Laconia, NH, February 08, 2009 --(PR.com
)-- To help microenterprises, solo professionals and all-sized companies stay smart, strategic, and competitive in these uncertain economic times, social marketing firm Epiphanies, Inc. revealed three top trends they believe will have the biggest impact on businesses and bottom lines in 2009.
"Being aware of top trends is one of the best ways for entrepreneurs and million-dollar businesses alike to stay relevant, competitive, and profitable," explains Allen Voivod, co-owner of the NH-based company.
"When you know what's going on in the field," adds wife and business partner Lani Voivod, "you can adjust your products and services accordingly, and make better decisions about what to do with your time and resources."
According to the firm, the first of the three trends is "The Rise of the Lifestyle Entrepreneur."
"Over the last few years, we've seen the illusion of the 'safe' corporate job get completely annihilated," says Allen. "Because of this, a new type of business owner - the Lifestyle Entrepreneur - has emerged."
Epiphanies, Inc. describes Lifestyle Entrepreneurs as creative, determined individuals who play to their own strengths, designing businesses to support their passions, vision, and lifestyle goals, instead of businesses that rules their lives.
According to the Voivods, some secret weapons of the Lifestyle Entrepreneur include: Leveraged business models; ultra-niche products and services that can be automated; using Virtual Assistants instead of employees; and driving traffic to online products and services that require little or no human intervention.
"With the Internet, every single business has the capacity to create some passive money portals around their products and services," notes Lani. "It's not only possible - more and more, it's expected! Even the Fortune and Inc. 500’s can take advantage of some or all of the savvy strategies of the Lifestyle Entrepreneur."
The second must-know trend they cite is called "'Kindred' Creation."
"It's funny, most people assume online business means the death of personal connections," says Allen. "The irony is, to be successful online, you have to get more in tune and in touch with your Ideal Audience than ever before. You have to talk how they talk, hang out where they hang out, and make offers they find Irresistible. You have to find your Kindreds."
"Mega-marketer Dan Kennedy calls these folks your 'Herd,'" Lani adds, "and marketing guru and author Seth Godin calls them your 'Tribe.' We prefer Kindreds, because it sounds more human. And the human connection is what it's all about."
The third of the top three business trends of 2009 announced by Epiphanies, Inc. is "The Great Social Divide."
"Essentially, there are those who have jumped - or are jumping - into the social marketing game, and those who haven't - and won't," says Allen, adding this warning: "Don't be in the second group."
The Voivods maintain that any business owners who want to be in business five years from now must take the social marketing plunge in 2009. "It can be crude at first," says Lani, "but you have to budget some time and resources to get better and fold in this stuff at least a little at a time."
The Voivods insist everyone is using the new social tools and content vehicles imperfectly anyway, so no one should worry about what's the "right way" or the "wrong way."
"The only 'wrong way' is to end 2009 without a presence on the top-tier social marketing sites," says Allen, citing Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn as the "Big Three."
"And don't forget that old dinosaur of interactive, conversational communications - Blogging," adds Lani. "It's still very much a respected VIP at the social marketing party - mostly because it can serve as your aggregate, home base, and one-stop connection shop."
As for professional advice, the Voivods recommend setting up a bare-minimum social marketing strategy, at the very least.
"Learn a little about one of these socializing hubs and tools every month, or every quarter," advises Lani. "Tools and applications are being developed at mind-blowing rates, so don't try to take it in all in at once."
"Your competition is learning this stuff, and what's more, your Target Market is looking for you - or will be looking for you very soon - in these forums," notes Allen. "They're looking to connect, see who you really are, what you and your business are thinking about...what's behind the curtain, so to speak."
"Ultimately," Lani adds, "You want to be there when they come looking."
For further information about Epiphanies, Inc., or to learn more trends, marketing tactics, and success strategies that can increase corporate visibility, brand reputation, and business revenue, the company offers a free "A-Ha!" Success Kit and subscription to their "Inciter" ezine at www.AhaSuccessKit.com, and invites passionate professionals and imperfect-preneurs to visit their "A-Ha!" blog at www.AhaYourself.com.