Quick Google+ Tip: Send Someone a Message

Google+ is a great social network, and it has these benefits — it can help your “ordinary” content to get indexed more quickly on Google itself. Don’t rely wholly on this attribute, but you’ll often find that your content on Google+ happily outranks your content elsewhere.

That said, Google+ can be confusing, because of the way it does things. For example, it’s not immediately obvious how you send someone a personal message, directly to them, that only they will see.

If you’re new to Google+ here’s how to send someone a private message in simple steps.

1. Log in to Google+

Log in, and you’ll see the “share” box.

2. Type your message

Google+: type your message

Type your message as you usually do.

3. Choose your recipient

In the “To” field, you’ll see recipients, such as Public, or Your Circles. Remove these recipients, then add your chosen recipient’s name, with the “+” sign. Type “+”, and some letters, and Google+ will make suggestions.

Choose your recipient

If you like, you can add additional recipients.

Have you completed your message? If so, hit the Share button, and your friend will receive your private message. It will appear in his Notifications, and he can reply.

Depending on his settings, he may also get an email message, and can reply using email.

That’s all there is to it.

 Little pitfalls to be aware of

If you’re sending a message to a client, which should be kept strictly private, be careful to remove everything else from to “To” box. When you’re in a hurry, you can unwittingly send a Public message. So double-check that you’re sending your message ONLY to the person you intend will receive it.

What if you want to send messages to a small group — let’s say, two contacts at Company X? The simplest way is to add both names to the “To” field in your message. But you can also create a private circle, with just these two people in it.

Your choice. If you create a private circle, all members of the circle will be aware of the others, and if you send a message to that circle, everyone in it will see your message.

Are you using Google+? It’s my favorite social media network, because it’s focused on interests. It’s easy to find Communities for almost any interest.

, on Twitter: @angee, and find Angela on Pinterest, too.

Get coaching, and build your skills at Angela’s online store.

Email Management App: Boomerang for Gmail

Email Management App: Boomerang for Gmail

If you’ve ever felt overwhelmed by your email, you’re not alone. While there are many email management apps, it’s hard to find an app which works the way you do. If you’re a Gmail user, and need a straightforward app that’s both a scheduler, and reminder, Boomerang for Gmail is worth checking out.

Boomerang for Gmail Works in Your Browser

The app’s easy to install. It works in Gmail in your browser (Firefox, Chrome and Safari), and Google Apps email. It’s unobtrusive, until you need it; you’ll see a small icon when you open Gmail.

Install

Click on the icon, and the menu opens.

When you’re writing a message, Boomerang for Gmail installs options under the Send button.

send

Click the Send Later button, and you can choose a time and date to send your message. If you want to follow up a message, click the dropdown boxes, to choose a date and time to follow up. You can customize the follow-up menu to suit your workflow.

It’s easy to review your scheduled messages and follow ups. Click the Boomerang for Gmail icon, and choose Manage Scheduled Messages.

review

You can even add notes to messages. Let’s say you’re looking through your archived messages, and realize that you need to ask one of your contacts a question, but don’t have time now. Open the message, click the Boomerang for Gmail icon, and write a note to yourself. (The Note icon is on the top right of the menu.) Write the note, and choose the time you want the message returned to your Inbox.

Save Time, and Clear the Clutter

Do you use your email Inbox as a To Do list? It’s tempting, but distracting. The biggest benefit I’ve found with the app is that it saves time, and clears my cluttered Inbox.

Instead of adding a reminder to follow up with someone to your time management app, just schedule a reminder in Boomerang for Gmail, and the message politely returns to your Inbox.

3 Boomerang for Gmail Time Management Tips

Boomerang for Gmail has helped me to feel more in control of my email, and has also helped to ensure that fewer things drop through the cracks. The app’s also helped me to save time.

Here’s what I’ve found useful.

1. Schedule Email, and Batch-Write Your Messages

You check your email several times a day, but you don’t have time to respond immediately. Have Boomerang for Gmail return messages to your Inbox at the time you’ve scheduled to respond.

Schedule time each day for email, and batch-write your responses. Then close your email program. If you know you’ll need to send out messages next week, write the messages on Friday, and let Boomerang for Gmail send them out on schedule.

2. Create a Follow Up Workflow

If you have clients with whom you need to follow up, create a workflow. For example, if you’re working on a project, and need to send reports, you can write the reports, and schedule them.

3. Remind Yourself

When you’re browsing your email archive, you can create notes and schedule follow ups, without opening your contacts, or your calendar. Open a message, write a note, and schedule a time for it to appear in your Inbox.

Boomerang for Gmail’s charm is its simplicity. You can customize the app to work the way you do.

, on Twitter: @angee, and find Angela on Pinterest, too.

Get coaching, and build your skills at Angela’s online store.

Your Resume Cover Letter: It’s Not About YOU

Your Resume Cover Letter: It's Not About YOU

You’ve heard about a fantastic job, and you feel you’ve got as much chance of getting it as anyone else, so it’s time to write a resume cover letter.

You grit your teeth, because you’re determined to get it right. They’ll love you, and decide that you’re perfect for the job.

Maybe. If you’ll forget about yourself for a moment.

Big, Important Tip: Forget About YOU, Focus on THEM

From Penelope Trunk (read her article on cover letters, it’s good):

“Someone has actually said that they are qualified for the job because it’s a good commute for them.”

Yep. Sadly, people do that sort of thing all the time, and not just in job hunting, either. They focus on their needs, rather than what they can do for someone else.

The last time I read a batch of resumes, I wanted to stab myself in the head with a fork, to stop the pain. That’s why lots of companies say the heck with it, and get you to fill in online forms; no one wants to read resumes.

Focus on What You Bring to the Company

I write bios and resumes which get people hired. Here’s how I do it. I list my client’s attributes. Usually it’s a long list; many more than the client can come up with for himself. It’s hard to see yourself as others see you.

By this time, I’ve researched the company, and know quite a lot about them. So I cross out irrelevant attributes, and focus on the two or three of my client’s attributes which directly relate to the job.

I make sure that those are highlighted in the resume itself.

(Writing a resume is a copywriting task; you’re writing to persuade.)

You’ve Got a Personality, Let It Shine

One thing: be wary of online cover letter samples. Most are me, me, me… They sound self-satisfied and precious, verging on pompous. Consider the poor soul who’ll glance at these letters. (No one will read them, life’s too short.)

All that “me, me, me” belongs in the resume, NOT in the cover letter. Create an overview in your resume, which highlights why you’re perfect for the job at Company X. Make this specific. You don’t want the HR person to think: “Ooooh look. He did a printout just for us.” Each and every resume you send out needs to be specific to a company.

You’ve got choices with a cover letter. You can make it strictly business. You write a few sentences about the company, and why you think the company is so wonderful. Then you you say you’d like to be considered for the position, and that’s all.

Alternatively, and this is my preferred option, you can let yourself go, and just be yourself. Write whatever you like. Be enthusiastic, and honest.

A Final Tip: Read, and Follow the Instructions

Always, always, read the instructions if you’re applying for a job, no matter whether it’s online or offline. Read the instructions once, and then read them again, and make a list of the things you need to do. (I’m serious.)

, on Twitter: @angee, and find Angela on Pinterest, too.

Get coaching, and build your skills at Angela’s online store.

Email Marketing: 5 Simple Ways to Get More Clicks

Email Marketing: 5 Simple Ways to Get More Clicks

Email marketing is a challenge. Everyone’s Inbox is stuffed. How many emails do you open? Most are deleted unread, right? Or they’re ignored. We’re all too busy.

Nevertheless, email marketing is effective. Even without a click, you’re building awareness of your company, and what you do. That bears fruit later on. MailChimp posted some stats on email marketing campaigns by industry. How do your stats measure up?

Whatever your stats are, let’s look at how you can get more clicks.

1. Keep Messages Short

One company (they’re not a client, but I wish they were, they know what they’re doing) sends email messages five times a day. Ridiculous, right? Well, no. I’m on their list, and although I delete their messages 90 per cent of the time, I do click through. So do others, because the company’s doing great. As far as I know, email is this company’s primary marketing tool. They’re not shy of mailing their lists.

Here’s the point: if you have something to send, send it. If you’re thinking “I can’t send email too often, people will unsubscribe!” They may do, and if they do, what have you lost? On the other hand, if you restrict the number of mailings, you’re losing sales.

Keep your messages short, and send more of them.

2. Encourage Social Sharing

According to GetResponse, their study, “Email Marketing and Social Media Integration Report”, revealed:

“… that email messages that included a social sharing option generated 30 percent higher click-through-rates (CTRs) than emails without a social sharing option, and messages with three or more sharing options generated 55 percent higher CTRs. Emails with a Twitter sharing option returned over 40 percent higher CTRs than messages without any social media links, indicating the benefits of sharing may be vastly underestimated.”

Who knew? I’m implementing social sharing in my own mailings, and mailings I create for clients. It’s a super-simple way to increase clicks.

3. Target: Create Email Lists for Each Stage of the Buying Cycle

Big companies do this. Smaller companies don’t. If they send emails, they tend to send out a mailing once in a blue moon, which gets the results you’d expect.

You need to target your emails to each stage of the buying cycle.

Your content creates awareness of your company: that’s the first stage of the buying cycle. Depending on your industry, this stage may be short, or it may be uncertain, or it may be on-going, as it is for companies like Coca-Cola.

In some industries the buying cycle is long. Whatever the cycle is in your industry, building awareness is vital. However, your email mailing for prospects who are becoming aware of you can’t be the same as your email marketing to people who’ve purchased from you.

4. Cut the Clutter: Put Your Offer at the Beginning of the Message

I use Mailbox as my email client; it offers a large preview. Some email clients preview the first few lines. If your email message includes a huge header, you’re wasting valuable space. Put your offer right at the beginning of the message, where it will do you good.

5. Build Urgency Into Your Calls to Action

Urgency increases sales if you’re sending to targeted recipients. Calls to action like: “Three days only”, and “first 100 customers” build urgency, and urgency works.

You won’t always use urgency, but use it often. It gets results.

A Bonus Tip: Remember Mobile

Marketing Land reports that 66% per cent of email opens are on mobile.

When someone opens your emails on an itty bitty screen, can they read your message and take action?

, on Twitter: @angee, and find Angela on Pinterest, too.

Get coaching, and build your skills at Angela’s online store.