This video is a rerun. I will have new videos, again, starting next week.
Archive for February, 2010
If you already have website, go back to what you were doing. If you don’t, there is a site that can help you get set up. Like anything else that’s new to us, setting up a website can be intimidating, and frustrating. If you have a business, though (any kind of business) you need to have a website. It gives you credibility, and will help you market your product or service. There, your customers can find out about your company, get contact information, etc...
ChooseWhat.com offers a “build-your-website” option that is incredibly easy to use. You start by selecting an “information only” site ($9.99/month) or a web store ($24/month). You are then literally stepped through the process. The price includes a domain name. And the first 30 days are free, so check it out before committing.
Here’s what you’ll see:
a) Create a free account.
b) Choose your layout and color scheme.
c) Choose your domain name.
Add Pages to Your Website.
a) Customize your Home page.
b) Customize your Contact page.
c) Add supporting pages
Create Logical Navigation.
a) Create main navigation links
b) Create secondary navigation.
Enhance Your Website (optional steps).
a) Customize your header and logo.
b) Change your layout.
c) Change your color scheme.
d) Get your website listed in search engines
e) Add images, video and other multimedia.
Everything in this guide is straightforward and easy to understand. As you click on each task, you are given a full, clear explanation of what you are doing, and why. You should be able to create your website in an afternoon.
Having an online presence is so important. You are missing out on opportunities each day that you wait. So give it a try, because the need for a website is not going to go away.
Getting caught up in the excitement of starting your own business can cause you to get ahead of your self. It’s a common mistake, but you may pay dearly for it.
Starting a business is part hard work, part lots of fun. Unfortunately, in the beginning, there are bigger doses of hard work – getting your website up and your shopping cart in place, registering for tax ID numbers, not to mention preparing your product or service. So it’s understandable that people want to jump into the much more satisfying activities of marketing and PR, but don’t take these steps until you’re ready.
First, if you hire a marketing or PR person before you’re ready, you’ll be wasting your money and their time. And, second, even if you’re doing these things on your own (I love DIY!) you could be caught with your pants down, so to speak. If clients, journalists, and sponsors coming knocking before you’re ready, you will look amateurish and create a reputation for being unreliable.
I once jumped into a marketing opportunity before I had my vendors lined up. A huge order came in from this and I suffered a sleepless week getting the work done for my new customer, with the added pleasure of paying a subpar vendor a fortune for a “rush” job.
If your dream client/PR contact called you, would you be ready? If the answer is, “Yes, but I just need to ______”, then the real answer is no.
I get it. It’s thrilling to go full steam ahead, but you have to make sure you have something to offer before inviting the world in. It is easier to build a strong reputation from a clean slate, than it is to repair a damaged one. So clean house, get your ducks in a row, or whatever other metaphor you would like to use, then get out there and show the world what you’ve got.
This is an extraordinary time to venture into business ownership. The Internet has changed the entire game. There is unprecedented access to information and guidance, and this has leveled the playing field.
But whether you work with a business coach, attend seminars, or read how-to books and blogs, you are the one who has to make it happen. All of these activities are there to give you direction and/or tools, but only you can get your business up and running. Only you can create the business you envision.
Take an honest look at how much time and money you’ve recently invested in any or all of these things. Then take a look at where you are with your business. How long have you been operating at your current level, compared to how long you've wanted to take it to the next level?
A lot of people get stuck in the “information gathering” stage. In this stage, it is easy to convince ourselves that we’re doing something. But if you’ve been on a merry-go-round of learning and development activities, the reality is, you’re avoiding doing anything. The best way to actually move your plans forward is to take a break from the planning. Put the information you’ve gathered to use by creating an action oriented to-do list, and start moving through it.
For some of you, the next level is actually getting your business set up. For others, it means expanding your product or service line or building your customer base. Wherever you’re at, you are responsible for being there. And wherever you want to be, you are responsible for getting there. Feel confident from your past achievements, use the knowledge you have gained, and start moving toward your goals.
I can feel some of you cringing as you read this, but I think you should at least consider incorporating video into your marketing plan. Video can be used in a lot of ways, and it’s very effective. That’s one of the reasons HSN and QVC are so successful. They are constantly connecting with their customers with conversation and demonstrations. Video can do the same for you.
I love fresh pineapple but never bought it because it’s such a mess to slice up. Then I came across a video of the Vacu Vin pineapple slicer. The 2 minute demonstration showed how easy it was to use, so I purchased one. It worked as promised, and now I would try other products from this company. So, if you have a product that has a function you can demonstrate, video is a great way to go.
If your products that don’t lend to an instructional video, you can still show your products in motion, whether you sell apparel, makeup or jewelry. This also gives your potential customers a chance to get to know you. And if your company offers a service, video is a great way to build trust. People will start to develop a relationship with you before even meeting you.
Getting started is easier than you may think. You don’t have to spend a lot to get a decent camera, and they all come with software so you can do some basic editing. Then you can set up a YouTube channel and link from your blog, or you can put your videos on Vimeo and imbed the videos in your website, which is what I do. Here’s a list of other video sites, if you’re interested in doing a little research on your own.
If you’ve never done anything like this before, practice. You will definitely get more comfortable with each try. In the beginning you may feel embarrassed watching yourself, but keep practicing. Sometimes I still cringe a little, especially if my lighting is bad, but I re-do it if I have time. (You can find a few examples where I ran out of time – not good, but, oh well.) Like anything else, the best way to get started is to jump in with both feet. Let me know if you have any questions.
We all hear it and read it every day – your work/job should be something you’re passionate about. As much as we all want to follow our bliss, many people don’t know what that is for them. This is understandable. Throughout our lives we’re told what it means to be successful, and which paths will lead us to fulfillment. But upon arrival, we realize we were following the path of someone else’s dream. So how do we switch directions and head toward our dream?
First, you have to remember what makes you happy. Go back as far as your memory will allow. You will find clues in the games you liked the most, and the kids you played with. Did you create neighborhood newspapers, or set up elaborate lemonade stands during the summer? Did you like putting on plays with your friends? We’re you the actor? Or the producer, joyfully bossing your friends around? Did you draw and paint pictures, or create costumes from your mom’s discards? What you loved doing as a kid is what you still love, just maybe in another form.
Once you determine the “what”, spend some time figuring out why you liked these activities. Was it the problem solving, the creativity, the organizing? It may take a little time, but as you get closer to the truth, you’ll know it, because you’ll feel energized and engaged.
The final step is simple, but not necessarily easy. Step onto your path. Changing the direction of your life is scary, but it can be done. Approach the process as if it were a marathon, not a sprint. Maybe take on a hobby or side job that reflects the true you. That may be enough for you to be fulfilled. As your comfort level increases, though, you may find yourself wanting more. And now that you’re on the right path, you’ll know what to do, because when we’re in touch with our true desires, we’re also in touch with our instincts. So take the first steps, and the rest will fall into place.