Ten Cool Tech Tips for Small Business Owners

Here are five marketing and five back-office tips for speakers and other owners of small businesses.

First the marketing tips:

  1. Ninjaoutreach.com for influencer marketing

Need to find guests for your radio show, blog, or podcast?  Or, do you want to be a guest to spread your message?  The folks at Ninjaoutreach.com have built a smart database of influencers just for you.  The hottest thing in marketing right now is influencer marketing.  Finding these influencers takes time, and ninjaoutreach.com streamlines your research, and provides facts about these influencers that you can’t find easily.  Ninjaoutreach.com is about $50 per month and is a salesperson’s dream.

  1. SEO tip: SSL Certificate for your web site

Search engine optimization has changed drastically in the last few years.  One tip is to make sure your website has a secure SSL certificate installed.  We get our clients’ certificates from Comodo.  These are about $100 per year plus website installation.

Web site tip: Find out if your site is search engine optimized organically, and if not, correct it!  (and let us know if we can help.)

  1. Facebook Live for exponential social media exposure

The hottest social media real estate right now is Facebook Live.  These videos get 10 times more exposure than anything else.  The window for benefiting from this trend won’t last forever, so jump in now!

The best way to benefit from this feature is to stream live, but if you need to delay the recording for an hour or so to clean it up or have videos that are already recorded, you can use software called OBS to stream these live.  Find it at obsproject.com.

  1. Scholarly articles for technical content

Try scholar.google.com if you need to find juried academic research.

  1. Voice search for the future

Something to keep an eye on for the near future is voice search.  I purchased Amazon Echo to research this for myself. Alexa (Echo’s voice) can answer questions accurately like “What is the National Speakers Association?” and “Who is Mark Sanborn?”

You’ll want to find out if Alexa knows who you are just in case meeting professionals start searching for speakers using voice search.  But relax, Alexa can’t play speaker demo videos… yet.

Here are five back office tips:

  1. Wunderlist for to-do list automation

If you’re still hand-writing your to-do list, check out Wunderlist, one of the automated to do list apps available now.  If you have staff, you can add them and assign and track tasks on the fly.  It allows you to add files and notes to tasks which cuts down on emails and keeps everything organized.  You can also group tasks and prioritize them.   I think we pay about $100 per year for Wunderlist.

  1. QuickBooks Online for cloud accounting

If your accounting system is still on the desktop, it’s time to switch to a cloud accounting system.  My choice is QuickBooks Online (QBO). Since you’re on the road all the time, you need anywhere, anytime access to your financials, and so does your accountant.  Both of you can access and collaborate using QBO.  Full disclosure:  I have a sponsor relationship with Intuit.

  1. Zapier to cut out duplicate data entry

Zapier is my choice when you need an app to send data from one system to another.  In Zapier, you can make a Zap between two systems so that they share a data transaction.  Hundreds of apps connect with Zapier, including all the social media platforms, CRMs, to-do-list apps, calendar apps, shopping carts, accounting systems, and many more.

For example, we send orders from our shopping cart to our accounting system so we don’t have to re-enter them.  You can send data from your social media to your CRM. The possibilities are endless, and Zapier is only $20 per month.  We save about $20,000 per year using this app.

  1. ShareFile for improved client service

How do you send your event deliverables to your meeting planner clients? If you’re using email or Dropbox, there’s a much more professional way: ShareFile.  It’s a client portal where you can set up a permanent, partitioned secure folder accessible to your meeting contacts for each speaking event.  In this folder, you can upload your contract, preview video, custom intro, slides, handouts, blog posts, social media posts, and all the other deliverables that meeting professionals ask for these days. They are all in a central place where the meeting planner can download them securely.

You can also connect RightSignature and have your contracts digitally signed.  Templates are available to speed up setup. The benefit is fewer emails and client stickiness.  Full disclosure: I have a sponsor relationship with Citrix.

  1. ScheduleOnce.com for calendar scheduling automation

Do you or your staff spend too much time scheduling appointments?  Cut the emails out by signing up for ScheduleOnce.com or another automated calendar scheduling app.  You’ll get a custom link that you can add to your website as a button that’s labeled, “Schedule an Appointment.” My business saves about $10,000 in labor per year with this app.

These tips have saved me tens of thousands of dollars; I hope you benefit from them too.