Archives for 2014

Why Are You Afraid Of Me?

I’m seeing more and more of this -especially on tech sites. On the contact us page all they offer you is a form so that they can qualify you. What I don’t see is anything about where they are located, what they’re phone number is etc. For me, I want to know where you’re from. No particular reason -I just like to know. Sometimes you’re near other companies I know.

It concerns me that you don’t want to divulge that information. God forbid I actually call before you vet me. Already I can see that dealing with these hidden companies shows that they are all about their convenience not yours.

It is a pet peeve of mine, but I think it speaks to authenticity in a brand. I would bet that one of their brand values is service. They understand the word, not the effort that goes in to making service part of their corporate culture. If I was to somehow find their phone number what do you think the chances are you’d find a live body answering it?

Great service is not convenient it’s expected. Every little thing you do to diminish service is one step walking away from you. There are manufacturing companies in my region who have replaced live contact at the front door with a telephone and a directory. How’s a new customer to feel when they are forced to sit in a cold little seat searching a tacky directory to hale their contact to recover them from the vestibule?

Both of these examples are from the front end of the business. Both initial contact points. Sometimes saving a few dollars or being closed to connecting personally are small ideas that can cost you a huge amount of money in the long run.

Or it could just be me. I’m guessing a lot of professionals resent these tactics. Are you willing to bet
your brand on it?

5 Best Resources To Learn A New Language

Perhaps you are looking into setting up offices in a different country – or hope to. Or, maybe you’re hoping to connect better with staff or customers from a particular region.

Air balloons with flags isolated on white

Photo Credit © Depositphotos.com/Mishchenko

Whatever your reasons may be, learning a different language has many benefits for entrepreneurs. Besides business benefits, bilingualism is also good for your mental health.

Studies have shown that bilingualism delays the onset of dementia. People who speak more than one language also process information more easily. Convinced and want to get started? Here are 5 places you can learn a new language for free, or brush up on a language you learned in your youth.

DuoLingo – uses game strategy to help you learn and challenge yourself.

Livemocha – community based learning with native speakers, teachers, language experts and fellow language learners.

Word2Word – this site has an amazing number of links to different language resources. The variety of languages is also quite large.

Busuu – also community based learning. They also have mobile apps you can install to learn on the go.

LearnALanguage – Offers a several language options with interactive lessons.

Boost Lead Generation With Testimonials

When I first started online, one of the things that was taught to me was to put testimonials on dedicated opt-in pages. The whole idea is to treat these pages like a page where you sell an actual product.

It’s quite interesting to see that even after all this time, this little case study shows that testimonials still help convert visitors into subscribers/leads. Not that I’m expecting anything drastically different. Just goes to show sometimes it isn’t about how fancy your opt-in is.

boost-optins

Does Online Advertising Really Work For Brands?

We all have this nagging feeling in the back of our heads. Is what we’re doing working? How would we know? It’s a fair question.

As a (very) small business with two partners, no employees and several freelancers, the question whether digital advertising works is a resounding yes. In fact, I can’t imagine advertising anyway else.

Online advertising is very friendly on the small-micro business budgets and it is immediately measurable. However, if you are a long time brick-mortar business or mid-sized business. I can understand the question. Here are 8 reasons why online advertising works, backed by research data.

As much a fan as I am on online advertising, I didn’t know about #1 and find it highly encouraging for consumer goods. Also, I think #7 is a path we’ve been traveling to for a while. I’m not surprised and we can’t ignore the trend. What do you think?

online-advertising-works

Amplify Your Content Marketing With This Free Blogging Planner

You know the saying. If you fail to plan, you plan to fail. Planning however doesn’t come easily for some. Not sure about you, but I was never taught how to plan in when I was in school, which is rather unfortunate, but no fear. One way to start is with a good planner.

Now we all have our favorites so it’s OK to continue using that. I use BlogEnergizer’s planner because content marketing is an integral part of our business and the planner is geared towards that. It also has useful information how to make the planner work best and gives you simple but effective productivity tracking and social media checklist tools built right in.

The digital copy is free for download. They also have print copies available and for a very short time, there’s a 30% off coupon for print copies. It’s all right there on BlogEnergizer itself. Check it out.

2015_Blog_Planner_Cover-free-sticker

What Makes People Buy, Buy More, And Buy Often

This is the million dollar question isnt’ it? We all want need people to buy or our businesses will die. Although we know more or less why and what triggers a sale, especially when we know our customers well, but understanding general trends can help us too.

This infographic gives you some pretty interesting snapshots based on a shopper survey. One of the things I find really interesting is the percentage of people who won’t share about their purchase on social media. Just because social media is hot and you can doesn’t mean that it works.

That reflects my own online shopping behavior as well. I always felt uncomfortable sharing what I just bought because there are things you just don’t want to broadcast. On top of that, it’s a little scary putting out these fine data about yourself out there for any stalker to piece together. There is only one exception to this. That’s when I’m offered a discount for sharing or some other incentive. Even that it’s a maybe, but it does increase the chances of sharing.

What do you think of the data in this infographic?

Infographic – Understanding eCommerce consumers this holiday shopping season.

SSL Certificates For Free Beginning 2015

Earlier this year, Google announced that it will give websites with ssl certificates extra brownie points. Though it is only a small ranking factor, it is one nonetheless.

Overall, this news has been well received. However, many small sites have worried about the cost of the certificates and the cost of implementation. The good news is, the cost of these certificates aren’t exactly prohibitive, they start from $10 but they can go up to thousands of dollars. $0 is of course much better.

This week, the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) has announced a new initiative to transfer the web from HTTP to HTTPS. Together with a few partners, they are forming a new certificate authority who will be offering SSL certificates beginning the summer of 2015. They’ve named it Let’s Encrypt.

Read their full announcement.

ssl certificate

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