Big data is hot -- and getting bigger fast. Just what is it? Here's a great infographic from Asigra that helps explain this concept.
A new survey of more than 1,500 B2B marketing professionals found that their #1 challenge in 2012 was creating enough content. What does this mean for 2013? More opportunities for content writers.
This finding is probably no surprise to most marketers -- most of us just can't find enough hours in the day to create all the content we need. However, it suggests that more companies will be looking to outsource some of their writing needs through freelancers -- and through services like Elance, oDesk.com, Fiverr and Guru.com.
The results/article by Social Media Examiner also looks at other major content marketing trends for the coming year.
Does this match with your experience? Do you expect to outsource content writing in 2013? Leave your comments below!
Wise Penny has a new phone number! You can now reach the office by calling 303-656-9457. As always, you can also connect by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
So excited to share this guest post today from my friend and former colleague Gail Van Wart!
Fresh out of college and ready to roll. Business ideas have been brewing for a couple of years and you just can’t wait to get started. You finally merge onto the highway only to discover, a short way down the road, all your passion and education will run into a roadblock if you don’t know when and where to change lanes. The road to success has to be traveled with creative marketing and flexible planning.
Planning is a must. Yes, you’ve heard that before, and as long as you are in business, you’ll continue to hear it over and over again. It’s important to know what your goals are, and, perhaps even more important, to know when to change them. A good plan is a plan that works. If your plan is not working out as well as it looked on paper, it may be time to haul into a rest area and take a better look at your road map. Sometimes, all you may need to do is take a little detour, other times you could realize you need a whole new route. Don’t be afraid to admit it if you took a wrong turn, that’s the only way you’ll be able to change directions and reach your goals.
Marketing is just as important as planning. Without it your plan will never get out of the driveway. Sure, marketing is easy if you’re rich and famous. But, what do you do if you have neither money nor reputation? Answer: gorilla marketing. You do everything you can, every day, to get the word out without cost or at low cost. Take advantage of free directory and business listings, become a social media whizz, connect on the web in as many ways as possible, link your online media together, and utilize key words to target your audience. Use community bulletin boards — in short, become visible in your business community.
For example, Matt, who, coincidently, really is fresh out of New England School of Communication, is building his business on the side while working at a local television station as an early morning news director. He loves his new job at the station; however, his passion for being behind the lens of a camera takes over in the afternoon and evening and seems to be developing into a nice little sideline for him. He can’t afford to invest in a personal domain but did a little research on the Internet and found webs.com offers a free website. Of course there are advanced levels to his webs.com site he can grow into, for a fee, to provide better visibility. Since Matt has linked www.adamsstudioproductions.webs.com with his social media, the simple and free site works well for now and provides a nice online presence he can refer interested parties to.
Another important marketing strategy Matt uses is networking, or partnering, with other businesses offering different, yet coordinating, services to his target audience. Matt’s video and photography services compliment the limousine and DJ services he has teamed up with. This arrangement provides each business with a wider range of promotional opportunities and they all profit as a team.
If you are going to spend any hard earned cash while starting a new venture, purchase good old-fashion business cards. They’re inexpensive and a time proven method of connecting to customers. Business cards can be dropped off at places potential clients frequent and you can also place them directly into their hands. They’re often passed around, like word of mouth.
Basically, if you don’t stray from your business goals and spend your money wisely, you will reach your destination successfully, even if you hit a few bumps in the road or have to get out and push now and then along the way.
Gail J. VanWart
Out of the Blue LLC
@Outofthebluellc on Twitter
Want to share your computer screen with someone in another city, state, or country? Join.Me is one of the best tools I've found to help get the point across -- and it's free.
Join.Me is a live screen sharing program, so if you want to show someone how to use a software program, share a PowerPoint presentation, review edits to a document, run a webinar, etc., you can do it all (and share with up to 250 people) by clicking to share your screen and providing your audience with the number code you're given. Viewers simply go to the Join.Me website, enter the code, and view exactly what's happening on your screen.
Join.Me also allows you to share files with viewers, chat, and enable audio during the presentation. You can get downloads to view on mobiles, as well.
Join.Me does have paid Pro options for business as well (yep, it's a freemium!), but if you don't need to switch presenters, have a meeting scheduler or international conference lines, you'll probably be fine with the free version.
Check it out and let me know what you think!
Need help creating a legal document for your family or small business? Get started for free with Rocket Lawyer.
I just learned about Rocket Lawyer from a new client this week. The organization has a great site with tools to help you create customized legal documents of all kinds -- wills, health and medical forms, tax audit forms, real estate documents, terms of agreement, articles of incorporation, non-disclosure agreements and hundreds more.
Got a quick legal question? They can offer assistance -- and if you need to find a fair rate for a lawyer in your area, they can help with that, too, because they have pre-negotiated reduced rates with local attorneys.
Check it out -- and leave your comments below!
Found a great new free resource this week! If (like me) you often need to find vector images (that's line-based, not pixel-based) for client designs or your small business projects, check out Freedesign4.me. This site offers free vector graphics, icons, Photoshop graphics, 3D illustrations and more -- and all for free.
The site also offers tutorials for techniques in Photoshop, After Effects, Flash and more. Check it out!
Got other image resources you love? Share below!
Today's the day for the World Launch of IPv6. If you don't know what this is and what it means for your small business (or your smartphone), read on!
IPv6 has to do with IP (Internet Protocol) addresses for all devices that connect to the Internet, including laptops, smartphones, etc. Until recently, IP addresses were composed of 12-digit/32-bit numbers (and the system was known as version four, or IPv4) but with the explosive growth in the number of web-enabled devices, the world ran through the supply of about 4.3 billion addresses.
The solution? Create a new IP system that offers 16-digit/128-bit addresses with both letters and numbers. This new protocol is known as IPv6. Most operating systems (such as Windows) and major Internet players (like Google and Facebook) planned ahead and have been preparing for the new system, and fortunately, IPv4 and IPv6 devices are now working at the same time, but ultimately, all devices will need to transition to IPv6.
How can I prepare my home and small business?
Most homes and small businesses won't need to do much to prepare for IPv6, but to start, you should run a test on your computer or other Internet-enabled device(s) by clicking here. This test will not only tell you if your device and browser are ready, but also if your Internet Service Provider (ISP) is prepared for the new system. Once you run the test, you'll be able to find more information about making the change to the new protocol.
For more information about IPv6 and tips for making the transition, click to view this article by PCMag.
Got questions or comments? Let us know!
Creating a new print brochure as part of your marketing efforts? Great! Before you rush off to a designer (or design a brochure yourself), there are four questions you'll want to ask first.
You see, creating a brochure is a lot like writing a news release – if you figure out the who, what, where and how before you start designing, you'll save yourself time, hassle, and possibly a lot of money in the process. Here are 4 key questions to consider in your planning:
Of course, a final (and highly important) question to ask before you get started is "How much?" Set up a budget for the project so that you (or your designer) can use that number as a guide during design, printing, and mailing.
Need help designing a great brochure? Contact Wise Penny! Got suggestions or ideas? Add your comments here!
Did your small business get hit by the Penguin? Google's recent algorithm update affected the ranking of a lot of sites -- including small businesses. If your ranking dropped, there are a number of things you can do to start climbing back up.
The bottom line: Google continues to crack down on "black hat" SEO techniques, so if you've been using them, it's time to diversify your traffic sources and get those "white hat" tactics rolling.
Here's an article from Search Engine Journal with tips for doing just that!
Got comments or other suggestions? Leave them here!