Don’t Drain Your Smartphone’s Battery

December 18th, 2014

Smartphones are wonderful tools. They let you watch movies while you’re taking the train to work. They let you make reservations at that hot new French restaurant, map out the quickest route to the theater in the next city, and give you access to the hottest online games.

But there’s one weakness that almost every smartphone shares: short battery life.

This is a frustrating problem. As you’re logging onto the Web, checking your e-mail messages, and making phone calls, you’re draining your phone’s battery. With many of the top smartphones on the market, you’re fortunate to make it home after the workday with enough battery life left to squeeze in one quick call for take-out food.

As PCWorld magazine explains, the problem comes down to this: Smartphones do too much. And by doing so, they consume more than their fair share of power.

There are steps, though, that you can take to increase the life of your smartphone’s battery. And PCWorld shares them with you. By shutting off some of your phone’s extra features, you might be able to squeeze enough extra juice out of your battery to keep your smartphone humming all day long.

Dimming that smartphone screen

First, PCWorld recommends that you dim your cell phone’s screen. A bright, cluttered screen display sucks the life out of batteries. By switching your screen’s brightness level to the lowest you can stand, you’ll already be doing much to boost the lifespan of your smartphone’s battery.

Screen lighting

You can save battery power, too, by adjusting how quickly your screen stays lit after receiving an input such as a screen tap. The longer your screen stays lit, the worse it is on your battery life.

Bluetooth

PCWorld also recommends that you turn off Bluetooth when you aren’t expecting a call or when you aren’t driving in your car. Bluetooth, because it is constantly listening for outside signals, is another major drain on your battery. By shutting it off, you’ll again significantly increase the life of your smartphone’s battery.

Share

See These 5 Social Media Errors You’ll Want to Avoid

December 16th, 2014

These days we all know that social media isn’t an option, but a necessity, but on the other hand many aren’t sure how to go about it with any degree of effectiveness.

Social media is amazing in its ability to extend your reach beyond what you might be able to generate on your own, but that’s also the same way that it can hurt you. Let’s check out 5 mistakes you might be making that can hurt.

5 Killer mistakes to avoid in your social media marketing

  • Not enough visuals - Let’s face it, we enjoy visual content. Whether it is a video, image or infographic, visuals are able to engage your audience in so many more ways, and for the better at the same time. Plus understand that often it doesn’t even need to be your own content you’re sharing; though you should not make it a habit to post only others visuals.
  • Selling too much - No one wants to be constantly sold to, and please don’t treat your social followers this way. They will quickly leave, leaving you with no one to talk to!
  • Deleting negative entries - If you are seen to be excising any negative comment from your pages, it will swiftly come back to bite you. People will wonder if what is being said about your company is true, and you’ve just thrown out a great opportunity to shine by providing exemplary customer service.
  • Buying likes and followers - This may seem like a great idea, but in fact, those thousands of followers you bought for $5 don’t give a hoot about you, and there isn’t anything more damning than visiting a page with thousands of followers and virtually no other engagement. Oops.
  • LikeBait - Similarly, crafting controversial or enticing headlines to generate tons of likes and shares, while sharing little of real value other than a cleverly worded headline is a sure way to send readers scampering to the exit. So much in fact, that recently Facebook announced they are instituting a change in their algorithm to curb this.
Share

Words Matter – Effective Phrases to help You Close More Sales

December 11th, 2014

All of us want to close more sales leads, and very often the easiest way to get that done is by carefully selecting the words we use when attempting to close the deal.

The words we select to build our sales messages have to create a mindset that is conducive to persuading the prospect to click the buy button. There is a great deal of thought that has gone into the science of conversion, and the psychology behind it is quite interesting.

That’s why it’s crucial to ensure we are making the most of this opportunity. Let’s examine some words and phrases that can get more conversions for you.

Words and phrases that sell

Assumptive close – “So where can we ship your product?” Assuming the prospect couldn’t possibly pass on this puts them in a mindset that is thinking of implementing as opposed to continuing to weigh the pros and cons. Works wonderfully whenever the prospect is favorably inclined to purchase.

Direct close – Sometimes the best way to seal the deal is by asking directly for the sale. Assuming you’ve answered all possible objections (that you know of) you can be bold and make a direct ask. Try not to be aggressive or pushy, as that will have a negative effect.

Using a fearful close – Fear works wonders sometimes, and no one likes to miss out on something they really want or need. Make it your business to make it appear as though not having your products or services will truly cost them more than the cost of the item.

Have a friendly close – Being personable and friendly in your close, such as “Would you like me to help you get going with this?” casts you and your products in a friendly, helpful light, and thus lowers defenses and resistance several notches.

Alternative close – Oftentimes if you have several products that may fit the bill, you can “help” the customer decide by phrasing your copy like “So after considering which fits your needs better at the moment, do you want to go with Product A or Product B?”

Share

Don’t discount the gains you can make with your welcome emails

December 9th, 2014

We all get them, welcome emails. But are you up to speed on how best to create your own for your subscribers?

What elements are needed to not only welcome them, but also highlight what they can expect and what you have to offer them during their time with you?

Welcome emails are typically opened at a high rate, but it’s what you include in them that sets the stage for what’s to follow. Let’s examine 7 of the ways you can craft your emails for best results.

7 Ways to craft effective welcome emails

Don’t batch: send them immediately - While it might be more server-efficient to batch your emails to send out together, its poor form to do so with a new subscriber. Demonstrate that you care a little by sending these right away.

Use a working email address - Using a no-reply email address will only do one thing for you: give you a no-response customer. People are going to want to email you. Don’t make it hard.

Test subject lines - Email autoresponder software makes it quite simple to split-test subject lines. Do this for better open rates!

Use your social media channels - Encourage your subscribers to follow you on your social media channels, and even help them by making sure you have links and buttons on your email template.

Personalize your welcome emails - If you’ve collected names, you’re going to want to personalize your welcome emails to help get the relationship off to a warm and fuzzy start. Don’t get overly cozy, but friendly and polite is good.

Consider offering an incentive - Many companies opt to send along a coupon or other incentive as a welcome gift. Not a bad idea, and can move relationship from a subscriber to a buyer quickly.

Make sure to optimize for mobile - Since around half of all emails are now opened on a mobile device, it might be a good idea to make sure you are using a responsive design so that your emails can be opened anywhere.

Share

Want Better Search Rankings? Here are 5 Tips!

December 4th, 2014

All of us want our web pages to rank well, and often times we think that simply posting a wealth of great content ought to do the trick, but we’re here to tell you that there is a bit more to the recipe than just adding words and images.

Draw back the curtain and you’ll find that Google is especially concerned with a number of geeky factors. Get these wrong, and you’ll be left scratching your head wondering why all your superb content isn’t being ranked well.

So how can you satisfy the technicians at Google and get them to rank your pages better? Let’s check out 5 tips you can use to ensure that your pages are Google-friendly and provide the best user experience you can deliver.

5 Tips for optimizing the technical side of your web pages

Page speed - You might have heard the latest human attention span statistic; that we now are transfixed a mere 8 seconds, one second less than a Goldfish. Therefore it should come as no surprise that Google probably will not rank your site well if it loads slowly, as people will consider this a poor user experience, or simply not go there at all!

Good internal link plan - Google will favor your page if you are using an intelligent and useful internal link scheme. In addition to helping to pass Pagerank, the primary reason for linking to relevant pages you own or authority pages you don’t is to optimize the user experience for your visitors.

Clean up your Schema - Schema.org has become the agreed upon Web language for search engines to best understand what your pages are all about. Your webmaster can help you ensure that your pages are Schema compliant.

Employ expected HTML - The traditional HTML elements that are used to determine what your pages are saying should be in place. A few of these would be items like H1-4 tags, image alt tags, site descriptions and a few others.

Keywords you wish to rank for - This is your opportunity to tell Google in no uncertain terms what your page is focused on, and hopefully be ranked for these terms. You’ll need to make sure they are found in all the places Google is looking for them, such as title tags, titles, description, the body of your content and links.

Share

See Great Tips for Managing your Visual Content

December 3rd, 2014

If your company is like many others these days, then chances are you are creating visual content at a mind-blowing rate. The question will soon arise, if it hasn’t already, is how to manage these visual assets?

The reasons behind having a practical visual content strategy are rooted mainly in time-savings and asset protection. How often have you personally searched for what seemed an eternity for a specific visual? Painful memories, I know.

The time savings alone that would occur if you didn’t have to search high and low for that particular image or video can be worth it. Not to mention the need to make sure you have proof of your ownership of these images should a copyright infringement action come against you. That would be an expensive mistake, and one that is completely preventable. Let’s have a quick look at how to get a better handle on your company’s visual assets.

5 Tips for managing your visual content

Develop a system - Whether you purchase a digital management system and adapt it for your use, or have one designed in-house, it’s extremely important to have a software system that allows you to manage this digitally.

Name your files appropriately - Naming your files with a filename that can actually identify the content is a must-do. There’s nothing worse than having to open dozens of files that are named IMG457723760 searching for one particular picture.

Create guidelines for its use - There may be a number of people who will need access to these files over the course of their useful lifetime. Make sure you provide guidelines for the proper use of your content, so that you aren’t surprised after the fact when it can be very hard to fix.

Store your content in one central location - Make it easy on everyone by storing your visual content in one location, assuming you have appropriate backups enabled. This obviously saves time and expense, and if they are stored in a cloud, there is little risk of data loss.

Have a protocol for how it is used - Ensure that no one uses images or videos in a fashion or manner that isn’t what you want. Eager and over-zealous employees can wreak havoc with well-meaning but misguided adventures.

Share

How Much to Budget for Your “Free” Giveaway

November 27th, 2014

Everyone loves free, other than the people who have to pay for it. That is the unsaid truth that lurks behind any “free” marketing method or campaign. There is typically, though not always, a real cost in terms of time and money.

So how do you get a accurate picture of the real world costs of a free marketing promotion? First is by understanding the hard costs you are taking on to create and ship, and then by taking into consideration in your time.

What forms of “free” are we talking about here?

Many times in online marketing we are offered something for free in exchange for our email address or attendance at a webinar. (Email given there too!) Most marketers go for choices like ebooks, free reports, whitepapers, videos and podcasts.

If you’ve ever made any of these, you know the true costs associated with them. Unless you’re a one-person business operator who loathes to outsource, you’ll be faced with the prospect of paying someone to create and set up for delivery your freebie. Just so you know…

  • Actually writing or otherwise creating the content - There is someone who is responsible for getting this done, and you’ll very likely need to pay them. There may also be ancillary costs that go along with this, like software or hardware to help produce your content.
  • Designing the marketing funnel pages - You can do this with software programs, but somebody has to know how to do it, and that will take time, money and talent. Then there are web designers, and that could cost a bundle.
  • Marketing hard costs - You’ll need an email autoresponder company, webinar charges, and a way to deliver your freebie, whether it’s downloaded from your site or hosted elsewhere. Someone will have to set that up. Shipping and hard costs for physical products need to be considered too.
  • Advertising - You may want to advertise for the greatest response possible, and indeed this costs time and money.

While it is still a great idea to use this type of bribe to build a list of email subscribers, you need to be aware of what your freebie actually costs, and factor that into the cost per lead.

Share

7 Easy to Make (and Correct) Mistakes on LinkedIn

November 25th, 2014

LinkedIn is a wonderful source of leads and professional contacts, if it is used properly. Considering that LinkedIn sends four times as many leads directly to your homepage than both Facebook and Twitter combined, it’s time to take this platform seriously.

But all of that makes no difference if you’re committing of these 7 mistakes. Have a look and see where you can make some improvements and have LinkedIn work well for you and your business.

7 Mistakes you can easily avoid making with LinkedIn

  1. Poor or inappropriate picture - Make sure that any photo you use is something that would serve you well in a business setting. Posting that fun picture from the cruise in Puerto Vallarta (that you don’t remember) may send an inappropriate message.
  2. Blowing the headline - This is your opportunity to tell the LinkedIn world what you do, in 120 characters or less. Don’t be bland and only list “Doctor”. Make your headline compelling, truthful and inviting, all at the same time.
  3. Not Utilizing the Summary Section - With 2000 characters to work with, this is your chance to tell your story in a way that invites connection. Make this a min-pitch of your services and talents, and make the reader want to know all there is they can about you.
  4. Not completing your profile - This says a whole lot about your business in general, that you wouldn’t take the necessary time to complete your profile. This is easy to rectify, so do it!
  5. Not including key links - You want to be sure to include links to your websites, social media, IM and any other ways you’d like to be contacted with. Don’t make them have to go anywhere else to find out how to get hold of you quickly and easily.
  6. Sending spam - LinkedIn is not a place to spam contacts with promotional offers and sales material. Everyone knows what spam looks like. Don’t do it.
  7. Not coming around - If you update your account once in a blue moon, people will view you as someone who is not serious about this platform, and consequently, of little interest to them. Don’t be that guy! Update frequently.
Share

Want to write better headlines? Use these 7 tips!

November 20th, 2014

The simple fact of the matter is that headlines really do matter. They’re your first and sometimes only chance to hook your reader into what you are trying to say, and in many cases, sad to say, great content goes unread only because the writer wasn’t able to convey quickly and compellingly what was to follow. Since we use headlines in the form of blog posts, adds, products, salespages, videos and more, it’s important that we learn what we’re doing when it comes to writing headlines.

7 tips you can use to write better headlines

  1. All of us love numbers and lists - Headlines using lists and numbers simply rock. People know what they’re getting, and it’s typically in a form they feel they can easily digest: “3 Tips to Help You Drop 5 Pounds This Week!”
  2. Feel their pain - Being able to empathize you’re your reader sets you in a position of authority, your reader will be more inclined to trust you, and thus be receptive to any remedies for their problems you may have.
  3. Be a bit controversial - Be bold. State your opinions, push the edge of the envelope. Once you have their attention, you can show how brilliant you are, but for now, be daring.
  4. Ask questions - Using questions is an excellent way to pique interest. Often they’re the exact same questions they would ask, and would also like a solution to.
  5. Keep your headline under 55 characters - This is so that not only will your entire headline show in Google search results, but also in the email subject line without being shortened.
  6. Test! - You’ll never know how well your headlines do if you don’t test them. This serves a very useful purpose, as a single percent increase can sometimes mean significant dollars and otherwise good results.
  7. Be sure to give value - Don’t write boring or fluff headlines. Promise and deliver a value packed piece of content. Don’t promise something you aren’t going to deliver, but also don’t be afraid to tout it.

Remember that the aim of your headlines is always to get the reader to the next step, whether that be reading the post, opening an email or clicking on your ad!

Share

See What to Do and What Not to Do On Facebook

November 18th, 2014

We know that Facebook has a tremendous reach, and that it has enormous potential for your business. What you may not know is how to effectively use Facebook in your business.

There are however, some ways to be smart about it. We’ve found a number of do’s and don’ts you want to keep front of mind when marketing on Facebook, lest you find yourself running afoul of the largest social media giant on the planet.

Let’s have a close look at some of the things to do and not to do when using Facebook for business purposes.

Do…

  • Respond quickly - Don’t leave people hanging for days. Aim to respond within an hour if at all possible.
  • Make shorter posts - Research is showing that posts of less than 80 characters get 66% more engagement.
  • Grow your page naturally - The best way to grow your business page is by having great word of mouse. Asking your readers to share, perhaps running a Like campaign to a targeted group.
  • Be sure to ask questions - A surefire strategy for greater engagement.
  • Post interesting content - The best way to get your links shared is to put together killer content that people can’t wait to share.
  • Post often but not too often - Once a week is too little, and more than ten times is probably too much. Test and find the sweet spot.
  • Use Facebook ads - Strategically using Facebook ads can be a great way to reach followers and a potential new audience with content and offers.
  • Share - Be sure and share your best around all of your channels.
  • Engage with Fans - Responding and talking to your fans is an excellent way to build your brand.

Don’t…

  • Constantly sell - If all you do is pitch your audience, they will inevitably move on.
  • Ignore people - Don’t answer people and you’ll never see them again.
  • Post lengthy tomes - Shorter work s better here. What you should do is tease your longer content and link out to it.
  • Buy likes - A fake audience is worse than no audience. We’ve all seen Facebook Pages with thousands of fans and zero interaction.
  • Post irrelevant content - Don’t treat this as your personal Facebook page: this is for your business so ensure that it stays relevant.
Share