May 19, 2015

4 Customer Service Skills for Your Home-Based Business

4 Customer Service Skills for Your Home-Based Business

Owners of successful small companies understand the benefits of having an excellent team of customer representatives. They know that a team capable of handling calls with courtesy and efficiency will help to establish a favorable reputation for the company. Below are 4 Customer Service Skills for Your Home-Based Business.

When running a home-based business, (especially in the beginning stages of a start-up company) many of us do not have a team of customer service representatives to answer our incoming calls. With that being said, we still need to portray a professional outlook to our clients even if we are a one mans show so to speak. Below, are tips that will allow you to stay personal, yet professional:

1. Voice mail

Let's face it. Many of us are too busy to answer incoming calls all day. However, with the power of voice mail we can create a professional message to let our customers know that although we are not available to answer a call at the moment, they can leave a message and their call will be returned as soon as possible. The operative word here is "as soon as possible." This allows you to call them back at your earliest convenience. Remember, no one likes to wait so it is imperative that you return their call right away. Manage your voice mail messages efficiently and preferably before the end of the day!

2. Email

Contrary to popular belief, many people still use email as a form of communication. Use this option as an alternative to stay in touch with your customer base as well. Basically, the same thing applies as the voice mail tip above. You want to check your emails through out your day and respond with a personalized helpful reply. This tactic is important to your business success.

3. Contact form

Your business website should have a contact form for visitors to connect with you. A contact form will give a visitor to your site an easy and fast way to leave a question about a product/service which your business may offer. There are many contact form plug-ins that generate a code that allows you to insert into your site. Currently, I use foxy form with integrated anti-spam protection. But the list of contact forms are endless. Find one that works well on your website and most of all for your business. Work smarter not harder.

4. Answering service

Another great alternative is an answering service. Have you ever called a business only to hear an answering service pick up because the staff is either out to lunch or in a meeting? An answering service might be the answer for you if you're super busy. A business friend of mine uses GabbyVille Inc. and swears by it. The way they work is their Gabbonista (as they call themselves) will professionally greet and screen callers. They will gather important call detail information, relay messages promptly, and even transfer calls to you if you are available to talk. Make sure to test out what will work. Currently, they are offering a 7-day free trail.

A small company with first-rate customer service leaves callers with a favorable impression. Callers appreciate when their concerns and questions are handled in a polite, professional manner. They know that if they need to stay in touch , they will receive the same competent service even if your business is run from home. Excellent customer service skills leaves them with an overall positive impression of you and your business. This is a big advantage especially for a home-based business that is just starting out.

Finally, responding to customers in a quick and professional manner helps a business avoid getting a reputation for sloppy order taking, lack of customer attention, etc. Provide accurate company information, due diligence and your business will prosper.

Now it's your turn. Are you using the above 4 Customer Service Skills for Your Home-Based Business? Please comment below.

About the author: Sonia Colon is writer/publisher of My Fashion E-Mall Blog, The Biz Buzz of A Latina Mom and biz owner at Books About Me. For additional powerful business articles and Internet marketing tips for maintaining a lucrative home business subscribe to her newsletter.

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May 13, 2015

3 Simple Ways To Drive More Website Traffic From Social Media

3 Simple Ways To Drive More Website

It seems that every day we see more and more people jumping on the social media train. While SEO continues to get more and more competitive, companies are looking to social networks to not only build a brand, but also to build real lasting relationships, which lead to lasting customers.

Below are 3 simple ways to drive more website traffic from social media to help gain sales and fans for your brand.

1) Combine social network platforms

We know that there’s a ton of value in writing for your blog/site both in terms of SEO value as well as conversion rate optimization. We also know that a ton of companies are using video, podcast, and social media to help as well. However, very few companies are combining social network platforms. I’ve long thought that a short intro video for a blog post, especially on a platform like YouTube could help keep readers more engaged, but also helps with social sharing. I’ve read that blog posts with any sort of video are up to five times more likely to be shared. So combining social networking platforms is a good idea for your business. Find out which social network platform works best for the purposes of gaining popularity.

2) Use Slideshare

Slideshare is about what you’d expect, a place for people to share their slides, or presentations. The network is huge though, it has close to 60 million monthly page views, making it one of the one hundred largest websites in the world. The big thing is that links can be embedded into your slides and those same slides are very likely to be shared by also embedding them into your blog posts to collaborate with your article.

3) Video

People are sometimes more likely to watch a four minute video than they are to spend four minutes reading a blog post. Baby Boomers have been loathe to video for decades, but that’s even changing since more and more of them are accessing video on their smartphones. So where can you use video on your site that you don’t already? It’s been said that having a FAQ section of the site is a good way to target long tail keywords and that’s true, but including a video answer (with a video transcription below of course, that text still is all that search engine’s can index) helps keep people engaged longer, features your business and can dramatically increase conversion rates.

What are other steps you can share that can drive more website traffic from social media? Please leave your comments below.

About the author: Sonia Colon is writer/publisher of My Fashion E-Mall Blog, The Biz Buzz of A Latina Mom and biz owner at Books About Me. For additional powerful business articles and Internet marketing tips for maintaining a lucrative home business subscribe to her newsletter.

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May 7, 2015

Are You Using Instagram to Market Your Business

Are You Using Instagram to Market Your Business

There are so many different marketing strategies a business can use to boost their brand. Every advantage should be taken and every chance at free advertising must be used in order to make your business succeed. In this highly competitive world, every possible way to showcase your business is essential. Instagram is one of those possible ways. So the question remains, are you using Instagram to market your business? Check out how you can below:

What is Instagram

Instagram is an online mobile photo-sharing, video-sharing and social networking service that enables its users to take pictures and videos, and share them on a variety of social networking platforms, such as Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr and Flickr. - Wikipedia

Displaying Your Products

The first thing you need to do is display your products in either single shots of each product individually or you can post a photo of your entire product line. There are apps like Fligram and PicsSlit Free that can help you get creative with your photos. You can highlight a product of the week and post it on Instagram with a catch phrase to entice readers to check you out. You can also feature your article with an image and link it back to your site. You can also showcase short videos to promote yourself. The possibilities are endless. Instagram allows you to share your Instagram photos on Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, Foursquare and Flickr.

Using Collages

One way to show off your company is by using collages rather than single photos. An app called PicPlayPost is great for using collages to feature your photos. The goal is to be unique so that you can attract likes and shares. The more likes and shares you get will allow you to have better search engine results and can actually put you on the first page if your other SEO methods are also solid.

Instagram Settings

Once you have started your marketing campaigns, you can set your Instagram settings to your liking. You are able to turn on or off notifications such as the likes, comments, new followers, accepted follow requests, friends on Instagram, Instagram direct activity, photos of you, reminders etc. to fit your business needs. You are able to find Facebook friends and invite them to connect. You are also able to find people to contact and connect with.

Hashtags

It's all about the hashtags with Instagram. Choosing specific tags will help you connect with other like-minded people on Instagram. You should use hashtags that are relevant to your topic. Make sure the hashtags describe your photos. Make it relevant to the topic at hand. Check out what others are using for hashtags and see how those hashtags can also relate to you and your business. Some of the most trending hashtags are:

#popular

#instagood

#iphonesia

#photooftheday

#instamood

#picoftheday

#bestoftheday

#instadaily

#igdaily

#instagramhub

#instacool

#me

#photo

#twelveskip... Check out http://top-hashtags.com/instagram/ for additional top hashtags.

Profile Settings

If you want to have a better marketing campaign on Instagram then you need to make sure that you are displaying your products to their best advantage. A great way to do this is on your Instagram profile section. It is the first thing people will learn about you. Add your name, business name, URL's and a brief bio about yourself to get noticed. If you want to see an example, check out my Instagram page at https://instagram.com/soniayc/. I'm usually on Instagram at least 2 to 3 times a week marketing my business. You will also find personal photos and favorite quotes that I also post from time to time. It really is a fun way to connect, teach and learn. Find your comfort zone and what works for you and your business.

With Instagram's 300 million active users and growing, you don't want to miss this marketing opportunity for your business.

About the author: Sonia Colon is writer/publisher of My Fashion E-Mall Blog, The Biz Buzz of A Latina Mom and biz owner at Books About Me. For additional powerful business articles and Internet marketing tips for maintaining a lucrative home business subscribe to her newsletter.

Now it's your turn. Are You Using Instagram to Market Your Business? Please share by leaving your comment below.

Instagram Power: Build Your Brand and Reach More Customers with the Power of Pictures

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May 3, 2015

Infographic ~ The 5 W's to a Successful Blog

My Infographic The 5 Ws to a Successful Blog

Do you find yourself asking what are the 5 main components to blogging? I call it the 5 W's below.

1. Who do I blog to?

Find out who is your target audience! Who will benefit from your regular postings and fresh content? Having a blog will enable you to educate your visitors as well as add value to your blog.

2. Why should I blog?

Do you have a passion about something that you know can benefit someone else and in return help your business grow? A blog will enable your customers and visitors to get to know you better and in turn will build trust and creditability. Your blog can become an active community attracting more visitors, subscribers and followers by helping you build relationships and business success.

3. What do I write about?

Write about things that interest you and that you would like to share with others. You can post photos and write about what inspired that photograph. You can also post videos of your favorite song and write about what makes it so special and why you feel others may think the same. There are hundreds if not thousands of blogs that are unique in many ways. Think of the things that bring you joy and share them with others. Think outside the box!

4. When do I blog?

Personally, I blog every 2 to 3 things a week. You may want to blog on a weekly or monthly basis, it's up to you. The goal is to remain consistent and provide quality content to your visitors so that you can create a long lasting readership for your blog.

5. Where do I host my blog?

Hostgator, or you can also check out and register your domains hassle-free with Namecheap. WordPress and Blogger are two of the top providers for displaying your blog.

Do you use the same Infographic ~ The 5 W's to a Successful Blog above on your blog? Please share your comments below.

About the author: Sonia Colon is writer/publisher of My Fashion E-Mall Blog, and biz owner at Books About Me. For additional powerful business articles and Internet marketing tips for maintaining a lucrative home business subscribe to her newsletter below.

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Apr 27, 2015

Awesome Reasons Why Working From Home Is So Cool

Awesome Reasons Why Working From Home Is So Cool

Many people might agree that working at home just may be the coolest thing ever. To reconfirm that notion, below I'm listing awesome reasons why working from home is so cool:

Freedom

The freedom to set your own hours. The freedom to dress as you please. The freedom to work at your own pace. The freedom to call it a day at whatever time you want. The freedom to take a day off. The freedom to go outside and smell the flowers. Those are definite cool reasons why working from home is awesome! Do you agree?

No traffic

No traffic is another cool reason why working from home is awesome. Finding a company that allows you to work from your home means no commute traffic. Starting your own online successful home based business and making money with your computer is even sweeter.

Choose your own breaks

If you want a coffee break, a break to go outside for a long walk or a break just to gather your thoughts, you can decide. There is no one to snitch on you to your boss because you are the boss. ;)

You can work anywhere

With the portability of laptops and smartphones today you don’t have to work in just one place. If you feel like going to Starbucks for a coffee, bring your laptop. Listening to someones conversation can inspire you to come up with ideas on just about anything you put your mind too.

Control your environment

If you're anything like me then you love working with music. I can listen to whatever I want when I'm working. As a matter of fact, I prefer working with music; it helps me keep sane and helps my creative juices flow naturally. Or if you prefer quiet then you can control that to. The flexibility to decide how you want your environment to be whether it's noise vs. non noise is all up to you. Now isn't that cool!?

A neater and cleaner home

How many times have you come home from work planning to do some work around the house only to realize you are too tired? You end up working all weekend long never getting any real R&R. However, being at home you can have work breaks. They say a change is as good as a rest. Break your home chores up and do them bits at a time. By the time the weekend roles around it will be all fun and play because all your chores will be done.

Taking care of family

Chances are if you have a partner, one of you will be employed outside the home and if you have kids, they would be at school. So having a hot meal prepared for them when they return home is only the right thing to do. Remember, working at home is a privilege. Show those that support your decision how much they are also appreciated.

The possibilities to earn an incredible living off the Internet

The Internet has provided many people with the opportunity of working from the comfort of their homes earning an incredible amount of money. With the Internet today the world is truly your oyster...take advantage!

What do you think about the above awesome reasons why working from home is so cool? Do you agree? Please share your comments below.

About the author: Sonia Colon is writer/publisher of My Fashion E-Mall Blog, The Biz Buzz of A Latina Mom and biz owner at Books About Me. For additional powerful business articles and Internet marketing tips for maintaining a lucrative home business subscribe to her newsletter.

 

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Apr 21, 2015

Top 7 Business Tips to Tweet Effectively

Top 7 Business Tips to Tweet Effectively

Tweeting effectively is about building relationships, engaging with your followers, and being genuinely approachable. If you provide interesting and consistent tweets that offer help and/or advice, you will continue to have a flow of followers.

Check out the following Top 7 Business Tips to Tweet Effectively:

1. Engage with your followers

Reply and re-tweet the posts of your followers. You might find that someones tweet may benefit your own followers. Search for opportunities where YOU will be able to offer advice and/or help. Engage on what others are tweeting about and create an ongoing relationship. Don't just tweet for the sake of tweeting. Make your tweets irresistible!

2. Use hashtags

Every twitter conversation has a topic with a hashtag(#) and a time. If you're promoting an event, make sure and use a hashtag(# symbol) to promote it. Sign up with tweetchats.com and allow people to converse with you in real time.

3. Use twitter search

Use Twitter search and see what people are talking about in real time by using targeted keywords and/or phrases. Check out Google Trends and also hashtags.org to see what topics are currently trending.

4. Make you own tweets effective

Your tweets should consist of effective quality content. Tweet about links that will be beneficial to your followers. Tweet about your new posts, new products, services, events, breaking news, status updates, contests and discounts to attract your current followers and retain new customers.

5. Use schedulers to update your status automatically

If you own a small business, it is important to use a tool that manages your social media communications like HootSuite.com which allows you to manage and monitor your social networks. Schedule your tweets from 9a.m., 11 a.m., noon, 3 p.m., and 6 p.m. eastern standard time (est.)

6. Analyze your social media network

Remember and always analyze your social media network efforts to measure your overall effectiveness. Identify what does and does not work for your business. Klout.com is a great tool for this! You can also clean up your Twitter account with ManageFlitter.com.

7. Monetize your tweets

Check out the following video tutorial on how to monetize your tweets:

You want to be able and get the following emails when you use SponsoredTweets:

jan 6 paid sponsoredtweets

january 20 paid sponsoredtweets

february 3 paid sponsoredtweets

february 17 paid sponsoredtweets

There's certainly more emails like these where that came from but I think you get the idea. ;) The amounts above can add up fast to larger figures from reputable sponsoredtweets BIG brands. All you have to do is put in the effort of effective tweet marketing. Check it out today!

Are you using the above top 7 business tips to tweet effectively? Please leave your comments below.

About the author: Sonia Colon is writer/publisher of My Fashion E-Mall Blog, The Biz Buzz of A Latina Mom and biz owner at Books About Me. For additional powerful business articles and Internet marketing tips for maintaining a lucrative home business subscribe to her newsletter.

Get Sponsored by Big Brands
 

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