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What is RSS?

RSS stands for Really Simple Syndication and it’s an easy way to stay up to date with the posts from your favourite blogs and websites.  The information is a news feed that is fed directly to you via a reader so you don’t miss a thing.

You will see that many blogs have a distinctive orange icon like this one somewhere on their pages:

Alternatively they might use an icon like this one.  XML refers to the file format that the feed is sent in:

Both icons show that the site has a RSS feed that you can subscribe to.  Some browsers will also show a tiny orange RSS icon in the URL bar, too.

The feed is then sent to your reader which converts it from XML into something you can read.  You might use Feedburner, Google Reader , My Yahoo or one of many other readers available for free.  Most readers give you the option of having the posts sent straight to your inbox or smartphone, too, which might be even more convenient.

The good thing about RSS feeds is that you don’t have to remember to go to your favourite websites anymore because they come to you.   If you need to pay attention to news reports for fire or emergency warnings, or closely watch information related to your business, RSS feeds save you a lot of work.  It sends you the information as it is released.

As a business owner you should make it clear that you offer the RSS feed from your site and make it easy to subscribe to.   People don’t always come to your site intentionally.  When people find you because they are looking for the product or service you offer, you don’t want to lose them when they move on.  In fact, they probably don’t want to lose you either.  The RSS option will help them remember you.

An RSS feed will keep you in touch with the information that is important to you and it makes content easily shareable.  That’s the whole point of syndication, isn’t it?  Make it work for you.

Cheap does not always mean better

One of the biggest mistakes small business owners make is focusing on price and not on value.  They do it when working out how much to charge for the goods or services they provide, but also when they are sourcing support for their businesses.

Why is it a mistake? 

Price does not always equate with value and cheap does not mean better.

How often have you heard of people buying articles from overseas only to have to rewrite them, or pay to have someone else do it?  What about the business owners who bought backlinks to their websites so they could boost their page rank, only to be slapped in the recent changes to Google’s algorithms?  They all lost money but more importantly, they lost time and took their businesses’ backwards.

Just because something is cheap it does not mean it’s good for you or that it will do the job you want done.

I have learnt that the only way to grow your business is to invest time, money and energy into it, and take the organic and authentic path forward.

If you are investing in a service or business support, look past the price. 

  • What experience does the supplier have?
  • What other businesses has he or she worked with?
  • What do you get for your money?
  • What time frames can he or she offer?

Recently my client sacked her Personal Assistant and hired me even though my price was higher.  On the surface it looks like a bad business decision but what she found was that I completed the work in less time than it took the PA and I achieved better results.  My client ended up by paying no more than she had paid her PA but had a significantly better outcome which made her money.

Price does not always equate with value.  Look at the results you need to get and find the person who can deliver.  That’s value for you.

We’re a HootSuite Pro Solution Partner!

Leading Logic is proud to announce that we are now a HootSuite Pro Solution Partner.

HootSuite is a social media management system for businesses and organizations to collaboratively execute campaigns across multiple social networks from one secure, web-based dashboard. Key social network integrations include Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn, plus a suite of social content apps for YouTube, Flickr, Tumblr and more.

Earlier this year HootSuite hit 3 million users with over 700 million messages sent through over 6 million unique social profiles. Along with HootSuite’s web platform, 20% of users access the dashboard through their mobiles including iPhone, Android, Blackberry and iPad. HootSuite also offers localized versions of their dashboard in six languages – English, French, Italian, Japanese, Spanish and Portuguese.

There are many benefits to HootSuite Pro

Engage: Optimize your audience engagement by creating search streams, scheduling messages and monitoring all of your social network profiles from one customizable web and mobile dashboard.

Collaborate: Invite clients and colleagues to participate in your social media management. Assign messages for follow up and share streams, helping you increase efficiency.

Analyze: Measure your efforts using over 40 social analytics modules to build and share custom reports. Or select from one of our pre-made templates for quick and easy reporting.

Secure: Share access with team members without compromising security. The team permission levels and advanced sharing options ensure you remain in control of your valuable social profiles and accounts.

Sign up for a 30-day free trial of HootSuite Pro now: http://hootsuite.com/p_9397/go7skc?d=upgrade

Is your inbox empty?

Mine is!

I recently watched a webinar of Gihan Perera of egurus.biz, called “Managing the Information Overload”. It has inspired me to become super organised when it comes to my inbox.  My ultimate goal: to keep it empty.

So far, so good!  There are a few ways I have achieved this. Here are some:

1. Rules

I have created a series of rules for regular emails so they are automatically distributed to relevant folders. I’ve done this for my regular emails, such as social media notifications.

2. Folders

All emails are stored in folders which have been carefully categorised.

3. Blogs instead of enewsletters

This is the biggest one for me. I have unsubscribed from many enewsletters and just subscribed to the feed through Google Reader. It saves clogging up my inbox and everything is there for me when I am ready for it!

4. Set times for emails

I now have set times to check emails daily, one being first thing in the morning!  I make sure my inbox is empty. Things that take less than a few minutes are dealt with then and there. Longer tasks are filed and attended to as required. It also helps me focus on the task at hand and not “what’s next?!”.

Do you have trouble managing the enormous number of emails you receive on a daily basis? Even if you take one of the steps listed above I’m sure you will regain some control!

Mailchimp, Outlook and HUGE Images

MailChimpWhilst testing an eNewsletter created in Mailchimp with a client today, we were puzzled to find that on her end (Outlook 2007), images we had inserted into the newsletter were HUGE. Ginormous in fact, whereas on my end (Outlook 2003 – soon to be 2010!), and Thunderbird, they were perfectly fine.

Having never had this issue, I turned to Google  and found these very useful articles:

It turns out that Outlook “does not respect the way that images are resized in the MailChimp format”. Interesting, huh?!  The alternative: resize images before uploading to your MailChimp gallery.  It’ll save you a lot of heartache and the chances are you’ll have an aesthetically pleasing and “regular sized” newsletter across most mail platforms (including our very disrespectful Outlook!).

I’m proud to say I’ve learnt more about the friendly little Chimp today.

The Top 5 Benefits of eNewsletter Campaigns

eNewsletters are a great marketing tool and are a simple and cost effective way to communicate with clients and colleagues and create referrals. You can use your existing database to make contact with your subscribers on a regular basis and provide them with useful information, tips and tricks and special offers.

So what are the top 5 benefits of eNewsletter campaigns for your business?

1. Marketing

An eNewsletter can enhance your reputation provided it contains relevant and up to date information. It can also increase leads. A subscriber sees your eNewsletter, likes a particular section, and forwards it to a friend. That friend forwards it on, and so on, like a snowball effect. You can capitalise on current marketing efforts by ensuring you reach as wide an audience as possible.

2. Cost Effectiveness

eNewsletters are an extremely cost effective way to get your message to your audience. Most online eNewsletter management services (such as MailChimp, Constant Contact, etc. there are many out there!) have a pay as you go or monthly option, giving you the freedom to pick a plan that suits your budget and plan of action.

3. Tracking & Statistics

Depending on the management system used, an eNewsletter can provide instantaneous statistics and results, such as open rates, bounce rates, links followed, comparison to other campaings along with many others. This enables you to constantly review and refine your campaign to ensure it is effective as possible.

4. Two Way Communication

An eNewsletter sent regularly can serve as a reminder to your clients that you are there, the services you offer, and any promotions you may have at any given time. Useful and well written articles can demonstrate your knowledge and competence in your industry. Clients may be prompted to contact you because of your eNewsletter, so having easy to locate contact information is an absolute must.

5. Up To Date Database

Being in business, we all know the importance of keeping an up to date database. An eNewsletter campaign can assist you with this. You are immediately notified of any bounce backs, so you can either check the subscriber’s details, or remove them.

eNewsletters are flexible, and can be sent weekly, fortnightly, monthly, quarterly or during special promotional or seasonal periods.