AnyMeeting Launching Totally Redesigned Version of Web Conferencing Software

Video conference with up to 6 people
Video conference with up to 6 people

Using your feedback we worked with user interface experts and our developers to totally reinvent the AnyMeeting experience. The redesign features a dramatically different view for users. Beginners and veterans alike will find the new version much more intuitive and easy to use.

The new version will be live to all AnyMeeting users beginning Friday, October 7th at 1AM PST. Please note, the AnyMeeting service will not be available from 12AM to 1AM on October 7th as we make the transition.

The new version features:

  • 6 Person Simultaneous Video Conferencing – Up to 6 people can now broadcast their webcam and/or microphone at the same time.
  • Faster Screen Sharing – Our developers have worked hard to optimize the software behind the scenes. This means sharing your documents and presentations is faster than ever.
  • Quick Task Bar – We’ve grouped all of your web conferencing functions onto one menu bar. No more hunting around for different controls. They are all lined up at the bottom of your screen.
  • Improved Screen Management – Whether you have one video feed or six, your screen will re-size and present the best configuration for sharing your meeting.
Share documents
Share documents
Share charts
Share charts
Share presentations
Share presentations
Share polls
Share polls

Don’t forget AnyMeeting’s new ad free ticketing option that helps you get paid for your presentations.

In case you were wondering, AnyMeeting is still completely free. For life.

Try AnyMeeting today, or take a look at the 2 minute tutorial video.

The Blind Side of Marketing Part 3 of 3

Football
Football can teach some valuable business lessons

By Christopher Telles, Founder, MarketVouch

This is a special guest post by one of our AnyMeeting users. Want to write for the AnyMeeting blog? Get the details.

 

In part 1  we covered the correlation between football and small business regarding the use of planning and strategy to protect their most valuable investment from the blind side. In part 2 we covered the creation of a marketing plan to help small business owners create a game plan to help them acquire new customers.

As a quick refresher the blind side in football or in business is the point you are the most vulnerable. For small business owners this point is most often in the area of marketing. Like in football, the blind side can be protected by engaging the biggest, strongest, and fastest marketing actions in your small business. The marketing plan actions serve as your protector.

Once you have a marketing plan defined you will need to populate it with elements to proactively target new business. These elements can range from a single source to multiple sources. In marketing these elements are referred to as marketing channels (although not necessarily the same, the term sales channel is sometimes interchangeably used in its place). These channels are where marketing actions take place just as the linemen on a football team take action to execute plays.

We’re going to look at five marketing channels that can be implemented to help you increase customer acquisition and increase revenues.

In his book “Guerrilla Marketing” Jay Conrad Levinson states that Guerrilla marketing is “everything you do to promote your business”. It’s written in the first paragraph on the first page and this couldn’t be truer today.

Promotion can be anything such as picking up the phone and calling ten new prospects a day, hiring a flash mob to promote your brand, or sending a tweet. Guerrilla marketing actions can be one of the least expensive and most effective ways to promote your business. If you aren’t already using Guerrilla marketing actions then you’re missing out. Pick up a copy of this book today. A used copy of the most recent version is $6.07 on Amazon. This will be the best marketing expense you could ever incur.

Depending on the complexity of your selling proposition you could consider teaming with an outsourced sales company. These companies offer sales services on an ad hoc basis. The service could be engaged to help you introduce a new product/service or help to revive sales of an existing product/service. Find a company that you feel comfortable with and can work within your budget. Look for a company that will take on some of the risk through a partial pay for performance fee structure.

Email marketing is alive and going strong. If you have a list of current and former customer emails you could build email marketing campaigns for as low as $8.50 per month. Many of today’s email companies have easy to use email creation templates that allow you to produce high quality html emails. Insert pictures and links to help get customers to visit your website. Email has a high ROI and can be a good source for new customer acquisition. Constant Contact, Vertical Response, Mail Chimp, iContact, My Emma, and Godaddy are a few good companies (I have no affiliation with these companies).

Social media marketing is one of today’s least expensive forms of advertising. If you’re new to social media or haven’t yet started using it for marketing then just know it’s easy to get started. Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and some other social media networks all have the capacity to put your business in front of millions of potential customers. Each has their own rules on how you can use the network to promote your business, but the take away should be that you can start for free or for very little money and the results you receive could very well be worth the effort.

The latest innovation in marketing has come in the form of daily deal sites. The daily deal industry is changing the way small business finds new customers. Many consumers look to daily deal sites to find new products and services and receive discounts to try out new businesses. But as a small business owner you should look to daily deal sites for marketing support and as a marketing channel to help you find and acquire new customers. The cost of acquiring new customers using a daily deal company can be lower than the customer acquisition costs using other forms of marketing and advertising. (disclaimer: I own and operate a B2B daily deal website)

As a small business owner you need to protect your company from the blind side. Your company’s marketing plan is the left tackle of your offense and it’s what protects you from where you’re the most vulnerable. Select your marketing channels wisely and measure the actions they take to find and acquire new customers. Tackle your marketing plan head on and start producing new revenue from new marketing channels actions.

The Blind Side of Marketing Part 2 of 3

Football
Football can teach some valuable business lessons

By Christopher Telles, Founder, MarketVouch

This is a special guest post by one of our AnyMeeting users. Want to write for the AnyMeeting blog? Get the details.

 

In part 1 we covered the correlation between football and small business regarding the use of planning and strategy to protect their most valuable investment from the blind side.

As a quick refresher the blind side in football or in business is the point you are the most vulnerable. For small business owners this point is most often in the area of marketing. You can protect your marketing blind side by engaging the biggest, strongest, and fastest marketing actions in your small business.

Like in football, marketing can only work well when there is a game plan. This plan starts with senior management assigning each marketing action a responsibility just like a head football coach assigns assistant coaches responsibility for a portion of each game. These assignments are then passed on to the team members responsible for executing the assignments. This would be the players in football and marketing personnel in business.

If you’re a small business owner you need a marketing plan. Without one how will you muster an offense that is going to consistently produce revenue gains? Let’s take a look at creating a marketing plan that can help you acquire new customers.

Small business owners should regularly review their marketing plan. If you don’t have a plan then you should make it a priority to create one. The marketing plan doesn’t need to be extensive but it should help you answer the following questions:

  1. Where are you now? This will establish a benchmark to measure new results.
  • What have you been doing to market your business?
  • How much new revenue comes from existing marketing activities?
  • What is your current customer acquisition cost?
  1. Where do you want to go with new marketing?
  • Establish a realistic revenue goal for new marketing actions
  • Assign new marketing actions to existing or new marketing channels
  • Set marketing goals to measure actions, weekly, monthly, or quarterly
  1. How will you get where you want to go? Ask yourself some questions:
  • How did my largest competitor capture market share in their early days?
  • What are my competitors doing that I am not currently doing?
  • What can I do to make measurable changes to capture more customers?

A marketing plan will help you assess how best to budget marketing actions before you start spending time or money, and it can serve as a plan you can share with your team.

Your marketing plan is the way to change the game and places you in a position to gain new customers and increase revenues. Without a marketing plan a small business is left to the vulgarities of fate. You can control the fate of your business by using an easily created and easily implemented marketing plan.

In part 3 we will cover five marketing elements to help you implement your marketing plan, acquire new customers, and grow your business.

The Blind Side of Marketing Part 1 of 3

Football Field
Football can teach some valuable business lessons

By Christopher Telles, Founder, MarketVouch

This is a special guest post by one of our AnyMeeting users. Want to write for the AnyMeeting blog? Get the details.

 

Autumn is officially upon us and with this comes the beginning of collegiate and professional football. As fall begins and football becomes the subject of choice I’ve started to think and talk about the correlation observed between football and small business in the use of planning and strategy to protect their most valuable investments from the blind side.

The blind side in football was made famous by a movie of the same name starring Sandra Bullock. The blind side is the side of the field where the quarterback is most vulnerable, the side he can’t see when he drops back to make a pass. Football teams draft special players and pay them big money contracts to play the position that protects this blind side. The left tackle position is occupied by the biggest, strongest, and fastest linemen on the field

Small business owners need to think and act like the general manager of a football team. They must make wise choices to protect their franchise investments. The blind side in business is the area you are most vulnerable and for many small business owners this is marketing. As a small business owner you would be wise to find the biggest, strongest, and fastest means to produce new revenue to protect your blind side.

Like millions of Americans I enjoy watching and analyzing football plays, but in my case I can’t just watch football without analyzing the strategy used to execute each play.

My enjoyment of football comes from watching the offensive line execute and open holes for running backs and protecting the quarterback. This is the result of watching my son try to squeeze through holes opened by the 300+ pound offensive linemen. Linemen are big, strong, and agile. They can move their robust bodies all over the field while executing plays. Many fans only follow the ball and this causes them to miss the small execution steps of the linemen.

Marketing is the offensive gain plan for business. Without marketing a company would not receive new revenue gains to help it grow and prosper. Likewise a football team will not win if it does not gain yardage and score. Marketing actions are like linemen on a football team. Marketing works in the trenches making small contributions and when combined with the efforts of the rest of the team it produces measurable gains.

Like in football marketing can only work well when there is a game plan. In marketing this is called a marketing plan and it can determine whether your company experiences success or failure. A good marketing plan can be simple to create and simple to implement.

In the second part of our three part series we will take a look at creating a simple marketing plan and how this plan can help your small business acquire new customers. In part three we’ll investigate five marketing elements to help your company increase revenue and grow.

Ask Not What Your Journalist Can Do For You…

JFK
John F. Kennedy - his words still ring true

By Ann Baker, CEO, Publicity Pros

This is a special guest post by one of our AnyMeeting users. Want to write for the AnyMeeting blog? Get the details.

 

JFK’s iconic quote from his inaugural address was a goosebump-maker not just because he so eloquently exhorted us to change our attitude toward our government, but because he perfectly distilled a powerful and empowering outlook on life itself.

“Ask not what your country can do for you.  Ask what you can do for your country.”

Take out the word “country” and insert anything into it – wife, friend, employer, dog… it all applies, and those who remember, believe, and employ this outlook usually do very well in life.

The same is true when a business owner, expert, or author is trying to get some media coverage.  Unless you’re already something of a star in your field, you’re not likely to elicit much interest when you approach a reporter, editor, or influential blogger with a message that’s essentially, “Hey, I’d like it if you’d write about me.”  Instead, if you can find out what the journalist is working on, and supply helpful information or sources that will help round out his story, you’re much more likely to get a mention.  Why?  Because you’re helping the journalist, not asking him to help you.

So with my small business clients, I often advise them not to start a PR program with a press release and “media campaign,” but instead to employ a strategy of monitoring the media to find out who needs what, and when, to complete stories that journalists are already working on.  This intel is known as a PR lead or PR opportunity.  There are many free services providing such information for the do-it-yourselfer, such as HARO, Pitchrate, and Newsbasis.

Those who have some budget to allocate to PR can increase the breadth of this research and also save a considerable amount of time by subscribing to a lead-finding service that will search for and send targeted leads on a daily basis.  It’s also advisable, and relatively inexpensive, to pay a PR professional for some training in how to pitch the media effectively and what materials to prepare ahead of time.

The beauty of this approach is that, in addition to raising the odds of being mentioned in the press, the smart businessperson is also building authentic relationships with reporters and editors along the way.  This lays the foundation for a strong and lasting PR plan for the future.

AnyMeeting CEO Rocks the House of Blues

House of Blues
AnyMeeting CEO Costin Tuculescu (2nd from Right) playing on stage at the House of Blues in Hollywood

By day Costin Tuculescu is the CEO of AnyMeeting, our web conferencing company in Southern California. By night he takes the stage and wields his axe to crank out some major tunage.

I’m the new guy here at AnyMeeting. I’m used to seeing our CEO around the office. I’ve watched him hard at work behind his computer, tweaking our software to improve our web conferencing system. But last night I learned that when he’s not banging out code, or meeting with our board of directors, he’s shredding on the guitar for local audiences. Thursday night he took the stage at the famous House of Blues in Hollywood for AdJam.

AdJam is the largest event thinkLA produces, drawing over 1,200 industry friends and colleagues out for a night of music and mingling. The event pits agency bands against each other in a true battle of the bands competition, with the winning band receiving the coveted AdJam Axe and bragging rights for one year.

So if you are a fan of charismatic leaders like Don Draper on MadMen, I can tell you he has nothing on our Costin Tuculescu.

AnyMeeting Launches Facebook Contest for Most Interesting Meeting

HUNTINGTON BEACH, CA–(Marketwire – Sep 22, 2011) – AnyMeeting, the completely free web conferencing and webinar service, today announced a new contest for its customers on Facebook. AnyMeeting is looking for stories from users of the service who believe they have had the most interesting meeting.  See the complete press release on MarketWire.

CONTEST: Tell Us Your AnyMeeting Story

AnyMeeting Story
Tell us your story and you can win prizes

Enter Contest

Contest Instructions

Use our Contest page on Facebook to tell us how and where you have conducted your most interesting meeting using AnyMeeting. Bonus points for unique locations and creative descriptions. (Note: you will need to Like AnyMeeting to participate)

Grand Prize

Pro Presenter Tool Kit:

  • Logitech 720p Webcam Pro 900
  • AnyMeeting Pen Set
  • AnyMeeting Coffee Mug Set
  • AnyMeeting Polo Shirt

2nd Prize

AnyMeeting Coffee Kit

Prize Eligibility

Only persons who are at least 21 years of age and reside in the US can enter

Contest Starts

September 21, 2011 @ 09:00 am (PDT)

Contest Ends

October 03, 2011 @ 12:00 am (PDT)

Official Rules

How To: Write a Killer Blog Post

Robot Blogger

Guest post By Susan Johnston

Susan Johnston has written for AOL Jobs, The Boston Globe, Mediabistro.com, Parade Magazine, and SELF, among other places. 

Blogs are a powerful way to engage customers and attract new ones. But with so many businesses turning out blog content, it’s not enough to throw up a few quick posts and hope for the best. Here’s how to ensure that your blog posts stand out.

  1. Craft an Enticing Headline
    Without an eye-catching headline, it’s unlikely that people will even read your blog post. That’s why it’s worth spending the time to brainstorm a headline that will pique curiosity and encourage clicks. Blog headlines should be short, specific (don’t make readers guess), and make the reader want to know more. For instance, “How I Doubled My Twitter Following in Two Months” is better than “How to Build Your Brand and Attract New Customers With a Strong Twitter Presence.” But remember that your post should deliver on the headline’s promise, so don’t go overboard with the hyperbole.
  2. Incorporate Relevant Keywords 
    The goal with SEO is to mention your target keywords while still sounding like a real human being instead of a spambot who spews out keywords by the minute. Try to include your most important keyword or phrase in your headline and a secondary one in the first paragraph of your post but keep it natural and conversational. This may mean trying a few different combinations before you find the right balance, but the pay-off is that readers will understand immediately what your post is about and search engines will correctly index your content so future readers can find it.
  3. Turn Your Topic on its Head
    One way to create irresistible blog posts that attract comments and links is by taking the opposite point of view from the crowd. If everyone is blogging about how to grow your circles on Google+, you might blog about why having smaller, but more engaged circles is actually more valuable. Or you could draw surprising comparisons between your topic and some aspect of pop culture. Is there some parallel between SEO and your favorite TV program? Does Lady Gaga teach us something about building a brand? Get creative to find ideas that go beyond the obvious.
  4. Use Blog-Friendly Formatting 
    Blog readers expect posts to be formatted differently than a book or newspaper article. Keep paragraphs short and use sub-headlines, numbered lists, or bullet points to add white space between each point and make posts more skimmable. Also include a call to action and encourage readers to leave comments or ask questions.
  5. Add a Related Image
    They say a picture’s worth a thousand words, so it’s always a good idea to include images to accompany your posts. Photos offer visual keys that reinforce the topic of your post and also break up the text (see number 4). Be sure to include alt text and title your images descriptively (“Maui Wedding” instead of “PGH12458.jpg”) so that they’ll show up in image searches. Also keep in mind that your image doesn’t have to be a literal depiction of your topic. For instance, if your post is about celebrating milestones in your small business, you might choose a photo of a birthday cake or a glass of champagne. Search for images that are royalty-free or buy stock images to avoid copyright issues.

In keeping with tip number 4, what do you think of these? Is there anything you would add? Do tell! 

Beta Testing is Maxed Out

The Original BetaMax

We’re glad you are as excited about the new AnyMeeting as we are. We had a tremendous response to our invitation to try the Beta. The sad news is that we have reached our capacity.

We are limiting the number of Beta users because we want to carefully monitor how this version is performing. We appreciate your willingness to help us improve.

The new version should be launching to the public soon. We’ll make an announcement when it is live. If you want to keep up to date on the latest developments, be sure to check back on the blog. Or watch our Twitter and Facebook feeds.

Thank you for being part of the AnyMeeting community.