Build Your Business

Business is all about connecting with people. Building an audience and network around what you do best.

Starting out, it’s tempting to DIAY everything – to Do It All Yourself – thinking you’re saving money by not involving other people and saving time not having to brief others to delegate tasks. In fact, with some people, DIAY is their default mode as they attempt to do it all, all of the time. Juggling or jiggling? For most of us there’s a limit on how much we can keep in the air at once!

DIY is all around us these days. In hardware commercials or TV programs for everything from gardening to renovating to building a property portfolio. Happy snaps of mostly the finished article: the perfect garden, kitchen or rental property that make it all look so simple. It’s so easy to visualise how straight forward it will be with your own projects. Of course what’s missing is the blood, sweat, tears and tears that come between the great idea and its execution. We’re all so used to seeing the results of creativity and enterprise it’s easy to forget the hard work that makes it happen.

A Better Fix

The alternative to DIY is to involve other people from outside your business as skilled suppliers. An investment in community that often results in reciprocal business, suppliers are a part of your business network just like your own customers. They will mention your business in testimonials, refer you to friends and associates and may even call on you themselves. They will list you on their website, in their presentation materials, and during meetings with their own customers, and will do so willingly.

You can spend money on advertising and never really know whether it’s having any impact or not. And you can invest in working with skilled suppliers, expanding your local network and getting real people talking about your business in your local area and see immediate results. It’s up to you. Support local business – it’s a win-win.

Bellarine Media offers premium photography, websites & technolgy support for business in Geelong, the Bellarine & Surf Coast.

10 Reasons To Claim Your Google Plus Page Now

Google Plus is Google’s answer to Facebook and Twitter. While it currently has a smaller social media footprint than the other players, it is growing rapidly. Here are ten reasons why you need to claim your Google Plus page today.

1 It’s Run by Google

Google has already shown with YouTube that it will feature its own products. Businesses with Google Plus pages consistently do better in organic search results. Google Plus gives you one more trusted source to backlink to your own site. It also offers a great place to connect with others in your industry and gives you another place to publish your fabulous content.

2 It’s Easy

Google Plus is much easier to use for your online business than either Facebook or Twitter. It allows you to manage your photos with your Google account. You can have a 360-degree virtual tour created that can be viewed from Google Plus. Setting up your Google Plus page takes about five minutes and doesn’t require any special knowledge. If you can execute a Google search you can set up your page.

3 Visibility

Unlike Facebook, if someone follows you on Google Plus they will see your updates unless they specifically change their settings to block your updates. When you do a promotion Google is not threatening to charge you, and you know that your message is being seen. If you use hashtags you can show up in the feeds of others who follow businesses similar to yours, even if they don’t follow you. Google works hard to make sure people see your Google Plus page.

4 Changing Rules

While Google, like any other web company, can change it’s rules at anytime, Google Plus has been much more welcoming of businesses than either Twitter or Facebook. With the recent changes at Facebook, Google Plus can be a cheaper and more effective way of reaching your audience.

5 Fewer Limits

Google Plus doesn’t limit the number of people who see your posts. It doesn’t limit the number of characters you can use. You can share video or images or plain text. You can easily control who you broadcast to. If you want to segment your audience, it’s easy. With the click of a button you can post to the world, or only to your followers, or only to a segment of your followers.

6 It’s Beautiful

Instead of a never ending stream of posts, Google Plus looks more like a magazine. You can see several posts at once. If you want to know more a simple click opens up the post in another window. The pictures and video look amazing on Google Plus. They are the right size. They are easy to see without being overwhelmed. Google has tools to improve your photos as you are posting them.

7 Hangouts

Google has some of the best tools and Google Plus hangouts are the best of the best. You can have video chats with groups of people, or let an unlimited number of people watch your chat with a few invitees. You can allow the viewers to comment live. Afterwards, if you want, you can post the hangout directly to YouTube. Plus, hangouts are free. It’s an easy way to create an interactive webinar that you instantly have available via YouTube to embed on your own site.

8 You Can Join Communities

Google Plus is a place for passions. Your business can join communities. You can form industry groups, or join communities where your customers hang out. Google really wants businesses to be interactive.

9 Gives You Credibility

You don’t want to be the last one at the party. With the growth of Google Plus, businesses that aren’t on Google Plus will be at a competitive disadvantage. Consumers want businesses to be everywhere they are.

10 Integration

Google Plus works seamlessly with all the other Google tools you already use. Tools like Gmail, YouTube, Picasa, Google Search, Google Local, and many more. Google Plus works to amplify those tools by making it easy to attract followers and share with those followers everything you are creating.

Turn “Drive-Byes” In To Customers

Maybe we’re a little different in this regard, but I can’t tell you how many times we’ve passed by a business that caught our eye and said, “one day we’ll drop in”.

Only problem is, sometimes years down the track, “one day” is still waiting.

Call it old habits, call it not enough time – the underlying cause can be the lack of a connection – a way or a reason for us to “plug in” to that particular business to even start to consider becoming a customer.

The old phrase: “there’s only one thing worse than being talked about, and that’s not being talked about” is never truer than in small business and these days a growing part of getting noticed and being talked about is how your business performs online.

But I have a website – isn’t that enough?

It’s not enough to have just a website, even if it is a good one. Getting Google’s attention, getting some social media buzz, monitoring and managing reviews are all demanding and technical in their own way, and not to mention time consuming. Between the technology and lack of time to devote to it, many businesses find it difficult to get started with building an online identity.

2015 – Start Building An Online Identity

Now Google Plus and Google Business View combine to offer a new way to not just highlight your business in Google Search, but a way to capture people’s attention and get them looking more closely at how you do business and what you’re offering:

Be found when people are searching for your product or service

Stand out among your competitors and convince people to choose your business

Engage with your customers to grow loyalty and retention

Google Business View is a professionally photographed 360-degree Virtual Tour and photos of your business, product or service uploaded to Google that:

Increases your visibility in Search, Maps & Google Plus

Visually shows potential customers what you’re offering and how you work

Gets people talking about and interacting with your business

Google has a number of tools to help small business and most of them are free – Webmaster Tools & Analytics, Search, Maps & Places, Google Apps for Work. As a registered Google Partner, Bellarine Media offers help with all Google products, but as an approved Google Photographer we’re really excited about bringing you a way to attract and retain more customers, simply by helping people get to know your business better.

Visit BellarineMedia.com.au/Google-Business-Photos/ for more information.
To contact Bellarine Media please phone
Michael 0418 101 323 or Agata 0407 687 971