November 29, 2012

Practical advice for women entrepreneurs

9 tips to encourage women to take leadership roles in the tech space

Ayelet NoffIn addition to being a founding partner in Socialmedia.biz, I started building the Blonde 2.0 name and educating startups about the importance of social media back in 2006 when almost no one understood what I was talking about. Back then I was a one-woman show. The industry was filled with men — much like it is today.

I had to learn very quickly how to brand myself correctly as a female entrepreneur evangelizing an industry — social media — whose importance was yet to be known and receive recognition in a male-dominated industry. Today Blonde 2.0 is the largest social media agency in Israel with 25 employees.

So how did I do it? I thought I would share some tips and advice with our female readers to encourage more women to step up and take leadership roles in our industry.

1Be confident. To get results, you need to be assertive and confident in your abilities. Don’t doubt your capabilities or opinions just because you’re questioned. Be ready to fight for what you know to be true. Don’t be afraid to roll up your sleeves and get into the arena.
2Show your stuff. Don’t be afraid to flaunt your skills and take credit for your achievements. Don’t let others take your spotlight because you were too shy or stood aside. Show everyone what you’re really made of. Continue reading

November 1, 2012

Guide to events & conferences in December


A scene from Le Web London this summer. The original Le Web, in Paris, returns next month (Photo by kmeron on Flickr).

Ayelet NoffDecember, with all its holiday cheer, eases the pace of conferences and events in social media, marketing, and technology.

This December I’m most excited about Le Web in Paris, the city of lights, love and Internet innovation. This year Le Web will focus on how Internet-driven devices are taking over the world; just look at how much time people spend surfing “le web” on their phones. I’m also thoroughly excited for the 2012 startup competition where sixteen emerging startups will duke it out on stage. To learn more about this great conference read my take on Le Web.

For the full year, see our full Calendar of 2012 social media, tech and marketing conferences.

Continue reading

September 12, 2012

Social media tools your startup should be using

Pinterest, Quora, LinkedIn should be among the tools to take your business to next level

Ayelet NoffSocial media tools are everywhere, but how do you know which ones your startup should focus on? In our work at Socialmedia.biz and Blonde 2.0, we’ve had access to dozens of tools and platforms, but not all social technologies are worth your time and effort.

Here, then, is a list of the top tools your startup should have in place to carry on daily social media activity and maintain a buzz around your product.

Set up a Facebook page

1Every startup should have a Facebook page. Whether you’re a B2C or B2B, a Facebook presence is necessary. In the first few years of this social network, many B2B startups didn’t see the value in using Facebook as a professional platform because they considered it to be a social arena rather than a business platform. This perception is long gone. With almost a billion people, this is a social network whose ubiquitousness cannot be ignored.

Get a Twitter profile

2Twitter is an amazing tool that lets you engage in a personalized manner with your users and potential users. There are many tools that enable you to find your exact target audience on Twitter — e.g., WeFollow and Twtrland — and engage directly with them. Twitter can also allow for real-time customer service between company and customer. Continue reading

February 24, 2011

5 cool startups at the first Launch conference


Photo of Launch attendees by Keith Powers (CC BY on Flickr)

JD LasicaWith a crowded conference space for the launch of new startups — DEMOspring, DEMOfall, TechCrunch Disrupt — is there room for another springboard for interesting start-ups?

Yep. The first Launch conference, held Wednesday and today at the San Francisco Design Concourse, showed off a wealth of entrepreneurial talent — and proved to be entertaining at the same time, thanks to the conference prowess of founder Jason Calacanis and the on-stage cleverness of judges such as VCs Dave McClure, Yossi Vardi and actor Kevin Pollak, who instructed startup founders to target “the C- to B+ students” who have grown up to become the vast midsection of U.S. consumer culture.

About 1,300 attendees turned out, and more than 100 startups competed for one of the prized placements on stage.

Here are a few of the startups I found interesting, both on the stage and in the demo pit:

 

Group{in}: Organize your work & personal lives

1Appconomy’s Group{in} is a mobile app that lets you organize your work and personal life into “the groups and people that matter to you” and across the channels you already use. By simplifying group communications across multiple channels, including private in-app messaging, e-mail, SMS, phone Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and more, Group{in} makes working in groups easy, efficient and fun. It looked pretty cool to me, though the judges seemed unimpressed.

Give2Gether: Democratized social fund-raising

2Anyone can instantly raise funds for a cause with give2gether, a welcome addition to the social good space. CEO/co-founder Amon Shafir gave me a deep dive into the service, which appears to be much more effective than efforts like Facebook Causes. While the average donor on Causes gives 70 cents for each cause he joins, the average person on Give2Gether has given $75 — about 100 times more — during the early going (about 30 projects). The trick is in sharing causes with your social contacts and monitoring the results in your dashboard. Says the site: “Think of it as the Twitter of philanthropy — a tailored, self-service SaaS platform helping non-profits monetize social interactions. Give2Gether turns strangers into friends, friends into donors and donors into fundraisers, at one-third of the traditional cost.”

News 360: News & multimedia on your iPad

3In the demo pit I met Nina Grigorieva, CEO of Moscow-based News360, who showed off its marvelous capabilities on an iPad. (I’m waiting for version 2 of the iPad before buying one.) It has the same elegance as Flipboard and, unlike News Corp.’s The Daily, it’s completely free and has some nice social sharing features. It aggregates thousands of news sources, tracks your favorite news sources, creates personalized news feeds by topic and lets you share interesting stories with your friends. If you own an iPad, you’ll want this app. Continue reading