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Running A Webinar For The First Time?

Brand Identity

Running a webinar for the first time can be nerve wracking. Don’t sweat the small stuff and take these quick tips to turn your small business webinar into a success. 1) Start On Time It is likely to run into glitches when starting off. You need to be ready to go at the scheduled time. Waiting around on a website to get going is slightly easier for participants to understand than having the presenter be tardy to the party. 2) Keep Your Desktop Tabs Closed If you’re sharing your desktop as a presenter, you might want to close down any unprofessionally related tabs and media applications. It’s never a good thing to hear a song playing and wonder which one of your tabs it’s coming from, only to find out it’s the presenter’s tab that’s playing and they’re completely unaware of it. 3) Use Good Slides Keep your slides simple and to the point – you can elaborate more off-camera on each point and provide emailed copies afterward to viewers of both the simple slides and a more detailed slide presentation as well. Add visuals whenever possible too and aim for relevance as well as the ability to break the ice with by using a creative meme or GIF to describe a topic you’re discussing. 4) Pace Yourself When Speaking Speak clearly, loudly, and choose your words carefully as you would giving a public presentation. 5) Practice Beforehand In the event that it looks like you have too many slides and need to practice what you’re going to say, rehearse everything out beforehand and time yourself along the way in order to stay paced and not rushed. 6) Show Enthusiasm Some webinars don’t feature video usage so there’s a good chances listeners won’t be able to see you. Whether they see you or not, show enthusiasm in your voice to draw listeners in. Welcome participants, thank them for taking the time to join the webinar, and discuss a little about yourself and your experience before diving into the slides. 7) The Unavoidable You can’t plan everything that might happen during a webinar and you may often need to improvise on the spot with a real world example or experience that you learned from. Be ready for those moments and don’t try to avoid them if they happen. 8) Leave Plenty of Time For Q&A With webinars I recommend the 50/50 approach – half speaking and slideshows and the last half hour devoted to questions and comments. Mention this early on in the webinar so the audience can get a feel for how long the discussion will last and can begin jotting down questions to ask afterward. While it can take awhile to get people to break the ice and begin asking questions, once it starts it tends to snowball. Not stopping with enough time for a break can lead to the webinar going over which may not bode well for the schedules of those attending. 9) Include Your Twitter Handle and Facebook Page Good practice for both the beginning and end of your webinar! If you have a prominent social media presence, you’ll want listeners to be able to tweet you during the webinar and afterward to keep the discussion flowing and keep up with you for future notice. 10)...

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Social Media Audit For Small Business

Social Media

Here is a quick overview of the five most common mistakes we’re seeing with small business, along with notes on how to correct these self-defeating issues. 1. The Wrong Metrics The most common metric mistake is emphasizing the number of fans you have over your competitors. The reality is that it doesn’t matter how large your social footprint is if fans aren’t talking about your content on Facebook and sharing your videos, tweets and or LinkedIn posts.  Enlightened brands use and monitor several more illuminating metrics, including brand sentiment, speed and quality of customer service resolution and engagement. 2. Too Many Handles And/Or Channels Once the social media bug began to spread across companies, every line extension of a line extension wanted its own Facebook page or Twitter account and/or Pinterest board.  IBM, for example, discovered through an audit that it had hundreds of branded handles on Twitter, and ultimately, they decided to reduce that list to only a few handfuls. Similarly, many brands are stretched too thin, jumping onto new platforms without the resources to keep their content fresh and their fans engaged.  It is better to just do a few channels really well than to be everywhere inconsistently. 3. All You, All The Time In a social settings, brands, like people, get really boring if they only talk about themselves. Of course, you want to sell more products, but unless you have genuine news or product offers, brands should focus on being interesting and interested.  Creating content that is interesting requires knowing your target really well, something that is increasingly easier with Facebook analytics platforms. 4. Social Is Isolated In One Department Since marketers want to market, customer service wants to help and HR wants to recruit, isolating social in one department often limits the multi-functional role that it can play for an organisation; share the social love across your business. 5. No Road Map Establishing a clear road map for your company is imperative, and an effective road map should assign a purpose to each channel, set up an editorial calendar, create an escalation process for customer complaints and determine staffing needs. Lastly, the road map should define the paid or earned media that will ultimately be required to achieve any kind of scale. What Next At Milkshake-factory, we are on a mission to make your small business marketing hassle free. You will find a lot of articles on our blog that can help you gain insight in the world of digital marketing. We hope these are going to be useful to you and we also look forward to your feedback on what else would you like to learn to help you to grow your small business. Consider hiring Milkshake-factory, complete marketing solutions, for all your marketing needs, contact us for a FREE...

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Using Tumblr For The First Time?

Social Media

Tumblr lets you share anything. Post text, photos, quotes, links, music, and videos from your browser, phone, desktop, email or wherever you happen to be. You can customize everything, from colors to your theme’s HTML. There is a growing audience of 100 million blogs, so if your thinking about joining Tumblr, this quick guide could help you get started. Before we get started, check out Milkshake-factory’s Tumblr. There are seven different types of content your business can post.  Tumblr uses a visual header whenever users are creating a new post that showcases each different type. We’ll explain each one with some examples and practical business applications. Text Text is the most basic form of content.  Contrary to its name, text posts can contain pictures and other media.  Users with a knowledge of HTML can even add formatting and do a variety of other things to text posts.  Unlike Twitter, there is no maximum character cap. Here is an example of a text post with some pictures.  Text posts most resemble the most traditional form of blogging. Tumblr can be a good blogging tool. Provide information about your products, services, or any new updates for your company. Photo Photo posts are some of the most popular types of posts on Tumblr.  Users can post up several photos at once as an album and add some explanatory text. Here, Sharpie uses a photo album to show some liberal uses of their product.  While they’re not tying the photo post to any promotion or contest, it still has the potential to get people talking and attract new followers. Quote A quote post lets users highlight a particular quote they enjoy or find inspirational. Quotes can be used in a business context to create engagement with your target market.  Use inspirational quotes that are related to your business and like minded followers may reblog and share it with their friends. Link Link posts are similar to quote posts, but highlight a link.  For businesses, this can be useful for drawing attention to a promotion or sale, to bring customers back to a specific landing page. Chat A chat is a unique type of post to Tumblr.  Users can simulate a conversation between two or more people and it will show up in dialogue format.  Businesses could potentially use this for product descriptions or giving information about your company, but this is very rarely used (if at all).  Still, this feature is much more suited for individuals for personal use (to retell a humorous conversation, for example). Audio This allows users to post up a music or sound clip to their followers.  This file can be uploaded directly from the computer or can be linked from an external source.  If your business has anything to do with music, this type of content is key to spreading awareness. Video Adding video content to blogs is very useful from a business point of view.  If there are any promotional or YouTube videos created by the business, it would be a good idea to share them on Tumblr as well.  Although this is not necessarily limited to Tumblr, making an explanatory video is a great way to boost a promotion, so businesses should take care to post their promotional content on Tumblr as well as their other social...

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Getting Up To Speed With Twitter Marketing

Social Media

As a small business owner, you really need to think about your Twitter strategy. Twitter is a great channel to help with your referrals and conversions, so below we have provided you with a quick guide to maximise on your Twitter strategy. 1.      Choose carefully who to follow on Twitter In the beginning, the temptation to follow just about anyone is going to be strong and you will have to resist it.  Always remember that your incoming stream should stay relevant. So follow people within your industry, people who would be interested in your product or service, essentially your target audience. One of the best ways to do this is to find the time and research the Twitter streams of the people you follow. The site’s Advanced Search function might also be helpful. 2.      Organise the Twitter accounts you follow Manage the people you follow on twitter by categorising them in lists. For example: small business owners, interested in social media, interesed in starting up a business, marketing profiles in Melbourne etc. This helps you keep tract of those topics that you particularly care about. 3.      Don’t think twice about blocking irrelevant accounts Like on Facebook, Twitter offers its registered users the possibility to block other Twitter accounts. One of the mistakes that many businesses make is that they opt for ignoring the spammy accounts that follow them but on Twitter, you are judged based on your followers. So if you have spammy accounts following you, don’t think twice. Block them. 4.      Don’t make retweeting people a point of pride Small businesses often make it a point not to retweet other people’s updates. This is not the right approach. As a matter of fact, you should be retweeting people you wish to build a rapport with.  If you come across something useful or interesting, share the good stuff. 5.      Streamline the things you share on Twitter What you should be doing is engaging your audience and finding the triggers that will convert potential customers into buyers. So don’t share just about anything you find on the web because you can’t be bothered to come up with good stuff. Invest in the content you share. Sure sometimes you can curate content from the web if you are blank on what to share with your followers but stay relevant. BONUS TIP: Use the weapons in your arsenal, for example ‘Favorite’ Did you know that each time you favorite someone’s content or Twitter update they get notified about it? Use this to your advantage. That right there is an incredible tool you have to dangle your name in front of people you respect and wish to connect with. What Next At Milkshake-factory, we are on a mission to make your small business marketing hassle free. You will find a lot of articles on our blog that can help you gain insight in the world of digital marketing. We hope these are going to be useful to you and we also look forward to your feedback on what else would you like to learn to help you to grow your small business. Consider hiring Milkshake-factory, complete marketing solutions, for all your marketing needs, contact us for a FREE...

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Small Business Owners Going Global With Social

Social Media

Social media provides great opportunities to small business owners on a global level. Any business can choose to register a Facebook or Twitter account and promote their products and services. No matter how large or small your business, the overall goal remains the same: to sell products and to publicise and expand the brand. To achieve this, engagement with your target audiences is essential. In today’s digital era, engagement relies upon a brand’s online presence. LinkedIn is a business community that brings professionals together. It also provides the opportunity to follow other companies and participate in group discussions. Building genuine relationships and sharing knowledge is a great way to make new connections and nurture your relationships. Companies attending exhibitions often use the group discussions feature to share their products and services, generating an interest in the product before, during and after the show. During the exhibition business cards are traded, and later connected on LinkedIn. A large portion of any customer base are likely to be Twitter users, who could choose to follow your brand. Businesses can use the hashtag (#) to keep their products trending and create a buzz around their brands. Outreaching new customers has to be a primary business objective, ensuring you leave the exhibition with more connections that could well lead to face-to-face meetings. A Facebook fan page provides an opportunity for customers to interact with your business and comment on your news. Pinterest is growing in use in the social media field and there were some 27m active users on the site in 2012. Exhibitors have used the tool to pin stands and products.  Inspiring technology is present at most commercial exhibitions and when shared, it entices online communities. This provides invaluable social exposure for brands products. Blogging is the heart of a content marketing strategy. Social media draws traffic to the page where a company is able to describe its services in more detail. What Next At Milkshake-factory, we are on a mission to make your small business marketing hassle free. You will find a lot of articles on our blog that can help you gain insight in the world of digital marketing. We hope these are going to be useful to you and we also look forward to your feedback on what else would you like to learn to help you to grow your small business. Consider hiring Milkshake-factory, complete marketing solutions, for all your marketing needs, contact us for a FREE...

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Making Small Business Blogging Interesting

Content Marketing

Your a small business owner, and you want to impress your readers with useful content. But how do you make your content interesting, particularly if you are in a boring niche market. The secret to making so-called boring topics impressive is in its simplicity. It’s not all about conducting market research, writing style, creating expensive infographics, or the having the right connections. All of this is required, but the essence of “interestingness” stems from one basic content commandment: Always ask the right questions -“who,” “what,” “when,” “where,” “why,” and “how” questions and phrase these to be interesting to you. As an experiment, let’s pick a boring topic and see what we can come up with. How about tea pots? Boring enough for you? Ask yourself these questions: Who invented the first tea pot and how did they get their inspiration? What makes people think they need to drink tea poured from a tea pot and boil water from a kettle? When do tea pots sales rise and what does that tell us about our population? Where are tea pots made, and why not somewhere else? Why are we drawn to novelty tea pots? How does a tea pot get all the way from China to Melbourne Australia and still sell for a profit? Now answer these questions using sites like Quora to find out what else people want to know about tea pots. Whether thermoses are better for the environment Where they can find tea pots shaped like a stormtrooper’s head What some iconic tea pots from TV, movies, and films are Then we can turn our attention to Yahoo! Answers to find more questions people care about, like: How fast does your tea cool in a tea pot when compared to kettle? How can you fix a chip in a tea pot? These may seem like incredibly mundane lists to you, but keep in mind, real people are asking these questions. I haven’t even addressed the much more broad subject of tea itself, which I would certainly want to do if I had a client in the coffee mug industry. I also recommend searching forums, social networks, and other internet “hangouts” to see what kinds of questions people are asking about your subject. I hope you’re beginning to see the potential for limitless content ideas here. What Next At Milkshake-factory, we are on a mission to make your small business marketing hassle free. You will find a lot of articles on our blog that can help you gain insight in the world of digital marketing. We hope these are going to be useful to you and we also look forward to your feedback on what else would you like to learn to help you to grow your small business. Consider hiring Milkshake-factory, complete marketing solutions, for all your marketing needs, contact us for a FREE...

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Quick Tips To Optimise Your Blog Posts

Search Engine Optimisation

Blogs can raise the profile of your business, improve the search engine visibility of your website and draw in potential customers. More and more small businesses are embracing the benefits of integrating blogs into their websites – some including getting additional traffic, engaging with customers and potential customers, keeping readers informed on company news and promoting a company’s expertise. Here are some of the key things you need to remember when building and managing a blog: 1. Search Engine Optimisation Use keywords A carefully worded headline and sub-headline should contain keywords related to major themes in your blog posts in order to grab the reader’s attention. Anchor Text/Hyperlinks Embedding hyperlinks into blog posts is a good way to increase search engine rankings and drive traffic to your website. Tags/Soft links Allowing content to be circulated through social bookmarking sites increase the article’s search engine rankings and drive targeted traffic to the website. 2. Fresh Content Adding fresh content to your site will also improve search engine visibility, and each post provides new opportunities to link back to other pages and blog posts on your site, thereby boosting those pages’ rankings. Adding images, videos or podcasts to blog posts makes them more consumable, creates a more engaging content experience; and ensures the post is indexed in image search engines which creates greater online visibility. Get rid of extraneous words or jargon that your audience will not understand. The point is to make your content enjoyable to read, not difficult. Make sure spelling, grammar and punctuation is correct so there is no disruption to the flow of reading. 3. Promoting Blogs Encourage readers to sign up to receive notifications of new posts by email. This way they will return to your site if a headline tickles their fancy. Either manually share your content on social media platforms or automate their delivery. Social media tagging tools allow users to ‘like’, ‘+1′ or ‘retweet’ content which will help circulate your posts across the web. 4. Encourage Comments Allowing a space for comments and encouraging conversations allow readers to feel more connected to the business and shows that you value what they have to say. 5. Blog Speed Always install the latest version of your software – such as WordPress – and take other security precautions (such as strong passwords and logging out when finished) to ensure unwanted parties do not have access to admin tools. No-one will wait more than a few seconds for your site to load when a simple click can take them elsewhere. Slow speed also negatively impacts search engine rankings. For self-hosted blogs, maximising speed would require cleaning out and optimising your blog’s database. It’s disappointing for the reader when hyperlinks, videos and podcasts don’t work and it makes your blog appear unprofessional, so make sure to preview your posts before they go live and test all the links. What Next At Milkshake-factory, we are on a mission to make your small business marketing hassle free. You will find a lot of articles on our blog that can help you gain insight in the world of digital marketing. We hope these are going to be useful to you and we also look forward to your feedback on what else would you like to learn to help you to grow your small business. Consider hiring Milkshake-factory, complete marketing...

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How Small Business Owners Manage Their Blogs

Social Media

Bloggers have a proven impact on consumer spending. Blogs are the third most important digital service when it comes to influencing a purchase and yet much of this remains untapped because of the poor approach most businesses take to blogger outreach. Here’s why you need a long term perspective: 1. Social media is social – relationships count To attract the meaningful attention for business, your brand needs to stand out from the crowd. We all know that relationships count. Relationships are the key to experiencing greater success with your campaigns and while relationships require small but consistent investments, the rewards are manifold. 2. Google likes quality and consistency When a blogger links to your site it tells Google that they think your site is of high quality, benefitting your standing in Google’s page ranking. The immediate benefit of this is that when consumers search for your product both your site and the blog post will appear in a Google search giving consumers a first hand, authentic review influencing their thoughts on your product. These benefits are amplified when you work with a blogger, and they link to you, more than once. 3. Readers respond to authenticity We need to move past a one click wonder approach to blogger outreach and stop asking who the “top bloggers” are. When you think about running a blogger program take the time to work out what the strategy is and how it fits into your whole digital program. What Next At Milkshake-factory, we are on a mission to make your small business marketing hassle free. You will find a lot of articles on our blog that can help you gain insight in the world of digital marketing. We hope these are going to be useful to you and we also look forward to your feedback on what else would you like to learn to help you to grow your small business. Consider hiring Milkshake-factory, complete marketing solutions, for all your marketing needs, contact us for a FREE...

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Small Business Productivity On The Move

Customer Experience

As small business owners, our world moves fast. There seems to be a never ending quest to keep up with everything happening online today. And that’s before factoring in all of the communication that happens in one day alone! So how can you get more done each day with less time and more going on than ever before? What are some of the tools that can help you to maximize your productivity each day? Here are a few pointers to get you started: Email Organization and Tracking Boomerang (Gmail) One of the biggest challenges in the business world is keeping track of the hundreds of emails that fill an inbox each day. Whether you’re responding to the sender to ensure your message was understood, or reminding yourself to take another look at a task, email is an important part of the day. Boomerang does this and more. Cost: Free for the first 10 messages. $14.99 per month for Unlimited Message Credits Tout This user-friendly email management tool allows an individual to verify whether emails are being opened, and tracks the location of those opened emails in real-time. The Gmail extension also allows users to check the status of links clicked, schedule emails for specific dates and times, and save templates for frequently used emails. Cost: 5 emails and 3 email templates per day are free; $30 a month will get you unlimited use of their service ActiveInbox If you are looking for an app that provides maximum productivity and minimal distractions, look no further. ActiveInbox enables you to turn emails into tasks, organize emails and projects, review tasks at a later time, and that’s only the beginning. There are quite a few time-saving features. You are able to back up and sync preferences, set deadlines on email, and even review by that deadline.   Cost: Free for basic or $25.95 a year for ActiveInbox Plus Industry News and Information   Flipboard Flipboard synchronizes individual social media accounts (Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, etc.) with blogs, news sites, and general topics you are interested in. Everyday, it provides “top news” so you can scroll through quickly when busy at work. Not only does it help them learn the most popular headlines of the day, but they can also tweet any story they want with the simple click of a button. Cost: Free Pinboard  Use Pinboard to keep track of stories that will help with research for blog posts, guests articles, or any content we produce. Tag stories with categories so you can easily revisit them later. It also serves as a great alternative to a search engine — you can search a topic and browse other user’s pins.   Cost: $10.04 (one-time fee) Email this Page (by Google) The quick click of a button can be an incredibly valuable tool when there is a lot to be done. Email this page is an extension that is added directly to your toolbar. If you have a webpage you want to share, highlight it and click the mailbox icon. This will cause the portion of the article you are interested in to be emailed  through your default email client. It is simple, effective, and incredibly convenient. Cost: Free Task Management Wunderlist Wunderlist is an amazing tool to manage everything on your plate. It is a really great to-do list...

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Building Author Rank

Brand Identity

Though Google is still ironing out some kinks tied with Author Rank, you can get started on building your Author Rank following these six best practices: 1. Create Authorship By using Google+ as your identity platform, you can claim authorship of your content, so you can get visibility in search results as your content appears in a type of rich snippet, increasing your click-through rate as a result. 2. Use Google+ Regularly Know how to properly format each post as Google takes into account details like bold title posts when deciding what appears on Search+. Be sure to add the +1 button on your site as well to increase interactions and traffic. Google will be able to see how people are engaging with your content. Keep posting throughout the day and interact with the communities that interest you by +1ing and commenting on popular posts. Many members of Google’s communities are more likely to add you in their circles when you actively engage with them. 3. Network on Google+ Keep an eye out for fellow authors with high Author Ranks in your chosen Google communities to connect with. Once in their circle, you’ll be able to easily share high quality content and increase your Author Rank. 4. Selective Guest Posting Guest posting by selecting high quality sites with well-curated content will be beneficial to your Author Rank – just like a good backlink would be to your site. You don’t want many low quality blog posts but a few high quality guest posts. 5. Find Your Niche Find your area of interest and stick to it. Author Rank is more variable than PageRank when it comes to recognizing topic diversification. However, you’ll be much more likely to rank as a high authority on one subject than two. 6. Create Great Content Create content that’s worth sharing. What Next At Milkshake-factory, we are on a mission to make your small business marketing hassle free. You will find a lot of articles on our blog that can help you gain insight in the world of digital marketing. We hope these are going to be useful to you and we also look forward to your feedback on what else would you like to learn to help you to grow your small business. Consider hiring Milkshake-factory, complete marketing solutions, for all your marketing needs, contact us for a FREE...

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