Marketing Advice


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jigsawLogoAnother handy tool for a small business owner to have in his tool box is to join Jigsaw. Jigsaw is a powerful website that is maintained by its membership to help any one in sales or the marketing field to find more contacts and do more research. There is a free version and a paid version. The free version is this: if you contribute a contact, you receive a contact. The more information you submit, the more you can receive! If you want to research a company or find a key player within a company, Jigsaw is the place to help you get answers.

Give Jigsaw a try to help grow the quality of your leads!

New Blackberry Browser on the Horizon

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There is a beta version of a new third-party browser for Blackberry users called “Bolt.” One of my biggest problems with the Blackberry is that it is rather difficult to use the default browser when browsing websites. I use the web all the time on my Blackberry and spend half my time waiting for pages to load or not load at all (causing me to restart). The only other browser I know that works reasonably well is called “Opera”, but I always revert back to the default BB edition.

The Bolt is not a bad little browser. It loads the entire web page on your Blackberry, similar to the iPhone. However, the iPhone does a fabulous job sizing the webpages to fit onto your screen. The Blackberry browser on the market just can’t do it…yet. You have to scroll side to side, up and down to see the whole site. There are a few nice features on the Bolt browser, but I still feel that it is a waste of time building this program until it can be more like the iPhone brower. There is still lots of time waiting only to get a HUGE website that does not fit your screen well. I had problems with the “mobile” version too, which supposedly does resize the pages. So, all in all, I’m not impressed with Bolt just yet. It is still in the testing stages. There is quite a bit more features I would add before making it available to all of us. I will still keep Bolt on my device to play around with it. Sometimes it just takes time!

Quick Tip to Using LinkedIn in Your Business

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I have been using LinkedIn for several years. I must admit, a few years ago, I had no idea what it was for or why a company should be a part of it. That was really before the days of Facebook and Twitter, which revolutionalized the now buzz words “Social Networking.”After jumping on the bandwagon of social networks more in recent months and the last year, I have come to recognize the power of these sites, if you utilize all they have to offer.

One thing I have noticed from my industry (painting), is paint contractors are not utilizing LinkedIn. They sign up and then turn off their potential connections. In order to connect, the person try to connect has to know their personal email account associated to LinkedIn. It is rather annoying! The whole purpose of getting on LinkedIn is to connect with potential customers, decision makers, fellow business owners, and so on.

So one simple little tip that I hope is helpful: if you are going to sign up for Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter and the any other social network/media, make sure people can connect with you as easily as possible! It is that simple!

Advanced Shop Talk for Paint Contractors in Portland

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PDCA logo

I just finished up the first day at the Painting and Decorating Contractors of America (PDCA) conference called “Residential Forum: Advanced Shop Talk” in Portland, OR. This is a once a year even of 50+ professional residential painting contractors who collaborate ideas on how to have a successful house painting business.

I have served 2 years as the “secretary” and a director for the Residential Forum and have enjoyed being apart of such a great group of professional painters. During this years conference, I had 1 main presentation and 2 presentations where I assisted the presenter. The first presentation was on having a good website and the other two were on the latest in technology for paint contractors and estimating software.

To learn more about the PDCA or the Residential Forum, visit their websites!


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SyncMyCalIf you are wondering how to sync your smartphone with Outlook on the go without plugging your phone into your computer daily, consider using SyncMyCal. This wonderful little program works to transfer your calendar and contacts from Microsoft Outlook to Google Calendar and Google Contacts. I have used it with a Blackberry for almost two years now, and it has been fantastic. The program cost $25 and is well worth it.

The best thing about SyncMyCal is that it can be installed on multiple computers, eliminating the need for a Microsoft Exchange Server. Why is that a good thing? It saves you the headache of having Exchange! If you install SyncMyCal on each machine and connect SyncMyCal with Google Calendar (very easy setup) then all your office computers can have your calendar updated wirelessly every 15 minutes. This is a great tool for your office manager to have and your sales staff! A salesperson can be almost completely mobile when using SyncMyCal while the office manager can keep tabs and schedule appointments for the salesperson.

If you have further questions on how this program can save you lots of time and money, I would be happy to help. To learn more, visit their website.

You Can Text While Driving!?

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logo_VlingoWe all know it is dangerous to text and drive! We frown at those who still do such foolishness. We’ve been told to not do it and even state laws prohibit us from texting in the car! So why am I advocating we can still text while driving?

I’m not! I found an alternative!

I stumbled upon a handy little application for a smart phone called Vlingo a few months ago. It has its quirks but is a very helpful at times. It is a software program that is for “voice texting” not finger texting. Vlingo was designed for Blackberry, iPhone and other Smartphone devices to use voice to text technology. Voice to text has been out for quite a few years but has not been very well received by consumers. However, the latest version of Vlingo is well worth giving it a try if you do a lot of texting and emailing. The Vlingo Plus cost $17.99 and is virtually hands free. If you speak very carefully and with simple sentences, Vlingo is very accurate. The Plus version gives you access to Voice to Text emailing, text and to-do list. I actually really like the to task function. Sometimes I am driving, I remember something and cannot write it down. Now, I push a button while looking straight ahead and say, “Task: Pick up Coffee.” Done! It is that easy.

The program is not perfect, and I am not giving it a five star rating. However, it really is the best on the market and is VERY safe while driving.

CAUTION: I do advise that you avoid distractions while driving and always keep your eyes on the road, not your phone! If Vlingo is a distraction, don’t use it.

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