Saturday, January 4, 2014

Importance of the Elevator Speech

How do you answer the question
"What does your business do?"  
Successful business people standing in office elevator and talking with each other - stock photo
Do you stammer and trip over your words?? 

You have to know how to answer this question with a short and concise answer. 

I am a Social Media Copy Writer and Blogger who educates small business owners on how to use social media as a tool to increase their business.

If you can't answer the question, practice until you can do it.  So I ask you, "What does your business do?"

Monday, December 30, 2013

7 Key Ingredients to Brand Awareness

Brand awareness is similar to a recipe.  Ingredients have to be carefully measured and mixed together to have a great product.  Here are 7 key ingredients needed to be mixed to increase brand awareness.

1.  Listen - You need to listen to your customers.  Social media is a great tool, but if you're not paying attention to what is being said you will miss trends, customer feedback, and lose out on building your brand.

2.  Use Blogs to Foster Relationships
  • Increase Backlinks - Links pointing to the website from other relevant websites (post relevant comments on other people's blogs)
  • Drive Traffic To Your Website - social media, guest blogs
  • Increase Visibility and Brand Recognition
  • Drive Traffic and Interactions on Your Blog
  • Foster Relationships
3.  Integrate Search Engine Optimization into Your Social Strategy - Ensure that you use Search Engine Optimization (SEO) words with your website.  Check out our blog

4.  Localize Your Presence - Your local Chamber of Commerce can ensure your brand is known locally.  SEO words on your website and social media profiles should include your location. Get involved in the community to build brand awareness and free publicity.

5.  Tie-In Your Email Marketing with Your Social Presence - Always include a visual button with a hyperlink to your social media pages.  Make it easy for those that receive your emails to follow the business on social media.  On your website have an opt-in option to receive e-mails, blog updates, newsletters and promotional offers.

6.  Use Strategic PR to Increase Visibility - Take advantage of self-promoting yourself with self-written press releases highlighting accomplishments, community support and new business developments. Write the press releases and send to local, regional and national newspapers and relevant trade publications, magazines and associations.  Send press releases to all your customers and post to your website.  Self-promote!!

7.  Cross-market - Website and social media profiles including employees and customers will allow you to cross-market your business and increase brand awareness. 

Mix all 7 ingredients together and when the timer rings you have increased your brand awareness.

Friday, April 12, 2013

Rapid Learning Development Tools

I wrote this blog for my company website and it's waiting to be uploaded to our new blog on the website.  It was a recommendation that I made to increase our social presence. 

Are rapid changes in elearning causing you to change too?
Rapid learning tools allow those without programming skills to build e-learning courses rapidly. They can offer easy, inexpensive way for organizations to develop Web-based training that is flexible, elegant, and easy to update. In the past, the course would normally be created as a PowerPoint presentation with recorded narration on each slide. Additional software would add tests, collaboration activities, multimedia, animations, and graphics. The entire course would be sent as an Adobe Flash file to a learning management system (LMS) or Web site. However, newer software is including all the components as one software package.

In addition, mobile devices are increasingly being used and Flash is not supported for some mobile devices. This has increased the demand for courses that are can be published in HTML5 for mobile
devices. Those mobile devices include tablets and smartphones like: 

Apple with iOS
Google with Android OS
RIM with Blackberry OS
Microsoft with Windows Phone OS

Rapid learning software include the following bigger software tools:

Adobe Captivate 6 software helps you rapidly author a wide range of interactive eLearning and HTML5-based mLearning content. It converts Captivate-generated .SWF files into HTML5 files. It allows you to import Microsoft® PowerPoint slides and enrich them with multimedia, interactive elements and quizzes. Content can be delivered to virtually any device, including iPads. The author can edit video, and add transitions, smart shapes, audio, and captions; insert a talking head or another video in a picture-in-picture format; and publish it to YouTube with a single click. Captivate allows you to insert aesthetically designed interactive elements to  e-learning content with just a click.

Articulate e-learning authoring software is designed for those who prefer to work with PowerPoint. It makes it easy to convert PowerPoint presentations into courses while including quizzes and interactive e-learning content. Users can build slides from scratch or build slides using a template. Publish your course to multiple formats including mobile devices, and distribute to the web, Articulate Online or your company's LMS.

Dokeos is an open-source online learning suite. It provides all the features needed for e-learning and blended learning management; from authoring to reporting. Dokeos was the first authoring tool to be compliant with HTML5 and tablets: non-flash video and audio, flexible display, improved contrasts, and clarified menus.

Lectora is an application that gives you the option to use customizable templates and themes or create a course from scratch. Coding is made easier with a  WYSWIG (what you see is what you get) interface. Create quizzes or use the software’s media library of games, characters, animations, and photographs. Users can embed, stream, or record and edit videos—including those from YouTube. Importing courses from PowerPoint is another option.

RapidIntake by CallidusCloud is a cloud-based collaborative course authoring tool. Novices can use a WYSWIG visual layout environment, convert PowerPoint presentations, or fill-out form-based templates to create interactive activities and courses. Advanced developers can use Flash source code to create customized courses. Capabilities include publishing courses in HTML5 for mobile devices.

SmartBuilder by Suddenly Smart creates performance-changing  e-learning without scripting and by combining the power of robust authoring tools like Flash, with a rapid development timeline. It enables you to create rich Flash  e-learning with an easy-to-use interface.

Udutu is an online learning authoring tool with a suite free and paid tools. Can be used with other LMS tools and it can be integrated into social media sites such as Facebook. Udutu makes it easy to produce media rich, engaging online courseware to web browsers and mobile devices.

Are rapid changes causing you to rapidly change what software tool you are using?  Whichever rapid learning development software tool you choose, make sure it meets your needs. Several of the companies offer a 30-day trial. Take advantage of this option!

Which one do you use and why do you like it? Comment below and share with others.

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Starting Brand Awareness!

I just needed to jump in! 

  • Twitter
  • Facebook
  • LinkedIn
  • Blog
I started a twitter account in December

I updated my personal LinkedIn account so that it's linked to the company business twitter account.  I use Hootsuite to update my personal LinkedIn and Facebook accounts and the company Twitter account.  I can post/twit at the same time to all three.  It makes it easier.

I've been reading and researching best practices for social media.  There are so many great resources out there.  One of the fastest growing websites for resources is I've downloaded white papers and watched free webinars but we don't use their platform. 

I'm happy to share their resources that I have found with you on Hubspot:
How to Attract Customers with Twitter and Vine
25 Website Must Haves eBook
Anatomy of a Five Star Email
LinkedIn New Company Pages
30 Lead Generation Tips eBook

While I know that this is only the beginning and I'll be sharing more.  I would encourage you to check out Hubspot resources to build your brand awareness.

What have you done lately to build your brand awareness?