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Got A New iPad For Christmas? Here’s How To Get Started

Electronics are a popular gift choice for many people around the holidays. After all, they are both sleek and attractive, and they keep us connected in our fast-paced society. One of the fastest growing electronics markets over the past couple of years is tablets, with the Apple iPad leading the pack by a wide margin. These thin, fast, and capable gadgets are the perfect go-between for smartphones and full-on computers, and are the perfect accessory for anyone who likes to stay connected on the go.

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5 Ways To Connect With Your Customers Via Social Media

Even though typing into a tiny electronic screen may not feel very warm and personal, it’s a fantastic way to make meaningful connections with your clients, future customers, and fans. While nothing can replace an in-person interaction, social media interactions are quickly becoming the most popular means of communication in the marketing world.

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5 Social Media Platforms To Boost Your Small Business

Today’s world is faced paced and new businesses have to jump in with savvy in order to survive. It doesn’t matter how amazing your product or service is if nobody knows about you and you aren’t making an effort to connect with the public. Here’s where social media platforms come in- the ability to insert yourself into the social sphere and be a part of your customers’ lives, both past and future.

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5 Reasons To Use MailChimp For Your Business

In the frenetic world of online marketing, it can be challenging to stand out as a small business owner. You may be overwhelmed with all the options out there for promotion and find yourself confused on which avenues to invest in to bring in clients and sales. Luckily, as time goes on, more user-friendly and effective solutions are being brought to the market and with a little research and learning, you can grow your business with less effort and more style!

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HootSuite Can Help Manage All Your Social Media

There are so many social media options available, it’s hard to know what platform is right for you. Between Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and countless others, there’s at least one good outlet to connect you and your business to your interested and existing customers. Creating a buzz on social media is more difficult than just posting a couple of funny cat videos or copying and pasting quirky quotes. It requires a detailed strategy for how you want your online voice to be heard. For our social media classes at the Digital Workshop Center, we always focus on this key principle to start. Besides time to create the content for social media, you also need to factor in the time to analyze the response. Having a measurable analytic is just as important because it lets you know if what you’re saying online is successfully being received by those who you want to reach. With all of this time needed to create an effective social media campaign, there are tools that have been developed to help alleviate some of the burden. HootSuite is an online management platform that can effectively reduce the amount of time you spend on social media. Started in 2009, HootSuite allows you to manage all your social media from one convenient place. Using HootSuite allows you to more rapidly grow your audience, streamline team workflow and reach audiences with geotargeted features. In addition, HootSuite offers a vast array of analytic tools so you can measure your social media response. One of my favorite things about HootSuite is how user-friendly the interface is. With little to no experience with social media, you can connect all your accounts into one happy place and quickly get started managing them all. Pricing for HootSuite begins with a free package that includes connection for up to five social media accounts, basic analytics and some other fundamentals. If you want to upgrade to its Pro package for about $9 per month, you can receive a wider set of tools. According to Jeffrey Gitomer, an expert on social media and strategy, “Social media is the new cold call.” If you’re going to get involved in social media to try and reach new customers, you need tools like HootSuite to help manage your time better. But always remember that you have to first strategize on your voice and what you’re going to say before you jump into an ever-growing social media world. [Originally published in the Coloradoan on...

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How to Set Up Your LinkedIn Profile

Before filling out your profile and creating a company profile, take a minute or two to write down a few words and phrases that you want to connect to your profile. Keywords, i.e. graphic design, real estate, electrician, programmer, etc. are great. LinkedIn works like Google in terms of SEO (Search Engine Optimization), and your LinkedIn profile is searchable on other search engines. The more places you can put the words that define you and your business, the better. Personal Profile  Upload a picture of yourself (headshot of you smiling). Define your “Professional Headline” (essentially your elevator speech, truncated) – this will show up next to your name everywhere on LinkedIn. It is a great place to tell people what you do. Also keep in mind this is a great place to plug in some of those keywords and phrases. Avoid titles like ‘Owner’ and try to use a description of how you add value or what you do. Think about what you have to offer, what makes you unique, what value you bring and how you can help. You have a unique advantage with the amount of experience you have in your own business, highlight that if you like. It is always easy to change so don’t worry about getting it absolutely perfect the first time. Be sure to include a link to your website under the websites section. You can change the ‘title of the website’ that shows up on your profile.  Often times people won’t change that and all you will see is a link to “website.” Edit the ‘name’ and call it something like “Aspen Grove Marketing Website.”  Something more descriptive. Public Profile Section (just below where you list your website – click ‘edit’)– this is the section that allows you to change your ‘privacy settings.’ Your LinkedIn profile is searchable on LinkedIn as well as other search engines. I have mine pretty open because I want to show up in searches and I want people to be able to see what I have done and my recommendations even if they aren’t connected to me. This section also allows you to choose a custom URL. Take a look through this section and while you are here,  get a custom URL as well (i.e. http://www.linkedin.com/in/amyalcorn). Summary – similar to an executive summary of your resume. Tell the world who you are and what you can do. Outline your professional niche, highlight unique skills. This is more about you and your skills where the position description can be more about your work and success stories etc. Specialties – this is a great place to plug in keywords and showcase your ‘specialties’. Add positions like you would in your resume. Fill out the position descriptions fully and try to include some of the keywords and phrases. Think about what you would tell a potential client. A little more than an elevator speech but not a novel. Highlight success stories or problems solved as well. Connections – It is good to work on growing these. ***When you send connection requests or ask for recommendations, ALWAYS personalize the message. DO NOT leave the standard “I’d like to add you to my professional network” bit that LinkedIn pre-populates for you. If is it someone you may not know as well, tell them how you know them and why you would like to connect. Start asking for more recommendations. You don’t have to get 50 right now, just ask for a couple now and a couple in another month or so. You want to have fresh recommendations. (at least some within the last 6 months)....

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