How To

How to Use Facebook to Promote A Business

Facebook is growing rapidly and boasts millions of users with several millions new users each week. This makes it a ripe opportunity to use it to boost your business. Today you’ll learn how to use Facebook to promote a business.

How to Use Facebook to Promote A Business

The first step to promote your business with Facebook is to create a business profile. Facebook offers you the ability to separate your personal and professional social networking activities and offers a number of settings, which you can adjust to meet your needs.

To set your privacy settings, visit http://www.facebook.com/privacy/

How to Use Facebook to Promote A Business

Before you start promoting your business, make sure you figure out who your audience is. Spending time to promote your business to the wrong audience will backfire.

I recently took Rachel’s Facebook Growth Strategies Course and revived one of my pages I let go last year. I started with almost 8000 likes, and no engagement, and after 6 weeks, I have over 13000 likes and a very engaged audience (lots of of likes, shares and comments on all my posts)

Some of the things I learned:

  • figure out who my audience is
  • ways to target that audience
  • how often to post on my page for maximum effect
  • the value of a viral post and how to create one
  • how larger pages can benefit me, even if they  aren’t directly promoting my page
  • schedule posts ahead of time in an organized fashion and recycle posts that did well (this will change your life!!)
  • how to use Facebook ads to grow my page without losing my shirt

Want to explode your Facebook page? Rachel is reopening this course on March 6th for 3 short days. Get on the waiting list here, and get her course as soon as it opens.

How To Use Facebook Applications For Your Business

Facebook offers a number of applications including creating and joining groups. Adding and joining groups is another way to connect with a very specific target audience. If, for example, you are a dog trainer and your market are new dog owners, you could create a group for puppy owners and share helpful tips, links and information with them.

The group function allows you to also see the groups your friends and associates are participating in so you can make the decision about whether or not it’s a group you too want to participate in.

There are a large number of applications and with Facebook continually growing new applications will be added every day.

Applications to consider include:

Twitter – Allows you to publish your Twitter posts on Facebook.

BlogNetwork – This application is a great way to publicize your blog and gain new followers.

Advertising – Facebook allows you to advertise on their site and to also sell ad space on your profile/fan pages.

Facebook Pages – A Facebook Page is a public profile that makes it possible for you to essentially create a business profile page right on the site. You can share products, sell ad space and market to your audience.

You can also invite people to like your page (you’ll learn a really new trick in Rachel’s course 😉) . Each person who liked your page  is now someone you can market to directly by sending them promotions, information, downloads and so on – much like you would an opt-in list.

Want to see some proof? Take a peek at these case studies for Rachel’s course. Some of them will blow your mind!

Mobile Facebook – allows you to use Facebook from your mobile phone. Great for sending on the fly messages but also good to remember that many people use this feature on their mobile phone and you can market to them specifically.

Facebook is an active, thriving and growing community and it’s not just for teenagers anymore. In fact, middle-aged men and women are one of the largest growing communities online and they’re a lucrative audience.

The Facebook Era: Tapping Online Social Networks to Build Better Products, Reach New Audiences, and Sell More StuffThe Facebook Era: Tapping Online Social Networks to Build Better Products, Reach New Audiences, and Sell More StuffFacebook Marketing: An Hour a DayFacebook Marketing: An Hour a Day

how to grow your facebook business page

Top 10 Cyber Security Tips

Last year was a year of struggle for me in my business. My main site got hacked and as a result I lost my Pinterest account connected to it. After a few weeks of back and forth emails without any results, I decided to start over, and this time secure my site with the help of Sucuri. Today I want to share with you my top 10 cyber security tips, so you and your web properties can stay safe this New Year.

top 10 cyber security tips

Many people are put off with the term cyber security. They think it involves highly technological processes and elaborate computer knowledge. Not at all. Cyber security is about identifying threats and taking measures as simple as creating an indecipherable password. There is nothing too technical about that. In fact, cyber security measures are all too simple to follow. Check out the following cyber security safety tips.

Top 10 Cyber Security Tips

1. Use strong passwords

This should be a given, but so many still use passwords that are way too easy to guess. Avoid using names, birthdays, addresses, and other personal information as password. Do not use a word found in the dictionary as well, since hackers have found a way to decipher dictionary-generated passwords using certain tools. In general, a good password is at least eight-characters long and should be hard to crack. You can combine upper and lower case letters, numbers, and symbols. One good practice is to form a password from a phrase. For example, you can create t1$!C4gtMpSd from “This is so I can’t forget my password.” You can use other methods with which you can form unique and cryptic passwords.

2. Change your password periodically

This is important especially if, at some point, you have to disclose your password. Remember not to write it down, or if you need to, discard the paper immediately. You never know the danger negligence can impose on your security.

3. Be careful with emails

Unsolicited emails are sometimes the onset of cyber attacks. Remember not to open attached files from unknown senders, as they may contain malware that can open backdoors for hackers. Clicking on the links can also direct you to some compromising websites, so be cautious. If a link looks suspicious, look it up on the web and do a quick research. Avoid giving information to unknown senders as well. The rule of thumb is to ignore seemingly malicious mails. Do not reply to and forward them.

4. Install security programs on your computer and keep them updated

It is very important to have anti-virus and anti-spyware software and to keep your firewall on. Poorly secured systems are open doors for attackers and intruders, but these software programs keep viruses and spyware from penetrating and crippling your system. The firewall, on the other hand, guards your system from unauthorized access to your computer. Some operating systems allow automatic security updates. Check if yours have this option.

5. Avoid opening files sent through Instant Messenger

These files do not undergo scanning and might carry security threats to your computer.

6. Ignore the links in pop-up windows

Block pop-up ads and windows to close an entryway for malware and other forms of attack.

7. Avoid downloading files, programs, applications, or tools from unknown websites

More often than not, these free downloadable files are loaded with threats. Before you download, make sure the website is a credible source.

8. Make sure to keep your system clean

Remove any tool, application, or program that is not used. Check also unused default programs installed on your operating system. It’s better to have few programs than have many but unused ones, which can only slow down your computer and be an opening for malicious attacks.

9. Backup Your Data Regularly

It’s very important that you keep an up to date backup of your data. It can be the difference between a very stressful time (if your computer dies and is attacked), and a nice,  easy, thought out recovery of what’s important to you.

10. Keep All Applications Updated

Update your applications as soon as they get a patch or update, to keep any unsavory activity off your computer.

Why Is It Important To Stay On top Of Cyber Security

A poorly secured computer runs the risk of being hijacked and left as a zombie machine. Secretly, the hacker uses this computer to gain access to personal and confidential accounts and information. Next thing you know, your credit card has been used for unauthorized purchases, your savings account has been ransacked, your competitor has spied on your company, and the list can go on and on.

But some simple and easy-to-follow cyber security tips can eliminate the possibility of falling prey to any of these cyber crimes.

Now, if you want to keep your WordPress sites safe form hackers, make sure you check out the WP Lockdown.

Top 10 Cyber Security Tips to keep you sane and your computer safe

How To Add An Amazon Affiliate Link On WordPress

Earlier today, I was talking to a friend about how to add an amazon affiliate link on wordpress, and I thought others may have the same question.

I am sure there is more than one way to do this, but here is how I do it: it works great and it’s easy to implement if you want to make money with amazon affiliate links.

How To Add An Amazon Affiliate Link On WordPress

How to add an Amazon affiliate link on wordpress

Let’s say I want to link to a Wireless USB Plantronics Headset, since a lot of us, internet marketers need a headset.

Here are the steps I usually go through:

1. Find the item I want to add to my page on on Amazon

2. Click on the HTML tab here in my WordPress, so I can add the code (if you add it into the visual tab you’ll end up with code on your page, instead of a picture or a link).

text tab

3. If I want my picture to be surrounded by text, I’ll add this code: <div style=”float:left;margin:15px;”></div>. It will give me the option to align the picture left or right, whichever fits my page better, and also gives me some white space around the image, so that the text doesn’t go up against my picture.

4. Then, I’ll go to Amazon and get my code. If you are logged into your account, you’ll have a stripe at the top of your page, and here you can choose what type of link you want to add to your wordpress site.

How to easily add Amaozn tect links to your website

Make sure you choose the tracking ID specific to the project you are working on, so you can track where your sales are coming from. You can create tracking IDs specific to a site, or even specific to a page. Don’t use the same ID on all your sites: you’ll never know what’s working and what’s not.

5. After you choose your specific tracking ID, you can choose what type of link you want. Here’s what you’ll see, depending on which typo of link you want.

If you want to use a text link, you’ll see this: I always choose the short link to keep things tidy.

amazon text link

If using a combination of text and image, it will look like this:

text and image link to amazon

And if you choose an image link, it will give you the option to choose the size of your image. It will look like this:

image link to amazon

6. Now go back to your site, click in between the <div> brackets, and paste the code there: you now have your link to amazon.

A better option!

Do you have any questions? Feel free to ask them below.

This is how I’ve been adding links to my wordpress sites for many years, but a few months ago, I came across a service that helps me create my image links a lot easier and more attractive! It’s called easy product displays, and works not only with Amazon, but also with Share a sale merchants and Zazzle. You can also create beautiful displays for other merchants by entering just a bit of information. This way, all your images are uniform on your site.

Here’s how a link to the above headset looks like:

Plantronics Voyager Legend Wireless Bluetooth Headset - Compatible with iPhone, Android, and Other Leading Smartphones - BlackPlantronics Voyager Legend Wireless Bluetooth Headset – Compatible with iPhone, Android, and Other Leading Smartphones – Black

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This is the largest size possible, but you can also create smaller images that you align to one side or the other, or you can create product showcases, like this:

Nikon KeyMission 360 4K Ultra HD Action Camera with Built-in Wi-Fi + 32GB Micro SDHC Memory Card + Digital Compact Bag + 43Nikon KeyMission 360 4K Ultra HD Action Camera with Built-in Wi-Fi + 32GB Micro SDHC Memory Card + Digital Compact Bag + 433Csmart Octopus Style Portable and adjustable Tripod Stand Holder for iPhone, Cellphone ,Camera with Universal Clip and Remote (Black)3Csmart Octopus Style Portable and adjustable Tripod Stand Holder for iPhone, Cellphone ,Camera with Universal Clip and Remote (Black)NCH Software Video EssentialsNCH Software Video Essentials

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Benefits of Outsourcing

Outsourcing involves farming out your work to qualified professionals for the benefit of your business enterprise.  Large corporations have been doing it for a few years now with great success to their bottom line.  These companies outsource jobs to other countries where they can be done just as efficiently for less cost.  People get jobs and the company wins on all fronts.

This concept is not just for the big companies.  Small business enterprises can use outsourcing to their benefit as well.  Whether you are running a small business out of your home or online, it takes work to keep everything running smoothly.  There don’t seem to be enough hours in the day to get all of the work done.

Consider outsourcing as a means of boosting your bottom line and lightening your load a bit.  With an online enterprise, usually you are the “everything person.” You function as the bookkeeper, web designer, content writer, Internet marketer, customer service representative and the executive assistant.  It could take the better part of a day to respond to all of your business emails or to handle bills at the end of the month.

If you need help, there are affordable choices for small businesses.  For you, outsourcing in the virtual world is a great option.  People with certain expertise can help your business to grow.  The trouble is finding these people and more specifically, the right people to handle your business needs.

Outsourcing works best when you know what jobs you can outsource and which ones are best left in-house.  Also, learning the benefits of outsourcing makes you more confident and knowledgeable when looking for an individual or company to contract with.

Once you decide to outsource, you’ll need to know how to find who you are looking for.  Creating an application and interview process gives you tools to determine who will be the best fit for the jobs you want to outsource.  Virtual assistants are putting a new face on the process of outsourcing and proving themselves to be a great asset.

How would you like to get a press release distributed for only $5? How about a video created for the same amount? An article written? Keyword research done?

This list includes the best providers for those tasks and more!

REASONS FOR OUTSOURCING

Free Time

When you first start an online business, free time is non-existent.  Either you are setting up a website or marketing your business or answering emails.  Each job is important but it leaves no time for anything but work and sleep.

Many parents begin home businesses to spend more time with their families.  You may have that opportunity eventually, but in the beginning you’ll work almost as much as you did with your regular job.  Outsourcing allows you to get a few of those piles off of your desk and into the hands of someone else.  Life becomes a little better because you can now see the light at the end of the tunnel.

Increase Productivity

With small businesses, if you don’t do it, it won’t get done.  This includes the big M – marketing.  In order to sell your goods and services, people need to know that you exist.  Putting the word out there about you requires a marketing strategy that includes advertising.  Just researching the market and establishing an online presence takes a big chunk of time each day.

When you outsource some of the tasks within your business, it leaves more opportunities for you to handle more pressing work of the business that requires your attention.  Developing a marketing plan involves trial and error but that won’t bother you as long as you know that all your other bases are covered through outsourced companies or individuals.

Better Customer Service

Anyone who has ever owned a business or patronized one knows how important customer service is.  A business, especially a small one or an online enterprise can be made or broken on the strength of their customer service program.  Each customer wants to feel special, as if they are the only one that you have.

A good customer service program takes care of their new and returning customers.  Questions and emails are answered promptly.  Issues with merchandise are rectified rapidly.  Outsourcing customer service to a third party frees you from answering business related emails or telephone calls.  The customer’s need is met and you only answer emails or calls from anyone who needs your expertise to handle their situation.

Increased Profits

You go into business to make money.  It is true that you want to be the boss, but without money coming into the business your stint as head honcho will be short lived.  Maybe you want to expand your business but don’t see how without some additional help.  Outsourcing some of the daily duties allows you to focus on streamlining business functions and finding new markets to explore.

Lower Overhead Costs

If you have more money coming in than going out, you are doing something right.  One way to lower your costs is to hire virtual contractors instead of employees.  Employers are responsible for their employees’ health care benefits package and unemployment insurance.

Outsourced jobs are done by contractors.  Virtual assistants and other companies that you hire to take some of the burden off of you are also business owners.  As such, they pay for their own health insurance and any other expenses they might incur.  You don’t pay for equipment or lunches or breaks.  The actual time spent on your projects is all that you are being billed for.

Many online businesses use contractors instead of regular employees.  In the beginning, you usually can’t afford to have any full-time people working for you.  Outsourcing allows you to keep that status quo and increase your profits at the same time.

Employing Knowledge and Experience

As we stated before, outsourced work is done by contractors who are also working to build their own businesses.  They have built a reputation of reliability and on-time product delivery.  It is as important to them as it is to you to do a good job.

Most virtual assistants and other contractors bring a wealth of knowledge and expertise to the table.  You might need a person who can answer your emails and perform customer service duties.  That same virtual assistant may have extensive experience in website building.  They can be of assistance to you further in other ways.

Choosing contractors, who have many talents instead of just the one you need at the time, will save you headache if and when you need more jobs outsourced.  A knowledgeable person can troubleshoot problems and answer your questions without the need to consult yet another person.

Around the Clock Service

When you run an online business, you deal with people in many different time zones and countries around the world.  While you are sleeping, your clients are just starting their day by bombarding your email and voicemail with messages.  That means a lot of busy work to do when you get going in the morning.

One thing to consider when outsourcing your work is the location of the contractor.  If they are living in another time zone, this benefits you because while you sleep, they are still working and taking care of clients.  It is like a 24 hour convenience store.  There is always someone on duty.  Handling responsibilities like that requires someone you trust implicitly.

Huge list of excellent providers you can outsource to!

It Pays To Learn Your Computer Keyboard Shortcuts

computer keyboard shortcuts

Keyboard or mouse?

In a recent poll, I asked our business friends and peers if they preferred keyboard or the mouse. Almost everyone said they can’t live without the mouse. I have to admit is quite difficult to work today’s programs and even the Internet without a mouse. Far too many sites and applications have interfaces built specifically for interacting with the mouse. When I had my first taste of computers it was the other way around.

Why learn computer keyboard shortcuts

Sure, I love the mouse it does make things a lot easier than typing long strings of commands or having to remember shortcuts. Yet, the mouse can also slow you down. You hardly notice it though because moving our hand between the mouse and keyboard is so ingrained into us, it has become a habit. I surely didn’t notice it until I found myself pausing a minute to orientate myself whenever I was switching between the mouse and keyboard.

An example (for right handers) – when you have to type ‘o’, ‘p’, ‘;’, ‘

Another scenario. My husband is a classic mouse person. Whenever he has to select a word or block of text to copy, he highlights it using the mouse, right clicks and clicks copy. Then right clicks to paste again. Trouble is, he’d take forever to make the selection as accurate as possible and it takes him a second or two to find the copy button in the menu. I’m always so frustrated because it would be so much faster to hold down the shift key and right/left/up/down buttons to select, then Ctrl+C and Ctrl+V (on Windows).

This is not a Windows vs. Mac thing both operating systems have many keyboard shortcuts built in natively and all apps have some shortcuts.

How to quickly learn computer keyboard shortcuts

You just have to look them up. Once I realized what a pain it is to keep switching, I began to look up ways to quickly switch, save, close, open, navigate, enter data into anything I am working with using keyboard shortcuts and am quite amazed how much more productive I am.

There is a down side to shortcuts – you have to memorize them. Because of this, it will seem like you are taking a whole lot longer especially when you’re just starting to learn the shortcuts. I certainly don’t memorize every single shortcut for every program. However, I make a point to learn the ones that are standard for the operating system and also the programs that I use daily. In fact, I recently learned more shortcuts for Evernote and it’s allowed me to write several blog posts faster than I used to and that’s a good thing. Never did I peg myself as a keyboard user, yet after giving it a fair trial, I’m hooked and the benefits show.

Pick a program you use multiple times throughout the day, it could be the browser. Learn a few shortcuts and try it yourself.

~Lynette ()

Lynette Chandler enjoys applying technology to marketing and showing other business owners how. Get more tips from Lynette on her blog http://TechBasedMarketing.com/

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