Tag: Go Daddy

3 Tips to Make You a Fierce Public Speaker

By Andrea Rowland, GoDaddy

Fear of public speakingI’m afraid of sharks. So scared, in fact, that I once turned down a chance to snorkel over one of the most teeming-with-tropical-fish (prey) reefs in the world because I read that reef was a favorite hunting spot for Caribbean reef sharks. My sister told me it was one of the most amazing experiences of her snorkeling life. And I missed the boat, so to speak.

You don’t want to let your fear prevent you from taking advantage of any amazing opportunities, do you?

Fear of public speaking (aka Glossophobia) is the most common phobia in the world. It’s more common that the fear of dying, spiders, heights and the dark. (Sharks don’t even make the Top 10, surprisingly). Nearly three-quarters of us are afraid to talk in front of a group of people. Seventy-four percent  to be exact.

Think about how many opportunities your Glossophobia is keeping from you.

If you’re a small business owner, speaking engagements are an incredible way to get information about your products or services in front of targeted groups and to help establish your credibility in your field. That face-to-face interaction with a group of people — potential customers, maybe, or social media-savvy listeners who will share your message with their followers — is priceless for promoting your brand.

Don’t be scared; be ready. Here’s how:

  1. Get educated. I’m not afraid of public speaking … now. I used to be, but then I took a college course and learned that speaking in front of a group is just like any other skill for which you need to obtain and hone a set of specific skills. Continuing education courses offered at your local community college and groups such as Toastmasters International® are invaluable resources for gaining those tools.
  2. Plan and practice, practice, practice. Two words: keyword outline. That nifty little tool was just about my greatest takeaway from Speech 101. Instead of outlining every stat and clever quip I planned to unleash on the crowd, I learned to create and memorize a concise outline of key words and phrases that triggered the thoughts I wanted to express, naturally.Confidence comes from understanding your subject matter in and out, from creating a short outline for your speech, and then practicing it over and over again. Video and critique yourself. Stand in front of a mirror. Put on an after-dinner show for your spouse. In the words of the great Mark Twain, “It usually takes me two or three days to prepare an impromptu speech.”
  3. Start small and work up. Sure, the chance to take part in TED Talks might top your list of public speaking goals — and watching these amazing speakers is an inspiring way to learn some awesome speaking tricks — but you’ll want to be at the top of your game before you make that kind of speaking splash. Start with opportunities to speak to smaller groups. If you’re a member of your local Chamber of Commerce, get on its speaker’s circuit. Offer to speak to civic organizations like your community’s Rotary Club or Junior League. Contact local colleges to see if there are opportunities for you to share your real-world expertise.And, when you feel 100-percent comfortable talking to 20 budding entrepreneurs in Business Management 201, start booking engagements with larger groups.

Then you’ll be ready.

Want to learn more? Check out the Mayo Clinic’s advice for overcoming a fear of public speaking.

About the Author:

Andrea RowlandA former small business owner and newspaper journalist, and a published nonfiction author, Andrea Rowland helps craft compelling communications for today’s go-getters through her work as a copy editor at GoDaddy. Connect with Andrea on Google+. The world’s largest domain name registrar and Web hosting provider, GoDaddy gives small business owners the tools to name their idea, build a beautiful online presence, attract customers and manage their business. To get more tips for your small business—including articles, videos and webinars—check out the GoDaddy Training Hub.

 

 

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Mobile-Friendly vs. Mobile-Optimized Design — Decoded

By Kate Harvey, GoDaddy

Mobile-DevicesBy now you know you need your website to be viewable on mobile devices,
 with all the terms swirling around mobile design it can be hard to decipher what are synonyms, trends, and “need to know.” Consider this your decoder ring. Not in the generation that knows what a decoder ring was? Then consider this your cheat sheet for mobile-friendly and mobile-optimized site design.

First and foremost, yes, mobile-friendly and optimized are two different types of websites. If your first thought was “what?!”, don’t worry, you are not alone. Read on and you’ll be talking mobile design speak before you know it!

Mobile websites are separate websites from their desktop counterparts and most use a different domain (many companies use m.domain.com to differentiate the two).

A mobile-friendly site displays a smaller version of the site seen on a desktop. The website does work on mobile devices, though the site user will need to pinch and scroll to see/find things on the site when viewing it on a mobile device. While the experience can be cumbersome for a site user on a mobile device, mobile-friendly site design is currently considered “best practice” by most designers and is a budget-friendly option for website owners.

A more advanced type of website, a mobile-optimized site is reformatted for viewing on mobile devices. Mobile-optimized sites commonly feature simplified navigation with larger navigation buttons (think “thumb-friendly”), edited content (only the most essential information), streamlined site structure, smaller images, etc. Less content and smaller images help decrease load time for a better mobile experience.

Beyond mobile-friendly and optimized sites is responsive design, which automatically adjusts the layout of your website according to the size of the device the site is being viewed on.

Whatever mobile design type your budget currently allows, making sure your website functions on mobile devices is essential. In the design bout of mobile-friendly vs. mobile-optimized sites, the judge rules having a mobile site is essential to winning business success.

About the Author

Kate HarveyWith an extensive background in online marketing, Kate Harvey helps business owners succeed in the world of SEO and SEM as a Search Marketing Specialist and Project Lead at GoDaddy. Connect with Kate on  Google+. The world’s largest domain name registrar and Web hosting provider, GoDaddy gives small business owners the tools to name their idea, build a beautiful online presence, attract customers and manage their business. To get more tips for your small business—including articles, videos and webinars—check out the GoDaddy Training Hub.

 

 

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Close Contact: Make it Easy for Customers to Get in Touch

By Jessica Spart, Godaddy

Is your method of communication antiquated?
Is your method of communication antiquated?

One of the biggest obstacles in any relationship is a lack of communication. How frustrating is it not to be able to connect when you want to talk to someone? We’ve all been there. In business, frustrations can mount when your customers can’t easily contact you.

This usually happens when your business’s contact information isn’t clearly visible on your website and easily findable when searching online. Because that’s how most people look for businesses nowadays. And if your customers can’t find a way to contact you quickly, or worse, they can’t find any contact info for your business at all, they are pretty likely to just stop trying and move on.

Prevent them from taking their business elsewhere because they can’t connect with you quickly and easily. Here’s how:

Give your contact information a place of prominence on your home page.

You don’t want your customers to have to search for your the best way to contact you when they land on your website. Whether you prefer a phone number or email address, be sure to make this info available at first glance — and include your primary contact information on every page of your website. Want more best practice tips for website content? Click here.

Include a Contact page on your website.

Yes, you do need a separate page dedicated to your contact information. Make it simple for customers who want to contact you with a tab on your home page that leads to a page with all of your business’s contact information — phone, email, fax, street address, etc. — plus a contact form they can submit with one click.

Set up a business-class email address.

In our digital age, email is the most common way we communicate. It’s fast and convenient — most people can access their email via their mobile phones, anywhere, anytime. So it just makes sense that your customers will want to reach out to you through email. Make it easy for them.

Set up an email address that leverages your business’s domain name. For example, instead of a generic address like joesbows@gmail.com, you might use joe@joesbows.com (if joesbows.com is your website address). In addition to helping your brand, a business-class email address will be easier for your customers to remember.

Bonus: Business-class email also can make you more productive and boost your credibility.

Leverage your social media profiles.

Include your contact information on all of your social media sites to help customers find your information no matter where they are. Twitter®? Facebook®? Instagram®? Yes, yes, and yes. Not only will that make your current customers happy, but it will help to attract new customers, as well. Interested in some tips for engaging customers via social media? Check out this post.

Show up on search engines and online directories.

Where do more and more people go to figure out how to find local businesses? Easy. Search engines like Google®, Yahoo!®, and Bing® and online directories such as YP.com® (aka YellowPages.com). When your customers type your business’s name into a search engine, you want your info to pop up on sites like Google Places™. If they’re looking for bows from that guy they talked to at the trade show in Topeka (just can’t remember his name), you want “Joe’s Bows” to top the list of results when they search for “bows + topeka!”

You can find out more about getting your contact info found on directories and other go-to consumer sites by clicking here.

See? It’s not too tough to avoid a communication breakdown with your customers. Take a few simple steps to ensure that your business’s contact information is at their fingertips, and you might find your inbox overflowing with new orders.

About the Author:

Jessica SpartJessica Spart is a small business consultant for GoDaddy and a freelance writer based in Arizona. She’s passionate about helping small businesses succeed. Jessica spends her free time reading, running and catching up on her favorite Korean and British TV shows. Connect with Jessica on Google+. The world’s largest domain name registrar and Web hosting provider, GoDaddy gives small business owners the tools to name their idea, build a beautiful online presence, attract customers and manage their business.

 

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Make or Break Business with Local Reviews

By Jessica Spart, Godaddy

thumbs-up-downHow many times have you been stuck trying to decide between two products or services you know relatively little about? Sure, you need a landscaper, but who will pull your weeds and who will just take a weed whacker to them to let them grow back in a week? Now, imagine someone who has experienced the options is laying out the pros and cons for you. The decision suddenly feels a bit more manageable, doesn’t it?

Customer reviews, good or bad, can make or break a business – as can a lack of reviews. Consumers are indecisive by nature, so being listed on local review sites could be just the confidence boost your customers need to trust you.

But, I don’t want people to say bad things about me. Truth is, you can’t please everyone. It should be assumed that some people might not like you, your product or your services. Yet there is a greater chance that if you do your job right, they will. Haters are going to hate, so why deny your satisfied customers the opportunity to sing your praises?

There is a lot to be said for honest and unfiltered feedback—and your customers know this. If you’re worried about negative reviews, the best thing is to ask for feedback  from your all of your customers, especially the happy ones.

I am bad, and that’s good. As anyone who has ever used Amazon.com® knows, not all negative reviews are bad. While it is true that there are plenty of unhappy consumer responses out there, there are plenty more who had unrealistic expectations, misunderstood the star system, or were unhappy about something else entirely.

When your customers have the chance to review negative reviews along with positive ones, they understand what realistic expectations they should have. One person’s con is another person’s pro. Two stars because the gas-powered weed whacker left a stench in its wake? I give it five stars because that landscaper chose gas over electric. Negative review neutralized.

Make bad reviews work for you. Then again, some people have very legitimate complaints. If you sell a red shirt that instantly dyes everything in the washer pink, then maybe you need to consider not selling that shirt anymore. If a number of customers complain about you or your staff, you should examine which behaviors are causing a problem. Use the negative reviews as coaching opportunities. Ask yourself, “What can I do to rectify this?” It’s important to make sure you give your customers as many reasons as possible to like you and your products or services.

No one ever likes to hear that they’re doing something wrong, but sometimes a little honesty can go a long way in helping us achieve our goals. Negative reviews can help you re-evaluate potential problem areas, while positive reviews help customers relay what you’re doing well.

Hiding to avoid negative reviews at the expense of the positive ones is one of the fastest ways to cause customers to lose faith in you. Honesty is the best policy for a reason. Get connected to local business review sites, lay it all out on the table, and trust that your customers will make better decisions when they can make informed ones.

About the Author:

Jessica SpartJessica Spart is a small business consultant for GoDaddy and a freelance writer based in Arizona. She’s passionate about helping small businesses succeed. Jessica spends her free time reading, running and catching up on her favorite Korean and British TV shows. Connect with Jessica on Google+. The world’s largest domain name registrar and Web hosting provider, GoDaddy gives small business owners the tools to name their idea, build a beautiful online presence, attract customers and manage their business.

 

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3 Tips for Handling Unflattering Comments About Your Business Online

By Genevieve Tuenge, GoDaddy

Complaint_Department_please_take_a_number

The Internet is a magnet for opinions, especially on social platforms like Facebook® and Twitter® and review sites such as Yelp® and Google+ Local. This can be a magnificent thing for small business owners with an online presence —word-of-mouth advertising in the digital age. In fact, 70 percent of consumers trust online consumer reviews. Wow, what an opportunity!

But what happens when your business gets a less-than-flattering review? How should you respond if an unsatisfied customer posts a remark about their hot lunch coming out cold, their widget arriving late in the mail, or their shrubs pruned a few inches too close?

Sure, your business is awesome and you get positive feedback all the time, but every once in a while you might come across an unhappy customer who decides to unload their thoughts for everyone to see. You can influence sentiment, however, by handling their remarks correctly.

Check out three ways to turn negative feedback into a chance to improve your customer service experience and develop a loyal clientele:

  1. Be Attentive. If customers post negative comments about your products or services (or, as unfortunately sometimes happens, you) the last thing you want them to feel is neglected. Address their concerns immediately to show you take their feedback seriously.
  2. Be Genuine. Consumers can smell a canned response. You’ll lose your opportunity to regain customers’ lost confidence if they perceive your reply as insincere. Take the time to understand their concerns and communicate thoughtfully – making it personal and real.
  3. Be Available. Give your disappointed customers your phone number or email address to reach you at any time, especially if they run into more problems. Of course, you also should make sure your business’s contact information is displayed prominently on your website and various online listings.

Do your business a favor by joining the growing ranks of small business owners who make it a point to engage with their customers through social media—even if that interaction starts with responding to negative feedback. For more helpful tips, see 5 Ways to Handle Negative Comments in Social Media  .

Genevieve TuengeGenevieve Tuenge is a Content Editor and Writer for GoDaddy, focused on website builder and marketing applications for small businesses. As an avid supporter of local mom-and-pop shops, her No. 1 goal is to give small businesses the tools and information they need to thrive online. Connect with Genevieve on Google+  .

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Own your business? Own your domain.

By Erik Wong, Tech Consultant with GoDaddy

Own your business? Own your domain.

Owning a business is hard. After months of paperwork, planning, and heavy lifting, you have finally opened your doors, and things are going smoothly. What do you do next? There is, of course, the obligatory celebration (you earned it!), but just because you are up and running doesn’t mean you should just sit back and let the customers trickle in. Heck no! Now is the best time to be proactive, maximize your returns, and take your services to your customers.

Now is the time to get a domain name. If you don’t know what a domain name is, check out Domain Name Basics. While the benefits are numerous, there are a few standout reasons why you should seriously consider registering a domain.

Credibility: The most important reason is credibility. We live in the Internet age, and like it or not, the Web plays an integral role in the human experience. You want to ride the wave of the future, not paddle behind it. A domain (with an attached website) gives your business serious street credit with customers. Nowadays, they expect businesses to have an online presence.

Brand Protection: With more than 23 million small businesses in the United States, there is always a strong possibility of overlap. How many other nail salons in the country share the same name as you? How many corner stores, Italian restaurants, or car dealerships have stumbled into the same catchy moniker? It’s critical to protect your brand by registering at least one domain that represents it. That domain then will help guide customers to a business website that reflects your unique brand.

Search Engine Optimization: Speaking of your competitors — do they already have websites? Are they listed on Google® or Bing®? If they are, you need to catch up. If they’re not, congrats, you’ll have a leg up on them. A well-considered domain—especially a name that strikes a balance between brand recognition and target keywords—can help your business rank higher in search engine results. If you don’t already know the importance of getting found through search engines, check out this post about Search Engine Optimization.

Email: Last, but not least, one of the biggest benefits of having your own domain name is the opportunity to have branded email. This is a big one. Anyone in the world can have a Gmail® or Hotmail® account, but you aren’t just anyone. You’re a business owner, and you mean business! Sometimes the smallest details can make the largest difference in people’s impression of you. Would you rather book your anniversary dinner through “chuckyx13@hotmail.com” or “reservations@examplerestaurant.com?” That’s what I thought.

If you are a business owner without an online presence, hopefully now you understand not only the importance of domain names, but also the vast realm of possibilities they’ll offer your company. Register a domain. Own your future.

Erik Wong with GoDaddyErik Wong is a small business/tech consultant for GoDaddy and a freelance pop-culture writer. He has written a regular column for a current events blog, and his commentary has been featured on realclearpolitics.com. Connect with Erik on Google+.

 

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