Wednesday, 29 May 2013

Two Valuable Free Tools To Boost Your Productivity

Today I would like to recommend a couple of very handy software tools.  They have been very helpful in terms of saving time and boosting productivity.  Best of all, these tools are free to download.
Enhance Your Online Conversations With Jing

Have you come to the circumstance in which you are on an online chat session and you desparately want the other party to see what your computer screen look like?

Jing is the perfect way to share images and short videos of your computer screen.  Simple and free, Jing is the perfect way to enhance your fast-paced online conversations. Create images and videos of what you see on your computer screen, then share them instantly!  

The best part I like Jing most is that you can share your screen by just clicking a couple of buttons.  Then you can paste the http URL to your chat session for the other party to view your screen.  You don't need to worry about saving the captured image into your local disk and attaching it to an email.

Capture What You See

Capture an image of what you see on your computer screen with Jing. Simply select any window or region that you want to capture, mark up your screenshot with a text box, arrow, highlight or picture caption, and decide how you want to share it.

Record What You Do

Select any window or region that you would like to record, and Jing will capture everything that happens in that area. From simple mouse movements to a fully narrated tutorial, Jing records everything you see, and do. Jing videos are limited to five minutes for instant, focused communication.

Quick & Easy Sharing

Send your screenshots and videos all over the web. As soon as you're done with your screen capture or screen recording, it's ready to upload to and share through IM, email, social media and more.
Remote Control, Desktop Sharing with TeamViewer

Last month when I was travelling overseas, I needed to remotely control my computer at home in Melbourne, Australia. I was amazed to find out that I could actually use TeamViewer apps in my iPad to remote control my computer thousands of miles away in Australia!

TeamViewer is a free tool that makes it incredibly easy to set and use a VPN connection; a Virtual Private Network that lets you take complete control of another PC from your own computer, whether they're separated by a soda can or a continent (and as long as both machines are running TeamViewer).

It enables two-way connections in which users can flip control back and forth. TeamViewer also lets you hold virtual meetings with multiple participants (again, they all must have TeamViewer installed). 

With a name like TeamViewer, you'd expect it to be an enterprise-ready tool, and you'd be right: TeamViewer's robust simplicity is what happens when multiple users of vastly different skills need to use software. After a while, the bugs get squashed pretty firmly. 

But TeamViewer is free to non-commercial users. That means you can use it to access your work and home PCs remotely, of course. But you can also install it on your mom's PC (for example) and provide tech support from home.

Thursday, 23 May 2013

3 Simple Ways to Measure Your Social Media Results

social media how toAre you looking for better ways to measure your social media activities?
Do you know if your social media efforts are worthwhile?
Social media measurement is one of the most frustrating challenges business face.
In this article I’ll show you three simple measurement strategies that can fit into one of your future campaigns.

Why Measure?

In order to measure the effectiveness of your social campaigns, it’s critical that youknow your objective.
Ask yourself why you are considering including social media in your overall marketing campaign in the first place. How will your efforts impact your revenue and grow your business?
You’ll want to put a measurable outcome in place along with a timeframe in which to achieve the goal.
Always setup goals so that you can measure social media. Image: iStockPhoto
Now you can determine which social media platform aligns with your objectives.
For example, if you’re trying to reach a female audience and your business lends well to pictures and images, you might want to consider Pinterest.
If you’re a business-to-business brand marketing an upcoming conference, you’ll want to consider LinkedIn.

#1: Quantify Your Social Media Listening

“What you’re doing [on social media] needs to have impact. It needs to actually have revenue. And often times we try to make it fuzzy about that.” – Frank Eliason, Citi’s Director, Global Social Media (@FrankEliason)
Listening is one of the most often overlooked uses of social media, yet it’s probably the most important. If you’re not listening to your customers, you’re missing the point of social media.
But how do you measure listening and how does it impact your revenue?
In this example, we’re going to look at using Twitter to answer that question.
  • In Twitter’s search field, enter your business name.
    Twitter Search Field
    Twitter’s search field.
  • You can then select whether you want to view Twitter’s “top” tweets about your business, “all” tweets containing your business name or tweets that contain your business name from only those people you follow.
    Twitter top tweets
    Twitter search.
  • As you filter the tweets, look through them and decide whom you’d like to follow. These are likely either potential customers or your current customers.
  • Monitor their tweets on a daily basisEngage with them, answering their questions, adding value and helping them whenever possible.
Twitter’s Advanced Search is powerful too, especially if you’re a local business. You can use it to search specific terms related to your business that people who are near your location are talking about.
Twitter is an amazing tool for providing real-time customer service. You can learn things like:
  • Exactly how many people you’re helping
  • If you’re growing that number of people
  • The issues customers are experiencing with your business
  • What’s broken in your business
At the end of the measurement period, prioritize the problems you identify and use that intelligence to implement fixes and improvements within your business. You canmeasure the direct impact on your business by looking at the additional revenue or cost savings that these new fixes give you.

#2: Create a Rating System for Your Social Engagement

“Put a [tiered point system] in place rather than looking at how many likes you have.” – Scott Monty, Ford’s global head of social media (@scottmonty)
This is a simple yet effective strategy to use when you’re trying to generate awareness and buzz. It’s a smart way to measure the response to your efforts on Facebook, Twitter or any other social channel you’re using.
Here’s how it works.
Say you’re launching a product or service and want to build buzz about it on Facebook. You post an update to your Page about your launch and you get a bunch of likes on it. The next day, you post a different type of update. You get some likes on it, but you also see that people are engaging more with the second update by sharing the post and commenting on it.
Likes show support and comments indicate a deeper interest but shares are most valuable because they move the update beyond your page.
At the beginning of the campaign, translate your objective to a numeric goal. Then,use a tiered point system to weight different types of engagement according to which is most valuable to you.
Here’s an example of a tiered point system for Facebook:
  • Likes: 1 point each
  • Comments: 5 points each
  • Shares: 10 points each
During the campaign, a quick sum of values will help you determine if your efforts on Facebook are moving you closer towards your goal or not.
Oreo Facebook post
Assign a point system to likes, shares and comments.
You can create similar point systems on any of the social channels you use. For example, on Twitter, 5 points for a reply and 10 points for a retweet.

#3: Add Tons of Value, Then Sell and Measure

“Jab, jab, jab, right hook.” – Gary Vaynerchuk (@garyvee)
This strategy is the concept behind Gary V.’s upcoming book and it’s based on providing great content that adds tons of value for your customers before asking for the sale.
Corcoran Group tweet
The Corcoran Group, a NYC real estate firm, adds value via their social media outlets.
For example, say your restaurant is rolling out a new healthy menu. Your goal is to get 300 customers into your restaurant to try the new menu over an upcoming weekend.
Since your food is visually appealing, you develop a Facebook or Instagram strategy. You post pictures of your food, create content around the importance of healthy eating and curate information on your Facebook Page about farmers’ markets in your area.
Offer this valuable content to build trust with people.
Then offer a coupon for your restaurant on your Facebook Page. The number of people who claim and redeem your coupon is a result you can quantify.
Here’s how to measure your efforts when using this strategy:
  • Use the tiered point system described in strategy #2 to determine if your content is moving you closer to your goal.
  • Use coupons that are specific to your social media campaign, thus making the return on your investment easy to track and measure.
  • Create unique landing pages for each of your campaigns where your customers can download or purchase what you are promoting. Since the landing page is used for one specific campaign, this will allow you to clearly see how successful your campaign is.
I hope this article gives you some ideas for how you can simply measure your social campaigns and shows you that you don’t need expensive measurement tools.

What do you think? Can you improve the effectiveness of your social media campaigns with some of the above strategies? What simple strategies are you using to measure your campaigns? Leave your questions and comments in the box below.
By Rick Mulready, Article source:

Thursday, 16 May 2013

3 Ugly Websites That Make Money by the Truck Load

This website is all about building WordPress websites that make money, but did you know that ugly websites can make money too? 

In fact having a fantastic design will not guarantee that you will make a brass razoo! You can equally make money with a boring minimalist WordPress theme that is almost ugly or a premium theme that looks awesome. The fact is, these ugly websites that make money only prove that the website design does not always contribute to a sites earnings.

Lets take a good look at some extremely ugly websites that make money by the truckload.

POF (Plenty Of Fish)

3 Ugly Websites That Make Money by the Truck Load image pof money

AS EASY AS IT LOOKS Markus Frind and his girlfriend, Annie Kanciar, have loads of time to play in their Vancouver, British Columbia, apartment. 

Markus Frind, the founder of plenty of fish, lazes around most days after completing a gruelling 10 minutes work on his super ugly, but profitable website. Markus has no college degrees to speak of yet rakes in over 10 million dollars a year at, approximately 5 million in pure profit.

The site itself is so simply that it is really ugly. In fact POF looks even worse when you actually try and see how Markus makes his money.

3 Ugly Websites That Make Money by the Truck Load image pof

Craigslist – Ugly Websites That Make Money or “Could Make Money”

The Craigslist business model seems crazy to some, but Craigslist President and Chief Executive Jim Buckmaster says this company has no plans to make more money. It seems they only need enough money to pay a few business expenses like web hosting services, electricity, and staff wages. The potential for this ugly website to make millions upon millions is obvious. There is no advertising, or none that is obvious to me anyway.

3 Ugly Websites That Make Money by the Truck Load image craigslist

WiseGeek Making Money on the Back of Quality Information Only

The screenshot below shows the main menu on the Wisegeek homepage. Simple and ugly. But investigate further and you will see a huge amount of advertising on each and every content page.

3 Ugly Websites That Make Money by the Truck Load image wise geek

If you press on one of these links that lead to a category page you will see 4 featured graphics at the top, then after that the page has literally thousands of links. It looks like they have listed every article in that section on that page.

3 Ugly Websites That Make Money by the Truck Load image wise geek category

Then when you look at one of these articles, the post has a huge amount of ads scattered through the content. I do not really know how much money this site makes but I guarantee it is a big chunk of change.

3 Ugly Websites That Make Money by the Truck Load image wisegeek ads

The one thing that all these ugly websites have is content that matches what their users want. They are simply providing what is needed and doing it well.

Therefore in this case, content is king here.

By Milica PanticArticle source:

Thursday, 9 May 2013

A Guide to Email Marketing: Back to Basics

Email marketing is one of the most powerful and effective channels of communicating and engaging prospects and loyal customers online. What makes email marketing strategy exceptional is that it gives you a chance to personalize your message. As much as email marketing is considered a simple internet marketing strategy, it delivers more results for online businesses than any other channel. In the section that follows, we shall delve into the nitty-gritty of email marketing so that you can enhance the effectiveness of your online marketing campaigns.

Guide to Email Marketing

A Guide to Email Marketing: Back to Basics image A Guide to Email Marketing Back to Basics

Capturing Readers via Email Marketing
Since there is no one easy way to capture readers and turn them into buyers, you have to adopt a progressive, rational, and sensible approach to email marketing. Unlike other channels of content marketing, email marketing speaks directly to members in your subscription list. Here are a few tips that can make your email campaigns more effective.

·        Create professional email newsletters
·        Use attractive and purposeful email templates
·        Effectively manage your email contact list
·        Track and analyze the performance of email marketing campaigns
·        Integrate email with social media networks
·        Use savvy and attractive email sign up forms
·        Conduct polls and surveys to find out what your readership prefers
·        Segment subscription list based on demography and behavior

With the right internet marketing approach, you can attract more readers and execute a highly effective email marketing campaign that builds brand loyalty and repeat business.

Building Your Email Contact List
One of the major problems with email marketing is collecting valid email addresses for building their contact lists. The truth is; you don’t need a large contact list to jumpstart your email marketing campaigns. You can start by sending out well-crafted emails and newsletters to a group of ten people. If the value proposition of your content marketing strategy is attractive, then those ten people will spread the word and encourage others to join your mailing list. Here are few handy tips that should inspire you to build your emails contact list.

1) Avoid paid email lists
Don’t ever be tempted to procure the services of internet agencies that sell contact lists with thousands of email addresses. Since these addresses have been forwarded without the express or inferred consent of owners, you risk turning your email marketing campaign into a spam campaign.

2) Be honest and truthful
You have to be sincere when creating an email contact list. Don’t use trickery or deception to gather email addresses for email marketing purposes without disclosing (to members) that they may be used for marketing purposes. Failure to do so breaches the Spam Act and creates distrust among customers and denies you a chance of building lasting relationships through email marketing.

3) Provide real benefits to subscribers
To make your email campaigns effective, you have to provide unique benefits to targeted readers. You can advertise on your business website or in promotional materials that your email newsletter comes with exclusive and special offers (free advice, vouchers or informative news) so that more people can subscribe.

4) Add a catchy sign up box
Identify a clear area where you can add a sign up box for building your contact list. The sign up box should be catchy and inviting so that visitors can subscribe. Again, ensure that this section highlights the benefits of joining your mailing list.

5) Offer subscriptions options in checkout
If you are selling products then also consider adding a simple email check box to the checkout section of your products page. This will give you an opportunity to send additional or promotional content (coupons, giveaways, tips) to your customers from time to time.

6) Use Autoresponders
You should make use of autoresponders to promote your company, products, or services. Autoresponders will come in handy when responding to new sign ups or when handling inquiries sent via email. It will also help you automate your email marketing campaigns so that you can send email newsletters to subscribers at specific times.

Assuming that you start with the ten people and set a target of twenty sign ups every month this will amount to 250 email addresses per year. This target is not only achievable but also exceedable.
Integrate Social Media and Email Marketing
It is very important to integrate social media marketing and email marketing in your internet marketing plan. One way of doing this is adding social media buttons on your email messages and encouraging recipients to engage with you in social media spaces. The beauty of integrating social media with email marketing is that it encourages social sharing which can leverage the visibility of your brand. Remember, social media creates buzz, but its email marketing that triggers the sale.

Monitor and Refine Your Email Marketing Campaigns
As I indicated, there is no one magic-formula that guarantees instant results with email marketing strategy. You have to keep refining your emails by experimenting new email designs and targeting emails to new market segments. You also have to monitor user interaction (click-throughs and responses) to determine which kind of emails are the most effective and least effective.
Fortunately, Software as a Service providers such as GetResponse and Mail Chimp provide email monitoring and reporting tool. These nifty tools can help you tracking the performance and effectiveness of your email marketing campaigns.

Embrace Mobile email Marketing
The mobile revolution has gathered unprecedented momentum to the point where mobile internet access is believed to have exceeded internet access via laptops and PCs. More and more consumers are using smartphones and tablets to access emails and conduct online searches. With this in mind, you have to create and adopt mobile-friendly email marketing templates to reach consumers who access –mails on the go.

To widen your reach and guarantee better click through rates, you should identify an email service provider (ESP) who provides mobile-friendly email templates that can scale to fit number of mobile devices. If you are using a responsive website then this should not be much of a problem.

Email marketing will always remain a useful channel for attracting readers and establishing new connections with prospects. You should design and craft professional emails and also present real benefits to prospects when building a subscription list

By Annetta Powell, Article Source: 

Sunday, 5 May 2013

How To Make Money With Facebook Pages

To help you to quickly get on the road to learning to make money with Facebook pages, here a some simple steps to take:

1.  Get Fans (Likes)

Social Media Education
Get More Fans!
You need to have an audience or target market to get you message out to.  Facebook claims to have over 1 billion registered users.  So it stands to reason that your audience is there.  You can build a fan base of followers by attracting people who are interested in who you are, what your business does, and what value do they gain by “Liking” your business page.
It’s VERY important to understand that people DO NOT want to hear a sales pitch about you or your product/service.  Social media has changed that.  But people do want to be educated and know more about the companies they spend money with.
The first thing you should do is to let all your family and friends know about your Facebook business page.  At the top of your business page look for a tab that says “Build Audience” and click on it.  Follow the instructions.  You can email all your contacts and invite all your friends on your personal page to Like your business page.  Ask them all to share your page with all their friends too!  If your friends won’t share your page then it’s time to get new friends!
Next thing to do is to post content every day.  Be consistent.  Don’t skip days or weeks without posting something.  Facebook has a “scheduling” feature so you can schedule your posts in advance.  Sometimes we schedule out a whole week of posts on Monday morning.  Click on this link to watch a video on  How To Schedule Posts On Your Facebook Page.
What kind of content do you post?  You need to create a page that gives people a reason to keep coming back.  Your posts should fit into one of the following categories:
  • Entertain
  • Educate
  • Enlighten
If your content doesn’t fit into one of these buckets don’t post it!  Notice there isn’t a “Sales Pitch” category?  Post lots of images and videos, make people laugh, educate them about your expertise, as well as motivate and inspire them.
Most importantly give value.  The more value you give the more people will seek you out for your expertise.
For example, if you are a real estate agent you could post an article about “The 3 Best Tips To Make Your Home Sell Faster!”  Promote your expertise and experience but don’t sell houses!  Get it?
If you consistently post great valuable content, not only will your fans keep coming back, they’ll “share” your page with their friends.
If you’d like to see an example of what excellent content looks like visit our The Best In Murfreesboro Facebook page.
Lastly, “engage” with other local business’s Facebook pages.  Facebook is like a business networking event.  Click the “gear” icon in the upper right corner of your page.  Click on “Use Facebook As:”.  Click your business page.  This allows you to go Like other business pages with your business page.  Engage in conversations, develop relationships, give value.
We’ll be putting out a video on how to get more fans soon.

2.  Convert Your Fans Into Buying Customers

How to make money with Facebook pages
Turn Your Fans Into Buying Customers
If you want to learn how to make money with Facebook pages this may be the most important step.  Remember, social media is about relationships,  not selling.  So you want to nurture and develop relationships with your audience.  You must build trust, earn respect and earn the right to sell your product or service.  This kind of deep relationship can take time.
A well designed Facebook business page can do a good job of presenting the message about your business without being overtly “pushy”.   Your page cover image and “tabs” are an excellent options for people to find out more about what you do.
Your ultimate goal should be this:  When the time comes that one of your fans (or one of their friends) is in the market to purchase a product or service like yours, they will remember you first and foremost and give you the opportunity to give them a proposal.

3. Turn Your Customers Into “Super Advocates” For Your Business!

Once you’ve converted your fans into customers it’s up to you to deliver the “Wow!” factor.  If you give them a such a great experience
Social Media Education
Word-of-mouth advertising on steroids!
with your product or service that they feel compelled to tell all their friends about you, then you need to capture that positive energy.
We all know that the best type of advertising is word-of-mouth.  Well, when you combine the power of the internet and the viral nature of Facebook you getWord-Of-Mouth Advertising on Steroids!    
Encourage your happiest fans to post a complimentary message about their experience on your Facebook page.  And when that happens your customers are doing the selling for you!  It doesn’t get any better than that does it!
For a great example of this phenomena check out one of our client’s Facebook page: Look at the “Recommendations” section on the right side of one of our clients FB page:  Farmers Family Restaurant.

4.  Use Facebook Ads To Activate Your Facebook Campaigns

When it comes to learning how to make money with Facebook pages we have saved the best for last.  In our professional opinion, Facebook Ads are the best way for you do it!
make money with Facebook Pages
Crush It With Facebook Ads!
What makes Facebook Ads so powerful is the fact that you can LASER target a specific audience that has an expressed interest in what you are advertising.  Unlike conventional advertising where the vast majority of the people who see have no interest in ever buying what the commercial is selling, with Facebook Ads you can select from over 120 demographic categories that will be seen by those people when they are on their Facebook Page.
You can even target your competitions fans!
Facebook has several advertising choices such as general ads, sponsored stories, and promoted posts.  From our experience in using all these types of Facebook ads we can tell you that they are powerful, affordable and best of all they GET RESULTS!
We use Facebook ads in almost all our campaigns.  It’s like pouring gasoline on a fire!  We use them to drive traffic to landing pages, for special promotions, to attract more fans, get more “Likes”, promote coupons and contests, and for calls-to-action.
We target our existing fans, our competitors fans, age categories, gender, income range, zip codes, by purchasing history, and much, much more.  And we’ve gotten our pay per clicks down, in some cases, to 10 cents a click.  But you have to know the Facebook system.
Facebook ads do require you to spend some money.  If you don’t have any money for advertising we HIGHLY recommend that you find a way to put aside some extra cash to invest in Facebook Ads.  If you’re serious about learning how to make money with Facebook pages you need to implement a Facebook Ad campaign as soon as possible.

Articl source: