Tuesday Tips

A well-placed photo gallery does wonders to demonstrate your work. Collect images and videos of your work: simple digital camera pics or even scans of hard copies will be effective. Take some time to edit your display collection into specific categories, such as color, industry, or topical area. Choose the best samples, and display them proudly.

Place your images in a photo gallery section with the ability for the user to click-through to larger versions, if available. You may use your web statistics to review which galleries web visitors navigate to most often: place those popular galleries at a higher level or highlight them on your homepage.

If your company allows it or it fits your mission, also consider adding an “upload your own” section for website visitors. These may be informal sections such as “viewer suggestions” or “post a solution” to solicit your website visitors’ creative process. You’ll want a way to easily delete potentially negative images if you offer a public section like this.

Before and after photos tend to be very popular with your web visitors. Professional organizers, interior decorators, and landscapers use this function to very good effect on their websites. Also consider product demonstrations, wrap-around views, schematics, randomized images, or rotating views to enhance your gallery.

Some tools to help organize your photos include Flickr or MPix or Google Photos. If you’d like to put your photos onto read more...

Being Filipino means my family knows how to eat well. While I was growing up, my mom (and grandmothers) always told me to have food only at a restaurant where there are lots of other people in line.

Have you ever joined a line for a restaurant because there were other people in line?

Have you ever chosen a particular dentist, doctor, pediatrician, or any kind of specialist based on your friend’s or family member’s recommendation?

People “love” to go with other people’s recommendations.

It doesn’t matter what you’re selling—it may be cell phone service, tires, computers, organic fruit snacks, lumber, or handicrafts. Your customers, if they spread the word about you, will be your biggest salespeople because people love to go with recommendations.

The power of testimonials is huge. A transaction will close much more quickly when you have a third party vouching for your work. Testimonials sell your services, and referrals from other satisfied clients help you close a sale much more quickly. To assist with your sales, put your testimonials on your website. Other options include adding a testimonial to your e-mail signature, adding a “past clients” page on your blog, and adding specific, targeted quotations from real people who you’ve helped, along with samples of how you’ve solved their problem or contributed to their happiness. Your testimonials help cautious buyers decide if you’re a good fit for them.

When creating your

A suggestion for expanding your network of interested clients online is to use your person-to- person skills to visit, comment on, and contribute to websites that you enjoy reading.

For example, when you participate in a blog community, you provide thoughtful commentary and possible additions or updates to the author’s blog posts. Refrain from posting “drive-by comments.” For a comment to be useful, you actually must take the time to understand the blog author’s platform, to provide helpful comments, suggestion, or criticism, to subscribe to their feed, or to otherwise engage with the author/s. Many bloggers become your trusted business associates because of the types of comments you post and the quality of your responses to the situations they blog about.

There are a number of web visitors who get most of their news through news readers, through pre-set alerts on certain subject keywords, or through aggregators. Being specific in every item that you post on and always including comments, keywords, or search engine phrases that match your business will help interested parties “find” you.

When posting comments, include a link to your own website, and remember that your comments may be picked up by the search engines. For consistency, while you are networking via comment boards or comments on postings, do exercise prudence.

As a note, if you find errors, omissions, typos, or incorrect information on a website, do bring that information to the read more...

If you have a product or service that benefits from a “show-and-tell” approach, consider creating a demonstration section on your homepage, or create a series of video posts explaining different aspects of your business. Human beings respond very well to moving images, especially videos with people, animals, or babies, sound effects, or three- dimensional objects.

If your product or service demands a more in- depth review that would benefit from the highly visual nature of film, tell your story using your image and voice. Some samples to think about include: hosting a job site or office walk-through, demonstrating your process in a step-by-step manner, including testimonials from other customers, animating an item and rotating it in multiple dimension, or doing video introductions to key people on your staff.

Videos do not need to be complex. A 15-second, 30-second, or one minute introduction to your company may suffice. Place demonstration videos or company-focused videos on your website, with credits and links, as needed. You may host your videos on your site in a variety of formats. Also consider publishing your videos to services like YouTube, Google, Yahoo!, Vimeo, or Facebook for added exposure.

A useful addition to your team will be a digital videographer, digital storyteller, film or production crew, or someone who may compile your still images, text, and/or music into a final video that helps sell your work. Find referrals through your read more...

Why bother with social networking? With the incredible amounts of visual and audio information out there, you have little time to make an impact. Many of us receive thousands of advertising messages a day. So, in response, some resort to personal recommendations from friends, family, and associates. If referrals are the lifeblood of any organization, and reputation-based word of mouth is one of the most trusted and highest-converting methods of making a sale, then your ability to get your message out to “people who make a difference” will enhance your net profit, guaranteed.

The curve of information is steadily and quickly moving towards social networking sites such as YouTube, Facebook, and Wikipedia. User-generated content, such as blogs, podcasts, images, and videos, are also rising quickly in importance. A corporate PR blog may be overshadowed by a blogger’s inside scoop. A homemade YouTube video may be more popular than a carefully controlled corporate message. Furthermore, with so many people who have an ability to research your company, your motivation, and your personal “dirt,” any kind of duplicity or lack of integrity will most definitely be uncovered. 

People most naturally connect with like-minded people. If you’re reaching your client community online, you are already two or three steps ahead of anyone who is attempting to broadcast to a generalized audience with a bland, unfocused message. Current trends in advertising for newspapers, read more...

Many smart women know how to succeed academically or do a great job in the office, but how many realize that most of their professional lives are determined by "who they know?"

Who do you know?

Who do you work with?

Is “who will help us?” your first question when you tackle a new project or initiative?

The "who" question, probably the most important question, will be the first to pop into your mind when you need to find contacts that help you with your current task at hand.

For example, if a catering company commits to landing five new clients, all in the $15k - $20k range per event, which questions might they ask?


The question of WHY?

Probably not a great starting question. If you've committed, then start "dialing for dollars" to find who will help you get your project rolling.


The question of HOW?

True leaders find others to help them do the mechanics of the work. If you don't know how to do a project, find someone who does know: this relates from line staff all the way up to C-level executives.


The question of WHEN?

Your timeline totally depends on the involved parties. With lackluster people on your team, expect lackluster results. With stars on your team, start rolling immediately and arrive at your destination more smoothly. Your answer to the “who” question makes a big difference.


The question of WHAT?

Who you know

Search engine listings typically count the number of incoming and outgoing links from your pages. When your page has hundreds or thousands of incoming links, search engines add a level of “authority” to your web page: this level increases your page ranking in search results. 

Exchange links with other high-quality websites to promote your company. When you exchange a link with another website owner, check the accuracy of the link and spell-check the descriptive text. Refrain from posting on “splogs” (fake blogs) or on sites that primarily consist of unrelated links or paid links. These do not assist your page ranking.

When you consider linking with another site, think quality over quantity. A well-placed link from another high-ranking website means much more than a number of links from poorly-ranked websites. Pass on any opportunities that involve “shady” subjects, companies with which you don’t want to be involved, or topical areas you prefer to decline.

If you find your website linked to a page with questionable content, politely ask the webmaster to remove your link. On the other hand, if you desire a link from a website with very high-quality content and high page rankings, ask nicely, consider ways to promote that website that benefit both of you, or find ways to make the outgoing link to your site worth the site owner’s effort.

Some ways to add links are to develop relationships with high-ranked bloggers or authority figures within read more...

When people trust you, you are one step ahead of any other vendor they have in mind. Trust forms the basis of many relationships, and the mutually beneficial relationship that customers and providers share depends on trust.

I recommend you take some time during your business planning process every year to develop an “Ideal Client Template” of your desired customers. When you do this, you make it easier and faster to identify and “sort” the people you’ll potentially serve.

Is your lead an ideal client or would they be better served somewhere else? Who is your client? What types of issues do they deal with on a daily basis? How do they feel? How will you assist them? Where do they live and work? What’s their typical challenge in their workplace? What is their primary role? What would make their performance better?

As you develop a snapshot of your ideal client, you will be more specific about your own customer policies; and as you develop more clarity, you’ll find allies who naturally refer these clients to you. With whom do you typically work as a natural fit to your own business? Identify your associates, and develop your circle of connectors to branch out into a wider world of potential customers.

For example, a circle of people who naturally refer business to each other includes a financial planner, an estate-planning attorney, a CPA or enrolled agent, a life insurance salesperson, a real estate agent, a mortgage specialist, a health read more...

Subject matter changes quickly as knowledge grows in a particular field. Today’s information worker processes hundreds of pieces of information in a month from newspapers, radio, television, and internet usage. As a result of the ever-expanding knowledge base in the world, your reputation as someone “in the know” helps your customers and clients trust your judgement.

Act as a clearinghouse of select information by incorporating the following into your industry:

Articles in the news that directly impact your clients Editorials on trends in your industry Tools such as software or physical objects being released in your field Upcoming or expected government regulation in your field Policy changes that impact your company International trends or agreements that impact clients Emerging trends that your customers may not know Scenarios or potential situations that your customers should be aware of

As you add up-to-date information on your industry, others will view your site as a trusted information source. Arrange your site in a way that highlights your abilities to share multiple pieces of information that affect your clients.

I recommend adding a “Resources” section that you categorize by tool or by subject matter. Maintain this resources section with up-to-date resource links, and encourage your website visitors to bookmark you and send you “tips.”

Your digital properties are your home on the web where you will continuously act as hostess to numerous visitors, interested parties, and passers-by who visit you online. Consider ways in which you may extend hospitality to other people in your field of interest by knowing how to be a good guest, too!

My biggest recommendation for networking is, in the words of Dante, from a little spark may burst a mighty flame. Participate, help, and find ways to provide value to the people with whom you work online. All of us working together truly make a larger difference.

For example,

If a well-known influencer invites you to provide a guest post for her, add a link to this fact on your own website, and invite your own readers to participate with comments.
  If you’re tasked with providing online content for your membership group’s e-newsletter, consider ways to write a fresh, informative, and useful article, such as a Top Ten list that’s relevant to the news today.
  If you’re in charge of press releases, compile a list of public relations specialists who benefit from being “in the know” about news in your specific industry, and send them any groundbreaking initiatives that your company undertakes.


Be a good guest when you’re part of the overall network that makes up all of our shared community, and you’ll find yourself learning how to be a gentle, influential, and persuasive host, too. This approach will translate into a bigger read more...