productivity-tips

For an entrepreneur or a business-owner, finishing all the important stuff in the least amount of time, is one of the challenges that they face, especially with the amount of workload that they have to deal with.

Thankfully, as the internet grows, so are the available tools online that can help out with simplifying most of the tedious tasks that office-workers face, all in the shortest amount of time.

Evernote

A lot of tasks require that the user keeps a note to remind themselves of anything that they have to do. And Evernote is one of the best tools that one can use for this purpose. This tool can be used to take a note on almost anything that you can ever think of, so you can just write it on Evernote, and let it stay there to remind yourself.

Microsoft Office

From writing reports and spreadsheets to creating presentations, and even accessing your email, Microsoft Office has it all. It’s all-in-one software package lets you do just about anything that has to be done in an office environment.

Ginger

This is a very good spellchecking software that easily integrates with almost any browser and office suite available. So you don’t have to worry about getting many spelling and grammar mistakes ever again.

RoboForm

Since most office workers have multiple accounts that they use for their business process, sometimes, it’s hard to remember and keep track of them all. RoboForm solves this by storing all your usernames and passwords, and other data that needs to be filled, so that you can access them anytime you need.

DropBox

This is a very handy tool that allows you to create an online folder where you can store all your needed files and documents, and when needed, you can simply retrieve them from your created folder, even when you’re in another device.

Ping.fm

Ping is a very handy tool that allows you to post a status update to your Twitter, Facebook, or any other social media account that you have, ALL at the same time.

Hyperwords

A very powerful and very handy add-on for both Firefox and Chrome that allows you to do several things at once, including searching on different search engines, share on several social networking sites, and it also acts as a currency converter, and online translator.

Skype

This is a very useful communications tool that allows free calls from almost anywhere on the globe, as long as they are also using it, thus making communications with clients and other workers from around the world, much easier.

Google Apps

Basically an all-in-one collection of web-based programs that lets you simplify many tasks online, including communications, document-viewing, even work collaboration from just about anywhere.

Microsoft Project

THE ultimate project management software. And while the interface takes a while getting used to, once fully mastered, it will essentially make managing all your office tasks so much easier.

Rescue Time

A very useful time management software, which keeps track of how much time you have spent online, as well as a fully-detailed report on how much you have spent on each task that you do.

Team Viewer

This probably is the ultimate team app. It allows another person to remotely control a desktop without much fuss. If you’ve ever want to teach someone a new trick, or show someone how to fix things, this is definitely the application for you two.

Know Your Guest Author:

Elaine Ryder is an online writer who currently writes and does a lot of SEO stuff for prismicreflections.com. Deep down, she’s also an aspiring entrepreneur who wants to achieve and help people reach success through the internet.

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digital-marketing

Balanced marketing campaigns see the best results; here’s how

People have been prophesying the doom of traditional marketing for at least 15 years now; and while digital marketing continues to consume a larger and larger share of the marketplace, traditional tools are far from obsolete.

Americans still watch 3 ½ hours of live television every day—using their television sets, without a DVR to skip through commercials. That’s a huge window to reach customers. And while newspaper subscriptions have fallen precipitously, so have the prices of newspaper ad space. There are still great opportunities to find new customers and clients. Here are a few ways business can cover all their bases without duplicating effort.

Use social media to publicize your traditional marketing efforts

There are two types of ads that people will actually go out of their way to watch: polished, multimillion-dollar Super Bowl ads, and viral campaigns. Your local TV spot doesn’t have to be high art, but if it’s something different and funny (whether you intended it to be or not), you might find that word gets out quickly on Youtube.

In late 2011, a tiny California taxidermist threw out a low-budget, bafflingly-crazy ad that drew 14,000,000 views on Youtube and made them an internet sensation. It would be a shame if that company had been content to leave their ad on local television, and miss out on the colossal power of viral marketing and social media. Of course, most campaigns don’t blow up that big, but it costs nothing to try.

Use QR codes to bridge your digital and traditional campaigns

One of the coolest new marketing tools came from very simple origins—QR codes were first invented to help warehouses track inventory, but now they allow you to bridge traditional and digital media with the snap of a smartphone camera. Include QR codes on all your print content—from your print ads to the paint job on your company van to the personalized wrist bands you give out at company events. One of the powerful elements of the QR code is its mystery and novelty—it’s cryptic, leaving your target customers wondering what they’ll find if they click. Just make sure to reward their curiosity, and take them somewhere fun.

Make maximum use of trade shows

Trade shows are a great tool for B2B networking and marketing, but if your business has both B2B and direct-to-consumer elements, why keep the party to yourself? By posting questions and surveys to get your online audience talking, you can involve them in your trade show experience, and let them see you with your best foot forward. Show that you’re invested in the opinions of your customers and clients, and you’ll impress everyone you meet, online and off.

Use analytics to monitor your traditional campaigns

In the past, traditional marketers had only hazy estimates of the impact of their marketing campaigns—that’s why we got things like the Nielsen ratings and the Journal of Consumer Research. Digital campaigns, on the other hand, are eminently measurable. By assigning targeted landing pages to each of your traditional marketing tools (print ads, QR codes, TV spots, etc.), you can learn exactly how many people are being influenced by each tool you use. It’s a phenomenal way to measure impact and fine-tune your overall marketing strategy.

Know Your Guest Author:

Tara Wagner is a staff writer forTechBreach. She has worked from home for over a decade, and loves sharing news and advice with fellow telecommuting moms and dads. She’s fascinated by new tech and new ideas; and when she finds time to unplug, she enjoys long hikes in the mountains near her home. She lives in Denver.

 

 

 

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With Google pushing because of with its programs to shutdown the famous Google Reader RSSfeed service on 01 July 2013, its faithful users have been stuffing to get the next greatest RSS service where they are able to take refuge.

Apart from the truth that an extensive and dedicated user base will get impact once this happens, it’s also commonly recognized that a variety of relevant solutions depend on Google Reader’s API. Therefore, the stopping of Google Reader also indicates auto death to their services whenever they do not find workarounds.

Fortunately, this news also started out numerous prospects for those who desire to present solutions to RSS users among the upcoming Google Reader trouble. Check it out at many of them.

5 Google Reader Alternatives

Reeder:

Known as by many Apple enthusiasts as the ideal RSS newsreader for Mac and iOS, Reeder’s major crowd drawer is its wonderful and easy interface supported by reliable accessories.

In addition, it certainly not fails to target the require for other features starting from sharing choices and protecting functions, to addition with solutions such as Pinterest, Instapaper, Evernote, Pocket, Twitter, and Facebook and User interface tweaks that can gratify users that need complete choices.

Even so, allow it to be obvious that Reeder has its own display structure and it lacks sub-folders so it’s just only perfect to those who don’t have a large number of feeds stored.

NewsBlur:

A different service that’s been increasing much focus recently as a Google Reader option is NewsBlur. It’s an organized service that will demand you to pay some smaller but it’s also free. All of the feeds you import from Google Reader will detailed by category around the left panel and then once you simply click on a feed including things from the Ring Central website, for example, you’ll manage to see a divided screen including the opinion of the story from the site and check out other stories from the feed.

Feedly:

Launched in 2008 and based in Palo Alto, California. Feedly is privately organized company, known as among TIME Magazine’s Top 10 Smartphone Applications previous 2011.

Currently, this aggregator, which provides option to search and find out feeds, is free and accessible on the iPhone, android, iPad devices and on the desktop as a plug-in for Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome and Apple Safari. Its website states that over millions Google Reader “refugees” already have turned to it.

Taptu:

Taptu is among the friendliest applications regarding platform interface and flexibility, being accessible for iOS, Android and BlackBerry devices. The application areas heavy focus on social networking by enabling addition with a user’s LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter feeds apart from being just a complete on RSS reader.

Although some users may have obtained disappointed over its feed restrict, many people have heralded its great off-line reading service. It’ll absolutely come in useful for all those who don’t have 24*7 accesses to the internet.

Flipboard:

In case you want something to turn blog posts, images, video, social networking and feeds into an amazing journal like layout, then you would be satisfied about Flipboard.

Accessible on both the iOS and Android platforms, the application attempts to reproduce the expertise one would usually get from studying a newspapers or a magazine – some would also call it a “live magazine”. Even upon its release years ago, it’s already drawn surf between users and technical experts and even acquired numerous awards. Therefore, in case you want an immersive aesthetic expertise to view your RSS feeds, believe in that Flipboard will provide.

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Stephan Wilikin has been writing on technology and ideal Mobile Apps Development Company related subject for over a several years now. Our articles or blog posts are a most effective source of information for the readers. His also provides an excellent deal of info on the ways. Follow me on Google+ now.

 

 

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small-business-optimisation

Whether you’re a seasoned small business owner or you’re just starting out, there’s always room for a business to grow. Many people don’t employ all the tricks of the trade that they should when managing their business. There are certain guidelines that you should follow — and mistakes you should avoid — to attract clients and watch your bottom line increase.

Create a fully developed idea

This includes writing a business plan with current and future goals, as well as steps regarding how to get there. You should also regularly look over your business plan to make sure it’s up-to-date. As you start reaching goals, you can create new ones or work on the goals you had set for the future.

Target the right audience

If you’re offering gourmet edibles, don’t approach a book editor who specializes in science fiction. This is a waste of time. Research the types of clientele that your type of business affects and interests. Then, set your sights on that specific audience niche.

Hire a marketing expert

odds are you’re not going to have enough free time to take care of everything on our own. Your marketer can handle everything from answering e-mails to finding media for ad placement.

Attend industry events

whether they are book signings or cocktail dinners, just so long as they’re relevant to your industry. You never know when you are going to run into another professional who could help your business or a potential client. This is a great way to expand your contacts and network. Don’t forget to bring along business cards!

Double- and triple-check everything

Whatever you are writing, whether it is a quick email, professional resume or website content, make sure that your spelling, punctuation and grammar are perfect. A typo in a piece of writing is a sure-fire way to have a client not take you seriously.

Avoid bragging and hyperbole

Do not tell a client that they need to buy your product or service, or else they will miss a great opportunity. What you have to offer should speak for itself.

Learn the administrative side of running a business

You’ll need to be well-versed in how to keep track of clients, maintain client relationships, manage your time and market your business. If you don’t already have office experience, consider taking a college course or continuing education course focused on basic business practices.

Choose whether you will be operating your business on a part-time or full-time schedule

You’ll also need to choose whether you’ll run the business solely by yourself or if you’ll hire employees.

Interact with clients online

In today’s world of marketing, the best way to gain clientele is to have a conversation with them, not speak at them. Even if you have a marketing expert running the show, you should log onto your social media profiles on a regular basis to interact one-on-one with your fans, clients and prospective clients.

Make sure to keep track of which customers or clients bought what

This will help you to target them for becoming repeat customers. You’ll be able to offer them products and services that you know they’d be interested in based on their past purchases.

I am sure I could list more points, but these are ones which will most certainly help you to grow and avoid potential catastrophe, please let me know if you have any additional suggestions by commenting below, thank you.

Know Your Guest Author:

My name is Isaac and I write about business usually, by day I work in marketing helping companies like Aon Hewitt’s Risk Mitigation team with their online marketing.

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slides_img_01It can be hard to keep up with the office when you’re out travelling, drumming up investment and finding clients. Luckily, there are plenty of apps designed to help make your life easier, and we’ve scoured the App Store and Google Play for the best of the best. Here are some of the most effective apps we’ve found to help you stay organized, on top of your finances, and connected.

Evernote (Android, iOS)

This is probably the best app on the market to help you keep your notes organized and your thoughts coherent. It syncs with your desktop, and allows you to share what you’ve taken note of with colleagues. We particularly like the features allowing you to save information from webpages, and add it directly into your notes all the while preserving the original formatting. Link audio and video clips, write memos, and create reminders to colleagues all in the same app. It’s great to use during meetings to help you keep track of your brilliance when inspiration strikes you, and not risk losing it if you try and write it down later. (Cost: free)

LinkedIn (Android,iOS)

It’s all about who you know, and who knows you. LinkedIn is the professional’s social network, and if you’re not a member, you need to sign up immediately. Connect with friends and coworkers, but more importantly expand your network to those you don’t know, but want to. The website is easy to navigate and set up, but we particularly enjoy the mobile version as it not only packs most of the features of the website, but also allows you to connect on the fly with people you run into during your daily activities. Find someone that knows a vendor you need? Connect with them immediately, then contact your vendor and when they see your mutual connection you’ve already got an in. (Cost: free)

Quickbooks Mobile (Android,iOS)

If you’re using QuickBooks software for accounting in your business, you owe it to yourself to load up the mobile version of their software. It hooks right into your account and allows you to view, edit, and contact your customers on the go. You can email invoices, sales receipts or estimates, and also send out payments right from your mobile device. Load up a copy for yourself and make sure your accountant gets it too, so they can adjust and manage your finances if they have to be away from the office. Use to app to help guide financial meetings with your employees or financers. If you have paid for the desktop software, the app is free, so you might as well benefit and get it now. (Cost: free-ish)

Sign Easy (Android, iOS)

This is probably one of our favorite apps to make the list, because it does something we’ve all wanted to do for a very long time. Have an invoice that needs to be signed, or a W9 for some work you’ve done? This app makes signing documents even easier than if you were at home. Simply load the PDF that you need to sign, and sign with your finger, save and send. Load documents from your email, the web, DropBox, Good Drive and virtually every other program that allows you to view a document. Stop wasting time and paper, and sign stuff the easy way. (Cost:free)

SBA Gems (Android)

For entrepreneurs by entrepreneurs, this app is designed to help your small business find every applicable federal and SBA programs and resources to help you get your business jump started. The app was a winner of the ‘Apps for Entrepreneurs Challenge’ hosed by the US Small Business Administration and it’s easy to see why with a wealth of information and an intuitive interface. Though still in its infancy, SBA Gems features tools to help you find business license and permit requirements, federal loans, grants, and programs, as well as other tools like keeping you updated on business news and the SBA Twitter feed. (Cost:free)

Know Your Guest Author:

Aimee Watts is a staff writer for Mobile Moo. She has spent ten years telecommuting full-time, and loves spreading tips and advice for fellow work-at-home parents. She loves gadgets, new ideas, and skiing with her two favorite people: her husband and teenage son. They live in Evergreen, Colorado.

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onlineFor small businesses or startups, a marketing campaign is essential.  It’s the backbone of setting up a successful business. After all, as an entrepreneur hacking it out it on your own, you want as many people to know about your services or products as possible.

The real hurdle to contend with though is how to build up an efficient campaign.  How do you reach out to as many people as possible with the least amount of effort? Looking to drive people to your website? With many marketing avenues to explore, there are many things to consider.

If you’re thinking of pursuing both offline and online marketing, there is, literally, no limit to what you can do. Using a few general tech tools, you can integrate your offline audience with your online marketing to solidify your client base.  Consider the following strategies:

Use QR Codes On Marketing Material

Without doubt, you’re thinking about marketing material. Using billboards, posters, leaflets, and business cards is a great idea to reach potential clients.  But remember that the real estate on physical publications is precious. So a QR code will become the most powerful thing you’ll want on each publication format.

Instead of wasting ad space on information, promotional details and the like, use a QR code. It will do it for you in one neat square inch of space. Everyone has a mobile device these days, and QR codes can connect them directly to your digital sources online.

Get creative with these. there’s a lot you can do with them: contact details, product information, web pages, send email messages, text messages, link to demo videos, get people to sign up for early bird deals. The list goes on.

Connect Your Startup And Users With Foursquare

With the power of mobile devices, you can get social networks working for you. Connect people and services. Foursquare, the geo-location mapping network, is known for its ability to let users digitally share where they’ve been physically.

Why not have people check in with Foursquare to your business’ physical location?  Not only that, but Foursquare members can review, share, rate, comment, take pictures, and favourite those locations. You can easily put yourself on the map here. You can even give people an incentive to check in with contests or giveaways. This is definitely an easy way to get online testimonials for your budding business.

Get Hooked Up With Groupon

Who doesn’t love a discount? Depending on your service and products, you can easily set up a Groupon people can redeem in person or online.  If you’re looking to get in touch with other relevant companies to help boost your credibility, try partnering up with notable or relevant establishments or stores to offer gift certificates, marked down purchases or 2 for 1 deals. This works great to help celebrate grand openings, releases and product launches.

It’s a great way to get people into your store and an even greater way to reach more than one person. The Groupon discount only works if a certain number of people sign up for it. Word of mouth for discounts and deals is always a sure fire way to catch people’s attention. You really can’t afford to miss an opportunity as easy as that!

Set Up Contests For Convention Attendees

Get your business seen at world renown conferences and conventions. It’s perhaps one of the best ways to get a foothold in your niche. You can reach targeted clients for your business and gain potential leads. The best part about this is that you can shift your interaction easily online and give them a way to stay connected after they walk away.

For this strategy, a simple contest could do very well. Encourage attendees to enter while they visit your booth in person. Invite them to follow, add or check in with your online networks where you’ll be announcing the lucky winners.  It’s a quick incentive to get people following you and your chance to ensure that your online marketing efforts with tweets, social media posts and community engagement, are seen.

Create A Mobile App

Your website is more than likely going to be homebase for any news or updates you have for your clients.  Having some great content and resources will help round out your site.  For highly frequent updates and content, creating a mobile app might be a great way to get those offline users plugged into your online marketing.

Major tech sites like MakeUseOf.com, for instance, have their own RSS feed app for keeping faithful followers updated with the latest posts on their site, their Facebook page and their Twitter network. The app gears their content to mobile viewing, providing a friendly user experience that encourages people to check in.

Bonus Tip:  Share A Bit About Yourself

One easy way to get offline users interested in your online campaign is to be more personable. These days it’s a growing trend for companies to come out from behind their website and show that there are real people running the company. So should you. Get personal (yet keep it professional!)  with your clientele.

Share a bit about yourselves. Record a promotional video, upload photos of the office, and take pictures of your organization at conferences. Showing how your company culture relates to the people you want using your service can reassure prospective users online that your business is real and credible. The last thing you want is to have users thinking that your online presence is a scam.

As you can see, mainstream technology has made it extremely easy to be creative with your marketing campaign. All it takes is the right target with the right combination of tools to ensure your success.  These are just a few ideas to put you on the right track. What strategies have you tried?

Know Your Guest Author:

Reena Cruz  writes for the Investintech.com blog, where she shares tips about PDF converter technology and software in general. As a tech-geek, she enjoys learning about new tech trends and sharing productivity tool tips online. 

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pinterestIf you own a business, you literally can’t afford to overlook social media in your marketing strategy. Having a business page on Facebook helps, but to keep up with the trends, it’s a good idea to have a presence on Pinterest, too.

The Internet is a vast resource where you can find plenty of things that strike your fancy. Now, Pinterest lets you share those interests with the world. See why it could play an integral role in your marketing efforts? Read on to learn some things to do now, even if you’re a Pinterest newbie.

Be Visible

Just like the now-iconic blue and white Facebook logo graphic, Pinterest’s scripted P against a vivid solid red background is equally easy to spot. It’s simple to add the Pinterest logo to your own website HTML along with a “Follow Me On Pinterest” tagline.

Make It Interactive

Letting your target audience know that your business is on Pinterest is one thing, but you can make things even more fun by adding “Pin It” links to any of your product pages. This simplifies the user experience, and potentially drives interest for your products in just one click. Before long, your customers can add any of your items to their personal pinboards, and increase your web presence in the process.

Work With Widgets

Fortunately, being a computer whiz isn’t a prerequisite for building a brand via Pinterest. To attract corporations that might want to take advantage of this social media hub, Pinterest staff members give a step-by-step process of how to add buttons and widgets to websites. These additions create simple integrations between Pinterest and your company’s home on the Web. If you do things carefully, customers will navigate between the two websites in a nearly seamless way, enhancing their web browsing experience.

Keep It Legal

Brand recognition is one of the driving factors behind Pinterest’s quick and global success. Understandably then, there are a few guidelines to follow when you add their logo to your website. These apply whether you’re a business that sells kitchen gadgets or Mustang accessories, but aren’t too difficult to follow, especially if you get graphics directly from Pinterest.

For example, your business is not allowed to alter the colors of any Pinterest graphics, or apply any special effects. Rotating the graphics is also not permitted.

Give The Right Impression

When used properly, Pinterest works in conjunction with other promotional efforts. In almost every industry, marketing is an all-encompassing process which incorporates several types of media simultaneously. Although it’s certainly worth trying to reach broader portions of your audience through websites like Pinterest, never give visitors the idea that you’re being directly endorsed by a social media giant.

Look Beyond The Surface

Once you learn all the ins and outs of social media, you’ll discover it often holds the key to what makes your target audience tick. By evaluating what customers are displaying on their Pinterest boards, you’ll get insight into what they enjoy. This information is similar to what you’d gain by polling your customers through an in-person focus group. Although they’re not communicating with spoken voices, you’ll get a visual representation of their personal passions, and you can use that information to your advantage.

The six suggestions above use a combination of website additions, brand usage principles and a keen eye for what your customers deem most important. Furthermore, all these tips are free and can be implemented in minutes. Huffington Post recently called the Pinterest website one of the fastest growing of its kind in history, and they’re right. Millions of users visit it daily, and you can start using it to make your business more profitable today.

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Adrienne is a blogger and aspiring writer. When she’s not blogging about tech and social media, you might find her practicing her French, whipping up some recipes she found on Pinterest, or obsessing over vintage postcards and stamps.

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instagram

Instagram is quickly gaining on social media giants like Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest in terms of marketing influence. Now that it has been acquired by Facebook, chances are that its user base and its influence will only grow.

Learning how to use Instagram to market your business can help you to leverage this influential tool to help your business grow and to drive sales. Here are a few tips for how you can use Instagram to market your business:

Share Beautiful Photos

The best way to get noticed on Instagram is to share truly exceptional photos. This is the same principal for sharing content on your blog or any other social media: You must share something special in order to get your readers, fans, or followers to take notice and to feel compelled to engage with you on these channels. Set yourself apart and attract more fans by sharing beautiful photos on your Instagram feed.

Tell a Story

Don’t just share beautiful photos of your products or of your services in action; tell a story about your brand. Show photos of your products being used by your target audience and illustrating how they are making life better. Share photos that showcase how life will be for customers who use your services.

Telling a story is a more engaging way to connect with customers than trying to simply sell the product.

Encourage User Images

Engage your followers more by encouraging them to share beautiful photos of their own that sell your brand. Not only will you get more great pictures to attract new followers, but you’ll also make your customers a part of telling your story, building stronger connections with them and promoting brand loyalty.

Hold Contests

Contests are a great way to attract more Instagram followers and to encourage more engagement with your brand. You can hold a photo contest and give away a prize for the best or most creative photo of your brand. Or you can simply hold a drawing for a random follower, encouraging more people to follow you on the site and learn more about your brand.

Contests help you build buzz for your company, your products and

services, and Instagram offers unique opportunities for contests.

Use Keywords

The principles behind SEO work across online networks. Make sure you use your keywords to help you attract more followers in your niche. Use them in descriptions of your photos, your alt text, and your hashtags. Users in your niche can then find you when they are searching for those or related keywords. The more you use your keywords, the more likely you will be to connect with these potential customers.

Instagram presents a lot of potential for businesses looking to market their brand. The site is growing and gaining influence every day, and businesses can start using it now to connect with customers and build long-term relationships that drive sales.

How are you using Instagram to promote your business? Share your tips for success in the comments!

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Sarah Clare is a writer and oversees the site projectmanagementsoftware.com, where she has recently been researching project tracking software. In her spare time, Sarah enjoys cooking and scrapbooking.

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Business Relationship Building

Starting and running a small business involves so many different tasks that people often get lost in the shuffle. But without the people involved in your business, such as employees, customers and vendors, you probably wouldn’t have a business to run. As you focus on business growth, be sure to relegate some of your attention to relationship-building. To maximize your relationship-building potential and the way it can help your business, follow these five rules.

  1. Focus on Quality.Quality is indeed more important than quantity. Obviously, you want to have a large number of customers, and it’s not possible to develop a relationship with each one personally. But you can take the time to engage customers in discussion on your blog or other social media venues, as well as in your store front. Likewise, take a few minutes to talk to your vendors and employees to make sure everything is running smoothly on their end. Because, when it’s not, it will eventually trickle down to you.
  2. Meet New People Every Day.Rome wasn’t built in a day, and you can’t build a large amount of business relationships overnight, either. But you can make an effort to meet and get to know one new person each day. This could be a new employee, vendor, customer or other small business owner.
  3. Network in the Community.Don’t forget about the other small-business owners in your community. They can become very beneficial connections for you and vice versa. Many towns hold networking meetings where small-business owners can come together monthly to discuss local business, troubleshoot problems and get to know other business owners. Spending time with other business owners can help you learn as you establish a footing in the business world.
  4. Keep Communication Going.Meeting someone and introducing yourself is not the basis for a relationship. To turn an acquaintance into a business relationship, you have to continue your efforts with communication. Become the business owner who initiates conversations with customers, employees, vendors and community members. People will notice when you take a genuine interest in them and make the effort to stay in touch.
  5. Be Friendly, Professional and Personable On- and Offline. Keep a bad day to yourself and make a conscious effort to be professional and personable with everyone you come into contact with. This can be especially important on the internet where many people believe it’s acceptable to forget manners, friendliness and courteous behavior. Have an internet marketing agency help you with your business website to make sure it’s inviting and encourages visitors to follow your blog, contact you with questions or comments, or click through to make a purchase.

Excellent marketing strategies and a hard work ethic will only get you so far if you aren’t building relationships in and around your business. Whether your business is a brick and mortar or an internet business, it’s important to make an effort to establish and build relationships in your community and beyond. As these relationships are created, continue to nurture them, knowing that the time and effort you invest will provide a return of business growth and success.

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Mary Ylisela works for Touchpoint Digital, a UK-based internet marketing company & digital advertising agency. Visit us to find out more about our services or take a read of our blog for more on increasing your online sales.

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social media web designing

Any business professional can benefit from using social media to attract new clients and engage existing clients. This goes doubly or even triply so for web designers. It’s likely that many of your competitors already use social media to target potential new clients and with good reason. The majority of your target market already uses social media to some degree and will probably use the internet and/or social media when searching for a web designer. If you’re not using social media at least as part of your marketing strategy, you’re missing out on a major marketing opportunity.

The Most Basic: Simple Promotion

The most basic and common way web designers use social media to get clients is by simply promoting themselves or their companies on the most popular social media sites like Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter. Using these sites, you can link to sample pages that demonstrate some of your capabilities. You can also use these sites to link to live websites that you’ve worked on in the past. In addition, many professionals, including web designers, offer special discounts to social media users who follow or like their business’s page, and they use social media to promote special deals and giveaways.

Creating Webinar Tutorials

Savvy business professionals also promote themselves by creating quality content like webinars and video tutorials. As a web designer, you can create webinars and tutorials that show what a high-quality website that you’ve built can do. On one level, you’re creating a sales pitch for your service. However, that doesn’t mean you still can’t offer quality and useful content that helps and entertains viewers. You can demonstrate and discuss the differences between a good website and a bad one, or what makes a website great rather than merely average. You can also show and talk about what features make visitors want to stay, look around your site, and find out more about your business. Compare those features with the qualities that make visitors abandon sites within the first ten seconds. You can also give advice to viewers about what potential web design clients should look for in a designer and what qualities they should avoid.

Linking Social Media Pages to a Blog

Blogging is one way to get your name and your content noticed on the web. It helps your business with SEO simply by existing. All you need to do is update content related to your business semi-regularly. If you have a blog, connect your blog to your social media pages. Post links to your new content when it’s up; this makes your social media followers aware of your new content. Just as with webinars and video tutorials, be sure that you’re providing content that’s useful and of value to your target market. One of the main activities on social media sites like Facebook, Twitter and Google Plus is the posting and re-posting of interesting, entertaining and humorous content. Even if existing clients make up all of your followers and friends, if even a handful of them re-post your blog links, that can lead to potential new customers.

Create Detailed Profiles and Fan Pages

Many people don’t do this, regardless of what profession they’re in. Whether it’s because they don’t want to take the time to fill out the profile section of the site or they don’t know what to say about themselves, they’re making a big mistake. When people browse through profiles or sites, especially if they’re already in the market for a particular product or service, they do read or at least skim the “about me” or “about this business” section of the profile. Use this section to talk about your experience and link to live websites showcasing your prior work if you can. Fill in as much information as possible, and aim for 100% completion if at all possible. Some readers will skip profiles or “about” information that’s only partially complete.

Use Designer-Specific Social Media

Besides the big names, many smaller social media sites exist that get used and searched by designers and people looking to hire designers. Post links to some of your work on design sites that behave like Digg, such as Designfloat.com, Designbump.com and WPVote.com. If you earn top ratings, your work gets shown on the landing page of the site, effectively reaching tons of potential viewers. You can also use design promotion sites like deviantART and Coroflot to promote yourself and get useful feedback and constructive criticism from other designers.

Conclusion

For any small business owner or entrepreneur, social media sites offer a free way to market to a myriad of potential customers. As a web professional, you’d be a fool not to take advantage of this opportunity. While you certainly can’t go around spamming users or attempting to market with no strategy, a number of creative and successful ways to market yourself exist for social media outlets. Often, these methods aren’t complicated and simply require you to post or re-post work you’ve already done. In the case that you market by creating new content, you’re still only investing a small portion of your time and paying nothing to potentially reach a very wide audience.

Know Your Guest Author

Hugh Yearsley is a freelance writer with a penchant for search engine optimization. He enjoys sharing his insights on various marketing blogs. Visit the WhoIsHostingThis webhost search engine and review service for more information on webhosts.

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