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Insights into the Online World

Pembina Highway, Winnipeg - by AJ Batac on Flickr - Modern Earth Web Design - Online Marketing - Winnipeg ManitobaIt's a question I get asked quite often when we respond to RFPs from across Canada, which we do on a frequent basis - winning a substantial proportion of them. More often, Winnipeg web developers are ignored as companies and organization wonder why they should engage with them rather than a local company.

The short answer is 'Why not?'

There are perceived limitations with working remotely from your client - very few, if any of them are real, so let’s look at them.

  1. You won't understand the client properly. This doesn't depend on physical location at all. It depends on being willing to put in the work to understand the client properly. I'm fortunate in having 20 years of business experience before coming to Modern Earth, and that's left me with one truth – it's not now, not ever about the technology, it's about the business.
  2. We won't be able to communicate well with each other. This one is insidious, but is also incorrect. Ask the question – how often do you actually meet with any of the companies you work with, rather than exchange emails, phone calls, and collaborate online using tools like AffinityLive and SharePoint? We work in this way with almost all our clients, whether they are in Winnipeg, Australia, or Europe. But you know what - if it really matters to you - sure, I’ll come visit.
  3. Toronto/Vancouver/Etc. companies are better - that's where the action is. There is no doubting that these are large centers of excellence in our field. They are also large centers of mediocrity and bad work too. There is the full spread of work done in Toronto, Vancouver, and yes, in Winnipeg too. We produce work that stacks up against the best anywhere- please look at our portfolio, speak to our clients, and see what you think.

Winnipeg and Manitoba have world class companies doing world class work in our field. It’s not limited to online development, either. Winnipeg and Manitoba are rapidly expanding due to initiatives from New Media Manitoba, Yes! Winnipeg and the Winnipeg and Manitoba Chambers of Commerce.

This is where the next explosion of New Media is happening. Come join us, work with us, or partner with us.

Jun132012

Butterfly - Randy Son Of Robert - Flickr - Modern Earth Web Design - Online Marketing - Winnipeg ManitobaLooking forward to the lazy hazy days of summer? Can’t wait for those days of lounging in the back yard, soaking up the sun, watching the world go by? What a great time to make some new friends and influence people from the comfort of your lawn chair! If you have a laptop or tablet and a wireless connection, you can finally fulfil that promise you made to yourself to get better at being a social media butterfly and catch a few rays at the same time.

Here are my top 10 tips for getting started with social media this summer – tackle them one at a time as summer unfolds, and by the fall, you will have a basic social media presence for your business.

10. Start with the Big 3 – set up a professional Facebook page, which can be set to post automatically to your Twitter account, which then feeds your LinkedIn profile. You may already have these accounts. Are their icons on your website, but the accounts are very quiet? Not for long!

9. Complete your profiles on each platform – and yes – please include a current professional picture of yourself. How else will I recognize you as the face of your business at the next business networking event?

8. Follow/friend/like your business connections on your business accounts. Like they say in Ghostbusters, “don’t cross the streams” – while you want to be your authentic and engaging self, your business channels are not the place for family conversations.

7. Take a look at your industry peers and competition – follow them, see what they are doing and what’s happening in your industry.

6. Connect to the major players in your business community – the Chambers of Commerce (local, regional, national), the relevant Government Dept. for your industry, networking groups you belong to, local power brokers & influencers, business writers in your local media.

5. Find something interesting, and comment on it or share it.

4. Repeat #5 until you feel confident to create your own post – that will happen when you read something, hear something or think of something that becomes the foundation of your first solo post. If someone comments, respond to their comment.

3 Write another post – and repeat at least once a week. Work up to once a day – whenever you have a thought or idea that you want to tell others, that’s fodder for your next post. I carry a little pad of paper where I am learning to capture my fleeting thoughts that become posts.

2. Now that you have arrived, talk to your web designer about putting social media icons on your website, if they aren’t there already. Let the crosspollination do the heavy lifting for you until you are able to branch out and manage each stream individually a few minutes each day.

1. Carry on with posting, and commenting and sharing something at least a couple times a week. Social media is meant to be conversational, not broadcast advertising or hyper-promotional, so don’t feel like you have to “push” your products and services, just talk about interesting things related to your business, with a bit of your own personality thrown in there from time to time to keep it warm and human.

Congratulations – you’ve built the Social Media for Business habit over the summer! Now you’re ready to get back into the full Fall Focus swing of things with some new tools in your toolkit, some new connections in your business community and some new channels to talk about what makes your business unique and vital to your clients.

Social media is pretty self-manageable, but if you need some additional professional help with graphics, crosspollination or strategy building, we can help. Modern Earth Web Design offers a full range of social media consulting services, bundled in packages that fit almost any budget. Call Jennifer at 204-885-2469 for more info, or email sales@modernearth.net – we’re here if you need us.