Sameer Agarwal

His views, thoughts, introspection and rants

Archive for the ‘Entrepreneurship’ Category

Free Tips on how to use Social Media to sell your products!

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A dear friend recently setup a shop on eBay to sell brass statues/idols – here. So that was a good trigger to think of some free ways to promote products using Social Media. Here goes – will love to get more thoughts:

  1. Setup a shop on eBay. Of course!
  2. Make sure the tagging for your products is appropriate. Think like a buyer. If you were to go on eBay looking for similar products what will be the search terms that you’ll type. What category will you look under?
  3. Setup a blog, preferably on your own domain. Keep posting information about your products there. It will serve as a catalog, and another channel for your shop. You could download the WordPress API and deploy it on your domain in <20mins.
  4. Submit your blog (as created in Step 3) on blogging aggregation sites – like IndiBlogger.in.
  5. Setup communities for your shop on Facebook and Orkut. Send invitations to your communities to your friends on the respective sites. Don’t just setup the communities and sit idle. Keep posting offers. Make sure you post at regular frequency so that people can notice your offers on their walls.
  6. Create a twitter account. Make sure you tweet often. The tweets will be about your products, special offers etc.
  7. Syndicate your blog feed, communities feeds, twitter feed on your personal Facebook and Orkut profiles. Also make sure that the various social media assets you create are inter-linked. E.g., your blog should syndicate your Twitter, Facebook and Orkut feeds
  8. Add your blog address with a catchy tagline on your mail signatures – Gmail, and whatever other mail services you use
  9. Keep posting offers on your status messages – Facebook, Orkut, IMs (GTalk/Yahoo etc)
  10. Create a promotional electronic direct mailer (EDM) with links to your blog, facebook community, orkut community, twitter account (with options for people to ‘follow’ you or become ‘fans’) and send it to your friends. Request them to forward it to their friends.
  11. Try SMS campaign. Sites like Way2SMS.com and 160by2.com may come handy. Send the text messages to your friends/contacts initially. Remember, charity begins at home! There are agencies providing databases for SMS marketing – but remember this is an intrusive medium. So exercise caution.
  12. Create a video of your products with information on how to buy them. If appropriate, post videos on how to use the products. Post the video(s) on YouTube. Embed the video on your blog

Well these are some. I’m sure there are a zillion others. Will love to hear!

Written by sameer

August 27th, 2009 at 1:32 pm

Posted in Entrepreneurship,Ideas

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Social Investing – Try MoneyVidya.com

with 23 comments

Imagine you’re a 30 something who has some money to dabble with and are NOT an i-banker (or the likes). Actually take out the 30 something bit; you could be whatever age but meet the following criteria:

  • Have some money AND want to invest in stocks
  • Internet Savvy

If you meet the above criteria, how do you pick which stock is right for you? Do fundamental analysis? Yeah right! Do you have the skills, the time and/or the patience to do it? Well of course you could access some syndicated research, or read opinions from ‘experts’. But then, so many people are saying so many different things. What else could you do? Umm..

Well, you’ll ask your dad, or your friend who always seems to be making money in stocks, or a random colleague… a someone you trust. Now don’t lie. MOST of us pick stocks like these – do what our ‘circle’ is doing. Right?!

How about this? How about getting opinions from your dad, your mom, your pan-wallah, your friend, an analyst and another analyst, and your friend’s dad and your friend’s dad’s friends and their friends and their sons and their pan-wallahs and their sahabs and their friends? Whoa! More complex than fundamental analysis? Well not really. How about having a community of random stock buyers who share their picks and then leverage that collective opinion? After all, the stock markets (Indian stock markets being no exception) seem to react more on perceptions and emotions than anything else.

Buy that point? Go to moneyvidya.com and check it out for yourself. There are reasons I am advertising/reviewing them:

  • This concept is close to my heart. Read my previous entry in this regard – Honey I’m late again
  • I think the MoneyVidya guys have done it as good as/better than I visualized it
  • This is a useful concept and perhaps readers of this blog could get some leverage for their stock-picking from MoneyVidya

Ok so I said I’m advertising and reviewing MoneyVidya. Let me do the latter now:

Pros:

  • Great UI – easy to use, intuitive
  • The copy on the site is great! Very easy to understand, concise; very professional
  • Registration process is simple; the data-capture forms are pretty neat
  • Navigating the site is pretty simple. I did not have to struggle moving from one section to another

Improvement Areas:

  • Registration/all forms on site.Clicking on Submit gets a “Web page can’t be displayed”. Refreshing/reloading the page solves the issue. But many people may give up there. Don’t know if it was just me? I was using Chrome browser.
  • “My dashboard” could have “what’s this/help” links. For example, I was clueless about how I acquired the “Improver” and “Helper” friends. Same goes for all pages – for example when you’re posting a tip it won’t hurt to explain what “Stop Loss Limit” is.
  • In the search results, it will be great to have ‘mouse-overs’ on the Buy/Sell sentiment percentages. For example, if it is a Reliance Ind 100% sell sentiment then it won’t hurt to know if 100 people think so, or just one. Also, for stocks that don’t have any ‘sentiments’ could perhaps be indicated as such. Overall, I think the search results UI could improve. 
  • It may be technically complex, but it will be great to have search crawl over all ‘searchable areas’. For example, if I searched for ‘Reliance Industries’ I expect to see buy/sell sentiments, discussions, polls; everything about this stock. Again, I think the overall Search/Advanced Search module needs improvement

However having mentioned all the improvement areas that I did, I still think MoneyVidya is your best bet. Kudos to Gautam and team (people behind MoneyVidya).

Written by sameer

March 23rd, 2009 at 1:24 pm

The Startup Event – Proto.In, Bangalore – Jan 23, 24 2009

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‘The Startup Event’ is scheduled for Jan 23, 24 at Bangalore. So all ya budding enterpreneurs, click on the graphic above and perhaps make the first step to follow your dream (heck I should be paid for advertising this so well ;)

Written by sameer

January 9th, 2009 at 10:19 am

Posted in Entrepreneurship

Tagged with , ,

Showcase your business plan

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Got an idea, have a Proof-of-Concept. Wait no more – present your business plan at the TiE-ISB Connect 2008 forum. There will be plenty venture capitalists there as well, so if you’re looking for some money that’s the place to be in.

Want to be an enterpreneur and are looking at a starting point. Guess, the TiE-ISB workshop called “Jump Start” should help.

Written by sameer

May 19th, 2008 at 2:14 pm

Entrepreneurs and VCs meet here

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Proto.in is about giving entrepreneurs a platform to express their visions and showcase their imagination, with a working prototype, for the world to see. It’s about increasing partnership, collaboration and mindshare among a distinguished, qualified and well-connected audience. Proto.in provides a unique platform for promising startup talent to communicate their creativity and innovation potential. As a meeting place for the smartest entrepreneurs, venture capitalists and professionals, Proto.in stands true to its mantra “Create, Contribute, Collaborate.”"

Very interesting! So if you got an idea then don’t let it go baby!

Written by sameer

May 3rd, 2008 at 2:07 pm