Which Social Media Site Do You Use Most for Business? [POLL]

This week, we want to know what social media site you're spending the most time on for your business. Check back for your most popular social media sites.

Social media has become a bigger part of a lot of small business’s marketing and customer engagement strategy since its infancy.

Quick question: Does anyone remember creating a MySpace page to promote their company? Sure, some — musicians, mostly — still use that platform but there are so many more popular options these days. And each one presents unique opportunities to reach an audience in a unique way.

Want to reach the general population? You’re probably using Facebook. Talking to your small business owner contemporaries? That sounds like a job for LinkedIn. Looking to be part of a national movement? A tweet with the right #hashtag gets you involved.

So, this week, we want to know …

Which social media site do you use most for business?

What Are Your Most Popular Social Media Sites?

We’re giving you a choice of the big ones: Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Instagram, and Google+.

Let us know which platform is open most on your phone or occupying a tab most often in your web browser. In the comments section below, tell us why.

[“source-smallbiztrends”]

4 Steps to Marketing Your Business Using Facebook Liv

Four Steps to Using Facebook Live for Business

Facebook (NASDAQ:FB) is constantly rolling out new features and updates, many which enhance user experience while also facilitating advertising and e-commerce activity. As the platform continues to enhance the intersection of recreational communication and business interactions, the latest available features provide outlets for improved communication and challenges in creativity for the 50 million-ish active businesses on Facebook.

The latest of these features is Facebook Live, which are real-time video posts. Live videos are published by friends you follow, publications, celebrities, and any person or establishment with a valid Facebook account. Users also have the option of subscribing to certain users and/or businesses to receive notifications whenever a given account live streams.

While this feature has been available for a while now, many businesses are still not making use of it. Facebook live poses significant opportunity as a tool for customer relations, brand exposure, marketing, and more. Make this tool part of your digital marketing strategy by getting started with the most effective ways to use Facebook Live for your business.

Using Facebook Live for Business

1. Promotional Strategy

One of the best ways to use Facebook Live is for promotional purposes. Users are much more likely to watch a video than read a lengthy article or post shared on Facebook, and businesses can (and should!) capitalize on that point of user behavior.

For example, if you’re a retail boutique, you can redirect the same promotional strategies you’ve always done through Facebook Live. Contests, give-aways, and limited time offers are just a few ideas. If you have a new product coming out soon, give a sneak peak through a live stream. If you have a give away contest, showcase the product or service. You can actually show your followers what it is you’re offering and create way more appeal by streaming a video of the products you’re promoting.

2. Brand Transparency

A great way to instill trust in your users is by sharing some behind the scenes details with them and creating brand transparency. Let’s say you’re a restaurant that uses a sustainable, locally sourced garden to get produce. Use Facebook Live to share what that process looks like.

This can also work well for reputation recovery. If there’s a controversy or accusation that you’re actively recovering from, use the live stream feature to show exactly how you’re handling it, and give users a chance to see your real brand.

3. Engage With Users

User engagement is a key necessity of having an awesome Facebook business page, so you might as well enact that engagement in every way you can. Live videos are great for Q & A sessions and directly answering the comments and/or concerns of your users.

You can also use it to weigh in on issues relevant to your consumers. If there’s an event that people are wondering ow you feel about, or an issue your consumer base is talking about, engage with your following by discussing your business stance in a live video.

4. Establish Authority

It’s important for your following to recognize you as an authority within the industry your business falls into, and Facebook Live can help reinforce that. Offering tips, industry insights, updates, and news with a live stream can establish and enhance your credibility.

Another way to approach this usage of Facebook Live is to invite other lading authorities, experts, and industry leaders to be featured in your live stream video. Host a round table discussion, or even just a casual conversation with another industry authority, and you can have a mutually beneficial piece of publicity.

Image: Facebook

More in: Publisher Channel Content

[“source-smallbiztrends”]

50 Small Business Ideas for People Who GET Social Media

50 Social Media Business Ideas for People Who GET Social Media

Social media is an essential tool for many different businesses. But for some, knowledge of social media is an absolutely integral part of running a business. If you really GET social media, here are some potential small business ideas you can use to build a business around your social media expertise.

Social Media Business Ideas

Social Media Consultant

50 Social Media Business Ideas - Social Media Consultant

Use your knowledge of social media to help other businesses. As a consultant, you would help other businesses evaluate their social media plans and determine a strategy to use going forward.

Social Media Manager

Or you could go even farther than that and actually manage the social media accounts for different business clients so they don’t have to manage those functions in house.

Social Media Marketer

You might also have other accounts on social media that you can use to market products and services for other brands, either on an ongoing or per-post basis.

Social Media Merchant

You can also use social media to actually sell products. You can have an ecommerce store and connect it to sites like Facebook and Pinterest, or you can actually start a dedicated account and list products for sale directly on platforms like Instagram.

Social Media Influencer

If you’ve spent time building up a personal following on social media, you can potentially use your own personal accounts to work with brands to promote their products or initiatives for a fee.

Blogger

50 Social Media Business Ideas - Blogger

There are many different potential topics you can blog about. And regardless of your topic area, social media is likely going to be a major part of the strategy you use to grow your audience.

YouTube Personality

If video is more of your format of choice, you can also build a business by posting videos to YouTube and making money off of the ad revenue.

Videographer

You can also potentially build a business by helping others film and create videos to post on YouTube and other social platforms.

Vine Personality

Vine is more of a niche platform. But if you’re skilled with video creation and want to specialize in shorter form videos, you can become a popular personality on Vine, Instagram or other short video platforms and then build a business around that notoriety.

Community Manager

You can offer your services on a freelance basis to companies that have strong online communities and need someone to help manage the community features on their websites and social media.

Content Marketer

Content marketing is a larger marketing concept that can include social media along with some other activities. You can provide content marketing services to businesses, including social media strategy or management, along with other functions.

Content Strategist

You can also serve a more limited role in the content marketing efforts of your clients by simply providing input on strategy decisions regarding social media and other content.

Marketing Consultant

Or you can opt to share your expertise in an even more general role. As a marketing consultant, you’d likely help businesses with a number of different functions, but social media would almost certainly be an important consideration.

Social Media Graphics Designer

Graphics are important on many social media platforms, including Instagram, Pinterest and Facebook. So you can build a business by providing specialized graphics for businesses to use as part of their social media campaigns.

Flat Lay Photographer

On Instagram especially, but also on other platforms, flat lay photographs are very popular for showing off products and styled images. You can style and photograph some flat lay images and sell them to brands to use in their posts, or even work with brands directly to create custom flat lay images.

Stop Motion Videographer

50 Social Media Business Ideas - Stop Motion Videographer

Stop motion videos are also popular on platforms like Instagram since they can tell a story in a fairly condensed time frame. So you can specialize in this area of videography to help businesses with their video content on social media.

eBook Author

If you’re especially knowledgeable about social media, you can write an ebook about it. And then you can use social media to promote the book as well.

Online Course Creator

You can also potentially build online courses to teach other business owners or professionals about various aspects of using social media.

Infoproducts Seller

There are a number of other information products that you can sell related to social media, from workbooks to helpful documents.

Niche Website Operator

If you run a website for a niche interest group, you’ll almost certainly need to include social media as part of your strategy for promoting the site. You might even integrate some social features directly into the site.

Podcaster

50 Social Media Business Ideas - Podcaster

Podcasting is another area where you are likely to need social media to connect with your potential audience.

Online Newsletter Writer

If you prefer communicating with your audience via email, you can start an email newsletter and use social media as a way to promote it and further connect with members of your audience.

Online Magazine Operator

Likewise, online magazines often use social media as a way to really drive engagement with readers and members of the community.

Live Streamer

Platforms like Periscope and Facebook Live offer you a way to stream live video content to your audience. So if you’re building a business as a speaker or expert in your field, you can use those platforms as a way to share your expertise online.

Social Media Advertising Specialist

Many social media platforms also offer advertising options. So you can build a business by helping other businesses create ads and advertising strategies for their social media ad campaigns.

Analytics Specialist

Analytics can also play a major part in the success of social media campaigns. So you can help business clients make sense of their analytics data on social media.

Event Promoter

If you promote events, you’ll almost certainly need to use social media on a regular basis to reach out to potential attendees.

Meme Marketer

It might sound a little strange, but memes can actually hold a lot of potential for marketers. So it could make for a unique specialty for a social media marketing professional.

Animal Celebrity Manager

Likewise, it might sound strange to build a business around posting photos of a pet on social media. But animal celebrities like Grumpy Cat have proven that you can build a business in this area, if you’re social media savvy.

Recruiter

As a recruiter, you have many potential functions. But social media can be a major tool for job hunters. So you can even build a business by specializing in recruiting candidates on social media.

Social Media Tutor

You can also teach others about social media using all of your knowledge and experience. As a social media tutor, you can work one-on-one with others who want to learn how to use various platforms.ss

Workshop Teacher

Or you could opt for a setting where you can teach more people about social media at one time. Offer workshops to teach different aspects of social media to members of your local community.

Social Media Platform Founder

Of course, you can also build your own business by starting your very own social media platform.

Social Media Sales

Social media holds a lot of potential for sales professionals. So you can offer your services to companies that want to leverage those platforms to reach out to potential prospects and even close deals.

Youth Outreach Specialist

Social media is especially popular among young consumers. So if you want to build a business that specializes in reaching out to young consumers on behalf of brands, you could use social media as a big part of your strategy.

Social Media Customer Support Rep

Brands can also use social media as part of their customer service or support strategy. So you can offer your services as a customer support rep who provides assistance to those who reach out on social media.

Virtual Assistant

Virtual assistants can handle a variety of different tasks for businesses. But social media is often at least part of the job description.

Public Relations Rep

Public relations is another area that can encompass a lot of different functions. But social media has become a growing part of this industry.

Digital Marketing Specialist

You can also serve as a marketing specialist that works with brands specifically to develop and carry out online marketing strategies, including social media.

Social Media Copywriter

There are also plenty of different opportunities for writers to contribute to the success of social media campaigns. You can offer your services to people who want help crafting their social media posts or ads.

Video Ad Creator

You can also specialize in creating video advertisements for brands that want to advertise their products or services before YouTube videos or on other social platforms.

Affiliate Marketer

If you have a sizeable following on social media and other online platforms, you can earn money from becoming an affiliate for various brands and then getting a portion of the sales you drive to those businesses.

App Developer

It takes a lot more than a knowledge of social media to be a great app developer. But many apps do have social features or integrations, so social media expertise can certainly help.

Social Game Developer

In addition, social media can be a great way to promote games. And some platforms, including Facebook, even offer a platform for actually hosting those games.

Traveling Photographer

If you want to build a business as a photographer, you can use social media as your main way of promoting your services and interacting with potential clients as you travel around the country for different jobs.

Business Coach

If you want to build a business as a coach for other entrepreneurs, you’ll need to have a solid handle on social media so you can help your clients succeed in that area.

YouTube Coach

You can even get really specific with your coaching business and offer services designed to help people who want to build businesses on YouTube.

Freelance Writer

As a freelance writer, you’ll also likely need to use social media as a way to promote your services to business clients and to share your work with relevant audiences.

Online News Reporter

Likewise, social media can be a great way to share local news updates if you start a website or even newspaper in your local community.

Crowdfunding Consultant

Social media can be an essential tool for businesses that want to use crowdfunding to raise money. So you can build a business as a crowdfunding consultant to help those businesses promote their offerings on social media and beyond.

Friends Watching Phone, Blogger, Photographer, Podcast, Man Working on Tablet Photos via Shutterstock

[“source-smallbiztrends”]

Weebly 4 Brings Websites, eCommerce, Email Marketing Together to Focus on Business Growth

Weebly 4 Features Websites, Ecommerce, Email Marketing Together to Help Businesses Grow

DIY website builder Weebly today announced a new version of its platform, Weebly 4, that expands the focus beyond websites and ecommerce and adds a marketing element: email.

Weebly 4 builds on the previous version, Carbon, by pairing the ecommerce engine with email marketing that creates campaigns on the fly based on customer actions. It also segments customers into groups automatically, to improve targeting.

“When we started Weebly, the challenge was building a website,” says David Rusenko, co-founder and CEO of Weebly, in the announcement. “Now with 40 million entrepreneurs and over 300 million monthly visitors to a Weebly site or store, we’re tackling the next hurdle of growing a site into a successful online business.”

Weebly 4 Features

As to improvements from the previous version, there are many. Here are the most notable:

Web Design

The web design function now includes the use of video backgrounds, to add animation. There is increased flexibility in designing headers and in adding sections to a page.

Weebly 4 Features - Video Backgrounds

Weebly 4 also offers a completely new feature: designer-built layouts.

Weebly 4 Features - Designer-Built Layouts

According to Rusenko, who spoke with Small Business Trends by phone, with Carbon, the previous version, users had to drag-and-drop each element.

“Weebly 4 makes it easy to add layouts for people who don’t know what to do, who are getting online for the first time and not sure how site supposed to look,” Rusenko said. “All the content is on there. We pre-start you with fully custom-built sites that fit what you need, making it easier to get to the finish line.”

eCommerce

Weebly rebuilt the eCommerce storefront entirely from the ground up Rusenko said. An upgraded tax engine does the work for the customer. The platform also configures shipping rates in real-time across carriers. An abandoned cart recovery function reminds customers to complete their purchase. Gift cards and coupon codes are available as well.

Weebly 4 Features - Ecommerce

Regarding shipping rates, Rusenko said, “In the previous version, you had a shipping engine and could set different rates, but it was time-consuming. You had to to make your best guess on rates. Now, the platform configures all that for the customer at checkout. It goes out to the shipping providers and calculates rates in real-time via an API.”

Email Marketing

The new email marketing component fully integrates with the website and store. Emails are customizable. Users can insert their logo, images, posts and products quickly and easily. Also, the platform auto-creates ready to send emails, to drive conversion.

Weebly 4 Features - Email Marketing

Full-funnel Analytics and Insights

The analytics component not only reports email open and click-through rates but also track sales transactions, enabling the business owner to how each campaign impacts his bottom line.

A comprehensive dashboard renders insights across the entire business that includes appointment scheduling, customer chat, accounting and email marketing. The mobile app enables business owners to run their site and promotions from anywhere.

App Store

The app store has more than 200 app and integrations, including an appointment calendar, live chat, accounting and more.

Search Engine Optimization

According to the announcement, Weebly 4 “demystifies” search engine optimization by providing expert advice via a PDF guide as well as a real-time SEO score card, with site-specific tips for improvement.

Conclusion

Rusenko said that Weebly’s goal with the new version was to provide the same functionality to small merchants that large retailers experience, to help grow their business.

“Right now the business of running a business is a real hassle, and our ultimate goal is to make it much easier for our customers, saving them time, helping them grow and be successful, and ultimately, helping them focus more on doing what they love,” he said.

View the full feature set visiting the Weebly 4 website.

[“source-smallbiztrends”]

Need High End Photography for Business? Details of Panasonic’s Lumix GH5 Emerge

Eagerly Awaiting the New Panasonic Lumix GH5 Camera? No 6K Photos Until Next Year

Image capturing technology has evolved so much, near professional grade solutions are readily available on smartphones. But no matter how good the technology is on a mobile device, standalone cameras are still the way to go if you really want full professional grade features. The announcement of Panasonic’s Lumix GH5 camera is greatly anticipated because of the success the GH4 achieved in terms of reviews and sales.

Panasonic (TYO:6752) didn’t reveal much at PhotoKina 2016, the world’s largest trade fair for the photographic and imaging industries, which will be going on until September 25, 2016 in Germany.

First of all, the GH5 will not be available until early 2017. There is no exact date or price for the camera. Second, the features Panasonic announced are just enough to tease potential customers with some impressive capabilities.

An Early Peek at the Panasonic Lumix GH5 Camera

Here is the wow feature Panasonic said will be on the GH5: the first 4K/60p capability in a consumer ILC (interchangeable lens camera), which will provide 4:2:2 10-bit 4K video. And when it comes to capturing still images, it has another impressive capability, a 6K Photo mode that will extract 18MP stills from burst footage, or 8MP stills from 60p 4K clips.

This is the extent of what Panasonic made available, but if past developments are any indication, there will be more features on the GH5.

One of the advances that made the GH4 so successful was the hybrid performance it was able to deliver. The 4K PHOTO feature it introduced let users capture still images that were much too fast for the naked eye by saving high-quality photos from super-fast 4K resolution video frames at 30 fps. The feature was acclaimed by a wide range of professional photographers and videographers around the world. With the GH5, this will be upgraded to 6K still photos, which will deliver new levels of detail, whether it is for print or the ultra-high definition display technology in the market place.

The Panasonic Lumix GH4 is an affordable professional grade camera compared to Canon and other brands. At around $1,600 on Amazon, it has the right set of features for taking stills and video for small business photographers.

If Panasonic keeps the price low while adding these innovations, the company will continue to capture market shares from other brands.

[“source-smallbiztrends”]

Small Business Apple Users, MacOS Sierra Is Here

Small Business Apple Users, MacOS Sierra Is Here

While Apple might not admit it, the company seems to have a clear preference for iOS, leaving macOS and its users a bit under appreciated. But the company is slowly adding new capabilities to its desktop operating system, making its latest major release, macOS Sierra, the closest it has come so far to an iPhone or iPad.

After the new iOS 10 was announced earlier this month, along with the new iPhone 7 and other products, it was finally the Mac’s turn. And just to make sure it didn’t feel left behind, Apple added some of the features you can now find on iOS to Sierra.

For business users, the new additions are incremental changes that will improve some of the tasks you perform on your PC, but there is nothing groundbreaking. Here are some of the features you will find in the new OS. 

Key Business Features of MacOS Sierra

Siri

After some prodding and pressure from Microsoft’s Cortana in Windows, Apple has relented and Siri is now available on Sierra. If you haven’t used the current batch of AI assistants, you will find they can really make your workflow run much smoother.

In addition to asking Siri for directions, the time, and the weather, you can ask for help adjusting system preferences, finding documents, sending messages and email, looking up information, searching a user’s photo library, and more.

Apple Pay

If you want to pay for something on a website with Apple Pay, there are around 300,000 participating websites that will let you complete your purchase with Touch ID on iPhone 6 or newer devices and Apple Watch.

Apple says it doesn’t share your credit or debit card information with online merchants and it uses strong encryption to protect all communication between your device and Apple Pay servers.

This can really simplify the way you pay for the supply and services for your small business.

Picture in Picture

The PIP feature, which has been available on the iPad previously, lets you watch a video from a Web page by extracting it and placing it on your desktop without the other content of the website. If you switch to other desktop applications, the video continues to play.

Continuity

Even the smallest businesses may have more than one device, and with the continuity feature Apple introduced last year, your files can now be synced across your phone, tablet, laptop and desktop with the help of iCloud. So if you make an update on your iPhone, when you go home and use your Mac, you will have the latest changes.

This is a great feature for any business, because it simplifies your workflow by not having to go over any changes you make at your office or home.

Photos

The feature that is getting the most attention in Photos is Memories. It can group pictures and videos from your library based on times, locations and people, and create short slide shows based on the selections.

MacOS Sierra - Photos

It uses advanced computer vision to identify faces, objects and scenes in images so you can search by who or what is in it.

Mail

Mail has a new quick filter that lets you look at messages that you haven’t read, as well as messages with attachments, flagged messages, and messages that you have been CC’d on, are addressed to you specifically or are from VIPs.

If your business email address is out of control, this is one way to ensure you get the most relevant emails.

Notes

Collaboration is on everyone’s list of options when it comes to functionality, and Notes has a real-time collaboration feature that lets you invite a user with Apple ID so you can view and edit the document together. You can send the invite using Twitter, Facebook, Mail, Messages, AirDrop, and more.

Optimized Storage

Optimized storage can detect when your hard drive is running out of room and it automatically frees up space on your computer by sending the files to the cloud if they haven’t been used in some time. The feature also gets rid of junk files.

Universal Clipboard

You can now copy content from an app on your iPhone or iPad and paste it into another app on another Apple device, which in this case would be a desktop or laptop. And with iCloud Desktop and Documents, you can access files on your Desktop from an iPhone and iPad.

MacOS Sierra - Universal Clipboard

More Control for Autocorrect

You now have more granular control when it comes to autocorrect. Whether it is correcting spelling, capitalizing words or adding a period at the end of a sentence you can keep or disable the behavior you want.

More Choices for Encryption

The Apple File System (APFS) encryption on Sierra uses AES-XTS and AES-CBC ciphers for three kinds of native encryption, including no encryption, single-key file and metadata encryption, and multi-key encryption. The multi-key encryption can perform metadata, per-file and per-extent encryption.

With security a persistent problem for anyone with a digital presence, this is a great way to make sure the information on your Mac is protected at all times.

Auto Unlock

This is a security feature which according to Apple will make Macs more secure for users that have an iPhone or Apple Watch. It pairs your Mac computer with your mobile device using Bluetooth and whenever you are nearby, it detects your presence and unlocks your computer.

MacOS Sierra - Auto Unlock

If you are tired of passwords, and who isn’t these days, this is another option.

Availability

The new operating system is available as a free update from the Mac App Store, and it supports all Macs introduced since late 2009. However, Apple has warned some features may not be available in all regions or languages. You can go here to find out more.

[“source-smallbiztrends”]

Weebly 4 Brings Websites, eCommerce, Email Marketing Together to Focus on Business Growth

Weebly 4 Features Websites, Ecommerce, Email Marketing Together to Help Businesses Grow

DIY website builder Weebly today announced a new version of its platform, Weebly 4, that expands the focus beyond websites and ecommerce and adds a marketing element: email.

Weebly 4 builds on the previous version, Carbon, by pairing the ecommerce engine with email marketing that creates campaigns on the fly based on customer actions. It also segments customers into groups automatically, to improve targeting.

“When we started Weebly, the challenge was building a website,” says David Rusenko, co-founder and CEO of Weebly, in the announcement. “Now with 40 million entrepreneurs and over 300 million monthly visitors to a Weebly site or store, we’re tackling the next hurdle of growing a site into a successful online business.”

Weebly 4 Features

As to improvements from the previous version, there are many. Here are the most notable:

Web Design

The web design function now includes the use of video backgrounds, to add animation. There is increased flexibility in designing headers and in adding sections to a page.

Weebly 4 Features - Video Backgrounds

Weebly 4 also offers a completely new feature: designer-built layouts.

Weebly 4 Features - Designer-Built Layouts

According to Rusenko, who spoke with Small Business Trends by phone, with Carbon, the previous version, users had to drag-and-drop each element.

“Weebly 4 makes it easy to add layouts for people who don’t know what to do, who are getting online for the first time and not sure how site supposed to look,” Rusenko said. “All the content is on there. We pre-start you with fully custom-built sites that fit what you need, making it easier to get to the finish line.”

eCommerce

Weebly rebuilt the eCommerce storefront entirely from the ground up Rusenko said. An upgraded tax engine does the work for the customer. The platform also configures shipping rates in real-time across carriers. An abandoned cart recovery function reminds customers to complete their purchase. Gift cards and coupon codes are available as well.

Weebly 4 Features - Ecommerce

Regarding shipping rates, Rusenko said, “In the previous version, you had a shipping engine and could set different rates, but it was time-consuming. You had to to make your best guess on rates. Now, the platform configures all that for the customer at checkout. It goes out to the shipping providers and calculates rates in real-time via an API.”

Email Marketing

The new email marketing component fully integrates with the website and store. Emails are customizable. Users can insert their logo, images, posts and products quickly and easily. Also, the platform auto-creates ready to send emails, to drive conversion.

Weebly 4 Features - Email Marketing

Full-funnel Analytics and Insights

The analytics component not only reports email open and click-through rates but also track sales transactions, enabling the business owner to how each campaign impacts his bottom line.

A comprehensive dashboard renders insights across the entire business that includes appointment scheduling, customer chat, accounting and email marketing. The mobile app enables business owners to run their site and promotions from anywhere.

App Store

The app store has more than 200 app and integrations, including an appointment calendar, live chat, accounting and more.

Search Engine Optimization

According to the announcement, Weebly 4 “demystifies” search engine optimization by providing expert advice via a PDF guide as well as a real-time SEO score card, with site-specific tips for improvement.

Conclusion

Rusenko said that Weebly’s goal with the new version was to provide the same functionality to small merchants that large retailers experience, to help grow their business.

“Right now the business of running a business is a real hassle, and our ultimate goal is to make it much easier for our customers, saving them time, helping them grow and be successful, and ultimately, helping them focus more on doing what they love,” he said.

[“source-ndtv”]

Need High End Photography for Business? Details of Panasonic’s Lumix GH5 Emerge

Eagerly Awaiting the New Panasonic Lumix GH5 Camera? No 6K Photos Until Next Year

Image capturing technology has evolved so much, near professional grade solutions are readily available on smartphones. But no matter how good the technology is on a mobile device, standalone cameras are still the way to go if you really want full professional grade features. The announcement of Panasonic’s Lumix GH5 camera is greatly anticipated because of the success the GH4 achieved in terms of reviews and sales.

Panasonic (TYO:6752) didn’t reveal much at PhotoKina 2016, the world’s largest trade fair for the photographic and imaging industries, which will be going on until September 25, 2016 in Germany.

First of all, the GH5 will not be available until early 2017. There is no exact date or price for the camera. Second, the features Panasonic announced are just enough to tease potential customers with some impressive capabilities.

An Early Peek at the Panasonic Lumix GH5 Camera

Here is the wow feature Panasonic said will be on the GH5: the first 4K/60p capability in a consumer ILC (interchangeable lens camera), which will provide 4:2:2 10-bit 4K video. And when it comes to capturing still images, it has another impressive capability, a 6K Photo mode that will extract 18MP stills from burst footage, or 8MP stills from 60p 4K clips.

This is the extent of what Panasonic made available, but if past developments are any indication, there will be more features on the GH5.

One of the advances that made the GH4 so successful was the hybrid performance it was able to deliver. The 4K PHOTO feature it introduced let users capture still images that were much too fast for the naked eye by saving high-quality photos from super-fast 4K resolution video frames at 30 fps. The feature was acclaimed by a wide range of professional photographers and videographers around the world. With the GH5, this will be upgraded to 6K still photos, which will deliver new levels of detail, whether it is for print or the ultra-high definition display technology in the market place.

The Panasonic Lumix GH4 is an affordable professional grade camera compared to Canon and other brands. At around $1,600 on Amazon, it has the right set of features for taking stills and video for small business photographers.

If Panasonic keeps the price low while adding these innovations, the company will continue to capture market shares from other brands.

[“source-ndtv”]

7 Ways Perfection is Killing Your Business – or Is It 6?

Problems with Perfection: 7 Ways Perfection is Killing Your Business

Can we ever truly be perfect, in anything?  Possibly, but that perfection is often short-lived.  As a society, we are always seeking ‘perfection’, and as such, we are often quick to label something as perfect, even when it is not.  A perfect stranger, a perfect storm, a perfect match or a perfect crime perhaps.

But if striving for perfection is part of your business personality, it could be damaging your ability to reach the point of product or solution launch; therefore your problems with perfection could be harming your ability to innovate.

Heck, when I launched most of my blogs or businesses, they were a mess, but they got out there and generated the buzz and citations needed to succeed. SEJ, which after three years became a six figure blog, had a disastrous template design upon launch, but I needed to get it out there at the right time, and then be flexible and nimble enough to make changes. Now, it’s a leading influencer in the world of digital marketing.

If you are running your business trying to adhere to this impossible standard, then you may be in trouble.

Here are seven problems with perfection that are killing your business.

Beware these Problems with Perfection

Makes You Slow to Market

In marketing strategy, there is an advantage known as FMA or first-mover advantage, where the first to market often gains a great initial advantage over competitors. Recent literature has suggested that that first-movers may be at a disadvantage, failing around 47 percent of the time, with ‘fast-followers’ (8 percent failure rate) being the real market winners because they can improve on newly launched products or services and reduce cost and inefficiencies.

No matter if you are first to market, or join slightly after, being one of the first is crucial to business success.  Unless you do something significantly different than any major competitor, and these are few and far between, then you must launch products or services effectively and efficiently.

Perfectionists often obsess over every minute detail, often delaying products and/or launches, which ultimately cause decreases in success metrics.

Founder of Linkedin, Reid Hoffman, said “If you are not embarrassed by the first version of your product, you’ve launched too late.”

Obviously, your products and strategies should be well vetted and tested, but lack of speed kills.  Accept that perfection is unobtainable and set realistic launch goals.  Pick a small group of trusted associates or customers to test new products, and provide feedback.  You can always make adjustments and improvements along the way.  Remember the first cars weren’t even sold with windshield wipers because no one ever thought people would take them out in the rain.  As your customers inform you what changes or improvements need to be made, you can address them. Proving your use and delivering on your promises are more important to customers than perfection.

Robs Your Project of its Dynamism

Sometimes, trying to make something perfect can remove the energy and desire.  Think about the best presentation you have ever seen, or maybe just one with 28 million views.

You can practice a presentation 100 times, and still not be prepared for a question, or something that happens in that room, up at that table or podium.  So why stress over it?  Giving a presentation is as much about presenting yourself as it is content or facts.

People want to see someone they can relate to, and as it is often said, no one is perfect.  You should always properly prepare for a presentation, but don’t sit in the back of the room tinkering for perfection, walk around and introduce yourself.  Start a few conversations to see if you can find some interesting details to include in your presentation.

Show your audience that you are aware of them, that you can relate to them, and that you are just like them, a normal non-perfect individual that has something extremely important to convey to them.  That will go much further than an extra bullet point on a screen full of text that no one will read.

Keeps You Waiting for that Perfect Opportunity

Are you the kind of person that is always looking for the perfect opportunity?  You’ve probably noticed a running theme by now, but no opportunity is perfect.  It is generally more a matter of pros and cons.  If you gain more pros by engaging in a new opportunity, you should generally go for it.  Always be on the lookout for new opportunities for your business.  Come up with a uniform system of evaluating each one.

Select the ones that make the most sense, and tackle any hurdles as they come along.  Not every opportunity is going to work out, but some of them will, and when you look back you’ll see how imperfect the situation was at the beginning and the steps you took to improve it.

This strategy will also help you evolve as a business person as you learn what works and what doesn’t.  As Wayne Gretzky said, “you miss 100 percent of the shots you don’t take.”

Sabotages Confidence and Self-Belief

One of the most encompassing deficiencies of perfection is that it can sabotage confidence and self-belief.  If you are afraid to launch a product or service, or pitch a new strategy until you think it is perfect, and then when you do, it is criticized, it can be crushing.  I’m sure you’ve probably been on social media lately, and if so, you know that someone has a comment for everything.  If you own or run a business, commenting is what you hire people to do, and if you are an employee, it is what you get paid for.  However, if you think something is perfect, and are told it is not, it can ruin your confidence, and this can stifle productivity.

Remember, innovations are built by teams, and no success has been free from criticism.  Use it to constantly improve.  Perfection can be something that is striven for, but rarely obtained.  Don’t dwell on criticism, use it to refine and enhance.

Prevets Your Getting From Start to Finish

In many phases of business, things are constantly evolving and never actually finished.  Think about a business plan, or target customers.  You should always be updating plans and trying to obtain new customers, but it is important to set milestones and plans that can actually be finished.  It will give you a sense of accomplishment and vigor and inspire your next cycle of innovation.

Perfectionists are often cited as not being able to finish anything because there is always something that can be changed to try and reach that unobtainable level of perfection.  Think about how this article started. Speed is an asset that perfection doesn’t allow.

Your milestones should be realistic times or events that allow you to move to the next step.  Be sure to evaluate and address areas for improvement in each subsequent step, as you try to achieve a more perfect outcome.

Destroys Vital Conditions for Creativity

Creativity and curiosity are born from chaos.  Always trying to be perfect eliminates your inclination to take risks and innovate.  You need to be creative to thrive in business.  There was a time when people said selling books online was crazy because users were scared to use credit cards on the web, the shipping costs would eat up any money that was saved and people would have to wait a week for a book that they could have today at any store or public library.

You probably already know where this is going, but today Amazon is rated as the tenth most profitable brand in the world.  They certainly had their growing pains, but used feedback from mistakes to grow into the behemoth they are today.

Don’t be afraid to embrace chaos.  Again, striving for perfection can certainly be a goal, but it is often created from bedlam.  Make sure you get uncomfortable from time to time; it can help you create something you can’t yet fathom, but could fundamentally improve your business.

Nothing’s Perfect

Especially this posting.  The title stated you were going to get 7 ways perfection is killing your business, but there were only 6.  I just wanted to leave some room for improvement, as you should too, because nothing is perfect, or more perfect.

Strive for consistency, not perfection and your business will thrive no matter the environment, product or competitor.

Have some more ways that perfection could be killing your business? Please feel free to leave them in the comments below.

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Weird State Laws that Affect Your Small Business (Infographic)

Weird State Laws that Affect Your Small Business

You’ve broken the law.

Don’t let it bother you too much however, because it’s likely that almost everyone in the U.S. has broken a weird state law at one point or another and guess what! No one’s coming to get you.

You’ve heard about these laws, right? Statutes that declare things like, “One may not promote a ‘horse tripping event’” or “No animal may be hunted for on Sunday with the exception of raccoons, which may be hunted until 2:00 AM“.

While many of these laws are a throwback to different times, they’re still on the books and enforceable as they were when created.

Some, such as “Using a firearm to fish is strictly forbidden” and “It is illegal to give beer to hospital patients” may even seem titteringly relevant today. Most? Not so much.

A Sample of Weird State Laws

As a small business owner, it’s interesting to take a look at those weird state laws that affect your company. There are plenty of them including:

  • In Carmel, California, women may not wear high heels while in the city limits. So, if you sell high-heeled shoes, make sure your customers don’t wear them out.
  • In Guilford, Connecticut, only white Christmas lights are allowed for display. So don’t go crazy with the red, green and … er … every other color!
  • In Rehoboth Beach, Delaware, no person shall change clothes in his or her vehicle. Better provide employees and, potentially, customers with a changing room — to prevent the collapse of civilization.
  • In Georgia, raffles can be a crime if not registered ahead of time! If an organization not recognized as “non-profit” fails to register their raffle with the local sheriff, that group risks paying up to $10,000 in fines and spending five years in jail. Does that apply to social media raffles, too? Uh oh!
  • In Indiana, check forgery can be punished with public flogging up to 100 stripes. OK, as much as some local merchants might wish this was the case, let’s get realistic.

The list goes on and on so here’s an infographic that contains 51 of the weirdest, one from each state and from the District of Columbia (Washington, D.C.).

Enjoy and remember, stay on the straight and narrow but always keep it a little weird.

[“source-ndtv”]