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What Bookkeepers Can Learn From Real Estate Agents: Facebook Advertising

Facebook – Great for Local Marketing

using facebook for bookkeeping marketing
Facebook can be extremely useful for marketing to a local audience.

In its decade of existence, Facebook has built up a wealth of data about its users, data that it likes to sell back to those who need it, in the form of targeted advertising. Facebook advertising, though similar in its approach, is very different to Google Ads in what it delivers.

Real estate agents discovered the value of Facebook advertising early, and have used a combination of images and videos to successfully deliver their marketing messages and sale pitches directly to their target market and in order to set their prices. Continue reading What Bookkeepers Can Learn From Real Estate Agents: Facebook Advertising

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Announcement: Social Media Marketing Course

EzyLearn Social Media & Digital Marketing Training Course logo image only

Social Media Marketing Course for 2017

EzyLearn Social Media & Digital Marketing Training Course logo image onlyDigital marketing is one of those fine arts that sometimes takes many attempts to get right and I’m guilty of that myself. I wrote a couple blogs recently about content marketing because I spend a lot of my time creating and modifying strategies, optimising and planning the content that my team creates for EzyLearn and other websites. However, I think many people are unfamiliar with what the term “content marketing” means — my mistake! I should have used the words that most small businesses associate with online and digital marketing: “SOCIAL MEDIA”!

Social Media Course — We Include EVERYTHING

So, now that I know social media is the keyword, I’m going to explain how every course we offer ties into your Facebook advertising and Facebook Page and why all of these aspects are important to you if you are going to spend more time and money building a strong online brand.

Content Marketing

virion and 123ezy social media course and content marketing catalogue No matter who you are or what you do you will need content and you will use that content to promote you and the services you provide. I have been using all of these tools to help convert EzyLearn into an “online only” training company in 2006 but I was able to explore how to provide these services to real estate agents when I managed the social media strategy for Derek Farmer, a real estate agent in Cammeray at the time. Here are the content options we had to play with:

Photographs and Images

Images are used in Instagram, Facebook, Linkedin and on your blog (if you have one). They are used to make a blog easier to read and in industries like real estate where good photography is important to get a high price and make a successful sale they are used to showcase the product being sold. I recently spoke to an asbestos removal company and photographs of what they do and how they do it are also an important part of their “content”.

We show you how to include images in blogs and even include fundamental image editing skills using GIMP (it’s very powerful and it’s free!)

Video Marketing

property marketing, video marketing, Facebook Page, Facebook Ads, Youtube and video marketingEzyLearn has several hundred videos as part of our online training courses and sometimes we use them to give prospective students examples of our training, explanations about how our special offers work or even videos of me explaining the EzyLearn journey since the late 1990’s! Real estate agents like Derek Farmer use video to help educate property sellers about the various aspects of the property selling process and what to look out for.

We show you how to get your video up to YouTube, or more professional services like Wistia and show you the analytics you can get about your video viewers and how to make a better video next time — it’s all about drop off rates. We also show you how to get a Call-To-Action within the video itself.

Blog Marketing

Blog marketing is my personal favourite because I love writing; you can really play with the keywords that Google loves so much and you can fill a website up with content that shows you are active.

We teach you how to create a website, create web pages AND blog posts, how to optimise them for the keywords you want to be discovered for and how to measure and understand the visitor analytics.

Facebook Pages, Timeline Posts, Advertising and Remarketing

This is the one that EVERYONE is interested in and for good reason; the demographic targeting is fantastic. Facebook is becoming increasingly important for real estate agents to promote themselves — indeed, Social Estate and BuddyBid are just two companies getting in early to earn a couple of hundred dollars a month for each real estate agent they take on board.

Note: This is something that any work at home mum (or dad) can do! You just need to understand how to generate new content or “republish” other interesting content on a Facebook Timeline and how to create a Facebook Ad. We cover all of this in our Social Media Marketing Course.

Facebook Pages

Our written guide and training course videos show you how to set up a Facebook Page for a local business (ideal for tradies, service providers like accountants or bookkeeper and of course real estate agents). By using a Facebook page you can assign the administration of that page to someone who simply schedules posts — that someone can be YOU.

Most people with a Facebook Page then need to make sure their Timeline is filled with content so that they pop up regularly in local news feeds.

Feeding Your Facebook Timeline

Real Estate Agent Facebook Page, timeline posts and ads help property and brand marketingMost people think it’s important to create a Facebook post every day but that’s hard to do if you need to generate original content. Instead most people re-post other content that is relevant to the audience — this is often referred to as curated content (for instance, where you make a comment or affirm your belief in an article).

Real estate agents often simply refer to the plethora of real estate blogs available and here are some examples used by David Howe, an honest and diligent McGrath agent in Northbridge, Sydney, who asked our designer team to create a website for him:

  • http://www.smartpropertyinvestment.com.au/how-to-maximise-profit-without-it-costing-you-a-cent
  • http://www.dailytelegraph.com.au/lifestyle/food/sydney-taste/sydney-eat-street-10-things-to-try-in-crows-nest/news-story/
  • http://www.apimagazine.com.au/2016/11/debt-retirement-worries-high/
  • https://www.buzzfeed.com/markdistefano/too-real-estate
  • http://www.homestolove.com.au/how-to-design-the-perfect-laundry-4236
  • http://blog.templeandwebster.com.au/work-the-trend-the-new-natural/
  • http://www.afr.com/real-estate/residential/dont-want-to-move-want-a-reno-architecture-awards-show-how-to-do-it-20161104-gshwue
  • http://davidhowe.com.au/david-howe-real-estate-agent-northbridge/

This method of posting other people’s content is good enough to show that your Facebook Page is active. However, from an internet marketing perspective it tends to send people away from your Page and onto other websites where your competitors might advertise — especially if you report material by ratemyagent, openagent, realestate.com.au or domain!

In our social media marketing course we show you how to make a post like this and schedule them all in advance but also how to get your own unique content and how to link to content where none of your competitors are listed.

Facebook Advertising

Facebook Ad Views for individual property advertisement - Clarence TownFacebook ads are relatively simple to create so there is NO reason to get someone else to do them (particularly if they’re going to charge you the equivalent of 4 hours’ labour!). The key elements of a Facebook Ad are their structure: Campaigns, Adsets, then individual ads and once you get that right and understand how it works, creating a Facebook Ad can be done by someone in your office or who you trust (again, a work at home mum).

We show you the type of posts and ads that Derek Farmer paid to promote in his local area, why he chose to do it, how much he paid and what his viewer and reader statistics were. We’ll also show you how to advertise to your own client base in their Facebook Feeds and how to remarket to people who’ve been to your website or Facebook Page.

WordPress, Hosting, User Management etc

I believe that your own website is the best “landing page” for any marketing money spent because YOU OWN IT. The more traffic you direct to your own website and the more content you put there that is valuable to your customers and future potential customers the more valuable YOU and YOUR WEBSITE will become.

WordPress online training course and social mediaIn our Social Media Marketing Course we include every aspect of how to manage your own website using the very popular WordPress Content Management System. This includes having multiple users be able to publish content. We also teach you how to optimise your blogs and pages for important keywords using tags and categories, how to use meta tags on your pages and even on images so everything gets indexed by Google and how to make your website look fantastic with professional themes (templates).

Lead Capture and Email Marketing

Having a call to action on your website or Facebook Page is critical to truly analyse it’s effectiveness and understand it’s success — what’s working and what needs to change. A very important part of that is to capture the email address of people who visit your site and most websites do that using a giveaway, free reports, white papers etc. Once you have a potential clients email address you effectively have permission from them to send them email messages.

We use a number of different email marketing solutions including Campaign Monitor and Aweber, and these are very similar to MailChimp, GetResponse, Constant Contact and a plethora of other email marketing solutions. We’ll show you how to use these systems to capture website visitor details and send them messages automatically. 

Capturing, Analysing and Understanding visitor traffic

Video visitor Analytics - property marketing video for real estate agentsGoogle Analytics is the most popular website traffic analysing system and you can use it to measure the effectiveness of your website day-by-day, week-by-week and for specific date ranges.

We show you how to implement the code on your website, how to access the visitor traffic information on your PC and even your mobile phone and what elements to look for to understand what your website is doing. 

Conclusion about Social Media Marketing Course

We do all of this using our own website examples as well as Derek Farmers website so you can see what real businesses do to succeed online. Whether you want to do all of this yourself, hire an experienced internet marketer or find a suitably qualified work at home mum (or dad) this course will give you an abundance of knowledge and strategies to manage what you do.

See what’s included in our Social Media Marketing Course and enrol today at a huge launch discount!

[button link=”http://ezylearnonline.com.au/courses/marketing-training-courses/digital-marketing-social-media-courses/” color=”orange”] Social Media Marketing Course Contents[/button]

 

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Video: Receive an Automatically Discounted Price for Online Course Enrolments!

Specials and Summer Training

2016-12-20 How to use the EzyLearn website to get discounts and special pricingIt’s Christmas time and we’ll be open every day (except the public holidays) which means you can make contact with questions or support during your course.

But best of all, we’re offering a fabulous special offer with a saving of over $300. Check out the quick video below which shows you how to get $663 dollars worth of training for just $296a saving of $337!

All you have to do is choose your courses at our Online Course Enrolment page and the discounts will be applied automatically.

Get New Skills for A New Year!

discounted Myob QuickBooks online courseWith the New Year coming fast we find most of our students are looking to change careers and/or up-skill so as to feel confident with their computer skills in job interviews and the like, so our current special offers will train you up to be your best, cheaply. Here’s all you need to do:

  1. Choose Microsoft Excel course (12 month’s access, all 9 courses and Certificate).
  2. Scroll down to the discounted courses section to see the Xero Training Course available for $30 less.
  3. Scroll down further to see the Microsoft Word Course (12 month’s access, all 9 courses and Certificate), which is normally $267 is now FREE
  4. Tick the box next to “Yes, I have a discount voucher code” and enter 8881818 to receive a further $70 discount off the Microsoft Excel course!

If you don’t have the time right now, don’t worry, you’ve got 12 months to complete all these courses at your own pace — so just enrol now to get the current special offers.

Watch this video to see how to get the discounts

New Online Courses for the New Year

It’s been a very busy year for new course creation and we’ve just launched two new courses that are all based on new online cloud-based services in bookkeeping and marketing/advertising. Read about them here:

QuickBooks Online

Provide quotes on your tablet computer, convert them to invoices when you get the order and take photographs of your receipts for expenses — works on your smartphone too. These are the features of America’s most popular accounting software program that is now aggressively promoting itself to Australian small businesses.

And what do we think? We believe QuickBooks is good software — find out more about our Intuit QuickBooks Daily Transactions Course.

Our New Digital & Social Media Marketing Course

Facebook and social media online training course
Tired of struggling to post consistently on Facebook and other social media sites? We’ve had a WordPress course for several years to teach you how to create your own website and blog, edit images, and optimise it for search engines (like Google). But if you’ve ever struggled with fleshing out a Facebook Page, or want to start promoting yourself or your business in social media, try our Digital Business and Social Media Marketing Courses.

We show you what you should include on a modern day website as well as including Facebook Page, Content Marketing and Facebook Advertising training (which we used to help Derek Farmer show up on Page 1 in Google for the competitive Cammeray Real Estate Agent search query).

***

Most of all, from all of us here at EzyLearn, HAVE a FANTASTIC and SAFE Christmas — doing things you love!

Online computer training Christmas specials_comp

 

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Breaking Bad Content Marketing: The Correct Way to Use PowerPoint

Breaking Bad Content Marketing for small business presentation for real estate agents and bookkeepers AND writersI’d like your opinion!

I was reviewing some of the content we’ve created this year and I was actually astounded at the number of blogs we’d written that mention content marketing. Even so, when I mention content marketing to many business people, they’re still not really sure what I’m talking about. So I asked Angela in our office to put something together — just for fun. Better still, I recorded an audio commentary to go with it; I hope you find it of use.

All the content marketing talk

Want a recap of all the times I’ve written about content marketing? I did a whole lot of posts about real estate agents and how important content marketing is for them. Here are some of the blog headlines in our content marketing category:

Maybe I’m a bit more passionate about content marketing than I even realised (which is saying something!) Watch the video below and let me know your thoughts.

Video presentation with annotations and a call to action

 

Want to know more?

If you’re interest in learning about the contents of our Content Marketing, Facebook and Social Media course which is currently being uploaded to our LMS read about it here and follow the links to pre register for alerts. When we release it we’d have a great offer for early students. 🙂

Thought you may like to know that we are going to reveal everything we did for Derek Farmer’s real estate site for property sales in Cammeray – even Facebook advertising and re-targeting to stay front of mind with his client database.

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The New Year’s Approaching: Think About New Content Marketing for Your Business

The Value of Content Marketing

the-value-of-online-content-marketing
Finding it hard to get started in content marketing? Register for our upcoming course.

The beginning of a new year, which is typically the quietest as people take a while to adjust to the work and school routine, is when a lot of business owners spend time setting goals for the year ahead.

Just as individuals set their own personal new year’s resolutions, many business owners use January to set some new year’s resolutions for their business’s marketing activities.

Here are the Digital Marketing tasks that staff can do to bring more inquiries and more sales:

  • Business blogging vs paid Google Ads or Facebook Ads
  • Email Newsletters
  • Optimising images and photographs for SEO

Continue reading The New Year’s Approaching: Think About New Content Marketing for Your Business

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Is MYOB really a CRM and which CRMs are best for people in sales?

CRM = Customer Relationship Management

THE PURPOSE OF HAVING a CRM is so that when you call one of your clients or prospects, you know everything about them and can start a conversation based on what they’re looking for — their needs.

This might seem a little strange when you think about it because you could be out of date with your info (say you’ve entered old information on this particular client) but, casting this quibble aside, CRM’s are generally a terrific way to provide excellent customer service, on a consistent basis, and this is often the competitive edge that will you need to stay in business. (I’ve written a little comparison of real estate agent CRM’s but I wanted to add a couple other ones to the mix for good measure.)

Accounting Software and CRMs

Cloud CRMs that integrate with MYOB AccountRight - online training coursesIn the early days, MYOB used every aspect of their software to sell itself to small business clients.

The fact that the software enabled business to keep contact details and search for past orders was a good reason to call the software a CRM.

However, times have moved on and even with powerful and well known CRM brands like Salesforce, there seems to be dozens of CRM providers to choose from, with prices ranging from $15 per month/ per seat to over $150! In fact if you head over to MYOB’s Add-On Centre you’ll find plenty of CRM’s that now integrate with their software.

We are now entering the integration phase of software development – which cloud-based services integrate with other services you’re using – and we wrote an article at the beginning of the year about a home appliances technician who uses accounting software integrations on his tablet to run an efficient and profitable little business.

Real Estate Agent CRM’s

best-real-estate-agent-crmsOne thing that has become apparent to our team lately (we’re working on social media marketing for real estate agents) is the difference in mindset between bookkeepers and real estate agents and if you think about it for a second it makes sense.

Bookkeepers are usually people who just want to get themselves into their work and sort out the financial and accounting details whereas real estate agents want to find big shiny things to sell and earn a commission based income.

It’s the classic back office versus front office personality style, the salesy and bold vs the unassuming and detailed office admin person.

The thing that real estate agents are looking for in a CRM are:

  • Quick and Easy contact detail collection (do it once and get all the data) – ideally at open homes
  • Automated categorisation of contact (Who’s keen and what are they looking for) – often defined by the type of property they enquire about
  • Constant messages pinging prospects with their brand (like weekly emails about their open homes this weekend)
  • Great reporting to see what works (so they can repeat it) – like how many emails sent, calls, open homes etc

The relationship with a real estate agent is often brief and very intense because property owners (vendors) will be speaking sometimes every day with their sales agent to see how the selling process is going. With property marketing campaigns in the capital cities like Sydney and Melbourne only lasting a couple weeks in some instances there is a massive amount of information to be collected yet the reporting needs to be simple.

My Preference for CRMs is Simple

zoho-crm and cloud based integrationAlthough I’ve had some exposure to Salesforce when I originally spoke to that company (many years ago and much has probably changed) they only offered yearly plans (but showed them as a low monthly fee) and the upfront cost was too high so I didn’t go down that path.

Instead I found some great nimble tech startups (at the time, now they’re quite a bit bigger) who offered software that did all the basics very well and offered normal cloud-based pricing ie. low monthly fees: Zoho CRM and HighRiseHQ

I found that these two programs did many useful things. They:

  • enabled me to integrate with our form collections (no need for double entry)
  • gave me the ability to very easily make comments every time I spoke with them
  • integrated with my email marketing software
  • enabled me to use tags to categorise and find contacts
  • offered a low monthly cost!

The Dark Horse in Real Estate CRM’s is CreataCRM

CreataCRM integrates with MYOB Cloud and is used by top performing McGrath real estate agentsI had the pleasure of meeting Reece, the managing director of CreataCRM, at Cebit 2016 and was amazed I’d never heard of this company before.

When I took a look at their software I was blown away – here is an Australian based software developer who has worked with some of the top performing McGrath real estate agents to build a complete and thorough cloud-based CRM with all the integrations you could ask for, including:

  • MYOB AccountRight (live and even the old v19)
  • Xero
  • VoIP telephony
  • Email broadcasting
  • Workflow Automation

The most amazing part about their software is that it costs just $11 per user per month! Now that is a lot of software and a VERY low price. I’m thrilled to be able to share this information with you because here is a company with a great product that focus more on their product development and software features and less on making themselves look big and flashy.

If you have had any experiences with CRM’s I’d love to hear from you and add further depth to our conversation and study into CRM’s.


Xero online training course

At EzyLearn we offer online training courses to help you up-skill and find employment. Choose from our range of cloud-based online accounting software courses, to business start up and management courses, to marketing and sales courses, or update and further your skills in a range of Microsoft Office programs (ExcelPowerPointWord) or social media and WordPress web design). 


 

 

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Free Tip for real estate agents who want to use video in their social media with WordPress websites

Getting video into social media advertising and marketing is king for real estate agents

property marketing is important to sell your house in Sydney's lower north shore property marketYou may recall a recent post about the exciting work we are doing with real estate agents around Australia to help them with their social media marketing as their industry goes through massive technological change.

Real estate agents are adopting Facebook pages, using Facebook advertising and creating their own websites to make them stand out from other agents but most importantly to show property sellers that they’re very experienced in the local property market and also great people to deal with. This stuff also applies to bookkeepers, accountants and most businesses where a good personal reputation is important!

Creating videos, serving videos and displaying videos

We spend much of our marketing efforts “writing” blogs to add value to you, the reader. We also optimise these pages so they can get discovered by people who use Google and other search engines to find information. Through our digital marketing agency, virion we’re doing this work for real estate agents AND bookkeepers so make sure to check these services out or contact us if you want to know more.

The thought of creating, uploading and then displaying videos on a website is very daunting to some people and usually it’s the inserting the video into a website as a blog or a page that is the part people aren’t sure about. So, I created a video for you! Yes, feel free to enjoy my calm, relaxing, yet very capable voice go through a process that our team go through dozens of times a week.

We have a course on WordPress and this video and other new videos will shortly be inserted into that course but the other aspects of performing this type of work involve these questions:

  1. Where are you going to store the videos. We prefer Wistia because of their fantastic analytics but most people are familiar with Youtube and the fact that it’s free is a great benefit too.
  2. How are you going to display it. We prefer to keep our content on our own websites but lots of real estate agents are happy to build up a following on many different social media platforms and Youtube is definitely one of them.

Enjoy the video below and make sure to Request a Quote if you are interested in having my team and I manage your online digital marketing using quality content.

Youtube videos into WordPress Blog pages

Also, stay tune for updates about our forthcoming Facebook for Business Courses.

 

 

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Facebook Advertising and Impressions for Real Estate Agents

Facebook advertising and impressions of you

David Howe uses Facebook to showcase properties that are currently available for sale in Northbridge NSWHas someone been telling you you must get onto social media? Are you a real estate agent with a Facebook page that is pushing people away? Are you spending hundreds of dollars per month and pushing your Facebook community away from what you do and to all the big companies!?

Target home owners in your suburb

This is why everyone loves social media isn’t it? The fact that you can almost perfectly target your marketing message to your ideal customer makes social media perfect, the only issue you have now is “Are they ready to buy”? Are they ready to use your services at that moment? What happens if they aren’t?

I interviewed Michael Griffiths when he ran his Internet marketing business for our business marketing course and he pointed out was that only about 3% of the people who come to your website are ready to transact, the rest of the visitors are exploring, learning and getting to know people (hopefully you are one of them) who they may use in the future. That’s why recommendations, testimonials, blogs and social media pages are important because they show prospective buyers that you are active, current and in tune and the messages you give out will almost help them define whether they like who you are.

Facebook may not work immediately

The dilemma for real estate agents is whether they should advertise using Google Adwords or with Facebook Advertising and the answer is really both, but for different reasons.

  • Google Adwords gets you in front of people who are searching for you or the services you provide
  • Facebook enables you to get in front of all of your potential market
  • Social media, blogs and newsletters help you remain front of mind

ReMarketing keeps your ad in front of prospects

Everyone is talking about remarketing and giving you to power to show your ad to your target audience no matter where your prospect goes online. The problem is that they may never need or want your services and you’re continuously paying for the ad to appear. The problem with some Facebook ads is that you pay for impressions – every time someone sees your ad – as opposed to PPC (every time someone clicks on your ad).

It’s better to offer your prospects a way to be reminded of you and you do that by getting people to like your page, follow you on twitter or LinkedIn and subscribe to your blog. Every time you create new and interesting content your prospects will see you and if they are no longer interested they’ll disconnect, unsubscribe, Unlike, Unfollow you.

Facebook is best for your past clients and potential advocates

The best way I believe to use Facebook advertising is to create a custom audience of all your past clients and make sure you show up when they are using Facebook. It builds the likelihood of them recommending you to their friends and it keeps you front of mind, particularly for real estate agents where the sales funnel can take several years sometimes for someone to use your services after getting to know you.

123ezy is a digital agency that creates real estate agent websites and helps them navigate the changing world of property marketing and building an online reputation based on all the hard work they have already done. EzyLearn creates courses to help students learn how to use office productivity, accounting and marketing programs to manage their business or work. We’re assembling a Facebook Advertising for Business Course and you can register for our free Facebook Advertising Course now.

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Real Estate Agent, Derek, Has Made it to Page 1 in Google

6 Weeks from Zero to Hero in Google Organic Search

Keyword analytics for derek farmer real estate agent in CammerayI HAD A GOOD, long think before writing this blog post. However, I’ve decided it’s OK to write this blog — because the blog should be about helping business people reach Page One in Google’s organic search results (that’s the FREE ones!)

You should see the number of emails I get each week from overseas companies in Asia, the Middle East, Eastern Europe and even the US and UK.

All of these emails are telling me the same thing: How they will get my company onto Page 1 in Google!

You might be thinking, “Yeah, so what? I already know how to do that!” or let me see your list of companies. Point is, there are lots of these self-professed experts around — and I’m probably no exception!

SEO Aspects

I last wrote about real estate agent, Derek Farmer, before Christmas when we had already created his new website. The aim of this was to help property owners find him when they’re ready to explore selling their property.

We’d already begun the process of creating relevant content but ramped it up in the last 6 weeks and the results were amazing as you can see from the chart!

The work we did to help Derek get onto Page 1 of Google WITHOUT spending a cent on advertising,  involved all the tools we use at EzyLearn just to run our business. The thing with this is that we practise what we preach.

That’s the beauty of running an online business: You get pretty good at all the technical and content stuff, particularly when you have to compete with the marketing muscle of billion dollar organisations like MYOB and Sydney University!

Of course, Derek was a good real estate to begin with. He had a great existing reputation in Sydney’s Lower North Shore and over 170 property sales under his belt. Quality speaks volumes.

Give something away

Derek Farmer real estate agent smiling portrait in selling your property educational training videoDerek had also spent a lot of time, considerable money and brainpower coming up with an educational series of videos. These helped his vendors (people selling their homes) and prospective customers better understand the various stages of the sales process.

This reflects the need for businesses to generate great quality content that people will find valuable — it’s something everyone needs do in the “Google information era” we all now live in.

See what Derek has done and learn more about Automated Response Marketing

virion: A brand I am proud to work with

Virion is the arm of the business that helped Derek achieve such tremendous online success.

If you want to see more of what we do with online and content marketing, along with case studies and success stories, subscribe to our Virion blog.

Check out the Blog and Subscribe

Whereas the EzyLearn blog is chiefly about what we teach, the virion blog covers more of what we do. I’d love to share the work we do with you. Who knows if you see something you like, you can even join us and get involved!

[button link=”http://virion.com.au/subscribe/” color=”green” newwindow=”yes”] Subscribe Now[/button]

 

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Why Continuing Professional Education is Important for Bookkeepers

CPD for Bookkeepers is Becoming More Important

CPD CPE and ongoing education is very important to the Tax practitioners board TPB for Registered BAS AgentsEducation is obviously something we think is very important, whether you’re changing careers, starting a new business, or looking to upskill for a promotion. But what about education to keep your current job? The Australian Government thinks that’s equally important, especially for BAS and tax agents.

In March this year, the Tax Practitioners Board (TPB) changed their renewal process to now include continuing professional education (CPE) as a mandatory for all registrations after July 1, 2016. Between now and June 30, 2016, it’s sufficient for BAS and tax agents to merely show they have read and understood the new CPE policy to renew their registration, but this arrangement can only be used once; moving forward those BAS and tax agents will still need to complete further education to register again as a BAS or tax agent the in the future.

Are You a Currently a BAS or Tax agent?

Over the last few years, the Government has introduced a lot of new measures that BAS and tax agents have had to comply with in order to continue to offer their services to clients, namely the changes in 2010 that made it mandatory for all BAS and tax agents to hold a minimum qualification of a Cert IV in bookkeeping.

The new CPE requirement could seem like just another measure that BAS and tax agents need to comply with just to be able to keep their jobs. It’s not. CPE has been introduced to ensure that BAS and tax agents continue to understand, not just their own industry – that of tax and finance – but also how other industries are changing too.

There are more people leaving their jobs as employees and starting to work for themselves as consultants and freelancers and contract workers, across a wide array of industries. Marketing professionals, for example, no longer simply come up with marketing hooks for companies; they also have to understand how to create websites and how SEO works and social media. In some cases, they even become unofficial spokespeople and sales reps for the companies they’re consulting with, leveraging their contacts on their clients’ behalf.

CPE makes BAS and tax agents more valuable, not less

This vastly complicates a marketing professional’s tax if that marketing professional’s job now encompasses the roles of several other professions within it. Similar changes have been observed in bookkeeping, with registered BAS and tax agents now providing more operational and administrative-type services, in addition to just bookkeeping.

The point, then, of CPE is not to make it more difficult for tax and BAS agents to renew their registration with the TPB, but to help tax and BAS agents to remain as highly skilled as they’ve ever been, in an ever-changing labour market. And the better skilled you are as a BAS and tax agent, particularly those self-employed BAS and tax agents, the more value you’ll be able to provide your clients, and the more work you’ll get from them in return.

To learn more about continuing professional education for bookkeepers, visit the TPB website. Otherwise, to read more about bookkeeping, particularly starting your own bookkeeping business, continue reading our blog.

Are you a Writer and Want to Work from Home Blogging for Businesses?

I write about marketing professionals because they are increasingly important in small businesses as businesses grapple with getting discovered online.  I recently wrote about Blogging for Business and our new training course to help businesses with their content marketing strategy and tasks because it’s something that my team are spending more and more time on. It’s also an area that is evolving every month and requires writers to learn about and adapt to new technology.

Enrol into the Blogging for Business Course now and take advantage of it’s current cheap price. We’ll soon be adding real life exercises where blogging students will be asked to create content and have it edited and published so they can participate in a real world business blogging project!

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Seriously, Why Wouldn’t You Use WordPress for Your Website?

Finding Income Opportunities for EzyLearn Students

start a business and work from home bookkeeping, content marketing, admin and moreWe’ve had some exciting news in the last couple of weeks: EzyLearn students who are completing the MYOB Training Courses and WordPress Courses are starting to earn money because we’re helping them get customers AND improve their skills!

I’ve been working with the team at Workface and we’re assembling a training and mentoring program to help EzyLearn students start and operate a business from home. The best part of this, and something I am passionate about, is that we’re helping people from all over Australia become remote contractors (teleworkers, call it what you want) and work from anywhere via the Internet.

Yes, you can start a business & work from home

I recently wrote about how cloud-based software is enabling people who live in regional Australia perform work for businesses in the capital cities (Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Perth, Adelaide etc) and also about the Teleworking hubs that are starting to appear around the country as part of the evolution of people living outside the cities and working at home or close to home.

You may also recall that we’ve also launched the Startup Academy this year to provide formalised and structured training and mentoring support. It’s for you so if you are interested in starting a business and working from home we’ve teamed up with some products/service providers to give you a flying start and projects to start on right away.

Explore running your own business from home now

Bright VIC to Melbourne Virtual Assistant is doing content marketing for infant massage business in Sydney
Imagine travelling this far to work for a client. Content Marketing can be done from anywhere

There are opportunities to provide office/admin support services, content marketing, business telephone systems and IT support and of course bookkeeping services and if you’d like to start a business in one of these areas then explore the business opportunities.

When you sign up and join our team you’ll gain exposure to many new online (cloud-based) software and services that enable us to:

  • collaborate,
  • share files,
  • work on project together,
  • set and manage goals and daily tasks,
  • turn to each other for support,
  • create and build your own online profile, and
  • many more skills that will enable you to work for yourself and generate your own income, no matter where you live.

Remember our goal is to help you start a business and work from home – NO MATTER WHERE YOU LIVE. Helen from Bright is our latest virtual assistant and she is doing some website design and content marketing for an infant massage business starting up in Sydney’s Northern Suburbs! I looked at a Google Map and discovered that she’d have at least 3 hours travel if she wanted to work in her nearest capital city!

Are you looking for someone to help you in your business?

We’re going to document our journey with these remote contractors and share with you some of the growth they go through as they grapple with the new frontier of internet working.

If you are a business looking for any of these services you can Find a Contractor through Workface and our team can get to work for you too.

[button link=”http://workface.com.au/services/find-contractor/”]Find a Contractor[/button]

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What is inbound marketing?

Will customers like you according to Google?

google likes great quality content for inbound marketing purposesInbound marketing is the focus on creating quality content that attracts and draws people toward your company and product. In the last few years, it’s come to replace the outbound marketing methods of old, which involved buying ads and email lists and paying for leads, making it one of the most effective online marketing methods. If this sounds a lot like content marketing that’s because it is, or at least, it’s a subset of it.

Content marketing is the process of consistently creating valuable, relevant content that you share online to attract more customers to your business. Inbound marketing is about being found online, through search engines, social media, and the like. See the difference? No, well allow me to elaborate.

But first, a little history lesson

Content marketing has been around for ages – it’s thought to have started with John Deere, the agricultural machinery manufacturer, which started it’s own magazine in 1895 called The Furrow – but it’s only recently gained more traction as businesses and marketers alike try to find new ways to engage customers online. Despite that, content marketing is just one cog in the greater online/inbound marketing machine.

Inbound marketing, though now very intimately linked to content marketing, is actually a far newer incarnation of the more traditional marketing activities. Inbound marketing is maybe only a decade old, and grew out of the shift in the way consumers interact and respond to advertising. Where consumers were once passive observers of advertising, the Internet made them powerful advocates or critics of a brand, aided greatly by social media.

Which side of that fence a company’s customers fell on was entirely up to what they did with their marketing. Increasingly, though, it became clear that consumers weren’t interested in straight advertisements, especially not on the Internet; they want content and they want content that’s informative or engaging – or both.

If you’ve been following this blog, then you know that EzyLearn is busy developing a new content marketing course, which we hope will complement our existing small business management course that currently covers traditional marketing – buying ads, telemarketing, letterbox drops; basically, what’s now known as outbound marketing.

If you’ve been following this blog, then you’ve also been following our own content marketing strategy: to share valuable, informative content with our students and prospective students, to form a community of individuals who are as passionate about learning and development in their professional lives as we are.

Can content marketing exist without inbound marketing?

Before I talk about whether content marketing can exist in isolation to inbound marketing and vice versa, I’d just like to summarise exactly what content marketing is and what inbound marketing is.

Content marketing is the strategic creation of informative, engaging, and valuable content. It’s the blog posts, newsletters, web pages, and – yes – print advertisements, flyers and brochures.

Inbound marketing is the overarching marketing plan or approach to attracting customers. It’s the distribution methods and channels of your blog posts and newsletters; it’s opt-in email lists; online community building (social media management); search engine optimisation; pay-per-click advertising; and so forth.

Because content is such a big part of marketing, whether it’s outbound or inbound marketing, I believe that, while you can use content marketing on its own, it’s not really possible to use inbound marketing without any content. Besides, there is some overlap between content marketing and inbound marketing, anyway.

Is there a career or business opportunity in Inbound Marketing?

In content marketing, you may decide to regularly write and publish blog posts, promote them on social media, and encourage people to subscribe to your blog using an opt-in widget on your web page. That single content marketing activity – blogging – involves, by default, some components of inbound marketing. No one writes a blog post, after all, and leaves it in their content management system without publishing it and then linking to it on social media.

That’s why we decided to develop a content marketing course, rather than an inbound marketing course because, by convention now, many elements of inbound marketing are carried out as part of the regular content marketing process. Content marketing also integrates better with other marketing activities, like networking or outbound marketing, which means you can create content for to be used on your blog and repurpose it for a letterbox drop.

Continue reading our blog to learn more about content marketing (or subscribe to ensure you don’t miss out!), where we’ll also keep you posted on our forthcoming content marketing course.

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Internet Marketing Scholarships Available for Mums in Chatswood

Digital Business Course - Google marketingPerhaps you’re a mum who’s available during school hours and want to start your own business? We might have the opportunity for you. Due to the success of our MYOB training courses and with requests from our students we are developing the Digital Business Course in conjunction with the Australian Small Business Centre.

[quote]We’re looking for talented mumpreneurs who want to learn some new skills while working with a live online training business.[/quote]

With the Small Business Management Course on our Learning System we’re keen to help mums create a business plan for their own business from our office right here in Chatswood. If you’re a reader from another part of Australia (or the world for that matter) you can still learn about our developments at this blog and at the Small Business Centre blog.

Michelle provides support for MYOB course students
Michelle provides support for our MYOB training course students

Michelle recently started on our training support team and we are looking for mums to help us with the development of the Digital Business Course and we are looking for mums who have excellent skills or motivation in:

  • Graphic Design
  • Business and Blog Writing
  • Website Design using WordPress
  • Social media
  • Online and Telephone based support
  • Bookkeeping
  • Marketing and Advertising
  • Google Online Marketing

If you would like to join us on a journey of learning and growth please enter your details at this form: http://www.australiansmallbusiness.com.au/services/business-service-provider/ (make sure you mention the EzyLearn blog post and we’ll receive all your information).

You’ll be interested to know that our Digital Business Course is designed around helping a printing business in Artarmon get a professional website using WordPress, but more importantly students will learn about:

  • Integrating social media,
  • Creating and optimising a blog (just like this one!),
  • Using YouTube
  • Using Google Analytics to measure your results
  • Getting the most from Google Adwords
  • Learn about Google authorship
  • Google Local Marketing

Students will also learn about a host of other Google services available to help businesses become more visible to their potential customers and step into the new age of online marketing. Students will learn about how to make a business “relevant” in Google searches.

The other aspect of our Digital Business Course is we want to educate mums how to perform the tasks that many businesses need to become visible online. In the same way that learning MYOB enables mums to work flexible hours from their own home, the Digital Business Course will provide an excellent structure to enable mums to work flexible hours while helping businesses get into the digital age.

Enter your details at this website for an opportunity to win a scholarship:  http://www.australiansmallbusiness.com.au/services/business-service-provider/

 

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What is the difference between WordPress.org and WordPress.com

Get the functionality of WordPress.COM at your very own site
Get the functionality of WordPress.COM at your very own site

Although we are best known around Australia for our Online MYOB Training Courses with lifetime access and all versions of MYOB AccountRight Plus many students enrol into our WordPress training course so that they can create and change their own website.

We received a call from a prospective student this week and he asked about whether we offer training on WordPress.com or WordPress.org so I thought we should take some time to explain the difference and why we offer the training we do.

WordPress is a system for creating and maintaining your online presence. Some people consider a Facebook page or a Linkedin profile to be an online presence and it is, but if you are a business owner you can create an online presence that you own and it’s based around your domain name. When you register a domain name you then point it to a website hosting account (they call this DNS Management) and this is where the difference between WordPress.COM and WordPress.ORG comes in. When you have your own domain name and website hosting you install the WordPress.ORG software on your own website and everything you put online is at your own domain. It helps to give your domain name more value.

[quote]WordPress.COM is a service were you can create an online profile at their website and it eliminates the need to buy a domain name and organise your own hosting, but it means you forego the goodwill value of owning your own domain name.[/quote]

Having said that, WordPress.COM functionality can now be built into the WordPress.ORG software you have on your own website using a service that WordPress call Jetpack. Jetpack enables dozens of extra features, including statistics about your website visitors, and connects your own website with the WordPress.COM service.

If there is one suggestion we have for small business owners who are looking for a website, go with a WordPress driven website because:

  1. Gives you the ability to easily change the content on each page when you want
  2. There are thousands of WordPress website designers who can help you if you need it
  3. You can incorporate social media and blogging very easily
  4. Social Media and Blogging will help increase your “relevance” in Google search results
  5. WordPress websites use themes that you can buy cheaply to create a professional website

Video PlayerWe’ve chatted with Paul from BYO Web and he will have some exciting information about WordPress website owners and the ability to easily add an e-commerce shopping cart to your website. Make sure you subscribe to receive future issues of our blog, and watch out for Paul’s exciting WordPress news.

By the way, if you want to get a free training video lesson about how WordPress websites are structured please check out this free WordPress Training video.

 

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LinkedIn Profiles: What Not To Do

620_300_cropIf you are like me, or pretty much any other living, breathing person on the planet with access to the Internet, then you’ve probably Googled someone in the last 24 hours.

Actually, I Googled someone while writing this post; had a gander at their LinkedIn profile and then went about the rest of my business.

I’ve mentioned previously how a LinkedIn profile works in shaping a person’s opinion of you, but how do you ensure it’s shaping a person’s opinion of you in the right way?

Getting Mileage Out of Your LinkedIn Profile

If you’re a jobseeker and you need to overhaul your LinkedIn profile, then some things to avoid:

Lying: Lie on your resume à la ex-Yahoo CEO, Scott Thomson, and you’re running the gamut of being found out at some point; lie on your LinkedIn profile and you will definitely get found out (either by a colleague or former employer), but lie on your CV and not your LinkedIn profile: now you’re not only a liar, you’re also a stupid one!

It’s simple: don’t lie. Ever.

Too many recommendations: if a prospective employer is scoping you out — perhaps to verify some of the claims in your CV or interview — and you don’t have any recommendations it’s likely they’ll consider you a dud networker, or worse: a dud employee.

To remedy this, send out a few recommendation requests. But don’t overdo it (when you’re job hunting, for example) — a slew of recommendations all at once makes it obvious you’re job hunting, which your current employer may not think too highly of.

Your job description is vague: maybe you think it’s mysterious, but vague or ambiguous statements in your job description is just plain elusive, and it makes you seem as though you’ve something to hide. Like maybe you’re not as fabulous as you let on you are.

The statement “assisted with the grand opening of a new store” could mean anything. For all we know, you could have put out the plastic cups people were drinking their complementary bubbles from. Instead, write what you actually did. No matter how small the task was.

No photo: this isn’t a beauty contest, nor is it the correct medium to post a picture of yourself drinking from a seven-foot beer bong. But the option to upload a picture is there for a reason.

A picture tells a thousand words and like it or not, visuals are important. If they weren’t, we’d never have to go for an actual job interview.

Ambiguous keywords: choose your keywords wisely; avoid overused buzzwords like “proven track record” or “team-player”. They may sound impressive (to you) but they really aren’t.

Instead of saying you have a proven track record in sales, show people what that proven track record was — if you pitched and won a multi-million dollar account for your company, say that. This turns an empty statement into a quantifiable accomplishment.

We work with professional partners that help combine our online training courses with services that help you to improve your chances of employability, or hone their talents and skills for running a small business. If you’re new to LinkedIn, we’ve discussed in a previous post how you can use your LinkedIn profile as your resume to find work. If you are looking for opportunities to become an independent contractor and operate your own business from home see the business opportunities at Workface.

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LinkedIn Profiles: How Useful Are They, Really?

What is the power of a LinkedIn profile?

how useful is a linkedin profile online learning social media training
We scrutinise the power of a LinkedIn online social media profile.

THERE MAY BE SOME debate over whether having a LinkedIn profile actually helps professionals make valuable connections with other professionals, but the same could also be said of traditional networking.

As a writer, I probably should network more, but personally, I don’t find much value in it. In the past I have either fallen prey to someone wanting publicity for their pyramid-scheme-type business or I’ve turned into a borderline stalker myself; harassing someone who perhaps only gave me their business card out of a feeling of social obligation.

Besides, a business card tells you nothing about how competent or capable that person is at their job. For writers and journalists, I’ve always found it pretty easy to validate their claims on Google; for other professionals: not so much. Until LinkedIn, that is.

The Professionalism of LinkedIn

LinkedIn may not connect you with the recruiter of your dream job, but Twitter doesn’t guarantee you’ll become BFFs with Mariah Carey, either. What LinkedIn does, however, is give you an online professional profile.

And it’s the rather perverse nature of today’s digital society that makes an online professional presence invaluable; LinkedIn itself can act as your calling card, demonstrating how others endorse you and your work; it can act as your resume; and it can help you to actively find the right job.

The Power of a LinkedIn Profile

Any time you meet someone, you can pretty much guarantee they’ll Google you. Whether they’re prospective employers you’ve interviewed with, people you’ve met in a professional setting (clients, industry alums) or even colleagues, you can bet at some point or another they have Googled you.

What that Google search turns up can totally change the way they interact with you.

I can’t tell you how many times I’ve LinkedIn-stalked a fellow writer only to discover their LinkedIn profile is not so impressive, after all. From this point on the entire dynamic of our relationship has changed immediately; suddenly I feel I’ve got the power.

On the other end of the scale, discovering the meek-mannered, unassuming but otherwise seemingly-unimpressive editor I chatted to with extreme ease is actually a former Vanity Fair staffer or contributor to The New Yorker adds another dimension to our relationship — usually, I’m putty in their hands.

***

And it’s in this context that, yes, a LinkedIn profile does work. Whether you’re using LinkedIn as a job-hunter or a networker, your LinkedIn profile tells people everything they think they need to know about you.

The old phrase — first impressions are lasting impressions — is out. It’s online impressions that are the lasting impressions.

If you haven’t already, we welcome you to connect with EzyLearn at LinkedIn.


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Our Xero online training courses include EVERYTHING for ONE LOW PRICE. Furthermore, if you select our Lifetime Membership option, you’ll have LIFETIME access to our ongoing course updates. All EzyLearn courses are accredited by the Institute of Certified Bookkeepers (ICB) and can be counted towards Continuing Professional Development (CPD) points. Find out more about our Xero online training courses.