Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Local ad Link Kelowna Localadlink Canada – Opportunity or waste of time?

Last week I received many calls from friends and clients concerning a company called local ad link or

They are a Multi Level Marketing (MLM) company from the US with a new opportunity that leverages the Internet to help businesses get found locally in the Kelowna Okanagan market place.

The calls I received indicated that the invitees at the meetings seem void of any true Internet knowledge. So I made six calls to local website development companies that I have had a relationship with and realised that no one from these reputable firms had been invited to any of the recruitment meetings.

Red Flag!!!!!!!!!!

Earlier this week one of my clients asked me to attend a meeting with them to get a second opinion.

I must share with you that after the third slick video presentation I was ready to leave, and we did!

It seems to me that all the hype, plays on people’s ignorance about the Internet.

Everything that they claimed, can be done by an eleven year old with free tools offered by Google.

As far as a money making venture ....possibly, but for how long!!!

This is the advice I am giving to my clients.

Focus on your own business development and live your dream instead of a quick cash grab opportunity.

For further opinions see the links below.....

Donald RobichaudFloodLight Consulting

Friday, March 20, 2009

How To Build Your Business Using Blogs in Kelowna Canada

Generate Traffic, Create Publicity, and Build Your Bottom Line Using Blogs

Blogging is sweeping the Internet. It’s estimated that there are at least 8 million blogs in the US alone, 32.5 million worldwide!

Most of those blogs are individual diaries, but many businesses have started their own blogs.
To great success!

But What Is A Blog?

A blog is basically a program that, once installed on your website, enables you to simply type into a form and, when you press submit, it is automatically and immediately uploaded to the web. It's a quick and easy way to publish your content to the web.

Why (Almost) Every Business Needs A Blog

1. Blogs make it incredibly easy to publish to the web - you simply type, press submit, and you’re done.

2. Blogs are a very inexpensive way to publish to the web - once a blog has been established, anyone, even the most technologically challenged, can create blog entries. No more paying an outside contractor an hourly rate or taking your IT guy off of his assigned tasks to do a page for you.

3. Blogging is a fast way to publish - you simply type and submit. It doesn’t take an hour to structure the page, debug the code and work it into your link system. It just happens.

4. Blogging is immediate - no more waiting a week for the programmer to get around to your site changes. You can literally react on a moment-by-moment basis with a blog, putting your point of view on a crisis or other issue for the public and press to view immediately.

5. Blogs are a great way to get your site noticed by the search engines - search engines love blog entries. Many people who have blogs have discovered that their blog entries are getting faster inclusion in the search engine, and more importantly, higher rankings on the search engines. Try it for yourself, you may be surprised!

As further evidence of this, Google owns Blogger, one of the most widely used blogging tools available. Why not work with a technology that is seen by the leading search engine as important enough to actually own?

6. Blogs can be used for a wide variety of content - you don’t have to just write about one thing in a blog, the possibilities are endless.

7. You can have multiple blogs - once you’ve made the initial investment to set up and structure a blog, it’s usually very simple to add a new blog for other purposes.

8. Blogs are great for communicating within your organization - blogs don’t have to be public. They can be on intranets, behind firewalls, and/or password protected. This, plus their ease of use, makes them a great source for internal communications, project tracking, issue resolution, etc.

9. Blogs are a great way to position your company in the eyes of your customers, your industry, and the press. Blogs can be used to support whatever positioning you wish to achieve: superiority, innovation, playful, giving, environmentally concious, etc.)

10. Blogs are a great way to get your company’s content onto the sites of other people (oftentimes, your competitors!) We’re going to discuss this in much more detail later, but almost all blogs have a syndication feature built into them that makes it easy for you to put your content out for others to include on their websites. This means that a portion of the work you produce (usually the headline and the first few words of the copy) can be picked up by and shown on other sites. Then, when that site’s visitor clicks for more information, they show up at your site. Most good business bloggers are discovering that this feature is bringing in a substantial amount of additional traffic to their sites than they received before.

And the most important reason for a business to blog?

11. Blogs convert into sales and profits - those companies who actively use blogs as part of their marketing program have discovered that blogs bring in more visitors to your website and that a high percentage of those who visit a blog, if properly influenced through that blog’s content, will actually buy from their company

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Old Growth Media And The Future Of News

In the last few months I have written about the change that is happening in Marketing and Branding and how the traditional mediums of radio TV and news are being affected by the internet.

I am posting this article as it does a great job of walking though the last twenty years of technology and how it has changed what we have come to expect from journalist and the explanation of their survival moving forward.

Donald Robichaud - FloodLight Consulting
The following is a speech given at the South By Southwest Interactive Festival in Austin by Steve Berlin Johnson
If you happened to being hanging out in front of the old College Hill Bookstore in Providence Rhode Island in 1987, on the third week of every month you would have seen a skinny 19-year-old in baggy pants, sporting a vaguely Morrissey-like haircut, walking into the bookstore several times a day.
That kid was me. I wish I could tell you that I was making those compulsive return visits out of a passionate love of books. While I do, in fact, have a passionate love of books, and bought plenty of them during my college years, I was making those tactical strikes on the College Hill Bookstore for another reason.

I was looking for the latest issue of MacWorld.

I had learned from experience that new issues of the monthly magazine devoted to all things Macintosh arrived at College Hill reliably in the third week of the month. Yes, you could subscribe, but for some reason, subscription copies tended to arrive a few days later than the copies in the College Hill bookstore. And so when that time of the month rolled around, I’d organize my week around regular check-ins at College Hill to see if a shipment of MacWorlds had landed on their magazine rack.
This was obsessive behavior, I admit, but not entirely irrational. It was the result of a kind of imbalance: not a chemical imbalance, an information imbalance. To understand what I want to say about the future of the news ecosystem, it’s essential that we travel back to my holding pattern outside the College Hill Bookstore -- which continued unabated, by the way, for three years. It’s essential to travel back because we’re in the middle of an epic conversation about the potentially devastating effect that the web is having on our news institutions. And so if we’re going to have a responsible conversation about the future of news, we need to start by talking about the past.
We need to be reminded of what life was like before the web.
Continue reading "Old Growth Media And The Future Of News" »

Sunday, March 8, 2009

8 Ways to Jump Start Your Kelowna Business in 2009

In doing some research for FloodLight Consulting we came across this great article online at Microsoft PinPoint and recommend it to all Kelowna Entrepreneurs.

Donald Robichaud - FloodLight Consulting

Now is a great time to take a look at the state of your business, reassess your goals, revise practices that could be more effective, and reinforce those that are working well. Here are some things you can do to give your business new life in 2009.

  1. Write (or revisit) your business plan. You may already have a business plan in place, but with the uncertain economy it’s a good idea to revisit your goals and objectives for the next six months, the next year, the next five years. Make your business plan a living document and update it at least quarterly, or even better, every month. It will help you stay on track and more easily adapt to changes in customer demand.

  2. Be known as an expert. You know you are an expert, but if you write, speak, and network like one people will automatically associate you with your niche. You’ll make a much greater impression as the speaker at an event than simply shaking hands and handing out business cards. And you can further build expert status by writing articles for publication, having your own newsletter, or starting a blog.

  3. Define your niche. Many people feel that being more general about what they offer makes them more marketable. Often the opposite is true. Most people want to work with a specialist, and one of the best ways to stand out in a crowded market is to be very specific about what you do and who you do it for.

  4. Become (or hire) a marketing expert. At core marketing means building relationships, being able to speak clearly about the benefits of your offerings, and having conversations with people who might need your products or services. Search the Web for tips, use Pinpoint to find expert help, and talk to other professionals about the marketing efforts that work best for them.

  5. Follow-up with new contacts, maintain connections with current ones. You’ve likely collected numerous business cards, but what have you really done with them? Following up is critical to business success. Consider these ways to keep your company in the front of people’s minds:

  • Send individual e-mails recalling specifics of your conversation with an invitation to visit your Web site.

  • Invite contacts to periodic open houses to see what you do firsthand.

  • Distribute a newsletter or blog that builds your reputation as an expert.

  • Promote special offers to pique contact interest in what you offer.

6. Provide information in addition to your offerings. Build customer trust by providing clear, succinct information about your products and services, with emphasis on the benefits to customers and your expertise in meeting their needs. Providing helpful tips on your Web site where appropriate establishes your credibility and helps customers see how what you do can provide value to them.

7. Keep prices competitive, offer incentives. Everyone is looking for a deal these days. Whether it's reducing your prices, offering something free as incentive on your Web site, or providing additional services to customers when they contact you, doing something above just selling your product or service can give you an edge on your competitors.

8. Promote results and benefits, not processes. Most people don’t care how you help them reach their goals, as long as you do it with integrity, efficiency, and within their budget. Instead of talking about how you work, be clear about your expertise and the changes people can expect from working with you. Get into the habit of asking clients for testimonials and referrals and consider writing (or hiring someone to write) case studies on successful engagements you’ve had. The most effective promotion comes from satisfied customers.

Saturday, March 7, 2009

To twitter or not to twitter? that is the question

In the last while I have been asked about twitter and my thoughts of it as a business tool. In doing some research I came across this great article that succinctly discusses the virtues of twitter and its place in social networking.

Don Robichaud - FloodLight Consulting

Twitter vs Instant Messaging, e-mail and Google by Russell McQuillan March 5th 2009

There has been a fair bit in the news recently about twitter, some praises but mostely dismissals about its future.

Yesterday at the Morgan Stanley technology conference in San Francisco, Eric Schmidt, CEO of Google praised Twitter’s growth and success to date, while at the same time dismissing it as a “poor man’s email system”, and adding that, as far as instant messaging goes, people use services like Google’s Gmail Chat.

I’m not sure that Eric get’s twitter all that well. Its not an instant message system at all and it is certainly not an email system but I think it works well at bridging the gap between instant messaging and e-mail. The problem with instant messging is that it is exactly what it says ‘instant’ and it take’s time out of your day, you type a message and await a responce much is the same way as actually talking on the phone, I feel that whilst having a conversation via instant messaging it is difficult to concetrate on the task in hand which is why during working hours - I only keep my work account on and my personal account switched off.

Twitter on the other hand allows you to have a conversation over the course of a day, you can drop in and out of the stream as little or often as you wish and knowone will get annoyed if you don’t respond within 30 seconds, infact people won’t even know if you have picked up their message or not !

As far as being a poor man’s email system goes, I thought that e-mail went out with the arc! I keep very few people’s email addresses on file anymore, use it only for business and usually prefer to communicate with people via facebook and twitter.

Private message’s can be sent using the DM function and I would say that people tend to respond quicker via twitter and facebook than email ! and the great thing about it is with only 140 letters to play with, people have to be direct about what they want, there is no time or space for I’m sorry to bother you, Do you mind if ? Can I ask a favour? no no! Just tell me what you want and get on with it - we are all as it happens just trying to communicate quickly during our busy days, grabbing a few minutes here and there to interact between meetings, phone calls or even when stuck in traffic.

Meanwhile facebook seem to have headed off to the war room to see what can be done about this little dude twitter from around the corner that doesn’t make any money but has overnight became the 3rd largest social media player trumping the like’s of ning and bebo. Twitter are right on the back bumper of Facebook now and with yearly growth at over 7000% they are set to get even closer.

Of course Facebook like to say they are not concerned and that the two can co-exist but in the last few months have not only offered twitter a stagering $500 million dollors for the loss making business but gone back to the design table for another makeover to make it, dare I say it - A little more interactive - a little more like twitter.

Things are definatly getting very interesting in this newish world of social media. I think there is room for twitter and facebook to co-exist as long as they don’t put all their resourses into killing each other.

If they do that, someone else will quickly come from behind and win the race.

This is a fickle old world !
Twitter vs Instant Messaging, e-mail and Google by Russell McQuillan March 5th 2009


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