About Susan Payton

Susan Payton is the President of Egg Marketing & Communications, an Internet marketing firm specializing in marketing copy, blog and article writing. She is the blogger behind The Marketing Eggspert Blog, and also writes on Small Business Trends, Growth University and BizLaunch. Follow her on Twitter @eggmarketing. Susan Payton on Google+!

Lead411 Reveals List of Hottest Companies in DC

Lead4112222  begins the second quarter of the year with a lot of excitement for DC, as the company announces the list of Hottest Companies in the DC area.

As part of the Lead411 teams daily tasks, they go through more than 600 pages of press releases, as well as venture capital funding news, business articles, and more. This particular list originated from a total of 389 organizations/companies, and has been minimized to the top 24.

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Infer Inc. Acquires $10M In Series A Funding

Infer Inc. takes the year’s second quarter by storm as they have recently acquired an impressive total of $10 million worth in Series A funding. This particular round was led by Redpoint Ventures. In participation as well were angel investors, Social+Capital Partnership, and Andreessen Horowitz. Sutter Hill Ventures also made an investment.

The company’s CEO, Mr. Vik Singh, shares more about this recent funding in this e-interview with Lead411: Read More

5 Benefits to Your Business Celebrating Halloween

If you’re like many small businesses, Halloween is just another day. But injecting a bit of holiday fun in your office or store can have many positive results, both internally and with customers. Whether you go all out and wear Halloween costumes to work or simply decorate your space to attract customers, an ounce of “eek” can go a long way.

1. It Makes You Look Fun

Who can resist an appealing display of pumpkins and ghouls? By embracing the fall holiday, you can build rapport with your customers. After all, being helped by someone in an Angry Birds costume is guaranteed to evoke a response!

Even if you’re normally a very straightlaced company, letting your hair down (or wearing a green wig) for Halloween is a great way to show the personality of your brand. Read More

5 Surefire Ways to Kill a Startup

There are a lot of posts floating around about how to help a startup succeed, but I wanted to look at the other side to that coin: startup killers. More of us are at risk of killing a perfectly good startup than we’d like to believe. Word to the wise: here are ten situations to avoid.

1. Launching before you’re ready

Sure, you’re antsy to get your startup up and running, but launching too soon can make your brand look shoddy, and can invite all manner of customer service issues, especially if you’re in software. Instead, aim for a soft launch to a limited number of people who can test your platform and find bugs that you can then work out before the larger public sees them and writes you off.

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Does Your Business Structure Protect You?

There are a surprising number of small businesses and startups who never file as a specific type of business structure. While it’s perfectly fine to run as a sole proprietorship or partnership, you should at least know what that means from a legal perspective.

If you’re a sole proprietor or a partner, your personal assets may be subject to risk. In the off chance that you are ever sued or if you file bankruptcy, your assets (home, car, other real estate) can be taken as payment. On the other hand, filing as a corporation or LLC protects your personal side.

Corporations have their own sets of benefits. There are tax deductions you wouldn’t otherwise qualify for, and the corporation acts as its own entity, so you file business taxes rather than reporting its income on your personal taxes. But there are a lot of hoops to jump through. You need a Board of Directors and have to file Board minutes several times a year. Read More

4 Sales Lessons From the iPhone 5

There’s no doubt about it: Apple has gotten the sales formula down. Its customers (repeat and future) clamor for Apple’s latest product months before it’s even announced, much less available. Even if you’re not selling the latest greatest iPhone, there’s a lot to be learned from Apple’s strategy.

1. Create Demand

Rather than stocking every Apple store with enough products to satisfy customers, the technology company chooses to drip out iPhones like morphine. If you didn’t stand in line for 24 hours to get it Day 1, you’ll have to wait a few days more. The mere fact that the newest smartphone is so hard to get only makes customers want it more. We all know Apple has plenty of iPhone 5s in its warehouse, but by eking them out, they control the market and the frenzy. Read More

3 Reasons Content Is No Longer King

I don’t know about you, but I’m sick of hearing “content is king.” We get it. Content marketing works. It’s the best thing since the iPhone 5. But small business cannot live on content alone. Here are three reasons why you need more.

1. If a Blog Post is Written in the Forest, No One Sees It

You can write all the content in the world, but if you’re not getting it out where potential customers can find it, it’s a complete waste of time. Content marketing only works in conjunction with a well-developed social sharing campaign.

Make sure your blog offers sharing buttons so your readers can share it with their networks. Also make sure you’re posting every article on your company’s Facebook, Twitter, and other social media profiles. Read More