Andi is a dabbler and a lover of electronic music. He loves writing and in his words he is ‘pretty good at it’. You would have thought he could have written something slightly more inspiring! :-) He has several years experience working as a paid writer, blogger, social media manager and WordPress specialist for one of the UK’s top internet marketers and also has skills in copywriting and using Facebook/Google advertising. He writes regularly for several blogs, some his own but mainly for Self Publishing Journey.
We hope you have had a great week and we would also like to wish you all a very Merry Christmas. It soon comes around to it, I hope you are ready for it. For the next two weeks we decided to do something a little different. Instead of giving you 10 articles from around the web we will be sharing 6 of our own favourite articles from either our bizzebee site, our personal websites or websites we have been fortunate to have had work publish.
We will do 6 this week and 6 next week as a Christmas and New Year special to show you that we do work on other projects and have other interests. We want you to get to know us more and understand that we are not new to this. These posts are chosen by ourselves as posts and articles we are proud of or by other team members who have chosen articles they have enjoyed that were written by fellow bizzebees.
So here are this week’s 6 articles as written by or featuring members of the bizzebee team.
The first article we have was written by our own Ambassador to Ibiza Clair ‘Queen Bee’ Trebes. She wrote this article for Darren Candy’s excellent Ibiza based blog AddictedToIbiza.com which covers all things Ibiza from the music scene to living there.
Ibiza pulls clubbers, D.J.s and music from around the world but that doesn’t mean that the best parties and music can only be found on the White Island. In this post Clair travels to Romania to experience the 10 year Cadenza Records celebration party.
Cadenza is a Romanian Record label who has been producing quality dance music for 10 years and to celebrate they threw a party which did not disappoint Clair and her friends. Pop over and take a read of Clair’s review and while you are there take a look around Darren’s excellent site. You might just find other articles written by Clair and myself. 🙂
Keeping with the music vibe the next article is written by me Andi for Clair’s own music site CrossTheLine.co.uk and was put forward by Clair as well as being chosen by myself. I love all things electronic and Acid House is a passion of mine so when I was asked to write a piece about the history of the music I love I was delighted.
This is one of those posts that you love to write. I certainly did and was lost in it, I didn’t really want to stop and could have gone on for ever. I am sure Clair is glad that I did stop, it is long enough as it is. I was also fortunate to be able to share a mix I did many moons ago so if you love the old Acid House music of 1988 you will love this article. If you do not know what it is then all I can say is pop over, take a read and I hope you enjoy.
You might also notice a link in this article taking the reader to an article I wrote for AddictedToIbiza.com which you will know all about by now 🙂 I am sure another article for Darren’s site is long overdue.
It is always hard trying to choose one of John’s posts but I decided to go with this one. I love John’s style of no BS writing and he has many to choose from but I went with this one because it is informative but also shows his sense of humour and his realism.
In this article over at his blog JohnBanksBlog.com John reviews a product creation seminar/workshop that he went to and discusses who he met, what he learned and what the future holds for our champion product creator.
He also dabbled in drugs at the event, drugs specifically for period pains, it sounds like it was one seriously wild event!
If product creation is the thing you want to get involved in then I suggest you read this post and also take a longer look around John’s site.
This is an epic article by Sam over on Matt’s fantastic website OnlineIncomeTeacher.com. Sam lists 12 very important and powerful ways to get your blog seen by more people and increase the traffic to it.
Traffic is important if your business is web based and you need to be seen so you must incorporate keywords, RSS Feeds blog commenting and a whole host of methods to help your blog grow.
Even if you have a website but rely on local offline custom you still need the people in your area to find you and implementing the methods Sam has listed here will help new customers find you and increase your sales. For future bloggers this a must read too.
This next post is here on the bizzebee site and is by Matt Smith. Matt loves to write epic posts and if you have your own blog where you need to write content for it I am sure there are times when you struggle to think of anything to write about.
It happens to all of us, we can be stuck for ideas but it is generally harder when people are first starting out on the journey of creating content. These days we find it easier because we have lists of ideas and suggestions of what we can write about if we are struggling. Matt has compiled 15 of the best ideas that can help when writers block strikes.
It is advised to print it off and place it close where you can see it so that you never waste much time trying to find ideas, I have printed this off and think it is one of the most useful posts we have here on bizzebee.com
The last article this week comes from our resident techy and coder Mizanur. Mizanur owns a blog which covers virtually anything under the sun. His speciality though is the technical side of the internet and computing.
He writes a lot of WordPress posts and creates great tutorials. In this post Mizanur explains in a step by step guide how to move your website from one hosting provider to another. While there though take a look around the site, I am sure you will find plenty of other interesting articles.
That is it for this week, we have 6 more of our own articles taken from around the web for you next Saturday before returning to the usual 10 best articles from around the webosphere. I and the rest of the bizzebee team would like to wish everyone a Merry Christmas and we hope you all have a good one and for those of you out there who do not celebrate we wish you a great week instead. 🙂
The brain is an incredible machine, while you are busy doing stuff it is quietly whirring away mulling over all of the information you have been feeding it such as your wants and desires and then without warning while you are right in the middle of something it throws an idea right into your mind’s eye.
You can see it clear as day and it knocks you back, ‘oooh that is a good idea’ you think to yourself, ‘I gotta remember that’ and then you carry on doing what you were doing. Here lies the problem, you do not remember it because you get busy doing other things and these flashes of genius inspiration are fleeting and hey go as quickly as they come unless you take 5 minutes to seriously think about them. If you do not take note of them they become buried under the other thousands of thoughts you have that day.
While you are busy working you probably do not have much spare time to get thinking about the idea deeply and all that it entails so it is important that you take note of these ideas as they come. Believe it or not these ideas are often the big multi-million dollar winners that can change your life forever.
Many of the most successful people listen out for these ideas, they take note of them and then they think about them until they grow and evolve into a plan of action which when followed creates projects and businesses that changes their lives for the better.
1 The Traditional Note Book And Pen
This is the oldest and one of the easiest ways of taking note of the things you need to remember. Successful people of the past wouldn’t leave the house without a note pad and pen. Way before smart phones or laptops were invented people like Thomas Edison, Henry Ford and millions more would always carry a pocket size notepad around with them wherever they went so they could take notes of any flashes of inspiration they received from deep within their sub consciousnesses.
Ideally you need a small notebook that fits nicely into a pocket but I personally find it hard to write well in small notebooks however they are not for doing full articles or stories but more for general ideas and brainstorming so small is good. When I worked and lived in Surrey I occasionally had to catch a train when visiting family in Lincolnshire so I had a medium sized notepad which I kept in my bag and I would get it out and do brainstorming sessions. I could rest on my bag or on a table if there was a table seat available.
The image above shows a brainstorming session I had from ideas I had previously written down when they flashed across my mind.
2 Using A Dictaphone
I have one of these and I spent quite a few days using it when I was thinking up content for a book I was writing. The great thing about using a Dictaphone was that I could hold it with one hand and talk while I carried on doing other work. It was ideal for the job I was doing at the time; if you needed both hands then it could be a bit more difficult unless you can stand/hang it close to where you are working. I would simply talk through my ideas and it would record them as an audio file that I could upload to my computer.
Dictaphones are great if you are writing a fictional book especially if you want to create the story and pay someone to do the actual writing. While sitting in a quiet room or somewhere where you will not be disturbed like a wood or sand dunes where you can relax and simply allow your mind to see the story happening speak it out loud in detail. Say everything that you are imagining and record it as audio files which you can then pop into a shareable folder like DropBox or Google Drive or email to your ghost writer.
These days you do not need to buy a Dictaphone if you own a smartphone as these usually come with a voice recorder so you can easily create short notes about any ideas you have by simply hitting record and speaking into your phones mouth piece. If you intend to write a fictional book then a Dictaphone is probably better than a smartphone as it will have more space for longer recordings.
Having a Dictaphone close to hand is great when those flashes of inspiration and ideas just pop right into your head, you pull it out of your pocket, hit record and say what the idea was. Now you have it saved ready to work on later.
Some Dictaphones come with software which should convert the audio into text so you can simply edit the information in a text file however my experience is that it really isn’t that reliable. For it to work properly you need to set the software to your voice and it doesn’t convert words well if there was a lot of background noise. Personally I would simply playback the ideas as a recording and type or write them up to work through.
3 Send Yourself A Text
I like this one, it saves carrying a notebook and pen around and let’s be honest, pens/pencils are very easy to lose and if you do lose them then you have no way of writing down your ideas. Sending yourself a text can quickly and easily create a note of any ideas you may have. Smartphones also allow you to create notes and some come with software like Evernote or MS Word for creating documents of ideas but I find that it is often easier to open up the text editor, write out a message and simply send it to myself.
When I return home and go to my office I open up my text message folder and there are my ideas ready for me to write down in a proper ideas book that I have and I can start to brainstorm these ideas and watch them grow.
Because I have my phone with me all the time I should never forget any ideas I have, if I do forget I have no real excuse, it is my own fault for not making note of them with the technology and tools I have with me each and every day .
So there you go, 3 simple ways to make a record of any ideas that you may have that flash into your mind when you are busy. Remember these fleeting ideas we get are the ones that can turn people into big successes so to not take note of them could be financial suicide. I am sure you do not want that do you?
As we are all about small offline businesses using social media to grow I thought I would use a local business Lincoln Yurts as an example who are using Facebook pretty well to get their message across.
You may recall that my last article covered how and why people should use YouTube to grow their business and get leads for their offline businesses, if not then you can read that article here.
Facebook like YouTube is free to use but unlike YouTube it can be geo specific which means that if someone uses a local business and likes their Facebook page other local connections will see and this has a powerful visual equivalent to ‘word of mouth’.
Every business should have a Facebook page especially now that Facebook have relaxed their rules about running competitions. Before you had to use specific Facebook approved aps to run a competition or sweepstake on their network but now you can simply run one however you please. You might have seen a lot of pages doing the ‘share & win…’ style competitions where you are asked to share a photo or post to enter the competition. Some ask you to like their page to have a chance to win a prize.
These are great because they can create a buzz, an excitement and have your product seen by many more people than just a typical photo post. If you have something that you can give away then why not run a Facebook competition? Remember they are free to do. I shall keep coming back to this a lot, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and Instagram are FREE and used well they can be very powerful.
In this example you will see that local company Lincoln Yurts ran a competition where they gave away a free holiday consisting of a 2 night mid-week stay in one of their Yurts. The image above shows that people were liking the photos and sharing them.
The owners of Lincoln Yurts were posting new and different photos showing what they had to offer so people were not seeing the same old picture but instead they were seeing more of what they would get if they won and this was great for ‘wetting people’s appetites’.
They had the camp site already set up with Yurts so for them giving away a couple of nights stay away for free is not going to cost them a lot of outlay. Far from it, those two free nights they gave away helped to grow their business and put their name and business in front of new people.
Every time someone clicked like of the Lincoln Yurts page or shared any of the Lincoln yurts photos their friends would see their activities in their own newsfeeds. Imagine that you had seen one of your friends had won a competition, you would probably take a quick look at the Facebook page or website that had ran the competition.
Showing the winner is also a very powerful thing to do, in fact it is the best way to inform people who the winner is. Recently one excellent Facebook competition run by an online holiday company failed to do this and instead opted to email the winner which left a lot of confusion and a bad end to a really good competition.
This is viral marketing at its best, if any of the friends got curious and clicked through to the Lincoln Yurts page they now know that they exist and may be interested in booking a night or two there, generating more revenue from a simple free to use online social network.
The other great thing about Facebook is that unlike paid adverts in papers or magazines you can answer people’s questions and have conversations with people in real time. The examples below show people asking if there were any Yurts available on a set night, what the nearest train station was and how far from Lincoln were they. As you can see Lincoln Yurts were able to answer and have a conversation with people as well as direct them to their own website.
When people see an advert in a paper and become interested they need to either switch the computer on to send an email or make a phone call which is fine but it means people either decide to do it later and then forget or get up and go fetch the phone which isn’t hard but we people are lazy, that simple task of getting up to fetch the phone can often result in people thinking to themselves, ‘I cannot be bothered to get up, I am too comfy’
With Facebook, when someone is relaxing on the sofa scrolling through their newsfeeds and they see something that interests them they can send a message or place a comment there and then. They may not get an answer straight away but they know that when they do they will be notified of any reply and can go and see it straight away. Never in the world of advertising has it been so easy to interact with potential clients, let alone do it for free!
The other great thing I have noticed with Lincoln Yurts is that they share photos of fun things, their newest additions and new developments. These keep people informed while reminding them that they are still there. This kind of reminder is what multibillion dollar earning companies like Coca Cola do every day. Do we need to be told who Coca Cola and McDonalds are?
Virtually everyone in the western world knows about them but if they do not keep making TV adverts to remind us of their products we could soon forget about them. Just like them we smaller businesses need to keep gently reminding people that we are still in business and that we are improving and growing. Why wouldn’t you? Especially when the systems we can use are free, we can do the posts before or after the working day or maybe both.
Whatever your business is you could take several photos during a working day and then while sitting down to relax in front of a bit of television in the evening you could post a couple of photos with some information and monitor any questions they may generate. It really isn’t hard work but the rewards can be incredible. I am sure that the owners of Lincoln Yurts would say that their use of Facebook has benefitted them greatly, they may not yet be able to measure it but I am sure their business has grown by using the free social media platform and interacting with people.
If you are not yet using Facebook then maybe now is the time to get started? Do you agree? Please leave your thoughts and comments below in the comments section.
Oh and for the record, I have never been to Lincoln Yurts or know the people who own Lincoln Yurts and I have not been financially rewarded for this post, I simply wanted to use them as an example of using Facebook to grow your business for free – Andi Leeman
Yes folks it is Saturday once again. We hope you have had a great week.
This week has been a bad week for one of the bizzebee team, Mizanur was involved in a traffic accident and was hospitalised. His injuries could have been bad but fortunately he was rushed to surgery where he underwent an operation which was successful and saved the movement in his hand.
He will be out of action for a few weeks and hopefully back at his desk in a month, we are all grateful that there was a great outcome to this terrible accident and I hope you will join us as we wish him well and a speedy recovery.
As for the rest of us we have been busy getting the Hive ready for the pre-launch on Monday, to read more about the launch of the Hive Click Here.
I have compiled another list of 10 great posts and articles to share with you all this week which have been put forward by the team and here they are.
OK so we start this week’s roundup by a post Sam offered up for sharing, it is an old one but a good one and also it has grown from 8 to 13 things businesses need to know about the Facebook pages Timeline.
We go once again over to Kim Castleberry’s excellent Just-Ask-Kim.com site. We are big fans of Kim here as she knows a lot and I do mean a lot about everything! J This post is all about what the Facebook Timeline can do for you as a business, all businesses need a Facebook page and if you haven’t got one yet you will have by the time you have read this post.
Another epic post from the SEO Sith Lord Glen Allsopp showing us what happened to sites after Google released their latest updates and he also tells us what we should do to help recover from them if our websites were affected by them.
Glen knows his stuff, he has been doing SEO for many years now and a lot of what he has realised is that many of the dark side methods to SEO work faster and better than the stuff Google would like us to do. This like all of Glen’s post is an epic and informative read. Make a brew, get sat down and get stuck in.
For those of you who do not know, SocialMediaExaminer.com is the home for all things social media and in this post Kristi Hines talks about Twitter chats and what hosting them can do for you and your business.
You might not know what a Twitter chat is but you might have noticed one night several of your friends on Twitter posting Tweets with hashtags like #bbmeetup (bizzebee meet up as an example) and wondered what it was that they were doing.
They were probably participating in a worldwide time scheduled chat and debate and they can be very powerful and also a lot of fun. To learn more pop over and read this excellent article.
This is an excellent article by Chris Taylor talking about five real examples of great social media marketing campaigns that went viral. From large companies like Heinze and BodyForm these examples show what can happen when you think a little outside of the box.
Also having a large budget to implement some of these videos and market campaigns has helped but you can see how fast these things can spread when done right.
The content champion Loz James has written an epic post that asks 60 industry experts to reveal the books they read which has helped them become successful.
He has also included a big list of content marketing and marketing books that are available on Amazon for you to buy if you wish and websites for you to look at which offer a lot of great useful and inspirational content for free.
Kim Garst has written a great post giving us 7 reasons why we should use hashtags in our marketing campaigns when using social media. Love them or hate them they are being used more and more and they do have many great benefits.
I personally do not like them, I very rarely search social media with them and would be interested to know what the average Joe public thinks but many marketers do use them and to not use them can leave a lot of potential traffic and clients on the table as they say. Pop over and see what Kim has to say about them
John our graphics expert loves infographics and here he shares with us a great one from the HowToMakeMyBlog website giving us 9 inspirational lessons that we can learn from the late Apple founder.
It is fair to say, Steve Jobs built a big company that most people have heard of even if they do not associate the company with Steve Jobs so I think he is in a great position to share a lesson or two.
This is an updated post by Tom Ewer over at LeavingWorkBehind.com originally written in 2011 but it is just as relevant and powerful today. As tom says “Leaving Work Behind Is a Hopeless Venture” if you quit that is.
In this post Tom discusses about how that perseverance will pay off if you plan what you do. Tom says… “From an objective perspective, if you do not succeed, you did not apply yourself properly and/or did not apply yourself for long enough”.
It’s that simple Too many people give up and thing that quitting the day job and working from home cannot be done, well it can and it is those who focus and plan what they need to do and go that extra mile eventually will make it..
As I am putting together a course on creating eBooks this post caught my eye, this is a great post over at the Steve Scott Site. I am certain this isn’t the same Steve Scott I used to work for as a bench joiner and shop fitter. No this Steve Scott is a writer and author who has several eBooks published on Amazon’s Kindle store.
We live in the digital age and eBooks are the future but they are also the present and there are a lot of benefits for having your own eBook written and published. In this excellent post Steve gives us 15 answers to the questions you and I have regarding publishing eBooks on Amazon Kindle.
This is a great post written by Steff Green over at the fantastic blog Men With Pens. If you are finding it hard to think of things to write about on your site for your industry then Steff who is a content writer and creator has 28 great tips and ideas for creating content.
There is also a half idea and to know what that is you need to pop over and take a read of this great post. J
So that is it for the serious and useful articles, it is now time for something a bit leftfield and interesting. This is a great video showing the excavation of an ant colony.
Giant Ant Colony Excavated, You won’t believe what they build underground!
This video was put forward by Clair and is a really amazing video of an abandoned ant colony that was excavated so sciences could study it. It took 3 days to fill it with 10 tonnes of concrete and then weeks to dig away the soil around it.
I was going to share the original post however it was mainly video with less text than what is written here and a load of people fighting in the comments section!?!?! so instead I have added the video here for your ease and sanity.
This video shows an extraordinary structure that looks like an alien city from a TV sci-fi show. It is incredible to see what nature and something as small as an ant can achieve when it is part of a colony of like-minded thinkers. A bit like us all here at the bizzebee colony really J Enjoy the video.
Well there you have it, another week gone by it is Saturday once again. This week has been a productive one again with all of the bizzebee team getting together for a google Hangout on Wednesday night which was fun.
Poor old Mizanur probably didn’t enjoy it as much as us due to it being a 2am start for him over in Chittagong but he stayed until the end and didn’t fall asleep which is some going I can tell you!
For those of you who do not know this week sees the 50th anniversary of Dr Who, what was once a popular Sci Fi series for both its good story lines and very bad special effects and wobbly returned a few years back and has grown into a very popular show with quality effects for a new generation. And it is for that reason our final fun post of this weeks round up will be Dr Who related, yes, I am a bit of a fan myself.
As usual I have compiled a list of 10 great posts and articles to share with you all this week which have been put forward by the team. We all do a fair amount of reading each week as this is how we keep up with what is new and interesting and these are the ones we think you will learn from and enjoy the most. So with that in mind let’s get started.
The first article is written by Joshua Sophy over at the SmallBizTrends.com site and tells the story about the success one Canadian restaurant company has had using social media for growing its business.
As a small business you probably have heard about how using Facebook and Twitter is a great free way to grow your business and it is something we here at bizzebee talk about a lot and when you read this article you can see why.
Facebook and Twitter used properly can be a very powerful thing indeed and best of all it is free so do yourself a favour, read this article an become inspired!
This article was put forward by John and I can see why it really is an excellent post explain the 10 biggest social media blunders that most people make including the big brand companies like Starbucks.
They cover Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest and LinkedIn blunders and some of them are so simple that you can see why they are overlooked. If you use social media to grow and build your business then this is a must read.
This post was shared with us by Matt our resident WordPress & website specialist and it is about microsites or as some would call them mini sites.
Written by Nicolette Beard over at the TopRankBlog.com she discusses the best practices and the pros and cons for having and using mini sites. They were very popular in the early 90s and some would say they gave the internet and online businesses a bad name.
Marketers would build loads of mini sites to promote dodgy make money schemes, it got so bad that Google stopped marketers advertising on their network and sending traffic to their thin mini sites but there are many reasons why they can and should be used today. This is a very interesting read indeed.
Written by Matt Williamson who is a specialist in Digital Marketing and SEO this article discusses how to get around the ‘Not Provided’ search result you get in Google Analytics by using Google’s Webmaster Tools.
It seems Google do not want people to know what they are ranking for or what terms are driving people to their site. Why? I hear you ask, I have an idea, Google are a business with share holders so it makes you think that what they are doing isn’t always good for the internet.
Matt works for an SEO company called SEOTrafficLab and he has some helpful insights here. Several of the SEOTrafficLad team are Google qualified and classed as Google partners whatever that means.
I wonder if they agree with me that Google are doing the ‘Not Provided’ results to ‘motivate and persuade’ people to use their AdWords system instead?
Content Curation is the art of re using other people’s content as part of your content marketing campaign.
“Every two days now we create as much information as we did from the dawn of civilization up until 2003.” – Eric Schmidt, Google CEO That is a lot of content to sieve through!
Whether you like the colours of this website and believe me when I tell you that it has been discussed within the bizzebee team but you will love the infographs they have shared from Uberflip.com
This infographs is a great breakdown as to why you should curate content and the best sources to go for your content. If you are not sure what content curation is, these weekly roundups could easily be consider as such. 🙂
Has San Khan has compiled 21 great and ridiculous facts about starting an online store. You will be surprised when you read them at how inspiring it is. Starting an online shop sounds scary and costly but when you look at some of the positives like not needing a warehouse or shop premises suddenly things seem a whole lot easier.
As the saying goes “A picture can paint a thousand words” and we know that using images on social media can have a powerful impact on your traffic especially with the hugely popular Pinterest network.
Pictures on your website are important for several reasons, they break up posts and give your reader something more visual which is good but they can also appear in search results and become part of your SEO campaign.
This article discusses tips on using graphics in your website content and business material. Something all small and big businesses with websites and social media campaigns should really think about.
This is a great post by Annabel Candy over at SuccessfulBlogging.com. Annabel is one of my favourite blogging experts and writers. She says it straight and gives serious quality and useful information when she writes.
In this article she gives tips and advice about how to write an email pitch without pitching. If you are trying to get an article as a guest post on someone else’s website or even trying to connect for other reasons there is a way to do things and a way to not.
Many people kill their opportunities by writing really bad emails, only today I received an email about a guest post on one of my websites and it was soon binned because it was just so embarrassingly bad. To make sure your emails do not get binned before they are even read please read this article and take note!
This post was put forward for those who are yet still not sure what SEO is, we talk about it a lot and we intend to bring you all you need to know within the Hive with tutorials by Mizanur but for now we have this short but interesting article to help you.
There are so many tricks and methods to getting your website onto the first page of Google but these all fall under 3 main pillars, on page, off page and under the bonnet. Read this article to understand what each pillar really means.
We have another post from Kim ‘WordPress Queen’ Castleberry. In this post she discusses installing a support system for your website. All good business based sites need a support desk to help their customers and clients when they have issues.
The idea behind a helpdesk like these is that it looks more professional, it saves you a lot of time messing around answering emails and you can lay out most asked questions upfront to prevent people constantly sending you emails asking you the same old questions.
Here Kim discusses a system she is using and intends to use when developing websites for her clients. If you develop websites for people then this could be a very useful system to know about, this is another tool to have in your tool box that you can charge for installing.
Ok so that is all of the serious stuff out of the way time for the fun stuff, well to be honest as a Sci Fi nut this is really serious stuff, who cares about SEO or Social Media when we have the Doctor to think about… Who? Did you say? Yes that is right… Dr Who! (Did you see what I did there?) 🙂
Ok so WHO used to hide behind the sofa when the Daleks and the Cyber Men would appear in the earlier Dr Who shows? Only recently someone said “if your sofas were not up against the walls then how big were the rooms way back in the 80s?” A valid point, not only have houses, rooms and gardens become smaller these days but Dr Who has returned and is far bigger than anyone expected.
I myself love the new Dr Who’s and this article is about the celebrations at Buckingham Palace for today’s 50th anniversary episode of the show which is going to be shown simultaneously in 84 countries! Wow! Here are the trailers for the 50th anniversary episode of this classic and unique British drama. Enjoy!
Today I would like to introduce you all to Bert, Bert is my new friend, he helped me change a pull light switch in my house.
You might be interested to know that I have never met or spoken to Bert but after his help, I would consider using his services if I lived in or around Watford or London.
So if I have never met or spoken to him how can he have helped me and why would I consider using his services? Let me explain…
For those of you who are unaware, I have this week moved back into my old house after renting it out for a couple of years to people who have been less than caring to the property. It was left in a sad and sorry state, the type of state that meant we couldn’t just move back in once the tenants had moved out.
I have spent the last fortnight working hard to get it back to an acceptable and habitable standard so that my better half and I could move back in. There are some big jobs to do over the next year or so but I have done enough for us to now live comfortably without worry. I left a few minor jobs to do once I was in and one of those jobs was to change the pull switch that controlled the bathroom light.
I fitted the original switch a few years ago but now it was broken and hanging loose. I thought this would be a simple five minute job so I popped off to the local B&Q to get a new switch and gathered all of the tools I would need. I spent 20 years in the building trade but I am not electrician and rarely touched electrics but I can manage straight swaps of electrical sockets etc.
So anyway I decided to take a quick look at the instructions and double check that I knew what I was doing and, let’s just say, I confused myself. The diagram made no sense to me so knowing that I had done it before I decided to turn the power off and start the work; I mean, I did it before so how hard can it be?
**(Time to point out that when you create diagrams or instructions of your products or services it is well worth remembering that many of your customers may be novices and beginners so you should make them as clear and understandable as possible to everyone and not just the experts!) I recommend reading Sell Results Not Specifications**
When I opened up the old switch I saw two red cables going into separate terminals. Now I am used to seeing a red and black cable being used with corresponding cables connecting to them via the terminals.
This light switch however wasn’t wired up like that so I was even more confused, I decided to get out my mobile phone and do a Google search using the phrase ‘how to fit a pull switch’ In the results on the first page was a YouTube video by Bert TV.
This was just what I needed, so I took a look.
The video is 4 minutes long and is in my opinion very professionally made. It is extremely useful and also quite funny. Bert has a great comical and lovable persona and it is helped with the well planned video with accompanying graphics. You can see for yourself below.
Bert, if that is his real name, has his own electrics company and he also has his own website which I think is brilliant because it does everything I believe a small business website should do. It has a lot of information about Bert and you get to know the man, his history, his skills, qualifications and how far he will travel to work. Bert worked at Buckingham Palace as well as on a Cruise ship and Honk Kong’s international airport. He certainly knows his stuff.
What is great about the videos that Bert has recorded for YouTube is that he has made them fun, useful and has also included an annotation box that appears during the film showing his phone number that you can call if you need any help.
Also what is important is that his video finishes with the details of his website so that people can go straight there for more details.
Now I am miles away from London so I doubt I will ever use his services but he is really doing something that all offline businesses should be doing and that is using free tools like YouTube to get new customers. Now we here at bizzebee know that 100 electricians cannot all rank their ‘how to fit pull switches’ videos on the front page of Google however you can use local SEO techniques to help you.
Google not only give different results to different people they are also monitoring where many people are and what they search for. Is it coincidence that after I looked at Bert’s London and Watford based electrician website that when I did a search for ‘local electricians’ I was shown results for London and Watford area?
I am currently writing this in Lincolnshire, miles away from Watford and yet I have a Watford/London result. Interesting, it could be that Google think I am in London but I have never worked in London for a long period of time. Before moving back to Lincolnshire I was below London living in Surrey on the Hampshire border so even then my local results should not have been for London.
As far as I am aware, Google should know from my IP address that I am at least 180 miles further up north!
To take advantage of this you can create a series of videos for your business whatever it may be and included local keywords like ‘Lincoln electrical’‘Boston Cup Cakes’ or ‘Gainsborough Carpenter and Joiner’ in your video titles or descriptions. Using local based keywords on your website will certainly benefit you when people search for businesses in your area.
Search engines like Google will pick up on them and if you have a YouTube channel that also uses the same localised keywords that links to your main website you have a greater chance of being chosen for their search results over people who simple have a website. If you were still unaware, Google own YouTube, using their video service can help you in their search results.
Remember, YouTube is free to use as are many of the other popular social media networks. In fact, YouTube is no longer considered as a social media network but a search engine in its own right. People use it to search for videos of anything and everything and I, like countless million other users, will use it to search for videos showing you how to do things.
My better half has used it many times when looking for information and tutorials when she wants to cook or bake something different. She is very creative and loves to bake and YouTube is an incredible source of information. You as a business are missing out if you do not use these free tools.
Have you ever seen a celebrity so many times that you think and feel that you know them? When that happens you generally trust them and all that they promote. You are likely to use the services and products they recommend. The same can happen when you use YouTube and create a lot of videos on a certain topic.
We have seen Bert and his electrics videos; I have seen plumbers doing the same with plumbing projects and other building trade based videos, after you have seen one or two great informative tutorials where would you go when you need new and different information on a new project? You would go to the people you already know. Wouldn’t you? I know I certainly do.
Having people coming to your videos week in and week out to see you bake cupcakes and muffins for example could easily have people coming to your shop and placing orders that you probably wouldn’t have got had you not made the tutorials.
On a final note, if you think making videos is a lot of work for one or two new clients let’s just stop and think about using YouTube alongside Facebook and Twitter which can have a lot of GEO specific followers. When you make a new video you simply share it so that your friends and followers can watch them, share them and comment. It makes sense to also share old videos now and then for new followers or to simply say ‘we are here still folks’
These tools are free and very powerful so if you are not using them for your offline business I need to ask… Why not?
Please share with us your thoughts, opinions and experiences about using YouTube and videos to get more custom to your offline business by commenting below.
Using YouTube To Generate Leads For Your Offline Business
I write today’s post because if like me you are working from home or at least are planning to you will need all the tips and advice you can get. I know most of the bizzebee team work from home if not all of the day they do quite a bit at home when they are not in their offices.
Working from home has a very romanticised sound to it. It sounds like we are free to do things as and when we choose to and that we can pop off here and there as we please and this can be true but there are some serious downfalls to working from home and they need to be managed.
If left unchecked and unmanaged it can be very easy to become distracted and if that happens nothing gets done. If nothing gets done your business will not grow and the worst case scenario is you do not get paid.
Working from home can be a lot harder than you think especially if you need to regularly earn money to maintain that lifestyle.
If you are a writer for example who is paid to write for a few websites and you do not finish off your articles on time you will not get paid it is simple as that. We all want and need money, without it we cannot live the life we want and if the life you want is to work from home let me tell you this…
…Working from home can be the very thing that destroys that dream and makes it impossible to continue.
I apologise if that sounds bleak but you must realise that you will be surrounded by the people and things you love and that means temptation to slack off and have fun is all around you all day!
When you work for a company in an office with a boss you wouldn’t dream of sitting around playing on the games console for four hours shooting Zombies would you? Change the office for your home and being self-employed then the story is very different, when you have yourself as your boss and manager it is easy to fall into the trap of doing the things you ‘enjoy’ and not the things that need to be done.
When working from home you still need to work, and for many of us, we need to work a lot harder and be more disciplined than ever before. Normally when working for other people we fear being sacked, when we work for ourselves we are not going to sack ourselves and can often bury our heads in the sands of pleasure and distraction.
Here are my 5 tips for working from home successfully
1) Find a quiet corner or area that you can set up as an office away from everyone else in the house if possible. If you have a spare room then fantastic, turn it into an office and work in it away from everyone.
You might not have a spare room and are forced into working in the lounge where people will be mulling around and watching T.V. This is not ideal but if that is the hand you are dealt try and create space in a corner where you can hide away a bit.
You have to decide what noise you can deal with best; I can handle T.V. better than people working in the kitchen. T.V. has a certain level and if the sound is not on too high I can block it out but if I am sat in a kitchen with people cooking, washing posts, putting pots away or having washing machines whirring away with different cycles I can easily be distracted and in many cases made to jump out of my skin. That really makes me lose my train of thought.
If you are forced into working in the main family room where everyone gathers then it can be a nightmare of a place to work in. It also isn’t fair on them, they want to play, chat and basically live a normal life without worrying about disturbing you all of the time.
2) If noise is an issue invest in some inner ear plugs to take away the sting of any distracting sounds there are in the room. These can be picked up cheap from chemists; I have a set in my drawer just in case. I don’t use them often as I generally work with music on, in silence when the better half is out at work or with the T.V. on low which doesn’t really affect me too much
If you are like me and able to work with music on then bury your head in headphones listening to some mellow music like instrumental chill out which doesn’t need your mental focus. Radio is not good because of the continual chatter that many D.J.s do throughout their shows which simply draws your attention to what they are saying which can be very distracting.
3) If you do not have a private office and are having to work in a room used by many people then plan your time and tasks around what other people in your house are doing that week. I often need to create videos and so I plan to do them when the better half is out at work or at friends. Sometimes she will tell me that she is popping out to a friend’s one evening and I will take a note of that in my weekly planner and schedule to use that time for tasks that require a quiet room.
Because we work from home and for ourselves it doesn’t matter what time we get work done as long as it gets done. Doing a few hours in an evening when I am alone can often give me that freedom to not rush to my computer the next morning when I can enjoy a relaxing cuppa with the family. But remember, I plan that time and I get the work done. It must be done.
4) Have a daily, weekly and monthly planner to hand and plan what you need to get done and want done for each day of the week and the month ahead. As I said in the 3rd tip about planning tasks when people are out you can have those times and tasks written down so you know exactly when to do them.
Having a schedule means that when you sit down at your computer at the start of the day or when you begin your work you know exactly what you are doing and you are not sat trying to remember or figure out what it is you need to do. Trying to figure out what you need to do can soon rob you of a lot of time and that time will add up.
I also recommend that you schedule in music time or enjoyment time. Yes seriously!, if you cannot last the day without playing games, watching T.V. or listening to music then set time aside to enjoy some ‘you’ time and be strong, stick to that time!
I am terrible for distractions, I can soon lose time trawling YouTube for music and so I decided to schedule time for ‘play’ around simple tasks. Fortunately I can work listening to some music but some styles can take away my focus. Taking regular breaks is good for positivity anyway and clears the mind so if you are prone to distractions it just makes sense to schedule them into regular breaks.
We bizzebee’s have a collective schedule of when we publish posts and when to get projects done for. We also have a flexibility clause so that if one of us is struggling someone else can jump in to help out etc but we all follow a plan. We all write our own daily plans and schedules to include our monthly bizzebee plans and commitments. If we didn’t there would be chaos and believe me, we need it. It works well.
5) This one is often the most controversial tip as it could be taken the wrong way. It shouldn’t but sometimes people are sensitive to comments. When you work from home in the presence of your loved ones it is very easy for them to forget that you should be working.
When you work for a company whether it is in a factory, in a shop, in an office or on a building site you are expected to do a set period of time like 8 hours without a lot of family interaction and distraction. Many companies ask you to lock mobile phones away and maintain that you are only connected to the outside world via the receptionist at the front office.
When you are home and ‘about’ it is very easy for people to come chatting. There is nothing wrong with this and having a flexible approach to work is good, I mean after all we do work from home because we enjoy being at home but it can soon become a habit that robs you of productivity.
You could be in the middle of some deep focus and in the zone when in walks someone with ‘oh I forgot to say…’ so it has to be understood by your family that you are at work and you have work hours like you would if you were working for anyone else.
As I said earlier a certain amount of flexibility is great but if you worked for someone else you wouldn’t get so much contact and it is unfair and in many cases disrespectful for people to think that they can take your time up because you are at home.
If you have your own office then it isn’t so bad but people can still come in. All parties must need to understand and agree that you should be left to get on for a set amount of time with as little disturbance as possible.
At the end of the day, you are working from home so you must get the work done and to do that you need to be very disciplined and plan your tasks well if not you are just making it harder for yourself. If you are not disciplined working from home will not become the relaxed pleasurable experience you were looking for but instead could turn into a terrible financial nightmare of your own making.
To help you plan your working times and tasks please download our free bizzebee planners below, open up the PDFs and print them off so you have them close at hand.
It’s that time again; I cannot believe it is Saturday already, where does the time go? I seem to have a time sink somewhere just sucking the hours and days away!
The bizzebee team and I hoped you had a great Halloween and didn’t get too scared by the ghouls and gremlins out there.
I have had a productive week and I know that the rest of the bees have been very busy, I hope you all have too.
As usual I have a list of 10 great posts and articles to share with you all this week as well as one fun one to round them off.
These posts are put forward by the team to be shared with you. We all do a fair amount of reading each week and these are the ones we think you will learn from and enjoy the most. So with that in mind I hope you enjoy them and let’s get started.
Alan K’necht and Michelle Stinson Ross have a video chat with Ann Smarty the owner of MyGuestBlog.com website. In the 28 minute chat they discuss all things Search and Social with Ann answering these six questions.
Q1 What role does Social Media play in building search authority?
Q2 What tactics can search marketers employ on Facebook to get more out of a brand’s presence there?
Q3 How can Facebook’s Open Graph technology be used to give a site a search boost?
Q4 What tips do you have for getting the most search value out of a G+ presence?
Q5 What are your favorite Twitter tactics?
Q6 Are there any other social networks that really rock when it comes to driving traffic and why?
You can learn a lot from these guys so pop over, watch the video and say hi.
This is an information post from Google themselves explaining how to get the newly released Google+ Custom URL. Just like Facebook where you could give your Business/Fan Page a customer URL like Facebook.com/bizzebee you can now do the same to your Google+ Page.
People have been wanting this for a while now and it has arrived so if you have a Google+page you better go and get your custom URL before it is taken by someone else!
We all love SEO and blogging here and the excellent SearchEngineJournal has come up with another excellent post. Tumblr is a cross between a blogging platform and a social media network. Unlike normal social media platforms Tumblr has set its default link mode to ‘DoFollow’ which means create a Tumblr page for your business and link posts to your main site can have a lot of great SEO benefits.
Tumblr pages can send a lot of link juice to your site which can help you to rank higher but also a Tumblr page itself can rank pretty high in Google. If you do not have a Tumblr account as part of your web 20 presence then you should go and read this article and learn why you should be building your own Tumblr account today!
We have a fun post here from Martha ‘Marty’ Preston on her blog ThoughtsOnLifeAndMoney.com. Marty asked 6 well known bloggers a series of questions that were sent to her by her readers.
Two of my (Andi) favourite bloggers are in this list and they are Zac Johnson and John Chow. These are two serious big fish in the blogging, affiliate marketing and make money online industries. When they speak I listen and I think you should too. They know a thing or two that we all can learn from.
Then there are answers from 4 more top bloggers who give a ton of excellent advice and tips. This is a really good post and I believe not only will you enjoy reading it you will learn a lot from it.
In this post by Charmie Prajapati, Charmie interviews 23 year old blogger Rahul Kuntala who was a software trainee in Hyderabad before he gave up his job to become a full time blogger and niche website owner.
He currently earns a nice income from his couch. This is one of those excellent success stories you find proving that people anywhere in the world can change their circumstances and generate a living online.
We have another excellent post from our friend Kapil Jekishan over in Sydney. In this post he talks about the new promoted post option in Pineterst.
Pinterest is a very popular social media network unlike the rest as it focuses on pinning and sharing great content in picture form on pin board like pages. It is growing and expanding with all kinds of content now being allowed to be pinned to its site. It is favoured by online marketers and bloggers because the format is great, images can go viral and it drives a lot of traffic to users sites.
Promote post is a paid method of having your pins shown to larger audiences. It is in the experimental stage at the moment and is a way for Pinterest to monetize their site.
Pop over to Kapil’s excellent site LatestCrunchs.com and read his excellent post.
John Banks is our resident infographic creator, expert and lover of all things graphic. He shares with us this excellent post that he read this week over at SocialMediaToday about the most important thing you need to know about infographics.
If you do not know what an infographic is it is an information based graphic. An image loaded with tips and advice that can…
Be shared easily
Be added to other people’s websites
Drive a lot of traffic to your site.
We seriously recommend you go and take a read of this post and consider creating your own traffic generating infographics. John swears by them, he has had some tremendous results from them!
This is a fun post but that has many serious marketing tips here. From LinkedIn’s own marketing blog this post explains how to make the best of using LinkedIn by doing a fun Halloween style interview with the Prince Of Darkness himself, no not Ozzy Osbourne, Count Dracula.
Written by Jason Miller this post will have you chuckling as well as learning which is often the best marketing strategy around. We learn a lot when we laugh and I think Jason has done an excellent job here wrapping up 3 very valuable nuggets of advice.
With all the talk about Google ranking old posts that have been updated or had the dates changed I thought this post by Darren Rowse over at ProBlogger.net was a great find.
I believe this is an old post that has been updated and re published and re shared from the archives. Doing that is a great tip to keep Google thinking your site is constantly having fresh content added regularly.
You cannot underestimate what updating old posts can do for your site. This is a great post and I highly recommend you take a read of it. Darren Rowse is a seriously top blogger and photographer and many people look to him for advice and information.
Ok so you have got to the bottom of the list and now it is time for our fun wildcard article.
Finishing off this week’s round up is this fun Halloween post on Mashable.com. They have a gallery of the 20 scariest Google Street View sightings. There are some really bizarre images and people out there!
For a bit of fun pop over and take a look, some are scary, some are odd and some are plain weird. I find the 2nd and 4th images a bit disturbing myself. 🙂
All is left for me to say thank you for reading and have a good week folks.
“Saturday, it’s a Saturday, It’s a Saturday, it’s a Saturday, Saturday, it’s a Saturday, Saturday, it’s a Saturdayeayeayeayaaay, Five days you work, One whole day to play, Come on everybody, Wear your roller skates today”
Sorry folks, I cannot say the word Saturday without singing the lyrics to De La Soul’s – A Roller Skating Jam Named Saturdays.
That is one great tune and here is the video to it so you can listen to it while you work your way through this week’s great articles.
I hope you have all had a great week, have you been doing much?
Anyway, let’s get into this week’s roundup, as always we have 10 great articles for you to read this week including the fun bonus post at the end which is always light hearted and non-online business related.
The first article is one that Matt read this week and it was written by Michael Dunlop and can be found at the excellent IncomeDiary website. Here he lists seven lessons he has learned from the top 50 articles he has that send him large amounts of free traffic.
This is a great post if you really want to learn how to write articles that can bring you great free traffic. For example out of the 50 articles 35 of them started with a number, isn’t that a powerful little trick to know? Also, many of his most read posts name people, if you can write an article about a case study that names well known people it could get you a lot more free traffic than your standard posts.
This post was suggested by our resident social media star Clair. Written by Ken Myers it gives us 9 steps on how to use Reddit successfully as business owners.
Some people class the front page of Reddit as the front page of the internet, I have even seen someone on TV talk about reading something on Reddit and they called it the ‘Front Page of The Internet’ When something gets that kind of notoriety it makes sense to use it even if it looks like a teenagers playground.
Seriously, Reddit doesn’t look like the kind of place you expect to see businesses but many do use it. In fact the US President Barack Obama has used Reddit’s Ask Me Anything (AMA) free-for-all question and answer sessions. This really is an interesting and informative article that is well worth reading.
We like Kim Castleberry here at bizzebee HQ, she is a font of all WordPress knowledge and information and in this post she shares with us another video by Google’s head of spam Matt ‘The Spaminator’ Cutts.
Matt answers the question, ‘How can I guest blog without it looking like I pay for links?’ I could have just shared Matt’s video but as we say we like Kim so we are happy to send new readers her way.
Guest posting is a great way to get traffic and it does go against Google’s terms and conditions as it is in fact exchanging content for links. Google do not like paid links manipulating their search results and guest posting can be seen in that same way. The payment is giving a website content for a link to your site, but the good news is Google generally over looks this and accept that it happens and that it is a great way for sites to keep adding quality content.
In the video Matt explains what are the best practices for guest posters so they are not seen as doing nothing more than ‘buying links with poor content’.
This is an excellent post written by Anna Fox over at Socialable. If you were not yet aware, Pinterest is an excellent social media network that can drive traffic to your site. It is also a great place to go and find top blogging tips from many of the top bloggers in the industry.
Here Anna lists 8 great bloggers Pinterest accounts to follow for learning blogging tips while including their own as a bonus number 9. So if you are a blogger this article is for you and if you are not a blogger you should also take a look and learn a little why Pinterest is a great free network to use.
This time we go to Loz James’ blog ContentChampion where Loz who is an established content marketer and copywriter discusses why 90% of content that is published on the internet is rubbish.
Something we agree with here at bizzebee HQ. We try our hardest to publish content that is useful, thought provoking, inspiring and educational. If not we feel we have let you the reader down.
Businesses that sell products using written content online but do not use quality writers can be doing more harm than good. To make sure you are not doing the same damage to your business pop over and take a read of this great article.
Our blogging friend Fabrizio Van Marciano owns a great site called Magnet4Marketing.Net and here is a post I read this week explaining why it is harmful to your business and blog by removing the dates from your posts.
Many bloggers and writers remove them to make it appear that the content is new whenever someone new sees it or that it is evergreen content that isn’t time restricted. Writing about SEO methods today doesn’t mean it will work next year or even next month so that content is time specific.
Some people will remove the dates in an attempt to stop people leaving their sites when they see the content is ‘old’. This method isn’t as good as it sounds and Fabrizio gives us reasons why we should keep the dates on our posts when we publish them.
Linking out to other websites with a lot of authority and high Page Rank is a powerful method to get Google to take your site more seriously and push you up the rankings. Wikipedia is often the first choice as it is a huge site with a Page Rank of 8. If you could link to your own Wikipedia page that would be excellent but you cannot or at least should not create your own Wikipedia page.
It is for information only and not promotion but surely a business and successful person has an informal history that could be shared? Well if you want to create your own Wikipedia page and why shouldn’t you? Here is a great article on SocialTimes.com telling you exactly what you need to do and how to prevent it being removed by an administrator.
This is a post suggested by Sam the bizzebee architect. It is a short post by Mike Allton about an interview he gave to Troy McLaughlin’s interview show ‘The Art Of Giving’ Mike discusses blogging and social media for which he is well known for.
It is an interesting interview, but I have to say that the post was written and published by Mike himself and is written in the 3rd person which I always find odd. Why would you do that? Maybe so much of the text was copied from the post the interview originally came from. That makes sense now, anyway, that aside it is a really great interview.
This comes from two of my favourite people of the moment, Pat Flynn and Alex Becker. It is an interview Pat did with Alex regarding SEO. For those who don’t know SEO is something Alex is really good at, and he can land websites on the first pages of Google’s search results much to their dislike. Alex is an SEO Jedi and Google Slayer.
Pat Flynn is a well-known blogger, writer and speaker who every so often does the Niche Site Dual where he and a friend build separate websites and try their best to land the site as high in Google and make money from them as part of a fun competition.
Here Pat asks Alex what he can do to help him rank his site fast. This is powerful stuff and I recommend you to watch the interview and download the PDFs Alex has done for Pat’s site.
For our final must read article this week we have a great post from our friend Ambika Choudhary over at her great website MyMagicMix. In this post Ambika explains not only why you should use Buffer to share your posts on social media networks but also how to use it.
Unfortunately Buffer only shares with the 5 main social media networks but it is great as it allows you to share your content when you are either poorly, too tired or cannot simply get to your laptop as long as you set them up and schedule them to go out early.
There is an extension for Firefox, Google Chrome and Safari similar to the Hootsuit Hootlet which allows you to schedule your posts to be shared at set times so if you set them at the start of the week they will be shared over the week even if you never turn your laptop on again.
Ambika is a great writer and her website covers many different topics but I especially lover her posts on blogging and social media.
Today’s fun post is from our good friend over in Australia Catherine Holt who has a great website that focuses on creating wonderful themed parties and gifts. The website is called Smart Party Planning and today’s post is about creating a wonderful Halloween Crafts For Kids Party.
It is coming to that time of the year so if you need some Halloween inspiration for keeping your children entertained then we recommend you pop over, take a read and say hello.
Catherine has many great party ideas, printables that you can print off and use and also has many wonderful images to look at. We love Catherine’s site and we are sure you will too.
I want to discuss something that came about from an experience I had two weeks ago with a hosting company here in the UK. Something that I believe could have been losing them money because they were not pandering to ego and focused more on the technical aspect of their business.
I wasn’t going to name the company as I intended not to dis them just use them as an example of what I believe a business should and shouldn’t do but after re visiting today I see that there have been some changes and I know understand more of what they do and what a customer will get.
The company is screenflowhosting.com and whether it was my email that helped or not I really don’t know but what I do know is that they have made some excellent positive changes. So the article is to also big them up and give them so extra exposure.
Today’s post came about from listening to the legendary Slipmatt radio show the World Of Rave. I am a lover of all things Electronica music. I am especially a big fan of the music that was around in the late 1980s and early 1990s. That was when I was in my teens & early twenties and clubbing and there is a big ‘old skool’ movement happening now with radio shows and rave nights dedicated to the music from that era.
As part of the DJ Slipmatt’s show he does the usual call out to his sponsors and help including the guy who deals with the technical side of the radio and the hosting company responsible for the running of the radio show.
I have a website that is loosely dedicated to the music and have thought about having my own online radio show for it. I have in fact been in talks with one online radio station DanceRadioUK that also hosts Slipmatt’s show to do a late night show for them about all forms of Electronica called ‘Everything Starts With An E’ (Will keep you posted if it comes off!)
Online radio is great because many different radio stations can connect and broadcast the same show so for example ‘The World Of Rave’ which is Slipmatt’s show is broadcast on a Friday night between 5 and 7 on several online radio stations as well as direct from his own website. Below is a recording of one of his recent shows.
When I heard Slipmatt call out the name of the hosting company I went over and took a look. After looking around the site for several minutes I rightly or wrongly decided to send them an email sharing my thoughts. Not to criticise or bash but to say from a customer’s point of view how I was left dazed and confused at their site and services.
Offering the best service and equipment is one thing good businesses should do but the best businesses generally think from a customer’s point of view and if a customer is not tech savvy it doesn’t matter if you supply the new ‘Mega 4000 Max Power Kyrptonite Processor, NRA Based Server’ or ‘40 Tonne Kilowatt Bandwidth’
What I as a customer needs to know is will it do what I want, I need to know the results I will get from system and as it was music related many DJs will be ego driven and want to know ‘How many listeners can I have and will it cost a lot’
As part of the system requirements and package specifications was a button, ‘Learn More’ which when clicked took me to the ‘order form’. I didn’t learn anything new and was not sure what I was paying for and whether I wanted to pay for it.
As a DJ (potential DJ lol) I saw that I could have 100 listeners as part of a £10 a month package, this didn’t sound a lot to me, I wasn’t sure how this worked whether it was a bandwidth thing or something at my end or what. All I know is that I would want to be set up and have the potential to broadcast to thousands if possible and at what price. Now having a Radio 1 size audience is probably well out of my price range but I really do not know.
Getting only 100 visitors doesn’t sound a lot and worth bothering for £10 a month: that is me simply thinking like a customer. I could be completely wrong here with other radios all being able to tap into radio streams it could be possible to be like Ibiza Global Radio and broadcast around the world connecting to different services and set ups.
As I said StreamfloHosting.com have changed their site and added some new information that has helped increased my knowledge and understanding within a few minutes of reading. My email might have helped or it might have been nothing more than a simple coding error and the information was there all the time just I was unable to connect with it. Whatever it was, I know understand far more than I did before which is great.
Whatever your business is, you must stop and think from your customer’s perspective and think ‘What is it I would want to know, look for and buy if I was the customer?’ Think about the ‘X Factor’ for a minute (I know it is an awful show but please just try J)
Imagine Simon Cowell said to a group of teenage wannabes…
‘I will get you into a large studio with Reason, Cubase software, Akai and Roland equipment, big microphones and record a song’
…the teenagers would be stood with a semi excited fixed grin thinking…
‘I have no idea what you just said really’
but if instead Simon had said…
‘I will make you stars, with millions of adoring fans, millions in the bank and a life of mixing with celebrities’
I can guarantee the teenagers would be jumping around in joy screaming and whooping.
The desired results they want are stardom, adoration, money and a celebrity lifestyle. They are not interested in or understand the technical aspects of a recording studio or equipment. I am not saying they won’t develop an interest along their journey to stardom but that isn’t why they go on the ‘X Factor’
Unless you are a real geek, when getting website hosting you are more likely to be interested in what it can do for your business, brand or popularity and not what the actual software or hardware is and it is the same for any business.
Drug dealers know this well, that is why they never sell the drug, they sell the experience, the high, the happiness and the effects the drug can have. Obviously there is a place for system information and technology specifications and I am not saying you should become a ‘Willy Wonka’ style character only selling dreams all the time. That can fall into the dubious realms of copywriting which can be as unethical in the way it sells dreams as selling drugs.
What I am trying to say here is that when you are offering a service or selling products, do not get too wrapped up in the specifications of the technology or service. People buy things for a reason and often that reason is driven by an expectation of a result so you should be selling results more than a service or product.
Besides, the average Joe Public know what they want as a result but they probably do not have a clue about the technology and hardware. You could soon leave them dazed and confused with information overload and quite possibly scare them off from making a decision losing you the sale. And I know you do not want that, do you?
If you are interested in running an online radio and they are very popular and powerful please check out Streamflowhosting.com and if you simply want to hear some cool sounds both old skool and new please check out my recommended list of online Radio stations.
Also if you want to be a superstar DJ like Slipmatt he is soon to be doing a special online training course covering all styles old and new. I am ok with the old but need serious help with the new technology so I shall be signing up!