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The Two Sides of Every Business

Your business needs a platform

There are two sides to every business – the business you started, and publishing. You started your business to fill a particular need in a given niche, or marketplace; to provide service where one did not exist. This is your passion! It is what gets you up in the morning, and on occasion keeps you up late at night, and you are good at it! Guess what? Someone else, or some other organization feels the same way. Why should potential customers, and clients visit your physical location (…or website), and purchase the product, or service from you instead of  the another provider? What possible reason would they have for “trusting” that you will do a better job than your competition? Here are a few of what many consider to be the seemingly “easy” or “traditional” route.

  • Create flyers
  • Take out ads in local papers, magazines, directories, or value bulk mailers
  • Run an ad or two on local radio
  • Ads on local cable
  • Television
  • Build a website to list products, times, locations, contact information, and about pages
  • Run Google AdWords, Bing, or Facebook ad campaigns

In a world where everyone is doing the same thing because that’s what’s expected, how do you differentiate yourself? This is where the second side of your business comes into play. Running ads, and building a website to let the world know about your business, products and services is a great first step, but thinking, and utilizing your website as a publishing platform instead of a digitized print ad is the move that can take you into another stratosphere.

There are two ways to reach people online. Pay continuously for ads, or develop helpful, relevant content that search engines can provide to those seeking answers. The later can take more time upfront, but can also pay off in several forms:

  • Less ad spend
  • Free search traffic due to improved site content
  • Longer time on site
  • Better conversions
  • Improved reputation via social proof
  • Improved industry authority
  • Better brand recognition

I can hear the questions already, because I’ve asked myself the same, as well as answered them for many clients, “Where will I find the time?”, “What would I say?”, “I hate writing!”, “Nobody’s listening in my industry.” As the old saying goes, “You won’t know until you try.” Content can, and should be provided in different formats. So, don’t worry so much about writing. You can record it in an audio format. Some questions from customers may best answered via video, which can be converted to text or a separate audio file as well.

Ask yourself how many customers am I providing to my competition, or exposing to substandard service providers because I am unwilling to invest a little “sweat equity” in helping them find answers that I know I can provide.  Growing up in East Texas, I was always told that when you point a finger someone else at least three are pointing back at you (…you’ll get it on the drive home. It took me a while to get it back then…).

You will hear more from me about developing your publishing platform, and how you can integrate it to your print advertisement, radio/podcasting, and even television efforts in order to validate effectiveness. It’s time to do reach more by sharing versus spending. If you have questions, send them over. We will find the answers. Join my email list to have the next part of the conversation delivered directly to your inbox.

 

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VSee Is Your Video Conference plus Screen Share Solution

VSee application icon

Back in December, I was introduced to a videoconferencing solution called VSee . After testing this solution I can say that I am thoroughly impressed. This is simple, easy  to use solution.

 

  • Download the app to your Mac, PC or iPad
  • Create an account by providing an email address and password.
  • Invite meeting participants by simply sending an invitation from the home screen.
  • Once they have accepted, your meeting is connected.

Here are a few features that got my attention:

  • Vsee uses 50% less bandwidth than Skype,
  • has one click application sharing,
  • drag and drop file sharing
  • built-in chat,
  • FIPS 140-2 certified 256 bit AES encryption (end to end).

Now all of this would have been done in vain if the connection was horrible but I am happy to report that after nearly two months of testing I’ve not had one dropped conference. The system is able to provide low-bandwidth 3G/4G connections as well as 720P HD connections. According to VSee’s documentation it uses a proprietary network-sensing algorithm to make instantaneous adjustments.

The list of organizations already using VSee is also impressive. A few of which are IBM, the Navy SEALs, US Congress, Standford University and Lockheed Martin.  VSee is even used in the medical profession by companies in order to maintain HIPAA compliance. 

So what can VSee do for your business? Ask yourself how many more clients could you reach if you were able to meet face to face without leaving your office, share browsers and applications or allow your client to share what they are viewing from their end, and get the necessary documents signed by using the drag and drop functionality. How many Realtors could use VSee to assist in walking the client that is short on time through a series of potential properties by connecting and then sharing their browser or walking them through financial scenarios by sharing their goto application? What about companies with distributed teams? How much more could your team benefit from an application that allows you to share the tools that you use everyday to collaborate or transfer documents to team members in the midst of a video conference. It’s the next best thing to being there in the same room. These is are value adds your clients and prospects can appreciate.

How much is this going to set you back? I’m glad you asked that question. It comes down to how often you need to share your screen. VSee’s pricing is straight forward and affordable. 

  • All of the above features are available for free (including one screen share per day…).
  • For 9.99 per month you can have unlimited screen shares with the Plus account from your (the presenter’s) end.
  • The most expensive bundle is the Pro account (coming in at 49.99) which adds unlimited screen shares for both the presenter and meeting participants.
  • If you are a large company or just have questions their sales department is just a call, email or live chat away

Download VSee and see if doesn’t become your go-to app for video conferencing and sharing.

How To Add Revision Tracking To The WordPress Visual Editor

Have you ever had multiple authors working on the same draft of a post in WordPress and something get’s changed but you can’t restore it and “no one” remembers exactly what was changed or who did it? I generally work by myself and even with saving drafts I’ve lost a thought or two…Okay, okay! Three or four. Well I want to let you know about a free plugin that makes this scenario and others a thing of the past by making revision tracking a reality in the WordPress visual editor . The Ice Visual Revisions plugin is awesome! It was created by the New York Times CMS Group and is currently compatible up to version 3.4.2. according to the WordPress Plugin Directory. Ice not only adds revision tracking based on user information but it also color codes and time stamps any text that has been modified, added or deleted. The last feature I’ll mention is one of the best. Each individual change can be accepted or rejected by simply highlighting the change and clicking the green arrow or the red x ice revision iconsor accept or reject all changes by choosing one of the select all icons. This makes it easy to review and approve before saving the content as a final version. Ice Visual Revisions can truly be helpful if you are developing a magazine site or if you just happen to be one of several teachers in a school and your are sharing writing duties for your grade level blog. Maybe you are a realtor and you are posting information about a property and it is being modified by someone back in the office. As you can see the applications are endless. 

ice visual revision screenshot

Add Extra Button Options to Your WordPress Visual Editor

Have you ever thought to yourself, “Self… I need more options in the WordPress visual editor.” Or perhaps a client has stated they missed a feature they were use to having in their favorite desktop processor? Before you add that big plugin try this. By adding the following functionality to functions.php or even better to your own functionality plugin the visual editor may provide that extra option. If you do not need all of the options listed the function can easily be customized by simply deleting the lines you do not need. You can read about all of the options available on the WPMU site and also TinyMCE.

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function extra_visual_editor_buttons($buttons) {
$buttons[] = 'fontselect';
$buttons[] = 'backcolor';
$buttons[] = 'anchor';
$buttons[] = 'sub';
$buttons[] = 'sup';
$buttons[] = 'hr';
$buttons[] = 'cut';
$buttons[] = 'copy';
$buttons[] = 'paste';
$buttons[] = 'code';
$buttons[] = 'cleanup';
$buttons[] = 'styleselect';
return $buttons;
}
add_filter("mce_buttons_3", "extra_visual_editor_buttons");

Code on!

What Everyone Wants From Their Website…

As I talk to business owners from all areas I’ve noticed everyone is essentially looking for the same thing. Answers to how to make the web work for their niche. Whether it is an individual or a large organization relevant  clean, streamline and cost effective solutions are most often the request. My goal is to provide useful content and resources that will be of great benefit to you and your site. I hope that you find the information and conversations both timely and helpful…