www.do.com for sharing tasks, projects and files
www.trello.com a productivity tool
www.appointlet.com lets your clients make appointments with you online
www.launchrock.com is a site to create a cool' coming soon' page for your new website, building the anticipation and allowing visitors to register
www.wufoo.com lets you create all sorts of online forms to go on your website
www.mailchimp.com is an oldee, but a goodee, easily design and send out professional email newsletters, allows you a newsletter sign up form for your website too
www.mural.ly allows you to think, imagine and discuss creative ideas
www.cardflick.com allows you to design your business card to have on your phone and then share it when you need it
www.surveymonkey.com create and send surveys for free
Ever wondered if you should take that magazine advertising space or what you should put on Facebook, here I have compiled a list of ideas...
If you're wondering why you haven't heard from me for a while, last year brought the birth of my second son and babies as you probably know mean businesses take a bit of a back seat!
Thank you for your ongoing support, I enjoy being involved in what you're doing in your businesses and as always I too get excited by your achievements.
The start of year was the long-time coming of updating the Brandits logo, website and marketing materials.
And with that has brought some changes...
The other focus I still have is Invite Out providing invitational stationery for celebrations and this year I am also pursuing a long-held artistic dream, I will keep you posted.
Once again a big thank you, I love to hear from you and about what you're up to, if you would like some help or advice feel free to be in touch.
With a range of mobile devices most people own at least one of, ensuring your current website is up to working and looking good across these platforms is all important.
Google has a few tips for websites:
Id your site optimised for mobile, click here to test...
Pinterest is an online vision board for images that inspire you or that you just love. Users can organise images into boards like food or animals into categories. When you pin something new, your followers will see it, they can then like it, comment or re-pin it to their boards so therefore they can go viral.
Brides-to-be can pin pictures of different wedding dresses to review, and people shopping for a new car can pin images of their options. The possibilities are unlimited.
Here's a look at why some business owners -- particularly retailers -- might want to seriously consider starting a business profile on Pinterest now.
How It's Being Used
Perhaps the most powerful business application is the ability to post images of your company's products on your Pinterest board and link them back to your website. It works as a sort of virtual store catalog.
But remember that this is social media. If you simply display images of your products without contributing other content or sharing other users' pins, you'll likely find that people don't pay much attention.
Is Pinterest Right for Your Business?
The site does have some drawbacks for businesses. If your product or service isn't particularly visual, your images may not tie directly back to your brand.
The best way to determine if Pinterest could attract buyers is simply to give it a shot. Set up an account and start pinning things that are relevant to your business but not too promotional.
If you are a landscaper, for instance, pin pictures of landscaping you find online or snap in your community.You also can search through Pinterest's categories and add some inspirational, funny or beautiful images you find.
Then, follow interesting boards and individuals who post images that inspire you. Once you've done some pinning of other people's content for a week or so and attracted a few followers, create a new board of your products. Add descriptions and perhaps the price to the images. Make sure they link back to your website and start tracking pinterest.com as a referral source in your website analytics.
Next, try creating an image of a special deal or coupon just for your Pinterest followers. Upload it to a new board for Deals. Perhaps offer a prize to the person who gets the most likes or comments on a re-pin of the coupon, and then see who shares it the most. Don't fret about creating multiple boards. People who follow you will see them all.
In a month or two, see if you're getting referral traffic or sales. Depending on the results, you may need to tweak your boards with new images and words.
One thing is clear whether you're on Pinterest for personal or business reasons: the best images -- be they funny, beautiful or thought provoking -- attract the most attention and followers.
If you've heard of Content Marketing and have thought it is just something American that won't affect New Zealand business for the meantime anyway, read on to see how easy it is to be found online without paying for it...
Content marketing is the term used to describe the information online about your product and business. The following quote sums up it’s use perfectly…
“If you’re creating content that’s interesting, useful, and helpful, your customers and prospects will do more of your marketing for you, helping your company work less arduously and expensively on interruption marketing in its various guises.
Most organizations start with social media, only later to find that social media, in the content sharing sense, will only work if we develop amazing stories that solve our customers’ pain points”
A bit like buying advertising space, the more content you put online the more space you take up meaning plentiful opportunitues to be found online and it’s free.
Here are some content marketing ideas…
1. Blog Posts
The prospect of writing a blog might seem daunting to some, but even 5 minutes a week to write about something fresh happening in your business or industry that will create interest is well worth it. Blogs promote your business and products without question and are a resource for your customers as well as helping you be found online by new customers.
2. Guest Blog Posts
Contributing to another blog/s is also hugely important. Writing on other websites gets you in front of new audiences.
3. How-To Guides
You are an expert and presenting your knowledge in a video, blog post, pdf, images or on your website gives you the opportunity to show yorself as an expert and increase your chance of being found online for your expertise. Demonstrate a ‘how-to’ for learning something, doing a project, or some tips.
Apparently 93% of communication is nonverbal which means great photos, illustrations and graphics give you the perfect opportunity to attract fans, get your message out, make your idea clear and get attention.
Infographics, if you haven’t heard of these are information presented into great looking graphics, look on pinterest, there are many here. And because of sites like pinterest are a powerful way to get techy and detailed info across and because they look so good are shared around a lot.
Stand out with a video or two. Use for demonstrations, interviews, instructions and how-tos.
With visual marketing going back to a more vintage look illustrations are good for visually communicating a message, especially that old hand drawn look, perfect for instructions, recipes, invitations and more.
Referrals and testimonials will always be the best way to gain customers, provide proof of your value from happy customers and use on your website and social media. Help make the process of giving testimonials easier too by providing a form for doing this on your website or a link to your social media pages on your site too. Also encourage people to do this by sending out an online form to provide feedback.
9. Case Studies
Showing your customers how you have helped others and the results is a great way to gain attention, use this on your blog, website and your email newsletter.
11. Email Newsletters
Mailchimp is fantastic for a simple, professional way to email your customers, there is also the option to have a sign-up form on your website to grow your list. Content that can be read quickly is best, using short sentences and bullet points with valuable content (don’t re-use what you find online, write original content as Google sees your recycled content and won’t see your upload as a valuable inclusion) that inspires readers and they actually want to read. Mailchimp provides the statistics to see if your email was actually opened.
If you are using your blog to become an expert on a subject and are looking for a way to earn something from this, for a more wholesome way to go than adsense, packaging your expertise into an eBook either for a small dollar amount or as a giveaway is a great way to increase your value online and maybe make some money.
13. Twitter Chat
If you haven’t already set yourself up a Twitter account, (pages can be designed to be consistent with your branding) set up some people you’d like to follow to see how it works. Once you know how you’d like to use it for yourself start some twitter chats for discussing subjects, find out what your audience is interested in, then ask some questions about your topic.
What is Pinterest?
Pinterest is an image sharing site aimed at women to pin their favourite images for all sorts of topics to boards, a bit like creating a vision board and really popular for planning a Wedding, a renovation and more. It has a lot of 'how tos' for DIYers and arty women.
Should you be using it in your business?
If you market to women in any way and have images you can share, then yes most definitely set up an account and start sharing images of products and images that would appeal to your audience and that are relevant to your product or use it to show what your business is in to and all about. If you are wanting to become known for something in particular perhaps you can post some 'how to' instructionals or video.
To look professional, trustworthy and legitimate in your business it is best not to use free services for email or web hosting for that matter, domains and email hosting are really affordable and just makes you look that much more professional. You will potentially outshine your competition with this one small thing and yes it is small, but people do notice.