Take Your Pick: 3 Small Business Web Tools
Your time is you most valuable asset, and finding small business Web tools that actually makes your work life easier is almost as good as finding free money. Hey, we said almost.
This week, weve got three small business Web tools to boost your small business marketing, increase your productivity and save you cold hard cash: Viddler, Elance and PlanetBargains.
This nifty Web tool is called Viddler.com, and the site claims to be the best way to watch and publish your videos.
I know what youre thinking: Im an entrepreneur, a small business guy. Why would I be interested in yet another video sharing site? I dont want to watch preteens lip-syncing to pop songs or yet another cat attacking a printer.
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Well, heres why you might be interested: Free marketing. The more widely you disseminate your companys marketing videos, the more eyeballs you drive to your website. Now I assume youre already on YouTube, right? You are? Okay. Well, Im saying add your video to Viddler, as well.
Signing up for a basic account is free, as it should be, and there are no space limitations. You can upload video directly from your webcam, although I wouldnt recommend that for a business video. You can post comments and tags at specific points in your video, and you can share your videos through RSS and iTunes.
You can build your brand by customizing the player to include your own logo. Now, thats cool. The site claims that you can have the player link back to your website when its embedded elsewhere in the Web, too. You can also post comments at specific points in the video. Im not sure how I would use that, but its kind of cool.
You can also pay for a Viddler Business account, which starts at $100 per month. A business account provides a complete online video solution from hosting and delivery to the player. Also analytics, so you know whos viewed it. And you get professional support (I wonder what the other kind of support is -- amateur support? I guess.) You can customize the player to include your own post-roll screen, and you get some control over ad selection, including sharing in the revenue.
There are a lot of options out there for sharing your marketing videos. Lets add Viddler to that list -- either the basic free version or Viddler Business, your choice.
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Elance.com is a site where you can hire professionals to do freelance work for you. If you have any kind of business on the Internet you need logos, you need websites, you need jingles -- there are an endless number of projects you might need to have done. And Elance is a great place to find someone to lighten your work load.
Heres how Elance organizes things. If you want someone to build your website, look under Web and Programming. If you need a video, if you need photographs, graphic design, logos, cartoons -- its all under Design and Multimedia.
Other categories include Writing and Translation and Ghost Writers all the way to Legal, Engineering and Manufacturing -- anything you can imagine. Its just amazing.
And the greatest thing about it is you just type in a skill that you need, and you can find people to do this work for you.
Now, you can also find folks who want to hire someone with your skill set. So if you have a talent that youd like to market, its a great place to come and set up your own little shop. Elance -- its a wonderful place to shop for services on the Internet.
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PlanetBargains.com is a good place to go if youre searching for discounts on everything from clothing, shoes, dining, pet supplies, office supplies, computer equipment, digital cameras, furniture -- you name it, theyve got it.
The site lists a plethora of stores -- both brick-and-mortar and online, from all around the world. Everything from the Apple Store, AT&T, Burger King, Crutchfeld, Dell, GoDaddy -- you get the idea.
Some of the companies that PlanetBargains routinely scan may have a particular sale or offer a coupon. The site lists available coupons for just about anything that youre interested in.
You can search the site's entire database, you can search listings on eBay and you can search for the lowest price on any particular item. They also have a section specifically devoted toward technology, so if youre interested in a laptop thats been refurbished, discontinued or just on sale, PlanetBargains is the place to go.
You'll find lots more small business marketing tips and resources from Andrew Lock in our Small Business In-Depth series, Lock in Your Marketing Resources.
Andrew Lock is a self-described maverick marketer and the creator and host of Help! My Business Sucks, a free, weekly Web TV show full of practical small business marketing tips, advice and resources to help small businesses "get more done and have more fun."
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