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I was at a work group meeting last week discussing the opportunities for businesses in the “Digital Economy” particularly with the improvement in broadband services across Australia in coming years. It was a real eye opener in terms of how much more innovative businesses are going to have to be to prosper in the next 2-5 years and to maximise the changes in technology.

It also made me realise that Mark and I weren’t really doing this in our own business. That may surprise some of you given that I specialise in Social Media Marketing and am continually updating my skills to stay at the forefront of this rapidly changing media, but what I mean is that our business wasn’t innovating. Our websites had been the same for several years, our services had expanded but really only as a result of customer demand and we have been delivering these services in virtually the same way.

So, back to the title of this post, “The times they are a changing” and it’s time for us to change. But rather than changing “with” the times, as business owners we need to be changing “in front” of the times!  Seeking new opportunities and providing answers to questions that our clients don’t even know they have yet. I’m not talking crystal ball, rainbow and unicorns here but rather seriously considering the possibilities for your business in the digital economy. Who will your clients be? Where will they be located? How will they ‘interact’ with your services? And, most importantly, what will their needs/pain points/wants be?  Only after you have considered this should you then work out how you can best meet these needs and provide your services in the most readily accessible way to your clients in the future.

Already trials are underway of “digital dust” being woven into fabrics to sense changes in our health and report these remotely to doctors. Imagine this technology in food packaging so that your food not only ‘knows’ it’s use by date but transmits this to your fridge to have an order automatically placed via the internet for a replacement product to be delivered to your door! And that’s just the beginning – start thinking about 3 dimensional printing of objects including human organs with ‘ink’ an exact replica of human blood cells and you start to see how far (and how fast) technology is moving!

So what does that mean for our customers and why an I telling you about printing blood cells? As a group, of business, government and educational leaders, we could not come up with an industry that will not be changed by new technology. So as business owners, you need to not only be aware of the changes happening in technology but to start thinking innovatively.

For us, we have decided to “split” our business into two main streams to better service our client base while growing our offerings. This website, www.MarkandZoe.com will be our home base for Entrepreneurs looking to grow a business online. Our focus has always been on teaching “Internet Marketing” strategies but we are expanding this into a complete support site for building your business from anywhere in the World. Mark and I love the fact that we can work our business from our laptops from anywhere we have a reliable internet signal, and now want to share with you how you too can “Make The World Your Office”.

Over the coming weeks we will being adding our top tips and strategies to run a ‘virtual business’ including reviews and training videos on the tools, apps, income streams and services we use in our business. Our innovation is to support all of you that are going to be moving to ‘non-traditional’ business models over the coming years. We see huge changes coming for not only where we chose to work and how we work but, in fact, why we work.  Our plan is to become citizens of the the World not only travelling to every part of the Globe but living in many different places over the next 10 years.

If you are already running, or in the process of establishing, a virtual business we’d love your feedback here on the support you need and questions you have (please leave your comments below).

The second ‘half’ of our business, Social Media Marketing (training, strategy, system design and management), is getting a new home over at www.SocialMediaShortcut.com over the coming weeks. This site has housed our membership group and SocialMediaShortCut training program but, again, with innovation in mind, we are not only expanding our social media services but changing how we deliver these.

We have partnered with The Creative Collective agency and will have the capacity to deliver more regular trainings, social media strategy and system builds across the globe with consultations done via skype and/or video conferencing, and back these up with a new online membership site with monthly training webinars. This will mean that we are able to deliver you the most up to date information on trends and changes to social media marketing AND answer your questions each month via the internet ie without you leaving home! If the timing doesn’t suit your schedule (we are busy business owners after all) then the trainings will be recorded in your membership area.  More details on the monthly webinars will be emailed out to our clients next week, so make sure you have subscribed to our SMSC VIP List at www.SocialMediaShortCut.com for details on how you can access the webinar in May for Free!

The partnership with The Creative Collective opens up a huge group of specialist creative staff to us so that I can do what I do best (and love doing), train and strategise your social media marketing, and then hand the design, technology and management components over to other team members that specialise in these tasks.  We are growing our team of social media managers and I’m delighted to say that Mark and I now have a brilliant assistant, Ms Allsion Todd, supporting us in the day to day running of our business.  In keeping with innovation and maximising new technology, our team are all virtual, and now spread across 4 coutnries with Allison residing in the United States.  After all our clients are from around the Globe and we will be travelling to all parts of it so there are no barriers to where our staff are located (again other than having access to reliable internet connection).

We realise that some of what we share on both websites will overlap – for instance many of our virtual business owners want information on social media marketing,while many of our ‘bricks and mortar’ businesses that we have built social media systems for will benefit from accessing details on our online accouting program etc. When this occurs we will definitely be posting information on both websites and you will notice links to Social Media Marketing (above) here as well.

A good example of this is our upcoming Social Media Marketing for Business Seminars series. Details of these are on the events page on SocialMediaShortCut but we will also have a post here with a link as these will allow you to maximise social media to grow any type of business, whether virtual or ‘traditional’ bricks and mortar.

Our aim is to provide you (our wonderful community) with the information that is most relevent to you achieveing your goals and growing your businesses online. Social Media is becoming integral to our way of life, particularly with the advent of mobile technology, so every business needs to maximise this marketing method. But we understand that not all of you are interested in sharing our journeys around the World, working our business from our laptop, particularly if you are focussed on building clientelle in a specific geographic area and driving traffic to your shop front. Well atleast not right now – but start thinging innovatively and you never know ;-)

So our new structure in a nutshell:

www.MarkandZoe.com is for you if you want to build your business from anywhere, anytime via the internet. Highlighting our top tools, tips and tactics to “Make The World Your Office” and sharing our travels and innovations.

www.SocialMediaShortCut.com is for you if you want to learn how to maximise Social Media Marketing to grow your business. Highlighting our top tools, tips and tactis for “Guiding You Through the Maze of Social Media Marketing” while also keeping you updated on our latest Social Media trainings.

If both services appeal to you, then by all means sign up to both websites.  You will be receiving different e-newsletters and updates but we will alternate these so that you are never bombarded by messages.  Our aim is to provide you with ‘innovative’ cutting edge information to grow your business online and share with you our triumphs and mistakes (so you don’t have to make them) along the way.

So what do you think? Do you like our new plan? Are you changing your business structure in light of new technology? Are you ‘innovating’ in another way? We’d love you feedback below and/or over on our facebook pages.

Some things haven’t changed though – if you like this article please share far and wide with your social networks and, as always, “Have an Awesome Day”.

- Zoe

I spend a lot of time on Social Media Marketing ( I love it) but you do have to balance the time you spend on Social Media with the business outcome you receive for your efforts.

By integrating my Social Media Networks and Bookmarking sites I can distribute a single piece of content across multiple sites with the ‘push of a button’.

Watch the video to see step by step what tools I use and how to set this up to get maximum exposure for your information across social media sites with the minimum time investment ….

Love to hear your feedback and results. Leave your comments here, stop by our Facebook page at:
www.Facebook.com/MarkandZoe or connect via Twitter www.Twitter.com/zdeluca

As always, if you found this video helpful, share far and wide with your networks/friends – simply hit the “Like” “Retweet” or “share” buttons.

After all it feels good to share ;-)

Video Marketing is the hottest trend in maximising Social Media Marketing right now.

The largest video sharing site, YouTube.com has 13 Billion video views – PER MONTH!

People are watching hundreds of millions of videos a day on YouTube and uploading hundreds of thousands of videos daily. In fact, every minute, 24 hours of video are uploaded to YouTube.

With that level of traffic it’s obvious that you should have a presence on YouTube and other video hosting sites, but….

Have you found yourself paralysed at the thought of actually making a video?

What do you talk about? How do you make the video? How do you upload it to the net? And how will anybody else get to see it?

If video marketing has all seemed ‘too hard’ and/or you have been making excuses as to why ‘you’ can’t possibly create a video – then this training is for you.

I recorded this video marketing training for my SocialMediaShortCut course (the full training is available exclusively through www.SalesPipeLinePros.com ) – but have had several requests for this information, so here ’tis.

To those of you joining me on the Video Marketing 90 Day Challenge, I trust this helps you to power into action!

Any questions contact me here, on our Facebook page http://www.Facebook.com/MarkandZoe , at my Youtube channel http://youtube.com/user/zoedeluca or on twitter at http://www.Twitter.com/zdeluca

And please share away with your friends and social networks.

Have an Awesome Day – Zoe

P.S. This is the first in a series of 3 SocialMediaShortCut trainings.  Make sure to join this site or grab the RSS feed for updates on when the other Social Media Marketing trainings are available.

If you are creating content on the internet then one of the best ways to gain exposure for this content is to list it on bookmarking sites. This can be a time consuming task if you are posting to dozens of sites manually. A colleague shared the OnlyWire.com bookmarking service with me and it has streamlined all of my bookmarking.

The video (below) shows you what OnlyWire is, how to sign up for an account and then how to bookmark to over 20 sites with the push of a button. Fantastic tool – www.OnlyWire.com

UPDATE:  The Social Media Traffic Blueprint by Maria Andros, that I link to in this post, launches on 8th April 2009 at 1:00pm EST (USA).  If you sign into Maria’s launch page from the link below you will receive access an hour earlier.

If you have arrived at this post after this time then the Twitter video may not be available.  I will update the link when I have the new location but please do let me know if you have any trouble with accessing this great Twitter training.  Ok on with my post …..

Anybody that’s worked with me in driving traffic through Social Networking sites knows that I looooove Twitter.

I may well be addicted to Twitter because it keeps social media super simple and it works.  BUT there is right and a wrong way to use Twitter for Business.  If you want results you need to position yourself correctly and obey the Twitter rules of engagement.

So how do you learn all of this?  Well I learnt the insider secrets of Twitter from a true Social Media Marketing Rockstar – Maria Andros.  Maria is a trusted mentor of mine and is known as the “Video Marketing Queen”.

Here’s a free video that Maria Andros just put online that teaches some of her most valuable techniques for Optimizing Your Twitter Profile to Drive Qualified Leads to Your Website (just opt-in on this page and you’ll be taken DIRECTLY to the video). Maria also has other Free Videos on how to Create Simple Videos that make you money that are packed full of content.
http://budurl.com/SMTB

Maria calls the video:

“How To Create A Twitter Profile That Makes You Money & Drives Qualified Leads To Your Website”

You won’t believe how much you can learn about how to leverage social media in 20 minutes.  I’d estimate that this information is worth thousands of dollars in your business to you – if you use it. This video is full of amazing tips for how to market yourself , how to create a killer BIO that brands you- and MUCH more. All completley free of charge.

This page is for the launch of Maria’s new “Social Media Traffic Blueprint” and the value in the free videos gives you a good idea of the level of training that Maria offers.

Let me know what you think of the videos,

Have an Awesome Day – Zoe

PS.  The latest ‘case studies’ video on on Maria’s site features me!  So opt in to see my beach back yard!

http://budurl.com/SMTB