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Lessons from Scarlett: The Original Female Entrepreneur

The keys to success are always within reach. However, we need to remember that time and effort plays a big role in the equation. A successful person is one who is not afraid of failure despite the circumstances. Scarlett O’Hara is no different. Like a small business, O’Hara uses what’s available to her in order to achieve success. She does not give up, is resourceful and cut throat. A successful business online can relate specifically to the following examples. – WST

By: Alicia Forest

I think if you’ve been a survivor of any sort, you can relate to Scarlett O’Hara from Gone with the Wind. Sure, she used her womanly wiles to get what she wanted, but hey… who hasn’t? (And men, you’ve got ‘wiles’ of your own, so don’t think you’re off the hook.)

When Scarlett tore down her mother’s green velvet drapes to make the dress that ultimately saved Tara from the tax collectors, it was ‘necessity is the mother of invention’ in action. It’s sheer ingenuity to look at those curtains, one of the only things left by the Yankees, and see a fancy dress that could be the solution to her problem.

Scarlett was smart, savvy and had the spitfire spirit of her successful entreprenuerial-minded immigrant father. Over and over, Scarlett relies on her wits to maneuver her way out of predicament after predicament. And maybe some of her actions weren’t those of a lady playing nice (like marrying her sister’s beau) – but to her, the end result always justified her behavior. She took care of herself and her ‘folk’ with no apologies – and she made riches from it.

So, how does Scarlett’s smart and savvy personality relate to your business?

Your biggest client decides to quit working with you, for no apparent reason, leaving you with a huge income hole to fill. Your shopping cart bills your customers three times for a single purchase. Your virtual assistant decides to fly off for a spur-of-the-moment week away, leaving you with hours of admin nightmare to deal with.

There isn’t a businessowner around who hasn’t been surprised by these or similar challenges once they’ve been in business for awhile.

Yes, it would be nice to be prepared for all of our worst-case-scenarios with back-up procedures and the like, but please… especially if you’re the creative/idea type – who’s going to deal with all that detail for the ‘just in cases’? Not me…

When Scarlett turned that green velvet from drapery to dress, my heroine didn’t know she was carrying out a perfect example of exactly how to zig-zag your way very quickly from problem to solution:

Here’s how:

1. She stayed focused

Scarlett didn’t let herself get all spun up about only having one dirty dress to wear, picking cotton herself, or having no food to eat during the war that was going on around her. What she did was stay focused on the task at hand: saving Tara.

All the decisions she made and actions she took came from focusing on that single goal.

2. She quickly shifted priorities when necessary

Scarlett’s mantra of “I can’t think about that now. I’ll think about it tomorrow” kept her focused and on task, and allowed her to shift her priorities when necessary.

3. She was willing to fail quickly

Scarlett made a decision and took action. If things didn’t work out the way she wanted them to, she took stock, made another decision quickly, and took action again. By being willing to fail quickly, instead of trying to figure out and manage all the potential pitfalls beforehand, she was able to rebuild her life on her terms much more quickly.

The Original Female Entrepreneur Continued
The Web Success TeanSPECIAL: Solopreneur Package – Jump Start Your Business
The Web Success Team’s Solopreneur Package includes a 5-page custom direct response website fully branded and optimized for Search Engines with 6-months of online marketing, social networking, blogging, article marketing and much more. Lock in your special pricing now before the rate goes up! Contact the Web Success Team at 818-222-5643 or email bob@websuccessteam.com. To your web success!

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Filed under: Online Business, , , , , , , , ,

Reducing the Risks of User-Generated Content

Understanding user-generated content and how it can both help and hurt you is a great asset to your business. Social media is a method of connecting with people, meaning providing your own user-generated content to communicate interest, link content and even share business ideas. This article explains the types of risks involved as well as how to protect yourself against negative content. This is important for every successful business online. – WST

By: Jeremy Gislason

User-generated content (or “Participatory Media” as some call it) can be a great way to boost the value of your website, and the traffic that’s driven to it. Many website owners have already found that developing online communities greatly increases their financial bottom lines. Sometimes, as has been the case with YouTube, user-generated content can even be a great business model in itself.

But user-generated content can also be a great source of risk and exposure. Again, there’s probably no better example of this than YouTube. YouTube was sued by the Viacom studio in 2007 for $1 billion in damages, for allegedly distributing Viacom’s copyrighted materials without permission.

If you understand the risks associated with user-generated content, you can take steps to reduce your exposure and protect your online assets, while at the same time increasing the value of your website.

What is User-Generated Content?

User-generated content is a broad term that includes any material that a website user posts on the website for others to see. This can include not only blog comments, but also pictures, videos, articles, or anything else that a user might post in a forum or bulletin board section of your website, or as part of their own personal profile on the website.

What are the Risks with User-Generated Content, and How Can I Address Them?

There are a number of legal issues that you will need to become familiar with if you permit or promote user-generated content on your website.

a. Intellectual property infringement. There are two primary types of intellectual property infringement issues that you should be aware of. The first is copyright infringement. Key elements of liability include knowledge of the infringing activity, inducing or contributing the improper conduct, and attaining a direct financial benefit in the infringing activity when you have the ability to supervise the direct infringer.

Copyright holders generally try to enforce their rights by means of “takedown notices” that are sent in accordance with the requirements a particular Federal law (the Digital Millennium Copyright Act). You’ll have to decide what position to take once you receive takedown notices. Do you evaluate each and respond notice as you feel appropriate? Or do you simply honor all takedown notices immediately? It’s a balance between avoiding legal risk of a lawsuit by those who claim to hold a copyright to the material that someone else posted, versus possibly alienating your users if you aren’t giving any consideration to their “fair use” rights in that content.

Trademark law prevents the use of trademarks of others in a manner that creates a likelihood of confusion about the source of goods or services or in a manner that dilutes the value of the trademark. User-generated content sometimes falls afoul of trademark law.

b. Defamation. You should also be aware that there is potential liability for allowing users to post defamatory statements about others on your website. There is a Federal law (The Communications Decency Act) which can provide some protection against defamation claims based on what your users do on your website, but the scope of the protection is still somewhat uncertain, so you should not ignore the possibility of claims against you based on user generated content.

c. Obscenity and Child Pornography. The Federal laws that provide protections to website owners generally exclude protections for obscene materials that appear on such websites, even if the materials are posted by users themselves.

How Can I Reduce My Risks?

One common technique for a website operator to reduce their risks of legal liability for user generated content is to not actively monitor the user activities on the website. While this may seem counter-intuitive, the relevant Federal laws provide a greater degree of protection (through a so-called “safe harbor”) for passive web services that do not actively manage or supervise user content.

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The Web Success TeanSPECIAL: Solopreneur Package – Jump Start Your Business
The Web Success Team’s Solopreneur Package includes a 5-page custom direct response website fully branded and optimized for Search Engines with 6-months of online marketing, social networking, blogging, article marketing and much more. Lock in your special pricing now before the rate goes up! Contact the Web Success Team at 818-222-5643 or email bob@websuccessteam.com. To your web success!

Filed under: Business Networking, Online Business, Social Media, Uncategorized, Web Content, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

When Should You Fire Your Website Designer

A website can be an effective marketing hub, driving traffic and sales to your business.  However, there is much more to a website than a fancy design.  Search engine optimization and marketing are key points for any successful website as well as a comprehensive design that is well branded and easy to use.  You need all of the above to maintain a successful business online. Many web designers do not know how to market the beautiful websites they create.  So be careful when shopping for a web designer. – WST

By Ajay Prasad

Your online business is not a wild crazy idea, but a source of your income. Trust the right people to design your website. Your 17 year old nephew may be able to create your website or you can get a free one from several services…they might even be kind of pretty. In my research and experience, less than 2% of businesses that have websites have planted the seeds to online success. Many of them are your competitors.

The problem is web designers’ focus on the technical aspects of the site. They don’t have a clue how to build a website that makes you a ton of money, drives floods of traffic, and gets you top placement on search engines.

Why Do You Have a Website?

The reason you have a website for your business, no matter what business you are in, is you want to rake in bundles of cash. Maybe not now, but definitely later, it should be bringing returns on your investment.

Your Website is Like Your Business

Make sure that your web designer owns a successful online business and knows how to run it.

Your sole purpose in having a website should be to use it as a marketing and communications tool. It is not there to be pretty. It should not be there to win awards. It is there to make you money. Even if you have a better product or service than your competitor, the one who attracts more prospects and customers – wins! Being the best at marketing is all that matters.

Online Marketing Is Completely Different Than Marketing Offline

All of the tools, techniques, communication, etc. in the online world are different than those offline. A very common mistake is to think because it works offline you can just put it on your website! It’s important to realize the reader of offline copy thinks and processes information in a different way than someone reading online copy. What works offline may be a complete flop online.

They are two different worlds. For example, online marketing REQUIRES you to know how to get your site ranked high, very high, in the search engines like Google and Yahoo….so you routinely appear on the first page for the optimal search terms for your business.

Of course, this assumes you know how to find the optimal words for your business, your marketplace, your niche, etc. Just so you know, the “include all words” strategy has proven to be a total failure.

And, most designers and businesses do not know that SEO (search engine optimization) is not SEM (search engine marketing). If you do one and not the other, you will probably be very disappointed with your results.

Studies have shown that you need to be on the first page of search engine results to get enough people coming to your site. SEO and SEM are not optional for online success – they are mandatory!

Increase your ROI: Only Work with People Who Know Website and Online Marketing Read the rest of this entry »

Filed under: Direct Response Marketing, Drive Traffic, Search Engine Optimization, Uncategorized, Web Design, Web Development, , , , , , , , , , , ,

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