include:

  • What is Bizak?
  • Website Worth and Industry Data Comparison
  • Startups Can Register for Free
  • Investors Can Find Prospective Online Ventures
  • The Bizak Calculator – Earnings per Visitor (EPV)

Free or Not Free?

April 9, 2008 3 comments

When starting a startup one of the most difficult (and essential) tasks is to determine the revenue model. Today there are a lot of great Web 2.0 applications – the technology is amazing and the progress is very exciting. However, as good as the technology is a lot of them lack any sort of revenue model. The majority of them rely on Google Adsense to cover the bills and I assume rely on prayer to get bought out. Google Adsense is not a revenue model!

Building tremendous technology can be very difficult but being able to monetize that application is often a daunting task – especially for the very technical. Daunting because figuring out what people will pay for with a subscription model is very difficult. First off an application that targets a younger, non-professional, market is going to have a very difficult time generating revenues. This younger market has grown up with the web and everything has been free for them. This age group has also become immune to advertising. They know how to ignore banners and they know what Google Adsense looks like – no matter how well it blends into your design and content.

As I mentioned above Google Adsense is not a business model – it also doesn’t generate significant income for the majority of websites. I feel that if you’re targeting a professional market and you’re using Adsense then it will work against you. If you need Adsense to supplement your revenues then your business is probably not thriving and therefore I will likely go somewhere else. There is of course in-house advertising which can be very lucrative, however, it requires a lot more work, traffic, creativity and a niche market.

So when building a startup a lot of the revenue model decisions come down to should we give everything away for free and use an advertising model or should we go with a subscription model? First off I’m not a fan of giving away services for free! Once you’ve given something away for free it becomes virtually impossible to ever charge for that service in the future. You can always start off with not free and then revert to free if subscriptions don’t work. However, you can’t go from free to not free!

One of the main reasons why I don’t like free is because it diminishes the value of your subscribers. It still amazes me that people will sign up for anything as long as it’s free. They might not like the service but they like free so they’ll register with your site. Obviously this boosts your subscriber totals, however, it doesn’t create loyal customers and the quality of those subscribers is low.

Now if that subscriber paid for your service then you know he/she really values your work, finds it useful and will likely use the service again. Obviously your subscriber totals will be lower but you’ll have revenues from loyal subscribers.

So with that comes my belief that there are two types of prices – Free and Not Free. There are some people who won’t pay anything for a service – they only want it if it’s $0.00. These people don’t care if it’s $4 or even $1, if it’s not Free then it’s not for them.

The second price is Not Free and this relates to people who value the service you built and will pay to use it. Unlike free, which gives you zero flexibility, not free comes with a range of flexibility. Depending on the service offered if you’re able to target the people who will pay Not Free for your service then the actual price you charge isn’t a determining factor. For example, if you sell high end information services to professionals then it’s not going to matter if you charge $500 or $900 for that service. This person wants the service you offer and price (within reason) won’t make a difference. Just like on the lower end, if they’re willing to pay $5 then they will likely pay $10.

In sum, applications built on a subscription and/or service model which targets professionals and/or a niche market are my favorites!

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Comparative Analysis on Bizak.com

After many long months Bizak is almost ready to launch. We just finished our comparative analysis page (click image below for screen shot) and we will be opening up our tools for startups shortly. After a few weeks of data aggregation we’ll be opening up the site to investors and professionals.

Questions? Please feel free to contact me.
Link? www.Bizak.com
Spread the word!

Benchmarking Web 2.0

March 15, 2008 Leave a comment

Bizak Screen Shot

Well, after many months of development (and 2 months behind schedule) Bizak is soon set to release. The screen shot above gives you an idea of what Bizak looks like. The text below gives you an idea on what it will accomplish. To receive an invitation to our launch please click the link below:

Request an Invitation to Bizak’s Launch

www.Bizak.com

Entrepreneurs use Bizak to calculate the profitability of their business according to website analytics and key performance indicators. With visitors, revenues and costs data, Bizak automatically computes revenues per visitor (RPV), costs per visitor (CPV), earnings (profit/loss), earnings per visitor (EPV) and valuation (The Bizak Estimate.) Each one of these calculations can then be compared to other startups and industry benchmarks. With these calculations entrepreneurs are then invited to join Bizak’s elite network of investors and business professionals who are eager to invest in your profitability.

Investors use Bizak to discover new investment opportunities. From the calculation of comparative benchmarks investors can evaluate the earnings potential of startups in comparison to their competitors and industry. The Bizak Estimate gives investors an approximate valuation of internet startups based on revenues, traffic and EPV. This valuation can then be compared to other startups and the industry mean. Investors can also quickly calculate high and low valuations from a range of revenue multipliers.

Professionals use Bizak’s comparative traffic analysis to discover new advertising and business opportunities. With Bizak professionals can target business partners according to industry, application type and revenue source. Startups can then be sorted and compared according to traffic, revenues, RPV, costs, CPV, EPV, earnings and the Bizak Estimate. Click on a specific company and it will provide you with their business summary, contact information, and monthly results.

Bizak is a TOKiBiz

Website Launch!!!

November 16, 2007 Leave a comment

Internet Marketing Logo - TOKiBiz Boston Brookline

This weekend we will FINALLY be giving TOKiBiz a website – well one that is nice to look at. Over the weekend we will be launching the new website for TOKiBiz designed by Fortunate 13 of Arlington, MA. TOKiBiz is based in Brookline Village, just steps away from Boston.

TOKiBiz: www.TOKiBiz.net