Great Screen Recorder & Video Sharing Tool

Video is a very easy and effective way to promote your business or demonstrate how to do something, and of course it works great in social media campaigns. For creating short video screen recordings with audio (up to 5 minutes), Techsmith’s Jing is great and I use it often (it’s FREE): http://www.techsmith.com/jing

But I needed something with more editing power to create a video for a multi-city campaign. The first part of the video is the same for all cities, so I wanted to record it only once, then record separate videos for each city and splice it in with the “main” video.

This is easy enough to do if you have Techsmith’s Camtasia but if you don’t feel like spending $300, here’s something that does the job AND is web-based. I’ve gradually moved away from software that has to be installed on a desktop, so I was happy to find this tool, and was very happy at the price: $0 for the basic version, $9/YEAR for the pro version.

Beats $300, right?

Here it is: www.screencast-o-matic.com — Enjoy!

Business in Your Backyard?

Today I found a new client, in my backyard … our pool guy. I noticed on his invoices that he has a Yahoo! email address and no website. He takes payments by check only.

I did some preliminary research, found the perfect domain for him, one that contains his business name AND includes a related phrase that gets 800 local searches a month.

Sent him an email with that info and mentioned that I can help him get setup to take credit card payments online. That’s all it took. I picked up the domain name for him, and he’s coming by tomorrow to finalize the deal.

There’s business all around you, just open your eyes to see, and your mouth to ask, especially if you’re already doing business with them. You’d be surprised how many small business owners have been thinking about getting online and would be happy to hear from you!

Get busy. Take action.

3 (No Cost) Local Search Tools

I know it’s been a minute since you heard from me. Things have been crazy busy for the last few months, but it’s all good. The triplets are ALMOST 14 now, which is truly mind boggling. A few weeks ago they signed up for their HIGH SCHOOL courses. Unbelievable!

What have I been up to? Mostly offline consulting and SEO, plus a complete rewrite of my book “How to Promote Your Local Business on the Internet“, which is almost done, WOO! Things certainly have changed since the 1st edition was published (in 2002), most notably how many people have jumped on the local internet marketing bandwagon — OMG! There are some good products and services out there, but also a lot of crap.

In typical reporter fashion, I’ll investigate and report back.

To kick it off, here are a couple of good ones that I found that don’t cost a cent:

http://niftymarketing.com/maptracker — tracks Google Map rankings up to 70 positions deep.  You can track generic keywords based on a location, or location + keywords. The tool is built for search marketers who want to be able to get quick email reports of ranking movement daily, weekly, or monthly and the dashboard gives a quick overview of your average ranking position and how many keywords are in the top 7 listings. Enabled me to see at a glance where clients rank in Google Places for their main keywords. Thanks to Mike Ramsey at Nifty Marketing.

http://myreviewspage.com — monitors the reviews being left about your client/company on the major review engines. Email updates, an easy user interface, and a wordpress plug in. Doesn’t get much better for SMB reputation management thanks to Don Campbell.

http://www.getlisted.org — you probably know about this one already but just in case … David Mihm‘s Getlisted.org is the biggest tool in local search. Getlisted.org’s tool tells you at a glance whether a business listing has been claimed on the major search engines, how complete their profile is, and will walk you through the entire listing process. A great resource for local business owners and marketers.

More cool tools coming soon!

Happy Holidays!

While putting in a few miles at my treadmill desk (to stave off those holiday pounds), I popped in The Secret DVD for a quick refresher and to remind me of the power of the universe.

It’s still just as inspiring and relevant as ever, if not more so. Honestly, it has changed my life.

Google it or visit Amazon.com and search for “The Secret” — it’s the best gift you can give yourself or someone else.

Thank you for allowing me to be a part of your life.

Wishing you Happy Holidays and a Prosperous 2011!

Here’s a Resource You’ll Like

You’d be surprised what someone will do for $5. It might be something that you actually want done! Check it out:

http://www.fiverr.com

Really cool resource. Let me know if you find something really good.

One more thing: Ever think about taking CPA offers OFFLINE?

http://tinyurl.com/2flkmb2– (GeoLocal Forum post)

YCDBSOYA! Say What?

That is … You Can’t Do Business Sitting On Your Ass

No that doesn’t mean you have to get a treadmill desk, although if you work at home you have NO excuse for having a big one (ass that is). And with today’s technology you can do plenty of business sitting in front of your computer. What I mean is this…

There are three types of people: those who MAKE things happen, those who WATCH things happen and those who WONDER what happened.

Which are you? What are you doing to grow your business? Not thinking about. Not planning. DOING.

The other day I was on the phone with a potential client, talking about generating leads for his business. I went into the conversation thinking he wanted one thing, but found out that he really wanted something else.

Turns out that he doesn’t think much of the leads that come from anywhere except his own website. And here’s the most interesting part — he was able to type in his primary keyword into Google and find my site on the first page of the results. That’s called PROOF.

He told me that out of the hundreds of people who have tried to sell him internet marketing services, this was the first time anyone had offered such PROOF, a site already ranked for HIS primary keyword phrase.

Ok, so what’s the lesson, other than finding out what the customer wants?

Choose ONE niche, create a site around that niche, get it to rank well, then use that as PROOF — if you can do it for yourself, you can certainly do it for them.

Now, I usually don’t offer search engine optimization (SEO) services because frankly it’s a lot of work, and too hard to quantify. But if you find someone who is already paying thousands a month in Google Adwords, it’s not so hard to quantify, is it?

Of course it would be a real pain to get top search engine rankings for multiple markets (and I mean WITHOUT city qualifiers included)–even MORE reason why you need to PICK A NICHE.

Still not sure how to do that? Check out the webinar I did with Ken McCarthy – don’t be put off by the fact we did it in 2008, the basic principles remain the same.
thesystemblog.com/2008/04/22/sharon-odom-how-to-find-your-niche/

Bottom line: whether you pick one niche or not, get busy doing something. Today. Then let me know what you did, I really want to know … and I’m looking for case studies!

p.s. Jamie Garside has a product on getting offline clients that talks about this very thing, using proof that you have already dominated their niche to seal the deal. It’s a great product so be sure to check it out:
Jamie Garside’s Offline Stealth Tactic

What do YOU want???

After a fun summer with the triplets and their teenage friends, I’m back in the swing of things and have lots to share with you.

First things first. My book, “How to Promote Your Local Business on the Internet” is no longer for sale. I wrote it AGES ago (2002) and have updated it a few times since then, but at this point it needs a complete re-write.

Before I invest that kind of time, let me ask you something…

What do YOU want from your GeoLocal membership? Talk to me! Gimme some feedback.

Are you an internet marketer looking to go offline or do local lead generation? Just getting started and looking for your niche?
How to find your niche

Or are you an independent pancake joint trying to cut into some IHOP traffic? Please, do tell! I wanna know more about you and what you’re trying to accomplish.

You can post your thoughts to the GeoLocal Forums

Or, hit me up on Twitter

However you do it, reach out and talk to me. Feel free to email me as well with any suggestions you may have.

GeoLocal.com is here to serve you. So we need your input on what YOU want.

Don’t be shy, let it fly!

oDesk Screenshots a Security Risk?

Are you using oDesk.com to find outsourcers? If not, you should definitely check it out, I’ve found some WONDERFUL talent there — writers, link builders, programmers, just about any kind of skill you might need to build your business.

One cool feature of the oDesk interface is the ability it gives you to view screenshots of your outsourcers’ desktops, so you can see what they are working on. These screenshots are random, so the worker doesn’t know when their screen’s image will be captured.

This is all well and good, BUT…a word of caution about those screenshots. EVERY person that you hire through oDesk has access to them.

Yes, that’s right, if you give your programmer cpanel access to your money site or root access to your server, and the oDesk system happens to take a screenshot of that email or whatever, EVERYONE on your oDesk team will be able to see it. Even if it’s someone who you hired a long time ago and they did a few hours worth of work for you. To me that’s one of the great things about oDesk – you can build a team of people to call upon as you need them. But unless you terminate the assignment, they still have access to your team room, and all of the screenshots of all the other workers.

I didn’t realize this at first, I thought that only I could see everybody’s screenshots. Not so. Heck, even if they are still working for me, I don’t want everybody I hire to have access to everything.

There is no way to shut this off, all members by default have access to your team room. The only way around it is to create a separate team for each worker. If someone finds a better way, do let me know.

I still think oDesk is a great service, but this feature is a major security flaw IMHO.

Just thought I’d pass this along to you FWIW.