Turning Recession Into Opportunity

“Recession” seems to have become the new “Y2K.” In other words, it is the popular catch phrase on everyone’s lips this year as they foretell the catastrophic decline of our society as we know it. All those doom-and-gloomers back in 1999 found that the Y2K problem turned out just fine, and I am optimistic that this recession will as well.


As a recent Duke graduate who has dozens of bright friends still struggling to find jobs, I am acutely aware of the negative impact of the recession. There is no denying the pain it has caused through lay-offs, bankruptcies, and lost opportunities.


However, to put a little more positive spin on things, here are some reasons why the recession maybe ain’t so bad after all:


1) Now is one of the best possible times to make big purchases such as a home or a car, as there are unprecedented discounts and perks included. Builders and dealers are desperate, and their desperation translates into big savings for customers.


2) With the market as low as it is, the smallest of investments now can end up paying off tremendously in the next ten years.


3) There is a vacuum for entrepreneurship. In times like this, it is important to re-evaluate the systems that brought us to where we are today and strive to come up with innovative ways to revive the economy. And, with so many intelligent, talented people who have been laid off, the recession is the perfect opportunity for them to step out of the rat race and re-evaluate how they want to be using those talents of theirs.


4) If you are graduating college and can’t get a job, you can just blame the recession!


It is important for us to accept the recession for what it is and to look with a creative and open-minded attitude at what opportunities it may reveal. What do you think, NSJ readers?

Marketing on a Low/No Budget: Get Found!

To get a business going you have to have two things. One is an idea, service, or product. The other is the skill and ability to communicate with particular people about your idea. In the good ole’ days, the only way to communicate with potential customers was to spend money bombarding them with telemarketing calls, television and radio ads, direct mail spam, and print media. And then, something incredible happened: the internet.

With literally zero dollars and a bit of creative thinking, you can use the internet to create hugely effective marketing platforms. Just think of yourself as the author, and the internet as the publisher. Now, you need to know how and what to publish online so that you get found. Enter, this blog post! You’re already taking a step in the right direction!

First, wrap your head around the concept of “Inbound Marketing.” Hubspot.com will be your best resource here. You can no longer push your idea on consumers. Your company must put ideas and content out in the marketplace and let leads and customers come to them. To get started, create a blog! A blog will be your best bet for attracting search engine hits and pulling net surfers to your idea using informative and creative content.

Next, get in the social media game. It’s no longer an option; you need to use Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, and any other social networks so that you can communicate quickly and effectively with your audience. This is just another one of the many free platforms that will help you get found online.

Next, put together some webinars. Although not all webinar software is free, at  Shoeboxed.com, we started with a free trial for a webinar company and were able to generate enough traffic and content during the free trial alone to make it worth our while. Host as many webinars on as many different topics as you can. If they’re informative, internet traffic will trickle in. To find out how to make good webinars, watch some online. Sign up for Shoeboxed’s next webinar to see how we do it: www.shoeboxed.com/webinar.

Once you have a website up and running, pay special attention to your landing pages. The language and style of these pages are crucial for capturing leads and converting them online. There are unending resources and blogs out there that cover landing page tips and pointers.

Finally, get really creative. I mean, really creative. Try something quirky or crazy like a media stunt, viral video, crazy T-shirt promotion, online voting competition or gift giveaways. The sky is the limit for cheap online marketing if you really put your mind to it.

For more in depth reading on topics like low/no budget online marketing, visit hubspot.com, read Seth Godin’s books and blogs, check out problogger.com, Dosh Dosh, and many more. Most importantly, don’t give up. Inbound marketing is cheap, and if you get your content out there, your customers will come to you.