Category Archives: “Just Nancy”

Facebook for Business Part One

Customers and prospects will connect with you on Facebook.
Customers and prospects will connect with you on Facebook.

Using Facebook for business makes perfect sense and should be in every businesses marketing arsenal. Facebook is where your customers spend time and so it makes sense that you should be spending time there to connect.

However, be smart about using Facebook for business with my tips on what to share, frequency, and Facebook advertising.

My tips to using Facebook for business:

Connect your website
Before you start, connect your website to your business Facebook page and not your personal page. Assure that the link you click on your site does not open the user’s Facebook page to comment about your page, but actually takes you to your own Facebook business page.

Setup your Facebook business page right
Make sure you have an attractive cover photo and use your logo or your own picture as the business page’s profile picture. Make sure you take time to add a nice about us section, your address and phone number. Do not cut corners by using your personal Facebook page for your business. Keep personal separate from business.

Start posting regularly on Facebook
Post three times a week to your Facebook business page when you start out. Book the time in your calendar in the morning before you start your day to write something for your page. I use Hootsuite to write and schedule my updates so that I can write them at 7:00 am and send them out at 9:00 am. Just be consistent so you start to build page content.

Encourage customers and prospects to connect
In your blog posts and any outreaches you do, make sure to link to and point to your Facebook business page. Try to drive traffic there in all you do as part of your marketing program.

Check back on Wednesday to find out about likes, comment moderation, and Facebook advertising.

Make sure to follow our own Facebook business page at https://www.facebook.com/mccordweb. You’ll always find something interesting to read there.

Free Apps in the Microsoft Store

Gotta Love the Microsoft Store
Gotta Love the Microsoft Store

The Microsoft App Store, what’s not to love? I love apps and I love free things – that really work. If you have not checked out the Microsoft Store attached to your Windows 10 desktop product, I encourage you to take a look.

Here are several that I use nearly daily – that really work and are really free.

9Zip
Need a free zip utility, tired of buying a zip tool when you really feel that there should be a free one out there that’s easy to use? Get 9Zip from the Microsoft Store. It is easy to use and I am using my version replacing my paid version of WinZip.

HP Scan and Capture
Now this is one super handy app. I use it more than the software that came with my HP printer. The super easy to use interface talks right to your printer and scanner and you are up and running in a snap!

Free Games
Need a solitaire break? Love interactive puzzles? The Microsoft Store has you covered, and many for free. I don’t have any games installed yet as I just upgraded my drives and need to reinstall programs and apps, but my first pick will be the Microsoft App Store.

(P.S. I am not being paid by Microsoft for this review, I just love the Microsoft Store and wanted to share the things I liked best with you.)

Amazon Echo – I Love You Alexa

Gotta Love the Amazon Echo
Gotta Love that Amazon Echo

I got an Amazon Echo a week ago and I want to say that I love you Alexa!

Not only am I a huge fan of Amazon and an Amazon Prime Member, but I love technology and the Amazon Echo embraces all of these items very nicely. Plus it has made my life easier.

Here’s what I like best about Amazon Echo

Shopping Lists
No one in my family has an excuse any more for not putting something on our shopping list. Just say “Alexa, add provolone cheese to the shopping list.” The item appear instantly in my smartphone Alexa app and I can tick off items as I buy them. Even things added at home by my kids appear while I am at the grocery store. This solves the problem of my kids forgetting to put milk or toilet paper on the list!

Music and Sounds
I have a stressful day and so I love to start my day out with bird sounds. I don’t need to think about getting a bird anymore, just apply the skill for Ambient Noise Bird Sounds and then say “Alexa, play bird sounds.” My kids even tell me that they like waking up to the sounds in the morning.

Prime Music
Not sure you want to buy a track or CD? Just play free Prime Music through Alexa and you can be jamming out! Love the track, buy it right then with Alexa.

I have to say, that getting the Amazon Echo was one of the coolest things that I have done recently that has improved my life. Got to Love Technology! Thanks Amazon.

P.S. I was not paid by Amazon for this blog post. I bought the Echo and loved it and wanted to share why with you.

Want More Sales – What’s Your Polish Look Like?

Be on target to assure you make the right impression with your website.
Be on target to assure you make the right impression with your website.

Your website is all about more sales! That’s the reason you’ve hung out your shingle, but are you hurting leads and sales by having a website that’s not polished enough?

Polish is not about having fashion models in your content photos, although attractive people in your pics will not hurt, it is about the details.

These details communicate visually your professionalism and instill confidence in prospects when they visit. It’s the look and feel and you’ve got 10 seconds to make a favorable impression!

Here are my top polish points to check out on your own site.

Content blocks on the home page
These just must be the same word count and line up horizontally. When you have three different sized boxes it just looks bad.

Blog post excerpts in your footer
Control the word count! There are plugins you can use to assure your excerpt stays the same word count. Make sure to use them so you do not have giant blocks of blog content making the bottom of your website page look like jagged teeth.

Photos with no smiles
Staff photos where everyone looks grim or the business owner is frowning should be updated. Look approachable, you don’t have to be a model, but a pleasant look on your face is important.

Photos where the clothing is too casual
Owner and staff photos are important. If you work in a professional arena like a dentist or doctor – wear a white coat, lawyers – wear a suit, business owners – the higher dollar figure your sale, the more dressed up you should be. Polo shirts and super casual wear is great for your photo if your customers and competitors will be wearing those types of clothes. Careful – what you wear impacts your site’s polish and communicates professionalism.

Blog posts that are off topic that don’t match what you sell
If you blog yourself for your own website, make sure that you create and stick to a content strategy that works to build keyword density and authority  for your website.  Keep the your website’s polish going by being on topic.  Blogging is not your online journal, but rather a way to build authority with search engines and provide new fodder for search engine robots.

If you need help polishing your site, we provide consulting services to help your site improve in appearance and polish. Find out more today.

Introducing Our Summer Intern, William McCord

William McCord, Our Summer Intern
William McCord, Our Summer Intern

William McCord, my 20 year old son, has joined the firm for the summer in a Computer Science internship.

William is a rising Junior in Computer Science with an interest in programming, GIS, and cyber security at the University of Mary Washington in Fredericksburg, Virginia.

With a passion for computer programming, he is already helping to implement and tweak complex scripts for AdWords account management as well as fine-tuning his HTML and CSS skills for website design.

This summer, he will be focusing on WordPress management, site design customization, website security, mobile-friendly e-newsletters, and AdWords script programming.

He is a incredibly fast learner, innovative, and a hard worker. We are excited to welcome him into our office.

The Trouble with Travel

The Trouble with Travel is Staying Connected.
The Trouble with Travel is Staying Connected.

Travel, it’s fun and exciting, but the trouble with travel is that internet and phone connectivity can bring your business to a halt fast!

Here’s How I Handle the Trouble with Travel

  1. Be prepared.
  2. Stay powered up with portable power packs.
  3. Make sure you have a mobile phone Travel Pass.
  4. Review connectivity in your destinations.
  5. Be prepared to pay for Internet access at hotels.
  6. Get your files into the cloud for easy access.
  7. Have an answering service or staff for backup.
  8. Don’t take on any work that has deadlines close to your trip.
  9. Take a tablet and a smartphone. No need for a laptop.
  10. Create a customer care plan in your absence.

I have personally found that US travel is easier for me than international travel, but with the right tools and expectations, international travel can also be managed easily enough.

Internet connectivity does allow me to work anywhere in the world, but all Internet connections and data networks are NOT equal. I try to keep things I really need to be connected to for an hour each night at the hotel purchasing hi-speed Internet access. I use data for quick responses to emails with my smartphone through out the day.

The more you travel, the better you get at managing what you can do and what you’d better defer to your return home.

If you have your own travel tips you live by, share them by clicking comments.