Your Business needs a website!

Today, more and more consumers use the internet to search for the products or services they need. Your small business will gain credibility by having a website. Without one, potential customers will go to your competitors that do. If you already have a website but it is “home-made”, having it professionally redesigned will provide your business with a professional image which will inspire even greater confidence. For home-based businesses, this is particularly beneficial since you do not have a store front to promote your products or services.

Why You Need to Have an Online Presence for Your Business in 2015

Did you know that the percentage of people searching their mobiles online has increased to over 70% from last year. Who would have thought that the old fashion method of picking up a yellow pages phone book and let your fingers do the walking would not be the number one source of search.

Even more rapidly is the growth of searching online via a computer or laptop to a mobile phone. Do you know of anyone who doesn’t have a mobile phone? Even my mum who is 94 owns one.

Did you know that businesses who have some form of online presence can increase their bottom line by 20%? That is because when people are searching online they are being found. People aren’t walking door to door to find services, they are online doing their research.

Did you know that if you have an existing website that Google made changes in April this year to how your website is viewed on mobile? So for those who have a website if you haven’t enabled it to be mobile friendly, people will find your site on their mobile not be able to read it and won’t come back to visit your site again.

Did you know that company’s that have a 4 star plus rating will get the sale of a lesser star rating? Just commonsense really, however if you don’t have an online presence which can allow for people to leave a review you again are missing out on business.

Many small business are unaware of this information due to busyness of being a small business owner with so many jobs to do. The old saying too busy working in the business to work on the business.

So what does this mean anyway? Bottom line is that you need to have some form of online presence, a combination of social media and a website.

If you have an existing website then you need to check and see if that website is viewable on Google. To do this just do a Google search and it will provide the necessary link.

For example if you were in the building industry, Home Building Central provides a business website and social media from just $50.00 a month.

The information you should display. Think about what you would want a prospective client to see.

Do you want them to see previous reviews of your goods and services? Do you want them to view a map so they can find you? Have you got some great before and after images of a recent job if you are a renovator? Is it easy for people to contact you via email, social media or phone? When people search you can they make an informed decision from the information supplied?

People will do most of their research before they even contact you, so it is important you keep this in mind when creating your profile on your website and social media platforms.

There is a lot of free information out there to help you getting yourself set up or you can go through a paid service which will do a bit more hand holding.

So in order to get a share of the market place then it is worth getting an online presence. Look forward to finding you.

Bringing Your Marketing Efforts to the Next Level With LinkedIn

You are probably working your marketing strategy pretty effectively, including through LinkedIn and the other social media channels. No doubt, your marketing efforts include all sorts of online activities. Do you find yourself wondering how the marketing professionals use the tool?

The approach of social media professionals Get the backing of LinkedIn for your status updates: When it comes to leveraging LinkedIn and making the most out of it as part of your marketing strategy, there are several different things that you can try. Only you will be able to decide for your particular business what combination works most effectively. When it comes to posting updates, using the background support of LinkedIn is a wonderful way to start. If you have that support, other people will notice and it will do a great deal for your credibility in your particular niche or industry. If that happens, you will be positioning yourself as a subject matter expert (SME), which is one of your goals anyway. You can also track the analytics on the support and it will help you to determine what you are doing right and what you may have to adjust.

Make use of graphic images: Graphic images will help to make your LinkedIn profile even more attractive and more effective than it was previously. It is interesting to note that many people are unaware of this capability within LinkedIn. If you use the image feature, people will notice and if they notice, they will remember you and your business more easily. You can use the image feature to highlight many different aspects of your profile. It is important to remember that you shouldn’t merely make use of that feature once and then forget about it. You can revisit it regularly and use it to keep enhancing your profile over time. You overhaul many different parts of your professional image. It is important that you don’t forget to do the same thing with you LinkedIn profile as well. You may be surprised at how effectively the changes will attract other people.

Develop meaningful relationships on LinkedIn: You must be aware by now that at the heart of social media success is the relationship itself. You will develop (and cultivate) relationships with all sorts of people. Some of the people with whom you build relationships are influential. One of your goals, of course, is to stand above your competitors. One really good way to do that is by interacting with influential people. If you surround yourself with people who stand out in the crowd, you will stand out in the crowd as well. It really is about who you know in a lot of cases.

Make a solid contribution in your LinkedIn groups: It is meaningless for you to be a part of a LinkedIn discussion group if you don’t contribute anything to those discussions. It is very important that you add value to the discussion. The value can be in the form of a comment, a question, sharing an interesting article that someone else wrote, writing about someone else’s innovative, new product and/or service, etc. You must really walk the walk. You may be surprised at how much valuable material can come out of one discussion. You have a lot to contribute and other people really want to be a part of that and they want to benefit from your knowledge and experience.

Use LinkedIn connections in the right way: Having many connections will not do you much good if you don’t actually manage to turn them into relationships. You want to turn the opportunity into a bona fide set of interactions. Allow people the opportunity to get to know you and you also need to get to know them. That means that you talk to them, share valuable information with them, ask questions of them, etc. Connect with those people on a human/emotional level and they will want to do the same thing with you. Before you know it, you will be sharing a relationship that is mutually beneficial and enduring.

Conclusion: LinkedIn is an extremely valuable social media tool that can really help you to bring your business to the next level. Any professional who is not interacting through LinkedIn and who is not working LinkedIn to its fullest potential is really doing him- or herself and the business a disservice. If you are not using it effectively, you should start as soon as possible. Make sure that you really allow your online LinkedIn connections to get to know you and to embrace what you can do for them and for their business. LinkedIn should be an important part of everyone’s marketing strategy. Is it a part of yours?

5 Benefits of Creating Your Personal Brand

For some, the idea of a personal brand is new. Some might think that they don’t want to “be a brand.” Others might think that branding is not for them (it’s for celebrities). Some might even think that building a personal brand requires a team of professionals working around the clock. But it’s not something you complete in a few days, weeks, or months. In fact you might have to wait for its benefits over the longer term. It is, however, so important to build your brand in today’s social context, particularly when you want to differentiate yourself from others.

Building a brand is not as complicated as it you might think. Your personal brand is a culmination of sharing your expertise, your experiences, showcasing your achievements, getting your due recognition, building trusted connections, and continuously marketing your strengths. That’s all it is!

Take control of your professional career and get serious about a personal branding strategy. Here are five benefits that make it worth your time:

  1. Show Your Uniqueness

Investing time and effort in your personal brand is crucial to your success. If you are asking, “What’s in it for me?” You should know that the most important element of a personal brand is that it differentiates you from others who haven’t invested resources in developing an online presence. Stand out from the crowd. Carve out your niche. After all, there is no competition for the inimitable you. Your brand can reflect some of the best of what you would like to show the world. Your brand can be staged on a platform where your digital reputation, professional experience, and portfolio come together and lend credibility the way you market yourself. It can serve as a dynamic business card and be even more valuable than one when people seek you out.

  1. Control Public Perception

Branding is about how you are perceived in the market, and today you have control over that. Personal brand management is about cultivating the pieces that tell your story. You can build a great reputation with your willingness to share knowledge and expertise. In today’s socially connected world, your reputation can have global reach. This makes your brand more important than ever. Social media has given us an opportunity like never before to communicate with others. It also allows us to shape our brand with a myriad of online tools. You can proactively protect and maintain your public image by investing time in your brand.

  1. Build a Following

Each social media outlet offers you the opportunity to build a following. You can become known as an expert in your profession by focusing your effort, planning, and generously sharing your time. But, before putting in your time, make sure you establish your goal in building a following. In other words, “What is your objective in building a following”?

  1. Leverage your brand

When you invest time in building your personal brand, you can leverage it to reach valuable connections, find the right avenues for business or career, and secure a high level of visibility. Your brand can be the gateway to your entrepreneurial pursuits and passions. Imagine your brand as leverage in building professional equity.

  1. Learn From Your Connections

Branding helps your connections and audience to understand who you are. It also helps you project your value proposition. Interested parties can reach out to you for just about anything. You, in turn, can reach out to them. This is how you build a network of connection that you can learn from and to whom you can contribute. This is how you create circles of trust. It may take time and effort to cultivate relationships like these, but once established, with your continued nurture, no one can take away what you’ve sown.

Comparing Drupal, Joomla and WordPress

First, let’s get in to the root of our analysis just in case you have no clue what a CMS platform is. In simple terms, it is an application that allows you to edit, publish, and modify content from a centralized interface. The main goal behind the growth of CMS platforms is the efficiency and simplicity it affords users. The beauty with most of the platforms is that they are open source meaning that you have the luxury to choose among them depending on what you are looking to achieve.

Take note of the Features

In terms of features, these three platforms are known to afford unbeatable options to users. WordPress is however known to be the friendlier to new users owing to its easy to use interface. In fact, setting up a new website is much easier in WordPress than in Drupal and Joomla. If you are an advanced user though, you will find Joomla and Drupal easier to navigate through.

Know the Kind of Site You Want to Develop

The key to picking up a CMS platform that suits you is to pick the platform that fits into your needs. To achieve this, you have to devise a web design plan then look into the options available. If you look to develop a simple website-perhaps news or a blog, then WordPress would be well suited for you. A step higher, Joomla does provide a platform for you to build fairly complex sites in the realm of structure. If you want to build e-commerce or social networking sites with a bit of complex designs then Joomla is the best fit for you. Drupal on the other hand boosts admirable levels of scale owing to its ability to build sites ranging from simple to the most complex. So, if you are looking to build a site with complex data organization and structure, then you now know that Drupal will work for you.

CMS Community

This might not sound important but the extend at which a given CMS platform is adopted around the globe is crucial when making a choice between the options. CMS popularity will prove important in the case you are stuck and you need some help in a given development challenge. Take a simple example of a case whereby you are installing a plugin in a given platform then you get some sort of strange error. Naturally you would rush into the Internet for solutions but what happens if the platform is not used by a good number of developers? You will surely not get enough information to solve your problem quickly. CMS popularity also affects the number of plugins you have access to in a given platform meaning that the more popular the platform is, the higher the number.

The good thing is that all the three platforms have been adopted by a good number of worldwide developers to back you up whenever you hit the red flag. However, WordPress seems to be leading the race with Joomla and Drupal both in the chasing pack. It should however be noted that basing your choices on the popularity of a CMS platform will only be more feasible if you are a newbie in the web development business as accomplished programmers usually find it easy to cope with the challenges that come with the complexity of Drupal and Joomla.

Now that you have an overview of the points to note when choosing your platform, it is time for you to choose.

Remember, there is no better platform just a matter of choosing what is right for you. Just in case you don’t have the technical know how on how to use any of the platform, we are here to help.

5 Ideas For Digital Products To Sell Online

Digital products are the quickest, easiest and most profitable products to create. A digital product is something that a customer can download instantaneously to their computer when they buy it. It can be a report, eBook, video series, online tutorial or even a membership website.

The greatest advantage when you create digital products to sell online is that once you have created them, you can sell them time and time again. In order to find new ideas for digital products, you don’t have to reinvent the wheel. You just have to uncover unique ways to make it roll better.

  1. Ask Your Customers

How do your customers like your current products? Is there something that would like to see more of? Send out simple online survey to the people on your database. Ask them what their current problems are and where they are struggling. You’ll probably see one or two common themes cropping up in the answers. Use that information as your guide for creating and selling a new digital product.

  1. Convert Physical Products Into Digital Products

Are there ways to convert one or more of your physical products into a digital offering. For example, if you sell fashion accessories, could you create a video course on make up tips? Or, if you sell fitness equipment, could you create an eBook on weight loss? How can you streamline your product or a service using digital media?

  1. Take A Look At Your Competitors

Look into other businesses in your niche and see what they are doing to promote their business. What digital products do they offer? What do their audience like most about their products or services? How can you apply those likes to your products or services?

  1. Use Social Media

Social media marketing can expose your business to an entire new audience. Create a free eBook or report that provides value and distribute it on social media and ask people for their comments. As you get comments you’ll see what questions come up and you can create a follow up version with more details for people to buy.

  1. Interview An Expert

You don’t have to be an expert in your chosen niche to create a digital product. But experts can be found and you’ll know who they are. Ask them if they would be prepared to be interviewed about a particular issue in your industry. Tell them that you want to create a digital product (eBook, video, report etc) from those interviews. The advantage to the expert will be the exposure that they will get from being included in your product. The advantage to you is that people in your niche will want to know what the experts have to say. It’s a win-win!

Regardless of your age, education, technical skills or qualifications there are no specific requirements for being a successful online entrepreneur. However you will be more successful with a solid business model to work from, clear direction, training and support. If you don’t know where to start or you’re not achieving the online success that you want, check out the FREE Online Business Video Series at

Six Important Facts About Web Development

There is really nothing to worry about as long as your website is performing well and bringing most visitors. However, a problem arises when your site fails to meet your digital marketing goals. It is here that you need to look into things seriously. Enlisted below are six important facts about web design and web development.

  1. Update your website

With constant development in the field of web design and development, you need to change your site design as well to keep on attracting a large number of customers. Companies must know about the latest coding standards, browser capability updates and search engine algorithms. If your site is not updated in a few years it might fail to display correctly in a web browser creating adverse results for your online business. According to industry experts, even a website that is two years old is old-fashioned. You need to revamp the same to get desired business outcomes.

  1. Your website looks different on different devices

Your website appears different on Firefox and on your friend’s smartphone. This is because of the way the browsers translate code and display it on a screen. Some browsers will load the code in a certain way while some other browsers would not recognize certain codes at all.

Browser differences can make the task of web development a bit tricky. It is only a professional and experienced web design company that can create an amazing website following strictly HTML and CSS standards and addressing browser issues instantly.

  1. Is your website’s code correct

Irrespective of an outstanding site design, you see less traffic flowing to your site. This might be because of your website coding. When someone searches for keywords in Google or Yahoo, they expect to find exactly what they are looking for. Your site coding can also affect your site’s search engine ranking. Codes greatly define the title of the web page to the small meta description of your site. Coding is a good way for SEO and ensuring your site always gets more visibility and visitors.

  1. Images can influence your site

Images and video can make or break your website’s performance. For example, large images and video files can slow down your site’s loading time. Your visitors might not wait for a long time to see a page opening. So, you must use images and videos fully optimized for any type of website.

  1. Responsive design and mobile design

Mobile phones have a restricted screen size and display only the most important or basic information to people and so you might not get to see a site in its full glory. On the contrary, responsive design is extremely flexible. It allows a site to re-size its layout based on the visitor’s screen size. It gives a more consistent experience.

  1. Influencing visitor behavior

Web development also influences visitor behavior. For example, if people are not been able to scan through your site quickly, they will leave. So, web designers must create sites that are easy to load and navigate giving viewers the most vital information.