Category Archives: DIY

27 Tasks Every Marketer Should be able to Perform Online

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There are DIY skills every modern marketer should have in their virtual toolbox to handle the numerous small tasks which need to be frequently performed online. Tackle the simple stuff yourself when you can – quickly and inexpensively – and only outsource the big hairy jobs. So, do you have the digital chops to get the everyday basics out of the way?

You Should Know How To:

1. Customise the branding elements on Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, Pinterest and Google+ (if you have a presence on these platforms).

2. How to activate and deactivate automatic cross-posting between social media platforms.

3. Adjust your personal privacy and visibility settings on Facebook, LinkedIn and Google+.

4. Use permalinks to link to specific posts on blogs, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and Google+.

5. Comment on a blog post, and comment on a comment.

6. Use a wizard tool to manually create one or more of the following social share buttons for a webpage: Facebook Like, Google +1, Twitter Tweet, Pinterest Pin-It or LinkedIn Share.

7. Upload a video file to YouTube, and then embed that same YouTube video back onto your webpage.

8. Subscribe to a specific blog, YouTube channel or podcast series.

9. Apply hashtags to a post, search on specific hashtags within a social media platform, and know the meanings of basic courtesy hashtags such as #HT (hat-tip).

10. Compress the file size of an image for web use, change its horizontal or vertical orientation, or resize it to a specific pixel width and height.

11. Add text as an overlay to a digital image, e.g. general text, a brand name or a URL.

12. Customise the metatitles and meta descriptions on your own webpages or blog posts.

13. Insert a hyperlink into a webpage.

14. Insert an image onto a webpage and add alternate text to it for increased search visibility.

15. Create a basic customised Google Map.

16. Embed an interactive Google Map or a Streetview frame into a webpage.

17. Post an online review for a specific business (and how to delete it later if you choose).

18. Run a search engine keyword query which is limited to blog or forum results from a specific country.

19. Clear cookies from your browser and surf the web anonymously using a free proxy server.

20. Open a Google Analytics account and set up visitor tracking for your website or blog.

21. Scan a QR code, and how to create your own QR codes selecting from multiple response options.

22. Reuse other people’s digital content under the conditions of an assigned Creative Commons licence.

23. Apply Creative Commons licencing to your own original online content.

24. Claim the Google+ Local business listing for your organisation or business.

25. Provide an ‘owner response’ to a Google+ Local review of your organisation or business.

26. Use a free voice and video conferencing platform such as Google+ Hangouts or Skype.

27. View the cached search engine version of a webpage when a website is down or the page has recently been deleted.

 

Image by  Visit Greece



An Interactive & Customised Google Maps Example (Darling Harbour, Sydney, NSW)

I’ve long been a fan of using Google Maps to create customised storyboards. It’s a simple process to create your own layers, but if you’re new to this Google has recently released a step-by-step interactive tutorial – you’ll see it when you log into your Google Maps account.

I’ve created a simple interactive map below centered around Darling Harbour in Sydney. Click on the placemarks to view examples of various media I’ve used: text, images and video. I’ve also embedded the entire customised  map bundle within this blog, but it’s also viewable on Google Maps over here (in satellite view this time).

 



You Can Now Go Your Own Way (thanks to the web and some very accessible technology)

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We live in opportune times. When I started up my own business four years ago, I had a contemporary advantage over those who took the same leap in the years and decades before me: a maturing internet, affordable (wireless) broadband, and cheap online data storage. It meant I could set up shop with less capital, fewer overheads and lower overall risk.

For the younger freelancers and entrepreneurs of today, there’s nothing worthy of note here – it’s all part of the mode du jour (so pervasive it’s rendered invisible). For the rest of us it’s a big set of changes to comprehend – so big in fact that many would-be DIY business types, as well as plenty of established businesses, are struggling to adapt. Phil Simon summarises these trends and opportunities in his latest book, The New Small: How a New Breed of Small Businesses Is Harnessing the Power of Emerging Technologies

How many smart, industrious, insightful people are toiling away within their salaried jobs who want to do their own thing – but don’t – because they’ve overestimated the set-up and running costs? There’s a danger in using outdated reference points to calculate your chances of future success.

Anybody establishing or running a service level business today can pull from a deep bag of new business tools: technological driven mobility, variable cost services, cloud based business applications, scalability (up and down), social media and networking, online search, and outsourcing.

Here are a few of the tools, platforms and processes that modern business folk are taking advantage of (and their approximate costs):


A Business website:  $2000 – $3000-ish. You have to have one of these, and don’t skimp on time or money to get it right. Hire a WordPress coder with good design sense, and get a professional web presence happening. Getting a website built on WordPress is super cost effective: it’s robust, open-source software that any decent programmer can cut code for; it comes with a powerful inbuilt content management system (CMS), giving you full control over your website content; it’s a blog if you want go there (and you should); and it can incorporate more third-party plugins than you can poke a cat at.

A domain name: $25 for 2 years. Cheap as chips.

Hosting: $300-ish pa. Use anyone except ‘Melbourne IT‘ (nothing personal guys, you’re just insanely expensive).

Website search engine optimisation for lead generation : Free. Although a NET:101 workshop will steer you in the right direction, costing  around $650 (hey, gotta love the way I managed to slip that one in); or buy a decent online search book for $20.

Logo design: $300-ish. Try 99 Designs (I’m going to cop serious stick from my locally based graphic design friends for suggesting this).

Business cards: $0. Why bother? Grab other people’s business cards and connect with them on LinkedIn.

Laptop: $759 – adequate… or $1799 for something with a few street smarts.  Add $200 for MS Office if you need to.

VOIP number: $72 pa. Rent a ‘local landline’ Skype number and have it redirected through to your laptop, mobile phone or any landline in the world you happen to be sitting next to at the time.

Social media platforms: Blogs, Twitter, YouTube, LinkedIn, Facebook, Google+. Free, excepting the cost of your time to make them hum. You’ll need a strategy and a long-term commitment to make these business tools work properly.

Communal office space: $600-ish/month. Popping up in capital cities such as Sydney or Melbourne, and probably coming to a city/ town near you soon. The ‘kitchen table office’ wears thin quickly.

Wireless broadband: $60-ish/month. Your mobile connection to everybody and everything, everywhere.

Smart phone/ office phone: $50/month. Android, iPhone or Blackberry, take your pick. Browser capability and business apps in your hand and on the go is an extraordinary business development.

Online contact management system: $20-ish/ month. I use Highrise, but there are plenty of others.

Online accounting system: $25-ish/month. I use Saasu.

Online business apps: Free/ freemium. Too many to list, but I use Google apps, Gmail, and Google Sites as a wiki (yikes, I sound like a Google fanboy!).

Outsourcing: $10-25 hour. I use an Australian virtual PA, and a Ukrainian graphic designer. All made possible by utilising many of the tools listed above.

Many of the more traditional (fixed) costs of running a business can now be shifted across to variable costs. I could even relocate my business to another part of the world with very little disruption and expense, as so little of my business infrastructure is physically anchored anywhere.

But putting the technology to one side, you’ll still need a good product/ service at a value driven price point, a solid professional network, and a positive business reputation worthy of word-of-mouth referral. The importance of these few things is timeless.

 

Image by Irit & Ophir Maor