Suggested Reading: The Art of Promoting Content

30 Jul, 2015 | Tags: ,

The Art of Promoting Content – Tips from @MarkWSchaefer

Promoting your online content can be frustrating. You’ve got content on Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin, Google+, Instagram, and you’re there trying to keep everything together while also sharing the reason you’re there in the first place: your business. You want to be fun, relevant, and humorous, sure. But it’s so easy to slip into a realm of trying to promote your content, and then just turning into a spam account. You know what we’re talking about. Just like “that guy” that keeps trying to sell the world his pyramid scheme vitamins and oils.

Every business owner who is online has to come to understand the line of promotion and spam (so you don’t cross it), because no one wants to be “that guy”. No one wants constant “YOU NEED THIS IN YOUR LIFE RIGHT NOW” constantly in their newsfeed. Thankfully, Mike Schaefer has given you a totally free online e-book presentation talking about just this. His e-book is titled “How To Promote Your Content Without Being Spammy”, and he gives the best non-spam advice in quick, easy-to-understand tips.

His e-book has 64 slides and will probably take you no more than 10 minutes to read. You’ll probably find it hard however, to not stop several times during the book and try out some of his ideas. Early on in his e-book he shows an infograph (based on a survey he entirely made up) basically poking fun at what people do with their time on the internet: 48% playing Farmville and 2% interacting with brand messages. The message he quickly gets across is that people of the interweb do not wish to be sold to, marketed to, or advertised to. Then he goes into ten non-spam ideas that you can try while sitting at your computer reading. One of our favorite tips is to join Triberr, a social network for bloggers. Mark Schaefer actually reveals that 8% of his blog traffic comes from Triberr. With that said, we will leave you to read the rest of his awesome content promoting tips in his e-book. After you read his e-book, we totally recommend following him on twitter: @MarkWSchaefer.


7 Tips to Set Up Hosting For Your Web Site

29 Jul, 2015 | Tags:

Setting up a professional website is the most logical step as soon as your business begins to establish or grow. Whether you’re in an international market or just trying to connect with your clientele, a well made website can ensure that your business is seen by the people you are targeting. The following tips will help get you going in the right direction.

Domain Name

Your site is an extension of your marketing strategy since you will want to keep your business in the minds of your potential customers. Purchasing and buying the right domain is the first step to establishing your online presence. Make sure your domain name is both easy to remember and relevant to your business.

Choosing an SEO Friendly Domain Name

People are more likely to find your website if you have a high ranking in a popular search engine like Google. A simple way to do this is to have one of your keywords as part of your domain name (If your keyword is “plumbing”, adding plumbing to your domain name will not hurt). There is no need to stuff your domain with as many keywords as possible. For proper SEO, it is only necessary to include your main keyword.

Buying Enough Space

When looking for hosting, you’ll have to chose much space your website will need. The amountyou should buy varies depending on the size of your website and the number of images that you will have on it. It also doesn’t hurt to have extra space to expand your website if needed.

Multiple Domains

Snatching up domain names similar to your own can prevent competitors from benefiting from your branding efforts. It will also bring in additional traffic from people who type keywords in the address bar instead of using a search engine. Another trick to boost traffic is to buy common misspellings of your website address. This way, people who make a typing error will still be able to find your website. If you decide to buy multiple domain names, each webpage should automatically redirect users to your main URL.

Dedicated Server

A dedicated server is an option for sites that will get a lot of traffic. If this is the case, you will rent a server dedicated to your website alone. It costs much more than to share a number of other websites, but will ensure that your site is able to handle the amount of traffic it will receive.

Virtual Server Advantages

If you are looking for the reliability of a dedicated server, but need something that is more affordable, a virtual server may be what you need. By choosing a virtual server, you will be sharing it with other websites but difference however, is that the traffic from these websites will not affect the performance of your own. This is a cheaper way to host a website while eliminating the problems of a shared server.

Your Email Needs

Always consider your email needs when choosing where to hosting. Some may only need a few email accounts while others will need many more. There are two things to consider in choosing your email hosting: the security provided and the reliability of your clients’ email accounts. Most companies will offer the most basic email hosting package at no additional charge. If your needs are more complicated, email hosting and storage may be an additional cost to factor into your budget.

Finding the right place to host your website is pivotal in marketing your business online. It can be the deciding factor in whether your website attracts potential customers or just becomes another site collecting dust on the internet. Making sure you have the right web hosting is as easy as knowing your email needs and the amount of traffic your website is likely to receive. Once these steps are covered, it won’t be long before your site is ready to be unveiled to the public.


Building A “Two Pizza” Team

28 Jul, 2015 |

 

We have a deadline, and it’s looking like we may not meet it, so what do we do? Throw bodies at it! Get more people involved! If two people can’t finish project in time, maybe 7 people can!

It seems to make sense on paper, but really when it comes down to successfully completing a job, more bodies makes work more chaotic. Then the real question is: Do more bodies really make a more efficient team?

The Two Pizza Rule

Enter the man who is known for saying things like “Communication is terrible!” You may not be familiar with his name, Jeff Bezos, but you are probably familiar with the company he founded: Amazon. Bezos is known for many accomplishments, but people can’t stop talking about his “two pizza team” rule. His idea is based on the notion that if a team can’t be fed with two pizzas, the team is too large, and thus rendered completely inefficient. So it really boils down to this: communication is terrible, but only if the team is too large to communicate.

So with the two pizza rule, consider you’re invited to a large dinner banquet, do you: a) mingle for a very short amount of time with each and every individual banquet guest or b) find a rather small group of individuals you know and spend the entirety of the evening talking to them? The great probability is that you’ll choose to do the latter and spend the evening having meaningful conversation with a small group of friends.

Did you know that a small study was conducted to test the small verse large team idea? Larger teams tend to be overconfident because of their size, and they think their abilities as a large skilled group will make them more successful. However in the study piloted by Bradly Staats, Katherine Milkman, and Craig Fox, they discovered that the two person teams took only thirty-six minutes to completed Lego building task. That same Lego building task took the four person teams fifty-two minutes to complete. Just in case you can’t do quick math, the four person teams took 44% more time to complete the task at hand. Makes you rethink throwing bodies at problems, doesn’t it?

Magic Number Five

Jeff Bezos two pizza rule works out so that a team should be no smaller than five people and no larger than seven. This creates less communication links within the team. The smaller team also helps create a greater level of accountability within the team. Also, within larger teams, Bezos found that many individuals weren’t sure who to communicate with when they hit a wall. Smaller teams create fewer barriers when it comes to communicating the project on a daily basis.

When you take a survey of your current team, are you employing bodies or are you carefully employing individuals who will work and communicate with each other to get a job done? Your team is your right hand, and the failure or success to your company. Take into account your employees and the size of teams that will make them the most productive and efficient. Bring two large Pizza Hut pizzas to the office, and if your team isn’t fed… then according to Jeff Bezos, maybe you should rethink the size of your team.

Despite the size of your time, few measures you can take to make sure that there isn’t any added friction. Team/Employee Scheduling software like the ones we have here at What Time Do I Work will help ensure that your two pizza team can continue to run smoothly.

 


Is Your Answering Machine Driving Away Potential Customers?

22 Jul, 2015 | Tags: , , , , ,

You’ve created the perfect product, service, or eating experience. You worked hard to effectively market it, and are now receiving a  stream of calls from prospective buyers. Everything appears to be going according to plan – after all, you’ve made plenty of sales – but what about those sales you’ve missed because your office was closed, the phone line was busy, or for whatever reason, no one was able to answer the phone?

If you’ve been letting your answering machine take your calls or worse yet, letting the phone endlessly ring or send out a busy signal, then you might be losing out on some potential sales.

Now obviously losing sales is bad for business. That’s why partnering with a professional answering service can make a big difference. Because live agents  will be able to speak with your potential customers when you aren’t able to, you’ll never have to worry about missing out on a sale, simply because you were away from the office or too busy to answer the phone.

The People Effect

Your customers will enjoy the added benefit of being able to talk with a live representative any time they wish and your company will profit from the additional sales that might otherwise have been lost.

At this point you may be asking yourself if hiring an answering service to represent your business is really necessary. An answering service is an additional expense and money is tight. Well, think about it from a different perspective – how much money have you lost out on as potential sales have fallen through the cracks? How many interested customers decided to simply hang up the phone when they were redirected to your answering machine and never bothered to call back?

Quick is More

Granted, not everyone who reaches your machine will hang up. Some have probably even left their contact details so you could get in touch with them at a later time, but in today’s world, most buyers are seeking immediate results and will simply hang up the phone when there’s no one around to take their call. If you’re lucky, some potential customers may call back at a later date, but those who don’t may lose interest in your product or take their business to one of your competitors.

The easiest way to ensure that you aren’t losing your potential customers after sending them to your company’s answering machine is to simply take the machine out of the equation. Instead of merely hoping your customers will react favorably to your answering machine when you are unable to take their calls, why not enlist the help of a professional answering service?

Training

By taking full advantage of an answering service, you can rest assured knowing that trained agents will always be available to represent your business should a potential customer wish to inquire about or buy one of your company’s products.

Partnering with a professional answering service means your customers will be able to say goodbye to your answering machine and hello to your company’s new round-the-clock by phone availability. It also means you’ll never lose a potential customer whenever you are unable to come to the phone, because the answering service will be there to help you retain and convert any callers who may have otherwise fallen by the wayside. As a result, you should see an increase in both your customer satisfaction rating and your overall product sales – a win-win for all involved.


5 Helpful Twitter Users Your Business Should Follow

14 Jul, 2015 | Tags: , , , , ,

Vanessa O’Connell: @VanessaOConnell

Vanessa is a journalist at Wall Street Journal; that should be reason enough to be interested in following her Twitter feed, but there’s a lot more to tell. She is the entrepreneurship editor for WSJ, the creator of “The Accelerators” (a blog dedicated to start-ups), and was part of the small team of journal editors who launched the “Wall Street Journal Startup of the Year”. She coauthored the nonfiction book Wheelmen about Lance Armstrong, and lastly is a monitor for the WSJ panel “How I Built It” featuring well-known American entrepreneurs. 

Rick Wartzman: @RWartzman

Rick Wartzman is a must follow. He is a contributor to @FortuneMagazine writing a colum titled Work 3.0, and he is the author of “The King of California” and “Obscene to the Extreme.” He is currently the Executive Director of Drucker Institute–Strengthening organizations to strengthen society. Rick’s Twitter feed is funny, honest, and full of helpful information for business owners.

Jeff Hoffman: @SpeakerJeff

Jeff is considered a business expert and has been on Fox News, CNN International, Bloomberg News, ABC and in publications including Forbes, Inc, Time, Fast Company, Wall Street Journal and many more. He has been the CEO and senior executive of many well-known startups, including Priceline.com. He serves on many charity and nonprofit boards, travels often as a keynote speaker at entrepreneurial and business leadership conventions. But there’s also the simple fact that his Twitter feed is probably the most lighthearted listed here. One of his most recent tweets is of him holding hands with the Dalai Llama in New York as he judged the Tibetan Innovation Challenge.

Rakia Reynolds: @RakiaReynolds

Rakia is the Twitter account you can’t miss. Her feed is personal, successful, and imaginative.  While we’re talking about social feed, we’re also going to throw in that you’re missing out if you’re not also following her on Instagram. Rakia is the owner of SkaiBlue Media, a marketing agency for lifestyle, technology, and non-profit brands. Rakia is a very successful small business owner, and she’s worth a follow if you’re looking for more upbeat success stories in your feed.

Howard Lewinter: @HowardLewinter

CEO’s, Presidents, and business owners have called on Howard for over 25 years.  He gives advice on business survival, stability, and profit turnaround. Howard’s motto on his Linkedin profile states, “If you’d like more success – more profit – less stress, then let’s talk.” He also hosts his own radio show called “Talk Business With Howard.” He has also been a contributing writer for the Linkedin Business and Selling Fearlessly blog. His Twitter feed has personal and motivational quotes, and many useful links to articles pertaining to running a successful business.