Becoming a Firm Of The Future: Part 4 of 4 - Get Connected With Tips/Tools for Managing Social
Welcome everybody, and thank you for joining us for the Becoming a Firm of the Future webinar series with me, Michelle Long. This is part 4 of our series, where we're going to be talking about getting connected. I really appreciate you all joining us to this webinar today. Again, my name is Michelle Long. I am A CPA and the owner of Long for Success located in Kansas City, Missouri. I'm thrilled to say that I am an international speaker and trainer for Intuit. I first started teaching QuickBooks Desktop back in 1999, and became a trainer for Intuit in the year 2007. I just really love helping accountants and bookkeepers literally around the world learn more about QuickBooks.
I'm also the author of several different books that you could find available on Amazon including the QuickBooks practices as well as How to Start a Home-Based Bookkeeping Business, which might be something you might want to check in to, co-host to the QB Power Hour free webinar series every other Thursday. I'd love to have you join us for that, and the accounting deacon at Virtual conference that Sandy and I do coming up in May.
That's enough about me. Let's just review the webinar series that we've been doing over the past couple of months. Part 1, we talked about Get on the Cloud and Where to Start. We talked about how to get moving into QuickBooks Online and everything, and how to convert and move from desktop to QuickBooks online. All of the first ones that we've done have been recorded, and you can listen to those again if you missed them. In part 2, we talked about Getting on the Cloud and Streamlining the Workflows
We talked about some things in QuicBooks online that really allow you to automate some of the processes to reduce and eliminate most of the data entry that you're doing to where you're managing the data, and you're automating things like emailing the invoices, and automating reports to be automatically emailed and things like that. That was part 2. The last one we did in December was part 3. We talked about Becoming a Trusted Advisor, ways that you could add value for your clients including joining the ProAdvisor Program as well as how to switch and start implementing value pricing for your clients.
All 3 of those have been recorded. You can listen to those. If you go to firmofthefuture.com, scroll down a little bit on that homepage, and you'll see the links where you can go listen to those previous ones if you missed them. Today, we're talking about Get Connected with some Tips and Tools for Managing Social Media. This one will be recorded as well and available for you o listen to later in case you missed parts of it. Now, this is eligible for CPE. There is one hour of CPE for this webinar.
I know the webinar today is scheduled for an hour-and-a-half. The reason for that is so that we've got plenty of time for yourquestions, because we want to help give you tips and tricks. I really want to help you to get practical information, how do you start doing some of this stuff, and so I did want to allow time for questions. The CPE keyword will be provided during this one hour. The first hour, I will have that CPE keyword. You need to write it down, and then we will have you answer that poll questions with the CPE keyword at the end of the webinar, and that's how you qualify for CPE credit.
The certificates then will be emailed to you, but you need to allow 3 weeks for those email certificates to get to you. Then you keep a copy for your records. I see questions again about where do I get the recordings. If you go to firmofthefuture.com, you can watch the first 3 sessions. You can click to listen and watch those first 3 sessions. You cannot get CPE for the sessions that you missed. You have to attend live to get CPE. If you need more free CPE, you could go to Accountants University. That's where you have additional resources.
If you go to QuickBooks.com, and enter the accountants tab, click on accountant learn and support. Under accountant university, there, you'll find lots of webinars, and there is webinars going on throughout the month. You can get free CPE for those webinars. Also if you'd like to join me like I mentioned for QB Power Hour, those webinars are eligible for free CPE as well. Again, there is that Firm of the Future website, where you can watch the previous 3 sessions that we did on this.
You don't have to have attended any of those for what we're covering today, so don't worry if you missed those, you're still going to get lots of great information from this today. What we are going to be talking about today is we're going to be talking first about your ProAdvisor profile. Hopefully you guys have all joined the ProAdvisor Program, and you're getting certified. We've talked about that in some of the previous webinars how important it is to get certified. Now today, I'm going to help you talk about how you can maximize your ProAdvisor profile to help you get more clients and get more leads from that ProAdvisor profile.
Then we're going to talk about getting into some general information for building your online community on getting connected, how to set up some social media profiles, how to start connecting, and who to start connecting with, talk about some tools and tips to help you manage social media efficiently, so it's not taking up lots of your time. I'll show you some ways that you can start sharing content from other people, or ways that you might want to begin creating content on your own. Hopefully, I'll have lots of good practical information for you throughout this webinar today.
First of all, let's talk about that ProAdvisor profile. If you have not joined the ProAdvisor Program yet, we've talked about this previously, it's free to get the ProAdvisor Program and certification for QuickBooks online. If you just go back to that QuickBooks.com, and click on accountant, you'll see the second one there says the QuickBooks ProAdvisor Program. Click on that. Go to quickbooks.com. Under the accountants menu, click on he ProAdvisor Program, and sign up for the free ProAdvisor Program with QuickBooks online.
Then you can get certified in QuickBooks online. Once you are certified, and if you want to join the other ProAdvisor programs to get certified in QuickBooks desktop, QuickBooks enterprise, the more certifications help you, but the easiest way to get started is just to get certified with one. Once you've get certified, then you would be listed on the ProAdvisor website, the find a ProAdvisor website. That website gets over 700,000 hits per year from people who are looking for a ProAdvisor to help them with their QuickBooks, or their accounting, or whatever they may need.
What we want to do is you want to help improve your ranking on the find a ProAdvisor website. There's some things that you can do to help your ranking out there. The first thing that you can do is get advanced certified. Once you are advanced certified in either QuickBooks desktop or QuickBooks online, that weighs more. There is this whole algorithm at how they calculate the search results, and there's certain things that weigh more than other things. An advanced certification weighs a lot, so the advanced certified ProAdvisors will show up towards the top of the search results, which just like with Google, you want to be on the first page. You want to be on the first page out here on the Find a ProAdvisor website as well.
Another thing that will help is having more certifications. See over here, I've got a copy of my profile here for you. See over here, you can see I'm certified in QuickBooks Online. I'm actually advanced certified in both the Desktop and Online, but I also have QuickBooks Desktop certification, enterprise, and point of sale. Now, I quit renewing my Point of Sale certification, because I don't really work with clients in Point of Sale anymore, but just having other certifications will help in your ranking on the search results.
The other thing that helps is you need to have a picture out there. There's a few people that used to be a little silhouette. If you didn't upload a picture, it was just the little silhouette. Now, it's just your initial. Intuit has done research and studies, and the statistics proved more people click on a profile if there is a picture there than if there's not a picture, so you will get more clicks on your profile if you've got your picture out there.
The other thing that will help in your ranking is getting reviews. You'll see here how you can have reviews right underneath your name. This is something that's one of the things that we forget. People will say, "Well, how do I get reviews? How do I get reviews?" You need to ask for them. Just ask your clients for them. When you finished something for them, and they say, "O my gosh, thank you. I appreciate that so much," you'd be like, "You know what, would you like to write a review for me?" They'd be like, "O my gosh, I wouldn't know what to say."
"Well, how about if I help you, and I just type up what you just said to me, and I can help you post it out there?" You can help your clients to do that, but you've got to ask for those reviews. Just like everybody looks on Amazon, and e-Bay, everybody is looking for reviews and ratings. They're looking for those peer comment. Having reviews will help yourself in the search results. It also helps when people are looking and deciding who to click on and who to contact, so you would want to go through, and make sure that you're asking for reviews.
Then don't forget to make it public. You need to make your profile public now. This is different than it used to be. What I want to do is I want to go ahead, and toggle in to QuickBooks here. This is how we log in to our ProAdvisor portal now. In the past, we had to go through ProAdvisor.Intuit.com, and go log in over there. That's still available right now, but I think they're phasing that out. Now, what you do when you log in to QuickBooks Online, and I'm logged in through QBOA, which you should have a QuickBooks Online accountants account.
You'll see on the left navigation bar over here, where it says ProAdvisor. This is where you have your certification information. Then the second tab is your profile information. See the second tab where it says profile? You need to make sure you click this button right here, where it says public. You want to turn it on, and make it public. That's what post it out there for everybody to see when they search at findaproadvisor.com.
You also want to make sure you have a complete profile, so put in the about you the contact, your email address. This about your practice, we're going to talk about in just a few minutes. Make sure you fill out your titles and then what services that you provide. This is where you go through, and these are checklists. If I click to edit this, you'll see I can check what things apply to me, or you could type in a few words here.
Do you support computer consulting with network support, hardware and software sale? Going through on each one of these, you should type an individual information if you want to. Go through though and check these things of. The reason that you want to do that is because sometimes clients are looking for specific help in specific areas, so check off all the ones that apply to you. I don't know if you noticed, but I did not check anything under taxes, because I don't do taxes anymore, and I don't want to do taxes, so I don't want anybody contacting me about taxes.
Come out here, and fill out your profile, and make sure you check this little box to make it public. Right here, make that public. Now, let's talk about how to have a compelling profile. One of the things that you need to remember is features tell, but benefits sell. Features tell what you do. We provide bookkeeping payroll and taxes. Yes, you're an accountant or a bookkeeper. They know that. Everybody on the Find a ProAdvisor website is providing similar services.
We don't want to just talk about the services that we provide. We want to focus on the benefits that we provide. Focus on the clients' needs. We don't want to talk about I, I, I. We want to focus on do you need help with QuickBooks? Do you need help getting the most out of QuickBooks? Do you need help making sure payroll is paid on time? We want to focus on the benefits, and we also want to focus on our client and their needs. Again, make sure you're filling out all the products and the industries that you support, and those other details.
Now, let's look at a few of these profiles to give you some ideas. These are some that I just copy and pasted just to give you ideas. I did not put any names associated with them or anything, but here is a few examples. See this one? They're talking about their features. What are the services that we provide? They're listing all of their services here of the things that they do. Here again, they're talking about their services that they're providing, AP and AR, and bookkeeping.
Yes, most of us are doing that. That's why it's out there. Then over here, it's taking about, "I do this," and again all of their services that they provide. This is, "I have experience in these industries. I have this. I have that." Well, you've got some of that already in there. When you complete your profile, you're talking about the industries that you support and the products that you support, and all that stuff. We don't want to just be doing I, I, I in my opinion.
This is my opinion. Take it or leave it. I'm just trying to give you some ideas. Here are some things that I think maybe would be better is where I love the first few sentences that this person has here. Do you understand your business inside and out, but the numbers make you crazy? Do you spend too much time trying to get financials ready for your tax preparer or the banker? Do you know which products are really profitable? I love that because you're talking to the client, and the client is saying, "Yes, they understand what I need. Yes, this person gets what I need."
You're talking to the client, and you're connecting with what they need, with their benefits that they need for them, because the clients are hiring us to meet a deed, to help them to save time, to save money so they don't have to worry about payroll, various things like that. We want to focus on some of those benefits, and try to speak to the client. Here is another one that I thought was good. Experience, integrity, knowledge allow us to use these qualities to create an efficient system of data organization an workflow, troubleshoot your current systems, relieve you of accounting tasks so you can focus on your business.
We're talking about you, you, you, not I, I, I. Think about that. From the client perspective, what would you want to see if you're looking for help? What's going to be speaking to the client? I think talking about you more than talking about I this and I that, I think that will help get them to connect with you, to get them click and contact you. Here was an example of another one. Whether you're a new or a long-term user, we can help you with this or that.
I just wanted to give you some ideas on your profile, tips that you could do to enhance your profile, and move you up in the rankings out there, but the first thing you got to do if you're not certified already, you need to get certified. Make sure that you get in there and get certified. Now, let's talk about some of the social media stuff out there. I see Woody is answering lots of questions. Thank you very much Woody. I appreciate that.
Now let's talk about getting connected and building relationship to growing your practice. This is one of the pillars that Intuit has identified for becoming a firm of the future. The becoming a firm of the future deals with getting online, become a trusted advisor, and now we're talking about getting connected. That's one of the pillars for a firm of the future. We want to build relationships, and most of us think about, "Oh, we just need to get connected, and try to get new clients," but we need to build lots of relationships to have a successful business.
We need to build relationships not just with current clients and potential clients, but with referral sources, with other attorneys, with bankers, with insurance agents or real estate agents, other small business owners, all kinds of people that could refer potential clients to us as well. We need to build relationships with them. We also need to build relationships to build a team with either employees or subcontractors to help us meet the needs of our clients.
I work with various ProAdvisors across the U.S. I mentioned I don't do taxes. I've always had people who may do the taxes for me. I'm not a specialist when it comes to point of sale, but I know people who are a specialist with point of sale. You build a team. You've got to have these relationships. It may not be that you're hiring employees. Maybe you've got relationships with other ProAdvisors, where you're pulling them in as needed on potential jobs and stuff, so you need to network with your peers as well, because they can be great source of referrals and would help you meet the needs of your clients.
Then you may have some advisors that you work with, people that helped advised you on growing your practice and things like that. We're building relationships with lots of different people. It's not just the clients that we have to worry about, but we got to worry about all of these people, and build relationships with them. That's where you can do a lot of this through social media, so it's where our real life is combining with social media now, and these things have become blended. I really think you need to do both of those.
The other thing that we want to do through social media and connecting with people is to help drive traffic to our website. There is various things that you could do out there. You have a lot of them on here. Whether you're blogging, you're using LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Google+, Instagram, Pinterest, there's all kinds of them out there. There's hundreds of different things out there, but the goal with all of that is also not just connecting with people, but also to drive traffic back to your website to help them learn more about you for building those relationships, and getting referrals, and getting new clients, and things like that.
Just keep that in mind that as we're doing lots of these things, these things will be feeding into your website. One of the first things you need to do is ... Some of you are at various stages in getting started in social media, so some of these you may have already done. Some of these you many need to do, or some of these you may find ways to improve it, but one of the first things you want to do is go in there and set up your social media profiles. One of the ones that's the best for business to business networking and connecting is LinkedIn.
We talked about B to B and B to C, business to business versus business to consumer. LinkedIn is the best for business. You've got a lot of small business owners out there, people who are higher educated, higher income, more small business owners versus let's say Facebook or Twitter, things like that, so you need to set up you profile. You want to go through and create a tagline out there. That's this little space right underneath your name, where people can see what you do.
Use keywords out there. You'll see how I've got lot of different things listed. I'm using keywords, so when somebody searches ... You'll see I've got trainer and speaker out there. When they're searching for different things, you want to have different keywords out there, so you want to focus on that. You want to go through and complete your profile. This is where it's like you've got your online resume. You've talked about your past history, and your work experience, and your education, and things like that, so this is like your resume.
You don't need to put everything else. You don't have to have a resume necessarily. You can always refer people to our LinkedIn profile to let them learn more about you. Just like you want to ask for reviews on your ProAdvisor profile, you should ask for recommendations in LinkedIn. You should also join groups, and participate in groups. I don't know how many of you do this yet, but here is a good example. I'm going to go ahead and go on over and get into LinkedIn. Let me get into the right one here. Oops, I just went passed it.
In LinkedIn, here is a good example. See under my groups. I belong to about 60 different groups, because some of them are my own, but some of them are other ones out here. You can see I've got all kinds of different groups out here, women's groups, bookkeeping groups, business groups, various groups. One of the groups that I was in, and I don't see it here right now, I think it's down here at the bottom; here it is, Mizzou Alumni. I went to University off Missouri, the Tigers. Go Tigers.
In the Mizzou Alumni group, one time, I posted something in there about, "I was back on campus for homecoming. It was so cool to see this, and did you know the tore the shack down, which is where all the freshmen used to go to drink beer? That's gone now. It's a parking garage. At the football game, Spidey, this old guy that used to cheer, he was still there." I started a discussion just about general stuff, and everybody started commenting on it. "O my gosh, I haven't been back for years, and O, that's so cool."
It was really a way to start a discussion. Somebody saw on my profile or on my tagline that I do QuickBooks. They sent me a private reply, and said, "I saw your discussion on the group, and I see that you do QuickBooks. I've got a business in Nebraska doing XYZ, and I need help with such and such. Can you help me with that?" I have gotten clients from participating in groups out in LinkedIn. The other thing that it's great for, and you can see here is the sorority, the Delta Gama group, I've gotten a couple of clients from that as well.
You join these different groups, and you participate, and so you're connecting with people. Also, you could be connecting with your peers. You'll want to join like for example my biggest group here, the successful QuickBooks consultants group, has nearly 160,000 members now. It is a great place for networking with your peers, and posting out here. You could see people are talking about purchasing bookkeeping clients, the sole proprietor version of QuickBooks. You're networking with your peers out here when you're posting in these groups and in these discussions.
Couple of things, first of all, you make sure you update your profile to here, so when you click on profile, I'll go ahead and go into my profile, so I can talk about it a little bit for you. Go in there, and again put your picture in there. Put your tagline in there. As you scroll down through that profile, you can see you can put posts out there. You can put a summary of your information. You can list certifications, your experience. You could see here we have some reviews that go along with your experience or recommendations. Those help.
People like to see your recommendations and things like that. You could go through and keep adding additional stuff down there including your education, honors and awards. Fill some of that stuff out under your profile. Then when you want to join groups, if you click up here on this top little dropdown here, and you go down and click on groups, this is where there's a group for everything. Let's say you want to specialize in construction. If I could type construction, let's say I want to go on and look at all these different construction groups.
You can go through here and look for groups that may be relevant to what you are looking to specialize in or you want to start networking in. Join the groups. Participate in the discussions. It's a great way to start connecting and networking, and getting potential clients from that. I encourage you check out LinkedIn. Join that group. Then also you'll want to do this for other social media sites as well like for Facebook. Go through on Facebook, and not only have a personal page, but set up a business page.
I've got for Long for Success is my business page out on Facebook. We also created a group for QB Power Hour, where there's lots of discussion and interaction and networking going on out there as well. Joining Twitter, I personally, I don't use Twitter that much. I don't know that I've gotten any clients from Twitter. Twitter seems to be better for news and current events like scores, and watching games, and watching shows, and things like that. Personally for business, I have gotten a lot out of Twitter, but some people might, so that might be one you want to join.
The Intuit Community Forum, this is where you've got thousands of people who are QuickBooks users posting questions. Let me just show you how to get into that one, because that's a good one for you to go to. If you go to community.intuit.com, community.intuit.com, it's a great place where you've got all of these different people posting questions out here. This is where we're going to talk later about creating content. If you've got blog posts or you've got videos, this is a great opportunity.
You go answer their question, and you say, "Here is a blog post, where I'll show you exactly how to do that, or here is a video where I'll show you how to do that." I've got lots of clients from answering questions and helping people. Because then they say, "Gosh, that helped, but I still need help with this, or I need help with that," and they will contact you for additional help. Again, that was community.intuit.com. There is also the new community Intuit has created called OwnIt. It's again another place where lots of small business owners are posting, and networking, and asking questions, and things like that.
Then of course you got Google+. YouTube, we're going to talk more about in a little while. Instagram, Pinterest, Instagram has grown huge to where it's one of the top ones now as well. Set up profiles on some of these, and you don't have to necessarily spend lots of time posting to all these different sites. In a little bit, I'm going to show you some tools that will help you to post one thing to multiple sites at one time, but you need to go out there and set up your profiles on all these different things.
Let's do our CPE keyword. It is Cheetah. Cheetah is the CPE keyword for us today. Write down cheetah, and towards the end of the webinar, we will do a poll question, and ask you to answer the poll question, and you would want to click for cheetah to be the answer to the poll question, cheetah. Now, being a Mizzou Tiger fan, I like tigers better than a cheetah, but he's pretty too, isn't he? Cheetah, write down cheetah, cheetah, cheetah. Somebody is talking about how to network.
We're going to talk about how to network in just a minute. Somebody's already dicing on the Chiefs in the game against the New England, but David, I won't hold that against you, but go cheese. Cheetah, write down cheetah one more time, and we're going to move on, cheetah, cheetah, cheetah. Who do we start connecting with? Then we'll talk about some of this. We're getting more in depth. Who do we start connecting with? We need to of course connect with friends and family, neighbors and other people.
Here is something that's interesting. We might see our family members, your cousins, or aunts ans stuff. You see the in them summertime at parties, or you see him at Christmas or Thanksgiving or whatever. Sometimes, you don't really realize now that they've grown up like your cousins, for me, I was like, "Now that my cousin Brian has grown up, what is he doing these days?" You need to really realize what your family members and stuff are doing as well. It turns out, he owns his own business doing appraisals and things and stuff.
Getting connected with your friends and family, sometimes you don't realize what they're doing, and so it's a good opportunity to learn more about what they're doing as well, as well as your neighbors, your former co-workers, former classmates. I've got people that I connected with on Facebook. For example, this one guy in town, we were high school classmates, and he is now a lawyer in town, and I'm an accountant, makes sense if we would meet and start referring clients to one another.
I got another former high school classmate. He's a pediatrician now, and he saw me posting on Facebook. I've done some QuickBooks something. Pretty soon, he sends me a message. He says, "I see you do QuickBooks. My wife does payroll for our business, and she needs help with XYZ. Can you help her with that?" This is where you're connecting with all these different people, with your peers as I mentioned before. Don't look at other ProAdvisors or other accountants and bookkeepers as your competition. You need to network with them as well.
For one thing, if you're a sole proprietor, you need to have a backup in case something happens to you, you can have somebody who can help, or if you can't handle the workload, and this client is not right for you, you can exchange referrals, things like that. You also want to connect of course with your current clients. Connect with them out there. This is where when you're using things like Facebook and stuff, you might have a personal page as well as a business page, but whenever you're posting anything anywhere, always assume everybody will see it.
Even if you say, "This is private, just for my family and friends," somebody can take a screenshot of that, and share it with the whole world. Nothing is ever private, so always be very, very careful about what you're posting. If you wouldn't post it and do it or say it online in front of your mom, or your grandma, or your kids, or your clients, don't do it, because it will live on forever and hunt you forever. Then one of the most important rules, no drunk posting.
Just like there's no drunk driving, there should be no drunk posting. Did you know my kids just told me there's an even app for that? There's an app you can put on your phone that prevents you from drunk posting or texting and things like that. I thought that was hilarious. Anyway, also, you want to connect with other additional referral sources, other people who you can maybe refer clients to them, and they can refer clients to you like attorneys or lawyers, bankers, insurance agents, real estate agents, other people that work with other small business owners that could help providing referrals, and then other small business owners as well.
You want to try to connect with all kinds of people, and build relationships with lots of different people out there. You guys are doing great answering lots of questions there. Somebody says, "I'm meeting with a CPA next week to refer work back and forth." Hey Don, that's great. Hi Don, good to see you on here. That's really good to meet with them, because if you're going to be providing referrals back and forth with each other, people need to know, like, and trust you before they're going to provide referrals to you.
Let's say Don wanted to start meeting with me, and getting referrals for me. If he just sends me an email, I'm not going to necessarily want to refer anybody to him, because I don't know him. The idea that he's meeting and getting to know them and stuff, I think that's great. That's a good idea. Now, let's talk about tools to manage it efficiently, because let's say you join 3, 4, or 5 of these social networks like LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram. How do I manage this so I'm not spending all day doing social media?
This is where there are tools that are available that make it a lot faster for you to take one thing, and post it, and share it out in multiple platforms. For example, I can take one post, and send it out to LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter all with one tool at one time. You can even schedule these things. The one that I use personally is called Hootsuite. You'll see it right here, Hootsuite, the little owl, the little hootie owl. Hootsuite is the one that I use. I love it. I can use it on my desktop, or there's an app for mobile devices and things like that.
There's a free version that allows you to schedule these posts and stuff as well. Let's go in and look at Hootsuite. I've got that pulled up here. This is my Hootsuite, where you can see here is the Facebook. You don't have to log into Facebook. Here is Twitter. Here is LinkedIn. Here is Instagram. Here is YouTube. You've got all these different things. I don't have to go log into each one of them separately. I can click right here, and see them. You can set up multiple streams, so you can monitor different things.
Now for some reason, this suddenly got busy on me, but you could see you could monitor like I monitor when anybody mentions my Twitter handle, or when anybody mentions QBO, or Intuit accountants, or over here was QB connect. I don't know why it's not pulling down right now. That allows you to monitor the feeds for lots of different networks all at one time. Best of all, when you want post something... See here is my Facebook personal, and this is my Facebook business. Long for Success is my business one.
When you want to post something up here, I can compose the message doing a firm of the future webinar now, getting connected. Now, I post this one thing, and over here, I can choose which profile I want to post that to. Let me post it to all of these at one time. Over here, I can put in here whatever I want. If you're posting to Twitter, it gives you a little countdown. It would also give you the link or allow you to attach a link, and it will shrink the link for you. Let's just go ahead, and put this firm of the future link in there.
Let's copy that over here, and let's do a paste, and then shrink that link down. It will then attach that link. I also then can schedule these things. See where it says scheduling? This is where you can sit down once a week, twice a month. Whatever you choose, you can schedule stuff to post. I've had people who say, "Michelle, how do you do that? It looks like you're always online." No, I haven't been lately, because I've been behind on this, but this is where you can sit down and schedule these things to happen all throughout the week, some in the morning, some in the afternoon, some in the evening.
It looks like you're always online, because you scheduled it, and have these things happen automatically for you. This is where it's a huge time-saver to use some of these tools. Now, with the free version of Hootsuite, you only can connect 3 accounts. If you wanted to connect more than that, you need to have the paid version. I forget what it is, but it's less than $10 a month. You also then have all of these different analytics. You can do campaigns. You can have reports that you can look at. You even can have team members out here. If you're upgrade to pro, you can have team members, where you cannot find certain team members to deal with things.
It's really a pretty powerful tool. Even just the free version is pretty powerful. That would allow you to post to 3 things. Maybe you just were to post to Facebook, LinkedIn, and Instagram. Maybe you want to post to those 3. You can do that for free, so I encourage you to check it out, and try it out. That's the Hootsuite tool. We're going to learn about some more tools that are pretty cool here to help you with some of that.
Somebody is saying, "Can you connect your website as well?" Mary, why would you want to be connecting your website? Because this is sharing things out on social media, what you may want to do instead though is write a blog post, and then share your blog post out which directs people to go back to your website. We'll talk about that in just a little bit. Thank you Woody. He flagged the question for me here. I'm not a CPA. I don't do taxes, and I try to stay away from bookkeeping.
My business is more accounting consulting, QuickBooks training, and process improvements for businesses. Are there associations that are available for businesses like mine? Well yes, there are definitely lots of firms that are consulting firms. I myself when I first started my practice, I did the traditional bookkeeping payroll and taxes. Over the years, I quit doing taxes. Then I quit doing payroll. Then I quit doing monthly bookkeeping, and I decided I want to specialize just in QuickBooks consulting and training.
People thought I was crazy. They said, "You can't build a practice off of that." Yes, I did. QuickBooks consulting and training is now a huge deal, and lots of people specialize in that. You've got some people who specialize just in certain industries, so if you want to focus on consulting and process improvements, now when it comes to process improvements for businesses, I have a term for that. I call it appify the processes. This is where you want to help them implement technology and tools like QuickBooks online and third party apps like [inaudible 00:37:54], or method, or various apps to automate their business.
Yes, you definitely can specialize in that area. It's a good idea to specialize, so I think that's great. Somebody says, "How do you post to the professional page, and not the personal page on Facebook?" Deborah, if I'm doing that in my Hootsuite tool, when I post something here, over here, I could just choose which I want it to go to. This Long for Success is my business Facebook page, whereas this Michelle Long is my personal Facebook page. I can choose which ones I want that to post to. I can control what I'm posting to business or personal.
Let's talk about a couple of other things. Then I'll answer some other questions here in just a little bit. Somebody did have a question though about ... Somebody says, "Why can't we see the question Michelle just read and answered?" Kevin, unless you type it in and hit reply to all, you guys don't see all the questions, and I'm answering it verbally instead of typing it in, but I know Woody and some of the other people are helping to answer some of those questions there.
Somebody asked about, "How do you charge for your services?" I would encourage you to watch the last webinar that we did, webinar number 3, Becoming a Trusted Advisor. We talked about value pricing, because people are moving away from hourly billing, and they're moving to value pricing. You're right. It is more than just appifying, Dan. Appifying is the term that I set up. Another question, "Is the free version of LinkedIn good enough, or should we pay for the premium?"
Sandra, I have never paid for the premium version of LinkedIn. Usually, that's headhunters and people that are paying for the professional version of LinkedIn. Very good, thank you. Let's go ahead and talk of some more content. Again, I'll have time for some more questions in a little bit. Let's think about when we're talking about connecting, we're talking about posting, how do I know what to do, and when to do it and stuff?
First of all, we want to identify your goals. It is a process that we're going through here. What are your goals? Your goals are probably things like I want to increase brand awareness. I want more people to recognize my name, my firm name, or my individual name, and the services that I provide. You want people to think because they need to keep seeing this repeatedly, they need to connect the name Michelle Long or Long for Success with QuickBooks, and so you want to build that brand awareness, so if and when they have the need for those services, they will think about you.
You're wanting to improve your brand awareness, and all of this, of course, we want to help grow our business, right? We want to build relationships with lots of different people to help us with getting additional referrals and clients, and building mutual beneficial relationships with others. We also want to be generating those leads and referrals. That's our goals. We want to focus on the 80/20 rule. Help provide useful and relevant content for people. You don't want to just be putting out there, "Hey, we do QuickBooks 20% off this month. We do taxes. Come see us by the end January."
You don't always want to be doing 100% business stuff out there, because that's a turnoff for people. You want to do about the 80/20 rule. Provide useful and relevant content. What does that mean? Share with them. Have you seen the latest updates to the QBO this month? Are you aware of the new tax law changes? Are you aware of the new mileage rate for tax purposes? Share some useful and relevant contents with people versus self promotion.
Also, share some personal stuff out there, even on your business website. It's a way for people to get to know you, and start connecting with you. For example, talking about the chips or talking about the royals, talking about sports, or maybe it's something like, "I started posting some pictures out there. We were building a house, and my sister-in-law lives in Denver. My brother-in-law is in Kentucky, and they want to see pictures, so I posted some pictures on Facebook." I was amazed how many people that I deal within the business sends, "How is the house coming? I love watching it. We've never built a house. I think that's cool to see how it works."
I made it really creative, lots of discussion, and again, it's a way you're connecting and building relationships with people. Do put some personal stuff out there as well, but we don't care what you had for lunch every day. Keep it in mind. You're constantly posting personal stuff, little silly stuff, then that gets too much as well. Keep it in mind, and keep things in balanced. I think that's the key thing is being in balance in whatever you do. Also, you want to be consistent, and I have not been over the past month.
I haven't been on social media much lately due to variety of things. You normally want to be consistent, and spread your activity out throughout the week. Don't go sit down on Wednesday, and post all kinds of stuff on Wednesday. Instead, schedule them out so that you have some posting on Wednesday, some Thursday, some Friday, some over the weekend. Spread them out throughout the week and throughout the day, the time of day.
Sometimes, people are on it at work. Sometimes, people are on it more in the evening when they get home from work. You don't forget you got the east coast, the west coast, Hawaii, all these other countries as well, so spread the timing out throughout the week and throughout the day as well. Another thing to do when you're getting started is to observe. Watch what other people are doing, and see, start paying attention to what do you like, what do you not like, what seems effective versus what's annoying or ineffective.
You'll see some people who post about politics all the time. Why would you do that constantly when our country's so evenly divided? It's like 50% of the people you're going to offend if you start posting lots of politics and stuff. Now, some people want to do lots of political things. What you might want to do then is have a separate profile for that, and keep that away from your business. Just think about these things when you're posting things and putting things out there. Observe what other people are doing.
Evaluate. Then also when you post things, what's getting the most responses? If you post something about taxes, or about QuickBooks, or about this, or about that, what's getting liked or shared, or retweeted, or comments? Try to generate discussions like if you post some article out there, post, "Gosh, when I read this, I thought that. What do you think," to generate discussion. Ask people where they learned about you. When somebody comes to you as a new client or a new referral, or whatever, ask them how they learned about you.
If they say, "O, I found you on the internet." Okay, can you be a little bit more specific? For example, "O, I found you in the LinkedIn group. O, I saw your post on Facebook," you want to know where people are finding you so that you can learn what's working and where you're getting your clients from. Also, use analytics to help you to monitor and track some of these things. Google Analytics for your website. You can use bit.ly links to track how many people clicked that link. Ow.ly comes. There's some stats with Hootsuite from your ow.ly links when you're posting things.
You can monitor those stats as well to see what's working and what's not. Now, if some people say, "Okay, well Michelle, this is all well and good. Okay, I want to start doing this, but what do I post? I don't know what to post. I don't know what to share." There's lots of different sources out there. Of course because I'm doing this webinar, I'm going to share some of my sources, but there's lots of resources that are available out there. For example, like the QBO blog, the QuickBooks Online blog, my blog, my YouTube channel, there's lots of YouTube videos out there.
There's lots of resources out there. There's blogs. There's newsletters. There's various things. Let's go in and show you. Let's say you found something you want to share. Here is the QuickBooks blog. This is a QuickBooks blog, so let's go into the what's new in apps. Let's say that I've got this blog post here, and I want to share what's new in apps for January. Once I find something that I want to share, there's these tools that help you share content quickly and efficiently.
Look up here in the upper corner of my screen here. Do you see the little owl next to the URL box? See the little black owl? That's my hootly owl for Hootsuite. It's my little Hootsuite app [inaudible 00:46:45] thing that installs into Chrome, a extension. It's Chrome extension. See the little green box with the white little, I don't know, half triangle thing there? That's the share this extension. What you can do with these two things, with the little Hootsuite owl, when I click on the owl, that's going to take whatever page I'm on, which is this blog post, and it's going to help me create a post for this blog post here.
It's slower than normal here today. I'm not sure why the internet is cold, and it doesn't want to work for me today. Give it a second. There we go. You'll see it's already created this little ow.ly. This is where it can track the analytics for you, and you can monitor how many people click on it, retweet it, and things like that. You can say check out what's new in apps for QBO? Maybe I want to say that. I might want to do a hashtag QBO, because some people follow hashtags. I don't really care about that date there.
Then here is where you say click on a social network, so I can post that to Twitter, Facebook, and my personal Facebook or my Long for Success Facebook page. I could I got 59 characters that I can still use here, so I could put in here, "You've got the QuickBooks online," and I might want to say, "Hashtag CPA, hashtag ProAdvisors." You can put different hashtags in there to help more people see it or find it or whatever. I usually try to go ahead and use all 40, all characters on Twitter. I usually try to use all that.
Here is where I can post it later if I want to schedule this, or I can post it now. If I click post it now, that just sent that out to 3 places for me. Now, you can do this with the Hootsuite app. You can also do this with share this. This is that little green box with the white thing in it that I talked to you about. Also, on most of your blog posts, somewhere on them, down at the bottom usually, and I don't see one on this one, a lot of times, here we go, I can't wait to share this. Click this button below.
This will allow you to share it to Twitter, or share it to Facebook, or share to it to LinkedIn, to share it to one social media site at a time, but if you click on this green share this extension up here, this will allow you if I want to go in and share it on LinkedIn, you can share it to LinkedIn groups. If you want to share it to LinkedIn groups, whoops, and that didn't come out. Let's click on the more button. Click on more. Then go in here and find LinkedIn. There it is, LinkedIn.
It asks you if you want to post it or share it to groups right here. Post to groups. This will allow you to post it to various groups that you joined. If I joined successful QuickBooks consultants, I could post it to that one. I could also place it to a CPA group. Let's do CPA group here, or maybe I wanted to put it to a ... Let's put it to the QB Connect group. You can post it to multiple groups at one time. You can go through and choose and post it to multiple groups at one time.
Let me show you how I did that again. Let's go ahead, and back. Let me get out of that. Go away. Hold on. I want to go back to just the blog post. There we go. On the blog post, I clicked my share this extension. This is when you want to post to LinkedIn groups. Click on more. Come in there and select LinkedIn. Then you can choose post to groups. You find content that's useful and helpful, and now at here you'll see it posted on to my page over here, my Facebook page. Let's get it to refresh. Let's see if we could get it to join over here and link the Long for Success one too.
Again, these are tools that are help save you time. These things are not saving time. Here is my personal Facebook page. It posted there. It also posted on my business page as well. These are again things that are going to save you time when you're posting stuff. Find content to share whether its blog post, or YouTube videos that you want to share. You can share other people's content, and then we'll talk about creating content in just a minute. Let me answer some of the questions that we have in here.
I need to do scroll down. I'm sorry. I must have changed the order of these things. Let's get them back in order of some sort, so I can answer them for you. If everybody in the groups shares the same content, does it show up many times? Jeline, let's say it's everyone in the group. If everyone in that LinkedIn group is sharing the same stuff, yes, that gets annoying. One of the things, when I'm posting to a LinkedIn group, I usually like to post a discussion about it, like I read this article, and I thought this was the coolest thing in here. What do you think? Do you agree?
Instead of just simply posting it, and spamming the group with blog posts, try to make it a discussion. Try to make a discussion about it. That is something that I think is great to help there. Somebody says, "To post to LinkedIn groups, you really need to remember the names. If you just start, like if you type in A, it will give you a list of all the groups that start with A. If you list a B, it will give you all the groups that start with B." What about copyright laws in sharing?
That's a really good question. I am not stealing the copyright. I'm just sharing the link to that article, so it's not like I took their information, and copy and paste it into my own blog post, and pretended that I wrote it. It is clear who created it, so there's no copyright problem there with sharing that content there. Advantage of a picture versus a caricature that is professionally done, as long as you've got an image of your face where they can see you, if you've got a nice professional caricature, I guess that's okay as well.
Is it just groups you're a member of or all groups? Just meet groups that you are a member of, so you've got to join the group to be able to share in there to that group. Good question. Do you think it's better to share to a specific group if it's technical or to all such as in LinkedIn? Terry, when you post something to LinkedIn as yourself, then that would show all the people that you're connected to, they see your content, because there's millions and millions of people on LinkedIn, you don't see everybody else's post.
The people that you are connected to is what you're seeing most of the time. You can choose what you want to share and where you want to share it, whether you want to share it in a group, share it as your individual, things like that. That's up to you. Yes, Dan is telling Woody what a great job he's doing. Yes, Woody, you are doing a great job. Thank you so much. What about newsletters, would MailChimp or Constant Contact, have those been found to be useful? Yes, keeping in contact with people is a good idea by using MailChimp or Constant Contact.
The thing is Kayla, you've got to build up a list, so you've got to build up some kind of an email list with people opting in for you to be able to email them. Yes, lots of people do email newsletters, and you can get ghost writers to do some of those things as well. Which do you prefer QBO or QB Desktop for your clients? Tina, I am a long time desktop user. I started training QuickBooks Desktop in 1999. I have written books, and trained on it for years with QuickBooks desktop.
Now, I only have a few desktop clients left, and I don't accept any new desktop clients at all. I love QBO. I still do have a few on desktop for certain things, but I really like QuickBooks Online a lot better once I learned how to use it, and the navigating things and tricks and things like that. I love QBO now, but desktop is still good for a few certain types of clients. If your client base is local, you can also post local business news stories. That's true Don. That's a good point.
You may want to post local business stuff as well. Any advice for me? My former employee set up my company Facebook page, and I do not have an email or password to get in to make changes. What do I do? Contact that former employee, and try to get that information from them. Otherwise, you may have to email Facebook support, and try to get some help from them on that situation. Let me look through some of these other questions. You guys have great questions. Thank you.
Here is a good one. How do I thank the person sending a referral? How to find if the referral is seeking monetary referral? What do you do when there is dealing with referrals? A lot of times when you're dealing with professionals like from one accountant to an attorney, or an accountant to another accountant, a lot of times, professional referrals are reciprocal referrals. In other words, you will develop a referral relationship with each other, and you try to exchange referrals, like I may send you somebody to help you with legal services, and you send me somebody to help them with their tax services or whatever.
A lot of times, there's no money exchanged at all. A lot of times though, let's say somebody sent you a big referral, it is nice to send them a thank-you gift. I love it when I refer clients to people, and they send me, let's say, a 25-dollar gift card to a restaurant or a 50-dollar gift card to a restaurant. If they send you a thank-you gift, I think that is very nice, but as a CPA, I don't like monetary exchanges with referrals, because as a CPA, that's one of the things that we don't tend to deal with, but I think doing thank-you gifts, definitely very important.
Another thing that's very important to do whenever you get a referral from somebody, let's say and it's this other attorney that's in town. Let's say Mike says, "Michelle, I referred so and so to you. I just wanted to give you a heads up in case they contact you." You should follow up with them. You should say, "Mike, thank you for the referral. So and so never contacted me at all, or so and so contacted me. I was able to help him. He's now a client. Thank you so much for the referral. I hope to pass some referrals along to you when I can, or whatever."
You follow up with them. Maybe you say, "So and so contacted me. However, I was not able to help him, so I referred him on to whatever." Let them know what happened with the referral. You thank them for the referral no matter what, and let them know what happened. Did the person ever contact you? Are they now a client, or did it not work out? Let them know what happened, and that you appreciate that referral. I've got some people who you refer people to them, and you never hear anything. Then you're left wondering, "Did that work? Did it now work? Did they appreciate it or not?"
Then I may start referring people to someone else. Again, it's about building that referral relationship to keep things going. Hopefully that helps as well. Now, it's the top of the hour here. We're doing good. We've got lots of good questions here. Let's see if there's anything else. For Hootsuite, do you have to provide them with your login info for social media it would be posting to? Yes, you have to go through, like if I want to connect Facebook, if I want to connect LinkedIn or Twitter, you have to provide that login information for it to make that connection so that it can post to those things.
You do have to provide the sign-in information for those to post into. Does that make sense? Somebody says, "Any suggestions where to find tutorial information to set up business pages on Facebook?" Let me just show you that real quick, but we'll get in to creating content in just a minute. We've got plenty of time. Let me just show you. Let's just go into Facebook, and let's go into my page, because that's quick and easy if it will come up. All right, here is my page.
If you go into Facebook, and you go to somebody's page, so if you go to facebook.com/longforsucess, actually, I shouldn't have gone to my page, somewhere on the side of it, it will say create your own page. I shouldn't have gotten to my own page. I should have gotten to somebody else's page. I just thought of that. Off to the side of it, it will say, which page I go to. I don't know who to go to all of a sudden. I'm having a freeze here. Search Facebook. Whose page should I go to? Somebody type your page in there, and then I'll go to it.
I’m having a brain freeze here. Off to the side of the page though, you’ll see where it says create your own page. Somebody said go to Hector’s. Hector’s is a personal. I’m looking for a business. Let’s do Lakeside Tax and Bookkeeping. Thank you. There it is Lakeside Tax and Bookkeeping. Thank you Stacy, Stacy Thomas, for sharing Lakeside Tax and Bookkeeping.
Once I get out here on somebody else’s page. I’ll just go ahead and like that for you for sharing that, so thank you. Now, I’ve liked her page. If you scroll down here somewhere, it says create your own page. They’ve moved it around. It used to be on the left. I don’t see. Right here it is. See right here? Right at the top on the right, they move it around for you occasionally, so this is to keep you guessing, where it says create page. That’s where you can create your own page there.
I haven’t checked this lately, but once you get 25 people to like your page, then you can get what’s known as a vanity URL. That means for mine, I can do, sorry, Facebook.com/longforsuccess. That is a vanity URL where you can specify your own business name for it, and then it will take them directly into it. You got to get 25 likes first. That’s where people will go, and they’ll post, “Hey, would you please like my page so that I can get this URL.” Again, at the top of the page, you click on create page, and then come in here and set up your own page.
If you ever need to know how do I do something, just Google it. Just Google it, and you’ll be able to find. If I were to come over here and say, “How do I set up a Facebook page for my business,” you’ll find lots of information on being able to do that. Somebody says, “I’m loving this contact. I’m not good with this. I signed up to get certified. I have to listen to this over again. You rock Michelle.” Well, super thank you, I was hoping it was very practical information to help you guys with getting started with some of this social media stuff, getting connected and things like that. I’m glad to hear that. That’s super.
Let’s go ahead. I’m going to get back to more questions in just a few minutes, but let me go ahead. Let’s finish this content here. We’ve only got a few things left, and then we’ll have time for more questions, and I can demo things, and show you things again. As you have questions again, go ahead and post them in there for me. I showed you how you can share content. You go out to somebody else’s blog. You go out to somebody else’s YouTube channel, and you share that content, and you post it out to your social media sites.
What if you want to start now creating your own content? Let’s say you want to start blogging, and this is where you’re posting and you’re writing articles for yourself. I will admit I have not done any lately. This is my downfall lately. That’s for sure, but when you create a blog, you can get free blogs from blogger.com or WordPress, things like that. You need your blog to be integrated with your website. What that means, for example, my URL for my blog is part of my website, Longforsuccess.com/blog. You want it the same URL integration with your website.
I will admit, I don’t know how to do that. I had to get help with that. There are lots of people, and including kids and college kids who can help you now with creating a blog on your website. I got help to make sure that it was part of my website, but I do use WordPress for my blogging. If you can type in Microsoft Word, and do things in word, you can use WordPress to create blog posts. It’s very easy to start blogging if you want to do that. Now, you don’t want to do that. This is where I am falling behind on it, because I’ve been so busy. I have not been blogging lately.
You should be trying to post regularly. If you can’t, consider ghost writers. There’s actually people that you can pay that write articles and post for you, and allow you to use them as your own. You can have ghost writers doing that for you. That’s something you might be wanting to check in to.
I have a question. Just some people that might have to leave around this time, is there any chance we can do the poll for the keyword, and then continue?
I suppose. Although [inaudible 01:05:17] want to leave, right? You should all want to stay. I will do that. Thank you Woody. I did just post that. Woody, you are rocking it on the questions. I know you and Ellie work your fingers off to the bone the past few days with [inaudible 01:05:31] and now this.
That was fun.
Thank you guys. Do you have any letters left on your keyboard, or have you typed all of the letters off?
No. There's certain ones were. There’s a lot of questions. That was great.
Thank you Woody. Go ahead and answer that CPE poll question. I’ve got that posted right now. Go ahead and answer the poll there. Somebody closed it. Somebody closed the poll question already. I don’t think I did that, did I?
What we’re going to have to do, because we only got 44% voted, so one of the helpers Christine or somebody, if you could click on polls and manage polls, and put it in there again, can you add the poll question again? It only takes a couple minutes. If you guys can do that for me, that would be fabulous. Then we can launch that poll question again. Those of you, just hold tight, and we’ll do the poll question again. Hopefully Christine or Amy can do that. If you click on the polls, manage polls, create a new poll for me quickly. It doesn’t have to be that quick, but in the next couple of minutes just duplicate that one that we have there. Then we can launch the poll again.
While they’re doing that, I’m going to go ahead then and talk about YouTube videos. YouTube videos are a great way to get your message out there and to drive traffic to your website, because YouTube is the second largest search engine after Google. Who owns YouTube? Do you know? It’s Google. Google owns YouTube, so now, the videos that are on YouTube, these videos will be showing up ... In the Google search results, there are always videos on page 1. In addition to links to websites and stuff, on page 1 ... Let me go ahead and hide that while we’re creating a new poll.
When you Google something like if you Google, “How do I fix undeposited [inaudible 01:07:39] in QuickBooks,” you’ll get lots of links to things, a lot of them from the Intuit community forum, which is why it’s a good idea to answer questions on the community forum. Answer questions on that Intuit community forum with a link to your content or to your blog post, and that’s a lot of times on page 1 of the search results, but also, YouTube videos will be on page 1 of the search results. This is a great way for you to demonstrate your knowledge and for people to get to know you, because they can hear you. They can see your content.
Now I’m here to tell you, I don’t like the webcam. I don’t like to have my face on there. You don’t have to do that. I use PowerPoint and QuickBooks. People aren’t seeing my face on there, so you don’t have to do that. We still have this poll going in and out. I’m not sure what is going on with the poll question. I hid the poll question. If you guys get it created, tell me when you’re ready, and we’ll launch that. Let’s just hold on for just a minute. You can create these YouTube videos. I want you to know, I am not an expert. I am not technically graphics and all this stuff, and I can create these YouTube videos quick and easy, and so can you.
What you need to learn about is there’s tools out here that help you really quick and easy. For example, let’s see if I can get this to come down here. There you go. One of them ... Whoops, come back, I’m trying to show it to you. I don’t want it to go away. It keeps going back up there. Jing is something that’s free. Jing is free or you can pay like $15 for it. I can’t remember, depending, but it will limit. It used to be, I haven’t checked it in the last year, so it used to be only like a 5-minute video or something, but then there’s also something called Snagit. This is Snagit that I have showing on the screen here.
It’s also from TechSmith. It’s about $40. It’s great for taking screenshots and doing videos. Here is the camera for screenshot. Here is the video. If I click on this little video here, see how it’s going to show me in the middle here, it’s like I centered this where I want it to be, and I click on that. Then it says ready to record. See down here in the bottom, this little recording down here in the bottom right, this is where when it’s ready to record, you click record, and it counts down for you 3, 2, 1, boom. I’m now recording my screen and everything I’m doing here.
When I get all done, you could do the F10 key or shift F10, and that will end that video for you. Bam, we just created a video right here right now in a few seconds. See how easy it is to create a video? Put together a couple of slides. Introduce them. Hi, my name is Michelle Long. Let’s go into QuickBooks. It will record everything that you’re doing on the screen and your voice. It’s that easy for you to create videos. Best of all, look what happens once I get done with this. See under share, I could share this. What happened at YouTube? It used to show YouTube right here.
I used to be able to click share, and send it directly out to YouTube. I got a new computer, downloaded it, so I must not have set that up. I probably need to do that link there. You click share, and you post it out to YouTube, and you’ve got videos out there on YouTube. That’s how easy it is to create your own videos. Now, if you want to get fancy, you could use something more in depth. There is this thing called CamStudio. That’s a free open source type of thing. I have never used it. I can’t vouch for it. Somebody else said they like it, so you might want to check it out.
Camtasia is about $300. That allows you to actually get fancy with your videos, and do some editing, and special effects, and all kinds of different things. I do have Camtasia that I use when I’m recording things for Intuit. I don’t know how to edit my videos. My daughter does, but I don’t. You can do things with Camtasia if you want to get fancier. They should be pretty professional, but you can do lots of quick and easy videos. Like I said, I can use Snagit. Put these videos out there in a ... I’ll admit if it’s a 5-minute video, it usually takes me an hour to get it right, because I don’t know how to edit, and I have to do it over multiple times, but this is really cool, and it’s quick and easy.
You could video something for your clients to show them the new updates in Quickbooks, or to talk to them about them, and then share that video to your clients, or post it in a blog post, answer question on the Intuit community forum. You get lots of hits on those videos, and again, have a slide that has your contact information at the beginning and at the end of that so that they can then go to your website, learn more about you, and things like that. I think videos is a great way to do it, and it’s also a very easy way to do it.
Everybody is typing in cheetah.
Yes, that’s what we have to do. We can’t create another poll, so everybody just typed in cheetah, and we’ll track it in the Q&A. Sorry about that.
Thank you guys, that’s okay. Thank you guys. I figured that’s what was going on there. Now, I’m trying to look at some of the questions. They’re going too fast. Start creating some videos out there. This is where you wonder, “Okay, what might I do it on?” Let’s go out and look. I’ll show you. Let’s just go to YouTube, and I’ll just go on into my channel. You can create videos on a number of different things out there. Let me go down then to YouTube here. Sorry, I should have bookmarked this for you. If you want to go check some out, go out to my YouTube. I did do some with my face on it way back in the early days.
I know Woody does a lot with his face on them, but I don’t do very many, but you could see. Go out, put these videos out here. This is what’s amazing to me is here is common mistakes in QuickBooks. 88,000 people have watched that video. Who would think a QuickBooks video would get 88,000 people watching it? Here is the QuickBooks navigating tips. 84,000 people watched that one. I did some of these out here on the ProAdvisor program. 29,000 people have watched it. No, it’s not billions and millions, but it’s a basic QuickBooks video, and it’s amazing how many people watched these videos out here.
All you got to do is get started making your videos, create a channel for yourself on YouTube, and start posting them on there. Then you share your own content with people whether it’s clients, or you’re sharing it on social media and things like that. I encourage you to check it out, and get started and doing some of that, because it’s quick and it’s easy. Again, it’s good because those videos can show up on the page 1 of the search results. That will help tremendously. Again, just try it for a few times. How do you control the QBO videos for quality? We look for the QBO logo, and selecting training on YouTube.
When you’re talking about how do you control the videos for quality, whenever I’m recording my screen, and I watch it back, the quality is fine. I don’t have to do anything. It looks just fine. When you want to look for videos on YouTube and training, search for your keywords that you’re looking for. If you’re looking for something on QuickBooks, search for QuickBooks, and that will help you to find some of those things. Search QuickBooks in the YouTube videos, and that will help you. I’m going to answer a few additional questions, but here are some additional resources for you all. The LinkedIn group that’s mine, the Successful QuickBooks Consultants, you can get to that right here. It is a great place when you want to post questions and ask questions of other ProAdvisors or accounting professionals. We also have some small businesses out there as well.
My book if you are getting started, How to Start a Home-Based Bookkeeping Business, is less than $5 for the Kindle version. If you want to check that out, if you’re getting started, it’s got information and checklist, and various things talking about marketing and getting started. I saw somebody asking about a website. Yes, I think you should have a website. It’s just like a business card nowadays. Yes, you should have a website. The free webinar series, the QB Power Hour and then the Firm of the Future website is where you can get the recordings for the first 3 webinars that we did.
Remember we did Get on the Cloud, Getting Started, and then we talked Streamlining your Workflows. We talked about Becoming a Trusted Advisor and Doing Value Pricing. All 3 of those were already done and recorded. You can access those at firmofthefuture.com. I’m going to leave the slide up with those resources while I look at a couple of questions here. Somebody says, “The agreements are great in your book.” Oh good, thank you. Michelle says I’m amazing. Well, thank you Michelle.
Let’s see other questions that people have. Let’s see if I can find some of them amongst all the keywords here. What if there is something that let you make these videos built into QuickBooks? Don, that was years ago, and it disappeared. I don’t remember what year it disappeared, but you’re right. There used to be, but I don’t think that’s there anymore.
Right. Michelle, it was a QB replay. It went away last several years ago. You’re right. I have a question I can ask you if you want. I found one.
How do you Michelle control the QBO videos for quality? Do you look for their QBO logo, and select in the training or? If someone ...
I didn’t understand exactly what they were asking about in controlling the quality.
I think if they’re looking for a good video or something maybe.
I would look for ones from people who have like if you look at their YouTube channel, look for ones that have lots of followers and lots of people watching their videos, lots of activity. A lot of times if you listen in the first few minutes, I’ve got over 5,000 subscribers on my YouTube channel. Some people have less than 100 subscribers, so if there’s lots of subscribers and also lots of views, that’s seriously a pretty good indication that it’s good content.
The other thing I think is somebody that you know that’s doing it. I am one of the trainers for Intuit, so hopefully I would have good quality versus just somebody else putting it out there. Hopefully if you know the person, you’ll know the quality that you’re getting. If you start watching it in the first couple of minutes, and you don’t feel like it’s good, there’s no reason you have to watch the whole thing, and move on to something else. Good question.
Somebody said, “CamStudio has a lot of limitations. Camtasia will pay for itself.” Thank you Dan for sharing that. Get a couple of others in here, “Can you do a video of things you do in QuickBooks?” Yes Don. You open up QuickBooks, and you show them how to do something. That’s where you would click on this little video record button, and it goes 3, 2, 1, and you could then show them how to do something. Then you hit that shift F10 to end it when you’re done showing them how to do something. Absolutely, you can demo things just like you’re working in QuickBooks, and they’re watching over your shoulder. It’s recording it, so they can watch what you’re doing there.
Let’s see. I have some question about ... That was a long question there, so I’m going to skip that one, because it wasn’t about what we’re talking about today. Let’s see what else we have here. How often is regularly? I was going to hire a professional, and daily was recommended. I thought that was too much. What do you think? I think when I was talking about posting regularly, like blog posting regularly, I think on blog posting if you’re doing something at least once a week, that is great. I don’t know that you have to blog daily. If you want to though, you could.
If you’ve got enough content that you could do that, I think that would be helpful that you could do that. Somebody is asking, “I have a client.” Let’s see. Social media has, "I have a client." Let's see. Social media has been the weak link in my small business. It just moved, and I can't read the rest of it. I missed it. I'm so sorry. I'm having a hard time finding questions. Woody, do you have any other questions for me?
Yes, here's a good one regarding firm of the future. How do you know that you're a firm of the future firm? When do you know you've arrived?
Thank you Woody, that's a great one. Intuit has identified 3 key components to a firm of the future. Getting online, working in the cloud, working with QuickBooks Online, where you're working in the cloud. We're getting documents from our client in the cloud. We're doing everything in the cloud these days, which is making us way more efficient, and we're doing almost zero data entry, where we're managing our data so that we're not doing lots of data entry anymore. Getting online is one pillar of it.
The second one then is becoming a trusted advisor. As we start eliminating data entry, and moving to data management and data analysis, we can become more of that trusted advisor with our client. We can add additional value for our client. We talked about in the firm of the future work webinar 3 about becoming that trusted advisor, ways to add value for your clients. Number 2 is becoming the trusted advisor.
Number 3 is this getting connected, developing these relationships, and getting connected. Like I said, it's not just getting connected with your clients, but with your peers, with your family, friends, referral sources, your team members, with everybody building relationships, because you don't build the business in an isolation. You need to have relationships with lots of different people to help you to be successful.
Those are the 3 components to a firm of the future, and to really be moving forward. I know a lot of people are still struggling with moving to the cloud, and moving forward, but our industry has changed. It has changed, and those people that are reluctant and they're not moving forward, they are very quickly and very rapidly being left behind, because QuickBooks Online is growing rapidly, and our small businesses that we're working with, they want to be in the cloud.
There's actually a statistic, at least 65% of them are already doing online invoicing. Small businesses use an average of 18 apps to manage their business. If we're not there to help them with this, we're going to be left behind, so we really do need to be becoming that firm of the future. That means to me we're keeping up with technology. We're current, and we're keeping up with our small businesses, because these guys are a lot of times, these small business are ahead of us. That's why I'm thrilled to see so many people joining me and wanting to learn more about this, and becoming a firm of the future. A really good question, so thank you.
Then somebody said, "Are there proven days and times, where it's best to post?" David, there are some research out there. There are some statistics on when is the best days and the best times to post things. If you Google that, you can find articles about that stuff, but I honestly think that it's going to vary depending on your industry and the people you're working with, and even what timezone you're in, and things like that.
I like to post things at a variety of times. I have found sometimes that the evenings or the weekends on Saturdays, or the evenings, I get better response than if I post up during the work day. Trying things out learning for yourself, so that's good. Todd says, "When you're saying move to the cloud, be in the cloud, what do you mean?" Todd, I would encourage you to watch the first webinar of the firm of the future webinar series, where we talked about getting on the cloud.
What I mean is people aren't working on our desktop anymore. We're not chained to our desktop. I suspect that you like many of us here have a cellphone, right? Do you get your email on your computer in your office and on your cellphone? Yes, probably. You're getting your email in the cloud. Your calendar that you have on your computer in your office, you also have your calendar on your phone, that's in the cloud. You've got access to your data anywhere anytime. It's not just on your computer in your office. That's where with QuickBooks Online, people got access to it anywhere anytime.
That's where the small businesses, they want that. They want to be able to access their accounting information from their phone or their mobile devices just like they can everything else. We've got our accounting data in the cloud now. We've got document storage in the cloud now, so if your computer breaks, which unfortunately my computer had a little incident with water. It's actually champagne getting on my laptop a couple of weeks ago, fried out my computer. All I had to do, I took a lift ride over to Best Buy, bought a new laptop, logged in to QuickBooks Online, logged in to Microsoft one drive account.
I've got all these documents in the cloud. I didn't lose anything, because I'm in the cloud, and I can work from anywhere, anytime in any device. Module 1 or webinar 1 of this webinar series, we talked about getting on the cloud and doing some of that. I would encourage you to watch that first one there. Hopefully that helps. Do you have liability coverage for advising clients to go on in the cloud in the event their info gets hacked? That's my biggest fear professional liability.
First of all, you always should have E and O. You should always have professional liability insurance. When it comes to security, Intuit spends millions and millions of dollars on security. We can't provide that same level of security to our clients, and our clients can't provide that same level of security either. Intuit is always spending tens of millions if not hundred million, I don't know, at least tens of millions of dollars on security staying ahead of the hackers, so the reality is the data is safer on Intuit servers than on our own computers or our own servers, but you always should have professional liability coverage, yes.
Yes, the previous 3 webinars are available at firmofthefuture.com. If you did not enter the CPE keyword, please enter the CPE keyword into the question box.
I'm going to actually launch a new poll. Donna Oman actually created it. Everybody, be ready. I'm going to launch the poll. No one touch anything. Just answer the CPE keyword please right there. Hopefully everybody sees the poll, except for you guys in the audience who's not touching anything. Please go ahead and answer the poll. 63% so far voted. We do apologize. I'm still going to take a save the questions log, which you can do people often ask in the file menu of GoToMeeting, save questions log. I'm still going to save that just so we have a backup.
Thankfully, Donna put another poll in there. Please go ahead and answer the keyword. We do apologize for the technical difficulties before. So far, 78% have voted, so we're just going to leave it open for a while.
Thank you Woody, thank you.
No, that's fabulous, thank you very much. Thank you guys for all your help. I can't do this alone. I appreciate Woody and all the other Intuit employees in the background, Christine and Amy and Wendy earlier for helping with the administrative aspect, so thank you all very much. I appreciate that. Let's see if there's any other questions that we have here. I hope this was helpful for you guys. Hopefully it was very good practical information for you to help you to get connected and get started using social media tools and tips.
I hope that will help save you time so that you can use it efficiently. If you don't do anything else, just get started, just start doing a few things to get started now, and you can build up with it a little bit later. Hopefully this was helpful and beneficial. I'm going to encourage you one more time to go to firmofthefuture.com, and you can watch the other 3 webinars if you missed them as well.
Thank you Glory Anne. She said, "This has been fabulous, but we expect no less. It's Michelle after all." Well, thank you Glory Anne. I appreciate it. Thank you everybody for joining us here. Somebody says, "Now, go spill a drink on your laptop." No, Rick, you know what, I broke my own cardinal rule, never have an open container around my computers, and I got a free bottle of champagne, and then the glass was sitting there, and the wind blew it over onto my laptop. I paid the price for breaking my own rule about no open containers around my laptop.
Thank you guys very much for being here and joining us for this webinar today. Again, I hope I have been helpful. Thank you Intuit for all those things. A couple of other little questions here, somebody said they didn't receive their CPE mails. Give it 3 weeks. Make sure that you give 3 weeks for that. Make sure that you also check your spam folder, because sometimes they will go to the spam folder. Allow plenty of time for the CPE email certificates to get to you, especially after this webinar since we have the little [inaudible 01:29:52] with the poll question, you might allow 4 weeks.
Go put a reminder on your calendar for 4 weeks from today to double check for your CPE certificate and also check in your spam folder to see if you've got that information there as well. I will say once again go Chiefs. Those of you who are typing in go Pats, no it's go Chiefs. I hope you guys will all connect with me on Facebook. Go follow me on Facebook. Like my Facebook page. Join the QB Power Hour Facebook group. Join the LinkedIn group. Follow me, and if you have questions, post them out there, and I'll be glad to try to answer them and help you with some of those as well.
Hopefully that will help us connect out there. If you create your new Facebook page, and you need to get 25 likes, let me know, and I will like it for you. I will like that, and try to help you get so you can get your little vanity URL. Any other final questions that we have here? I see lots of football talk going on now. Everybody is rooting for their various teams. That's always fun. See, that's things that allow us to connect with each other, talking about sports.
We got people saying go 49ers, go Hawks, go Colts, go Denver. LA has our team bag. Go Broncos, Go Pats. Go Steelers. Go Rams, and I'll say go Chiefs. Hopefully everybody will have a great weekend.
It looks like Michelle for the most part, everybody has voted, so I'm going to close the poll. I think we're good. Thanks a lot.
Thank you again everybody for joining us. Enjoy the weekend, and I hope to see you on social media. Thanks everybody, bye.