Archives for website marketing

Elevator Conversation

How do you introduce yourself and your business?

You’ve probably heard you need a 60 second elevator pitch…?  Actually, here at HaloBiz we reckon you need a selection of elevator conversations – ranging from 15 seconds to 60 seconds – depending on your audience and the circumstances in which you’ve been invited to answer “what do you do…?”

When you consider the average person speaks at around 120 words a minute (kiwis tend to speak fast so bear that in mind if you’re introducing yourself to someone whose first language is not kiwi – even English-speaking visitors to NZ sometimes struggle with the speed at which we talk).

If you don’t already have your elevator conversation (pitch) mastered, now is a good time to do that because you just never know when you’ll next be asked.

In 120 words or less, what is your name and what do you do?

Here’s the transcript for the audio version (above) – it’s about 30 seconds:

Hi – I’m Julie South of HaloBiz – we’re in the business of polishing business halos and stimulating word of mouth in the world of mouse.

This means we help businesses look good and get found online.

We do this by building websites, social media coaching, article writing, PR and telling the world about what makes you special.

If you find yourself wondering “how can I get more hits to my website?”, “how should I do social media for my business?”, “I’m on Facebook why do I need a website?”, “do I need Facebook?”, “do I need a blog?” or “do I need an app for my business” then let’s get together and have a chat because these are the types of questions we answer everyday.


I’ve included every day questions that business people and business owners might ask themselves to help cement what we do.  The only thing I haven’t done here that I would strongly recommend is to finish with your name and business name as a further aid to reinforcement.

I’d also recommend including an audio (or video) of your elevator conversation somewhere on your website, like we’ve done here, as well as it adds yet another dimension and opportunity for real people to hear the real you.



What’s a QR Code…?

HaloBiz QR Code

HaloBiz example of a QR code

A QR (Quick Response) Code is a 2-D barcode containing embedded information.   You’ve probably seen them – they’re always square and usually (although not always) black and white.

QR Codes are scanned using a smartphone’s camera + the appropriate platform’s app (eg, Windows, Android) + a data plan.

QR codes were first designed for the motor vehicle industry in Japan in 1997.  Unlike a traditional bar code that have to be scanned flat, QR codes were first tracking curvy motor vehicle parts.

Initially patented by Denzo Wave, it has chosen not to exercise its patent rights and that’s probably why we’re now seeing QR codes so prolifically today.

QR codes are popular because of their fast readability and (somewhat) larger storage capacity (than traditional bar codes).   As mentioned above, QR codes are usually black modules (square dots) arranged in a precise grid order on a white (or very light coloured) background.

QR codes contain information which can be made up of four standardised types of data – numeric, alphanumeric, byte/binary and Kanji – or through supported extensions of virtually any type of data.

Where do you get the QR Code app…?

As you’ll probably already know by now, not all apps are created equal and not all apps work on all devices.

Probably one of the easiest ways to do this is courtesy of Vodafone NZ – simply txt “QR” to 710.  Follow the links in the reply to find the best one for your smartphone.  You don’t need to be a Vodafone customer to do this but you do need a data connection.

Alternatively, you’ll be able to find an app in the shop applicable to your device.

Where do you get the QR Code generator…?

Firstly, you can create a B&W QR Code for free.  Browsing “QR Code Generator” will bring up squillions of results.  Depending on what you want to do with your QR Code (ie, measure & track it, change its colour, add your logo, etc) means you need to be a bit more selective in which generator you use.

If you want to get more sophisticated with your QR Code (eg, logo) expect to pay.

So how can your business incorporate QR codes into its marketing mix…?

Given, I usually describe QR codes as taking the offline world to the online one through a simple scan of a smartphone, the way you can incorporate a QR code really is only limited by your imagination.

Here’re a few examples:

Menus - on printed material linking to your latest menu (which is linked to a page on your website).

Like us on Facebook – wherever you invite people to like you, make it easy for them by linking them directly to your Facebook page URL.

Follow us on Twitter – ditto for Facebook.

Signup forms – sign up for your free newsletter, report, analysis, etc

A couple of year’s ago I (Julie South) was interviewed on TV about QR Codes.  This video shows how to scan QR Codes and where to get more info.

As always, we’re really interested in what you’ve got to say, so please don’t be backwards in coming forwards!


Don’t let a pissed off competitor ruin your social media efforts

I’ve been asked to write a follow up article to businesses miss crucial link in rush to use social media platforms originally uploaded to a few online news channels  (thank you Robert at OctoMedia who posted it on his news site and then had a question or two as a result)…

If you’re the social media manager for your business (and it’s likely you could also wear the hat of owner, accountant and salesperson if you form part of the mainstay of our economy by being a small to medium sized business owner) it’s possible that every new Facebook Like you get on your business’s page has you doing a little happy jig around the office.

I know ours are very special.  And I think I’d certainly cry, rant and rave if we ever lost our Facebook Page.

And yet I’m astounded at the number of Page Admins who daily contravene Facebook’s rules and therefore run the very real risk of being closed down.   I’ve even been to Facebook specific educational events where the facilitator repeatedly chants “don’t worry about it – you’re only a small business – Facebook isn’t worried about you”.  Or words to that effect.

I was speechless (and those who know me know how rare that is!).   In fact, breaching any of Facebook’s rules should bring about cause for grave concern.  Unless you really don’t mind having to start again from scratch.

Facebook’s a bit like the IRD – it won’t accept your plea of ignorance.  Actually, it’s far easier to make contact with the IRD than it is with Facebook (if you’ve ever tried).  I have.  I gave up.  (We experienced a ‘bug issue’ – it gave us a headache, along with thousands of other FB Page Admins – took about a month to resolve).

When you created your Facebook Page you ticked a little box that said you’d read and accepted the Facebook’s T&Cs.  An overview of Facebook’s Terms (as they relate to Facebook Pages) can be found by clicking here.

Now, even if you believe that Facebook has bigger fish to fry than your 500 Liker page (like GM dropping its USD$1.1 billion advertising account for a start) and you’re safe, think again.

But this time think wearing the hat of a pissed off competitor – because it’s not outside the realm of possibility for them to dob you in.

Yes – it takes a bit of effort.  And time.  Because there’s Facebook layer after Facebook layer you need to click through.  But it can be done.  Especially if someone’s in the right frame of mind to be bothered.

In fact, if you want to dig deep enough, it’s possible to report a violation on any of the following when it comes to Facebook:  Timelines, Advertisements, Events, Groups, Messages, Photos/Videos, Pages, Posts, Posts on your Timeline, Profiles, Questions, Something you can’t see (!!??), IP Infringements.

And that’s without all the rules that exist around what your Facebook Timeline Cover can and can’t include.  Or how to run a competition.  Or how to name your Page.

Every day I come across Pages that breach Facebook’s T&Cs.  I’m talking about Cover images that contain contact details (eg, telephone numbers).  Or posts that ask people to like them to go in the draw to win petrol vouchers.

If you violate any of Facebook’s terms, all it takes to start the Close Down This Page Ball Rolling is for someone to hit that little ‘cog’ image on your page – it’s on the right hand side, just under your Cover image.  Facebook calls this their “gear menu”.  It’s to the right of the ‘message’ option.

Clicking on the Gear Menu brings a whole swag of options – of particular interest here is the ‘Report Page’ option (as at writing this, it was in the middle section, last option).  Clicking that path eventually leads you to where you name the Page in question and/or attach an image of their breach.

So that’s the “how” should a pissed off competitor want to get even and close down your Facebook Page…
Now let’s look at reasonably significant examples of the “what” in a closed down Facebook Page…


We’ll never know the actual events that transpired when Facebook closed down Velvet Burgers Page last year.  Did Facebook happen to notice?  Or did a competitor report them?  The nett result is that one day they had over 9,000 fans and the next, had to start all over again.  Ouch!  (As at writing this they’re knocking on 10k – good on them!)

So what did Velvet Burger do?  They attempted to create a bit of a viral post (every Page Admin’s dream LOL).  Velvet Burger posted that if it won Lotto (at the time it was sitting at NZ$26million) they’d share it with everyone who ‘commented’, ‘liked’ and ‘shared’ the post.  Good on them for their generosity and shame on Facebook for not seeing the positive economic impact $26 million shared among so many kiwis would have on New Zealand’s economy …  of course I say this tongue-in-cheek… the fact of the matter was they breached Facebook’s T&C when it came to ‘competitions’.

Then there’s Hell Pizza.  Ironically its also intended to be philanthropic and generous;  Hell Pizza pledged $1 to the Little Lotus Project Charity.  Hell Pizza’s Page was sitting at around the 20k Like mark when Facebook pulled the plug.  Its story is somewhat different to Velvet Burger’s though.  Admittedly it took a bit of time, but someone knew someone who knew someone who knew someone else who worked at Facebook.  The Page was reinstated; today it’s sitting at almost 47k Likes.

So please remember – if you think little ole New Zealand and/or your Facebook page in particular are too small for Facebook to worry about think again:  Facebook trials some of its rollouts DownUnder here (eg, Timeline and Promote your Post).  It wouldn’t do that it if thought New Zealand was insignificant!

Do you know of a business that’s had its Facebook Page shut down?  What was the outcome?  What was its breach?  As always – we’re always interested to hear what you’ve got to say, what you think, what you’d like to know more of.  {thanks!}

Businesses miss crucial link in rush to use social media platforms

Many businesses are rushing so fast to get “social” with Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Pinterest or LinkedIn that they’re ultimately setting themselves up for failure or wasting their efforts.

Social network accounts are free to set up and therein is the first trap.  Business owners mistakenly believe all they need is a Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, G+ or Pinterest account to get online and have social presence that’ll get the phone ringing. 

Because social platforms like Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Pinterest, G+ and LinkedIn are free to set up, anyone with an email address and access to the internet can open an account.    I understand most people probably know someone who’s had a website built that’s gone over budget, over time and then failed to deliver;  it’s therefore no wonder the I-don’t-need-a-website-to-get-my-business-online attitude exists.

The harsh truth, however, is with free social platforms the business doesn’t have any legal claim to the assets (eg, ‘likes’) on a site.  If a Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Pinterest or G+ account were to be shut down all the investment (eg, time, ideas, content) in that platform by the business would be wasted with no recourse for compensation.  All ‘likes’ on a Facebook page belong to Facebook – not the business.

The last thing any business needs is to have its (perhaps only) only platform shut down because of a breach.

Sadly, some kiwi businesses think it doesn’t happen in little ole New Zealand because we’re too small for a giant like Facebook to worry about. They fail to realise is all it takes is a pissed off competitor with a bit more Facebook knowledge to hit ‘report this page’.  Hell’s Pizza knows what it feels like to turn up to work one morning and discover its Facebook page shut down.  It does happen in New Zealand.

In my humble opinion, every social media platform must first be leveraged from a website that’s positioned to maximise every social update.  No exceptions!  Merely having a website isn’t enough, which is why I (Julie South) at HaloBiz got excited when 10X Hamilton’s Jennifer Myers invited us join forces with her and create the One-Byte-At-A-Time online/offline marketing workshop.

Jennifer Myers contracted HaloBiz because she wanted to ensure everything 10XHamilton did online and socially was positioned for maximum impact and asset-creation.  “I thought it was just a matter of setting up say, a YouTube channel and that was that” said Jennifer.  She soon realised many of 10XHamilton’s clients, and businesses owners generally, ran the very real risk of wasting time and money with their current online efforts.

HaloBiz online business directory with heart + 10X Business Coaching One Byte at a Time Workshop video - Click here to watch the short video Jennifer and I created to introduce this workshop – including our guarantee: that your website will be worth more to your business at the end of the workshop than it was at the beginning – guaranteed!

The One-Byte-At-A-Time workshop is spread over two Friday mornings.  All workshop participants are guaranteed their website will be worth more to their business at the end of the workshop than it was when they started.  Attendees will learn how to position their website so that if a horror event like a Facebook or YouTube shutdown occurred it would be a mere blip on a business’s radar, not a full blown catastrophe.

Click here to find out more about the HaloBiz / 10X Hamilton One-Byte-At-A-Time workshop

As always we’re really interested to hear your views / opinions / questions – so please don’t be backwards in coming forwards!