Friday, December 30, 2011

Some Key Benefits of Google+ for Businesses

In today's ever-competitive online ecosphere, the battle over rankings and social media platforms continues to grow. First there was MySpace and LinkedIn. Soon after, Facebook and Twitter sprung up. YouTube and Tumblr continued to grow. And now, Google+, the fastest growing social network in online history, is clearly making its presence felt in search engine results.

The +1 Button

Perhaps you've seen the little +1 button popping up everywhere? But you're not sure what it is? Similar to the Facebook 'like' button, the Google '+1' button can be featured on your website, your blog, your video or any anything else you want to promote. When users click '+1,' your rating goes up and user interest is generated.

But the key benefit of the '+1' button is that the activity is fed back into Google's search engine results. While this doesn't directly boost your search engine rankings (not immediately, anyway), the '+1' button is crucial in both increasing the click-through-rate to your site and also in improving how much your content is shared on other platforms like Facebook and Twitter.

The '+1' is been called a "stamp of approval" - and the more "stamps" your content has, the more likely it is that new users will access it. As Keith Kaplan on Mashable.com states, "when a user searches for the same phrase, the results might display the total number of +1's a link has received, which is another validation that it's a relevant link."

Why does this matter? Well, more relevancy = more traffic, more sharing and more referencing. And this, in turn, can lead to a higher SEO ranking for your business.

Google+ Circles

With the incorporation of 'Circles' in Google+, users now benefit from being able to share content with a chosen number of connections in particular circles or groups.

This means that when you post content on your Google+ page or if someone "+1's" your content or site, this will be visible to everyone in your circles (or the circles of those rating your blog or site). In this way, circles can be used to promote awareness of your business - the more people hear about your business, the more likely your traffic will increase, which in turn can impact your sales dramatically.

Search plus Your World

Google also recently launched "Search plus Your World" - a search function that personalizes a user's search results, returning content not only from the public web, but also from their Google+ connections, profiles, posts and business pages.

So, when users conduct searches using 'Search plus your World', Google+ business pages and brand pages now have a chance of ranking higher than content and pages featured on other social sites.

For those with up-to-date business pages and large circles, the differences could be phenomenal: In an ordinary search, you might see your business listed on the fifth page of results. But with a Google+ page, your business could be displayed at the top of a user's search results, if you happen to "share" some connection with the user (bear in mind, though, that the user has to have the 'Search plus Your World' function turned on).

Rand Fishkin on SEOmoz.com demonstrated the effect of this recently in his video discussion: "If I am searching for something and let's say Kenny Martin from SEOmoz [who is in my circles] has shared something on Google+ or he's +1'd it, I am likely to see that higher in my search results because Kenny is in one of my circles on Google+."

If you have a small Google+ network, this probably isn't going to affect your business much; but if you have a large network, the difference in your rankings in searches conducted by people in your circles could be huge. And while you're not taking over the Google-sphere just yet with your rankings, it's a pretty good start.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

How To Fastest Way to Get Quality Speaking Gigs?

Speaking to groups and organizations is an effective way to generate leads for your business. The audience gets a firsthand experience with you and your topic. When you deliver a well-crafted speech, you can inspire, educate and create a strong desire for potential clients to work with you. Plus, you can add these prospects to your contact and ezine list (with their permission).

What my clients often ask me for is the most efficient way to contact meeting planners and program directors to get these speaking opportunities. While you can make a call or mail packages with your speaking topics and credentials, I don't recommend this. Many meeting planners and program directors are overwhelmed with the amount of contacts that reach them in this manner.

Instead, I have found email to be the most efficient method to find speaking gigs. All it takes to start is a very brief email with one simple question, "Do you accept outside speakers?" My signature talk is called ____. If so, please let me know."

The person you contacted might answer in four to five different ways:
1. "No, we don't accept outside speakers" No follow up is needed here.
2. "Yes, we accept outside speakers, but we don't pay."
3. "Yes, we accept outside speakers; tell me more."
4. "Yes, we accept outside speakers; what are your fees?"
5. "Yes, we accept outside speakers, but we are booked until next xear."

By asking contacts this one simple question, you make It very easy for them to answer and begin a conversation. This is so much better than adding to their overwhelming list of correspondence and not hearing back from them. With your email, they don't have to return your call or write a letter. They just hit reply and your single email question is handled.

What you'll find with this formula is that you book speaking gigs very quickly with just two to three emails back and forth. Or someone will respond that she is interested and wants to speak on the phone. They might request your bio or other additional information and then you are good to go. Personally, I have found this method to be miraculous. It works really well.

Your Client Attraction Assignment

If you are looking for quality speaking gigs as a way to generate business leads, set aside time in your calendar to do some research. You are looking for program directors and meeting planners and their contact information. Create a list of people to contact. One you decide on your signature talk, then you can try the email script above and start booking the speaking jobs you want.

The lesson here is, it's time to get over the hurdle and do what it takes to get to the next level.

Friday, December 2, 2011

Advice on Brochure Printing for Newbies

Brochure printing for newbies isn't very difficult. You can still obtain great results, but there are a few things you have to know. Each phase of the brochure printing process follows some specific rules for the brochures to look appealing and professional.

General Guidelines for the Design Phase

The first rule on brochure printing for newbies is to keep the overall design simple. Include pictures that relate to your business profile, add interesting information and the unique characteristics of the products or services you are promoting. Be sure to include such relevant information on all your materials. The goal of a brochure is to make your business more visible on the market and to attract new clients. When choosing a product or service provider, clients use such criteria as the costs, the quality of the service, the durability of the products and many other standards.

Tips for the Cover

The most important basic rule on brochure printing for newbies is to add an interesting selling message on the front cover. This is the first thing that people read and approximately 80% of the people who see them only read the headline or the message on the cover. This is why it should be compelling and it should focus on your company's strong points. The logo of your company should also be the central figure of the cover. People generally remember company logos with greater ease than the name or other features. It is also important to use a theme related to your company's profile and use it throughout your entire promotion campaign.

The Importance of Using Images

The advice on brochure printing for newbies would not be complete unless you fully understand the importance of using images on your brochures. Promotion materials usually represent the identity of the business, so you should choose pictures that relate to the background of the business. This creates a connection between the market and the company. Moreover, images are the most attractive and easy-to-remember parts of the materials. In order to make your materials more professional, always select pictures instead of drawings.

Tips on Brochure Printing

When it comes to printing promotional materials, you have two options: you can either print them yourself or hire a professional printing service. Independent of what you choose, you should consider applying print bleed. Print bleed provides insurance that the results will meet your quality standards. The first step of the process is to print the brochures in sheets. Afterwards, they are cut into individual units using a precise blade. Due to the fact that a single cut is used for hundreds of materials, it can fluctuate. If you expand the design over the established borders you will still benefit from quality results, even if the cutting machine fluctuates because the ink coverage will be from one edge to the other. Value this advice on brochure printing for newbies to ensure that the photos and the text will be properly shown on each individual piece.