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Wednesday, 09 January 2013

Why is social media optimization so important? How connected we are seems to be at the forefront of life this millennium. Is it the hype of new trends that make it seem more important than it is to be so connected, or is there more to it than that? Anybody can go crazy with trying to stay up with it all, so questioning the sanity of it has to be about the only sane thing to do.

There is hardly a person left on the planet than can imagine life without the internet, but there seems to be a love/hate relationship with much of the rest of it as social networking sites take over our lives, infringing on our time, our privacy, and our sanity. Facebook and Twitter, U-tube and blogging sites are all nothing short of addictions, so what is the rationale?

Well, the internet has grown so immense that literally thousands of websites come up on any given subject, yet most people only ever click on sites from the first page, and often only the first three or so on the list. Search engine optimization helps to bring websites to the forefront. It is a career that keeps experts clawing to get to the top and scrambling to stay on top. Let’s just say that there are tricks that are not entirely legitimate or fair to get sites popping up number one. But with search media optimization, it is possible to get promoted – honorably.

This way, with social media optimization, users are able to make recommendations. An ordinary person’s vote counts and helps to rank the web pages. Each time you click “like” on a commercial site, it counts towards that webpage’s quality so that search engines can rank websites and they can come up properly listed when searched on the resulting pages. It is difficult for search engine optimization experts to influence these kind of results, so when you see how many “likes” a product or a company has, it takes on greater significance, making social media optimization an important factor in ratings.

8 Ways to Take a Stand

Wednesday, 09 January 2013

If you think that you are immune to the woes of our society and to the modern-day desk sentence that is killing us, you are wrong. The more you sit, the more likely you are to die sooner, no matter how fit you are. Going to the gym is not going to change that. Half an hour of a hard workout at the gym, or even an hour, after a day at the office is not going to make up for the damage done. This is why we see so many people, especially women, struggle with weight, blood sugar, and cholesterol in spite of watching what they eat and exercising.

So what is a person to do besides say “Shoot me now!”?

Take a stand.

You might wonder how you can stand when you have to sit at a desk all day at work, but there are ways, and your employer just may thank you when they realize what’s in it for them.

While many people may think that there is little risk for injury if they are just sitting all day, the Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety says otherwise. Employees who do not have movement in their jobs, whether sitting or standing all day, suffer from back pain, muscle tenderness, aches and pains. They get varicose veins, stiff necks, and numbness in the legs – all negative effects from lack of movement, and all negative effects considered to be job injury or occupational health and safety problems. They are problems not associated with workers employed doing heavier tasks.

And, you may think that if you are not doing anything but sitting all day that you shouldn’t get tired, but fatigue is actually increased by inactivity. Our muscles are forced to hold our buttocks, necks, and shoulders in a fixed position that squeezes blood vessels in the muscles, thereby reducing the blood supply to those muscles, accelerating fatigue and making muscles prone to injury.

1). Take a break.

It has been proven that those who take more breaks from sitting throughout the day have slimmer waists, lower body mass indexes (BMIs), and healthier blood fat and sugar levels than those who stay seated.

2). Switch positions.

The best thing to do is to alternate between sitting and standing and other positions that require movement. But note that even frequent changes in position are not enough to prevent the blood from pooling in employees’ legs.

3). Incorporate vigorous activity.

It is recommended that for every 40 to 50 minutes of sitting, that you spend at least 5 minutes engaged in vigorous activity. Run around the building if you have to. Run up and down the stairs. Strike a pose that makes you breathe and gets your muscles working or exercise in place. The heart, lungs, and muscles need counterbalance to the effects of sitting.

4). Take “activity breaks.”

The Canadian Centre for Health and Occupational Safety explains that jobs should include “activity breaks.” These are work-related tasks that take the employee away from the desk and may involve simple exercise. Researchers explain that our bodies don’t know the difference between lifting weights at the gym or books at the office, just get moving.

5). Change your desk to a workstation.

These days, with all of our new technology, there is also new office technology, and standing workstations are becoming popular among some of the bigger companies that are getting smart and want to save on employee sick days and gain in productivity. Workstations should ideally still have a chair so that positions can be altered.

6). Use a treadmill desk.

Some of the really savvy companies are taking advantage of walking treadmill desks. They know that what is good is good for their employees, is good for them.

7). Have walking meetings.

Ever wanted to walk out on a meeting? You might want to do just that. Walking meetings are becoming a new trend for when going to a golf course is not practical or affordable.

8). Use exercise balls and yoga matts.

Some workplaces are even sitting on exercise balls instead of chairs, while others may create space to spread out a yoga matt. Stretching out on the floor with a laptop is a great way to switch position and get blood flowing to the limbs – and the brain.

These recommendations are not weird. This is the new smart, and if we are really smart, these alternatives to sitting will be the new trends. The future is ours – if we take a stand.

So far, we have been working more and producing less, but with new ways of incorporating movement into our daily work lives, we can have more energy, be more alert and creative, be more productive, be happier and healthier, and get sick less.

Smart employers know that they can save on sick days if they help promote the health and general well-being of their employees. And the better people feel, the happier they are, no matter where they are – even if they are at work. This promotes a more profitable, dynamic work environment and contributes to employee loyalty. These are all pluses for the employer, which is why small investments in office modification can have huge payoffs, and possibly have your employer thanking you for taking a stand.

Modern-Day Desk Sentence

Wednesday, 09 January 2013

The moment we sit down, our bodies go into complete shut-down. Thanks to modern technology, mechanization, and automation, the majority of us spend the majority of our lives sitting, and our sedentary lifestyles are killing us. It’s time we took a stand. So, yes, push back your chair and stand up.

The Institute for Medicine and Public Health has found that we spend about 56 hours a week rooted on our butts. Between work hours at a desk, commute time to and from work, driving time to go anywhere else we need to go, time slumped in front of computers at home, sitting down to eat, hours couched in front of the television or curled up reading or looking at magazines or talking on the phone or whatever we do – we are sitting for most of our lives.

Women tend to be even more sedentary than men, holding jobs that require more sitting and being less involved in sports, so unless you want to either remain a pear or turn into one, then get off your butt and incorporate movement into your day.

Did you know that there is even a whole new area of medical study devoted to our unhealthy lifestyles? They call it Inactivity Physiology. Inactivity Physiology is the study of the negative effects of our sedentary lives, as well as a deadly new epidemic called “sitting disease.”

We may have modern technology, but our bodies still have the needs of cavemen and are designed to hunt and gather food, not sit at computer desks. James Levine, M.D., Ph.D., of the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota, and author of “Move a Little, Lose a Lot,” says that “Our bodies have evolved over millions of years to do one thing: move.” Human beings have evolved to stand upright, not to sit.

It was not so long ago that our environments required nearly constant movement. But now we are advanced. We have the internet and other technology that we hardly dreamed possible even fifty years ago. And, of course, we have that great Puritan work ethic a manifest destiny mentality that drives us to constantly want more and do more and thus – work more, consequently spending longer hours sitting at desks and more time driving longer distances to get to our jobs. The little we have left, we are plugged in. Aren’t we supposed to be up to date with the social networks? What if we miss a post on Facebook? The result is less time – not just for exercise – but for movement in general. Our electronic living is robbing us of energy and life.

What exactly does all this sitting do to our bodies?

1). Metabolic rate slows/Obesity increases

Marc Hamilton, Ph.D, associate professor of biomedical sciences at the University of Missouri, explains that the body shuts down at the metabolic level. When large muscles, such as those in our legs, become immobile, our circulation slows and we consequently burn fewer calories. But it is worse than a matter of a few calories. There are flab-burning enzymes that start to switch off, and after a day of sitting, they are depleted by 50%. The fat keeps swimming in our blood stream until it finally gets stored as fat or is forced to clog arteries. It is so harmful that doctors have equated sitting to be as detrimental to our health as smoking.

Obesity has become a world-wide epidemic, with an estimated 2.3 billion overweight people by 2015, according to the World Health Organization.

2). Diabetes chances go up.

With just 2 hours spent sitting each day, our chances of getting diabetes increase by a whopping 7%. Quite simply, the less we move, the less blood sugar our bodies use.

3). Heart disease risk goes up.

When we are inactive, so are enzymes that keep blood fates in check, driving up our chances for heart disease.

4). Cholesterol rises.

Sitting causes enzyme activity to drop by up to 90%. With inactive enzymes not capable of using fat for energy, harmful cholesterol rises and healthy cholesterol drops by 20%.

5). Depression increases.

If you are not depressed by sheer boredom of a job that makes you sit at a desk all day, the physical side effects of sitting will do it. When we sit, there is less blood flow in the body, and with less blood flowing, there are also fewer hormones circulating to the brain that we need to feel good, causing us to be more prone to depression.

6). Back and neck pain increase/Posture and spinal health decline. Chronic lower-back pain in women has increased times three since the nineties. As our hip flexors and hamstrings shorten and tighten from sitting, the muscles that support our spines become weak and stiff, resulting in poor posture, back pain, neck pain, and a general decline in spinal health.

7). Herniated disk risk increases.

With pressure from sitting on hips and spine, we are at risk for herniated disks. When spinal pressure causes a disk to come out of place, it creates a condition so painful that medication, and even surgery can be required, not to mention physical therapy.

8). Knee pain risk increases.

While back pain is often associated with sitting, we do not always think of knee pain being associated, but ninety degrees at the knees all day wreaks havoc too. It puts too much pressure on the knee caps that can cause swelling and force people to wear knee braces – just to sit at their desks all day.

9). Muscle mass decreases/muscle weakness increases.

Loss of major muscle mass is dangerous for our health. We need our muscles to retain proper body function and movement, and our muscles must stay strong for everything else to work. The gluteus maximums are named just that because they are some of the biggest muscles in the body and important to our well-being. The weakening of these muscles contributes to lower back pain and hip bursitis, among other problems.

10). Arthritis risk increases/worsens.

A lack of movement contributes to a higher C-reactive protein. This triggers inflammatory disease, including rheumatoid arthritis. And for those who already have arthritis, lack of movement of the muscles and flexibility of the joints increases pain and further decreases flexibility.

11). Deep vein thrombosis risk increases.

Sitting for hours without moving puts us at risk of potentially deadly blood clots in our legs. This is why people are warned to not sit without getting up on long airplane flights, but you don’t have to be on a plane to suffer deep vein thrombosis and keel over dead, just sitting at your desk can do it.

12). Fatigue increases/vitality decreases. You may think that if you are not doing anything but sitting all day that you shouldn’t get tired, but fatigue is actually increased by inactivity. Our muscles are forced to hold our buttocks, necks, and shoulders in a fixed position that squeezes blood vessels in the muscles, thereby reducing the blood supply to those muscles, accelerating fatigue and making muscles prone to injury. So at the end of the workday at your desk – you are tired. You drive home (while sitting on your butt), you sit down for dinner, you sit on the couch to watch TV, you sleep, and you do it all over again, with no vitality to do anything else. Don’t let this be you.

13). Death rate increases/life span decreases. Sitting for more than 6 hours a day will kill you faster, on average, by 35% for women and 18% for men than compared to those who exercise and do not have sedentary jobs. Sitting all day and not exercising puts women at a 94% higher risk for premature death, and men at a 48% higher risk. Serious statistics for a serious problem. Get up off your butt, get exercising, and change up our sedentary lifestyle before you become part of that statistic.

Don’t let the modern-day desk sentence kill you. Take a stand.

Four Golden Nuggets of Marketing

Tuesday, 08 January 2013

Four Golden Nuggets of Marketing

Everybody would like to strike it rich and find the gold at the end of the rainbow, but you don’t need to look so far. The four golden nuggets of marketing are right here for you to use.

1). A Catchy Slogan

The best slogans are the ones we never forget. “Where’s the beef?” is still repeated every now and then, even years after the famous Wendy’s commercials. “What happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas” has come to represent more than just Sin City, and can be heard in shows and movies and among regular people the world over. Or how about KFC’s “Finger lickin’ good?” Everybody knows that slogan began with the fried chicken, but it’s become a household phrase for anything good, advertising for the chain no matter what we are eating or where we are.

But you don’t have to be a big chain or a big city to gain big recognition. A great slogan is a great slogan, and these days, there are plenty of ways to get your slogan circulating so that it becomes the next catchphrase on everybody’s lips.

My children and I used to pass a billboard advertising an attorney who specialized in personal injury. It was just a picture of a guy, his name, and a phone number. Pretty simple. But we could not drive by without my kids singing the guy’s jingle they’d heard umpteen times on television. They could have been the commercial. They knew the one to call, and they knew the phone number. In fact, the jingle was so catchy, they often sang it just because.

So maybe you don’t want to spend the cash to invest in television advertising, but radio can get your slogan or jingle out there too. Any way you can be heard is valid. You could even put up a u-tube video or add a video to your website. And, if you are not sure how to make videos or effectively post them on a website, there are great companies like Padika Marketing Solutions, in Toronto, that can post your videos, make them for you, and even come up with the perfect catchy slogan.

With the right words, your fortune may come to you. And, with a catchy slogan, children a generation from now may just still be singing your slogan to their parents while you are long retired to wherever your paradise is.

2). Image or Brand

One of the biggest problems new companies have is defining their image. They are not always sure of who they are or what they stand for. They don’t necessarily care, as long as they make money, but they should care. Knowing who you are as a company and defining an image that exemplifies that is exactly what will draw success.

True, you can’t please everybody. But it is better to offend some while pleasing others than to be wishy-washing or mediocre and not be anything in particular to anybody. Defining your image will create a niche and give your company the cutting edge on the market. Don’t be afraid to be bold. Dare to be different. Go ahead and be completely outrageous. Marketing is about attracting attention and making people remember you. So what if you attract the wrong kind of attention? If that were to really happen, at least you’ve got the attention of your market, so now you can change it up and re-work the message you are putting out to draw better attention. Any attention is better than no attention. And besides, anybody attracting attention is always under scrutiny, precisely because you cannot please everybody, and not everybody will be pleased that you are getting the attention they want – and the customers.

3). The Human Element

We often forget that we are selling to people – real people just like us with problems, dreams, families, aches, pains, ideas, fears, and hope. When we take the focus off just making money and the nitty-gritty of running a business, and focus instead on the people we hope to serve, those people become more responsive. Real people need real help and as a business, that is what you are offering. So instead of focusing on everything that you have to offer and what it does or how much it costs, focus on what people want and how you will help them.

Tell your company story about how and why you do what you do.

Engage the emotions, and you will gently tug your customers in.

Find a core value in your business. This will help define who you are and it will create common ground with people who share similar values. Identifying something in common creates bonds and customer loyalty before they even walk in the door.

4). Promotional Items

So you have the right words. You have a great slogan that will bring you the business you want.

You have defined an image.

You have found a human element within your business and in how you do business.

Now you must provide the tangible. You need real items that people can see and touch and keep to concretize all these ideas, images, and phrases. What will you choose to represent your company other than a business card? If you go to a wedding, it is well to say that love is in the air, but somebody figured out along the way that people like to have something to take home to remember the day by, other than a picture and memories, and your customers are no different.

Where is that pen from? …Oh yeah, that woman from the open house gave it to you. Wasn’t she a real estate agent? That house was really nice…

The array of promotional items is never ending. From t-shirts to balloons, coffee mugs to posters, magnets to bumper stickers, pens to paper, if it’s something people can use, chances are, they will. You’ve just wedged a way into their life, and they may just come back into yours with money to spend.

The bottom line is that our businesses are growing, evolving entities. It takes creativity to constantly market a business, to keep things fresh, yet retain a constant identity. It is work, but if you make it fun and explore the possibilities, your customers will reward you with appreciation – and business. The four golden nuggets of advertising are your rainbow of wealth, especially when work becomes play. 

All I want for Christmas is…

Tuesday, 18 December 2012

If you are reading this blog, you are probably of the age where you are too busy worrying about what others want for Christmas than what you want, unless you have a weakness for malls and want about everything you see when you shop.

My kids are past the age of being satiated with toys or being delighted with the boxes they come in. These days, they want iPhones and iPads, which it seems many of their friends already have. But if that’s the case, what do kids these days want? What does anybody want when we live a society that is overabundant with materialism?

I had to actually look up the answer to that question. World peace and health and food and homes for people everywhere were not on the list. The number one item seems to be the new iPod Touch, 5th Generation, by Apple. iPhone, iPad, iPod… I can keep them straight – they’re all by Apple. Maybe if I just slipped a couple of apples in their stockings, that would suffice? It would be an innocent mix-up.

So what is this iPod Touch, anyway? For starters, it’s a device that comes in some really cool colors. You can hang the Touch Loop from your wrist and carry it with you. The iPod Touch comes with newly designed Apple EarPods and a lightning connector to USB cable. It has an iSight camera with panoramic photo ability, a video recorder with widescreen proportions, Siri, the intelligent personal assistant, AirPlay Mirroring, which allows you to stream to your television, apps, including Maps, games, email, Passbook, iMessage free texting to and from Apples devices, FaceTime video calls, Game Center social gaming, Facebook and Twitter integration, Safari web browser – and, oh yes, it still has music. All that, beginning at only $299. Imagine.

So what does the rest of the world ask for for Christmas, assuming iPods won’t dropped into their stockings? What happened to the ten dollar games of Twister or Hungry Hippo, or those much needed pjs to stay warm? Surely not everybody is asking for iPods, although I wouldn’t complain if Santa dropped one into my stocking.

Based on over 4500 wish-list entries on Christmasgifts.net, the top ten items asked for are:

1). Clothes – 3.8%

2). Doll – 3.6%

3). Wii – 3.4%

4). Cell Phone – 3.2%

5). Toys – 3.2%

6). Nintendo DS – 3%

7). Laptop – 3%

8). iPod – 2.8%

9). Household – 2.3%

10). DVDs – 2.2%

So I guess we can relax a little – some kids still want toys, although Wii systems and cell phones are the preferred toys. I found it interesting that just as many people want new cars as people who want puppies, both at 2% of requests. The iPod did make it onto this list too though.

If your shopping is done and your gifts are wrapped, maybe all you will want is to sit back and listen to some music on one of those new iPod Touches – and enjoy a little peace. Now that isn’t too much to ask, is it? In moments you’ll be singing “Here comes Santa Claus, here comes Santa Claus…” and saying “Merry Christmas to all, and to all, a good night,” as you find your way back up a chimney. 

It’s the end of the world as we know it…”

… And I feel fine because the new technology is really cool. The future is here, and although it hasn’t over taken us in one day, technological evolution has happened quickly, in fact, in lightning speed compared to human history or the history of planet Earth.

Much like end-of-the-world predictions, the new era of technology has been dreamed of and envisioned for years. We used to call it sci-fi, and now it’s just – life. The idea of wearing glasses that would have built-in computers so that the screen could be seen virtually in 3D has turned into Google Glass, or what is otherwise known as Project Glass.

Google Project Glass, by Google X Lab, Google’s secret facility that reportedly develops everything from self-driving cars to these futuristic glasses, unveiled prototypes last spring, in 2012. With Google Glass, smartphones will be outdated because the glasses themselves will display similar information, only now you will be hands-free. You are able to give voice commands to enjoy Internet from within your glasses – and soon enough, from your contact lenses. Mass market release is scheduled for 2014 and the glasses should cost around $1500.

Today, on Wednesday, December 12, 2012, seven days before the end of the world as claimed by doomsday theories and ancient prophesies, or, more accurately, the end of the Mayan calendar, Fox News states that “The end of the smartphone era is coming.” Not that sales for iPhones, Androids, and even Blackberries are not still soaring, just that with all the new technology being developed and introduced so rapidly that is gearing away from the traditional hand-held phone, our smartphones may not get the attention they do now, and eventually, well…

… like everything else, they will have lived their life, not unlike the old-fashioned corded phone. Books have lived on, in spite of tablets and Kindles. Possibly the new smart glasses will be too ridiculous to wear – but not likely. Smart glasses look not much different than regular reading glasses, except for and small Bluetooth-looking device that is part of one of the armbands. And remember, these are only the first. Soon enough they will become as stream-lined, attractive, and comfortable as any other glasses. They may be so desirable that many people will have several pairs to coordinate with their outfits.

Our wardrobes, in fact, are already taking a turn to include wearable technology, and claim to do everything from promoting increased activity and healthier eating habits, to managing weight and facilitating better sleep.

When you put your Nikes on, you can now put on a Nike Fuel Band to go with them that will track your activity.

Fitbit boasts a family of wireless trackers meant to be worn and designed to motivate you “to stay active, live better, and reach your goals,” including “The One” and “Zip.”

Jawbone is a company that sells devices for a “holistic approach to a healthy lifestyle,” as if technology is as natural as organic vegetables. They offer a wristband called “Up” that monitors everything from your activity and sleep to your food and your mood. Then “Up” takes that information and formulates it to offer insights to help motivate you.

Wear one of the Jawbone devices such as the Jawbone “Era,” like you would any Bluetooth device, only the “Era” is poised to out-do Bluetooth technology. It utilizes a MyTALK platform, enabling it to download apps and customize features such as caller ID. It sends emails and texts as you talk and is the first headset ever with built-in accelerometer MotionX capability. Just ShakeShake or TapTap and you can answer your calls.

Pebble E-Paper watches are already prototyped. These watches are the most highly funded Kick-Starter yet, with over $10 million in venture capital and pre-orders. They appear clunky, but with downloadable watch-faces, internet apps, and the ability to connect to both iPhones and Android smartphones using Bluetooth, plus alerts to incoming calls, emails, and social networking messages such as Facebook and Twitter, as well as activity tracking offered by other wearable devices, these E-Paper watches just might be the new must-have.

For those who grew up watching The Jetson’s, a futuristic cartoon television show, the idea of common households giving orders to robots was fantastical, yet we live in the fantastic now with voice activated systems that are incorporated into wearable technology. And while there are now robots in our world also, it seems maybe we’ve gone one step further than the Jetson’s characters in our continuing obsession with being connected. We can wire ourselves up and plug ourselves in. Maybe we will become the robots… or maybe December 21, 2012 will pass and we will wake up to find we already are. 

The Apples to Oranges of Websites

Tuesday, 27 November 2012

Now, with two services for two businesses that I want to advertise for, I thought I would at least begin with checking out some business cards and create the branding. In doing this, I saw that the same websites that do business cards also offer websites. Maybe I could do it myself. It sure didn’t cost a lot. But in wondering about what I would be getting – or getting myself into, I grew suspicious.

I also began doing a little research to see what the competition is doing. One website was not bad, so I clicked on the site developer’s name. It took me to another website design company that was offering services for cheap. They even offer content writing, which is part of what I do. But for what they were charging, how on earth could they be offering the same services that we offer at Padika Solutions? Quite simply, I knew there was no way they could be. It’s like apples to oranges – or maybe lemons.

Just be careful and don’t make the mistakes I have with websites where that great deal ends up costing more than you ever bargained for in both time and money. Do it right the first time and choose one place that can do it all and that will be there for you so that you can get what you want without the hassle. Because when service is personalized and there are real people behind it who work with you in person to understand your goals and to develop your vision, you know it is not something you are getting by clicking away your credit card numbers online, only to enter cyber space where monthly charges keep seeping from your bank account. Good luck on your own, because the promised help is never there – and even if it is, what help is it when they don’t know you or what you or your business is about or what you want to develop? And it is just not the same when some call center person is not there to actually show you on your computer.

There is no comparison. Just decide what you want and know what you are getting. Is it an apple, an orange – or a lemon?

Define Your Roles

Tuesday, 27 November 2012

Who does what? Who are the major players?

When we share ideas with the people we are going to be working with, it is easy to overlap roles. After all, we share the same vision and we are all part of it. A million things have to be discussed and we have to understand each other. But we also have to understand what are roles are.

Each person must define what they are going to contribute so that people are not stepping on each other’s toes and so that no task is left undone or we are not wasting time by having two people go over the same thing. Everything must be covered – by someone, and if no one is specifically appointed or has taken on the responsibility, you are looking for troubles. Assuming your best friend will pick up the cake from the caterer’s just because she likes your idea will not do. And it gets extra sticky when you have a team of very talented people – each capable of doing many of the tasks that need to be done. Just because one person is able to keep the books doesn’t mean they shouldn’t be the one to greet your guests, so make a decision. And no matter what you do, don’t be the one who tries to do everything just because it was your idea or it is your business. Delegate!

On your website, your customers will appreciate seeing professional titles and names. Some people include a brief description of who does what as well, but you do not have to. As long as you have defined and written out each person’s role for your own clarification, that will suffice. Even with a name and a title, clients will know who to talk to according to what they want to know, and they will gain a greater sense of what the company is all about.

The roles the major players have act as the structure that holds up the company. Your clients want to feel strength behind the brand, so define roles that they can recognize.   

Detail Your Products

Tuesday, 27 November 2012

People want to know exactly what they are getting. The more specific you are, the more likely they will come to a decision whether or not to purchase. If you describe a product in a “can’t resist” kind of way and have pictures to show it or even a video to demonstrate how it works, you will attract the attention you want. You want people to fall in love with what you’ve got, so go ahead and gush.

Listing the products you will sell, besides describing exactly what they are, will help you to think of other products you may not have considered and will help you to expand your business. Just be careful not to try to be everything to everybody or to offer such a wide range of merchandise that you lose the original focus of what you are about.

Know what you’ve got and flaunt it. Update your products to reflect your evolving business. And keep things fresh – even if you don’t sell produce! Whether your products are your bread and butter or are the icing on the cake, the details are not only what separate the best from the rest – the details are what will engage potential clients with your product. Engage them so they won’t want to disengage themselves – and will have to make that purchase.

Bring Your Vision to Life

Thursday, 22 November 2012

You’ve got down the bones of the business. Now what? Go back and color it in – literally. Build your brand with cool fonts, add pictures, design a logo. Get creative and have fun! This is where the character of your business really comes alive. And by now, it is ready to spring to life because you have defined its character along the way.

Do research. See what the competition is doing. See what you are up against and how they do their websites. See what you like and what you don’t like – and put ideas together for your own website. Maybe you have an image in your mind that you just need to find, or maybe browsing the web will inspire just the right image if you didn’t have one already.

What colors appeal to you? What shapes? What is your style and what is the style that best suits your business? You will know when it feels right. And even if you find various elements that you would like to include on your website, but just aren’t sure how they should all fit together, that is okay. Put them on the back burner to simmer. You will be able to find help to finalize your ideas and to produce a dynamite site.

Think about how you want the site to function. What moves? What flows? What pops out – or up? Where can you click? What should be on each page? Are there links? Can people leave comments? You do not have to have the answer to every question, because there are professionals to take care of the details, but the clearer the vision that you bring to the table, the better others will be able to assist you with your vision and getting up on your website.   

Share Your Vision

Friday, 16 November 2012

 Your purpose will shed light on your vision for the future of your company. You do not have to have all of the answers as to how you will build your business to reach what you envision – you simply need to express that vision.

You may be surprised at the people who will come forth to work with you to create something bigger and better than you ever imagined. Let your passion shine. It will attract others and inspire them to be involved with what you are proposing whether that is as partners or as clients. You will receive feedback from people as you form that future vision and this will allow you to fine-tune it to resonate with what your clients need and want.

You don’t need to be afraid of competition copying your ideas by sharing a future vision. When you are authentic to your purpose and your vision, nobody else can repeat it in the same way. That is what makes you and your business unique and is what will give you the cutting edge.

Getting it Right

Tuesday, 13 November 2012

I am beginning an exciting new company, and I know I have got to get up a website. I need to advertise online to get clientele, but as the business is not running yet, it is not yet generating income to pay for a fancy – or expensive website.

My first experience with websites was with a website I wanted to have to showcase a single screenplay. I had read in The Screenwriter’s Bible that some screenwriter’s do this, and I wanted to try anything and everything. Again, I had no money to do this with because I would only have money if the screenplay sold. It was that old catch 22.

I had no idea where to begin. I know how to use a computer and surf the net and send emails, and I even knew how I wanted my website to look and function, but I had no idea how to actually do it myself. I needed help. The first place I called told me it was going to cost six thousand dollars to design the site, with substantial payments forever after to maintain it.

“I’m a writer!” I exclaimed, wondering if the person on the other end had heard anything I’d said about my situation or what I wanted or what the purpose of the website was for. “This is not a business. It is just to showcase one screenplay!”

I did not even care about Search Engine Optimization (SEO) for that site as it was to be an “invite only” site and require a password to read the screenplay – so I did not understand how maintenance was really necessary. And furthermore, I am a writer, so I do not need somebody else to write anything or to make maintenance changes. I would do my own changes. But no, I was informed I couldn’t do that.

I hung up.

Next, I found a woman who was recommended to me privately and who works out of her home. She was very nice and got up my website up for considerably less money. I designed every detail of every page, and it is what I wanted… except that it lacks the professional, polished look that professional websites have. And it was incredibly time consuming. So, unless you have a couple of weeks to do nothing else but design every aspect of your website on your own, I wouldn’t recommend it. That’s not to say she doesn’t offer additional services for clients who want more help with their websites – I just didn’t want her to do anything more because I thought I could do it all on my own. I thought I was really smart.

Smart though, I have realized, is not just getting help when you need it, but getting the right help. Smart is focusing on what you do best and letting other people do what they do best. Smart is not trying to do everything on your own. Smart people call places like Padika Solutions to do their websites for them – and their business cards, and postcards, and Facebook pages… It really is so much easier to just pick up the phone and explain what you want than to navigate endless web design sites, all holed up by yourself. Smart would have been getting it right the first time and calling Padika, where they’ll work with you from the beginning to make your site right for you, within a budget that is right for you too.

The most powerful media marketing takes place through social networks. Today, the two mega giants are Facebook and Twitter. Daily, they attract millions of potential clients, demanding utilization in your company’s marketing scheme.

With heavy traffic on both Facebook and Twitter, the ability to market brands, products, and services has never been easier. And because these sites have free registration, more and more people are joining, which for you, means a continually growing potential client base.
Facility to approach these potential clients is enabled by having your company profile on these networks as well. Then, when you are ready to launch a new product or revive enthusiasm for an existing one, begin a new service or refresh an original service, you may post the news on Facebook or Tweet about it on Twitter, instantly reaching thousands via social media marketing.

Facebook and Twitter users, both individuals and companies, are able to gain access to these networks on their Smart phones and iPhones. So whether people are at work or at home, in traffic, at a park, or in a mall, they will see updates – including your new product launch that you just tweeted about or posted on Facebook. Social media puts any information you want potential clients to see at their fingertips at any given moment.

Social media “liking” and “sharing” promotes products and/or services to unlimited numbers of people worldwide and familiarizes the public with your company.

Facebook users, potential clients as well as companies, are also able to upload pictures to the newsfeed or to their profiles. Pictures, as well as written content, messages, and/or advertising – anything posted – may be “liked.” By clicking on a “like” tab, potential customers draw further attention to your product or message, thereby advertising for you and creating even more potential customers.

Information on Facebook may also be “shared.” So when one potential client is interested in your product or believes it may be of interest to a friend, they click on “share” to send it to that person, thereby growing your potential client base.

Similarly, Twitter helps the user to promote its campaign or brand by “tweeting” on its profile. Valuable information for further marketing and development is gathered as these Tweets are followed and recorded, while instantaneously reaching unlimited Twitter users who can then continue to Tweet the word about the product or service you just tweeted about…

The web created through this expansive trickledown is what truly makes social media marketing a world wide web – of potential customers and potential money in your pocket.

Ask us how to take advantage of these two mega giants to create your unlimited potential.  

 

Social networking sites have become the best mode for media marketing in the business world. Whether a business is large or small, immense marketing possibilities are able to be realized through these websites. Every day, millions of users visit social networking websites, so there is no doubt that this form of marketing provides a stellar advantage to companies in promoting their brands, products and services.

When we compare social media advertising with other modes of advertising such as television, magazines, flyers, brochures, and so on, it is inexpensive. Yet with heavy traffic to these sites, large numbers of users are exposed to your advertising. It is also how people find what they want – and what they want just might be what you have to offer.

Social media advertising allows its users to learn about your company – who you are and what you offer. They may find you through social media advertising, enter your website, and leave as customers. Even better is that all of this activity is tracked so that next time, you can address them personally.  

Online purchasing by social networking users continues to increase. It follows that this rise in online consumerism can be attributed to online marketing that has made a positive impact on consumers. Millions of users of various ages and from all corners of the globe spend much time on social sites on a daily basis and shopping is made easy. With just one click, these users may select their purchase – and become your next customers.

Another advantage of social networking for businesses is that it may be utilized in the recruitment process. If a company has an employment opportunity, advertising it is only a click away. Visitors to the company’s profile on either Facebook or Twitter are able to respond.

Through social media marketing, you may reach out to prospective clients as well as possible future employees, making the first click towards fostering the building of good relations.

An account may be created for businesses that highlights the company profile, and provides contact details, including the company’s URL. When a person visits the company on Facebook or Twitter and takes interest, that person may be inclined to share links with individuals or groups. This is an effective way to let visitors advertise for you and further increase the visitors to your site, thereby also increasing potential for sales.   

It is no doubt that social media has created a real boom in the business world. With easy accessibility to the internet and millions of users increasing the demand for social media marketing, or internet marketing, it is a form of marketing that demands not only utilization, but optimization. And, with continued advancements in technology, the process of developing social media marketing has become easier and much more affordable.

If you are not yet using this essential tool of social media marketing and taking advantage of what today’s technology has to offer, we can help you to get started. Or if you are using social media marketing but not generating the results you want, we can help you to expand and optimize from where you are at. You will not only see the difference – you will experience it. And that’s the bottom line.

If your answer is “yes,” the time has come to get yourself Google Drive which enables access everywhere.

What is Google Drive?

Most of us are not alien to Dropbox cloud storage. Even those who have not used it at least have some idea how one can sync files from their home computer to an office computer, and across PCs as well as Macs.

Some weeks back, Google came up with Google Drive which is similar to Dropbox, but according to reviews, better in many ways.

What can you do with Google Drive?

With Google Drive, files and data can be stored in a safer place. If you drop your phone or spill your morning coffee on your PC, data can be lost, but with Google Drive, there is nothing to damage. If your data is stored in Google Drive, you are safe – and so is your data.

How is Google Drive beyond storage?

Google Drive is not just a storage device for saving and storing data, it offers you the facility to edit, share, update, and merge files together from any other device. This allows for you to work with your teammates even when you are miles away. It also provides immediate access to Google Docs.

How much does Google Drive cost?

Google Drive comes for free with a space of 5 GB that can be started with this free space. For just $2.50 USD per month you are able to up-grade to 25 GB.

Overall, Google Drive is an impressive tool which is a great help in terms of hassle free data storage

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