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High Tech Professionals Share Best Practices Face-to-face, not Online

If you want your presentations to have a winning edge, Halina St James is chock-full of advice. St James is the energy behind Podium Coaching of Halifax, and living testament to her own advice.

Advice on being passionate, on being yourself, and on knowing your audience. On body language, and on simplicity of your message. On starting right, telling a story, and having a wow factor.

When to emphasize a word, when to pause for effect.

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Internet Marketing is Easy and Accessible, and Brings Measurable Results

What is Internet marketing, who uses it, and what happens to businesses who don’t use it?

These are questions I recently asked Alexandra Fricker. Fricker is a ten year marketing veteran, and my business associates liked her so much they hired her. That’s right; I came back from vacation last week and there she was!

And I thought, before sending her to help clients with their Internet marketing strategies, why don’t I see if she can help me out. So I put her to the test, and I must say she came through admirably with her answers to my questions.

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Simple Ideas to Increase Your Web Presence

If your idea of a web presence is just having a website, think again. Although a website is a crucial first step and should serve as a hub for your brand online, it’s just the tip of the iceberg.

How are your customers finding your website? Sure, your URL is on your business card and brochure but if your customers don’t know you exist that’s not going to help. Having a presence on the search engines for key phrases relevant to your products and services is vital. So put yourself in your customers shoes and come up with likely key phrases they may type into a search engine and do it yourself to get an idea of where your website ranks.

There are many different components to search engine optimization (SEO), including on-page and off-page optimization (link building), as well as information architecture considerations, so an assessment of your SEO needs is the ideal place to start and get an idea of where you are and where you could go.

Oh and if your customers are looking for your services locally PLEASE go to http://www.google.com/local/add/ and add your business now!

Do you have several unique products that can stand on their own? Separate websites or minisites may be a good strategy for you, segmenting your products and optimizing for search by using unique domain names.

Thinking about having a photo gallery or videos on your website? Using services like Flickr or YouTube can help you spread your brand beyond your website. Don’t forget to tag your photos and videos with relevant keywords and descriptions. Make sure your profile page links back to your website and brand the profile with at least a logo.

Do your customers look to the web for help related to your products or services? If you have the expertise and time a blog is a fantastic way to connect with your customers. Some questions to ask yourself include: What results are you trying to achieve? And who is your target audience?

Having a presence on social networking sites isn’t necessarily vital for every company, yet. It all depends where your customers are. For a quick test, try going to search.twitter.com and typing in the name of the product or service you provide. If you sell mattresses try searching for ‘new mattress’ or ‘new bed’ or if you’re a restaurant try searching “restaurants” near:”Halifax”. See anyone worth talking to?

Is your company B2B? Encourage your staff to use Linkedin. Again, don’t forget to link your profiles back your company website.

This is just the beginning of what you can do to increase your presence on the web, but if any of these tactics make sense for you, the time to start is today. If you have any ideas you’d like to add or any questions please leave a comment!

A Good Idea Goes a Long Way

How would you like generate a boat load of traffic to your web site without filling someone else’s boat with money to do it?  Well, it could be just as simple as coming up with the right idea. Or to be more specific, an idea that people will talk about.

We all stand around the water cooler talking about the latest neat thing we heard about on the radio or that a friend mentioned to us. Maybe it is a product, service or just something funny that was on TV the night before. But what if that water cooler was actually a complex social network that connected with thousands of other people? Suddenly what you thought was interesting is being discussed all around the world. Then somewhere along the line all of these people stumble across a web site, video or some sort of content that is related to this topic of interest. Suddenly links to that content start popping up all over the place. As a result traffic to the web site that is hosting that content goes through the roof and prominence in search results increases. Now what if you happened to have that content of interest on your web site? That would not be so bad, would it?

So how exactly does something spread like wildfire through these social networks? Well first, there needs to be that good idea. This idea does not have to be groundbreaking. In fact it could even be something that seems downright silly. But what it needs to be is something that people will talk about and more importantly send to other people online. So long as it generates some sort of buzz or interest, then the word will start to spread. This interest can be the result of something people find humorous, silly or even controversial.

Recently we had the pleasure of developing an online contest for KFC Canada’s website, which was able to reap the benefits of this phenomenon. The contest was tied into a promotion for their new spicy Wicked Crunch Sandwich. In the contest a video shows a fictional heavy metal band playing on stage. The singer in the band screams over the music and ends the song by breathing fire. They then cut to a shot of him backstage taking a bite out of a Wicked Crunch, to which he states, “Oh man that is hot.” That may or may not seem humorous to you. However, due to the fact that a company such as KFC chose to use a dark, leather and spikes heavy metal band in their contest, it was deemed a rather bold move by many people. Because of this bold move, people online started talking about the contest, posting links to it and even clips of the video started popping up on YouTube. Suddenly contest submissions started increasing and went from a couple hundred a day to thousands. In addition to that, the contest page on the KFC web site started showing up prominently in search results. All thanks to the interest generated by the links back to the KFC site from numerous blogs and message boards.

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LinkedIn – a “Facebook for Business”

In a recent article on Social Media, I discussed the power of online personal connections and mentioned the phenomenon that is Facebook. There is another social media tool which is similar to Facebook but is more intended for business contacts. It is called LinkedIn.

This service allows you to create a profile much like you would on Facebook, and to make connections with other people who you can then keep informed of business activities. Note that these are called “connections”, not “friends”.

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