Only use this if you want to get noticed!

I had the honor of co-hosting a webinar yesterday with Michelle Calloway, the founder and CEO of Revealio, an augmented reality application that is geared towards small business owners. If you are looking for a way to differentiate yourself from your competition, you need to watch this webinar – I promise it will be worth your time.

Augmented Reality promises to be as influential to our society as the smart phone. - Tim Smith, CEO of Apple Click To Tweet

The Revealio app which is shown in this webinar  gives business owners some unique tools, including:

  • analytics
  • unlimited video swaps
  • edit call to action buttons

The call to action buttons are one of the great features of this app – after watching a video, you can send someone to a website (special landing page), a social media profile, or even a “buy now” button. But the only way to really see how this works is to try it yourself, so here is what I want you to do:

  1. Download the Revealio-AR app onto your smartphone right now.
  2. Open the Revealio app and click on “View a Revealio”
  3. Hold your camera over the logo image below and watch it come to life!



4. Then visit and get this set up for your business!


Tools you can use

These are some tools that I found that can benefit both business owners and webmasters – check them out!

About 60% of website traffic now comes from smart phones and tablets, which is why it is critical that your website is able to adjust itself dynamically to fit on a smaller screen without zooming up and down. Most new websites do this, in what we call a responsive design. Sites that are a few years old may not have this capability. You can check your site here to see how it looks on a mobile device: There is no charge to use this tool.

If your site isn’t mobile responsive and you aren’t ready to embark on a redesign, you might be able to use a tool like Duda to get yourself a mobile website without affecting the desktop site. Visit Duda here.

I did a full post back in December about Revealio, but have now gotten my own Revealio video which we will be showing off at the Dallas Mart next month. If you are coming to Dallas, stop by and see how amazing this is. Or visit Revalio now.

Most of us are familiar with frequent flier miles and other customer loyalty programs, but did you know you can build a rewards program into your website where visitors get points for visiting your site, visitng certain pages of your site, sharing your posts, going to your social media pages, buying products, refering a friend, etc. This handy tool is called “Gratisfaction” and it can be a great way to retain visitors on your site. Get Gratisfaction here.

Did you ever wonder how graphic artists are able to cut out the background of an image, leaving just the product you want to show off? the tool is called PhotoClip from Inpixio. this is an awesome tool to make your images look more professional. Grab Photoclip here.

Finally, Acuity Scheduling allows you to get rid of “email ping-pong” when trying to set up appointments. It will integrate with other calender programs like google Calendar to show when you are available (you may have noticed that this is how I schedule calls with customers). Check out Acuity Scheduling here.


Outdoor Electronics ?

This post was originally published on my scouting website, cyberbase Trading Post, but the information in this is relevant to many small business owners, so I decided to replicate it in its entirety here for your use.

As a scoutmaster, I never let the boys in my troop bring any kind of electronics with them on a campout. The idea was to get out and enjoy and learn about the outdoors, not play video games or electronic chat with friends who weren’t out camping with them. so when I was asked to review a video projector that could be used for “camping” I thought, “Really?” I’ll be honest, I still don’t think watching videos has a place on a campout. And the Pravette C7 projector I was given to test doesn’t really lend itself to camping as I know it. This projector is small and lightweight, and works best in total darkness, which is probably why the manufacturer says it is good for camping. But, it requires electricity to run it (there is no battery), which means you are in an RV lot at best. That said, there are some good reasons to consider getting one of these, even for outdoor use, such as in your backyard. Let me explain.

Video can be a great learning tool. There are portions of leadership training that use videos to show situations. A couple of times a year, our troop might have a movie night. Of course, having a projector can be useful when making a presentation. And if you want to show photos from recent outings at a family night, the USB input can be useful. The Pravette C7 will work well for any of these situations. As a video projector in a dark setting, it works well. It does have built-in speakers which sound OK, but if you have a larger group, there is a jack for external speakers as well. Input sources include VGA, USB, SD card, or HDMI. No cables for HDMI or VGA are provided. The native resolution of the unit is only 800 x 480, but when you attach an HDMI cable it is capable of displaying at 1080 resolution. Here is an example of […]

Chatbot Marketing

You’ve probably seen chatbots in action. They are on all sorts of websites, from major retail chains to mobile phone service providers and many other types of sites and apps. At first, you might think you’re talking to a real person. Usually, a popup appears with a picture of an agent, along with a name. The agent asks something like, “May I help you with anything?” or, “Do you have any questions?”

Chatbots can be quite advanced. Using artificial intelligence, many of them can almost manage to fool users into thinking they are speaking to a real person. This is beneficial, because it allows companies to lower their overhead by using chatbots to replace customer service agents, sales personnel, or support technicians. Only when the chatbot is unsuccessful in helping the customer must a real agent step in. Facebook recently released a host of data proving the value of bots for business:

  • 2 billion messages are sent between people and businesses monthly
  • 56% of people would rather message than call customer service
  • 53% of people are more likely to shop with businesses they can message
Using artificial intelligence, many chatbots can almost manage to fool users into thinking they are speaking to a real person. Click To Tweet

Some of the things bots are good for include:

  • Save Time & Money
  • Generate Leads & Revenue
  • Guide Users to Better Outcomes
  • Provide ‘After Hours’ Support
  • Engage Users in a Unique Way

Are there downsides to using chatbots? Sure, there are downsides to any technology. The biggest drawback is


What Can We Learn from Amazon Prime Day?

These are some important lessons that small etailers can learn from Amazon Prime Day:
1. Create Your Own Holiday!
2. Get your affiliates to promote it for you.
3. Make people join your membership program in order to participate.
4. Build hype early, including pre-deals. Send out press releases.
5. Offer the best deals on your own products.

Learn more at

What you need to know to get the best deals on Prime Day

Remember, the goal of Prime Day is to promote Amazon Prime. Lots of gadgets and tech accessories will be discounted for the sale, but products from […]

What I learned form a Recent Trade Show

OK, to be fair, I guess I already knew this lesson, but I found it interesting how it really struck a chord with me: people are skeptical. It certainly doesn’t help when you go to a trade show and some of the vendors are sitting in their booth, playing on their phones or their laptops, or reading a book instead of standing up engaging with the attendees. Really? You paid good money to exhibit at the show – the least you could do is be interested in those that have come to see you. But the attendees are skeptical of those exhibitors that do engage with them as well. Here was my experience:

I had some custom fortune cookies made, with 10 different “fortunes.” Each one was some type of free gift. These included getting a copy of one of my books (which I had sitting out on the table next to the fortune cookies), a free consultation, a digital download of over 1 million royalty-free images and tools, the opportunity to appear on my podcast, or a program worth $97. All the gifts were pretty decent giveaways for a trade show, certainly much better than a pen or a piece of candy – they all had some significant value. I set the jar on the counter, with a sign telling people to take a cookie as there were prizes inside each one. People would walk up to my booth, read the sign, look at the fortune cookies, and walk on. Finally, I decided to verbally offer them a cookie and explain what they might win. That’s when I noticed that […]

EFFECTIVE IMMEDIATELY! You must collect internet sales tax in all 50 states…

On Thursday June 21st, the US Supreme Court ruled in favor of the state of South Dakota vs. Quill Corporation that states have the right to collect taxes on internet sales regardless of whether or not you have a physical presence in the state. This means that as an ecommerce company selling through your website, you are now responsible for collecting the bewildering array of taxes levied at the city, county, and state level everywhere in the United States. And you thought the GDPR privacy issues in the European Union were a mess! This ruling is going to be a game changer, and is a serious concern, especially for small businesses selling online.

The case allowed that South Dakota has the right to collect sales tax on retailers with more than $100,000 in sales or 200 transactions. That is a pretty small amount, meaning that almost anyone selling online is required to collect and report sales tax regardless of where they are located. We’ve probably all been expecting this for some time, as physical retailers have complained about an unlevel playing field as they’ve lost sales to online etailers, but that doesn’t change the impact for small businesses who now have to comply with individual laws in the 45 states that collect sales taxes.

Is this really effective immediately? According to an article USA Today, it will […]

Why Do Websites Break?

If you have ever had a website, you know that they are never finished. Nor are they supposed to be. As your business changes and you get new products and services to sell, or you get new information and prices changes for current products and services, your website needs to reflect those changes. But these changes only represent a small piece of what is happening to a website on a daily basis. A website is a complex entity with lots of moving parts, not unlike an automobile.

Imagine you own a car. Obviously you must maintain the car: putting gas in the engine, changing the oil, checking the fluids, checking the tire pressure, rotating the tires, replacing brake pads when they become worn, changing the wiper blades, and servicing parts as they become worn. The good thing with a car is that you usually know what to expect. But what would happen if that car manufacturer decided to update a part, like the oil filter, and the new oil filter didn’t fit your old car? Now you would have to buy an adapter to get the new oil filter to fit the old car. Then, the gas companies decide that the fuel they’ve been selling you needs some new additives to make it more efficient or to meet current EPA guidelines for clean air, but the additives corrupt the seals and your car has to be modified to accommodate the new gas additives. And to top it all off, your car is being driven by thousands of different drivers, all with different driving habits, some of whom break things just because they don’t understand.

That’s pretty much what happens with a website. Hackers, security concerns, new laws and regulations, and advances in technology all put pressures on your website. Nothing is static. Your website is […]

Getting More Referrals Into Your Business

This is a guest post by Doren Aldana, who I will be doing a webinar with next week. Register for the webinar on June 12th at 11am Mountain Time now.  I highly recommend listening to what he has to say…

No amount of advertising, tweeting, posting on social media, or direct mail can impact customers the way a review can. We are living in an era where it’s not what you say about your business that matters, it’s what others say about you that counts.

But you must remember, getting reviews from your customers is a delicate task. The biggest obstacle isn’t overcoming negative reviews, it’s getting them to begin with.
Here are 5 tips to help you get reviews, without annoying your customers…

  • Make writing a review easy. Ask your customers to give you a review without requiring an account. If it’s positive, ask them to share it on review sites (i.e. Google, Yelp, etc.).
  • Be present on multiple review sites. Ask your customers to review you on their favorite review site (Google, Yelp, Facebook, etc.). Don’t expect or ask them to review you on all of them.
  • Be candid with your customers. Keep your request simple and honest. For example, it might be something like “we know you read customer reviews, and we do too. That’s why we would love it if you would review us…”
  • Be careful when you offer incentives. Some argue that offering incentives can corrupt the process and defeat the purpose of getting truthful reviews. However offering a small incentive (i.e. “surprise gift”), is a way to show your appreciation to them for leaving a review. Just make sure to clarify your offer is for writing a review, not just a good one.
  • Consider your demographics. If your customers are Millenials, they are already used to sharing experiences online. So less handholding is required. However, if you have an older and less tech-savy group of customers, they may need more prompting and detailed step-by-step instructions.

The Testimonial Engine helps you automate each of these steps, and makes getting reviews from your customers quick and easy. Our goal is to get – and publish – your reviews for you, without annoying your customers! Sign up for the webinar here.

You will not want to miss this webinar. […]

Be So Good They Can’t Ignore You

“Be so good they can’t ignore you” – Steve Martin

I don’t like insurance companies. They are in the business of taking your money, then denying claims. This is true for all insurance types: health, home, and auto. Even life insurance expires once you reach a certain age. Basically insurance companies are in business to make money, not to protect you. Except one: USAA. USAA has created a reputation for itself where its members (including me) are fiercely loyal. How did they do that? Let me give you 2 of my personal experiences.

  1. I was driving my father-in-law’s Cadillac. I pulled into a gas station and drive around the cars that were parked at the pumps. As I was doing this, the person parked at the pump pulled out and side-swiped my car, causing a couple thousand dollars worth of damage. As this was private property, not a public road, we exchanged drivers license numbers. He admitted he was at fault, and gave me his insurance information. At first his insurance company agreed to pay, but then this guy changed his story and they denied the claim. My insurance company USAA, stepped in, paid the claim without hesitation, then negotiated with his company after the fact.
  2. Another time involved hail damage to the roof of my house. My previous insurance company denied my hail claims 3 times! I finally had enough and when USAA started handling home owners insurance, I jumped on board. the next time we had a hail storm, I submitted a claim to them. Even though much of the hail damage was old (because of the previous insurance company), USAA replaced my entire roof.

In both of the cases above, USAA did NOT raise my rates. They merely sent me a note thanking me for being a long time customer. I have to say, that they are so good, they can’t be ignored.

Now let me tell you about Vail Resorts. When it comes to being so good they can’t ignore you, Vail is […]