Monday, January 30, 2012

Pinterest - Are You There Yet?

 Just when I thought there I was reaching saturation point with social platforms along came word of Pinterest. To be fair I'd heard about it and ignored it for quite some time but for some reason I opened an account.

Why did I do that? Hmm. Well actually I thought I was a member and responded to someone who was looking for an invitation. As it turned out I registered and received an account within a few days.



 For now Pinterest is serving as a super fast way to scan things that might be of interest and I can see that with time the access to sites and special interest articles will increase and get better from a match point of view.

Fortunately, right now the marketers are largely staying away but that will change. Hopefully they will keep themselves nice and pot selectively.

Are you using Pinterest yet? Drop by and say Hi.

What do you like about it most?




Like to discuss your business? Lindy Asimus Design Business Engineering
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Friday, January 13, 2012

Tips To Stop The Email Monster

 
I see a lot of articles come past on Twitter on 'how to get your inbox to zero' and wonder why anyone would bother - don't they have Gmail? I guess not. But really the big issue with email becoming a stressor in our life is not just the number of emails we receive. Sometimes it is the quality of the emails as much as it is the number.

It would be useful for businesses to spend some energy and effort in creating good protocols to teach employees to use for sending internal email. Having someone at the next desk email you and clutter up your inbox with something they could as easily asked you is just stupid. And happens all too often. If you do that - stop it. Get up and go ask. There's one less email and one less response to that email that you will have boomerang back to you.

Learn to filter your email so that you can easily locate emails from people who are likely to send important regular emails from those who send you cute pictures of cats and chain letters in oversize pink font. If you are using Gmail then this is less an issue as you can easily search for emails from that person. Here are some instructions for setting up rules in Outlook (that's how you filter the email - the rules 'tell' Outlook what to do with emails from people according to the rules you want to apply).

Start improving your email by getting better at the email that you send. Before sending just check through these elements before your email leaves your computer.

Email Checklist - Ask yourself...

Do you really need to send that email? Is there a better way to get that information by asking directly or making a call? Or do you already have that information available to you some other way? Remember when you send an unnecessary email you are adding to the clutter in their inbox, and probably adding more to your own with responses that will come.

Summarising the reason for the email in the header means that this email can be easily located again if need be by topic. It also makes it faster to see that the topic is not urgent, or is urgent (to you) and needs priority attention.

Getting clear in laying out the email - one topic per email stops the message being confused and other issues missed.  Have you included all you need for them to be able to take action? Double check and only send when you are confident that you have everything included that is needed. Ensure the attachment, if there is one, is attached and that it is a common file extension that they will be able to open. Commonly .TIFF files are not easy to open on the average computer and pictures are often easier to open for non technical people if they are .JPG or .PNG files. If you are sending photographs then compressing these makes for much easier email receipt.Compressing just makes the file size smaller so it 'weighs less' when it is being sent.

A common issue that I see from time-to-time is whole lists of people being copied with their email addresses showing. This is poor practice and exposes everyone on the list to spammers harvesting their email addresses. Sending via the BCC field means that they get the copy but without exposing their address.


Summary


  • Ask first - do I need to send this email or can I just ask directly?
  • Should I get this information by email so I have a hard copy of the answer (which may be copied to other applications to save time)
  • Have I summarised the subject in the Header so the recipient will know what this is about?
  • Have I restated any question that was asked to which I am replying so the recipient will know to which topic what my message relates?
  • Have I included all the information they need to respond?
  • Have I attached any files that need to go with the email?
  • Have I made it clear what the call to action is so that the recipient can understand and act?
  • Have I set the email out so as to make it easy to read and understand?
  • Have I confined this email to be about one topic only?
  • Is there a contact number for me on the email?
  • If no response is required, have I stated this on the email?
  • Have you only included copies to people who actually need to see this?
  • Are your copies being sent BCC?
 Most people are sensible with their email but occasionally we will find someone who repeatedly sends us emails that make no sense, or invariably result in a back-and-forth email relay to clarify a point that could have (should have) been clarified in the first email, or by phone. If you have a special person in your life who does this you may like to ask them to help you by sharing this checklist with them. A few kind words once may save you multiple episodes of wasted time throughout the year and those minutes add up!

Of course if you have business, then setting up a good procedure and training your staff in how to use email effectively will increase productivity, reduce unneccessary anxiety and mean a lot less wasted manhours on nonsense.





Like to discuss your business? Lindy Asimus Design Business Engineering
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Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Introducing Google Search + Your World



Forget everything you knew or thought you knew about getting your business found online. Today is another day and everything has changed.  While SEO is still important the bar has been raised and if you want to be found then you best start paying attention to building your online presence across platforms and providing quality content targeted to your market.

While websites are still often very poorly constructed and virtually unfindable (and no this isn't just cheap websites - many are expensive very fancy designs and have lots of bells and whistles - just none that  help to get Google placing them well on search), the game has changed forever. If you want your business to be considered relevant - or to stay that way - then you must heed this and begin to do what it takes to be in this new marketplace.

"These days, any business that doesn't have a Web presence isn't taken seriously." - Morgan McKean, a consultant and writer who recommends "green" fashions, beauty products and home d├ęcor for women.

Official Word From Google

The Google Blog States: 

"We’re transforming Google into a search engine that understands not only content, but also people and relationships. We began this transformation with Social Search, and today we’re taking another big step in this direction by introducing three new features:

  1. Personal Results, which enable you to find information just for you, such as Google+ photos and posts—both your own and those shared specifically with you, that only you will be able to see on your results page; 
  2. Profiles in Search, both in autocomplete and results, which enable you to immediately find people you’re close to or might be interested in following; and, 
  3. People and Pages, which help you find people profiles and Google+ pages related to a specific topic or area of interest, and enable you to follow them with just a few clicks. Because behind most every query is a community. 
Together, these features combine to create Search plus Your World. Search is simply better with your world in it, and we’re just getting started.'



Here's what some are already saying about this new update from Google...


"Regardless of how you do it this is the only kind of influence that is "future proof". Tech will come and go, searches will come and go, social sites will come and go... but when you have influence and a strong community or "tribe" around you it will allow you to continue to thrive!'
-Kimberly Castleberry more here

"Google+ isn’t the only thing Google does. YouTube, Blogger, Google Docs, Google Reader, etc… Google+ is the glue pulling all that together. Your social profile across all Google properties now have a singular home… Google+. Google+ however is not in the social networking business, they’re in the data business and Google+ is a method of joining all your different web interactions together. With the release of Search plus Your World we’re beginning to see how all if it ties together… and how it’s all related to the one thing Google has always been good at: search." - Paul Spoerry   more here

 See the full lowdown on the Google Blog


Start From Where You Are Now 

There has never been a better reason to review your online marketing. You don't build an online presence across social media platforms and good placement for your website overnight. You need to build that presence and make it get the message out that you want new customers and old to see and reinforce. Make that call today and get started.


See Also:
Check Your Website For Roadworthiness

Think Social Media Is No Use For Your Business? Think Again.

How To Get Your Local Business Noticed Online

Purpose Then Strategy - Case Study Starting Your Website





Like to discuss your business? Lindy Asimus Design Business Engineering
Download your free 24 Page Action Plan Marketing Workbook! Subscribe to Actionbites Blog

Friday, January 06, 2012

Wisdom From American Pickers


Watching junk TV can reveal some real wisdom but you need to look for it and be able to spot it when it presents.


Here are some quotes from American Pickers that each of us should inscribe inside our brain and remember when we are struggling to get to the result that we want to achieve.









  1. Be where you can find that thing you want 
  2. Find out from the one who has it now, what they need to let you have it. 
  3. Ask them for it and be willing to pay the price that makes sense for you both.
  4. Ask the question.
 Do you have a TV program that has given you unexpected insight?





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