Advantages of Webcasting (Video)

Advantages of Webcasting (Video)

Webcasting

With social networking being at a high point and increasing steadily, the drive for interactive websites is on the increase.

A lot of people want a website that’s not simply static and they’re looking for interaction when they log onto the net – from Twitter to Facebook to YouTube – we want to connect.

As an online business owner this means that adding a webcast to your online business is a great move.

First, what is a webcast?

In simple terms it’s a video recording placed on the web. Just like a TV offers traditional viewing, a webcast does something similar - but the video is streamed on the internet rather than the TV network.

A webcast can be anything from a video of you explaining how to do something to your viewers, to a two (or more) people interview, to an interactive online class.

The point is that you’re adding an interactive feature to your website and making it easier for visitors to give their feedback and get involved.

Anyone can start a webcast with a simple video recorder. One of the easiest methods is the Flipcam. It makes getting your videos on the internet drop dead easy. You can also use more sophisticated equipment to create news programs on a very high-end level.

There’s a lot of different equipment you can use and a little research will help you find the best. Once you’re set up with your video recording mode you can take things a step further and use a video editing service to add features to your recording which will really make the video stand out. There are many services online and a simple Google search will help you find the right one for you.

Webcasting is a great addition to your website. You’re making it easy for your visitors to interact with you while offering valuable information. This will keep them coming back to your site over and over again.

Why Every VA Needs an Online Presence

Building a VA business? Great! Congratulations! Being self-employed is a fulfilling and rewarding lifestyle. Before you get too far into that business plan, are you planning on having a website? If you’re going to be a virtual assistant, you need one. Here’s why:

Your Clients are Online

You’re a virtual assistant. Emphasis on virtual. That means your business operates online. Via the internet, email and perhaps instant messaging and conferencing. If you’re without an online presence, you’re missing out on clients. The majority of your clients will be online business owners. That means they’re very Internet focused. They’ll turn to the internet first to search for a provider.

Now that’s not to say that you won’t have local clients. You might. However, they’ll still likely search for you online. It’s how our society buys products and services.

Your Website Establishes Your Credibility

Many VA tasks are focused on the Internet. You might be managing a blog or forum. You might be proofreading and uploading articles into article directories. You might be managing affiliates for a business. All of those tasks require a good degree of comfort using online technology. Your website helps demonstrate your ability to use the internet. It demonstrates that you’re comfortable online and skilled with using technology.

If you don’t have a website, many of your clients may wonder why not. They may simply disregard you because you’re not online.

Your Website Markets Your Services

Your website accomplishes a number of marketing tactics. It communicates your services and fees. It answers any questions a prospect might have about your services, practices and policies. It also showcases your personality. You’ll likely have an “About Me” page. This is useful for telling your story. However, the word choice, design and feel of your site also helps communicate your personality and brand your business.

Your website can also broadcast your successes. You can list your testimonials. You can cite awards you’ve earned. You can communicate organizations you’re a part of. You can also list the companies you’ve worked with. All of this helps establish you as a credible service provider. Your website can be used to build trust with your prospects.

Finally, you can use your website to facilitate many of your business functions. Communications, payments and even inquiries can be managed through your website. You can also use your website to generate more income by affiliating with products or services and by selling advertisement space.

In short, if you’re going to be a Virtual Assistant, do it the right way. Create a website that helps you build and grow your dream business.

Boost Your Business With A Press Release

Press ReleaseseA press release is an excellent way to gain publicity and exposure for your business. A press release is a document containing information that you would like a media organization to feature, such as general information about your business, a special event that you are holding, or a special incentive you are offering.

By having a story featured in a newspaper, magazine, or other form of media, your business will receive publicity and credibility. You can also use the clippings of paper stories and links to stories featured through electronic media as part of your press kit.

You can submit a press release at any time, however you may find that the media features stories about businesses when something special is happening, such as a grand opening, special event, or special offer.

There is a simple format to use when writing a press release. If your story can be published at any time, the words “For Immediate Release” should appear at the top left hand corner. However, if the information should only be released after a certain date, use the phrase “For Release After [insert date]. Under that, include your contact information.

The next area of the press release is the “body”. This is the part of the press release where you include the information you want to publicize. Try to keep your press release under two pages. If it is more than one page include the word “more” at the end of the first page. At the end of your press release insert three number symbols (###).

As you write the body of your press release, keep it focused, clear, and concise. Try to answer the five basic questions – who, what, why, where, and when. Who are you, and what, exactly, are you promoting? Why is your target market interested in this? When and where is this taking place?

Once you are finished with your press release, you will want to submit it to the media. This can be to your local media outlets, such as newspapers, regional magazines, radio and television stations, or media outlets in geographic areas that you want publicity in. If you are promoting a event that will happen on a specific day, submit your press release early enough so that it has time to be received and facts can be checked, etc.

You can also submit your press release to electronic media, such as newswire services, Internet Talk Radio programs, and more.

If your story does not get picked up, don’t give up on press releases. Try a different media source, or rewrite your press release and submit it when you have something to promote. The media receives many, many press releases and cannot publish a story on every one of them. If you keep trying, you will find publicity.

How to Create a Marketing Strategy that Builds Authority

AuthorityThere are many different triggers that convince prospects to become customers. One of the most significant buying triggers is authority. We buy from people and companies that we consider to be experts. Your marketing strategy can and should ideally include building a reputation as an industry expert. Here are a few tips, ideas, and tactics to create a marketing strategy that positions you as an authority.

Make a Difference in People’s Lives

There are actually three steps to the authority process. The first step is to make a difference in people’s lives. From the perspective of building a marketing strategy around this step you can turn to both content and to your products or services.

-Make sure your products or services are valuable and that your customers receive the intended benefit

-Provide consistent value in the form of content. We’re talking about providing valuable tips on Twitter, sharing information, news, and ideas on Facebook and your blog. Write articles for notable publications and strive to use your content to provide consistent value. Whether you’re emailing prospects, connecting with them on social media, or reaching out on your blog, make sure that the information you’re providing has the power to change lives for the better. Provide value, build authority.

-Connect on a personal level with your clients and learn how you can help, provide value, and make a difference. Leverage that information into better business systems, products, and information.

-Respond to blog comments in a manner that helps not only the commenter but also any people reading the comments to further their understanding. And leave insightful and useful comments on industry blogs where your audience is present. Make a good impression.

Demonstrate That You Can Make a Difference

While the first step is to make a difference, the second step in becoming an authority is to demonstrate to your prospects that you can make a difference. It’s the proof step so to speak. In terms of your marketing strategy this could take many forms.

For example, you might use case studies to demonstrate your capacity to make a difference. Testimonials, reviews, and a strong word of mouth or referral marketing campaign can also help spread the word about your expertise and authority.

Connect with industry leaders. Follow them on social media, comment on their blogs, and invite leaders to be interviewed or to partner with you on projects. For example, you might invite an industry leader to contribute a chapter for your next book or to host an online fundraiser with you. Partnering with industry leaders demonstrates to your audience that you are respected in your community and considered someone to turn to for assistance and guidance.

Communicate With Integrity and Authenticity

Finally, in all communications whether you’re establishing authority or sharing that authority with your prospects, make sure to communicate with integrity and authenticity. Consumers are savvy and they can smell a fraud from a mile away. Be genuine both in your efforts to make a difference and the way you share that information. Building authority can take time but when it’s done from a place of integrity you’re on the right path.

Canada’s New Anti-Spam Laws

Are You Prepared?

Have you ever found yourself working during a busy day thinking,  “Gee, I really wish the government was more involved in the everyday operations of my business”?

Well, if that was you, today is your lucky day!

As of July 1st 2014, a new law from the Government of Canada will come in to affect as a way to prevent spam emails from being sent.  The Canadian Anti-Spam Law (CASL) will require consent (implied or expressed) from all recipients before a commercial email can be sent to them.  Mass emails, bulk emails, broadcast emails (whatever you want to cal them) to a mailing list will require a mechanism for unsubscribing, as well as the sender’s contact information.

Pre-existing business relationships will not be affected but contacting new potential customers may be made more difficult.  Unless an email is publically listed on their website or a customer has contacted you directly first, consent must be acquired via email before any commercial messages can be sent.  In terms of a contact list you may already have, you can continue to send promotional messages to them for the next 3 years while the law is phased in.  After this point however, you will be required to get consent from each individual before any further promotional messages can be sent.

The easiest way to stay out of trouble going forward is to ask for consent whenever possible and establish a mindset that is anti-spam.  Individual violators can be fined up to $1 million and corporations up to $10 million.

Connect with your employees on the provisions of this law and make sure the consequences for violations are understood.

You may need to reconsider some of your company’s marketing practices but in the long run it is always better to be safe, and certainly better than paying millions of dollars in fines.
More information can be found at the website for Government of Canada: http://fightspam.gc.ca/eic/site/030.nsf/eng/home.

Making Yourself Memorable: Creating a Stunning PowerPoint Presentation

Ideas to Help Market your Small Business

by Janice Byer

Here are some great ideas to help market your small business. The nice thing about them is they don’t require you to re-mortgage your house in order to make them doable.

A Company Website: This form of marketing just keeps on giving ….24/7.

Signs in/on your vehicle: A moving bill-board. What Better way to expand your exposure.

Join your local business association: Your membership will give back in more ways than one.

Iron on Transfers: Why not have you and the kids as walking advertisements. The kids will love it.

Keep in touch marketing: You are reading one form right Now.

Articles and Press Releases: Get recognized as an expert in your field by helping others.

Pin up Flyers: Let your neighbours know you are in business And offer them a discount.

Networking: I know, I am always bringing this subject up, but I truly believe in its power to help increase business.

Testimonials: Let those who may be skeptical, know how happy your clients are.

No matter which marketing efforts you use, keep track of your results. Ask clients how they heard about you.

Put your imagination to work instead of your wallet and watch the business roll in.

Janice Byer, owner of Docu-Type Administrative & Web Design Services (http://www.docutype.net) provides professional, creative and affordable virtual office assistance and small business website design. She is a Certified Canadian Virtual Assistant (CCVA), Master Virtual Assistant (MVA) and co-founder of the Canadian Virtual Assistant Connection. She is also the author of Surfin’ The Net – Docu-Type’s Virtual Collection of Links, (http://www.docutype.net/SurfinTheNet/linksebook.htm) which is filled with the secrets of her success. Visit her website for more information and to get your copy.

10 Easy Ways to Make Your Flyer Stand Out in the Crowd

by Karen Saunders

A flyer is an inexpensive and highly effective way to grab attention in a very busy marketplace. How do you make your flyer stand out in the crowd? Here are some techniques that professional designers use to make flyers “pop.”

1. Write a snappy headline or title.

Make it memorable, unusual or provocative using a few carefully chosen powerful words. Popular titles contain one or more of these words: Easy, The Secrets to, Unlock, Finally, Insider, Time Sensitive, How to, Free Bonuses, Now You Can, Discover, Proven.

2. Use colorful or striking graphics.

One large image will have more impact than many smaller images. A stunning photo or illustration grabs attention, creates a mood, and supports your story. This image is your “focal point” and will draw your readers in. You can purchase inexpensive but quality stock photos on the Internet. Download individual photos or purchase a CD with hundreds of images.

3. Focus on the benefits of your product or service.

Your prospects will ask the question, “What’s in it for me?” Write from the their perspective using the words “you” and “your.” Avoid using the following words: we, us, I and our. Be sure to keep your text short and to the point. Some of the most powerful words to use are: free, save, love, new, results, and guarantee. Break up long paragraphs with bullet points and place them in a separate box.

4. Use compelling testimonials and case studies.

Nothing strikes a chord like an endorsement from a happy customer, especially if it demonstrates the results they’ve had with your product or service. Be sure to include the first and last name, company name and location of the person providing the endorsement.

5. Organize your page with boxes, borders and areas of contrasting colors.

You don’t need to fill your flyer with wall-to-wall text and graphics. Incorporate some white space to make certain elements stand out and to make the flyer easy to read.

6. Make your points easily identifiable.

Highlight titles and subtitles in bold, but avoid using ALL CAPS because they are more difficult to read.

7. Don’t get too complicated.

Make it simple with two typefaces, and align items to a grid. Your page layout program will provide non-printing guidelines. Use the “snap to guidelines” function to align items easily to the grid. Be aware of printing margins. I suggest you create your layout with 1/2″ margins on all sides, or add 1/8″ for bleeds on items that print off the edge of the page.

8. Don’t forget to proofread.

Have someone else proofread your work. Check your contact information. Dial the phone numbers on the flyer to make sure they are correct, and type in the URL of your website to make sure it is correct, too.

9. If you are on a tight budget, try this.

Select bright-colored or unique paper, and print with black ink. Use shades of grey to provide tones and contrasting background areas.

10. Offer a discount or special limited-time price.

Design a coupon on the bottom quarter of the flyer. Be sure to clearly state the deadlines and limitations of the offer. If it is a mail-in coupon, be sure to include the payment specifications with areas for filling out credit card information, mailing address, etc.

You don’t need to re-invent the wheel when creating your flyer. Use these proven techniques and you will see big results in your marketing efforts.

Copyright © Karen Saunders

Karen Saunders is the owner of MacGraphics Services, a unique design firm for today’s entrepreneur.  Karen’s book, Turn Eye Appeal Into Buy Appeal: How to easily transform your marketing pieces into dazzling, persuasive sales tools! is a comprehensive resource that teaches you how to create effective marketing materials, give marketing projects a professional appearance, and execute projects using ready-made checklists to immediately begin assisting clients with the planning, developing and creating of marketing materials.  To learn more, visit http://www.marketerschoice.com/app/?af=1090208.  You can contact Karen at 888-796-7300, or Karen@macgraphics.net.

7 Reasons to Start Blogging

by Michael Fleischner

Perhaps you’ve heard of blogs, maybe even read a few, but haven’t started blogging yourself. A weblog, which is usually shortened to blog, is a type of website where entries are made (such as in a journal or diary), displayed in a reverse chronological order.

Blogs often provide commentary or news on a particular subject, such as food, politics, or local news; some function as more personal online diaries. A typical blog combines text, images, and links to other blogs, web pages, and other media related to its topic. Most blogs are primarily textual although many focus on photograph (photoblog), videos (vlog), or audio (podcasting).

Today blogging has become a phenomenon, and for good reason. Blogs give individuals the ability to easily communicate to mass audiences whenever they feel the urge. This ability is what makes blogging truly unique – not requiring any technical knowledge of web development, design, or management.

Maintaining or posting to a blog is very rewarding and carries a variety of benefits, here are just a few:

1. Blogs are easy to create. Unlike starting your own website, weblogs can be created in just a few minutes. Sites like Blogger.com allow you to register and start your own blog for free. All you need is an email and a topic to start blogging about.

2. Blogs provide a dialogue with prospects, customers, and friends. Blogs are now being used as a communication vehicle to share important information with customers. Because blogs can be updated in real time, businesses are finding weblogs to be one of the quickest and most accurate ways to distribute their message.

3. Blogs are here to stay. Blogging gives you the ability to publish your thoughts in real time, whenever and where they like. If you enjoy writing, want to share your ideas, or even learn more about a particular subject; contribute to a blog on a regular basis. Now that blogs have become popular, you can find a blog directory that can help you locate weblogs by category. Find one aligned to your interests and post your comments. They’ll remain on the web indefinitely.

4. Blogs can drive traffic to your website. Using a blog, associated with a particular topic, can drive additional traffic to your website. This is essential for anyone seeking new leads for their business or have an interest in generating online sales.

The benefit of using a blog to generate traffic is that weblogs attract a different type of user – one that is very focused on a particular subject. These users are more prone to take interest in what you have to offer and convert into paying customers.

5. Blogs give you the flexibility to post whenever, wherever. When authoring a blog, all you need is an Internet enabled PC to post an entry. This level of flexibility removes many of the barriers associated with traditional forms of communication. Some blogs even allow you to make a post via email. Simply construct an email and send it to the blog address. The result is an instant post to your blog.

6. Establish yourself as an expert. By keeping a blog up-to-date and contributing in an area where you have experience, you can quickly build your reputation as an expert. Once you’ve establish yourself as having knowledge in a particular subject area, you can begin contributing to other web sources such as news articles and interviews.

7. Generate Ad Revenue. The beauty of a blog is that you can attract those interested in a very specific subject area. This is an ideal market for online pay-per-click advertising like Google Adsense. You can easily integrate Google Adsense into your blog – many blog hosts provide it as a built in option- and generate ad revenue. This is a great way to provide value to your readers while generating revenue for your business.

These are just some of the benefits of creating and contributing to blogs. You will find that weblogs are a great way to share information with others who share similar interests. It’s also a great opportunity for you to learn. Although I’ve been hosting my own marketing blog to provide expert advice on marketing, I have learned a great deal from others who comment on my posts. This is one of the most rewarding aspects of creating your very own blog. So what are you waiting for, start blogging!

Michael Fleischner is a marketing expert and the president of MarketingScoop.com. He has more than 12 years of marketing experience and has appeared on The TODAY Show, Bloomberg Radio, and other major media. Visit his marketing blog directory for further details.