To Clarify: Is it a Webinar, Teleclass, Teleseminar, Online Webcast?

This past Fall I co-hosted a series of classes for our Broadcast Louder Series on both the telephone (call-in) and Webcast (Powerpoint slides with audio) and more classes are scheduled for this Spring, beginning in April.

Through this online and telephone process and taking other people’s classes also, everybody seems to call what they are doing something different. It’s time to clarify what each of these are!

Broadcast Louder guest from Fall 2011Webinar or Webcast?

(from Wikipedia) The term webinar is short for Web-based Seminar, a presentation, lecture, workshop or seminar that is transmitted over the Web, specifically a portmanteau of web & seminar, to describe a specific type of web conference. Some argue that webinars might be one-way, from the speaker to the audience with limited audience interaction, so one-way broadcasts are perhaps more accurately called webcasts. Webinars themselves may be more collaborative and include polling and question & answer sessions to allow full participation between the audience and the presenter. In some cases, the presenter may speak over a standard telephone line, while pointing out information being presented onscreen, and the audience can respond over their own telephones, speaker phones allowing the greatest comfort and convenience.

Teleclass or Teleseminar?

(from Wikipedia) Teleseminars are used to provide information, training, or promote or sell products to group of people interested in a particular topic. They are similar to traditional seminars, in content and purpose, but they are given over a teleconference or bridgeline rather than at a specific location.

It is an emerging way to communicate, provide teletraining, and conduct business without the cost of travel. The host of the teleseminar will schedule a specific time and date in advance to communicate with his/her audience. The audience can vary in size from a few callers to 1,000 participants depending on the capacity of the bridgeline used and the popularity of the topic being discussed.

These conference calls are typically recorded. There is typically a fixed period of time devoted to the presentation of information followed by another fixed period of time for questions and answers.

Teleseminars provide an opportunity for a host to provide information to a large number of people at one time. It allows a trainer to train many participants at once, one on many rather than one on one. It also eliminates the need for travel, expensive preparation and presentation material costs. These factors make teleseminars a very cost effective delivery method.

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Webinar, Webcast or Teleseminar?

Okay so I have borrowed the above descriptions from Wikipedia and they still seem about the same. I guess the only difference is one is on a telephone and one is via the web. But if my control panel for calls is on the web, even if I’m talking via a phone, or if I chose not to use Powerpoint slides and it was displaying just audio, isn’t it still a webcast? Thoughts?

10 Tips on Speaking, Your Body Language and Knowing Your Worth

Dream Big written in sandThis past tuesday evening Broadcast Louder was joined by Robyn Hatcher, founder of SpeakEtc.

Robyn asked this, “What is your value proposition?” What this means is to explain what value you bring to your business. For creatives, we may say our art or creativity, but we are each so much more than that.

I was in a summer class series this past year and I had homework each week just as Broadcast Louder has provided for you. One week I had this exact question of writing easily and simply what it is that I do and how I can best explain it, so others get what I’m about. It’s not an easy question to answer and you’d be surprised at how many drafts there were.

If we cannot understand ourselves and be able to express it to others, we are not fully realizing our potential.

So, below is a list of tips from Class Eight – Public Relations 

1- Don’t just talk, talk, talk and not be communicating.
2- Don’t just throw things at people like you are pitching baseballs, instead share information and they will be engaged.
3- Think of someone who loves your work and what their characteristics are… if you are shy when speaking, try taking on their persona briefly.
4- Learn what your “bottom line” is when being interviewed or speaking. This way you know the one thing you want them to remember.
5- If speaking to someone over the phone, stand up, you will have more energy, and have a mirror nearby so while talking you can smile, it will be heard on the other end.
6- If you are someone who says “um” or “ah” be aware of it and instead just pause briefly.
7- Learn how to “check-in” properly. Say, “Am I making myself clear or is what I’m saying making sense.” NOT: Do you understand? which can make it seem they aren’t getting you, when you want them to know you mean, are you expressing yourself clearly.
8- Think of words as musical notes, not just black and white lines on a page, this will help you be more expressive so your enthusiasm matches your art.
9- Remember to have eye contact with all parties in the circle (at a party, event or opening) and not just focus on one person and leave others out. Everyone has value and you may even be talking to a person who is not the decision maker.
10- Own your gift and share it with others. Don’t be so humble and shy!

If you would like to download this important class, any of the other classes individually, or are interested in the complete Creativity + Abundance 1.0 eight class series, click here!

Facebook, LinkedIn & Google+: Using These Efficiently for Your Creative Business

Living and connecting with people on a daily basis for generations, we’ve built rules of engagement: how to approach a stranger, when to interject our thoughts into a group conversation, the point where we can begin to “sell” ourselves and when to merely listen.

Well the online world has a conduct policy and similar rules to engage and build relationships. Understanding that relationships are the key to building businesses and how to cultivate them on the different social media formats; Twitter, Facebook, Google+, LinkedIn, FourSquare, etc… You MUST learn the DO’s and DON’Ts.

social marketing and community gatherings

Facebook

The King Kong site for connecting online is Facebook and the search tool is used more than Google.  We feel that, for now, Facebook is one of the best places for a product-based business or a creative business to connect and network online as well as have their statuses shared. You can’t find an article or an online site that doesn’t allow sharing to Facebook.  It’s the standard.  Typically it’s shared through your personal profile but you can always copy and paste the site url (address) or tag your business page in your post or visa versa.

Facebook allows business pages to have more than one administrator which you can add and remove manually so they don’t have to know your personal access login information.  THAT is huge… Another strong feature of Facebook is the ability to use images, which is extremely important for a product-based company.  Businesses can auto-load new blog articles through using a feed site, like Feed burner, share relevant information from businesses they follow to their wall and be able to customize the account to match their business brand and message. You can create custom pages for promoting events, products, special sales or create just a welcome page.

Tagging others (both people and fan/company pages) is a great sharing feature that Facebook offers.  You can put the @ sign in front of a person’s or company’s name and it highlights their name, to alert them of your posting, and the posting or photo they were tagged in will appear on their wall as well as yours.  Personally, I am not a fan of being tagged (unless the status can help me or my clients or I’m added to a mass networking tagging) and I don’t like that the image included in the tag automatically adds itself to the header images on my pages. Sometimes the @ symbol doesn’t work when you are writing the person’s name within the post but if you’ve attached a picture, the tag would work on the photo, I’m not sure exactly why this happens, but it does. Also whenever you tag someone or are tagged, the post, photo or video is also right on your wall. So be sure if you get a notification of being tagged you check your own wall and delete or hide that post if you don’t want it as well as hide the image in the top header. You can also set your wall so that no one can write on it but you, and then even if tagged, it would not appear. It still might add a photo to the top header area, so hide any photos you don’t want.

Another great feature on Facebook is private groups. As many of you know we have a private group for our own Broadcast Louder. Private groups allow you to post or share info that only the group members can see. The public does not see anything posted within the walls of the group. It’s wonderful because the group can share learning experiences, ask questions and everyone is supporting each other in a common mission, privately. We hope you will spend more time meeting and sharing as well as learning from the group mates.

Remember that on Facebook you should try to post everyday, quality over quantity. You are trying to engage, so wait for comments so you can continue the discussion. Also another important thing to remember business-wise: Anything you post personally on your profile is private and not indexed by search engines, whereas when you write on your company or fan page it is… so what we do is write on our company walls and then once posted go back and tag ourselves and other company pages in the photo.

LinkedIn

Most creatives run from LinkedIn.  It has the aura of being conservative, white collar and big business, but it’s really another important tool and business builder for creative businesses.  You cannot separate yourself into two pages: personal and business but you can have business listing pages. (search your business name and if not there, it will let you add it.)  You will represent your business(es) on LinkedIn.  Save your personal messages for other social networking sites because LinkedIn is more of a business social media platform. LinkedIn, like Twitter, isn’t a wonderful site for images but you can offer more descriptive information about your business, your experience, your awards, education and business needs.  If you want to add images, link the gallery app, Behance Network.

Recommendations are big on LinkedIn. You can ask for and give professional recommendations and I suggest you do both.  It’s a good way to get yourself seen on other’s profiles and it’s a great way to support others.  You can link your blog articles and Twitter stream to your profile and there are apps for Slide Share Presentations, events, polls and more.  You can update your status manually or it will pull from your Twitter tweets so be sure you have your business account linked and keep your tweets professional because LinkedIn is considered a professional networking site.

If you are on LinkedIn and not in any groups, then go join as many as you wish to, although I believe the limit may be 50. LinkedIn Groups allow you to expand your ability to network and make yourself an expert, give and find resources and information to others.   You can link to others through the LinkedIn Homepage Stream but groups allow you to write your thoughts or start a discussion, which is imperative to building your online network. Andrea’s Open Studio art mentoring business has a really great Group with a lot of wonderful discussions, and we’ve started a Broadcast Louder group as well.  If you’re on LinkedIn, please join both, we’d love to have you as members.

You can also join a group that is on a topic such as “Creative Dilemmas” or if you are an animal lover, the World Wildlife Fund. LinkedIn is the largest gathering (millions upon millions) of business professionals, and most employees of a company are added or join, from the CEO to the assistant to the assistant.

Now let’s say you’ve joined some creative groups and the discussions draw you in and you’d like to connect with the members posting comments. Unlike Facebook where you can “like” anybody or follow anyone on Twitter, on LinkedIn two people cannot connect unless there is a reason, something that connects the two of you. Either you worked together years back, went to high school or college together or are in the same group, but you can’t just be “friends.” So, the best reason for joining groups is that it becomes a connector and you can grow your network. Another great feature of being in groups, is that when you are using the search for let’s say creative directors in nyc, LinkedIn will answer your search query and also show groups you have in common with the results list.

There are many wonderful functions on LinkedIn and we suggest you set up an account, then be sure to use all their apps and fill out your profile completely. If you’d like a visual step-by-step LinkedIn instruction, mosey over to Susan’s You Tube channel and watch her LinkedIn tutorials. She gives an extensive overview about groups and other ways to use LinkedIn.

Google+

This is the newest kid on the block and although Google+ began by only allowing personal accounts, they’ve recently opened up to businesses.  Google+ combines a Twitter-like stream with the ability to add images to posts.  Google+’s main benefit is probably their circles.  When you post on Facebook or Twitter, everyone who follows you can see your status update, but Google+ allows you to CHOOSE who you want to target.

If your business caters to wholesale and retail clients you can send appropriate status updates to both without either seeing the one that wouldn’t relate to them.  If I have a question just for my artist friends on Google+, I can send my question/post ONLY to the circle I put them in and no one else will see it.  If people use their circles correctly it should cut down on uninteresting or unnecessary posts entering your stream.  The con is that someone may not know that you’d be interested in a post and not include the circle they put you in, therefore you miss an update that may interest you.  It’s the trade-off.  Just like Facebook, you can hide accounts and if someone puts you in a circle, you don’t have to put them in yours and no one will ever know what circle you put them into.  Another plus about Google+ is their hangouts.  Starting a hangout allows you to connect, via webcam, to people you tag and have conversations.  This is good for meeting or just, as the title denotes, hanging out.  Just like Facebook and Twitter, you can scour other people’s circles and find others to follow and although you’d THINK that Google+’s search area would be second to none, it’s quite lame.  When I use it to search for articles that I can share, the results are less than lackluster.

Social Networking and your Clients

Your business needs to participate in social networking because your clients do and just like when you work out your demographic personality; determining what magazines your client reads and where they vacation, you will need to know what social networks they participate in and use those.  By working with social networking, you will open your business up to more sales and growth possibilities than you’d ever thought possible.

Choosing the Right CMS and E-commerce Platform for Your Online Creative Business

It all begins when a business owner decides they need an important online presence to tell their story, build a community or following, and feature their products and/or services. They know it’s time to accomplish this online but they are unsure how to begin this process.

If this is you, the BIG question you may ask is “How do I present myself and what type of website do I need?”

website under construction graphicHow do you decide which CMS to use?

I have built websites using WordPress, Concrete5, Joomla, Drupal and more… Some sites are even a combination of a few CMS’s. For example, I recently worked on a combination of Drupal and WordPress so we could add a blog to the site that had been build previously, while in another project we used, WordPress, aMember and aWeber to build a community membership site.

Basically what you need to know is that the plan and functionality drive a site and each CMS can manipulate the site’s functionality, therefore one may be better than another depending upon your needs. Your designer should recommend which CMS to use for your particular site, however, you should get to know a few of the difference platforms and their functionality, to determine which might be best for you.

Each business has a different set of goals and so their site is structured and designed in a different way.  Some businesses want to show off their amazing artwork, some want to sell products, some have a mission and are looking for a following. In each case, the site must be designed and structured to meet those goals.

Different E-commerce Systems

When it comes to e-commerce there are a few different routes.

The simplest is to have a business paypal account. Once created and linked to your business bank account, you can create simple transactions or create buttons, and the buttons can be added to your website to sell a product or service. You can even create your own button graphics to match your website “branding.”

The next step up would be to have a paypal shopping cart within your own site. Someone clicks on the same type of “add to cart” but instead of going straight to paypal it loads the purchase into your cart where they fill out their personal contact details and once they hit submit, it goes to paypal where they make the transaction. Many use this solution as it’s quite economical to set up as well as the ease of the transactions.

When you feel you are ready to accept credit cards on your own site, be prepared for longer development, costs, and having to secure a merchant account with your bank and you will need to pay monthly fees… An example might be Magento, which works well with WordPress.

Always Remember to Keep Your Website Fresh

You website is the Hub you want everyone flocking to. When you blog, it’s to draw traffic. When you write on twitter or facebook it’s to send them to your latest product or blog post. When you send out a press release it has a link back to your latest product or service.

Your website has to be built in a way that it can continue to expand.  It’s also important to NAME your website a name that will be recognizable and easy for the search engines to find.  As a creative, you’ll probably name your website your own name as your art is your own, but you can certainly come up with a clever tagline which you can add to your branding and pr.