Gaining Discipline and a Strong Work Ethic at a Young Age
Entrepreneurs mostly fall short because they don't have the work ethic needed to start a business from nothing. It took a while, but I had to train myself to work 17 hours a day.
I've learned that it is the indirect work that an entrepreneur puts in that makes him or her successful. For instance, I continuously read new books that I feel may be pertinent to my job. I always take detailed notes so I don't forget the concepts.
If I'm not at the gym or sleeping for 7 or so hours, I'm available for my clients. This is what compels them to continuing working with my firm.
The biggest problem I have with my vendors is that it takes them too long to execute a request. Corporate America has set a standard of 8 hours a day - no more no less. It is imperative that the entrepreneur exploit this status quo and stand out from the crowd.
Advertising and Marketing on a Budget
I knew that I could not rely on cold-calling forever. Also, I am a firm believer that you should never rely on current clients. They can move companies and no longer need you, they can experience budget cuts, or you can have a disagreement that leads to a falling out.
However, pay-per-click would not work for me because candidates who yielded little to no return would kill my budget through costly clicks. Obviously it was important that job seekers visit my company's site, but they aren't the real revenue-drivers in the recruiting world. Therefore, I found various industry directories that were accessible to my target market and only cost a hundred or so dollars per advertisement annually.
Once I closed enough deals to support a marketing budget, I decided that we needed some form of SEO. I found a company out in California through the web and the sales representative, seemingly desperate for business, threw in 35 programmed new pages per month with the SEO.
At this point, I had an intern from NYU come to my apartment full time, and together we wrote over 150 landing pages. (Landing pages are website pages geared toward ranking on a particular keyword phrase or two and, mostly they are not linked to from your website's homepage.)
While their programming skills were satisfactory, when it came to SEO, my vendor had no idea what they were doing. Before we parted ways, over the course of approving programmed pages, my vendor sent me their programming and meta tags for my site.
This piqued my interest and I began studying SEO. I ended up studying it all day, every day. I knew it was the only way my company would grow. I read SEO blogs, contacted sites that would give links to recruitment agencies and, at this point I began the uphill battle that was cold-calling universities for.edu links.
In total, I probably contacted 350 or so university career centers in order to present my company as a career resource and, subsequently get a link from their site. I got a lot of resistance, mostly because I was a recruiter and recruiting has a certain low reputation, but some of the career center people were simply hard to negotiate with.
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